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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

ANALYSIS: Jerusalem and the remaining naysayers

Pakistan has been upright and principled in slamming US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. What happens next, however, given history’s amazing somersaults? What if the way ahead becomes less conducive to its best interests or, as they say, the political ground shifts from under its feet? Consider a quick glance at how some seemingly fundamental beliefs have mutated in South Asia and the Middle East. There was a time when the mere announcement of a US arms sale to Saudi Arabia would send Isra­eli and Indian diplomats heading to the State Department to lodge their protests. Giora Becher, Israel’s first envoy to India in 1992, wondered why the two didn’t share a cab. There was a time when...

December 8, 2017 at 4:22 pm | News Desk

Pakistan allows Indian spy Jadhav’s wife, mother to visit on Dec 25

The Foreign Office announced on Friday that the mother and wife of Kulbhushan Jadhav have been given permission to visit the Indian spy in Pakistan. During the weekly briefing at the FO, spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said that India has been notified of Islamabad's decision to allow Jadhav's wife and mother to visit him. The spokesperson said that the visit will take place on December 25. He added that an official of the Indian High Commission will be allowed to be present during the visit and complete security will be provided to the visitors. Jadhav was handed a death sentence by a Pakistani Field General Court Martial (FGCM) in April after trial for involvement in espionage and sabotage activities in Karachi and Balochistan...

December 8, 2017 at 4:14 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

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