Tag Archives: today

Shares unlikely to recover yesterday’s losses today

By finance reporter Rebecca HyamUpdated February 22, 2013 09:25:37

The Australian share market looks unlikely to bounce back straight after yesterday’s big fall, with more weak leads from overseas.

Signs of further weakness in Europe and lingering concerns about the latest US Federal Reserve minutes have hurt global share markets overnight.

A report on the euro area’s economy signalled the region is struggling to recover from a recession.

In the US, the Fed minutes released yesterday showed policy makers think the central bank should be ready to vary the pace of its $US85 billion in monthly bond purchases, fuelling concern stimulus will be curtailed.

In official economic news, US data showed jobless claims rose more than forecast, with applications for unemployment benefits rising by 20,000 last week to 362,000.

A separate report revealed Philadelphia-area manufacturing has shrunk unexpectedly.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 47 points to 13,881, the S&P 500 Index fell 0.6 per cent to 1,502, and the Nasdaq gave up 33 points, or just over 1 per cent, to 3,131.

Across the Atlantic, UK insurance firm Aviva recovered some of its losses from the previous session.

However, losses among mining stocks weighed on the broader market and, by the close, London’s FTSE 100 Index had fallen 104 points, or 1.6 per cent, to 6,291.

It is set to be a flat start on the Australian share market after yesterday’s 2.3 per cent slide, and in futures trading the Share Price Index 200 was down 6 points to 4,961.

The Australian dollar was also weak, and was worth 102.4 US cents around 9:00am (AEDT).

West Texas crude oil eased to $US92.85 a barrel, Tapis was also weaker at $US120.06.

However, spot gold was fighting back from recent weakness, trading at $US1,577 an ounce.

Topics: business-economics-and-finance, markets, currency, futures, stockmarket, australia, united-kingdom, united-states

First posted February 22, 2013 09:24:28

RBA tipped to cut rates today

Updated December 04, 2012 09:46:17

Economists believe weakness in the domestic economy is likely to push the Reserve Bank to cut the official interest rate today, but they do not expect the banks to pass it on in full.

Most economists believe the Reserve Bank will cut the rate by 25 basis points, taking it to the same emergency level of 3 per cent it reached during the global financial crisis.

Rising unemployment, falling resource investment, weaker economic growth and a high dollar are all factors weighing on the RBA.

Recent data has revealed weakness in retail sales, investment and employment.

NAB senior economist Spiros Papadopolous says this month’s decision is focused on the Australian economy.

“We’ve seen in previous interest rate decisions what’s been happening globally has been the bigger driving force behind their decision,” he said.

“But this time around, given that we have seen some stability in the global economy, we have seen some better signs coming out of China, I think it’s just a question now of how much stimulus the Reserve Bank thinks the Australian economy needs to get domestic demand up and running again, to help support the sectors of the economy outside of mining that have been doing it quite tough and try and also give a bit of a kick along to business and consumer confidence.”

There are some though who believe the data is not bad enough to prompt the RBA to move and they say it is likely to wait until conditions worsen.

If the RBA does cut, borrowers are not likely to see all of the reduction, with the Australian Bankers’ Association warning that banks are unlikely to match any move by the central bank.

The Bankers’ Association’s chief executive, Steven Munchenberg, says deposit rates are remaining relatively high due to competition for cash, meaning banks’ funding costs have risen.

“Prior to the GFC, term deposits were priced on average 200 basis points below the cash rate. Now, they are 20 basis points above the cash rate,” he noted in a statement.

“While interest rates on deposits remain attractive and competitive for savers, when combined with the cost of wholesale funding, deposits continue to put pressure on the overall cost of funds for banks.”

Federal Finance Minister Penny Wong says bank customers should consider switching banks if their institution does not pass on the full value of any official interest rate cut today.

“The banks should do the right thing by their customers and I don’t think any customers think the non-passing-on of rate cuts is a good thing,” she told ABC Radio’s AM program.

“If your bank’s not giving you the right deal then we do have competition, we do have a number of institutions out there, and people should shop around for the best deal.”

