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The Week In Numbers: Wham!

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects global growth in 2016 to be “disappointing” and “uneven”. In October, the IMF said global growth could be around 3.6% in 2016.

Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the IMF, said the prospect of rising interest rates in the US and an economic slowdown in China were contributing to uncertainty and a higher risk of economic vulnerability worldwide. Tell is something we don’t already know, Christine.

However, the Morgan Stanley Global Opportunity Fund expects Asian and emerging market stocks to outperform in 2016. The fund, which gained 20% this year, said: “With the U.S. and developed markets in general outperforming over recent years, it makes sense that some of the other markets might represent better value now.” Very contrarian.

China has suspended at least three overseas banks from conducting foreign exchange business until the end of March. According to Reuters, banks that include Standard Chartered and DBS Group (SGX: D05) did not respond to requests for comment.

No reasons were given for the trading suspension, though it is believed to be one of many steps taken by Chinese authorities to steady the yuan. That’s one way of steadying a currency – just stop the free market from finding the right price.

Staying with financial, Singapore banks lent less money than a year ago, according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Bank lending fell 0.7% to S$603.9 billion in November. Banks also wrote off S$29.6 million in bad debts last month, compared to S$24.7 million a year ago.

And finally, an Austrian disc jockey has been punished for playing “Last Christmas”, which was a hit by British pop group, Wham!, 24 times in a row. The boss of the radio station, Antenne Kaernten said as a consequence of his actions, he will have to work on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

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