• Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Results for "International Monetary Fund"

Sharif vows to end Pakistan’s foreign aid dependency

PRIME MINISTER Shehbaz Sharif has pledged to end Pakistan's dependency on foreign aid and IMF bailouts and surpass neighbouring nations in economic activity, as he outlined a series of reforms to reduce the cash-strapped government's expenses and revive the economy. Sharif addressed the nation on Saturday (15) and expressed hope…

India central bank holds rates amid inflation concerns

India's central bank has kept interest rates unchanged for the eighth consecutive time on Friday, amid ongoing inflation concerns in the world's fifth-largest economy. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced that its benchmark repo rate, the rate at which it lends to commercial banks, will remain at 6.50 per…

Sharif woos Chinese investors, assures security

PAKISTAN prime minister Shehbaz Sharif has assured to step up security for Chinese personnel working in his country in the wake of recent terrorist attacks targeting them. Sharif (72) is on a five-day visit to China since June 4 and is seeking investments from its 'all weather' friend to shore…

India relocates 100 metric tonnes of gold from UK to…

India has transferred 100 metric tonnes of its gold stored in the UK to domestic vaults in FY24, PTI reported quoting sources on Friday. This is one of the largest gold movements by the country since 1991 when a significant portion of the gold reserves was pledged and moved to…

Significant progress on new loan for Pakistan: IMF

AN International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission and Pakistan have made significant progress towards reaching a staff-level agreement for an extended fund facility, the global lender said on Friday. The IMF has opened discussions with Pakistan on a new loan programme after Islamabad last month completed a short-term $3 billion (£2.36bn)…

Government approves grant after protests in Pakistani Kashmir

PAKISTAN prime minister Shehbaz Sharif approved a grant of 24 billion rupees ($86 million/ £68m) on Monday (13) for Pakistani Kashmir where there have been several days of violent protests over inflation. A police official was killed and more than 90 people were injured when thousands of people clashed with…

Pakistan to privatise all state-owned companies

PAKISTAN will privatise all state-owned enterprises, with the exception of strategic entities, prime minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Tuesday (14), broadening its initial plans to sell only lossmaking state firms to shore up its shaky finances. The announcement came after Sharif headed a review meeting of the privatisation process of…

Pakistan mulls raising retirement age amid economic challenges

PAKISTAN is considering raising its retirement age to reduce burgeoning pension payments ahead of the annual budget and International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission visit, the country’s finance minister Muhammad Aurangzeb said on Tuesday (7). An IMF mission is likely to visit Pakistan within the next 10 days to discuss a…

Biden criticises India as ‘xenophobic’

US president Joe Biden said that "xenophobia" from China to Japan and India is hobbling their growth, as he argued that migration has been good for the country's economy. "One of the reasons why our economy's growing is because of you and many others. Why? Because we welcome immigrants," Biden…

OECD cuts UK growth forecast, warns of inflation

Britain will suffer some of the lowest rates of economic growth and highest inflation among Group of Seven countries this year and next, forecasts from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development suggested on Thursday. The OECD cut this year's growth forecast for the British economy to 0.4% from 0.7%…

IMF loan to help Pakistan’s economic stability: Sharif

The disbursement of $1.1 billion (£880 million) by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will help Pakistan achieve greater economic stability, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Tuesday, amid discussions for a new loan programme. The funding was the second and final tranche of Pakistan's $3bn (£2.39bn) standby arrangement with the…

Sharif discusses new loan programme with IMF chief

PAKISTAN prime minister Shehbaz Sharif has met IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva and discussed a new loan programme to revive its economy. In a meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Special Meeting in Riyadh, the premier thanked Georgieva, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, for her…

IMF ready to aid Pakistan in economic reform

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said it is ready to assist Pakistan, a country currently facing financial constraints, by supporting essential reforms to bolster and stabilise its economy. Speaking at the sidelines of the annual Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank, Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle…

Army chief involved in jailing my wife: Imran Khan

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf founder and jailed former prime minister Imran Khan has alleged that army chief General Asim Munir was directly responsible for the imprisonment of his wife Bushra Bibi, and the country is being ruled by law of the jungle. Bushra Bibi, 49, was convicted in a corruption case as…

Setback for Colombo as talks falter over debt restructuring

BANKRUPT Sri Lanka said on Tuesday (16) it had failed after three weeks of talks to reach an agreement with its sovereign bondholders, a key condition for maintaining an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout. The talks with a majority of sovereign bondholders ended inconclusively, the finance ministry said, ahead of…

IMF raises India’s growth forecast to 6.8 per cent

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday (16) raised India’s growth projection to 6.8 per cent from its January forecast of 6.5 per cent citing bullish domestic demand conditions and a rising working-age population. With this, India continues to be the fastest growing economy of the world, ahead of China’s…

Pakistan needs 2-3 years to implement IMF reforms: Finance Minister

Pakistan would need two or three years to implement structural reforms prescribed by the IMF, Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb has said, warning that the country would be looking for another bailout programme if it fails. The finance minister is currently in the US to attend the spring meetings of the…

‘Pakistan advanced nuclear programme despite economic challenges’

DESPITE economic challenges, Pakistan continued upgrading its nuclear capabilities, driven by its ongoing tensions with India, top US intelligence official told Congress. The remarks by Lt Gen Jeffrey Kruse, director of the Defence Intelligence Agency came during a Congressional hearing on China on Monday (15). Kruse told lawmakers that Pakistan…

Pakistan eyes fresh climate-focused IMF bailout: Report

Pakistan is gearing up to seek a fresh financial boost from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), emphasising on climate finance. According to a report by The News International, the government aims to secure a medium-term Extended Fund Facility (EFF) during the upcoming Annual Spring Meetings of Bretton Woods Institutions next…

Saudi prince meets Sharif, stresses on dialogue with India

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said dialogue was needed to resolve heightened friction between arch-rivals Pakistan and India during a meeting in Riyadh with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Sharif was making his first overseas visit since winning power in elections in February. He met with bin Salman…

Pakistan seeks bids for majority stake in airline

PAKISTAN is putting on the block a stake ranging from 51 per cent to 100 per cent of lossmaking national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the privatisation panel said on Tuesday (2), as part of reforms urged by the IMF. The disposal of the flag carrier represents a departure from…

Pakistan keen to restore trade ties with India: Minister

Pakistan will “seriously” consider restoring trade ties with India that remained suspended since August 2019, Foreign Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar has said, indicating a potential shift in the country's diplomatic stance. Dar made these remarks during a press conference in London following his participation in the Nuclear Energy Summit in…

Pakistan seeking yet another bailout: IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has confirmed that cash-strapped Pakistan is seeking a 24th medium-term bailout package for a permanent push towards longstanding structural reforms. In its end-of-mission statement on Wednesday (20), the global lender said that Pakistan has “expressed interest in a successor medium-term Fund-supported programme to permanently resolve…

Pakistan’s central bank keeps interest rate steady

PAKISTAN’S central bank, on Monday (18), held its key interest rate at 22 per cent for a sixth straight policy meeting as inflation risks continued to loom.  The decision was in line with the expectations of a majority of analysts, although most are also expecting rate cuts from the second…

Imran Khan pushes for treason proceedings over ‘election theft’

PAKISTAN’S former prime minister, Imran Khan, has demanded high treason proceedings against officials whom he alleges stole his party’s mandate in the February general elections, enabling the rival Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to form a coalition government.   Khan’s remarks came as he addressed…

IMF slams Pakistan’s claim on achieving all financial targets

The IMF has expressed its displeasure with Pakistan's claim that it had achieved all the targets even before the global lender could complete its review. A team from the International Monetary Fund has reached Islamabad to hold talks before releasing the much-needed final $1.1 billion tranche of a $3 billion…

Pakistan cabinet tasked with ending economic crisis

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced the key members of his cabinet, tasking them with leading the country out of a crippling economic crisis fuelled by debt, spiralling inflation and a feeble rupee. Pakistan's 19 new ministers took their oath of office Monday, after an election marred by allegations of…

IMF backs new Pakistan programme, urges poll row resolution

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday it will support formulating a new economic programme for Pakistan if the country's new government seeks one, while encouraging the fair resolution of all electoral disputes. Cash-strapped Pakistan grappled with an uncertain February 8 election that delayed the formation of a coalition…

Growth in construction boosts India’s economy

INDIA’S economy grew 8.4 per cent in the December quarter, official data showed last Thursday (29), with a surging manufacturing sector helping defy more modest analyst forecasts. Thursday’s results were significantly higher than the seven per cent projected by India’s central bank and other, lower estimates by analysts. “Double-digit growth…

Shehbaz Sharif elected Pakistan’s prime minister for second term

PAKISTAN's newly formed parliament elected Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday (3) as prime minister for a second time, three weeks after uncertain national elections caused delays in the formation of a coalition government. "Shehbaz Sharif is declared to have been elected the prime minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan," National…

Hunt cautioned over pre-election tax cuts

CHANCELLOR Jeremy Hunt should not announce further pre-election tax cuts in his budget next week unless he can explain the painful spending cuts needed to pay for them, a leading economic thinktank said on Tuesday (27). Hunt and prime minister, Rishi Sunak, have said they want to lower Britain’s tax…

Pakistan’s majority parties struggle to form coalition government

Pakistan's two major parties are set to meet on Monday to try and bridge differences over forming a minority coalition government after an inconclusive election, a top party official said, underscoring its political and economic instability. Analysts say the nuclear-armed nation of 241 million, which has been grappling with an…

US voices concern to Sri Lanka president regarding new social…

The US on Tuesday (13), urged Sri Lanka president Ranil Wickremesinghe to address the issues raised by a new, strict internet censorship law, which has caused concern and alarmed tech companies. Samantha Power, head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), raised the issue during a virtual meeting with…

Sri Lanka upbeat about fiscal plan

SRI LANKA expects to implement a debt restructuring framework within the first six months of 2024, the country’s president said last Wednesday (7), expressing confidence that the nation was recovering from its worst financial crisis in decades. President Ranil Wickremesinghe said the island nation was aiming to grow its gross…

Pakistan political uncertainty continues

Pakistan's political stalemate after inconclusive elections last week showed no signs of ending on Tuesday as major parties struggle to cobble up alliances to pass the floor test. In the latest development, jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that independent members of parliament backed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)…

IMF team may visit Pakistan after new government formation

A delegation of the IMF may visit cash-strapped Pakistan once a new federal government is formed, negotiations for which are ongoing between major political parties after the general elections threw a hung Parliament, a media report said on Monday. The International Monetary Fund's review mission might visit Islamabad by the…

Pakistan’s two largest parties wrangle over prime minister post

Pakistan's two largest political parties are wrangling over who will take the prime minister's job after inconclusive elections last week forced them to join forces to gain a majority in a parliament dominated by independents backed by Imran Khan.  The squabbling is likely to deepen concerns about the stability of…

Sri Lanka’s ‘financial crisis gradually easing’

CASH-STRAPPED Sri Lanka is “gradually” emerging from its worst economic crisis after the austerity of an IMF bailout, the president said last Sunday (4) in a speech to mark independence day. Recalling the “indignity of being labelled a financially bankrupt country”, president Ranil Wickremesinghe dispensed with the customary annual address…

Concern over Pakistan poll panel app’s safety

As Pakistan goes to the polls on Thursday, concerns are being raised over the safety of the new app promoted by the election commission. The Election Commission of Pakistan’s Election Management System (EMS) app is meant to swiftly transmit and tabulate election results, but some officials feel the software can…

Pakistan seals plan to sell national airline

AHEAD of elections next week, Pakistan's caretaker administration is making binding plans for a new government to sell loss-making Pakistan International Airlines, according to the minister in charge of the process and other officials. In the past, elected governments have shied away from undertaking unpopular reforms, including the sale of…

IMF revises growth rate for India while UK predicted to…

THE IMF announced on Tuesday (30) it has raised its 2024 global growth forecast to 3.1 per cent, citing unexpected resilience in major advanced and emerging market economies around the world, including the United States and China. The updated figure, released in the latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) report, is…

Pakistan central bank holds interest rates ahead of polls next…

PAKISTAN’S central bank on Monday (29) held its key rate at 22 per cent for the fifth policy meeting in a row and increased its full-year inflation projections. The governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said the decision was warranted due to “elevated” inflation – which was 29.7…

Hasina wins fourth straight term

Bangladesh, prime minister Sheikh Hasina clinched her fourth consecutive term, securing an absolute majority for her party. The election witnessed a low turnout and was boycotted by the main opposition, the country's poll body on Monday (8). Her Awami League party has 165 seats out of 224 seats in Sunday’s…

Bangladesh general elections scheduled for January 7

Bangladesh is set to hold general elections on Sunday (7), with prime minister Sheikh Hasina anticipated to secure a fourth consecutive term. The main Opposition BNP, which initiated a 48-hour nationwide strike on Saturday against the "illegal government," is absent from the electoral scene. Sporadic violence has been reported amidst…

Sri Lanka IMF bailout review to be completed in early…

THE second review of Sri Lanka’s $2.9 billion (£2.29bn) bailout with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) could be completed as early as the first half of 2024, provided it managed to meet the debt restructuring and revenue targets set under the programmed, an official said last Wednesday (13). The IMF…

IMF approves £550m loan for Bangladesh

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced last Tuesday (12) it authorized the release of close to $700 million (£550m) for Bangladesh after concluding it was making progress on programmed aimed at preserving macroeconomic stability. The IMF said in a statement that it concluded the first review of two loan programmes,…

India emerges as global growth star, says IMF

INDIA has emerged as a star performer and is projected to contribute more than 16 per cent of the global growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday (18). In its annual Article IV released on Monday in consultation with India, the IMF said the country, with its “prudent”…

Pakistan keeps high rate to cool inflation

PAKISTAN’S central bank kept its key rate unchanged at a record 22 per cent on Tuesday (12) as it waits for the effects of previous hikes to filter through the economy and further tame inflation. The State Bank of Pakistan’s monetary policy committee said an increase in gas prices last…

Sri Lanka credit talks may lead to more funds

SRI LANKA’S pact with creditor nations to restructure its debt prepares the way for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to consider clearing the first review of a bailout next month, the global lender said last Thursday (30). Last Wednesday’s (29) in-principle deal comes about a month after Sri Lanka’s pact…

Sri Lanka cuts rates ahead of foreign debt deal

SRI LANKA cut key interest rates on Friday (24) for a second time in as many months ahead of a crucial debt restructuring deal with foreign lenders. The cash-strapped country defaulted on its $46 billion debt in April last year after running out of foreign exchange to finance imports of…