Steven Munchenberg offers bank customers similar advice if they are dissatisfied with their current financial institution.

“My advice to customers when it comes to home loans, shop around because there is a very competitive mortgage market in Australia,” he said.

“Banks routinely offer discounts of around 70 basis points off the advertised standard variable rate to approved customers.”

Topics: banking, business-economics-and-finance, economic-trends, australia

First posted December 04, 2012 06:46:29

Dubai will take the next step in its bid to host the World Expo 2020 today in Paris.

Paris: Dubai’s Higher Committee for Hosting the 2020 World Expo the will gave a 20-minute presentation at the International Exhibitions Bureau (Bureau International des Expositions, BIE) before noon. The presentation is expected to unveil portions of the UAE’s master plan for the expo, and is also likely to focus on Dubai’s ability to host the global event.

The World Expo is the third largest global, non-commercial event in terms of economic and cultural impact, after the Fifa World Cup and the Olympic Games. World Expo aims to promote several aspects of society including art and design, education, culture, science, international trade, technology and tourism.

If Dubai wins its bid, the expo is expected to provide jobs for residents and citizens. The estimated budget for development of infrastructure ranges between $2-$4 billion (Dh7.3-Dh14.6 billion).

Hosting an World Expo can bring between 20 and 45 million visitors to the host city, an influx of thousands of new businesses prior to and during the event, representation from over 160 countries, and potentially billions of dollars in new economic activity.

Article continues below

If Dubai hosts the event, it will likely take place near the Al Maktoum Airport and would open in October 2020 and run for six months.

Four other countries are also competing for the honour of hosting the Expo: Turkey, Brazil, Russia, and Thailand.

Today’s presentation is the third of five to be given to 160 country members of the Bureau des Expositions by the UAE. The winning city will be announced in November 2013 in Paris.

If Dubai is selected, it would be a first time the international expo has been hosted in the Arab World.

On Wednesday night, the UAE hosted a reception and gala dinner at the Palais Garnier. It included a welcoming address by Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and CEO of Emirates airline and Group and President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, and the managing director of the Higher Committee, Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State.

Opera singer and UAE national Sara Al Qaiwani performed at the event, as did singer Leona Lewis of X Factor fame.

IITF 2012 opens, Pakistan pavilions formal inauguration today

NEW DELHI: India International Trade Fair (IITF) 2012, the annual mega trade event, showcasing Pakistani products of various sectors, was inaugurated by Parnab Mukerjee, on Wednesday. The theme of this year’s event is “Skilling India”.

The ceremony was attended by Mikhail Myasnikovich, Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus, Anand Sharma, Union Minister for Trade, Commerce and Textile, Elizabeth Thabethe, Deputy Trade Minister South Africa, Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister New Delhi, Lt. General Bhupinder Singh, Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Diplomats, senior bureaucrats, high government officials, exhibitors, and trade delegations of different countries visiting India.

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) delegation led by Haji Fazal Kadir Khan Sherani, president, consists of Shakil Ahmed Dhingra, Muhammad Iqbal Dawood, Azhar Majeed Sheikh and Begum Salma Ahmed, vice presidents of the FPCCI.

The Republic of Belarus has been given the status of “Partner Country”, Uttarkhand as the “Partner State”, South Africa as the “Focus Country”, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands as the “Focus State” for the fair.

Over 6,000 exhibitors from 22 countries are participating in this year’s event with the FPCCI organising biggest participation of 176 exhibitors among the participant countries at IITF2012. Pakistani exhibitors will exhibit their commodities in Pakistan Pavilion at Pargati Maidan from November 14-27.

The Indian president thanked Pakistan and other 21 foreign countries participants for participating in IITF2012 and wished them luck.

Anand Sharma, the Union Trade, Commerce and Textile Minister during his speech accentuated on the theme of the fair and said that 10,000 people go under the skill development programmes specially designed by the Indian Government for its people during next few months and more to follow in the following years. About 30 percent of the worlds demand for skilled workforce by 2015 will be fulfilled by India.

