Economic and Political Weekly 08-09-2019

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World

Politics

· Boris Johnson’s attempt to call election is thwarted by MPs

British MPs have thwarted a motion to hold an early general election next month, after it was submitted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 3rd September night. Members of the House of Commons voted by 298 votes to 56 for the motion, but it did not reach the required support of two-thirds of MPs, falling short by 136 votes. Boris has now declared that he would die rather than quitting Brexit deal.

·Bahamas in crisis after Dorian leaves trail of devastation

Rescuers searched for survivors in the Bahamas on 4th Sept after Hurricane Dorian, the most damaging storm to strike the island nation, left in its wake kilometers of flooded landscape dotted with pulverized homes. The storm killed at least seven people, but the scope of the destruction was still coming into focus as aerial video of the Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas showed wide devastation

· Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam formally withdraws extradition Bill

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam has withdrawn the controversial extradition bill that sparked three months of fierce protests and plunged the city into its worst political crisis since the handover from British to Chinese rule two decades ago. The bill, spearheaded by Ms Lam, would have allowed criminal suspects to be transferred to mainland China for the first time, but her concession on 4th Sept was rebuffed by pro-democracy activists as “too little, too late”.Pro-democracy activists say removal of Bill that sparked weeks of protests is insufficient

·South African president calls for calm

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for an end to the xenophobic violence that has erupted in parts of South Africa in recent days, saying there is no justification for the attacks. Addressing the nation as international business leaders and regional politicians gathered in Cape Town on 3rd Sept for the World Economic Forum on Africa, Mr Ramaphosa insisted his fellow countrymen must handle any grievances they have with foreigners in a democratic way.

·Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe dies aged 95

Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe, a deeply polarizing figure for most of his controversial life, died in a Singapore hospital on Friday, aged 95.Mr. Mugabe, who was removed from power by the ruling Zanu-PF party in November 2017 following a military coup, had been receiving medical care at a private hospital since April. Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was attending the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, announced via his official Twitter account on 6th Sept morning the death of the former mentor he had helped to overthrow. “Cde [sic] Mugabe was an icon of liberation, a pan-Africanist who dedicated his life to the emancipation and empowerment of his people. His contribution to the history of our nation and continent will never be forgotten,” he wrote. Later in the day Mr. Mnangagwa issued a statement saying that Zanu-PF’s leadership had met and agreed to “accorded him national hero status, which he richly deserves. We declare days of mourning until he is buried.”

  • Afghanistan’s president has postponed a planned visit to Washington early next week where he was to discuss the US-Taliban talks on ending America’s longest war, a person familiar with the negotiations said on 6th Sept

The development emerged after the US envoy negotiating with the Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad, abruptly returned to Qatar for unexpected talks with the insurgents on the deal that he had described as complete just days ago. The agreement “in principle” to begin a US troop withdrawal only needed President Donald Trump’s approval, Khalilzad said on 2nd Sept.

  • Thousands of Hong Kongers held rallies on 6th Sept night, rejecting calls by the city’s pro-Beijing leader to end their movement as the finance hub braces for another weekend of clashes, including a plan to disrupt the airport.

Police fired brief volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets against a few hundred protesters who had gathered outside a police station in Mongkok district. The demonstrators later blocked roads, set barricades on fire and faced off with riot police before dispersing without any major new clashes.

Economy

  • India’s economic slumprisks becoming a crisis, with growth plunging to levels not seen since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected in 2014 on a promise to turn the country into a global powerhouse.

Gross domestic product grew by just 5% in the three months to June, according to government data released Friday. That compares with growth of 8% in the same period last year. It was also a huge drop from growth of 5.8% recorded the previous quarter. The latest decline was driven largely by slower private consumption and near stagnation in manufacturing, which was growing by 12% just a year ago. The rate of growth in agriculture has more than halved in the June quarter.

GLOBAL INDICES AS OF 6th September 2019

As compared to 30th August 2019

Global indices as of 6th September 2019
Name Current Value Prev.

Close

US MARKETS
 NASDAQ (Sep 06) 8,103.07 8116.83
EUROPEAN MARKETS
 FTSE (Sep 06) 7,282.34 7271.17
 CAC (Sep 06) 5,603.99 5593.37
 DAX (Sep 06) 12,191.73 12126.78
ASIAN MARKETS
 SGX NIFTY (Sep 07) 10,964.00 10959.50
 NIKKEI 225 (Sep 06) 21,199.57 21085.94
 STRAITS TIMES (Sep 06) 3,144.48 3147.06
 HANG SENG (Sep 06) 26,690.76 26515.53
 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (Sep 06) 10,780.64 10756.93
 KOSPI (Sep 06) 2,009.13 2004.75
 SET COMPOSITE (Sep 06) 1,670.06 1669.79
 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (Sep 06) 6,308.95 6306.80
 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (Sep 06) 2,999.60 2985.86

 

Global indices as of 30th August 2019
Name Current Value Prev.

Close

US MARKETS
 NASDAQ (Aug 30) 7,962.88 7973.39
EUROPEAN MARKETS
 FTSE (Aug 30) 7,207.18 7184.32
 CAC (Aug 30) 5,480.48 5449.97
 DAX (Aug 30) 11,939.28 11838.88
ASIAN MARKETS
 SGX NIFTY (Aug 31) 11,012.50 11054.50
 NIKKEI 225 (Aug 30) 20,704.37 20460.93
 STRAITS TIMES (Aug 30) 3,106.52 3081.83
 HANG SENG (Aug 30) 25,724.73 25703.50
 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (Aug 30) 10,618.05 10462.43
 KOSPI (Aug 30) 1,967.79 1933.41
 SET COMPOSITE (Aug 30) 1,654.92 1639.14
 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (Aug 30) 6,328.47 6289.12
 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (Aug 30) 2,886.24 2890.92

Pakistan

Politics

  • Veteran actor, director and producer Abid Ali passed away in Karachi on 5th Sept, according to family. He was 67.

