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Trade and tepid inflation help world stocks rise

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Historical Korea Summit turns Asian/European bourses bullish

LONDON: Moves by the United States and China towards dialogue rather than slapping new trade tariffs on each other helped stocks advance Thursday along with a tepid US inflation reading.
“In the end, it wasn’t the fairly uninteresting updates from the Bank of England or the ECB, nor a much-needed, and huge, rise in interest rates from the Central Bank of Turkey, that got the markets moving this Thursday, but rather a disappointing inflation reading from the US,” said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.
US consumer price inflation slid to 2.7 percent on an annual basis in August, from 2.9 percent in July, removing one source of pressure that could push the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates faster than the gradual pace it has indicated.
As low-interest rates are good for businesses, US stocks pushed higher, while the dollar fell. The Dow was up 0.3 percent in late morning trading.
Markets in Asia started off a rally after the US reached out to China for fresh talks in a bid to avert a trade war, providing some much-needed respite to weary investors.
News that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had invited top Chinese officials for talks came just under a week after Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on all $500 billion worth of imports from China.
China’s commerce ministry on Thursday welcomed the offer and said the two sides were discussing details.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 2.5 percent, having fallen for six straight days and into a bear market, which is a 20 percent drop from its January record high.
Most other markets in the region followed it higher.
In Europe, London ended the day down 0.4 percent, penalized by a stronger pound which hurts companies which do most of their business globally and convert profits back into sterling.
The European Central Bank indicated it planned to continue reducing its asset purchases, which helped the euro rise against the dollar.
Frankfurt’s DAX 30 managed to remain in the green, but the CAC 40 in Paris slid into the red just before the closing bell.
The biggest surprise on Thursday came from Turkey’s central bank, which announced a massive rate hike to battle soaring inflation and boosts the lira, prompting the embattled currency to surge in value.
The central bank hiked the one-week repo auction rate 625 basis points from 17.75 percent to 24 percent, significantly higher than the Bloomberg consensus of 21 percent.
The lira reacted strongly to the decision, rising by five percent in value to 6.0 lira to the US dollar. It later shed some of those gains but was still up over 3.3 percent in value at 6.14 to the dollar.
Turkey has in recent weeks been battling through one of the most troubled periods for its economy under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with the lira battered on currency markets in August.
It made the announcement only hours after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the bank to lower interest rates.
Crude oil prices tumbled as Hurricane Florence weakened on its approach towards the US east coast, reducing the risk of damage and disruption to oil installations.
Traders also focused on the International Energy Agency announcing that global oil output hit a record of 100 million barrels per day in August, providing some relief from concerns about supplies as exports from Iran and Venezuela decline.
New York – Dow Jones: UP 0.3 percent at 26,074.81 points
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.4 percent at 7,281.57 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.2 percent at 12,055.55 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: DOWN 0.08 percent at 5,328.12 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 3,334.94
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.0 percent at 22,821.32 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 2.5 percent at 27,014.49 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: UP 1.2 percent at 2,686.58 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1675 from $1.1626 at 2100 GMT
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3101 from $1.3045
Dollar/yen: UP at 111.89 yen from 111.26 yen
Oil – Brent Crude: DOWN $1.30 at $78.44 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN $1.60 at $68.77 per barrel

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Chinese industrialists to invest $400 m in Sindh

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China to set up universities in Pakistan

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.

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Online food orders trend gets new heights

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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.

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CEO Royal Group welcomes new Saudi Consul General!

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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.

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