Pakistani pavilion at the exhibition will formally inaugurated on Thursday by Pakistan High Commissioner in India, Salman Bashir, who also attended the inaugural ceremony.

SNGPL to cut gas supply from today

LAHORE: Gas supply to the industrial sector in Punjab will be cut down from today, said an official of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) on Monday.

He said that due to greater demand from domestic consumers, gas supply to the industrial sector is being reduced to only one day in a week. As per new arrangements, gas supply to industries in Faisalabad, Sargodha, Bahawalpur, Multan, Gujranwala, Gujarat, Islamabad and Rawalpindi would be resumed from October 23 (6 AM) to October 24 (6 AM) from the previous five-day a week supply. On the other hand, industrial clusters in Lahore, Sahiwal and Sheikhupura would be supplied gas for one day i.e from October 24 (6 AM) to October 25 (6 AM).Meanwhile, gas supply to CNG stations across province would continue for four days a week.

SECP to hold micro-insurance roundtable today

ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) is organising a business policy roundtable on micro-insurance on Tuesday, October 16, in Karachi to highlight the importance of micro-insurance for the low-income people, farmers and small businesses, according to a statement.

The roundtable would discuss the ways to use micro-insurance as risk mitigating mechanisms to safeguard the small businesses and farmers from external shocks, it said.The introduction and awareness about micro-insurance facilities become vital following the devastating floods of 2010 and 2011 that caused huge losses to small farmers.

Moreover, micro-insurance can also be an effective complement to the existing social protection programmes of the government.The conference will be chaired by Asif Arif, commissioner of insurance division, SECP, and will be largely attended by representatives of the World Bank and insurance companies, it added.

ECO: Summit kicks off today with Pakistan in attendance

Presid­ent Asif Ali Zardar­i is repres­enting Pakist­an at the ECO summit and will addres­s the gather­ing on Tuesda­y.  President Asif Ali Zardari is representing Pakistan at the ECO summit and will address the gathering on Tuesday


The 12th summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is opening on Tuesday with leaders from ten member states participating, including Central Asian republics, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey.

President Asif Ali Zardari is representing Pakistan at the ECO summit and will address the gathering on Tuesday.

During the visit Zardari will hold meetings with Azerbaijan’s leadership and representatives of other ECO member countries on the sidelines of the summit.

The ECO is an intergovernmental organisation with the common objective to establish a single market for goods and services, much like the European Union.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2012.

Minister to inaugurate carpet expo today

LAHORE: Makhdoom Shahabuddin, federal minister for textiles, will inaugurate a three-day hand-knotted carpets exhibition at the Expo Centre on Sunday, according to a statement.

Saeed Khan, the newly-elected vice chairman of Pakistan Carpet Manufacturers and Exporters Association North Zone, said that PCMEA in collaboration with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) is holding a three-day mega show of handmade carpets from Sunday to Tuesday (October 7 to 9) at Johar Town’s Expo Centre, it said.

The exhibition will provide an excellent opportunity of connecting in the areas of interest, he said, and urged the government to regularly organise different types of these events that would not only help the country accelerate trade and investment but would also boost the declining tourism sector.

He said that China, Dubai and Germany are the classic examples of well-organised international trade fairs, where businessmen from across the world converge.

In order to strengthen the efforts and to promote Pakistan’s cultural heritage and indigenous industries, the government must allocate substantial amount from its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP), he said. The carpet exhibition could help put the economy back on track because fairs are the key to exhibit the untapped potentials of Pakistan and to introduce products in the world market, he said.

Pakistan has to make an extra effort in promoting exports by arranging trade fairs and exhibitions, he said, adding that PCMEA will focus more to ensure huge participation of local people, new investors and students in order to create awareness about the working and achievements of the carpet industry, besides highlighting them about the targets achieved so far.

Pak-India trade talks begin today

ISLAMABAD: Amid the possibility of evolving a consensus on starting air flights between Islamabad and New Delhi, Pakistan and India will begin trade talks on Thursday for reviewing the progress made so far in economic cooperation since the last round of talks, according to official sources.