Pakistan set to receive $700m from IMF

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reached a staff-level agreement with Pakistan on the first review of a $3 billion bailout, where the country will receive $700 million after approval from IMF's executive board, the organisation said on Wednesday (15). Earlier, the Pakistani prime minister's office in a statement said…

World Bank offers prop for Sri Lanka’s stressed banks

THE World Bank on Friday (10) provided Sri Lanka $150 million to underwrite savings of millions of depositors in a move that highlights the bankrupt country's financial fragility as it recovers from a crisis last year. The country's rupee currency plunged almost 50 per cent last year after the government…

Pakistan’s national vote ‘on February 11’

GENERAL elections in Pakistan will be held on February 11, the Election Commission informed the Supreme Court on Thursday (2), putting an end to months-long uncertainty over the polls. The Election Commission of Pakistan’s counsel, Sajeel Swati, said the process of drawing constituencies would be completed by January 29, paving…

IMF team to visit Pakistan to review standby arrangement

AN International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission will visit Pakistan on November 2 to discuss the first review of the country's current $3 billion standby arrangement (SBA), the lender's resident representative said on Tuesday (24). The south Asian nation is trying to navigate a tricky path to economic recovery under the…

IMF wants strong budget measures from Sri Lanka

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) is looking for a strong budget and narrower deficit from Sri Lanka as it seeks funding to bridge the gap between government revenue and expenditure, the IMF mission chief for the country said last Friday (20). Sri Lanka plunged into its worst financial crisis in…

As UK wages cool, bank hopes inflation will fall

GROWTH in British workers’ regular pay – which is being watched closely by the Bank of England – slowed from a previous record high and job vacancies also declined, official figures showed on Tuesday (17), in a sign that the labour market is losing momentum. British average earnings, excluding bonuses,…

Tentative Beijing debt deal is a relief for Colombo

SRI LANKA last Wednesday (11) welcomed China’s tentative agreement to a debt restructure, as the island nation works to restore its finances after suffering its worst-ever economic crisis. The government defaulted on its $46 billion (£37.7bn) debt last year at a time when months of food and fuel shortages were…

Pakistan looks to tame high inflation with fuel price cuts

PAKISTAN is looking to tame inflation with fuel price cuts and a price-control mechanism, caretaker prime minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar said on Monday (16). The South Asian country is embarking on a tricky path to economic recovery under a caretaker government after a $3 billion loan programme approved by…

PIA flights to UK may resume soon as Pakistan seeks…

PAKISTAN will appoint an adviser to draft a plan to privatise its money-losing national airline, the caretaker government’s privatisation minister Fawad Hasan Fawad said on Tuesday (10). The outgoing coalition government said in August that Pakistan International Airline (PIA) will be privatised together with the outsourcing of operations at three…

Sri Lanka fails to secure funding despite reforms

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) did not reach a staff-level agreement with Sri Lanka in its first review under a $2.9 billion (£2.39bn) bailout package, due to a potential shortfall in government revenue generation, the fund said last Wednesday (27). The IMF delegation head, Peter Breuer, said a second tranche…

Boohoo ‘keen to up investment in Pakistan’

FAST-FASHION brand Boohoo is believed to have evinced an interest in stepping up its investment in Pakistan. Caretaker prime minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar met Boohoo Group chairman Mahmud Kamani last week and asked the British entrepreneur to augment his firm’s presence in the south Asian country, according to a Radio Pakistan…

Relief and concern over Pakistan’s January polls

THE Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) last Thursday (21) announced a general election for January, almost three months later than scheduled, removing political uncertainty over the timing to help salvage a falling economy. Elections were due to be held in November, but were delayed due to fresh demarcation of constituencies…

Pakistan sets national election for January

PAKISTAN has announced a general election for January, almost three months later than scheduled, removing political uncertainty over the timing to help salvage a falling economy. Elections in the politically and economically troubled south Asian nation were due to be held in November but were delayed due to fresh demarcation…

Sri Lanka economy hit by inflation and currency depreciation

SRI LANKA’S economy shrank 3.1 per cent in the April-June quarter, official data showed last Friday (15). The downturn was driven by high inflation, a depreciating currency and lower purchasing power, the Census and Statistics Department said in a statement. The agriculture sector grew 3.6 per cent from a year…

Joe Biden heads for divided G20 in India

US president Joe Biden headed for the G20 in India on Thursday (7) promising that the summit would "deliver" despite the absence of the Chinese and Russian leaders. Biden is hoping to seize on the no-shows by Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin to boost US influence, and show that the…

Retired judges urge G20 leaders to discuss repatriation of Indian…

As India prepares to host the G20 Summit, a group of nine retired judges has reached out to the leaders of G20 nations, urging them to seek a compassionate resolution by repatriating Indian children who have been separated from their parents by state child agencies in Western Europe, the UK,…

Saudi Arabia to invest $25 billion in Pakistan

SAUDI ARABIA will invest up to $25 billion (£19.9bn) in Pakistan over the next two to five years in various sectors, Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said on Monday (4), adding his government would also revive a stalled privatisation process. The country is embarking on a tricky path to…

BRICS invites Saudi, Iran and others to join group

THE five BRICS developing nations will admit Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates, they said on Thursday (24), a move aimed at growing the clout of the bloc as it pushes to rebalance the prevailing world order. The expansion could also pave the way for…

Chinese research ship seeks approval for port visit in Sri…

Colombo announced on Tuesday (22), that China has sought approval for a research ship to anchor in Sri Lanka. This request comes after the visit of a spacecraft-tracking vessel last year, which had raised security apprehensions from India. Sri Lankan foreign ministry spokeswoman Priyanga Wickramasinghe said Beijing had sought permission…

Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister sworn-in

ANWAAR-UL-HAQ KAKAR, a little-known politician who is believed to be close to the military, was sworn in as Pakistan's caretaker prime minister on Monday (14) to oversee national elections as the country navigates political and economic crises. Kakar, from the southwestern province of Balochistan, will name a cabinet and head…

Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar becomes Pakistan’s new caretaker prime minister

PAKISTANI prime minister Shehbaz Sharif and opposition leader Raja Riaz agreed to name Senator Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar as caretaker premier to oversee elections, the prime minister's office said. Kakar, 52, a little-known politician from the southwestern province of Balochistan, will name a cabinet and head a government to steer the nation…

Chinese warship docks at Colombo following delay over Indian concerns

A Chinese Navy warship with surveillance capabilities has recently arrived at the Colombo port, marking its presence almost a year after a different spy vessel caused concerns in India by berthing at a strategic port in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Navy reported that the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy…

Pakistan parliament dissolved to pave way for national vote without…

PAKISTAN'S president ordered parliament dissolved on late Wednesday, opening the door to a caretaker government that will usher in elections in which the country's most popular politician, Imran Khan, has been sidelined. The country has been in political turmoil since the former international cricket star was booted from power in…

Pakistan parliament to dissolve to set stage for election

PAKISTAN prime minister Shehbaz Sharif said he would advise the president to dissolve parliament late on Wednesday (9), setting the stage for a national election as the country grapples with political and economic crises. The parliament's five-year term is due to expire on August 12, but this move would dissolve…

Pakistan’s thriving textile sector shrinks as global demand slows

A SLOWDOWN in in global consumption and a rise in energy costs following the outbreak of war in Ukraine have compounded problems for Pakistan’s industrial manufacturing sector. The textile sector, which accounts for about 60 per cent of Pakistan’s exports, has been hit by the critical state of the country’s…

‘Fast and smooth debt restructuring of Sri Lanka top priority’…

JAPAN pressed bankrupt Sri Lanka last Saturday (29) to expedite its debt restructuring, including with its biggest creditor China, to stabilise the island nation’s economy after an unprecedented financial crisis. Tokyo’s foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi welcomed economic reforms under the auspices of an International Monetary Fund bailout, but said Sri…

Pakistan marks anniversary of joint plan with China

CHINESE vice-premier He Lifeng arrived in Islamabad last Sunday (30) to mark the 10th anniversary of a massive economic plan that is the cornerstone of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. Since its initiation in 2013, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has seen tens of billions of dollars funnelled into huge…

Pakistan inflation eases for second month in a row

PAKISTAN'S headline inflation eased for the second month in a row in July, government data released on Tuesday (1) showed, but a fuel price hike announced overnight could see a fresh rise in August. Year-on-year inflation was 28.3 per cent compared with 29.4 per cent in June, the Bureau of…

China agrees to reschedule $2 billion debt of Pakistan

CHINA has agreed to reschedule more than $2 billion debt of Pakistan for two years, providing a major relief to the cash-starved government, which is in the process of rebuilding foreign exchange reserves through fresh loans. Pakistan’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), chaired by finance minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday (20),…

Pakistan facing ‘exceptionally high’ risks, needs more support: IMF

PAKISTAN needs another IMF programme and support from other multilateral lenders beyond the coming election cycle and the ongoing standby arrangement, according to the Washington-based global lender. The Dawn newspaper reported that the International Monetary Fund said this in a 120-page report released on Tuesday (18), which analysed Pakistan's macroeconomic…

Pakistan receives $1.2 billion first tranche from IMF bailout

PAKISTAN'S central bank has received $1.2 billion from the IMF as the first tranche of a $3 bn bailout to stabilise the economy, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Thursday (13), a day after the global lender's board approved the package. Having teetered on the brink of a sovereign debt…

Imran Khan supports bailout deal after meeting IMF officials

PAKISTAN’S main opposition leader and former prime minister Imran Khan expressed support for a recently-reached bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after a meeting with officials of the lender last Friday (7), his party said. The IMF said it was, in the lead up to national elections in…

Nandalal Weerasinghe says he warned about Sri Lanka crisis years…

THE man charged with clawing Sri Lanka out of bankruptcy said he had warned about economic calamity years before it hit - and was pressed into retirement for his troubles. Central bank chief Nandalal Weerasinghe was asked to return to the island nation last year to help steer it through…

Pakistan set to become fourth biggest IMF debtor

PAKISTAN will become the fourth largest IMF borrower in the world when it receives a fresh loan of $3 billion in the next nine months under an arrangement with the lender. On March 31, 2023, the country was the fourth largest borrower from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), The Express…

Tory backbenchers urge Sunak to do more on immigration

A group of Conservative MPs called on prime minister Rishi Sunak on Monday (3) to do more to cut immigration, saying he risked further eroding the trust of voters who lent the party their vote in 2019 if he failed to take action. The group of MPs, many elected for…

Pakistan inflation eases for first time in seven months

PAKISTAN'S headline inflation eased for the first time in seven months in June, figures released Monday (3) showed, a bright spot for a beleaguered government that must call an election this year. Year-on-year inflation was 29.4 per cent last month, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics data showed, compared with a record…

Pakistan secures critical $3 billion IMF bailout

In a much-needed relief for the Pakistani economy, the country successfully obtained a crucial $3 billion short-term financial package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday (30). The agreement between Pakistan and the IMF has been reached, and it is now awaiting approval by the IMF board in July.…

Pakistan strikes $3 billion bailout deal with IMF

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reached a staff-level pact with Pakistan on a $3 billion stand-by arrangement, the lender said. Subject to approval by the IMF board in July, the deal comes after an eight-month delay and offers some respite to Pakistan, which is battling an acute balance of…

Sri Lanka targets 30 per cent haircut for dollar bonds

SRI LANKA is asking international bond holders to take a 30 per cent haircut and is seeking similar concessions from investors in its domestic dollar-denominated notes as it seeks to overhaul its massive debt, its central bank governor said on Thursday (29). Unveiling details of the long-awaited plan, governor Nandalal…

Development banks have to find £157bn towards climate fund

MULTILATERAL development banks like the World Bank are expected to find $200 billion (£157bn) in extra firepower for low-income economies by taking on more risk, a move that may require wealthy nations to inject more cash, world leaders said last Friday (23). The leaders, gathered at a summit in Paris…

Pakistan hopes for IMF bailout decision soon

PAKISTAN hopes a bailout decision from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will come in a day or two, its prime minister said on Tuesday (27), as the global lender said it was holding talks with the aim of "quickly reaching an agreement". Islamabad has been waiting for a deal after…

Sri Lanka to start tea-for-oil barter with Iran

SRI LANKA will begin bartering tea to Iran next month in lieu of $250 million owed for oil, a Sri Lankan official said last Friday (23), as the country tries to lift sales to a key market and protect its forex reserves. The barter was agreed in 2021 for oil…

Pakistan approves revised budget to secure IMF deal

PAKISTAN'S parliament on Sunday (25) approved the government's 2023-24 budget which was revised to meet International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions in a last ditch effort to secure the release of more bailout funds. The IMF in mid-June expressed dissatisfaction with the country's initial budget, saying it was a missed opportunity…

World Bank’s welfare funds come to Sri Lanka’s rescue

THE World Bank is likely to approve $700 million (£548m) in budgetary and welfare support for Sri Lanka at its next board meeting next Wednesday (28), sources told Reuters, the biggest funding tranche for the crisishit island nation since an IMF deal in March. The economy is expected to shrink…

Rising inflation and interest rates hurt Sri Lanka’s growth

SRI LANKA’S economy shrank 11.5 per cent in the first three months of 2023, official data showed last Thursday (15), as the country remained in the grip of its worst financial crisis in decades. The downturn was driven by high inflation and high interest rates, the rising cost of components,…

Renowned elephant conservationist to speak at UK parliament on Asian…

Indian/Canadian elephant conservationist Sangita Iyer, in collaboration with Tory MP Henry Smith, is set to address the UK Parliament on Monday (19) regarding the pressing crisis faced by Asian elephants in India. With a focus on their last remaining stronghold, Iyer and Smith aim to engage other Members of Parliament…

IMF says Pakistan’s budget a missed opportunity as loan deal…

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday (15) expressed dissatisfaction with Pakistan’s recently presented budget, a blow for the cash-strapped country which has only two weeks left until its bailout programme expires. Pakistan has barely enough currency reserves to cover one month's imports. It had hoped to have $1.1 billion…

Pakistan gets first Russian crude under discount deal

THE FIRST shipment of Russian oil to energy-starved and dollar-strapped Pakistan has arrived at Karachi port, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said. Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine last year, economic sanctions have seen a significant cut in its oil and gas exports to the European Union and United States.…

Sri Lanka likely Asia Cup venue after India-Pakistan row: Official

Asia Cup matches involving India could be played in Sri Lanka after the cricketing powerhouse refused to visit arch-rival and official host Pakistan, a board official said Sunday (11). The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) is due to make a formal announcement in the coming week after calls for a different…

