NEW YORK: World stock markets were mixed on Friday at the start of a tense Group of Seven summit amid disagreement between the US and allies on trade, Iran, and other issues.
The two-day G7 meeting that opened in Canada has earned the unofficial “G6 plus one” moniker following a series of aggressive trade actions by US President Donald Trump that have angered allies.
“Investors are either worried that nothing will get resolved, or Trump will become more entrenched in his aggressive approach to trade,” said Connor Campbell, a financial analyst at Spreadex traders, adding that the meeting would probably be “feisty.”
Traditional allies such as the European Union and Canada are also frustrated at Trump’s withdrawal from hard-fought international agreements on climate change and on containing Iran’s nuclear program.
Trump threw an additional curveball at the group early Friday when he called for Russia to be readmitted into the group.
European stocks closed mostly lower following a slump in Asia – and after a week of largely strong gains in the wake of robust US jobs data and easing political headwinds in Italy and Spain.
Frankfurt’s DAX 30 was also pressured by data showing industrial production in Germany unexpectedly fell in April, adding to fears of a slowdown in Europe’s powerhouse economy.
Wall Street stocks moved cautiously on Friday in the shadow of a tense Group of Seven meeting in Canada amid trade conflicts, finishing a choppy session slightly higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3 percent to 25,316.53.
The broad-based S&P 500 also advanced 0.3 percent to 2,779.03, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index edged up 0.1 percent to 7,645.51. A two-day G7 meeting opened in Canada that has earned the unofficial “G6 plus one” moniker following a series of aggressive trade actions by President Donald Trump that have angered allies. Trump threw an additional curveball at the group early Friday when he called for Russia to be readmitted into the group.
“The G7 is usually neutral to the markets, but now there are concerns that perhaps the trade talks will deteriorate,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. “It adds some caution to the market.” In recent weeks worries about a trade war have been offset by a string of largely positive US economic data.
Krosby attributed Friday’s mixed trading also to next week’s calendar, which includes meetings of the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank.
Chinese industrialists to invest $400 m in Sindh
HYDERABAD: The industrialists belonging to China’s Chongqing Federation of Industry and Commerce will invest $400 million in several trade and industrial projects in Hyderabad and other parts of Sindh.
The federation’s representative Zhang Yang informed a press conference at the office of Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HCCI) here Sunday that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has already been signed in this regard. Yang informed that the MoU, which would last for 5 years, was signed between the Federation and HCCI in China in May this year.
He said under the MoU the investments would be made in steel, textile, and clothing, real estate, agriculture, tourism, education and training, municipal and solid waste disposal sectors. “We have declared Chongqing and Hyderabad as the friendly cities,” he told, adding that up to 34 industries and investors from Chongqing would make their investments in the joint ventures in Hyderabad and other cities of Sindh.
He told that the industrialists from the 2 cities had already maintained a promising cooperation in the industry. “We now want to further bolster the business ties in the steel, textile, real estate, and other sectors,” Yang said. He said Chongqing was a beautiful city in China and that it was home to the automobile and motorbike industry.
The Chinese businessmen said Hyderabad was a favorite place for investment where the Chinese industrialists intended to introduce advanced technology. He informed that Hyderabad was selected for the investment after HCCI submitted investment proposals to the federation. “This MoU is part of the CPEC as 34 Chinese companies will be making investments in various sectors,” former HCCI president Seth Goharullah said.
The HCCI’s vice president Ziauddin, who signed the MoU with his Chinese counterparts earlier in China, apprised that a formal agreement between the mayors of Chongqing and Hyderabad would be signed in October in Pakistan. He told that the Chinese delegations would visit Hyderabad and sign agreements with the local companies. According to him, a sub-office of the federation was also established in Hyderabad’s SITE area and it would also be inaugurated in October. The office bearers and members of HCCI were present on the occasion.
Online food orders trend gets new heights
ISLAMABAD: Restaurants’ online food delivery orders through mobile phones and Internet has become very popular all over the country including in the federal capital as leaving the house to buy food from shops becomes even harder for lazy youngsters.
A report aired by a private news TV channel said the trend of online food delivery orders has changed the mindset of customers especially teenagers. Different food chains are trying to push their services through social media sites by offering special meals at affordable prices.
According to citizens, Online food services have mealtime deals in the offering especially to gratifying students and the working class. This discounted midday, lunchtime, brunch-time, afternoon deals grab their attention and satisfy their appetite at the workplace or in universities.
