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Cement exports decreased by 25.68% to 3.01MT during H1

LAHORE: The cement exports from the country decreased by 25.68 per cent to 3.01 million tons during the first half of current fiscal year as compared to 4.06 million tons during July to Dec in 2014-15. The North-based mills registered decline of 25.09 percent as exports were restricted to 1.9 million tons in first six months of current fiscal compared ... Read More »

Pakistan wants to restart train service with Turkey to promote trade

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways is struggling to restart container train service between Pakistan and Turkey via Iran through tripartite arrangements under the auspices of Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO). The sources at Pakistan Railways on Sunday said that the container train operations between Pakistan and Turkey through Iran was inaugurated during 2009 and first container train left Islamabad on August 14, 2009. ... Read More »

Foreign buyers be attracted to promote local gemstone industry: Experts

ISLAMABAD: The experts have said that to promote gemstone industry in the country, the potential international buyers should be attracted as Pakistan is not only blessed with the large reserves of mineral ores but also known for the world’s most-glittering gemstones. The wide-range of gemstones including sapphires from Kashmir, emeralds from Swat, rubies from the northern areas and pink topazes ... Read More »

Saudi Customs foils attempt to smuggle 14 bottles of liquor

RIYADH: Customs officials at the King Fahd Causeway have foiled a man’s attempt to smuggle 14 bottles of liquor into the kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency said on Sunday. The report said the contraband items were attached with adhesive tapes to the suspect’s upper and lower legs and hidden by the man’s thobe. Despite the unusual way of smuggling, customs ... Read More »

SMEs be encouraged to increase exports, decrease unemployment, terrorism

LAHORE: The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should be encouraged to increase exports, revenue and to end unemployment from the country, which will help combat extremism and terrorism. This was stated by United International Group (UIG) Chairman Mian Shahid. He said that over 96 percent businesses fall under the category of SMEs therefore this sector deserves an independent ministry otherwise ... Read More »

Traders’ leader for lowering taxes on telecom sector

LAHORE: Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Patron Shahid Rasheed Butt has said that the higher telecom taxes are discouraging consumers and companies. According to a study, a price increase of 1 percent leads to a decrease in consumption by consumers of ICT goods and services of anywhere from 0.2 percent to 3.8 percent, he said, adding that according to the ... Read More »

S. Korea’s terms of trade improve from 2015 in Dec

SEOUL: South Korea’s terms of trade improved from a year earlier in December as import prices fell at a faster clip than export prices, central bank data showed Monday. The terms of trade index came to 100.83 last month, unchanged from the previous month, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK). The December figure, however, marks ... Read More »

India gold bar imports more than double in Dec 2015

MUMBAI: The Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has released the details of imports of raw materials for gems and jewellery for the month of December last year. According to data, the gold bar imports by the country during the month recorded substantial rise of over 118% when matched with the previous year. The monthly import statistics released by ... Read More »

Canada’s central bank keeps key interest rate steady

TORONTO: The Bank of Canada on Wednesday decided to hold its benchmark interest rate at current levels of 0.5 percent, ruling that the risks to the profile for inflation are roughly balanced and the current stance of monetary policy is appropriate. The central bank cut its rate twice last year in an attempt to stimulate the economy, and economists were ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia to seek foreign non-oil investors

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia aims to at least double annual inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) over the next 10 years by focusing on new sectors such as mining, health care and information technology, the head of its investment agency said on Sunday. The plan outlined by Abdullatif al-Othman, governor of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), is part of ... Read More »

Lower property expenses boost FCT’s Q1 returns

SINGAPORE: Lower property expenses boosted returns at Frasers Centrepoint Trust (FCT) and delivered a better distribution per unit (DPU) for its first quarter. DPU for the three months to Dec 31 rose 4.4 per cent to 2.87 cents, up from 2.75 cents a year earlier. Net property income for the first quarter climbed 2 per cent to $33.5 million, thanks ... Read More »

SL Customs to destroy elephant tusks on ‘International Customs Day’

COLOMBO: Destroying the largest consignment of blood ivory confiscated by the Customs would send the right message to illegal fauna and flora racketeers loud and clear: “Sri Lanka does not tolerate smuggling rackets”. Wildlife activists and protection authorities alike hope that this would deter any future smugglers from using the country as a transit point. On International Customs Day (January ... Read More »

Hong Kong-China markets close higher, with oil stocks taking the lead

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong and mainland China stock markets rose in early trade on Monday amid expectations Beijing may introduce fresh stimulative polices before the Lunar New Year, hopes for more monetary easing in Europe and a bounce back in oil price that pushed global markets up. The Hang Seng Index was up 1.83 per cent or 349.51 points ... Read More »

Indonesia imports electricity from Malaysia

JAKARTA: Indonesia, through its state power utility company PLN, has started importing electricity from Malaysia through Sesco, the Malaysian electricity firm, according to PLN spokesman Agung Murdifi. Indonesia began importing power from Malaysia after the interconnection power grid between the two countries was built on January 20, 2016. Agung remarked here the other that the power supply from Malaysia was ... Read More »

Adidas to cut short IAAF sponsor deal

LONDON: German sportswear company Adidas AG is to end its 11-year sponsorship deal with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) almost four years early, the BBC reported on Sunday. The BBC said Adidas, the biggest sponsor of the sport’s governing body, decided against continuing with the contract as a direct result of the doping and corruption scandal that emerged ... Read More »

Japan oil imports fall to lowest since 1988 as demand drops

TOKYO: Japan’s crude oil imports last year fell to the lowest level since 1988 as demand weakens amid a declining population and more efficient vehicles. The world’s third-biggest economy imported 195.5 million kiloliters of oil, or about 3.37 million barrels a day in 2015, a 2.3 percent drop from the previous year, according to preliminary data from the Ministry of ... Read More »

Malaysia keeps February crude palm oil export tax unchanged at zero

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia, the world’s second-largest palm producer after Indonesia, will maintain its crude palm oil export tax at zero for the 10th consecutive month in February, a government circular showed. The Southeast Asian nation calculated a reference price of RM2,153.74 per tonne for February. A price above RM2,250 per tonne incurs a tax, which starts from 4.5% and can ... Read More »

VIVA net profit rises by 6% to KD 43m for 2015

KUWAIT: VIVA, Kuwait’s fastest-growing and most developed telecom operator, announced its financial results at the end of the 2015, with net profits of KD 43 million, a 6 percent increase compared to 2014. Dr Mahmoud Ahmad Abdul Rahman, VIVA’s Chairman, commenting on the financial results: “VIVA reached in 2015 the best financial and operational results and achieved a level of ... Read More »

Doha Bank profits up at QR1.37bn

DOHA: Doha Bank recorded an impressive QR1.37bn net profit for the year 2015, reflecting a growth of more than 1.1 percent as compared to QR1.35bn for the year 2014. Announcing the financial results, Doha Bank Chairman Sheikh Fahad bin Mohammad bin Jabor Al Thani said the bank’s total assets increased by QR7.8bn, a growth of 10.3 percent to QR 83.3bn ... Read More »

Qatar’s real estate prices slip from peak

DOHA: Qatar’s real estate prices softened a bit during the final quarter of 2015 compared to the previous quarter, after hitting a record peak in November 2015. The Qatar Central Bank’s (QCB) updated real estate price index released yesterday shows the country’s real estate value declined 2.6 percent to 292.0 points during the Q4, 15 from 299.8 points recorded during ... Read More »