One of Ali’s three daughters, Rahma Ali confirmed the development in a post on Facebook. Anjum Rizvi. Liaquat National Hospital’s spokesperson, said in a statement “Abid Ali has passed away, his doctors have just confirmed. He was initially admitted due to discomfort from liver complications; he was suffering from a liver disease since last year but as he was in pain, his family brought him to us.” Daughters Rahma and Iman Aly had taken to Instagram a couple of days ago to open up about their father’s condition, asking everyone to pray for his well-being.

  • The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on 4th Sept appointed former skipper Misbahul Haq to the joint position of head coach and chief selector for the men’s team — a first in Pakistan cricket — while Waqar Younis was named the bowling coach.The batting coach position remains vacant.

Misbah got the unanimous nod from a five-member panel, which interviewed several candidates and submitted their recommendations to PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani, a PCB press release said.

  • Prime Minister Imran Khan held a meeting on 4th Sept with the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia’s state minister for foreign affairs to “discuss [the] issue of Kashmir”, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s official Twitter account said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed and chaired a meeting with Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia and UAE to discuss issue of Kashmir after Prime Minister successfully led efforts of raising voice for Kashmiris internationally and exposing the fascist and racist side of Modi! Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan had arrived in Islamabad earlier today and were received by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the Noor Khan Airbase. The ministers also held a separate meeting with Foreign Minister Qureshi. According to a press release from the Foreign Office, Qureshi apprised both officials of the situation in occupied Kashmir. “At this particular time, the people of Pakistan and the Kashmiris expected strong support from the Muslim world. In this context, it was very important to give a clear and unambiguous signal of support and solidarity with the Kashmiri people,” the press release read. It further said that both Saudi and UAE ministers “reaffirmed their strong support and solidarity with the people of Pakistan”. “With regard to the situation in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the ministers took full cognizance of Pakistan’s perspective. It was agreed to work closely in OIC and other forums.”

  • Prime Minister Imran Khan on 5th Sep questioned the global community’s silence over the persecution of Muslims in Indian-occupied Kashmir and India.

The prime minister took to twitter to highlight the plight of Kashmiri people, as he has done since India unilaterally decided to annex occupied Kashmir on August 5 and enforce a lockdown. “Today is the 32nd day of the siege of Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian occupation forces of the Modi government,” he said, adding that under the cover of this siege, Indian forces have killed, injured (with pellet guns), and abused Kashmiri men, women and children. “Men have been taken away and thrown into prisons across India.”

  • Former leg-spin maestro Abdul Qadir Khan died of cardiac arrest at the age of 63 in Lahore, his family confirmed on 6th Sept.

Khan’s son Salman Qadir confirmed the demise of the iconic cricketer. The former star was shifted to Services Hospital after the heart attack but he could not survive. “My father never had a heart problem so it was sudden and shocking that he suffered a severe attack and could not survive,” Salman Qadir told AFP. Known as the dancing bowler due to his peculiar bowling style, Abdul Qadir played 67 Test and 104 One-Day International matches for Pakistan.

Economy

  • Surrendering to public outcry, Prime Minister Imran Khan finally decided on 4th Sep to withdraw a controversial ordinance promulgated last week that offered Rs210 billion financial amnesty to big businesses.

The government will also ask the Supreme Court of Pakistan to club all stay orders issued by various high courts and itself take an expedited decision in ongoing cases on the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC). A day earlier, the federal cabinet had asked the ministry of law to amend the GIDC Ordinance of Aug 27, 2019 to include the condition of forensic audit before signing settlement agreement with these sectors namely fertilizer, general industry, IPPs, generation companies, K-Electric and CNG sector. However, the criticism continued to grow in the mainstream and social media, as well as from within the ruling party, compelling the government to reverse the whole initiative ab initio. “In view of the recent controversy, the prime minister, in the interest of transparency and good governance, has decided to withdraw the said ordinance”, said an announcement by the prime minister’s office. It said the prime minister also directed “the attorney general to move an application for urgent hearing in the Supreme Court, so that the matter is decided at the earliest, strictly in accordance with the law and the Constitution”.

F.C Exchange Rates of PKR as of 6th September 2019 as compared to 30th August 2019
Countries PKR rate as of 30th August 2019 PKR rate as of 6th September 2019
U.S.A. 157.30 156.75
U.K. 193.50 192.00
Euro 175.50 174.00
Japan 1.49 1.49
Saudi Arabia 41.95 41.80
U.A.E. 42.90 42.80

 

Pakistan Stock Exchange Indices

As of 6th September 2019 As Compared

To 30th August 2019

 

Position as of 6th September 2019
Symbols KSE100 Index PSX-KMI All Shares Index
Advance 139 (curr) Current 30467.20 Current 14113.45
Decline 98 (High0 High 30550.93 High 14178.60
Unchanged 24 (Low) Low 30011.50 Low 13916.86
Total Change 261  252.43  118.16

 

 

Position as of 30th August 2019
Symbols KSE100 Index PSX-KMI All Shares Index
Advance 76 (Curr) Current 29672.12 Current 13627.98
Decline 198 (High) High 30309.64 High 13955.79
Unchanged 15 (Low) Low 29559.82 Low 13592.21
Total change 289  -486.84  -281.02

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