Pakistan unveils £40 billion budget, with half to service debt

PAKISTAN'S cash-strapped government unveiled a Rs 14.5 trillion (£40 billion) budget on Friday (9), with more than half set aside to service Rs 7.3 trillion (£20 bn) of debt. Pakistan's economy has been stricken by a balance-of-payments crisis as it attempts to service crippling external debt, while months of political…

Pakistan failing in every economic index: Key survey

Pakistan failed to meet any economic growth targets for the fiscal year 2022-23, according to a key government report released on Thursday (8). GDP growth was a miserly 0.3 per cent, while agriculture, industrial output, and exports all failed to meet their targets. Pakistan's economy has been stricken by a…

Watched by IMF, Pakistan to present budget amid economic, political…

PAKISTAN'S government will present its annual budget to parliament on Friday needing to satisfy the IMF to have any chance of securing the release of more bailout money, with the crisis-riven country due to hold elections by November. The risk of default on sovereign debt is rising, with the economy…

Sunak pledges personal commitment to halve inflation

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Wednesday (07) that he would personally assume responsibility if he fails to achieve his commitments of halving inflation and fostering economic growth by the year's end. These targets were outlined by Sunak in January as part of his five key priorities leading up to…

Sri Lanka interest rate cut ‘could signal end of crisis’

In a sign of confidence that the worst of Sri Lanka’s financial crisis is over, its central bank surprised markets by cutting interest rates for the first time in three years last Thursday (1), signalling a change of course to fuel a rebound in the economy. The country plunged into…

India ‘one of the bright spots in global economy’: IMF

India's GDP grew by 7.2 per cent in the year to March, official figures showed last Wednesday (31), boosted by services and consumption, putting it among the world’s fastest-expanding major economies. The country is the world’s fifth-largest economy, and recently surpassed China to become the most populous country. Its growth…

Gita Gopinath: Immigration can help reduce inflation in UK

IMMIGRATION can help reduce Britain's high inflation rate, the deputy head of the International Monetary Fund has told the BBC as the UK restricts the net amount of legal migrants. UK inflation is cooling slower than expected, in part owing to sectors including hospitality and farming paying higher wages to…

Pakistan inflation rockets to record 37.97 per cent

Pakistan's year-on-year inflation hit a record 37.97 per cent in May, official data revealed on Thursday (1), with the nation on the brink of economic collapse and crucial bailout talks stalled. Non-perishable foods and transport costs climbed more than 50 per cent over May 2022, while average inflation for the…

Sri Lanka responds to falling inflation with first rate cut…

Sri Lanka on Thursday (01) implemented a substantial reduction in interest rates for the first time since the onset of its severe economic crisis last year. The country's central bank has expressed optimism about signs of recovery. Following the release of official data indicating a decline in inflation from 35.3…

Pakistan politics: Imran Khan gets bail on new charge of…

Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan was on Tuesday (29) granted bail on a new charge of abetting violence against the military by his protesting supporters after he was arrested and detained on May 9 in a corruption case, his lawyer said. The embattled Khan, who says the corruption charges…

Sri Lanka gets $350m loan boost from Asian Development Bank

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday (29) approved a $350 million special policy-based loan to provide budget support to Sri Lanka for economic stabilisation, the regional lender said in a statement. The programme is part of a broader package of financial assistance anchored by the International Monetary Fund's (IMF)…

Pakistan to share budget details with IMF to unlock funds

Pakistan will share its upcoming budget details with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to unlock stalled funds, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Sunday (28). Hopes for a resumption of an IMF deal are diminishing, analysts say, with a bailout programme agreed in 2019 due to expire on…

Pakistan hands over 33 pro-Imran Khan protesters for trial in…

Thirty-three supporters of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan have been handed over to the army to face trial in military courts on charges of attacking armed forces' installations, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Friday (26). The 33 accused are among the thousands detained since Khan's May 9 arrest…

Are freeports the solution to the UK’s growth problem?

Britain has a chronic growth problem. Average annual growth rates have more than halved since the 2007-2008 global financial crisis, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast that this year we will be the worst performing large, advanced economy in the world. Underlying this is a productivity crisis, which…

IMF asks Sri Lanka to speed up debt restructuring

The International Monetary Fund asked Sri Lanka on Tuesday (23) to speed its debt restructuring and warned any delays could undermine efforts to overcome the country’s worst economic crisis. Sri Lanka expected a quick deal with creditors shortly after defaulting on its $46 billion (£37.03bn) foreign debt in April last…

G20 event a chance to show Kashmir’s tourism potential

The Group of Twenty (G20) is now “the premier forum for international economic cooperation.” The G20 comprises 19 countries and the European Union. Founded in 1999 and upgraded after the 2007-08 financial crisis, “it plays an important role in shaping and strengthening global architecture and governance on all major international…

UK annual inflation slides to 13-month low

BRITAIN'S annual inflation rate fell sharply to a 13-month low of 8.7 per cent in April with energy prices much weaker than a year earlier, official data revealed Wednesday (24). The rate of price increases slowed from 10.1 per cent in March, bringing inflation under 10 per cent for the…

IMF no longer expects recession in Britain this year

The International Monetary Fund no longer expects a recession in Britain this year, it said on Tuesday (23), praising steps taken by the government to stabilise the economy and fight inflation and warning against pre-election tax cuts. The IMF said gross domestic product now looks set to grow by 0.4…

Pakistan needs significantly more financing for bailout review: IMF

Pakistan needs significant additional financing for a successful completion of the long-stalled ninth review of the International Monetary Fund's bailout package, the IMF said on Thursday (11). Obtaining commitments of "significant additional financing" is essential before the IMF approves the release of pending bailout funds that are crucial for Pakistan…

Pakistan’s deepening political crisis douses hopes for IMF relief

The political crisis engulfing Pakistan is eroding hopes that the south Asian country can get its much needed programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) back on track soon and escape a full-blown debt crunch, analysts said. Deadly clashes between supporters of Imran Khan and police spread across the country…

Pakistan arrests Imran Khan’s aides; army deployed to quell unrest

Pakistani authorities took senior functionaries of former Prime Minister Imran Khan's party into custody as the government called out the army to help end widespread and deadly protests sparked by Khan's arrest. At least three senior functionaries of the party have been arrested so far, one from outside the Supreme…

Pakistan minister in the US eyes ‘green energy security’

Facing a deep economic crisis, Pakistan has started to buy Russian oil, but the country’s petroleum minister said the future lies in diversified, especially green, energy. Minister Musadik Malik visited the US for talks with corporations as well as with the government, with Washington leading global efforts to choke off…

Imran Khan arrest: Pakistan police arrest hundreds of PTI supporters

Police in Pakistan on Wednesday (10) detained numerous followers of the deposed prime minister Imran Khan on charges of violence following his arrest on corruption allegations, deepening a political crisis in the nuclear-armed country. The arrest of the former cricket star, who is also the country's most popular politician based…

IMF to discuss Pakistan’s budget plans as elusive funding lifeline…

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is preparing to discuss Pakistan's budget plans for the coming financial year, as part of a long-awaited financing injection from the lender for the cash-strapped nation, the IMF's country mission chief said on Thursday (4). Negotiations over key budget targets such as the fiscal deficit…

Ajay Banga confirmed as World Bank chief

The World Bank announced the appointment of Ajay Banga, a prominent Indian-American business leader, as its next President on Wednesday (03). In response, the organisation expressed its anticipation to collaborating with Banga on the ongoing World Bank Group Evolution process. "The Executive Directors of the World Bank today selected Ajay…

Pakistan inflation hits 36 per cent, its highest-ever

Pakistan's year-on-year inflation hit its highest-ever level of 36.42 per cent in April, after the government introduced new taxes and raised fuel prices to try to meet International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions for a crucial bailout. Government data released Tuesday (2) showed month-on-month inflation was 2.41 per cent, while average…

Economist Raghuram Rajan cautions central banks against doing ‘too much’

Indian economist Raghuram Rajan has cautioned central banks against going overboard with easing or tightening monetary policies, saying both extremes can harm the banking sector. The former Reserve Bank of India governor said the recent implosion of American banks was rooted in aggressive interest rate hikes after years of stimulus…

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia set to sign deal for $2 billion…

Pakistan is set to sign a deal for additional deposits of $2 billion from Saudi Arabia, authorities said on Saturday (22), a move that will help the country secure the much-required bailout from the IMF. In March, Pakistan sought Saudi Arabia's confirmation for funds to secure an IMF deal. Earlier…

Pakistan’s inflation woes dampen Eid shopping spirit

According to retailers, Pakistan's retail sales have experienced a significant decline in the lead-up to Eid al-Fitr compared to previous years, as shoppers struggle with the impact of historically high inflation. Traditionally, the period leading up to Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and…

Japan, India and France announce common platform for Sri Lanka’s…

Japan, India and France on Thursday (13) announced a common platform for talks among bilateral creditors to coordinate restructuring of Sri Lanka's debt, a move they hope would serve as a model for solving the debt woes of middle-income economies. It remains uncertain, however, whether Sri Lanka's biggest bilateral creditor…

G20 countries show significant support for several Indian proposals, says…

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has reported that the G20 bloc has actively engaged with and provided strong support for many of India's proposals, following a series of meetings with her counterparts from the influential grouping. As the current presidency of the G20, India intends to host a leaders' summit…

Japan, France and India to launch platform to coordinate Sri…

India, Japan and France will announce a new platform for creditors to coordinate restructuring of Sri Lanka's debt, Japanese finance minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Wednesday (12) The minister said it would be "very nice" if China were to join the effort. As chair of this year's Group of Seven…

UK economy stagnates in February as strikes hit output

Britain's economy stagnated in February as strikes by public sector workers hit output but a bounce in January was stronger than first thought, meaning a recession is a bit less likely to be brewing in early 2023, official data showed. Economic output was flat in month-on-month terms in February, against…

Pakistan minister cancels US trip, says IMF bailout on track

Pakistan finance minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday (8) said he had cancelled his trip to Washington for the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank on the orders of the prime minister due to the political situation in the country. However, Dar said he would attend important…

Ajay Banga sole nominee to lead World Bank

The World Bank has confirmed that Ajay Banga, the American pick to lead the organisation, is the sole candidate nominated for the position of president, indicating that he is likely to be appointed in the upcoming months. The bank will follow standard procedures, including conducting a formal interview with Banga…

UK economy avoids recession, grew 0.1 per cent in Q4

Official data released on Friday (31) indicated that the UK's economy expanded in the fourth quarter of the previous year. This growth was supported by increased business activity at travel agencies and state assistance to manage rising energy bills, which helped the country to avoid slipping into a recession. The…

Pakistan awaiting China’s decision on $2 billion loan rollover &…

A top finance ministry official said China is considering Pakistan's request to roll over a $2-billion loan that matured last week. Pakistan urgently needs the rollover as its foreign exchange reserves have fallen to the equivalent of just four weeks' worth of imports. Meanwhile, Pakistan is also in discussions with…

Ajay Banga likely to become new head of World Bank

On Wednesday (29), Janet Yellen, the US Treasury Secretary, stated that she anticipates Ajay Banga, the former CEO of Mastercard, to be elected as the president of the World Bank, which is a multilateral development bank. In prepared testimony for the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programmes subcommittee of the…

China spent £194.97 billion rescuing ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ nations,…

A recent study published on Tuesday (28) revealed that China has allocated approximately £194.97 billion equivalent to about $240 billion in financial assistance to 22 developing nations from 2008 to 2021. The amount has notably increased in recent years due to more countries experiencing difficulties in repaying loans related to…

IMF bailout will be followed by difficult times, warns Sri…

Sri Lanka's president on Wednesday (22) cautioned that the country would face further economic challenges and that strict austerity measures would be necessary to repair its damaged finances following an IMF bailout agreement. The International Monetary Fund granted approval for the delayed rescue package on Monday, with China - Sri…

Pakistan struggles with high costs as economy teeters

Naureen Ahsan earns more than twice the average wage in Pakistan, but the school administrator says she has no choice but to homeschool her daughters and delay their London-board certified final exams because she can't afford their education. Like most people in the nation of 220 million, Ahsan and her…

Ajay Banga in India to meet Modi

FORMER Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, who is the US nominee to lead the World Bank, returned to his homeland, India, on Thursday (23). The visit will conclude his three-week international trip to seek support and discuss development and climate requirements with borrowing and donor countries. According to the US Treasury,…

Pakistan finance minister cites technical reasons for IMF bailout delay

Pakistan's finance minister Ishaq Dar explained on Monday (20) that technical reasons caused the delay in reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He also clarified that his recent comments about Pakistan's nuclear and missile programme were taken out of context. The IMF has denied attaching any strings…

Pakistan court drops arrest warrant against Imran Khan

A PAKISTAN judge dropped an arrest warrant against former prime minister Imran Khan on Saturday (18), his lawyers said, after the ex-cricketing star, who had skipped several hearings, travelled to court. The 70-year-old has been tangled in a slew of court cases since he was ousted in a no-confidence motion…

Imran Khan fears arrest as he heads to court, police…

Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan said on Saturday he expected to be arrested as he headed to court on Saturday. The 70-year-old former cricket star has been tangled in a slew of court cases, a frequent hazard for opposition figures in Pakistan's politics. "I am going to the Islamabad…

Pakistan prime minister assures safety of nuclear programme despite concerns

Pakistan's prime minister Shehbaz Sharif has reaffirmed the safety and security of the country's nuclear programme, emphasising that it is "completely foolproof" and carefully protected by the state. This statement comes as international concerns have been raised over the safety of Pakistan's nuclear programme due to the country's financial difficulties.…

Pakistan security forces withdraw from area near Imran Khan’s house

Pakistani security forces on Wednesday (15) withdrew from the area around Imran Khan's home, putting an end to clashes that erupted after police attempted to arrest the former prime minister for failing to appear in a case involving the sale of state gifts. Police and other security personnel were seen…

Sri Lanka president says China agreed to restructure loans

SRI LANKA'S president said Tuesday (7) that China had agreed to restructure its loans to the bankrupt island nation, clearing the final obstacle to a long-awaited International Monetary Fund bailout. An unprecedented economic crisis has seen Sri Lanka's 22 million people suffer acute food, fuel and medicine shortages, along with…

Pakistan experiences highest ever recorded inflation rate

On Wednesday (01), the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which is measured by a basket of products showed a significant year-on-year increase, with monthly inflation surging to 31.6 per cent in February. Available data indicates that last month witnessed the steepest price surge ever…

Sri Lanka workers defy strike ban to protest rescue plan

SRI LANKAN workers went on strike Wednesday (1) in defiance of a government ban to protest a rescue plan for the bankrupt island nation, forcing the closure of hospitals, banks and ports. President Ranil Wickremesinghe is facing a public backlash over steep tax hikes and spending cuts imposed to secure…

