Economic & Political Weekly 09-06-2019

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World

Politics

· Sudan’s military stokes fears of power grab with early vote with death toll rising of protestors.

The death toll from 3rd June attack on the sit-in of Sudan’s pro-democracy protesters has risen to 100, after 40 bodies were recovered from the River Nile, according to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD). Sixty people were reported to have been killed in the military crackdown in the capital Khartoum, before scores of bodies were found dumped in the river by the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), said the CCSD, which is close to the protesters. Sudan’s military leaders have further provoked fears that they are abandoning plans to pass power to civilians by announcing they will hold earlier than expected elections in an apparent push to consolidate power. The move by the leaders of the transitional military council has undermined the hopes of millions of Sudanese that months of demonstrations against former president Omar al-Bashir might open a path to democracy. The military council – which took power in April, ending Mr. Bashir’s 30 years of autocratic rule – said on Tuesday that elections would now be held within nine months and not according to a previous timeline of two to four years. The shortened timescale will leave little chance to rebuild political structures and a civil society that were crushed under Mr. Bashir’s 30-year rule and will make it easier for the former regime to keep power, experts said. In a statement broadcast on state television, Lieut Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s transitional military council, said the army had decided to “stop negotiating with the [opposition] Alliance for Freedom and Change and cancel what had been agreed on”. The only way to rule Sudan was through the “ballot-box”, he said.

· At least 17 killed as bus smashes into sign in Dubai

 A bus from Oman has smashed into a warning sign coming off a major motorway in Dubai, killing 17 people, authorities said. At least 12 Indians were among the dead and the number could increase, Indian consular officials said. The bus drove straight into a low-clearance sign in Dubai’s Rashidiya neighborhood, smashing through the driver’s side of the bus. The sign hangs over a car-only off-ramp of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road. Mwasalat, a government-owned bus company in Oman, said the crash involving its Muscat-to-Dubai route. It said it would suspend the service for the immediate future. Dubai police said the dead included different nationalities. At least three others were injured in the crash.

· State actor’ was behind attacks on oil tankers, UAE tells UN

Attacks on four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates last month were “most likely” perpetrated by a “state actor”, the Nations Security has been told. But the UAE’s joint investigation did not specify which country was believed to be behind the attacks, which US officials have said they suspect were carried out by Iran. In a statement outlining its briefing to the Security Council on 6th June, the UAE’s permanent representative to the UN said that a preliminary investigation into the May 12th incident found evidence of a “sophisticated and co-ordinated operation carried out by an actor with significant operational capacity”. The perpetrators were divers deployed from speed boats who attached mines to the four ships, a report said.

·  Macron urges Trump to fulfill ‘promise of Normandy’

President Emmanuel Macron issued a thinly-veiled rebuke to Trumpet D-Day commemorations in Normandy on 6th June, saying leaders “owe it to those who fought” to support the post Second World War multilateral system. The French president spoke in the cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, where 9,387 US servicemen are buried. “Dear Donald Trump, the United States is never greater than when it fights for the freedom of others,” he said. “The United States is never greater than when it shows . . . loyalty to the universal values that the founding fathers defended, when nearly 2½ centuries ago France came to support its independence.” Mr. Trump showed displeasure by rolling, then closing, his eyes, crossing his arms and sinking back into his chair. Mr. Macron called the commitment to multilateralism “the promise of Normandy”, after the largest amphibious landing in history, in which 132,700 allied troops took horrific casualties to begin the liberation of the continent from Nazi Germany.

· Thailand’s junta chief elected as country’s next prime minister

 

The former head of Thailand’s military junta has been formally elected as the country’s next prime minister by members of the lower and upper houses of Parliament, consolidating the military’s grip on power following national elections in March. Prayut Chan-o-cha, who installed himself as Thailand’s leader following a coup in 2014, beat the popular billionaire leader of the anti-junta Future Forward Party, Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, with 500 votes to 244 after a 12-hour session that included 10 hours of fierce debate in Parliament Wednesday night. The 40-year-old Thanathorn, who had seen his popularity soar among many of Thailand’s young voters, was nominated as the pro-democracy camp’s choice for prime minister. Prayut will now head a coalition government led by the pro-military Palang Pracharat Party.

