GERMANY

Former Central-Bank Chief Tietmeyer Dies

The former head of Germany's central bank, Hans Tietmeyer, died on Tuesday at age 85, the Bundesbank said.

Mr. Tietmeyer, who upheld the bank's tradition of fighting inflation, led the institution from 1993 to 1999, helping guide Germany as it shifted from its own currency -- the mark -- to the euro, which it now shares with 18 other states. "Hans Tietmeyer was an outstanding president," said the current Bundesbank chief, Jens Weidmann.

Mr. Tietmeyer was one of the founding fathers of common European monetary policy, serving on the first Governing Council of the European Central Bank when it launched in 1998. He is said to have advocated that council members sit in alphabetical order, not according to country of origin.

Mr. Tietmeyer led the Bundesbank as it was preparing to renounce authority of monetary policy to the ECB. He believed in the limits of monetary policy, saying in a 1998 speech that rate setters "cannot take on the responsibilities of other policy areas -- be they fiscal, social or wage-related."

--Todd Buell

INDONESIA

Arrests of Suspected Terrorists Surge

Arrests and deaths of suspected terrorists in Indonesia more than doubled to 170 in 2016, police in Indonesia said, a rise they tied to Islamic State spreading its reach globally as the organization came under pressure in Syria and Iraq.

Security personnel in the world's largest Muslim-majority nation arrested 137 suspected terrorists in 2016, up from 75 last year, National Police Chief Tito Karnavian said. They killed 33 suspected terrorists in counterterror operations, up from seven last year.Indonesia has reported a rise in terrorist activity in recent weeks, with police arresting dozens of terrorist suspects and shooting five suspected of planning bomb and other attacks during the December holiday period.

--Anita Rachman

UNITED KINGDOM

Business Confidence Grew in 4th Quarter

Business confidence in the U.K. rose in the fourth quarter to its highest level in more than a year, according to a closely watched survey published Thursday, though the risk of a messy divorce from the European Union remained executives' biggest worry for the year ahead.

Deloitte LLP said a quarterly gauge of business confidence compiled from the survey responses of chief financial officers at large U.K.-based firms registered its highest level for 18 months in the final three months of 2016, a reflection of stronger-than-expected economic growth.

Last week, the U.K.'s Office for National Statistics said its latest estimates suggest the economy grew in the third quarter at an annualized rate of 2.3%, a faster pace than initially believed.

Deloitte said, though, that despite the optimism, executives remain on the defensive.

Trimming costs and boosting cash flow were chief financial officers' top priorities for the year ahead.

The outlook for investment and hiring improved in the final quarter but remained muted, amid uncertainty about the longer-term prospects for the U.K. and global economies, the survey found.

Brexit was listed as executives' biggest concern.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has said she would formally kick off the Brexit process before the end of March, opening exit talks with the EU that are expected to last at least two years.

--Jason Douglas

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 29, 2016 02:47 ET (07:47 GMT)

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