Category: Business

After rare silence, Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar prepares to reopen

An eerie silence had fallen over Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s oldest and largest markets it prepares to reopen. There are now signs of life at the market as workers roam its alleys, spraying the floor, columns and walls ahead of the doors reopening on Monday for the first time in two months. 

Careem lays off 31% workforce due to COVID-19 crisis

The ride-hailing service Careem announced on Monday that it will lay off 536 of its employees, representing 31% of its workforce, this week. Careem CEO Mudassir Sheikh said in a blog on the company’s website that their business is down by more than 80% and the recovery timeline is alramingly unknown. The company, which primarily operates in the Middle East, is owned by Uber.

Berkshire sold all its airline stocks because of the coronavirus

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and billionaire value investor Warren Buffett said that the conglomerate has sold the entirety of its position in the U.S. airline industry. The prior stake, worth north of $4 billion dollars, included positions in United, American, Southwest and Delta Airlines. He said that the world has changed for the airlines and he does not know how it’s changed. 

Gold crosses Rs100,000 per tola

Local one tola and 10 gram gold price in the country reached a peak of Rs100,400 and Rs86,076, respectively, on Tuesday. There was a gain of Rs700 and Rs600 in per tola and 10 gram prices from Monday. The local bullion body continues to issue “prices only for idea” since the shutdown of local markets – including jewellery shops – due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Pakistan urges China to soften terms for power deals

Pakistan has urged China to ease in payment obligations of over $30 billion worth of about 12,000-megawatt power projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This will help Pakistan minimise its financial and economic difficulties. This is part of the ongoing government efforts to secure discounts and savings on power purchases from independent power producers (IPPs) as circular debt liabilities cross Rs2 trillion.

Oil prices fall sharply as Coronavirus darkens demand outlook

Oil prices fell sharply today, with crude oil near an 18 year low and Brent hitting its lowest since November 2002, as the global coronavirus pandemic worsens. Saudi Arabia-Russia price war shows no signs of abating which could also be one of the possible reasons behind. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell as far as $19.92, near an 18-year low hit earlier this month, and was last trading down 3.77%, or $20.70 a barrel.

Dollar touches eight-month high against rupee

The US dollar touched eight-month high against rupee and rose by Rs3 to Rs162 in the opening hours of the interbank market on Wednesday. According to market sources, the increase in dollar’s value can be attributed to the central bank’s Tuesday night decision to cut the monetary policy rate, bringing it down to 11%.

Interest rate cut by 75bps to 12.5% after three years

The State Bank of Pakistan cut its key interest rate by 75 basis points to 12.50% on Tuesday. The central bank cited deceleration in domestic food prices as the reason for cutting the policy rate. SBP said that the outlook on the headline inflation, a measure of the total inflation including commodities such as food and energy prices, remains within its earlier forecast range of 11% to 12%

Ministry of commerce introduces E-Visa facility for businesses

The Ministry of Commerce, in collaboration with NADRA, has launched an e-Business Visa Invitation Letter System (E-BIL) in a bid to ease business. Chambers and Trade Associations can e-file applications for business visas on arrival for nationals of 190 countries. The applications will be processed in 48-78 hrs. The E-BIL is launched to facilitate all potential foreigners interested in exploring business opportunities in Pakistan.  

Pakistan-China mobile phone venture to start exporting soon

A Chinese mobile manufacturing company in partnership with a Pakistani manufacturer plans to produce 49% of mobile phone parts in Pakistan in the next three years. It was announced by the Federal Economic Affairs Minister Hammad Azhar on Wednesday after meeting Transsion Tecno CEO Aamir Allawala on Wednesday. Transsion Tecno is a joint partnership between Transsion Holdings China and Tecno Pack Pakistan.