In the two-day seventh round of talks, both the sides will sign three crucial agreements that will pave way for boosting trade ties between the neighbouring states. “Both sides will discuss starting flights between Islamabad and New Delhi. They will also review the progress made since the last round of trade negotiations with Islamabad’s demand to remove tariff and non-tariff barriers before abolishing the negative list of 1,209 items by December,” said an official of the commerce ministry on Wednesday.

According to the statement issued by the Ministry of Commerce, a 19-member delegation headed by the Indian secretary commerce reached Pakistan on Wednesday to hold commerce secretary level talks on economic cooperation from Sep 20 to 21. Three crucial agreements will be signed between Pakistan and India, including cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters, bilateral cooperation agreement between the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority, Ministry of Science and Technology and the Bureau of Indian Standards, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and redressal of trade grievances. Since, it’s a review meeting, development in broad areas of cooperation, including power and petroleum products will also be a part of discussion along with opening of bank branches.

“The issues of phasing out of the negative list, opening of Wagah land route and preferential arrangements under the South Asian Free Trade Area will also be discussed,” said an official of Ministry of Commerce. Despite granting the most favoured nation status to Pakistan, almost 85 percent trade was in favour of India, he added. Pakistani industries are competitive and the engineering sector, according to the official’s estimates, could easily fetch $1 billion plus exports to India.

He further lamented that testing samples of Pak made-ups were sent and the remaining products were dumped at ports for months. In such a scenario, increasing trade was not possible.

In August, India reduced its sensitive list for Pakistan by 30 percent from 878 to 614 tariff lines. This step will help to reduce peak tariff rates to five percent within three years. But India will have to exclude crucial items, such as textile products, where Pakistan enjoys a competitive edge, for giving incentives to Pakistani textile tycoons.

There has been recognition among businessmen of both sides’ private sectors that in the short term, the smaller country would be the loser, which is why the Indians will have to show a bigger heart for making progress in the dialogue process. However, in the medium or long-term basis, both the countries businesses will grow and ultimately, the consumers will be the beneficiaries.

Fifth South Asia Economic Summit to begin today

Forum seeks to chalk out growth inclus­ive and sustai­nable polici­es for the region.  The summit will frame the recommendations for the 18th Summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc)


The fifth South Asia Economic Summit begins here today (Tuesday) as hopes fly high that the eight-nation regional bloc can get a significant boost from the successful culmination of Indian Foreign Minister’s visit to Pakistan, providing a rare opportunity to craft mutual solutions to the common problems.

The summit will frame the recommendations for the 18th Summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), to be held in Nepal and attended by the heads of the regional governments. The meeting coincides with gathering of world leaders in China at the platform of the World Economic Forum.

The timing of the conference provides an ideal opportunity where formal diplomacy will now be supplemented by the diplomacy through wider participation of all the stakeholders, said Dr Vaqar Ahmad, Head of Economic Growth Unit of Sustainable Development Policy Institute Pakistan (SDPI). The SDPI is the secretariat for the fifth Economic Summit.

The theme of the summit is making growth inclusive and sustainable in the South Asian region and chalk out comprehensive set of recommendations for heads of the governments. The participants will set the priorities with a background of global financial crisis that has started impacting the South Asian region. The forecasts show that the South Asian region’s growth will decline at least for next two quarters.

The first day session will outline the ‘Development Agenda for a New South Asia’. It will discuss what the agenda calls the new opportunities for South Asia given the normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan.

The participants also aimed at taking up the thorny issue of non-traditional security threats to the region that include governance, food security, conflict-led and disaster-led migrations, health epidemics, cross border terrorism and environmental security. The stakeholders will try to find out solutions to the problem of black carbon emissions emitted by India causing melting of Pakistan’s glaciers.

As Pakistan and India gradually make progress towards normalisation of trade ties, the participants will review regional trade agreements and propose a way forward with a broader aim of seamless regional integration. The recent patterns of Pak-India trade ties will become the base for future recommendations. The regional free trade agreements will also be reviewed.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2012.