Naira strengthens against dollar ahead of CBN FX sales to BDCs - Parallel Market Rate submitted by
Aug 29, 2020: $1 to N471
Aug 30, 2020: $1 to N465
Aug 31, 2020: $1 to N450
Sept 1, 2020: $1 to N430
Sept 2, 2020: $1 to N420
The Naira has gained N51 in 5 days.
The naira has strengthened at the parallel market to N420 against the dollar after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced that it would resume dollar sales to bureau de change operators.
Before the announcement, the naira had been trading as low as N480 against the dollar.
Upon resumption, the apex bank said BDCs must not exchange the naira at more than N386/$ to end-users.
The CBN said its decision to resume FX sales to BDCs is to enhance accessibility to forex “particularly to travellers” since the resumption date for international flights has been announced.
The CBN also said deposit money banks shall continue to sell forex for travel-related invisible transactions to customers and non-customers over the counter upon presentation of relevant travel documents, passport, air ticket and visa.
-Rupee continues to recover, gains Rs4.16 in four months
The Pakistani rupee has maintained a gradual uptrend against the US dollar since the beginning of current fiscal year in July and is anticipated to gain more ground in the remaining eight months amid expectations of increase in foreign currency inflows.
The rupee gradually strengthened Rs4.16 or 2.60% in the past around four months to Rs155.88 to the US dollar in the inter-bank market on Friday, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). “The rupee may recover to 145 to the greenback by June 30, 2020,” Forex Association of Pakistan (FAP) President Malik Bostan projected while talking to The Express Tribune.
Further: -In a positive development, Pakistani Rupee hits highest level of four months against US dollar
The Pakistani rupee has shown recovery against the US dollar as the US currency reached the lowest level in four months.
-ExxonMobil to help build LNG terminal in Pakistan
After getting a liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply contract from private-sector consumers, US energy giant ExxonMobil is planning to build the third LNG terminal in Karachi as a joint-venture partner.
Some time ago, ExxonMobil, in collaboration with Pakistan’s exploration and production companies, drilled an offshore well to search for hydrocarbon reserves in the Arabian Sea. However, the effort could not prove successful. Now, in a new venture with Energas consortium, the US firm is going to invest in setting up an LNG terminal in Pakistan.
-Pakistan's Hindu community celebrates Diwali today in a renovated temple reopened by the Pakistan government after 72 years
he country’s Hindu community is celebrating the annual religious festival of Diwali. The religious festivities are expected to take place in Shawala Teja Singh Temple, located in Sialkot, after 72 years.
All preparations for the upcoming festival have been completed. The festival of Diwali is being seen as more of a cultural than a religious one as people from other faiths will celebrate alongside members of the Hindu community.
The temple, where the festivities will take place, was closed down in 1947. The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and certain members of the Hindu community decided to open the temple a few months ago, after which the renewal and renovation work had begun. Now, for the first time, this temple is going to celebrate a religious ceremony.
-Tax Returns Filed Per Day in 2019 Have Increased by 127 Percent: FBR Chairman
Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi has announced that on average, tax returns filed per day in 2019 have risen by 127 percent compared to last year. In a Twitter post, Zaidi shared details of the tax returns filed so far. As per the records, the number of tax returns filed in 2019 till October 25 stands at 918,027, as compared to 585,209 tax returns filed in the same period last year.
Zaidi said that as of November, the FBR will impose strict measures against unauthorized interactions and harassement between its staff and the business community. The business community is suggested to report to FBR if any person contacts them through any manner without proper authorization.
-Pakistan, Nepal agree to enhance trade ties
President Dr. Arif Alvi on Saturday held a meeting with the Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli on the sidelines of 18th Non Aligned Movement Summit in Baku, ARY News reported.
According to a statement issued by the ministry, both the leaders affirmed to enhance trade ties between the two countries and expressed their desire to further strengthen the bonds of friendship. Matters of mutual interest, bilateral relations, regional peace, grave human rights violations and humanitarian crisis in occupied Kashmir and other issues were came under discussion in the meeting.
Speaking on the occasion, President Alvi briefed the Nepalese prime minister on Indian illegal actions in occupied Kashmir. He expressed hope that Nepal will play its role as SAARC chair, for strengthening peace and stability in the region.