India’s growth slows in December quarter

INDIA's economic growth slowed further in the December quarter as pent up demand eased and weakness in the manufacturing sector continued. Asia's third largest economy recorded year-on-year growth of 4.4 per cent in October-December, down from 6.3 per cent in July-September, data released by the government on Tuesday (28) showed.…

Sri Lanka outlaws strikes as anti-tax protests spread

SRI LANKA's government said Tuesday (28) it was banning strikes in several key sectors, a day ahead of a planned one-day national stoppage called by unions to protest against painfully high taxes and utility bills. Anger towards president Ranil Wickremesinghe is growing as his government slashes spending and hikes taxes…

Meet Ajay Banga – a straight-talker who ‘gets things done’

AJAY BANGA, the United States' candidate to lead the World Bank, has helmed large institutions and "helped bring 500 million unbanked people into the digital economy," according to US authorities. And those who have worked with him describe him as a straight-talking leader who is able to work with people…

Modi calls for World Bank reform at G20 finance meet

INDIAN prime minister Narendra Modi added his voice Friday (24) to calls for the reform of global lenders such as the World Bank, as G20 finance ministers and central bank heads met. The talks in Bengaluru were expected to focus on the continuing damaging effects of the Covid pandemic and…

US treasury secretary Janet Yellen seeks more economic aid to…

US TREASURY secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday (23) sought more financial support to Ukraine to fight invasion by Russian troops which started a year ago as the US gears up for an additional $10 billion in economic aid in the coming weeks. However, her words on the conflict uttered in…

Adani invests in bankrupt Sri Lanka

CASH-STRAPPED Sri Lanka announced its first major foreign investment since it declared bankruptcy, approving a $442 million (£368m) wind power project by India's Adani group. Sri Lanka's Board of Investment said Adani Green Energy, part of the business empire of controversial Indian tycoon Gautam Adani, will set up two wind…

Host India does not want G20 to discuss more sanctions…

INDIA does not want the Group of 20 nations to discuss additional sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine during New Delhi's one-year presidency of the bloc, six senior Indian government officials said. On the sidelines of a key G20 gathering in India, financial leaders of the Group of…

Pakistan hikes tax on luxury goods and services to get…

PAKISTAN'S parliament has given the go-ahead for the government to raise taxes on a raft of luxury imports and services in a bid to unlock the next tranche of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. Faced with critically low foreign exchange reserves, the government has already halted most imports -…

Hours-long queue amid economic crisis as Tim Hortons opens in…

Pakistanis are queuing for hours to grab coffee and pastries from Canadian chain Tim Hortons, which opened its first outlet in the South Asian country this week just as its economic crisis took a turn for the worse. In less than a month, Pakistan's currency has lost more than a…

FS Kwatra calls on PM Hasina, reaffirms India’s support for…

Foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra on Wednesday (15) called on Bangladesh’s prime minister Sheikh Hasina during which he reaffirmed India’s support for wider and deeper development and economic partnership with her country. Kwatra arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday (14) evening from Kathmandu, Nepal, on a two-day visit. “Foreign Secretary @AmbVMKwatra paid…

Fitch downgrades Pakistan’s rating warns default a ‘real possibility’

The beleaguered Pakistani economy faces substantial credit risks with "critically low levels” of foreign exchange reserves, New York-based global ratings agency Fitch said on Tuesday (14), warning that a default is a "real possibility." Fitch downgraded Pakistan’s long-term foreign currency issuer default rating (IDR) to ‘CCC-’ from ‘CCC+’, citing further…

Crucial $1.1bn IMF deal eludes Pakistan for now; talks continue

Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund are to resume talks online next week they said on Friday (10), after ten days of face-to-face discussions in Islamabad on how to keep the country afloat ended without a deal. With the nuclear-armed nation in the grip of a full-blown economic crisis, the…

Cash-strapped Pakistan reaches deal with IMF over stalled bailout package

Cash-strapped Pakistan and the IMF on Thursday signed a staff-level agreement after tough parleys, unlocking over a $ 1 billion loan tranche under Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for the country's ailing economy. A meeting took place between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation, where the…

Matters between Pakistan govt, IMF expected to be settled today:…

Pakistan's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday said all the matters with the International Monetary Fund regarding the completion of the ninth review of the $7 billion loan programme will be settled, the Dawn reported. Responding to a media query regarding the discussion with IMF, Dar said, "Everything is going…

Pakistan ‘will have to agree’ to IMF conditions for bailout:…

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Friday the government would have to agree to IMF bailout conditions that are "beyond imagination". An International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation landed in Pakistan on Tuesday for last-ditch talks to revive vital financial aid that has stalled for months. The government has held out…

IMF officials meet Pakistan finance minister; discuss plans for bailout

An IMF delegation on Tuesday (31) held talks with Pakistan's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and other officials on the cash-strapped country's economic policies and the reforms in key sectors -- an essential requisite for Islamabad to complete the much-anticipated ninth review of the $7 billion bailout programme. Pakistan entered a…

Bangladesh secures $4.7 bln from IMF as other South Asian…

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved loans of $4.7 billion to Bangladesh for disbursal starting immediately, making it the first to secure such funds out of three South Asian countries that applied last year amid economic trouble. The loans are a win for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ahead of…

Imran Khan accuses Zardari of paying terrorists to assassinate him

Pakistan's former prime minister Imran Khan on Friday accused ex-president Asif Ali Zardari of paying terrorists and hatching a fresh plan along with people in the country’s powerful intelligence agencies to assassinate him after the previous two attempts failed. Khan, during a virtual press conference from his Lahore’s Zaman Park…

Pakistani rupee’s fall slows as PM Sharif’s hopes for IMF…

The Pakistani rupee's decline slowed on Friday after its value plunged over the previous two days, with hopes raised by an International Monetary Fund team visiting Islamabad next week to discuss unlocking a suspended bail-out package. Left with only $3.68bn in foreign exchange reserves, Pakistan barely has enough to cover…

Pakistan economic crisis: 10 percent cut in govt employees’ salary…

Pakistan is considering different proposals, including slashing the salaries of government employees by 10 per cent across the board, according to a media report on Wednesday (25), amidst the looming economic crisis in the cash-strapped country. Pakistan is grappling with one of the country's worst economic crises in recent years…

Pakistan suffers major power outage after second grid failure in…

Pakistan's national grid suffered a major breakdown on Monday, the power ministry said, leaving millions of people without electricity for the second time in three months and highlighting the infrastructural weakness of this heavily indebted nation. Power Minister Khurrum Dastagir told Reuters the outage was caused by a large voltage…

PM Sharif travelling around the world with ‘begging bowl’, says…

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is travelling to different countries around the world with a "begging bowl" but none of them is giving him a penny, ousted premier Imran Khan said on Sunday. "See what this imported government has done to Pakistan," Khan, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party chairman, said in…

Sri Lankan President Wickremesinghe calls for ‘reconciliation’ and ‘coexistence’ with…

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday called for reconciliation and coexistence in the island nation, saying his government has initiated the process by talking to Sri Lankan Tamils and understanding their problems. President Wickremesinghe's statement at the 100th anniversary of the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama came ahead of his…

UAE approves $2bn funding to cash-strapped Pakistan

Pakistan on Thursday (19) announced that the UAE has rolled over its deposits of $2 billion, providing critical support to the cash-strapped country’s depleting foreign exchange reserves. The confirmation came days after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif visited the oil-rich Gulf country seeking help to improve the balance of payments. Finance…

India foreign minister visits Sri Lanka with stronger ties, China…

India's foreign minister arrives in Colombo on Thursday following his country's backing of Sri Lanka for a $2.9 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan, leaving China as the island's last remaining major creditor which has yet to agree to the debt restructuring plan. India has told global lender IMF that…

Sri Lankan President Wickremesinghe says debt restructuring talks with India,…

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday informed the parliament that talks with India and China on debt restructuring are successful. "We are continuing discussions in that regard and I am pleased to announce to this House that the discussions are currently successful," read Sri Lankan President Media Division press…

‘Shameful for nuclear power to beg’: Pakistan PM amid worsening…

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said it is a matter of shame that a country, which is a nuclear power, has to beg amid its faltering economy, reported The News International.Addressing the passing-out ceremony of probationary officers of Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) on Saturday, Shehbaz said it really embarrassed…

Pakistan minister says 90 per cent pledges by international community…

Pakistan's finance minister Ishaq Dar said on Wednesday (11) that almost 90 per cent of pledges made by the international community for the flood-hit country were project loans that will be rolled out over the next three years. His remarks came two days after the international community at a donors’…

‘No other option’ but to implement IMF deal: Pak PM…

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that his government has “no other option” but to implement the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme to revive the cash-starved economy. He regretted that if the government wanted to give any subsidy in any sector, it had to go to the IMF "which…

India hands 125 SUVs to Sri Lanka police

India has handed 125 SUVs to the Sri Lankan police under a line of credit as part of its ongoing efforts to support the cash-strapped island nation and address the serious mobility restriction issues faced by the police due to non-availability of vehicles. As part of its 'Neighbourhood First’ policy,…

Sri Lanka’s IMF bailout to wait until the new year:…

Sri Lanka's much-anticipated IMF bailout of an assistance package of USD 2.9 billion will have to wait till early next year as the country pursues talks with creditors to meet the global lender's condition for the facility. Sri Lanka and the IMF agreed on a staff-level agreement to release USD…

‘There will be China Go Home campaign soon, and I…

Sri Lankan MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam has warned that he will lead a "ChinaGoHome" campaign if the Chinese Embassy and its government do not work for the benefit of his countrymen and fail to restructure debts, according to local media. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP Rasamanickam has raised questions over the…

Sri Lanka President Wickremesinghe rules out early elections, vows to…

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday rejected the opposition's demand for early parliamentary elections and vowed to use the military to crush any future anti-government protests aimed at regime change. Wickremesinghe, 73, who took over as the President of Sri Lanka in July this year after then-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa…

‘It’s behind me’: Imran Khan takes a U-turn on ‘US…

Imran Khan has said he wants to mend relations with the US if re-elected and no longer blames it for his removal as Pakistan's prime minister, apparently taking a U-turn after accusing Washington of engineering his ouster by supporting the then Opposition’s no-confidence motion. Khan, 70, who was ousted in…

Pakistan out of FATF grey list after four years

Pakistan is out of Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) 'grey list' with the global watchdog stating that Islamabad would continue to work with the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering to further improve its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CFT) system. FATF said it welcomes Pakistan's significant progress in improving its…

Deal more important than date: Trade Secretary on India trade…

The free trade agreement (FTA) talks between India and the UK are "progressing well" and a deal that works for both sides is more important than the date when it is signed, Britain’s Trade Policy Minister Greg Hands said with reference to the now abandoned Diwali deadline for a draft…

Truss sacrifices finance minister, scraps tax plan in fight to…

British prime minister Liz Truss fired her finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng on Friday and scrapped parts of their economic package in a desperate bid to stay in power and survive the market and political turmoil gripping the country. Kwarteng said he had resigned at Truss's request after being forced to…

IMF and Moody’s censure UK policy, Bank of England says…

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and ratings agency Moody's criticised Britain's new economic strategy, as investors braced for more havoc in bond markets that has already forced the Bank of England to promise "significant" action. The statements overnight from the IMF and Moody's piled more pressure on new finance minister…

Even friendly countries now look at Pakistan as country with…

True picture of Pakistan's devastating economic state now lay bare as the country's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed regret that even friendly countries have now started looking at Pakistan as a country that was always begging for money, media reports said. "Today, when we go to any friendly country or…

Will be more ‘dangerous’ if jailed, warns Imran Khan on…

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan on Thursday (8) threatened that he would become more dangerous if sent to jail while expressing displeasure over the heavy deployment of police outside the Islamabad High Court during the hearing of a terrorism case filed against him. PTI chief has been booked in…

At 7.3 per cent, India ranks 7th in crypto ownership:…

More than seven per cent of India's population owns digital currency, according to the UN, which said the use of cryptocurrency rose globally at an unprecedented rate during the Covid-19 pandemic. The UN trade and development body UNCTAD said that in 2021, developing countries accounted for 15 of the top…

Is Pakistan going the Sri Lanka way?

Seventy-five years of the independent polity have been tumultuous and turbulent for the state of Pakistan. Oscillating between military rule and civilian governments, the country to date has failed to witness even one complete five-year tenure of any of its Prime Ministers. This offbeat political tug of war has raised…

Sri Lanka’s inflation surges over 60 per cent in July

Sri Lanka's inflation surged to 60.8 per cent in July, up from 54.6 per cent in June, the crisis-hit country's statistics department said on Saturday, as food and fuel remained scarce amid depleted foreign exchange reserves. The year-on-year inflation based on the Colombo Consumer Price Index was 60.8 per cent…

Can talk to TTP, separatists, but not to Shahbaz govt:…

Referring to leaders of Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) as thieves, The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said that he can hold talks with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the separatists of Balochistan and Sindh, but cannot sit down for talks with the Shahbaz Sharif government. The remarks came while…

Analysis: Tax-cut talk in UK leadership race adds to inflation…

Promises of tax cuts from candidates to succeed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pose another inflationary risk which could pressure the Bank of England to raise interest rates more aggressively, cancelling out any potential boost to the economy. Most of the 11 contenders, trying to portray themselves as defenders of…

Only people with ‘Hitler-like mindset’ torch buildings: Wickremesinghe on arson…

Reacting publicly for the first time after his private house was set on fire by anti-government protesters on Saturday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday said only people with a “Hitler-like mindset” torch buildings.In a special televised statement, Wickremesinghe said he accepted the post of Prime Minister as the economy…

No loan from IMF despite Pakistan ‘dancing to its tune’,…

Pakistan's Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Sunday said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had not released the tranche for the USD 6 billion bailout package under its extended fund facility, even though it had made the country "dance to its tune." Responding to a question about the IMF, Sanaullah…

Pakistan: Government targeting journalists, says former Minister Rasheed

Pakistan's former Home Minister Shaikh Rasheed on Friday said that the government is targeting journalists in the country. Popular news anchor Imran Riaz Khan was arrested on Tuesday near the outskirts of Islamabad, hours after he claimed that his life was under threat. Khan was heading to Islamabad when he…

In talks with IMF, Sri Lanka is participating as bankrupt…

Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday said that the island country is participating in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a bankrupt country. In his speech in Parliament today regarding the economic recovery plan, the Prime Minister of the crisis-ridden country noted that a round of…

Imran Khan’s party apologises to US for ‘foreign conspiracy’ allegations:…

In a fresh revelation, Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that former Prime Minister Imran Khan's party has now apologized to the US against whom it had levelled allegations of planning to conspire to throw the cricketer-turned-politician out of power. He said that the government has procured all the evidence…

