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British Minister for Asia-Pacific Alok Sharma concludes 2-day visit to Pakistan

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EDITED BY M. M. ALAM

 

KARACHI: Alok Sharma, British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Asia and the Pacific  has concluded his two-day visit to Pakistan.

During his stay in this Metropolis and the Capital,  Minister met a number of high-ranking government officials and leading entrepreneurs in order to figure out ways to augment the volume of bi-lateral trade.

Alok Sharma also visited a number of British businesses, including GlaxoSmithKline, Standard Chartered Bank, retailer Team A Ventures, TCS Courier Service and members of the Pakistan Business Council to discuss how the UK Government can help improve trade possibilities between the two countries. He also met the Governor State Bank of Pakistan. 

KARACHI: Alok Sharma snapped meeting the Chief Minister of Sindh Murad Ali Shah.KARACHI: British Minister visited Pakistan Stock Exchange where he rang the bell to close the day’s trading.

 

In Islamabad, British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State held talks with Adviser Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan and  Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal. 

He also held talks with the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on China Pakistan Economic Corridor Mushahid Hussain Syed and  with Barrister Zafarullah Khan and the Human Rights Minister Kamran Michael on human rights. 

It is pertinent to mention here that British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Sharma’s two-day Karachi/Islamabad sojourn builds on the Foreign Secretary’s visit to Pakistan last November where he urged greater trade cooperation: “As we approach the 70th Anniversary of Pakistan’s independence, I am delighted to have experienced first-hand the old friendship the UK shares with Pakistan. With our historic ties and strong economies the potential for our two countries to do business together is immense. I held productive talks with senior members of the Government and business leaders and discussed how we can collectively do more to unlock these exciting opportunities and increase bilateral trade and investment.”

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PSX: Bears seen growling in the bourse!

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KARACHI: Benchmark KSE-100 Index closed in the red (42,074) shedding 462 points. Rs. 3.7b worth of 109.7m shares changed hands today. Value of the shares of 202 companies plummeted, 81 augmented while 20 remained stagnant.

Investment Banks, Technology Electronic Goods Sectors led the trade today with 13m and 12.2m shares respectively.

Today’s top five traders of shares were: Pakistan Elektron Ltd., 11.5m shares (-4.69pc); First Dawood Investment Bank Ltd.,  10.6m shares (+6.30pc); TRG Pakistan Ltd., 7.7m shares (-4.77pc); Bank Of Punjab: 6.9m shares (-0.42pc); K-Electric Ltd., 6.6m shares (-2.64pc).

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European equities rise at open

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Tokyo stocks rise

LONDON:  European equities rise at open, European stocks advanced at the open today, rebounding from the previous day’s losses that were sparked by US President Donald Trump’s decision to axe a summit with North Korea.

In initial London deals, the British capital’s benchmark FTSE 100 index of major blue-chip companies rose nearly 0.4 percent at 7,744.40 points. In the eurozone, the Paris CAC 40 added 0.4 percent to 5,570.73 points, compared with the closing level on Thursday.

Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index gained almost 0.5 percent to 12,917.15 points. However, Asian markets mostly fell one day after Trump shocked the world by pulling out of next month’s historic summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un. Nevertheless, the losses were tempered by hopes the talks can be rekindled, according to analysts.

Relevant piece: Tokyo stocks see limited gains, Stocks here closed slightly higher on bargain-buying today but gains were capped by concern about Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of next month’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The Nikkei 225 inched up 0.06 percent, or 13.78 points, to 22,450.79 but was down 2.09 percent over the week. The broader Topix index slipped 0.22 percent or 3.95 points to 1,771.70, logging a weekly drop of 2.40 percent.

“Geopolitics is well and truly back” with Trump’s announcement, said David de Garis, director of economics and markets at National Australia Bank. Trump left the door open for a summit at a later date but has set “the bar higher” by demanding North Korea take constructive steps to denuclearization, he said.

The sentiment was also soured by worries that that Trump could impose tariffs of 25 percent on car imports after his commerce secretary called for a probe into the auto industry on national security grounds.

However, Yoshihiro Ito, chief strategist at Okasan Online Securities said in a commentary: “After selling ran its course, buying on dips underpinned the market.” The dollar was trading at 109.42 yen, compared with 109.30 yen in New York Thursday.

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PSX: Political noise lets bear attack the bourse!

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second trading day, PSX, Pakistan Stock Exchange

KARACHI: Benchmark KSE-100 Index closed in the red (42,536) losing 236 points due to political noise in the country.

Rs. 4.7b worth of 127m shares changed hands on the week’s 4th trading day. Value of the shares of 184 companies plummeted, 112 augmented while 29 remained stagnant.

With 29.83m shares changing hands Commercial Banking Sector led the trade today. Top five traders of shares were: Faysal Bank Ltd., 11.9m shares (+2.96pc); First Dawood Investment Bank Ltd., 10.98m shares (+14.42pc);

Bank Of Punjab, 10.86m shares (+0.25pc); Unity Foods Ltd.,  7.84m shares (+4.94pc); Pakistan Elektron Ltd., 6.47m shares (-3.07pc).

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