-CPEC enters into 2nd phase: Poverty, agriculture, B2B initiatives prime focus: Khusro
Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reform Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtyar Wednesday said the CPEC has now entered into its second phase with focus on poverty alleviation, agriculture and B2B industrial cooperation.
“The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government's economic reform measures will strengthen the country's economy as the investors' confidence is rebounding due to corrective measures," the minister expressed these views while talking to Australian High Commissioner Dr Geoffrey Shaw who called on him on Wednesday. Secretary Planning Zafar Hasan was also present in the meeting.
While discussing bilateral relations and foreign investment in various sectors in Pakistan especially in Gwadar, the minister said that ongoing phase of CPEC will bring about socioeconomic benefits for the welfare of the people. He said that CPEC offers enormous potential to boost national economy and reduce poverty.
-Pakistan's Defence Exports have reached USD 212.6 MILLION IN 2018-2019
According to the Pakistan Ministry of Defence Production’s (MoDP) “First Year Performance Report,” the country had registered $212.6 million US in defence exports from August 2018 to August 2019.
Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) booked the highest value at $184.38 million US, which was followed by Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) at $7.13 million US and Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) at $1.3 million US. In addition, private sector firms booked $19.36 million US in sales.
No additional breakdowns were provided by the MoDP. It is likely that PAC’s exports were fueled by co-production work for FC-1/JF-17 sales to Myanmar and/or Nigeria. Though an agreement was signed with Turkey for the sale of 52 Super Mushshak basic trainers, it is unclear if PAC has started manufacturing these aircraft.
-DRAP to launch countrywide drive against substandard, spurious medicines
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) is launching a countrywide campaign against substandard medicines, the PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza said while addressing the federal and provincial drug inspectors in Islamabad on Thursday.
He said a crackdown is being launched throughout the country to eradicate the menace of unregistered, spurious and sub-standard medicine. In addition to medicine quality, he added, DRAP will also take stern action against violation of fixed prices of medicines.
-Foreign exchange: SBP reserves increase $79m to $7.89b
The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 1.14% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.
Earlier, the reserves had spiralled downwards, falling below the $7-billion mark, which raised concern over Pakistan’s ability to meet its financing requirements. However, financial assistance from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and other friendly nations helped shore up the foreign exchange reserves.
On October 18, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $7,892.7 million, up $79 million compared with $7,813.7 million in the previous week. The report cited no reason for the increase in reserves, which stood below the $8-billion mark.
-Ease of business: Pakistan up 28 places on World Bank index
Pakistan has jumped up 28 places on the World Bank’s (WB) Ease of Doing Business Index and secured a place among the top 10 countries with the most improved business climate – a development that will greatly improve Islamabad’s image abroad,
Pakistan carried out six reforms that helped improving its ranking from 136 to 108, according to the WB’s annual flagship report, ‘Ease of Doing Business 2020’, released on Thursday. It turned out to be the sixth global reformer and first in South Asia that brought ease in doing business in the last one year.
The fewer are the regulations the better is the ranking on the index. The key to attain perfection is to cut the bureaucracy hindering business activities in the name of various regulations and procedures.
-CM approves Rs 500m for Punjab Housing & Town Planning Agency
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has given approval of Rs 500 million for Punjab Housing & Town Planning Agency. He gave approval while presiding over a high-level meeting at CM Office here on Monday. During the meeting progress on Naya Pakistan Housing Project for low-income persons was reviewed and detailed briefing was also given to the participants on Naya Pakistan Housing strategy.
While addressing the meeting, Usman Buzdar said that obstacles should be removed in order to ensure completion of Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme and financial conditions of common man should be kept in mind while chalking out housing policy of the project. All out attention should be paid while constructing small houses in the province, he added. It has also been decided during the meeting to launch rural housing project in 17 model villages.
-KSE 100 gains 204 points amid improved sentiments
The benchmark KSE 100 Index depicted remarkable progress as it gained around 204 points and concluded at 33,861-level.It was a busy start to the week at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) with earnings season hitting its peak, while volumes remained at par with previous weeks’ average.