Abeer Fatima said a number of food ordering apps are guiding the foodies to the best restaurants of the city with their database. Like Google, these apps find restaurants around you with the price range you indicate giving you a fair idea for making a choice.
Zeba Noman said people are always tempted by discount offers and look for maximum savings and online food services are always curating discounted food deals from top restaurants in the town.
It makes quality food from famous restaurants affordable and budget-friendly for all and sundry, she added.
An owner of fast food restaurant Nadeem Baber said, “The food order with discounted rates are more convenient, reliable, hassle-free and cheaper comparatively as it gives them a wide range of expediency and options to choose from.
“We offer the best deals on our Facebook page and other social media sites. “My kids and I love online food service as food on click providing best opportunity to get food on our doorsteps,” said a working mother Misha Ali commented.
The country’s food delivery industry will more than double by that time, said Saeed Sikandar Mirza, the chief executive officer claimed.
All the cities showed the similar increasing trend, but the statistical results showed that Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad are on the top of the list. In the year 2017-18, he added.
Another online seller said citizen are now using services to order food even in birthday parties they ordered theme based cakes and cupcakes on discount offers.
In short, the Internet has penetrated into our lives and everything is at our fingertips now. As a result, we as consumers are benefiting and the e-commerce business is thriving, he highlighted.
CEO Royal Group welcomes new Saudi Consul General!
KARACHI: Nazir Ahmed, CEO, Royal Group of Companies (that enjoys the reputation of being one of the leading tour operators in Pakistan) has welcomed the new Consul General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia H. E. Ubaid Ullah Miwr Al Harbi.
Appreciating the cooperation extended by the Consulate General here vis-à-vis Hajj/Umra/Employment visas and other issues, Nazir Ahmed said that the personnel of the Saudi diplomatic post has always facilitated Pakistani citizens.
Harboring on the subject, Nazir Ahmed quoted the efficient way crises apropos backlog of Umra visa stickers were handled by the Consulate last year.
While again welcoming the Consul General H. E. Ubaid Ullah Minwr Al Harbi to Karachi, Nazir Ahmed hoped that the cherished partnership will grow further.
Responding to a query apropos the instigation of Royal Group of Companies, CEO Nazir Ahmed told that he, along with his brother Usman Ahmed had commenced a joint venture as ticketing agents and travel/tour/Umra operators over three decades ago. Later, they obtained the Overseas Employment Promoters License and also undertook Hajj operations.
Some 18 years ago Nazir Ahmed started his own business under the banner of Royal Air Travels and Tours. He further told that today his overseas employment business Airview Associates was amongst one of the top manpower exporters in Pakistan, particularly for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
When private Hajj operation started in 2005, Nazir Ahmed got his company registered with Ministry of Religious Affairs. And the business grew to the extent that now they are considered as country’s one of the leading Hajj Operators offering economy as well as 5-star VVIP packages.
Nazir Ahmed lauded the efficiency and teamwork of staff that contributed towards enterprise’s success. His four sons [Shehzad Nazir (MD), Ejaz Nazir (Director Admin and HR), Sajjad Nazir (Director Sales & Marketing), Imtiaz Nazir (CFO)] are also involved in the business. Sajjad, who is permanently based in Saudi Arabia, looks after the Hajj/Umra-related arrangements.
Head office of Royal Group of Companies is located in Karachi at Khayaban-e-Ittehad (Jami Commercial). Being a GSA of PIA, Shaheen Air, SereneAir and Air Blue, their main office also offers round the clock ticketing service. Then they have other offices too in various locales of the country.
Nazir Ahmed, while suggesting abolishment of government Hajj Schemes, noted that often a large number if Hajjis availing that service, got into trouble. Further elaborating he said that private tour operator makes sure that at least four of his staff members accompany each batch of 100 Hajjis.
This way all the problems are handled efficiently. Hence the Saudi Government, as well as its Ministry of Religious Affairs, is content with the private arrangement that distinguishes itself as one of the top three best such services in the world.
On the contrary, Nazir Ahmed told, Government lacked personnel making it impossible to assign adequate escorts with each batch of hundred Hajjis. Moreover, the exchequer is overburdened due to staff’s travel, board, and lodging. Asserting that performing Hajj is a hard task, Nazir Ahmed noted that in search of cost-cutting, Hajj pilgrims end-up suffering from hardships including going astray while voyaging between sacred places instead of concentrating on worship itself.
Nazir Ahmed also grasped at the opportunity to express his admiration for the exceptional professionalism of late consul general of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Muhammad Abdullah Abdul Daim.