·  Former Nigerian dictator’s $267M seized from Jersey account

Authorities in Jersey say they have seized more than $267 million from the family and associates of late Nigerian military dictator Sani Abacha. According to Jersey’s Civil Asset Recovery Fund, the laundered funds recovered from confiscated assets, belonging to the son of the late dictator, Mohammed Abacha, were “derived from corruption” during the military leader’s rule in Nigeria. The money was found in a Channel Islands account held by shell company Doraville Properties Corporation. It had been frozen by a federal court in Washington in 2014 at the request of prosecutors pursuing criminal proceedings against Mohammed Abacha and his associates. The stolen funds have now been recovered after a five-year legal battle. The fund will be shared between the Nigerian government, Jersey and the US government, according to Jersey authorities overseeing the case.

  • Theresa May had a mission to fight Britain’s “burning injustices” through strong and stable leadership ─ but her legacy as prime minister will be anything but.

The Conservative premier’s turbulent time in office was swamped and ultimately sunk by her legacy-defining battle to secure a Brexit divorce deal. It eroded her authority and led to her announce last month that would step down as leader of her party on June 7. She will remain as Britain’s prime minister until her successor takes over. May’s last major act before starting the leadership contest was to welcome US President Donald Trump, with whom she had an up-and-down relationship, on a state visit to Britain. Symbolic of May’s diminished authority, the US leader joked with leadership candidates about who would replace her while she stood beside him at a press conference.

Economy-

  • The International Monetary Fund on 6th June warned the United States that escalating trade disputes or an abrupt downturn in financial markets could pose substantial risks for the US economy.

The international lender, in a review of US policies, said the US economy was on track to grow 2.6 per cent this year. That was quicker than the IMF’s 2.3pc growth forecast from April and was boosted by easy financial market conditions. But the US financial system appears increasingly vulnerable and financial conditions could tighten as investors worry more about America’s trade disputes, IMF officials said.“That is the risk we are most concerned about for the US economy,” Nigel Chalk, the IMF’s mission chief for the United States, said at a news conference.

  • Huawei Technologies has signed an agreement with Russian telecom company MTS to develop 5G networks in the country over the next year.

 

The deal was signed on 5th June in Moscow, as Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin looked on. MTS said in a statement that it plans to work with Huawei on developing 5G technologies. 5G is a next-generation cellular network that offers faster data transfer speed and could enhance technologies such as autonomous driving, remote medical diagnosis and mobile payments.

GLOBAL INDICES AS OF 6th and 7th June 2019

As compared to 30th and 31st May 2019

Global indices as of 6th and 7th June 2019
Name Current Value Open

Prev Close

US MARKETS
 NASDAQ (Jun 07) 7,742.10 7652.97

7615.55

EUROPEAN MARKETS
 FTSE (Jun 07) 7,331.94 7259.85

7259.85

 CAC (Jun 07) 5,364.05 5299.71

5278.43

 DAX (Jun 07) 12,045.38 12003.92

11953.14

ASIAN MARKETS
 SGX NIFTY (Jun 08) 11,956.00 11899.00

11897.00

 NIKKEI 225 (Jun 07) 20,884.71 20859.78

20774.04

 STRAITS TIMES (Jun 07) 3,166.29 3145.93

3146.18

 HANG SENG (Jun 06) 26,965.28 26935.87

26895.44

 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (Jun 06) 10,409.20 10409.90

10461.62

 KOSPI (Jun 07) 2,072.33 2070.78

2069.11

 SET COMPOSITE (Jun 07) 1,653.50 1656.84

1653.41

 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (May 31) 6,209.12 6110.52

6104.11

 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (Jun 06) 2,827.80 2862.33

2861.42

Global indices as of 30th and 31st May 2019
Name Current Value       Prev.

Open/Close

EUROPEAN MARKETS
 FTSE (May 31) 7,142.60 7218.16

7130.85

 CAC (May 31) 5,172.76 5202.49

5160.91

 DAX (May 31) 11,683.01 11755.12

11662.07

ASIAN MARKETS
 SGX NIFTY (May 31) 11,910.50 11938.00

11903.00

 NIKKEI 225 (May 31) 20,601.19 20823.10

20581.58

 STRAITS TIMES (May 31) 3,117.76 3130.58

3110.51

 HANG SENG (May 31) 26,901.09 27155.36

26850.27

 TAIWAN WEIGHTED (May 31) 10,498.49 10515.10

10369.02

 KOSPI (May 31) 2,041.74 2048.90

2022.97

 SET COMPOSITE (May 31) 1,620.22 1627.33

1612.17

 JAKARTA COMPOSITE (May 31) 6,209.12 6209.12

6110.48

 SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (May 31) 2,898.70 2922.91

2895.58

Pakistan

Politics

  • Three officers and a soldier of the Pakistan Army were martyred in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Kharqamar area of North Waziristan tribal district on 7th June, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said.