Biggest single day investment in treasury bills in the previous week of estimated US $87.5 million, increasing total investment to US$440 million since July 2019 was the major rally point in the market sentiments.
The bourse recorded an intraday low of 33,572.36 soon after the commencement of the session. However, after regaining the momentum, the index marked its day’s high at 34,008.35 adding 350.89 points. It settled higher by 204.13 points at 33,861.59. The KMI 30 Index accumulated 386.53 points to settle at 55,155.92, while the KSE All Share Index managed to gain 86.13 points, ending at 24,543.78.
-Sindh to reserve 0.5% job quota for transgender persons
The Sindh Cabinet on Wednesday agreed to reserve 0.5 per cent quota in government jobs for transgender persons. “I want to bring transgender people into the mainstream,” said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah during the cabinet meeting. “We want to make them an asset for our society.”
CM Murad congratulated the transgender community on behalf of the cabinet and advised them to improve their education. Around 41,000 positions are vacant in different government departments across Sindh out of which 206 will be given to transgender people.
A spokesperson from the chief minister’s house stated that out of the 41,000 available jobs 16,000 positions will be filled this fiscal year. Rest of the positions will be filled in the period of next three years.
-Malaysia's Mahathir stands by Kashmir comments despite India palm oil boycott
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Tuesday he would not retract his criticism of New Delhi’s actions in occupied Kashmir despite Indian traders calling for an unprecedented boycott of Malaysian palm oil.
The impasse could exacerbate what Mahathir described as a trade war between the world’s second biggest producer and exporter of the commodity and its biggest buyer so far this year.
India’s top vegetable oil trade body on Monday asked its members to stop buying Malaysian palm oil after Mahathir said at the United Nations General Assembly last month that India had “invaded and occupied” Kashmir.
-“World’s two major companies setting up solar panel plants in Pakistan”
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry announced on Monday that the world’s two major solar panel firms will establish their plants in Pakistan. The minister tweeted saying “good news gets lost in political plays, yet I am very happy that the world’s two major companies are setting up solar panel’s plants in Pakistan.”
Chaudhry added that China’s second-largest Lithium battery producer will also set up its workshop in Pakistan. The Lithium battery-powered buses will also be manufactured in Pakistan, the tweet further said. The Minister for Science and Technology was recently on a visit to Beijing where he met various Chinese officials and the country’s business leaders.
-Pakistan Navy organizes free medical camp in Balochistan
Navy organized a free medical camp in the village Dam of Balochistan in collaboration with Sahil and Ulfat welfare foundations. According to the spokesperson of Pakistan Navy, specialist doctors of surgical, medical, skin, gynecology, child and general medically inspected patients at the camp. Over 700 patients were provided with free medical treatment, medicines and ordinary surgical facilities.
-Lahore to get Tram service soon
Citizens of Lahore are getting a modern-day tram service soon, based on the famous British-era tram service. In this regard, the Punjab Transport Department has inked an agreement with CRSC International, a Chinese company specializing in rail transportation control systems, and Inkon Group of the Czech Republic.
The development of the project is divided into several phases. In the first phase, a 35 km track will be constructed on Canal Road, Lahore. Up to 50 trams will run on this track. Once operational, the trams will be able to carry 35,000 passengers in 1 hour. The trams will be powered through electricity and batteries. A single tram will have a service life of around 40 years. 2 tram depots will be constructed at different locations as well.
-10 Pakistani Universities Ranked Among the World’s Best in ‘University Impact Rankings 2019’
Ten Pakistani universities have been ranked among the top universities in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE)’s list. THE is a weekly UK-based magazine that issues its annual list of world’s most influential universities.
The list called ‘University Impact Rankings 2019’ has included 10 Pakistani varsities in different categories, including Gender Equality, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Decent Work, Economic Growth, and others. According to the magazine, the rankings assess universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
-PM Imran Khan inaugurates China-Hub Power Generation Plant in Balochistan
Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has said that Pakistan is moving forward through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects. Addressing inaugural ceremony of China Hub Power Generation Plant in Balochistan, he said this is the first joint project under the CPEC umbrella and he is very happy after inaugurating it.