Sri Lanka’s inflation surges past 50 per cent in June

Inflation in crisis-hit Sri Lanka has surged past 50 per cent for the month of June, the statistics department said on Thursday, as the country's economy came to a grinding halt after it ran out of foreign exchange reserves to import fuel and other essentials. The headline inflation for the…

The government will not survive, but you salaried people will…

Former Pakistani Prime Minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday asked the Punjab police and bureaucracy not to follow any illegal orders of the provincial government during the upcoming local elections. Imran Khan claimed that despite the pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), his government had…

US Senator blames Imran Khan for strained Washington-Islamabad relations

US Senate Majority Leader Charles E Schumer on Tuesday blamed former prime minister Imran Khan for strained relations between the US and Pakistan. "Your former prime minister did not talk positive about the US but the incumbent Pakistani premier is expected to help foster bilateral ties between Pakistan and the…

US delegation meets Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa; discuss economic crisis

A high-level US delegation on Monday met Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and discussed measures to help the island nation cope with an unprecedented economic crisis and severe shortages of essential supplies. US Ambassador Kelly Keiderling, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of State, and Robert Kaproth, Deputy Assistant…

Pakistan: Students may not get new books in new academic…

Pakistan paper association has warned that due to the paper crisis in the country, books will not be available to students in the new academic year starting August 2022.While the cause of the paper crisis is global inflation, the current paper crisis in Pakistan is also due to the wrong…

‘If this is an IMF budget, then who has tied…

Pakistan Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman on Wednesday accused Imran Khan's policies of bringing the country on the verge of bankruptcy and said that they are left with no choice but to accept the budget on the terms of International Monetary Funds.While taking part in a debate on…

Cash-strapped Pak secures much-awaited deal with IMF

Cash-strapped Pakistan has secured a deal with the International Monetary Fund to restore the stalled USD 6 billion assistance package and unlock doors for financing from other international sources, according to a media report on Wednesday. The make or break deal was reached on Tuesday night following the IMF staff…

Sri Lanka’s economy has ‘completely collapsed’: PM Wickremesinghe

Sri Lanka's economy has "completely collapsed" and it is facing a far more serious situation beyond the mere shortages of fuel, gas, electricity and food, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe warned on Wednesday, underscoring the urgency of arriving at an early agreement with the IMF to obtain an additional credit facility.…

India, US, and Israel have the agenda to target Pakistan’s…

Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan on Sunday said that his party will continue protests against Pakistan's 'imported' government till the announcement of fresh elections.The PTI chief asked his party workers to be prepared for his call as they want a date for fresh elections and protests will be continued till…

Why Pakistan is asking its people to drink fewer cups…

A senior minister in Pakistan has urged People to drink fewer cups of tea to save the country's economy, according to reports.  "I appeal to the nation to cut down the consumption of tea by one to two cups because we import tea on loan," minister Ahsan Iqbal was quoted…

Sri Lanka declares Fridays as holiday to promote agriculture

Sri Lanka's cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal to declare Fridays as a holiday for government employees to encourage them to carry out agricultural work to increase production in the country, local media reported on Tuesday. The ministers endorsed two key proposals to be implemented in the public service,…

Pakistan finance minister warns of default if fuel subsidies not…

PAKISTAN will default if the government does not abolish the subsidies on petroleum products, finance minister Miftah Ismail has said, warning that the cash-strapped country's economy could be in a similar position as that of Sri Lanka if tough decisions were not taken. Ismail claimed that the government was still…

Imran Khan’s anti-America rhetoric damages Pakistan’s relations with West: Report

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's anti-American rhetoric and his accusations against the US for conspiring to oust him from power is damaging the country's relations with the west, according to an analysis.Pakistan's economy is already facing a huge challenge and the country often turns to Western-led multilateral financial institutions…

Toxic cocktail of sluggish growth and high inflation darkens outlook…

A toxic cocktail of sluggish growth and high inflation, plus Brexit and fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, is set to weigh on the pound in the coming months, economists warned. Since the start of the year, the sterling has fallen by more than seven per cent against the dollar, which…

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka needs $5bn, help from China for essentials

SRI LANKA will need $5 billion over the next six months to ensure basic living standards, and is renegotiating the terms of a yuan-denominated swap worth $1.5bn with China so as to fund essential imports, the prime minister said on Tuesday (7). The island nation's worst economic crisis in seven…

Sri Lankan PM Wickremesinghe hopeful of IMF assistance by June…

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is also the finance minister, said on Thursday that the government was targeting USD 5 billion this year for repayments, plus a further USD 1 billion to bolster the country's reserves. He also said that the ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary…

World Bank to disburse USD 700 million to crisis-hit Sri…

The World Bank is planning to disburse USD 700 million to crisis-ridden Sri Lanka by re-purposing its existing loans, a move that will help the island nation grappling with an unprecedented economic crisis much-needed breathing space till a bailout package with the IMF is worked out, media reports said on…

Pakistanis flood Twitter with memes and jokes after highest-ever hike…

Pakistan on Thursday (26) announced it would hike fuel prices so that it could resume receiving aid from a $6 billion (£4.75 bn) package signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2019.Fuel prices rose by 20 per cent from Friday (27) - petrol now costs Rs 179.86 (72p) per…

PM Shehbaz warns Imran Khan, says ‘Your dictation won’t work…’

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Thursday (26) that the National Assembly would decide the date for fresh polls. "I want to clarify to the leader of this group (PTI), your dictation won't work. This house will decide when to hold elections," said the premier while speaking on the…

Situation going from bad to worse for Sri Lanka as…

THE World Bank said it is not planning to provide any new financing to cash-strapped Sri Lanka until an adequate economic policy framework has been put in place. In a statement, the multilateral development bank said it was repurposing resources from previously approved projects to help the Sri Lankan government…

I beg India to reconsider its decision to ban wheat…

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) managing director Kristalina Georgieva has exhorted India to consider reversing its ban on the exports of wheat, even as New Delhi capped sugar shipments in its latest bid to tame domestic inflation.As the Russian invasion of Ukraine has disrupted the food supply chain, Georgieva said in…

Sri Lanka’s new prime minister struggles to form united government

Sri Lanka's new prime minister struggled Friday to forge a united government and forestall an imminent economic collapse as opposition lawmakers refused to join his cabinet and demanded fresh elections. Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in late Thursday to navigate his country through the worst downturn in its history as an…

How Sri Lanka’s economy went into a tailspin

Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis since its independence from Britain in 1948. Months of lengthy blackouts and acute shortages of food, fuel and medicines have infuriated the public, with huge protests demanding the government's resignation turning violent this week. Eastern Eye reviews the origins of the snowballing…

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka appoints new prime minister to replace president’s…

Sri Lanka's embattled president swore in a new prime minister Thursday to replace his brother, who was banned from leaving the country after his supporters launched violent attacks on a protest against the nation's economic crisis. The new premier, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has already served in the office five times --…

Sri Lanka’s economy on brink of collapse as troops quell…

Sri Lanka's economy will "collapse" unless a new government is urgently appointed, the central bank chief warned Wednesday, as security forces fanned out on the streets to restore order after spasms of mob violence. Police say nine people have died since Monday, when frustration at a dire economic crisis erupted…

Sri Lanka orders ‘offensive’ to prevent ‘anarchy’

SRI LANKAN police have been ordered to go on the offensive and use live ammunition to prevent "anarchy", a top official said on Wednesday (11) after another night of sporadic arson attacks.Police say eight people have died since Monday (9), when frustration at a dire economic crisis erupted into violence…

IMF talks on loan progress

THE International Monetary Fund said last Saturday (23) it held “fruitful technical discussions” with Sri Lanka on its loan request, while the World Bank said it was preparing an emergency-aid package for the crisis-stricken country. Sri Lanka is struggling to pay for imports amid a crushing debt crisis and sharp…

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka to sell ‘golden’ visas

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka announced on Tuesday it would sell long-term visas to attract desperately needed foreign currency after the island nation ran out of dollars to pay even for food and fuel. Foreigners who deposit a minimum of $100,000 locally will be granted permission to live and work in Sri…

Senior police officer arrested over Sri Lanka protest death

A top Sri Lankan police officer was arrested Wednesday after ordering his subordinates to fire on anti-government protesters, in clashes that left one man dead and nearly 30 others wounded. Last week's demonstration in the town of Rambukkana was one of many around the country protesting a rise in fuel…

Sri Lanka shares plunge as Buddhist leaders ask government to…

Sri Lanka's stock market halted trading after a nearly 13 per cent plunge Monday as the island nation's beleaguered government faces new pressure to resign from influential Buddhist leaders over a crippling economic crisis. The country's worst downturn since independence in 1948 has brought widespread hardships to its 22 million…

World Bank readies Sri Lanka aid package

THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND said on Saturday (23) it held "fruitful technical discussions" with Sri Lanka on its loan request, while the World Bank said it was preparing an emergency aid package for the crisis-stricken country.Sri Lanka, an island country of 22 million people, is struggling to pay for imports…

Indian finance minister meets heads of FedEx, Mastercard

INDIA’S finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday (21) met CEOs of large American firms like FedEx and Mastercard and discussed various opportunities for investment in the south Asian country.She is in the US to attend International Monetary Fund-World Bank Spring Meetings 2022.FedEx president and CEO-elect Raj Subramaniam, during the meeting…

Sri Lanka’s inflation leaps to 21 per cent

CRISIS-HIT Sri Lanka's inflation hit a record high for the sixth consecutive month, official data showed on Friday (22) as the government asked the IMF for an urgent bailout.The broad-based National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) rose 21.5 per cent year-on-year in March, more than four times the 5.1 per cent…

Fresh protests rock Sri Lanka after police killing

Fresh anti-government protests spread across Sri Lanka Wednesday, a day after police shot dead a demonstrator and triggered international condemnation just as the crisis-hit country appealed for an IMF bailout. Regular blackouts, acute shortages of food and fuel and record inflation have sparked increasing public discontent in the island, which…

Protestor shot dead and others injured as Sri Lanka unrest…

Sri Lanka police shot dead a protester and wounded 24 others on Tuesday in the first fatal clash with residents demonstrating against the government over the island nation's crippling economic crisis. The South Asian country is in the grip of its most painful economic downturn since independence in 1948, with…

Sri Lanka says IMF to consider request for rapid aid

THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND will consider providing quick financial assistance to debt-burdened Sri Lanka following representations by India, the island nation’s finance ministry said on Tuesday (19).A delegation headed by Sri Lanka's finance minister Ali Sabry kicked off formal talks with the IMF in Washington on Monday (18) for a…

Sri Lanka leader trims cabinet of relatives

SRI LANKA'S leader dropped two of his brothers and a nephew from his cabinet Monday (18), following public anger over the ruling family's mismanagement of a crippling economic crisis and calls for his resignation.President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has presided over the island nation's most painful downturn in memory and his government…

Colombo Stock Exchange declares five-day trading halt

THE COLOMBO STOCK EXCHANGE (CSE) will remain temporarily closed for a week from Monday (18) to provide investors with an opportunity to have "more clarity and understanding" of the current economic conditions in crisis-hit Sri Lanka."The stock market will remain temporarily closed for a period of five business days from…

Pakistan not to roll back fuel, power subsidies

PAKISTAN'S new government has decided not to roll back billions in fuel subsidies for the time being despite the strain on public funds, citing the possible backlash if it were to raise fuel prices just days after taking power.Former premier Imran Khan, who was ousted in a confidence vote earlier…

Sri Lankans abandon holiday celebrations for protests

Life usually stops in Sri Lanka's capital during April's holiday period, but with an economic crisis derailing traditional home celebrations, Colombo's city centre is instead teeming with frustrated crowds. Sri Lankans ritually boil milk on the first day of the island nation's New Year, but the commodity is one of…

Bankrupt Sri Lanka looks to expand airline fleet

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka's loss-making national carrier revealed plans Thursday to lease up to 21 aircraft, just two days after the government announced a default on its $51 billion foreign debt. The island nation is in the grip of its most painful economic downturn since independence in 1948, with severe shortages…

What’s next for Pakistan after Imran Khan’s ouster?

A PROTRACTED political drama in Pakistan turned a page on April 10, with prime minister Imran Khan being removed from office following a vote of no confidence in the country’s Parliament.He was replaced by opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif. But that is unlikely to be the end of political turmoil in…

Sri Lanka debt restructuring could take months: S&P

S&P GLOBAL RATINGS said Wednesday (13) it could take months for Sri Lanka to restructure its foreign debt, a day after the country announced it would default on the $51 billion (£38.87 bn) it has borrowed.It said it would likely assign Sri Lanka a "selective default" foreign currency rating after…

Bankrupt Sri Lanka begs diaspora to send cash

Sri Lanka urged its citizens overseas to send home money to help pay for desperately needed food and fuel Wednesday after announcing a default on its $51 billion foreign debt. The island nation is in the grip of its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, with severe shortages of…

India ‘open to additional $2bn aid for Sri Lanka’

INDIA is willing to commit up to another $2 billion (£1.54 bn) in financial assistance to Sri Lanka while also supporting the island nation with food and fuel, five sources said, as New Delhi tries to regain ground lost to China in recent years.Sri Lanka, hit by its worst economic…

Embattled Sri Lanka prime minister appeals for ‘patience’ from protesters

Sri Lanka's prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa pleaded for "patience" Monday as thousands continued to take to the streets to protest his family's rule, with public anger at a fever pitch over the country's crippling economic crisis. Sri Lanka's 22 million residents have seen weeks of power blackouts and severe shortages…

Sri Lanka defaults on all foreign debt

SRI LANKA defaulted on its $51 billion (£39.23 bn) foreign debt on Tuesday (12) as the island nation grapples with its worst economic crisis in memory and widespread protests demanding the government's resignation.Acute food and fuel shortages, alongside long daily electricity blackouts, have brought widespread suffering to the country's 22…

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka hikes rates as protests spiral

CASH-STRAPPED Sri Lanka's central bank hiked interest rates by a record 700 basis points on Friday (8) as police fired tear gas at hundreds of students protesting over the economic crisis.Severe shortages of food and fuel, alongside lengthy electricity blackouts, have led to weeks of widespread anti-government demonstrations - with…

India starts supplying rice to Sri Lanka

INDIAN traders are exporting 40,000 tons of rice to Sri Lanka in the first major food aid since Colombo secured a credit line from New Delhi.The Indian Ocean island nation of 22 million people is struggling to pay for essential imports after a 70 per cent drop in foreign exchange…

