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China to pass US in retail sales this year: forecast

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China to pass US in retail sales this year

NEW YORK: Chinese consumers should outspend their American counterparts in 2019, with retail sales in the Asian giant continuing to grow in the coming years, according to an industry forecast published Wednesday.

Retail sales in China are expected to hit $5.64 trillion, an increase of 7.5 percent over 2018, while Americans are likely to spend $5.53 trillion, a 3.3 percent increase, according to the market research firm eMarketer.

“In recent years, consumers in China have experienced rising incomes, catapulting millions into the new middle class,” Monica Peart, forecasting director at eMarketer, said in a statement.

Growth in China’s retail sector has been driven by online sales, which should expand by 30 percent this year, reaching $1.99 trillion, according to the firm.

This would mean more than 35 percent of all Chinese retail sales will occur online, by far the highest proportion for e-commerce in the world.

By comparison, online sales in the United States represented only 10.9 percent of the overall market in 2019, according to eMarketer.

China’s online retail sales are already greater in value than in the United States and should represent 55.8 percent of global online eCommerce by the end of this year, rising to 63 percent by 2022 — when Americans will account for only 15 percent.

While its market share has steadily declined in recent years, Chinese online retail giant Alibaba should still account for 53.3 percent of online retail in China this year, according to eMarketer.

 

 

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Asia

Bears growl at Hong Kong bourse

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Bearish bourse

HONG KONG: Shares fell more than one percent Tuesday, hit by concerns over rising  Iran-US tensions and as investors await this week’s crucial trade talks between  Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.
The Hang Seng Index sank 1.15 percent, or 327.02 points, to 28,185.98. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.87 percent or 26.07 points,
to 2,982.07, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, lost 0.99 percent, or 15.63 points, to 1,560.46.

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Oil prices rise on US-Iran concern, stocks up ahead of G20 talks

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Oil prices rise on US Iran concern stocks up ahead of G20 talks

HONG KONG: Oil prices extended gains Monday as rising US-Iran tensions fuelled supply concerns, while Asian equities also edged up ahead of a crunch meeting between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping this week.

Both main crude contracts are up almost 10 percent since Tehran last week shot down a US “spy drone” for breaching its airspace, ratcheting up fears of a conflict between the old foes.

At the weekend Trump said he would impose fresh sanctions on Iran, following bans of countries buying its oil, while US media reports said Washington secretly launched cyber-attacks against missile control systems and a spy network.

Both sides say they want to avoid war, but tensions have spiralled as a series of incidents, including the drone downing and recent attacks on tankers, raised fears of an unintended slide towards conflict.

The US president said he was ready to reach out to Iran if it renounced nuclear weapons, adding that if leaders did so “I’m going to be their best friend”. But Iran continues to insist its atomic programme is for civilian purposes.

Brent rose 0.3 percent Monday and WTI was 0.5 percent higher.

“The geopolitical escalation in the Middle East is unquestionably a bullish short-term signal for oil markets, as even the thought of 20 percent of the world oil supply being affected is enough to trigger significant tremors,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at Vanguard Markets.

“And these tremors are noticeably moving up the Richter scale.”

The stand-off, coupled with a weak dollar as the Federal Reserve flags an interest rate cut, has helped push gold prices to six-year highs above $1,400 as dealers look for a safe haven to park their cash.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Qatar Emir announces $3 billion for Pakistan

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Qatar Emir Imran han

ISLAMABAD: Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has announced $3 billion fro Pakistan in deposits and direct investments from Qatar.

It follows Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pledging aid packages for Pakistan. Riyadh has given a $3 billion loan to Pakistan whereas UAE provided $1 billion.

The south Asian country and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had reached an agreement in May on a loan of about $6 billion to overcome economic crisis.

Pakistan and Qatar ink MoUs

Pakistan and Qatar on Saturday signed three different memorandums of understanding (MOUs) to further enhance the mutual cooperation in areas of trade, business, tourism, and investment.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani witnessed the signing ceremony held here at the Prime Minister House.

The memorandum of understanding on the establishment of Pakistan and Qatar Joint Working Group (JWG) on trade and investment was signed by Finance Minister of State of Qatar Ali Shareef Al Emadi and Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood.

Secretary-General of Qatar National Tourism Council Akbar Al Baker and Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Dr. Fehmida Mirza signed the MoU for cooperation in the field of tourism and business events between Qatar and Pakistan.

Another MoU on the establishment of cooperation in the field of exchange of financial intelligence related to money laundering associated predicate offenses and terrorism financing between the Financial Information Unit of State of Qatar and the Financial Monitoring Unit of the Government of Pakistan was signed by Sheikh Ahmed bin Eid Al Thani, Head of Qatar Financial Information Unit and Muneer Ahmad Acting Director General Financial Monitoring Unit.

 

 

 

 

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