“The government will facilitate joint collaboration between Pakistani and Chinese businesses in various sectors.”, he said. PM Imran Khan said with the help of coal reserves in Thar, Pakistan can generate huge amount of electricity, which can be enough for at least 100 years.
-Punjab Forest Department develops ‘record keeping’ mechanism
Department of Forest Punjab is managing 1.6 million acres of forest land area – 67 per cent of the entire forest land area in Punjab – under the Geographic Information System (GIS), Pakistan Today learnt reliably on Friday. The program enabled the forests department to ensure sound management and introduce state of the art record-keeping and mapping methods.
‘Development of GIS-Based Forest Management Information System in Punjab’ was approved at PC-1 with a cost of Rs75 million and a gestation period of 36 months (2016-2019) has allowed for transfer of all forest resources and inventories into IT-based inventory systems and achieved extensive field surveys, rapid data collection and its processing for development of the forestry sector on efficient lines.
-Hutchison Port Holdings announces $240m investment in Pakistan
Prime Minister Imran Khan has welcomed $240 million foreign investment from Hutchison Port Holdings, a Hong Kong-based port operator. A delegation of Hutchison Port Holdings, led by its Group Managing Director Eric Ip, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday. Other delegation members included HPH Middle East & Africa Managing Director Andy Tsoi and Middle East & Africa Business Director Eric Ng.
Maritime Affairs Minister Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Special Assistant to PM on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Ambassador-at-Large for Foreign Investment Ali Jehangir Siddiqui and Board of Investment Chairman Zubair Haider Gilani were also present on the occasion. Group Managing Director Eric Ip apprised the prime minister of Hutchison’s fresh investment into Pakistan approximating $240 million which will enhance the new container terminal capacity at the Karachi Port, and increase Hutchison Ports’ total investment in Pakistan to $1 billion.
-Punjab's tax collection jumps 44%
Punjab’s tax collection registered a 44% growth to Rs77 billion in first quarter of the ongoing fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of previous year, despite tough conditions of the federal government for the provinces to get a share in the federal divisible pool of resources. Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht disclosed this at a review meeting of the Finance Department on Monday.
The meeting was briefed that despite the financial backlog left by the previous government, the current government gave a surplus budget of Rs233 billion in order to meet financial requirements of the federal government to comply with conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme.
-‘SECP recognised as 7th most effective regulator in world’
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has been recognised as the “7th most effective regulator” by the World Economic Forum in its ‘Global Competitiveness Report-2019’.
“Pakistan was ranked as the 52nd most dynamic economy in the world. The country secured this by improving 15 points from last year, as it stood at 67th in 2018,” said a statement issued by Mishal Pakistan, Country Partner at WEF’s Institute of the Future of Economic Progress System Initiative, on Wednesday. “The progress of Pakistan’s competitiveness was due to the achievements made during the last 12 months.”
The most effective improvements were made due to the initiative and strategies adopted by the apex regulator for the corporate sector and the capital markets; supervision and regulation of insurance, non-banking financial companies and private pension schemes. The SECP improved Pakistan’s competitiveness rankings by improving the “number of days to start a business”, where Pakistan was ranked at the 90th position compared with 96th in 2018.
-Pakistan China bilateral trade crosses $19 billion, highest ever in history
Pakistan Ambassador to China , Naghmana Hashmi has said the bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and China has now touched US $ 19.08 billion and both countries aimed to raise it further.
“The bilateral trade volume between Pakistan and China has now touched US$ 19.08. We aim to raise it further,” Ambassador Hashmi said joint ventures in defence production have led to the manufacture of the MBT 2000 Al-Khalid Tank and JF-17 Thunder, a fighter aircraft. “On the diplomatic front, the two countries are committed to protecting and promoting multilateralism and upholding the United Nations (UN)Charter, while our cooperation has extended to science and technology, socioeconomic sectors and nuclear cooperation for peaceful purposes,” she added.
-Foreign Company Agrees to Drop $6 Billion Penalty, Re-Invest in Reko Diq: Reports
The International Center of Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) had slapped the country with a $6 billion penalty for revoking the contract without prior knowledge back in 2009. Soon after the development, the Prime Minister had empowered his financial team to contact the executives of the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) to reach an out-of-court settlement and avoid the penalty.