Sri Lanka president loses majority amid crisis

Dozens of Sri Lankan lawmakers walked out of the ruling coalition on Tuesday (5), leaving president Gotabaya Rajapaksa's government in a minority in parliament as it struggled to quell protests amid the country's worst economic crisis in decades. In another setback for the administration, finance minister Ali Sabry resigned a…

Pakistan’s top court resumes hearing on prime minister Khan’s bid…

Pakistan's top court resumed deliberations on Tuesday about the legality of prime minister Imran Khan's attempt to block an opposition bid to oust him, a dispute that has led to political turmoil in the nuclear-armed country. Former cricket star Khan lost his parliamentary majority last week and had been facing…

Pakistan court adjourns no-trust vote hearing

POLITICAL turmoil intensified in Pakistan after the country’s supreme court adjourned on Tuesday (5) without ruling on the legality of political manoeuvres that led prime minister Imran Khan to dissolve the national assembly and call fresh elections.Former cricket star Khan lost his parliamentary majority last week and faced a no-confidence…

Sri Lanka crisis: Rajapaksa offers to share power after ministers…

SRI LANKA'S president offered to share power with the opposition on Monday (4) as protests escalated across the country demanding his resignation over worsening shortages of food, fuel and medicines.President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's appeal to legislators came as heavily armed security forces looked to quell more demonstrations over what the government…

Sri Lanka protesters defy curfew after social media shutdown

ARMED troops in Sri Lanka blocked an opposition march staged on Sunday (3) in defiance of an emergency curfew to protest the island nation's worsening economic crisis after authorities imposed a social media blackout to contain public dissent.The south Asian island nation is facing severe shortages of food, fuel and…

Street lights latest casualty of Sri Lankan economic crisis

SRI LANKA is turning off street lights to save electricity, a minister said on Thursday (31), as its worst economic crisis in decades brought more power cuts and halted trading on its main stock market.The island of 22 million people is struggling with rolling blackouts for up to 13 hours…

Sri Lanka faces 13-hour blackouts, hospitals stop surgery as crisis…

Sri Lanka announced nationwide 13-hour daily power cuts from Thursday and more hospitals suspended routine surgeries after running out of life-saving medicines, as the cash-strapped island's economic crisis deepened. The South Asian nation of 22 million people is in its worst economic spiral since independence in 1948, sparked by an…

Imran Khan faces test of his political life

PAKISTAN'S opposition has tabled a no-trust motion against prime minister Imran Khan as defections in his party and cracks in the ruling coalition appeared to have made his position fragile.The National Assembly, the lower house of the bicameral parliament, will begin a debate on the motion on Thursday (31) and…

No-trust motion against Imran Khan delayed till Monday

THE SPEAKER of Pakistan's parliament adjourned a motion of no-confidence in prime minister Imran Khan on Friday (25), provoking opposition accusations he was buying time for the ex-cricketer to muster support after a spate of defections from his party.The motion will now be tabled on Monday (28) after which seven…

Spring Statement 2022 : Sunak cuts fuel duty as UK…

BRITAIN'S economy will grow more slowly this year than previously predicted and inflation will be much higher, chancellor of exchequer Rishi Sunak said as he gave a budget update which included measures to ease a cost-of-living squeeze.Sunak, announcing forecasts drawn up by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), said on…

Cash-strapped Sri Lanka seeks IMF bailout

SRI LANKA will seek an International Monetary Fund bailout, president Gotabaya Rajapaksa said on Wednesday (16), to battle record inflation and unprecedented food and fuel shortages as the country runs out of dollars to finance imports.The south Asia nation is in the throes of its worst economic crisis since independence…

Angry crowd tries to storm Sri Lanka president’s office

A huge crowd tried to storm the Sri Lankan president's seaside office Tuesday as anger flared over runaway prices brought about by the worst financial crisis in the island's modern history. The cost of food, medicine and other essential goods have risen dramatically across the South Asian nation, with long…

UK issues advisory on Sri Lanka travel amid supply concerns

SRI LANKA'S ongoing forex crisis may further hit its tourism industry as the UK and Canada have warned their travellers to be aware of the current economic situation in the island nation.According to the latest advisory issued by the British government, the economic situation is deteriorating in Sri Lanka with…

IMF officials in Sri Lanka to discuss economic crisis

AN IMF delegation was in Sri Lanka Monday (14) for talks on the island's worsening economic crisis, with the public suffering through months of food, fuel and medicine shortages.A lack of foreign currency has left traders unable to pay for vital imports in what authorities concede is the south Asian…

Sri Lanka currency falls sharply as economic crisis deepens

THE SRI LANKAN rupee fell sharply against the dollar on Thursday (10), after the country's central bank ordered a 15 per cent depreciation in a bid to stave off a looming economic collapse sparked by a shortage of foreign currency.The country's worst economic crisis since independence has led to fuel…

Pakistan ‘retained on FATF’s grey list’

GLOBAL money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog FATF has retained Pakistan on its terrorism financing “grey list” and asked Islamabad to address deficiencies in its financial system, a media report said on Saturday (5). Pakistan has been on the grey list of the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) since…

Sri Lanka sacks energy minister as economic crisis deepens

Sri Lanka's president sacked his energy minister on Thursday as fuel shortages left the near-bankrupt island facing its worst blackouts in 26 years and the nation's buses largely sidelined. Udaya Gammanpila was booted from the cabinet a day after publicly criticising the government's monetary policy, saying it had worsened the…

Sri Lanka hikes rates as economy risks collapse

SRI LANKA'S central bank hiked interest rates by one percentage point on Friday (4) and urged the government to increase taxes as the country skirts economic collapse.The troubled south Asian island nation is in the grip of a severe foreign exchange crisis that has led to acute shortages of food,…

Sri Lanka calls for diaspora investment

SRI LANKA marked its Independence Day on Friday (4) with an appeal to its diaspora to send money home to overcome the island's worsening economic crisis and a pledge to protect foreign investments.President Gotabaya Rajapaksa urged millions of Sri Lankans abroad to invest their savings in their home country, which…

Crisis-hit Sri Lanka hikes interest rates

SRI LANKA's central bank hiked interest rates Thursday (20) in a bid to tame rampant inflation and discourage consumer spending as the country suffers a foreign currency shortage and teeters on the brink of default. The island nation of around 22 million has seen shortages of food and fuel as…

Pakistan’s economic woes put Imran Khan’s future in doubt

HOUSEWIFE Maira Tayyab has considered begging for money to feed her family in inflation-hit Pakistan, while shop owner Mohammad Hanif finds his thoughts turning to crime.They're too proud and honest to act on the impulse, but their woes are shared by millions of Pakistanis whose disgruntlement threatens prime minister Imran…

Pakistan shifts focus from military to economy

PRIME minister Imran Khan on Friday (14) launched Pakistan's first-ever National Security Policy based on a citizen-centric framework.It focuses on boosting the country's flagging economy and its standing in the world, unlike the previous one-dimensional security policy deeply rooted in the development of military capabilities.Unveiling the public version of the…

Sri Lanka rules out IMF bailout, seeks new China loan

SRI LANKA ruled out an IMF bailout on Wednesday (12) and said it plans to seek another loan from China to address an economic crisis that has led to food and fuel shortages.The island nation's tourism-dependent economy has been battered by the pandemic, with supermarkets rationing goods and rolling blackouts…

India’s former central bank chief Urjit Patel appointed AIIB vice…

URJIT Patel, the former governor of India’s central bank – the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) – has been appointed as a vice president of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral funding institution based in Beijing, China, sources in the bank said on Sunday (9). India is a founding…

India raises growth forecast to 9.2 per cent despite Covid…

INDIA on Friday (7) raised its growth estimates for this financial year to 9.2 per cent despite a surge in coronavirus infections threatening the country's recovery. The National Statistics Office (NSO) forecast Asia's third-largest economy will bounce back strongly from a 7.3 per cent contraction last year when it saw…

Rajapaksa prorogues Sri Lanka parliament, leaves for Singapore

SRI LANKA'S president Gotabaya Rajapaksa prorogued parliament for one week and left for Singapore on an unscheduled visit on Monday (13). There was no immediate comment from the government on Rajapaksa's decision to suspend proceedings for a week. Parliament, which ended its sessions last Friday (10), was originally set to…

Gita Gopinath’s journey from Kolkata to global role as economist

GITA GOPINATH will take on a larger role in shaping the policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from January 21 as its first deputy managing director. Her elevation as the second-ranking official of the global lender is a recognition of her “exceptional intellectual leadership” as its first woman chief…

Gita Gopinath promoted as IMF’s first deputy managing director

GITA Gopinath, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s Indian-American chief economist has been promoted as its first deputy managing director. Her elevation is in recognition of her leadership in helping the global economy and the IMF navigate the "twists and turns" of the "worst economic crisis of our lives". Gopinath would…

India reports 8.4 per cent quarterly growth, but concerns remain

INDIA'S economy has recovered to its pre-pandemic size, official data showed Tuesday (30), boosted by a broad-based recovery in the July-September quarter after a deadly infection surge earlier this year. Asia's third-largest economy maintained its virus bounceback with 8.4 per cent growth in the three months ending September 30, compared…

IMF to revive £4.4 billion Pakistan funding programme

THE INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday (22) it has reached an agreement with Pakistan that will help revive a stalled $6 billion (£4.4 bn) funding programme for the south Asian country, which faces growing economic challenges. Pakistan’s authorities and IMF staff have reached a staff-level agreement on “policies…

Saudi Arabia agrees to help Pakistan with £3bn

SAUDI Arabia has agreed to provide $4.2 billion (£3 bn) worth of assistance to cash-strapped Pakistan to support its economy, it emerged on Wednesday (27) after prime minister Imran Khan held talks with the kingdom’s crown prince Mohammad bin Salman in Riyadh this week. Pakistan’s information minister Fawad Chaudhry took…

What lies ahead for Afghanistan under the Taliban?

Afghans on Tuesday (31) woke to the start of another uncertain era after the last American forces left overnight, cementing victory for the Taliban after two decades of war. Many are afraid that the group will once again impose their harsh interpretation of Islamic law, brutally punishing their opponents and…

India hits record 20.1 per cent growth in April-June quarter

INDIA's economy expanded by a record 20.1 per cent between April and June, official data showed Tuesday (31), boosted by the manufacturing and construction sectors as growth rebounded from last year's strict months-long pandemic lockdown. It was the biggest growth on record since New Delhi started publishing quarterly statistics in…

IMF approves fund increase to support pandemic-hit nations

THE International Monetary Fund has approved a $650 billion (£466bn) allocation to its resources pool to help economically vulnerable countries battling the coronavirus pandemic. The 190-nation lending institution said on Monday (2) that its board of governors approved the expansion of its reserves known as Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), the…

IMF raises UK economic growth forecast to 7 per cent

THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) has raised forecast for the UK economic growth for this year to seven per cent in line with other major advanced economies. The latest forecast was 1.7 percentage points higher than the IMF forecast in April. British economic output dropped almost 10 per cent in…

IMF cuts India’s economic growth forecast to 9.5 per cent…

THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) has lowered its outlook for India’s economic growth to 9.5 per cent for the fiscal year 2021-22 from 12.5 per cent projected in April. The onset of a severe second Covid-19 wave cut into recovery momentum of Indian economy, it said. However, it raised the…

G20 finance chiefs meet in Venice, tax reform top agenda

FINANCE ministers from the G20 economies gathered today (9) in Venice, with global tax reform at the top of the meeting agenda. The current meeting is being convened under the presidency of Italy. US treasury secretary Janet Yellen, European Central Bank (ECB) chief Christine Lagarde and Russian finance minister Anton…

Sri Lanka eyes tougher import controls to halt forex crisis

SRI LANKA'S central bank on Monday (28) called for further import restrictions to address a crippling foreign exchange crisis, following a string of loans from Asian neighbours including Bangladesh. The island nation's foreign exchange reserves were badly hit last year amid the Covid-19 pandemic as the local currency came under…

Fitch Ratings affirms Sri Lanka at ‘CCC’

FITCH RATINGS has affirmed Sri Lanka's long-term foreign-currency issuer default rating (IDR) at 'CCC', indicating sustainability risks. The country’s ‘CCC’ rating reflects low foreign-exchange reserves and high government debt, the rating agency said. “A total of about $29 billion (£20.8bn) in foreign-currency debt obligations are due between now and 2026,…

Pakistan economy grows 3.94 per cent in 2020-21 on recovery…

STRONG ‘V – shaped’ recoveries in the services and manufacturing sectors helped Pakistan’s economy to grow 3.94 per cent in the first nine months of fiscal year 2020-21, finance minister Shaukat Tarin said on Thursday (10). Tarin presented the Economic Survey of Pakistan Thursday (10), a day before presenting the…

Biden administration to buy 500 mn Covid-19 vaccines to donate…

US PRESIDENT Joe Biden is set to announce plans on Thursday (10) to buy and donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to more than 90 countries while calling on the world's democracies to do their part to help end the deadly pandemic, the White House said. Biden…

Pakistan urges IMF to reduce petroleum levy 

PAKISTAN has urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to keep the petroleum levy in the range of Rs450-500 billion ( £238-264 bn) against Rs600 bn (£317 bn) that has been set by the IMF. The IMF wants Pakistan to fetch Rs600bn ((£317 bn) under the petroleum levy head. Hence, it…

‘Donate jabs to poor countries or face more deaths and…

WORLD bodies have warned richer countries, including the UK, to donate jabs to poorer nations or face the grim prospect of millions more global deaths and future lockdowns.   In a joint plea, the heads of World Health Organization (WHO), the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group and the World…

India plans Covid-19 stimulus package to revive economic growth: report

INDIA is preparing an economic stimulus package for the sectors worst affected by Covid-19, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday (25), citing people familiar with the matter. The finance ministry is working on proposals to bolster the tourism, aviation and hospitality industries, along with small and medium-sized companies, reports said. The discussions…

IMF proposes $50b plan to vaccinate everyone by 2022

THE INTERNATIONAL monetary fund (IMF) has proposed a $50 billion plan to end the Covid-19 pandemic on Friday (21) with a target to vaccinate 40 per cent of the world's population by the end of 2021 and the rest 60 per cent by 2022. "Saving lives and livelihoods should need…

Alok Sharma urges to ditch coal to avert ‘catastrophe’

WORLD LEADERS must agree to make coal a thing of the past at November's summit or there will be a climate catastrophe due to global warming, Britain's climate tsar has said. Britain, which is hosting the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, known as COP26, has said leaders should go…

Which Eastern economies/currencies are expected to do well this year?

