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Business & Economy

India likens cryptocurrencies to Ponzi scheme, cautions investors

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India’s finance ministry on Friday cautioned investors about the risks of trading in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, saying digital currency investments are like “Ponzi schemes.” Cryptocurrencies are not legal tender and have no regulatory permission or protection in the country, the finance ministry said in a statement, but stopped short of announcing an outright ban or imposing any curbs. Investors and other participants dealing with such digital currencies are doing so “entirely at their risk and should best avoid participating therein,” the statement said. “There is a real and heightened risk of investment bubble of the type seen in Ponzi schemes”, with investors risking a sudden and prolon...

January 1, 2018 at 12:56 pm | News Desk

2017 in review: Dirty politics trumped development economics this year

2017 started off looking bright, but then turned into a dark year for Pakistan’s economy. Usman Hayat The year 2017 started on a positive note. Economy was growing, inflation was low, the rupee was stable, CPEC was progressing, Pakistan’s credit rating had improved, and the stock market was racing. There was hope for better times. But then, things took a turn. Political chaos hit the economy, and hit it hard. The chaos gained momentum with the formation of the Panama case JIT in April and then culminated with the Islamabad sit-in by a faction of the religious right in November. The prolonged chaos changed the once hopeful sentiment. The economic narrative shifted to fiscal deficit, trade deficit, rising debt, setbacks for...

January 1, 2018 at 12:33 pm | News Desk

Rising prevalence of ATM fraud

THE recent ATM card skimming incident is a wake-up call for banks in Pakistan to ensure their customer’s data security against all possible threats. The central bank, on its part, has reminded banks of their responsibility to implement all regulations of Payments Card Security (PCS) that it introduced back in June 2016. Habib Bank Ltd, the bank whose depositors’ ATM cards were skimmed, has started compensating the affected customers. And the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is now investigating the matter. Customer data security is one of the biggest challenges that banks the world over face. And all central banks continue to strengthen regulations aimed at preventing a security breach. But Pakistani banks have now become ...

December 12, 2017 at 2:36 pm | News Desk

No Brexit deal worst-case scenario for Britain: Lords committee

LONDON: Britain will fail to agree on a free trade deal with the EU before it plans to leave the bloc in 2019 and should seek a transition period to avoid a worst-case scenario of crashing out without an agreement, lawmakers from parliament’s upper house said. The House of Lords EU committee’s report “Brexit: deal or no deal” said on Thursday Britain should consider extending membership of the European Union or set a later date for leaving to give the government longer to negotiate a trade deal. “The overwhelming weight of evidence suggests that ‘no deal’ would be the worst possible outcome for the UK, in terms of the economy, security, the environment and citizens’ rights,” said Michael Jay, a member of the Lords EU...

December 7, 2017 at 3:58 pm | News Desk

Pakistan’s tile industry reinvigorating after imposition of anti-dumping duty on Chinese tiles

Pakistan’s decision to place anti-dumping duties on Chinese tiles is paying dividends as one of the country’s oldest tile manufacturer in Karachi is set for return to profitability after years of incurring losses. Cheap Chinese tile imports had flooded the Pakistani market and made life miserable for Pakistan’s marble industry which was in dire straits and jeopardy. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has led to a construction boom in Pakistan, with local companies unable to take advantage due to major incentives on offer for Chinese imports flooding the market with cheap goods. Not only this was a source of concern but could have hit domestic manufacturing severely. Shabbir Tiles and Ceramics Limited owned by House of Ha...

December 7, 2017 at 3:53 pm | News Desk

Moody affirms B3 rating to Pakistan

A press release issued by Moody Investor’s Service has given a B3 rating to Pakistan’s (B3 stable) US dollar-denominated notes. The credit rating agency’s B3 issuer for Pakistan indicates a credit profile which balances robust growth potential and a relatively large economy, against low income levels, infrastructure constraints and very low global competitiveness, the report from Moody’s stated. Moody’s report cited “Pakistan’s economy demonstrates relatively robust GDP growth, limited by supply-side constraints on the economy. While the scale of the economy is relatively large, Pakistan’s per capita income is very low, indicating limited capacity to absorb negative shocks.” The report added “moving forward, imp...

December 7, 2017 at 3:48 pm | News Desk

ADB Provides $330 Million to Afghanistan to Complete National Ring Road

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (6 December 2017) — The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved $330 million in grant financing to support the completion of Afghanistan's national Ring Road, a vital national strategic corridor and a critical part of the country’s regional integration agenda. ADB’s financing will support the construction of 151 kilometers (km) of road connecting the towns of Qaisar and Dari Bum in northwestern Afghanistan. The road is the last section of the 2,200-km Ring Road that connects Afghanistan's major cities and is also a key corridor under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program. The Ring Road is ranked first among the investment priorities of the road improvement master...

December 6, 2017 at 3:05 pm | News Desk

SECP notifies Shariah Standards No 17, 18 and 23 of AAOIFI

ISLAMABAD, November 29: The SECP has notified for public consultation three Shariah Standards of Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI); Shariah Standard No 17 - Investment Sukuk, Shariah Standard No 18- Possession (Qabd) and Shariah Standard No 23 - Agency and the Act of an un-commissioned agent (Fodooli) The SECP has been playing an active role in the Islamization of the economy. The SECP has endeavored to replicate the best international practices in the Islamic financial services. In order to ensure harmonization and standardization in the business practices of Islamic financial institutions, the SECP has been gradually adopting Accounting and Shariah Standards issued by Accounting and Auditi...