Reportedly, after the Pakistan authority’s approach, the company has not only agreed to take back the penalty but has also agreed to invest in the project again. As per media reports, PM Imran Khan contacted the TCC management and discussed the prospects of the matter. He assured the company his full support if they wanted to revise the investment plan for the project. The company will reportedly withdraw its appeal from the ICSID, while Pakistan will compensate for their damages due to the cancelation of the contract.
-Current account deficit shrinks massive 64pc
The country’s current account deficit (cad) in the first quarter of current fiscal year declined by a huge 64 per cent mainly on the back of a 21pc reduction in the imports bill.
The State Bank’s latest data issued on Friday showed the current account deficit for July-September FY20 clocked in at $1.548 billion compared to $4.287bn in the same period last fiscal year; a decline of $2.739bn.
The reduced current account deficit is a positive omen for the government, which is struggling with slow economic growth and high inflation. However, despite massive decline in rupee’s value, the country’s exports have failed to register any noticeable increase during the period.
-Food imports down 24pc, exports up 14pc in Q1 FY20
Food group imports into the country during the first quarter of the current financial year (July-Sept 2019-20) decreased considerably by 24.7pc, whereas exports increased by 13.98pc compared with the corresponding period of last year.
The import of food commodities into the country during the period under review came down from $1.45 billion to $1 billion, whereas the exports increased from $864 million to $984.7 million, according to latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
-Chinese Smartphone Company Realme to build mobile phone manufacturing factory in Pakistan
Chinese company Realme's Director of Marketing in Pakistan Mr He Shunzi in an interview disclosed that Realme is planning to set up the mobile phone manufacturing factory in Pakistan. He told that company is inspecting locations in Islamabad, Peshawar, and Faisalabad Industrial Estate for suitable land. Pakistani mobile market offers guaranteed capital as Realme ranked top five android brands in Pakistan in less than nine months, capturing 8% of total market share, he added.
-Chinese Coal Giant Wants to Convert Thar’s Coal to Diesel
China’s Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group will help convert Thar’s coal into oil and the talks between the two parties are underway. The Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group is a subsidiary of China’s biggest coal producer, the Shenhua Group and the company already has the world’s largest plant for converting coal into diesel, with an annual production capacity of 4 million tons in Ningxia in its portfolio.
The agreement, if signed, will be a ‘game-changer’ for Pakistan, believes Adviser to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, who accompanied Imran Khan on his recent visit to China. The Pakistani delegation held talks with the Shenhua Group during the trip:
-In a positive development, Pakistan projected among top 20 rising economic growth engines of the World
Pakistan projected among 20 top rising economic growth engines of the World that would dominate the global growth in next 5 years. Pakistan has been projected as one of 20 countries that will dominate global growth in five years time in 2024, an assessment made by Bloomberg using data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
-In a positive development, Pakistan textile exports register increase
Textile exports from the country increased by 2.95pc during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (July-Sept FY20) compared with the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. The textile exports during the period under review were recorded at $3,371.974 million as against the exports of $3,275.303 million during July-September 2018-19, according to latest data by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
The textile commodities that contributed to the positive growth included raw cotton, exports of which grew by 53.65pc, from $7.047 million to $10.828 million. Similarly, the exports of yarn (other than cotton yarn) increased by 21.95pc, from $7.759 million last year to $9.462 million, while that of knitwear surged by 11.14pc, from $701.393 million to $779.548 million.
-Kartarpur Corridor will open to public on November 9: PM Imran
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced that Pakistan will inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9. The premier’s announcement came via a Facebook post in which he said that construction work on the Pakistani side had entered the final stage. “Pakistan is all set to open its doors for Sikhs from all across the globe,” he wrote. “World’s largest Gurdwara will be visited by Sikhs from across India and other parts of the world,” he said.
-'$1.2b penalty in Karkey case likely to be waived'
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and senior lawyer Babar Awan has said that the $1.2 billion penalty that Pakistan has to pay to Turkey’s Karkey rental power plant is likely to be waived.
“International institutions, through high-level backdoor contacts, have agreed to waive off the penalty. This is very good news for Pakistan,” said Awan while addressing the media on Friday. “International institutions have shown their trust in Prime Minister Imran Khan,” he added.