It’s fair to say that 2020 was a disaster both for families and the wider economy in Asia. However, the hope is that 2021 will be much better, and already we are seeing signs that conditions are improving for individuals and businesses alike. Big research companies such as PwC are…

India’s Tata Motors reports 67 per cent jump in profits

INDIA's Tata Motors has reported 67 per cent increase in profits during the last quarter of 2020, the company said Friday(29), benefiting from pent-up demand that saw consumers flock to buy cars. The Mumbai-headquartered firm, which owns British luxury brand Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), saw consolidated net profit climb to…

WGC says India’s gold demand may rebound this year

INDIA's gold consumption is expected to rebound in 2021 after falling to its lowest in 26 years last year as pent-up demand and higher economic growth are seen boosting sales, the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Thursday(28). Higher purchases by the world's second-biggest bullion consumer could support gold prices,…

India’s central bank governor tests positive for Covid-19

India's central bank Shaktikanta Das on Sunday (25) said he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, one of the most high-profile figures in the world's second most-infection nation to contract the infectious disease. "I have tested COVID-19 positive. Asymptomatic. Feeling very much alright," the 63-year-old tweeted. "Have alerted those…

No action against Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed; Pakistan likely to…

PAKISTAN is likely to remain in the 'grey list' of the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog as it failed to fulfil six key obligations provided by the organisation. The virtual plenary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)from October 21-23 will take the final call on Pakistan's fate…

Back to the paddy fields. COVID smashes Indian middle-class dreams

Until late March, Ashish Kumar was helping to make plastic boxes for Ferrero Rocher praline chocolates and the plastic spoons tucked inside Kinder Joy eggs to scoop out the milky sweet cream inside. With a diploma in plastic mould technology, the 20-year-old had a foot on his chosen career ladder.…

India to invest $1.46 trillion to lift virus-hit economy

INDIA’s prime minister said Saturday (15) his country has done well in containing the coronavirus pandemic and announced $1.46 trillion infrastructure projects to boost the sagging economy. The key lesson India learnt from the pandemic is to become self-reliant in manufacturing and developing itself as a key supply chain destination…

Sri Lanka slashes key interest rates to aid virus-hit economy

SRI LANKA's central bank on Thursday (9) cut interest rates for the fifth time this year in a new bid to breathe life into the coronavirus-stricken economy. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka monetary board reduced its lending rate by 100 basis points to 5.5 per cent. The deposit rate…

Bangladesh lifts virus lockdown, logs record deaths on same day

BANGLADESH lifted its coronavirus lockdown Sunday (31), with millions heading back to work in densely populated cities and towns even as the country logged a record spike in deaths and new infections. "The lockdown has been lifted and we are heading almost towards our regular life," health department spokeswoman Nasima…

Covid-19: No passenger vehicle sold in Pakistan in April

AS a result of  the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the auto industry in Pakistan has sold only 39 units in April. No passenger vehicle was sold during the period. According to the report by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturer's Association (PAMA), all 39 units sold were either trucks or buses and that…

India has forex reserves worth $479.57 billion

OWING to an increase in foreign currency assets, India's forex reserves has surged by $3.09 billion to $479.57 billion in the week ending April 17, Reserve Bank of India has said. The reserves had increased by $1.81 billion to $476.47 billion a week ago. The reserves had touched a life-time…

Brexit talks resume under coronavirus cloud

British and EU officials were scheduled to restart Brexit trade talks on Monday (20) after a break because of the coronavirus, which is making an end-of-year deal look even more unlikely. After a first round in early March negotiations were suspended for six weeks as officials focused on the deadly…

World economy would suffer ‘severe recession’, warns IMF

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Kristalina Georgieva has warned that the global economy is bound to suffer a "severe recession" in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic. The current crisis posed "daunting challenges" for policymakers in many emerging markets and developing economies, she said. Georgieva added that a large…

Indian finance minister says IMF funding may have costly side…

India's finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the country could not support a general allocation of new special drawing rights by the International Monetary Fund because it might not be effective in easing coronavirus-driven financial pressures. In a statement to the IMF's steering committee Sitharaman said that she also was…

UK should seek longer Brexit transition, says IMF chief

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Kristalina Georgieva said that Britain should ask for an extension to its post-Brexit transition period to ease uncertainty as the world economy is being hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic. "It is tough as it is. Let's not make it any tougher," she said on…

Virus mars Easter holidays as death toll nears 100,000

Hundreds of millions of people around the world will spend the Easter holiday at home as lockdown measures intensify to combat the coronavirus, a pandemic with a global death toll rapidly approaching 100,000. Governments have forced businesses to close and limited the movement of half the world's population, halting economic…

IMF says Pakistan requests emergency coronavirus financing

Pakistan has requested an emergency loan disbursement from the International Monetary Fund to help fight the coronavirus under the fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument program, IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva said. She did not identify the size of the loan, but under the program, Pakistan would be able to borrow up…

IMF declares global recession

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that the world has entered a recession due to COVID-19 pandemic. It projects a recovery next year. "We have reassessed the prospects for growth for 2020 and 2021. It is now clear that we have entered a recession as bad as or worse than…

India’s RBI cuts rates as COVID-19 spreads in South Asia

INDIA's central bank slashed interest rates in an emergency move on Friday (27) to counter the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic after the federal government locked down the country in order to slow the spread of infections across the region. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has asked India's 1.3…

Pakistan can’t afford to shutdown cities to prevent virus: Imran…

Pakistan cannot afford to implement the type of large-scale urban lockdowns the West is undertaking as it tries to slow the spread of coronavirus, prime minister Imran Khan said Tuesday (17). The United States and many other nations have either mandated or recommended the closure of restaurants and other businesses…

COVID-19 will cut global growth by 0.1% to 0.4%, says…

THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Friday (6) that the coronavirus outbreak is set to trim economic growth in developing Asia and around the world this year. The outbreak could slash global gross domestic product by 0.1 to 0.4%, with financial losses forecast to reach between $77 billion and…

World economy faces worst year since 2009

THE Bank of America economists warned clients that they now expect 2.8% global growth this year, the weakest since 2009. They said the US will expand the least in four years. “The risks are still skewed to the downside,” BofA economists led by Ethan Harris said in a report. “Our…

IMF, Pakistan reach deal on review of $6 bn bailout

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said it has reached an agreement with the Pakistani authorities "on policies and reforms" needed to complete the second review of the $6 billion loan approved for the cash-strapped country's fragile economy, a media report said on Friday (28). In July last year, the…

India’s Forex reserves hit record at $476 billion

India's foreign exchange reserves inched up by $29 million to a fresh lifetime high of $476.122 billion in the week to February 21. Increase in the value of gold holdings has fuelled the hike, India's central bank data showed on Friday (28). The forex kitty had zoomed by $3 billion…

Pakistan’s deficit under scanner as IMF review begins

PAKISTAN will come under pressure to convince the International Monetary Fund (IMF) it can bring down a ballooning fiscal deficit, as a review on the future course of its $6 billion financial aid program gets under way. An IMF team sent to review benchmarks set as part of the deal…

Pakistan gets $1.3bn loan from ADB

CASH-STRAPPED Pakistan received a $1.3-billion loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday (6) to support the country's public finances and shore up the slowing economy. Pakistan is facing a serious economic crisis with short supplies of foreign currency reserves and stagnating growth in recent years. Since assuming power…

Pakistan central bank keeps rates on hold  

PAKISTAN'S central bank kept its main interest rate at 13.25 per cent on Friday (22), having recently stopped hiking rates as data on the economy has begun to show that inflation is steadying. The bank said it expected inflation to ease in the second half of the fiscal year to…

Sri Lanka president to call snap parliamentary election in March

Sri Lanka's new president said Friday that he will call a snap parliamentary election in March following his sweeping victory at the weekend. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is hoping to ride a wave of popularity by calling an election six months before the current parliament's five-year term expires on March 1. "I…

Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa brothers back in business

Sri Lanka's divisive Rajapaksa clan consolidated their grip on power on Thursday as the newly elected President swore in his brother as prime minister amid concerns they could roll back vital economic reforms. Gotabaya and Mahinda Rajapaksa are credited with annihilating ethnic Tamil separatists to end Sri Lanka's civil war…

IMF to release first tranche of $6bn Pakistan loan package

PAKISTAN'S fiscal deficits are narrowing, the IMF said on Friday (8) as it announced it would release the first tranche of its $6 billion financial assistance programme to the country. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed the three-year rescue package for Pakistan in April - its 13th bailout programme for…

Sri Lanka economy slowly recovering from Easter attacks: IMF

Sri Lanka's economy was slowly recovering from the impact of the Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed hundreds and crippled the booming tourism sector, the International Monetary Fund said Saturday. Growth was likely to hit 3.5 percent next year from this year's forecast of 2.7 percent, the Washington-based lender said,…

Fitch cuts India’s GDP growth forecast to 5.5 per cent

FITCH RATINGS on Thursday (24) slashed India's GDP growth forecast in the current fiscal to 5.5 per cent saying a large credit squeeze emanating from shadow banks has pushed economic growth to a six-year low. Fitch, which had in June this year put India's GDP growth at 6.6 per cent…

Pakistani Islamist party vows to oust government with protests

The chief of one of Pakistan's largest religious parties announced on Tuesday a protest campaign aimed at ousting prime minister Imran Khan, raising the prospect of political turmoil as the government struggles to stabilise the economy. Fazl-ur-Rehman, leader of the conservative Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) party, said the government of cricketer-turned-politician…

India should make its aviation sector globally competitive: SpiceJet Boss

AS India has emerged as the one of the fastest growing civil aviation markets of the world, it is time that the government take steps to make the aviation sector globally competitive beginning with reduction on its tax structure, the head of a low-cost airline has said. Ajay Singh, chairman…

IMF supports India’s decision to reduce corporate income tax

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday (18) supported India's recent decision to reduce corporate income tax, saying it has a positive impact on investment. It, however, said India should address continued fiscal consolidation and secure long-term stability of the fiscal conditions. "We believe India still has limited fiscal space…

India cannot sacrifice economic strength to comply with US sanctions:…

INDIA wants to comply with global sanctions, including US sanctions on Venezuela and Russia, but also needs to maintain its own strength and strategic interests, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in an interview on Tuesday (15). The US in January imposed the toughest sanctions yet on Venezuela's oil industry. The…

TCS misses profit estimates

INDIA'S largest software exporter Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Thursday (10) reported weak quarterly earnings, missing profit estimates as demand for its key banking and financial sector services shrank. The Mumbai-headquartered firm posted a 1.8 per cent rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 80.41 billion for the quarter ended…

Effects of global slowdown more pronounced in India: Kristalina Georgieva

THE global economy is witnessing "synchronized slowdown", which will result in slower growth for 90 per cent of the world this year, and the effect is even "more pronounced" in some of the largest emerging market economies like India, new IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva has warned. The Managing Director of…

Raghuram Rajan’s business book shortlisted for major prize

  By Amit Roy A BOOK by Raghuram Rajan, a former governor of the Reserve Bank of India and tipped by some as a possible successor to Mark Carney at the Bank of England, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award…

Sri Lanka cuts rates as economy struggles after Easter attacks

SRI LANKA'S central bank cut its main lending rate Friday (23) for the second time in three months hoping to lift the economy as its struggles in the wake of the devastating Easter attacks that hit the key tourism sector. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) said the rate…

UK to loosen budget purse strings as Brexit nears

THE UK prime minister Boris Johnson's government has made billions of pounds of new spending commitments in its first three weeks in office, even before the potential costs of a disruptive, no-deal Brexit are taken into account. New finance minister Sajid Javid will give more details of the plans next…

India moves up in world’s most-innovative countries’ list

INDIA made the biggest strides among major economies to become a major innovative country in the globe, a global indicator showed Wednesday (24). The annual Global Innovation Index- compiled by World Intellectual Property Organisation, Cornell University and INSEAD ranks 129 world economies on 80 parameters including research, technology and creativity.…

Soaring prices, rising anger in Imran Khan’s Pakistan

Nearly one year after the election that brought Imran Khan to power in Pakistan, the cricket-hero-turned-prime-minister faces growing anger as he chases an elusive target: how to right the South Asian nation's teetering economy. Pakistan has been staring down the barrel of a balance of payments crisis since before last…

Incoming British prime minister faces daunting problems from outset

INCOMING British prime minister Boris Johnson takes power Wednesday (24) with an array of issues looming large from resolving Brexit amid growing uncertainty to managing an unfolding geopolitical crisis with Iran. Here are the top challenges confronting the new British leader as he enters Downing Street: Brexit Britain's stalled departure…

International Monetary Fund projects slower growth rate for India

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday (23) projected a slower growth rate for India in 2019 and 2020, a downward revision of 0.3 per cent for both the years, saying its GDP will now grow respectively at the rate of 7 and 7.2 per cent reflecting a weaker-than expected…

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan to meet Trump hoping to…

Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan travels to the United States today (21) hoping the arrest of a militant leader with a $10 million US bounty on his head and progress in Afghan peace talks will help secure a favourable reception. Khan is expected to try to mend fences and attract…

An Indian as next IMF chief? British parliamentary panel voices…

An influential British parliamentary panel has written to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to engage with New Delhi to try and seek out the next IMF chief from India. The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) referenced its recently-released report on reawakening India-UK ties as the base for…

Pakistan central bank raises key interest rate

PAKISTAN'S central bank raised its main policy rate by 100 basis points on Tuesday (16) to 13.25 per cent, citing increased inflationary pressures and a likely near-term rise in prices from higher utility costs. The increase follows this month's accord with the International Monetary Fund on a $6 billion loan…

Pakistan reopens airspace after India standoff

PAKISTAN re-opened its airspace to civil aviation on Tuesday (16) following months of restrictions imposed after clashes with India, which forced lengthy detours that cost airlines millions of dollars. "Pakistan airspace is open for all types of civil traffic on published ATS (Air Traffic Service) routes," according to a so-called…

Pakistani judge who jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif sacked…

A senior Pakistani judge was sacked on Friday (12) following a scandal over blackmail claims relating to the jailing of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on corruption charges, the law ministry said. The removal of accountability court judge Arshad Malik prompted immediate calls by Sharif's PML-N party for the release…

Pakistan’s army chief blames ‘fiscal mismanagement’ for economic woes

PAKISTAN'S army chief on Friday (28) blamed "fiscal mismanagement" for the country's economic woes, days after he was appointed to a newly formed committee responsible for steering the economy. Though the military has extensive business interests and dominates foreign and security policies, it is unusual for an army chief to…

