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Saudi Crown Prince’s visit to Pakistan: MoUs worth $10b expected!

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Saudi Crown Prince's visit to Pakistan: MoUs worth $10b expected!

ISLAMABAD: According to Haroon Sharif, Chairman BoI, during the upcoming visit of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman here on 16-17 February the two countries will sign three major MoUs worth US$ 10 billion.   

According to details, MoUs will be signed in the fields of oil refining, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and mineral development. Prince Mohammed bin Salman who is paying his first two-day visit to Pakistan on the invitation of Prime Minister Imran Khan will be accompanied by a group of top 40 Saudi businessmen whose interaction with local entrepreneurs might result into sizeable contracts. 

It is pertinent to mention here that Prince Mohammad bin Salman will be visiting India on 19-20 February. India and Saudi Arabia are expected to sign mega deals in the energy and infrastructure sectors. 

Relevant: A photography exhibition highlighting the longstanding history of Pak-Saudi relations was held in Islamabad on Tuesday. Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani inaugurated the exhibition whereas Saudi Arabia’s ambassador Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki to Pakistan and leader of the house in Senate Shibli Faraz were also present on the occasion. The exhibition highlighted different development projects by Saudi Arabia in Pakistan. Later talking to Saudi and Pakistani media, Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani said it is the first time that Saudi Arabia is going to invest in Pakistan at such a huge level. Pak-Saudi relations are deep-rooted in the common faith and culture. Chairman said we will continue to work together for the benefit of Muslim Ummah. He also appreciated economic assistance extended by Saudi Arabia to Pakistan and said people of Pakistan are happy and optimistic on Saudi investment in Balochistan as it will create job opportunities. Speaking on the occasion, Saudi Ambassador said a number of MoUs will be signed during the upcoming visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.

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Economy

IMF Executive Board approves FY2020–2022 Medium-Term Budget

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ISLAMABAD: The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved the fund’s administrative and capital budgets for financial year (FY) 2020, beginning on May 1, 2019.

According to IMF press statement received here Tuesday, the board had approved the budget on April 5, 2019 besides taking note of indicative budgets for FY2021–22.

The net administrative budget for FY2020, which covers all administrative expenses less receipts (primarily from external sources to help support capacity building activities and excluding lending income), has been set at US$1,158 million, it said.

The FY2020 budget represents an unchanged resource envelope in real terms for the eighth year in a row, measured relative to the IMF’s budget deflator, with the exception of a small (0.6 percent) increase in FY2017 to meet rising cyber and physical security costs.

The budget priorities for FY2020 include increased resources to country work, notably in low-income countries and fragile states, the work on governance and the fight against corruption, and macro-financial surveillance.

 

 

 

 

 

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Economy

Asian markets cautious ahead of major corporate earnings

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HONG KONG: Stocks were generally lower in Asian trade on Tuesday as investors move cautiously ahead of a deluge of corporate results later in the week.

Tokyo stocks were trading down with profit-taking before 10 days of holidays in Japan weighing on the market.

With many markets opening after an extended Easter break, Hong Kong Shanghai, Taiwan, Singapore were all down, while Australia and Seoul were trading up.

“Some of the world’s biggest technology companies are reporting earnings this week as well as a raft of the big European banks,” Nick Twidale, chief operating officer at Rakuten Securities Australia, said in a note to clients.

“Investors will be hoping for some better-than-expected results from both groups to keep the topside momentum in global equities, however if the data starts to show a significant slowing across these key industries then expect both stocks and risk trades to start to come under some heavy pressure.”

Major earnings releases expected this week include Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Exxon Mobil and auto maker Tesla.

Aerospace giant Boeing will report earnings on Wednesday for the first time since a deadly March 10 plane crash plunged the company into crisis-mode.

Financial analysts have already slashed their 2019 profit forecasts after Boeing announced earlier in April it was cutting its monthly production of the 737 by about 20 percent. Lower plane deliveries directly affect revenues.

Traders are also looking ahead to the first-quarter gross GDP data due Friday in the US.

 

 

 

 

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Macron all set to announce reforms to contain Yellow Vest protests!

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PARIS: French President Emmanuel Macron will reveal his long-awaited response today (at 6 pm) to Yellow Vest manifestations in a reform plan that could prove decisive for his presidency and long-term political future.

Macron, 41, swept to power in 2017 on hopes he would be a youthful breath of fresh air for France. But since November he saw the momentum sucked out of his presidency by the weekly “yellow vest” protests against social inequality. 

He is scheduled to hold a Presser in order to announce a series of reforms drawn up after a vast listening exercise he launched in response to the protests.

Macron is expected to announce reforms such as tax cuts for middle classes, as well as the abolition of the ENA administration school. He is expecting that such reforms, which could not be termed as revolutionary, would assuage the unrest. 

 

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