-Punjab Govt to Introduce a Unified Tax Collection System
Punjab government is contemplating the introduction of a unified tax collection system in the province. The unified system will streamline the tax collection process and facilitate the taxpayers. At the moment, Punjab Revenue Department, Excise and Taxation Department, and local administrations collect taxes in Punjab. On Sunday, Finance Minister of Punjab, Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, headed a meeting of Punjab Revenue Authority (PRA). Bakht said that a special tax management unit will be set up at the Punjab finance department that will unify tax collection all across the country.
-PM To Launch Clean Green Pakistan Index for Multiple Cities
Prime Minister’s Adviser on Climate Change, Malik Amin Aslam, said that Imran Khan will launch the Clean Green Pakistan Index (CGPI) at a grand launching ceremony on October 30. The initiative is aimed at introducing competition among cities on various indicators, including public access to clean drinking water, safe sanitation, effective solid waste management, and tree plantation.
The prime minister will announce a six-month competition among 19 cities of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces, he added. The adviser said that after six months, these cities will be ranked again and those with prominent progress will be rewarded with special federal and provincial government funds and more cities will be joining the competition.
-PM Khan Will Lay The Foundation of Baba Guru Nanak University on Oct. 28
Prime Minister Imran Khan is going to lay the foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak University on October 28. The establishment of this university in Nankana Sahib was announced earlier this year when PM Khan was in the town for a Spring Tree Plantation Campaign.
-Sindh govt invites bids for Dhabeji SEZ
The Sindh government has launched the well-connected Dhabeji Special Economic Zone in district Thatta near Port Qasim, according to a statement issued on Monday. In this connection, the Sindh Economic Zones Management Company (SEZMC), being the provincial SEZ custodian, has invited proposals for the development and operation of Dhabeji project through an advertisement published in leading national and international newspapers.
Dhabeji SEZ was highlighted in the recent meeting of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Joint Working Group on Industrial Cooperation. The senior officials of China’s National Development Reforms Commission (NDRC) appreciated the Sindh government on the progress made so far. The Sindh government launched the project through an international competitive bidding process as a build-up to the upcoming 10th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting between China and Pakistan, which would be held next month.
-Rice exports surge 51pc in first quarter FY20
Rice exports from the country during the first quarter of the financial year 2019-20 grew by 50.76pc as compared to the corresponding period last year. During the July-September period, about 839,356 metric tonnes of rice, worth $470.584 million, were exported as compared the exports of 551.5,86 metric tonnes, valuing $312.147 million, during the same period of FY19.
According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the exports of basmati rice increased by 47.29pc, as 212,873 metric tonnes of basmati rice ($194.669 million) were exported during the first quarter of FY20, as compared the 127,669 metric tonnes ($132.166 million) in the same period of last year. Meanwhile, 34,090 metric tonnes of fish and fish preparations worth $79.549 million were also exported in the period under review as compared to the exports of 25,859 metric tonnes valuing $67.294 million during the same period of last year.
The Central Government has been holding meetings with Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and German state-owned development bank KfW for access to low-cost capital to Indian MSMEs, according to MSME minister Nitin Gadkari. The comments gain significance as lack of capital is the biggest challenge for the growth of MSMEs.
The RBI today asked banks to link all new floating-rate loans for housing, personal and MSMEs to external benchmark based interest rate from 1 Oct, in a bid to allow faster transmission of its rate cuts to consumers. It has been observed that due to various reasons, the transmission of policy rate changes to the lending rate of banks under the current MCLR framework has not been satisfactory, the RBI said in a statement.
PSBs can now create Chief General Manager (CGM) posts as per their business needs. The Department of Financial Services (DFS) in the Finance Ministry granted the flexibility to all nationalised banks. CGM posts (in a fresh scale termed as scale VIII) can be created (with Board approval) in nationalised banks that have total business of ₹10 lakh crore or higher, sources said. Such CGMs will act as an administrative and functional layer between the existing levels of General Manager and Executive Director. The number of CGM posts created should not exceed the ratio of 1:4 between the total number of posts of CGM and GM.