November 29, 2017 at 4:15 pm | News Desk

Singer, Waves & Link Well to Merge into One Company

Singer Pakistan Limited and Cool Industries Limited – the makers of Waves brand of home appliances – and Link Well Limtied have agreed to merge their operations and business through share swap ratio. The manufacturers of home appliances will be merged to form one company under the brand name of Waves Singer Pakistan Limited. In this regard, the board of directors approved the draft of the scheme. The merger scheme is subject to the approval of the stakeholders, creditors, regulator, shareholders and Sindh High Court. According to the stock filing, Cool Industries Private (Ltd) shall be merged in Singer Pakistan Limited. According to the deal, 93.975 million shares of Singer are to be issued to the shareholders of Cool Industrie...

November 28, 2017 at 4:01 pm | News Desk

Synchronized Global Upswing Underpins Higher Asian Bond Yields

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (24 November 2017) — Bond yields in emerging East Asian markets rose between 1 September and end-October as the global economy entered its most robust period of synchronized growth since the Global Financial Crisis, according to a new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In the latest quarterly issue of the Asia Bond Monitor, ADB cites strong macroeconomic fundamentals and tightening liquidity as the main sources for rising yields across most emerging East Asian bond markets, but noted that further monetary tightening by advanced-economy central banks will require vigilance by the region’s financial market regulators. “Emerging East Asia currently enjoys strong growth and relative financial stabilit...

November 24, 2017 at 11:29 am | News Desk

100 Pakistanis own properties in Dubai, FIA tells NA body

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investiga­tion Agency (FIA) on Thursday presented a list of 100 Pakistanis who own properties in Dubai to a sub-committee of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance, but no government agency has been able to ascertain whether they had complied with regulatory requirements or obtained the assets through illegal means. The sub-committee discussed reasons for the failure of government functionaries to gather details of purchase of properties worth $8 billion by Pakistanis over the last four years in Dubai. The sub-committee is headed by Dr Shezra Mansab Ali, and its members include Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Asad Umar, and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Isphanyar M. Bhandara, who does not attend meetin...

November 24, 2017 at 10:43 am | News Desk

SECP notifies Listed Companies (Code of Corporate Governance) Regulations, 2017

ISLAMBAD, November 22: Listed Companies (Code of Corporate Governance) Regulations, 2017, have been approved for notification by the Securi­ties and Exchange Comm­ission of Pakistan (SECP). They replace the Code of Corporate Governance, 2012 (CCG 2012) issued under the PSX listing regulation and are seen as a stride towards aligning corporate governance practices in Pakistan with best international standards. They shall come into effect for period beginning on January 1, 2018. The regulations are aimed at strengthening governance structures, bringing consistency in the corporate practices and promoting transparency through enhanced disclosure requirements. Furthermore, the role and responsibilities of directors have been made more clea...

November 22, 2017 at 4:20 pm | News Desk

SECP orders inquiry into leakage of trading information

ISLAMBAD, November 21: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has ordered an investigation into the leakage of trading information of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). While taking a serious notice of various complaints received, the SECP constituted a team with a mandate to immediately start the investigation proceeding to identify and curb the sources of such unlawful practices and take necessary corrective and punitive actions. In order to achieve this objective, the Commission will engage the services of professionals/experts as deemed necessary and ensure fair and early disposal of this investigation. The SECP believes that sanctity of trading information holds paramount importance for growing confidence of invest...

November 22, 2017 at 12:10 pm | News Desk

Oil prices slide after IEA casts doubt over demand outlook

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices fell more than 1 percent on Wednesday, continuing Tuesday’s slide after the International Energy Agency cast doubts over the past few months’ narrative of tightening fuel markets. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $61.33 per barrel at 0515 GMT, down 88 cents, or 1.4 percent from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55 per barrel, down 70 cents, or 1.3 percent. The price falls mean that crude prices are now down by around 5 percent since hitting 2015 highs last week, ending a 40-percent rally between June and early November. “Crude prices dropped dramatically after the IEA forecast a gloomy outlook for the near future ... The drop was arguably exacerbated b...

November 15, 2017 at 12:20 pm | News Desk

Court issues non-bailable arrest warrants for Pakistan’s finance minister

An accountability court in Islamabad on Tuesday issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in response to his prolonged absence from court. The court had been in session for the proceedings of a corruption reference against Dar, who is accused of amassing assets of an approximate value of Rs831.7 million; disproportionate to his known sources of income. The court also dismissed once again Dar's petition for exemption from accountability hearings. The hearing had been delayed as NAB’s investigating officer was unable to reach the accountability court on time. The NAB prosecutor had told the court that the officer was travelling from Lahore to Islamabad for the hearing and had gotten delayed due to smog....

November 14, 2017 at 4:55 pm | News Desk

Bank Alfalah Partners with Mastercard for Masterpass QR Rollout

In a move aimed at further driving the cashless ecosystem in Pakistan, Mastercard, a leading technology company in the global payments industry, has collaborated with Bank Alfalah Limited, the country’s premier banking institution, to enable its Masterpass QR service on the bank’s dedicated mobile banking app ‘Alfa’. As Pakistan’s first interoperable digital payment service, Masterpass QR is a quick response (QR) mobile solution that allows consumers to make simple and secure digital payments across devices and channels. The cost-effective solution, which first went live in Pakistan in August 2016, makes it easy for users to pay for purchases made in-store and for a wide variety of goods and services. With the integration of...

November 10, 2017 at 11:24 am | News Desk

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