Four other soldiers also sustained injuries when terrorists targeted a military vehicle through an IED planted on the roadside, the military’s media wing said. The martyred personnel were identified as Lt Col Raashid Karim Baig, a resident of Karimabad, Hunza; Major Moeez Maqsood Baig, a resident of Karachi; Capt Arif Ullah, a resident of Lakki Marwat; and Lance Havaldar Zaheer, a resident of Chakwal. “This is the same area where forces had conducted search operations and arrested [a] few facilitators,” the ISPR statement said. It noted that 10 security personnel have been martyred and 35 injured due to terrorist violence in the area over the course of the last one month — a figure that includes today’s casualties.

  • Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on 6th June announced this year’s dates for Eidul Azha and the beginning of the holy month of Muharram according to scientific evidence.

In a tweet, the minister said that this year, Eidul Azha will fall on Monday, Aug 12 while the holy month of Muharram, which marks the start of the Islamic year, will begin on Sunday, Sept 1. “Now that the argument over this Eid has ended, what are the [dates] for the next two most important Islamic days, i.e., Eidul Azha and [beginning of] Muharram: According to the Hijri calendar, Eidul Azha will fall on Monday, Aug 12 while Muharram will [start] from Sunday, Sept 1,” Chaudhry tweeted.

  • Two Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers were martyred in Baluchistan’s Harnai district while on Eid patrol duty, a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations said on 6th

 

According to the statement by the military’s media wing, “terrorists targeted FC troops during their patrolling on Eid security duties.” However, the statement by ISPR did not elaborate further on the incident. The martyred soldiers include Sepoy Yar Muhammad, 23, of Kuch District in Sibi and Sepoy Mehtab Khan, 19, from Laki Marwat, said the statement.

  • Water management is arriving, if it has not already, at a crossroads where long-established and successful approaches are deemed inadequate in meeting the ambitious Sustainable Development Goal targets.

Large-scale, centralized infrastructure, which was the hallmark approach to water management in the last two centuries, has certainly allowed us to make great progress in urban water supply access, but progress on rural water supply lags behind. In South Asia, around 206 million people lacked access to basic drinking water in 2015. Of these, 81% lived in rural areas. Addressing this inequitable access to water supply services will be at the heart of water management for the future.

Economy

  • The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is going to lose Rs4 billion per annum to three domestic airlines, especially Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). This will be in addition to over Rs100bn that our flag carrier owes to CAA.

About 10 years ago, PIA stopped paying CAA not only service charges but also passenger charges — sums it collects on behalf of CAA by selling tickets. Owing to the partial closure of airspace to about 500 transit flights a day amidst tensions on the eastern border, the air navigation service provider is losing around $300,000 on a daily basis. But that is understandable given the national security situation. What is not understandable, however, is the government’s decision on May 15 to eliminate all categories of airport and air navigation charges on domestic flights. These charges, already the lowest in the world, were about 23 per cent of the international rates.

                                               

F.C Exchange Rates of PKR as of 7th June 2019 as compared to 31st May 2019
Countries PKR rate as of 31st  May 2019 PKR rate as of 7th June 2019
U.S.A. 149.30 148.80
U.K. 190.00 190.00
Euro 167.00 169.00
Japan 1.3600 1.3700
Saudi Arabia 39.50 39.30
U.A.E. 40.40 40.40

Pakistan Stock Exchange Indices

As of 7th June 2019 As Compared

To 30th May 2019

 

Position as of 7th June 2019
Symbols KSE100 Index PSX-KMI All Shares Index
Advance 102

(Curr)

Current 35505.29 Current 16577.19
Decline (High) 154 High 35974.79 High 16874.82
Unchanged Low 19 Low 35425.32 Low 16546.13
Total change 275  -469.50  -297.63

 

 

Position as of 30th May 2019
Symbols KSE100 Index PSX-KMI All Shares Index
Advance 118 (Curr) Current 35974.79 Current 16874.82
Declined (High) 168 High 36536.78 High 17129.78
Unchanged (Low) 24 Low 35655.25 Low 16763.36
Total change 310  15.36  -10.13

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