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News Desk
Economic Affairs Editor

News's Articles

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

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

USAID Hands Over Mobile Bus Libraries to CA&DD

Islamabad: November 16, 2017: To mark International Education Week, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) handed over two mobile libraries to the Capital Administration and Development Division (CA&DD) at a ceremony in a local school today. After the transfer agreement was signed, USAID’s Office Director for Education Dr. Christopher Steel formally presented the bus keys to Minister of State for CA&DD Dr. Tariq Fazal Chaudhry.  “With these mobile libraries, we can make sure that good books are reaching children who want to read and helping them become good readers,” said Dr. Steel.  “I am happy that through today’s commitment, we are continuing this tradition of supporting Pakistan in its effo...

November 16, 2017 at 4:03 pm | News Desk

Dr Asim’s name to be struck off ECL

ISLAMABAD (November 16, 2017) The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Interior Ministry to strike PPP leader Dr Asim Hussain's name off the Exit Control List (ECL), allowing him to travel abroad for medical treatment. Justice Masheer Alam and Justice Qazi Faez Isa heard the case regarding the removal of Dr Asim's name from the no-fly list. The PPP leader had travelled abroad for medical treatment earlier this year, but had returned within the time period stipulated by the court, his lawyer Sardar Latif Khosa had said during the last hearing of the case. However, as he appeared healthy, his name was put on the ECL again upon his return to Pakistan. Dr Asim's lawyer earlier told the court that his client's flight had initially b...

November 16, 2017 at 12:12 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

Zimbabwe crisis: Army seizes broadcaster but denies coup

Zimbabwe's military has read out a statement after taking over the national broadcaster, ZBC, saying it has taken action to "target criminals". However, it said this was not "a military takeover of government" and President Robert Mugabe was safe. Heavy gunfire and artillery were heard in northern suburbs of the capital, Harare, early on Wednesday. Zimbabwe's envoy to South Africa, Isaac Moyo, earlier dismissed talk of a coup, saying the government was "intact". The statement read out by Maj Gen Sibusiso Moyo came hours after soldiers overran the headquarters of ZBC. He said: "We wish to assure the nation that his excellency the president... and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed." The statement ad...

November 15, 2017 at 11:40 am | News Desk

‘RAW running $500 million cell to sabotage CPEC,’ says Pakistani General

The Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat, on Tuesday alleged that India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) had established a cell in 2015 dedicated to sabotaging China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in Pakistan. While addressing a seminar in Islamabad, Gen Hayat revealed that: "RAW established a new cell with a special allocation of over $500 million in 2015 to sabotage CPEC projects [in Pakistan]." "India's indirect interference in Pakistan is manifested in sponsoring Tehreek-i-Taliban-Pakistan, Baloch and other sub-nationalist outfits and many other terrorist groups," he added. "India has set up a Balochistan operational cell under RAW to devise a radical force for subversion and terror...

November 14, 2017 at 5:07 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

No change in Pakistan’s behaviour: Top US general in Afghanistan

BRUSSELS: The commander of the NATO forces in Afghanistan, US Army Gen. John Nicholson, said Thursday that Pakistan had not changed its behaviour since President Donald Trump announced his new policy for Afghanistan. When asked whether he had seen any increased cooperation from Pakistan with regards to eliminating Taliban sanctuaries, Nicholson said "No, I haven't seen any change yet in their behavior." He was speaking to the reporters on the margins of a gathering of NATO defence ministers in Brussels this week. "You've heard the public statements from President Trump, from (Defense Secretary James) Mattis, from (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford) from (Secretary of State Rex) Tillerson, so we are engaging at the ve...

November 10, 2017 at 2:27 pm | News Desk