Asian Development Bank distances itself from Pakistan’s ‘premature’ claim of…

IN a huge embarrassment for the Pakistan government, the ADB has distanced itself from the "premature announcement" of prime minister Imran Khan's adviser that the global lender would provide a loan of $3.4 billion to the cash-strapped nation, saying "discussions are ongoing". The rare rebuff by the Philippines-headquartered institution came…

Pakistan military agrees to budget cut

PAKISTAN'S powerful military has agreed in a rare move to cut its hefty budget for a year to help ease the South Asian country's "critical financial situation", prime minister Imran Khan said. Pakistan has struck an agreement in principle with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $6 billion loan…

Sri Lanka cuts rates to support economy after Easter bombings

SRI LANKA'S central bank cut its main lending rate today (31) in a bid to revive the island's economy, which was battered by the Easter suicide bombings that killed 258 people. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said the rate at which it lent to commercial banks was reduced by…

Pakistan agrees another International Monetary Fund bailout

PAKISTAN has reached an accord with the International Monetary Fund for a three-year, $6 billion (£4.61bn) bailout package aimed at shoring up fragile public finances and strengthening a slowing economy, officials said on Sunday (12). The deal, which still needs approval by the IMF board in Washington, would be the…

India’s incredulous data: Experts create own benchmarks

ECONOMISTS and investors are increasingly showing that they have little or no confidence in India's official economic data presenting whoever is elected as the next prime minister with an immediate problem. There have been questions for many years about whether Indian government statistics were telling the full story but two…

Pakistan’s quest for International Monetary Fund bailout costs top jobs

CASH-strapped Pakistan's efforts to secure a financial bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cost the country's finance minister, central bank governor, and top revenue officer their jobs as the global lender pressed Islamabad to take more steps to ensure fiscal discipline. The government on Saturday (4) night appointed…

Britain starts search for Bank of England governor

BRITAIN'S finance minister Philip Hammond began the search for a new governor of the Bank of England to help steer the world's fifth-biggest economy, and its global financial centre, through the upheaval of Brexit. Mark Carney, a Canadian, twice extended his term in charge of the British central bank as…

‘Erasing the poor’: Pakistanis feel crunch of rising prices

Pakistan's surging petrol prices have more than halved the income of taxi driver Yasir Sultan, just one of many consumers whose faith in a government elected last year on a pledge to help the poor has been shattered. Inflation at its highest in more than five years has shocked many…

‘India needs more key reforms to push economic growth’

INDIA has carried out several key reforms in the past five years, but more needs to be done, said IMF communications director Gerry Rice said at a news conference in Washington yesterday (21). The International Monetary Fund (IMF) added that India is one of the fastest growing larges economies in…

‘Capitalism under serious threat, many people will revolt’

FORMER governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Raghuram Rajan, on Tuesday (12) warned that capitalism is under "serious threat" of a "revolt", especially after the 2008 global financial meltdown. Rajan, now a professor at the University of Chicago, told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that governments across the world…

Saudi investments to aid cash-strapped Pakistan

A record investment package being prepared by Saudi Arabia for Pakistan will likely provide welcome relief for its cash-strapped Muslim ally, while also addressing regional geopolitical challenges, analysts say. At the heart of the investment is a reported $10 billion refinery and oil complex in the strategic Gwadar Port on…

Imran to meet IMF chief in Dubai for bailout package

International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde used a meeting on Sunday (10) with Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan to reiterate calls for reforms to its struggling economy, but there was no sign of agreement on a bailout package. Pakistan is seeking what would be its 13th IMF bailout since the…

“No Brexit deal will hurt global economy”

by LAUREN CODLING BRITAIN needs to come to a decision over Brexit as it poses a threat to the UK and global economies, a leading economic expert has said, as the UK government remains in political deadlock since MPs rejected prime minster Theresa May’s withdrawal deal last Tuesday (15). Gita…

Davos elites face ‘warning of populist rage’

Global elites descending on Davos for the World Economic Forum faced urgent warnings from Oxfam and the IMF on Monday (21) that the international economy is at risk, as swelling inequality stokes public anger. Even before the official kick-off of the annual week of networking and socialising by the world's…

‘Imperative’ To Resolve Brexit Uncertainty Immediately: IMF

The International Monetary Fund said on Monday (21) it was ‘imperative’ to resolve the uncertainty surrounding how Britain will leave the European Union, which it said was posing a threat to the British and global economy. "We have already seen the negative effect of this uncertainty on British investment," IMF…

Saudi Arabia to set up $10 billion oil refinery in…

Saudi Arabia plans to set up a $10 billion oil refinery in Pakistan's deepwater port of Gwadar, the Saudi energy minister said on Saturday (12), speaking at the Indian Ocean port that is being developed with the help of China. Pakistan wants to attract investment and other financial support to…

RBI To Provide $400 Million To Sri Lanka Central Bank…

India’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has agreed to provide $400 million to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) under its SAARC SWAP facility. CBSL has also requested a further bilateral SWAP arrangement of one billion dollars between the RBI and CBSL which is under consideration. “The…

Pakistan, IMF Extend Bailout Talks After Failing To Reach Deal

Pakistan has extended talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) after the two sides failed to agree on the terms of a bailout package, a finance ministry official said on Tuesday (20), with a final deal now expected by mid-January. Pakistan is negotiating its second IMF bailout since 2013 and…

More Talks Needed To Provide Economic Aid To Pakistan: China

China will provide Pakistan with economic aid but more talks are needed on the details, a senior Chinese diplomat said, after new Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday (3). Pakistan's foreign reserves have plunged 42 per cent since the start of the year and…

Imran Khan says Pakistan to seek IMF bailout despite $6…

Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan still plans to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) despite a Saudi Arabian offer of a $6 billion rescue package, and is in talks with two other "friendly nations" for more loans. Khan secured the Saudi package at a high-profile investment…

Pakistan to seek IMF bailout despite $6 billion Saudi rescue

Pakistan still plans to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) despite a Saudi Arabian offer of a $6 billion rescue package, Pakistan's finance ministry said on Wednesday (24). "Yes, we are going ahead into programme negotiations with (IMF) in the first week of November," Noor Ahmed, spokesman…

Pakistan “desperate” for loans, says prime minister Imran Khan

Pakistan is seeking loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and friendly countries to reservice debt and shores up its economy, prime minister Imran Khan said on Tuesday (23). "What we are hoping is that we do a bit of both, get a loan from IMF and other loans from friendly…

Imran Khan to attend controversial Saudi conference

Pakistan’s foreign ministry announced Friday that prime minister Imran Khan will attend a Saudi Arabian investment conference, despite a string of cancellations from leading policy-makers and corporate chiefs over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The decision comes a day after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and senior ministers from…

‘Path of thorns’: An IMF bailout set to impede Pakistan…

From cutting power subsidies to forcing currency devaluations that stoke inflation, the hard choices facing Pakistan as it seeks a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pose a major headache for populist new prime minister Imran Khan. Pakistani officials met IMF representatives this week in Bali and formally requested…

Nigeria, Singapore and India Fuel Wealth Gap: Oxfam

Nigeria, Singapore and India are among countries fuelling the gap between the super rich and poor, aid agency Oxfam said on Tuesday (9) as it launched an index spotlighting those nations doing least to bridge the divide. South Korea, Georgia and Indonesia were among countries praised for trying to reduce…

Pakistan Not Yet Approached for Financial Assistance: IMF

Pakistan has not yet formally approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance, but if bailout talks get underway this week, the goal will be to help Pakistan reach its full potential, the IMF's chief economist said on Tuesday (9). Addressing a news conference at the IMF and World…

IMF Calls for More Action in Pakistan Without Mentioning New…

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on Pakistan’s new government to act fast to stabilise its teetering economy, warning growth will likely slow and inflation rise, but made no mention of a new bailout deal. Former cricketer Imran Khan’s new administration had vowed to decide by the end of…

Fearing debt trap, Pakistan rethinks Chinese “Silk Road” projects

After lengthy delays, an $8.2 billion revamp of a colonial-era rail line snaking from the Arabian Sea to the foothills of the Hindu Kush has become a test of Pakistan's ability to rethink signature Chinese "Silk Road" projects due to debt concerns. The rail megaproject linking the coastal metropolis of…

Indian Born Gita Gopinath Appointed as IMF Chief Economist

International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde appointed Gita Gopinath on Monday (1) as Economic Counsellor and Director of the IMF’s Research Department. Gopinath will succeed Maurice (Maury) Obstfeld, who announced in July that he would retire at the end of 2018. Gopinath currently serves as the John Zwaanstra…

Imran Khan in Saudi Arabia on maiden foreign visit

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan arrived in Saudi Arabia Tuesday (18) on his first foreign visit since coming to power, with speculation swirling that he may be seeking economic assistance from the oil-rich ally. The two-day trip began exactly one month after Khan assumed office, with Pakistan possibly seeking billions of dollars in assistance from…

British Economy Will Shrink Without Brexit Deal: IMF

If Britain moves out of European Union (EU) without a Brexit deal then its economy will witness a decline in 2019 and any agreement will leave Britain financially worse than remaining in the EU, International Monetary Fund (IMF), said on Monday (17). The IMF said it expected Britain's economy would…

India’s Forex Reserves Move Below $400 Billion Mark for First…

India’s foreign exchange reserve fell by $819.5 million to $399.282 billion for the week to September 7 falling below the $ 400bn mark for the first time in over 12 months, according to the data released by India’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday (14). This is…

Pakistan removes Ahmadi economist from key role following Islamist backlash

Pakistan's new government cancelled the appointment of a renowned Princeton economist to its Economic Advisory Council, an official said on Friday (7), after a strong backlash against the choice of a member of the Ahmadi religious minority. The failure of prime minister Imran Khan's government to resist pressure to drop…

Cricket hero Imran Khan sworn in as Pakistan prime minister

Pakistan's new prime minister Imran Khan was sworn in at a ceremony in Islamabad on Saturday, ushering in a new political era as the World Cup cricket hero officially took the reins of power in the nuclear-armed country. The ceremony at the President's House in the capital marks the end…

IMF asks India to curb inflation; calls GST implementation as…

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said a steep rise in the domestic demand, rise in government sponsored procurement prices of farm produces and jumping crude oil prices have resulted in the current inflationary trends in the country. India’s average inflation is likely to increase to 5.2 per cent in the…

Imran and the IMF: Pakistan’s bailout dilemma

Once Pakistan's election winner Imran Khan forms a government, there will be little time to bask in his triumph: the country's next prime minister will inherit a critical economic situation, and analysts say he must act fast. The new leadership may be forced to seek a bailout from the International Monetary…

Pakistan parties demand new elections as Khan wins vote

Pakistan's main parties rejected the outcome of elections won by cricket star Imran Khan and announced protests demanding new polls Friday, after foreign observers criticised the pivotal vote over rigging allegations. The announcement by the All Parties Conference (APC), including the outgoing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), is a fresh obstacle to…

India tops list of fastest growing economies in the world 

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, thanks to the country's decision to diversify its economies into complex sectors such as chemicals, vehicles and electronics, according to a Harvard University report. In the coming decade, India is expected to grow at 7.9 per cent annually and…

Modi gives passionate defence of globalisation at World Economic Forum

By Sarwar Alam Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi mounted a defense of globalization at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday (23), urging joint action on climate change and economic cooperation, in a speech some delegates took as a swipe at US president Donald Trump's America First agenda. Modi, making the…

As India’s Forex Reserves Rise, America Keeps Watch

As the world’s 7th largest economy in terms of GDP, only a little way behind France and well ahead of Italy, India’s is also reckoned to be one the fastest growing nations, surpassing even China. This rapid expansion has manifested itself in a number of ways and has even led to…

India expands bad debt task force

India's central bank on Thursday (22) drafted more top bankers onto a special panel that will decide which companies owing more than $125 billion of crippling bad debt have to be rejigged or liquidated. The Reserve Bank of India has already said that 12 companies with debts of two trillion rupees ($31…

India to grow at 7.7 per cent in 2018-19, says…

India’s growth is expected to rebound to 7.2 per cent in the 2017–18 fiscal and 7.7 per cent in 2018-19 after “disruptions” caused by demonetisation, the IMF said today, while recommending removal of long-standing “structural bottlenecks” to enhance market efficiency. The temporary disruptions (primarily to private consumption) caused by cash…

Jaitley flags H-1B concerns with US treasury secretary

India finance minister Arun Jaitley has raised the issue of tightening of the H-1B visa regime with his US counterpart Steven Mnuchin during their first meeting and highlighted the contribution of Indian companies and professionals to the American economy. This was the second time Jaitley raised the H-1B visa issue…

Arun Jaitely: India-US ties is more stronger and has matured

The US-India ties have significantly improved over the last few decades, becoming more “stronger” and “matured” that defied changes in the governments in both the countries, finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday. Jaitley, speaking at a reception hosted by India’s ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna, said the Indian…

H-1B visas: Jaitley stresses Indians’ role in US

INDIA'S finance minister Arun Jaitley has raised the issue of H-1B visas with US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross as he highlighted the role of highly skilled Indian professionals in America, Indian officials said. Earlier this week, US president Donald Trump said he was looking to stamp out "abuses" of the…

Pakistan launches $500 million in Islamic bonds

Pakistan is set to launch $500 million (£384m) in Islamic bonds to raise money for its foreign exchange reserves, a senior official said on Wednesday (September 28), as a three-year IMF bailout package nears a close. The government has started looking at key markets for the ‘Sukuk’ bonds – a…

Sri Lanka lifts ban on foreigners buying property

Sri Lanka announced on Thursday (November 10) it would lift a ban on foreigners owning property as the cash-strapped country sought to attract foreign capital to rebuild its war-ravaged economy. Finance minister Ravi Karunanayake told parliament of the potential to attract much-needed foreign investment in the construction sector, which is…

Sri Lanka to sell loss-making port to China

Sri Lanka hopes to sell part of its loss-making $1.4 billion (£1.2bn) harbour to a Chinese company in January to help pay off crippling debts, the ports minister said on Wednesday (December 14). Arjuna Ranatunga said talks were under way with China Merchants Port Holdings to transfer an 80 per…

India plays down hit to growth from Modi’s cash crunch

India’s growth rate will slow by up to half a percentage point due to the government’s decision to scrap high-value banknotes, the top finance ministry economist said on Tuesday, challenging independent estimates of a far bigger impact. Chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian rejected the view of the International Monetary Fund,…

Sri Lanka to sell loss-making port to China

Sri Lanka hopes to sell part of its loss-making $1.4 billion (£1.2bn) harbour to a Chinese company in January to help pay off crippling debts, the ports minister said on Wednesday (December 14). Arjuna Ranatunga said talks were under way with China Merchants Port Holdings to transfer an 80 per…