The RBI-constituted task-force on developing a vibrant secondary market for corporate loans has called for setting up a central loan contract registry to remove information asymmetries between buyers and sellers. The 6-member task force, headed by Canara Bank chairman TN Manoharan, was formed to examine the scope for developing a secondary market for corporate loans and make recommendations to facilitate rapid development of such a vibrant market.
Global rating agency Moody's on September 4 upgraded the outlook on Punjab National Bank, which will merge OBC and United Bank of India with itself, to 'positive' from 'stable'. It also affirmed the local and foreign currency deposit ratings of Canara Bank, OBC, Syndicate Bank and Union Bank at Baa3/P-3.
Canara Bank today said its board will meet next week to consider capital infusion of up to Rs 9,000 crore through issuance of preferential equity shares to the government of India. The board will also consider amalgamation of Syndicate Bank with it, the Bank said in a regulatory filing.
HR integration will be the top priority in the merger of Syndicate Bank with Canara Bank and branch rationalisation would be looked at only after all aspects of integration are completek, . Syndicate Bank’s MD & CEO Mrutyunjay Mahapatra said. He saidthat the merger process will not slow down business.
Canara Bank MD & CEO R A Sankara Narayanan, told that there would not be any loss of employment after merger. He had also confirmed that both the banks will stick to business projections and have a dedicated team to focus on integration without affecting normal business.
LIC, that has seen its investment in IDBI Bank erode by more than half over the past year or so, has also seen the value of its investments in other PSU banks plunge. The sharp fall in the price of PSU bank stocks and dilution of its stake owing to capital infusion by the government, has eroded its wealth in these banks. LIC has lost over Rs 17,000 crore of its wealth in PSBs over the past year. Excluding IDBI Bank, it has lost over ₹4,800 crore in other PSBs.
ICICI Bank has cut its lending rates by 0.10% across all maturities, sources said on Sep 4. Under the revised rates, effective Sep 1, the bank's 1-year MCLR will come down to 8.55%, while the overnight MCLR will be 8.30%.
Bank of Baroda will raise up to Rs 1,132.05 crore by issuing fresh shares to its staff under the Employee Share Purchase Scheme (ESPS), the bank said. Bank of Baroda will raise up to Rs 1,132.05 crore by issuing fresh shares to its staff under the ESPS, the bank said. The decision was taken by the compensation committee of the board at its meeting held on Tuesday, the bank said in a regulatory filing. decision was taken by the compensation committee of the board at its meeting held on Tuesday, the bank said in a regulatory filing.
YES Bank has settled a case pertaining to ‘selective disclosure’ of assets quality with market regulator SEBI. The Bank settled the matter under the so-called consent mechanism paying Rs 51.6 lakh as settlement charges. Yes Bank’s compliance officer Shivanand Shettigar paid another Rs 14.45 lakh as settlement charges in the same matter.
Wipro has received a long-term $300 million contract from ICICI Bank to provide digital technology led services. The Co said in a filing to the BSE that it has secured a strategic 7-year engagement from the bank.
Digital payments saw significant growth in August, with the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and IMPS touching record highs in terms of both volumes and number of transactions, while payments on BHIM also rose to a 10-month high.
Rating agency CRISIL today cut India’s fiscal year 2020 GDP growthforecast to 6.3% from its earlier forecast of 6.9%, after the economy grew 5% in the first quarter, it’s slowest in almost 6 years. The agency said that lower GDP growth forecast corroborates that India’s economic slowdown is deeper and more broad-based than suspected.
Even as gross NPA are expected to come down marginally by end of ongoing fiscal, assets over Rs 1 lakh crore that are under pressure are still to be recognised as bad loans, a report by ASSOCHAM- CRISIL said.
BSNL is monetising land assets to improve revenue while cutting operational costs in the absence of revival package from the government, according to chairman Pravin Kumar Purwar. The telco is looking at cutting its workforce by nearly half once the Centre approves its much-awaited voluntary retirement scheme, Purwar told.
Rising gold prices have prompted the RBI to apply the brakes to its purchase of the metal as a forex reserve asset. After the last offtake of 5.6 tonnes this April, the apex bank has not made any fresh purchases. According to the data from the International Monetary Fund's International Financial Statistics (IFS), RBI has been holding 618 tonnes of gold as part of its forex reserves since April this year.
Department of Financial Services (DFS) has informed that RBI is examining the priority sector lending norms for promoting export credit, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said.
The Finance Ministry today said that it will look into the applicability of 20% tax proposed in the 2019-20 Budget on the current share buybacks by listed companies. Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, speaking at a CII event, said the proposed tax on listed companies is aimed at discouraging share buybacks and encouraging investments.
The Indian Government had Rs 66,793 crore outstanding loans with the RBI under ways and means advances in the week ended July 5, according to the RBI weekly statistical supplement released today. The Central Government had Rs 6,596 crore outstanding loans in the week earlier. State governments had Rs 5,566 crore loans from the RBI in the week ended July 5, compared with Rs 1,661 crore in the previous week, the release showed.
Even as the real estate industry complains of a slowdown in sales, a RBI survey has said that housing has become less affordable over the last 4 years. This indicates that developers are holding on to prices.
NABARD today said it plans to raise about Rs 55,000 crore from the market in the current fiscal to fund its business growth and also support various agricultural and rural development schemes of the Government.
After the merger of Bank of Baroda with Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank, the amalgamated lender is focusing on integrating the sprawling technology systems of the 3 financial firms to provide a smooth customer experience. The IT heads of the 3 banks, which together have over 9,500 branches, began chalking out an integration strategy the moment the deal was announced. They, however, had some time before the required slew of approvals came in for the three-way merger.
The Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank will launch local currency financing products in India and some other countries this year to provide more options to borrowers, its president Jin Liqun has said. The multilateral development bank could start rolling out the product in pilot countries including India, Indonesia, Thailand and Russia from this month itself. It would focus on private sector clients, Jin said.
SBI has waived charges on NEFT and RTGS transactions through internet and mobile banking from July 1, after the RBI decided to do away with the charges with an aim to move the country towards less-cash economy. The SBI has also decided to do away with the charges on fund transfer through mobile phones using the IMPS (immediate payment service) from August 1.
IndusInd Bank today reported a 38.30% year-on-year jump in consolidated profit at Rs 1,432.50 crore for the June quarter. The bank had reported a net of Rs 1,035.72 crore in the year ago period.
UCO Bank is making all efforts to ensure that exporters who do business with Iran can approach its designated branches for help. The bank has increased the number of such designated branches (for doing business with Iran) from 22 to 67. It is now contemplating to set up an apex processing centre across its branch network to help exporters. “This could take another 6-7 months,” a top bank official said.
YES Bank as an issuing and paying agent, facilitated the issuance of a Commercial Paper of INR 100 Crores using Blockchain technology for Vedanta LTD, a natural resources conglomerate. This is the first time in Asia that a CP has been digitally issued using Blockchain technology.
Axis Bank tied up with. Flipkart to launch a co-branded credit card and is aiming to sell 1 million of the new card in a year. The new co-branded card comes weeks after American lender CITI launched a similar offering by tying up with payments major Paytm.
India’s industrial output growth slipped to 3.1% in May mainly on account of subdued performance of mining and manufacturing sector, according to Government data released today. The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) had expanded by 3.8% in May 2018. The index grew at 4.3% in April and 0.4% in March this year.
Retail inflation increased marginally to 3.18% in June over the previous month, mainly due to rise in food prices, according to official data. The retail inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at 3.05% in May and and 4.92% in June 2018.
India's foreign exchange reserves rose to fresh record high of $429.91 billion as the country's gold and foreign currency assets increased in the week ended July 5. The forex reserves had touched record highs in the previous two weeks.
The Government may approach the Ministry of Law and Justice for clarification on monitoring of the recently privatised IDBI Bank. The LIC in January 2019 acquired a 51% stake in the Bank, which reclassified it as a private sector financial institution.
The NCLAT today said pension and PF that had invested in IL&FS would have top priority in payment from all categories of companies, whether classified as green, amber or red.
Infosys today reported 5.2% growth in consolidated net profit to Rs 3,802 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2019. It had posted a net profit of Rs 3,612 crore in the April-June 2018 quarter, Infosys said in a BSE filing.
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