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Pound drops as Johnson faces battle to pass Brexit...

October 18, 2019: Sterling fell Friday as investors fret over Boris Johnson's chances of pushing his Brexit deal through parliament, while Asian markets were mostly down after data showed China's economy expanded at its slowest pace in nearly three decades.

The pound rallied almost to $1.30 on Thursday following news that negotiators had hammered out an agreement that would avoid Britain's leaving the EU without a divorce deal, a move many warn would be economically catastrophic.

However, the joy was soon tempered by the realisation that the British prime minister faces an uphill task in getting it past lawmakers, with opposition MPs and even some in his own Conservative party saying they were against it.

Most importantly, Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up Johnson's government, said it was "unable to support these proposals".

AFP/APP

SBP to Conduct 7 Day OMO

Oct 18, 2019 (MLN): The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced that it will conduct a 7 day OMO to inject funds into the market.

Quotes timing is: 10:45 PST while result will be announced at: 11:15 PST

Settlement is same day - October 18, 2019

 

Copyright Mettis Link News

FBR launches the Urdu website to facilitate the taxpayers

October 18, 2019: The Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Syed Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi has inaugurated the Urdu website of FBR.

The Urdu version of the website has been launched to facilitate the taxpayers.

The Urdu website offers online facilitation and services to the taxpayers about Income Tax, Sales Tax, Customs, and FBR Maloomaat. The Urdu version contains special features that contain a useful reservoir of information relating to taxation and customs.

Urdu website can be accessed by clicking on the Urdu button on the FBR’s website fbr.gov.pk.

Norway overtakes China as top direct foreign investor in...

October 17, 2019 (MLN): With the revival of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Pakistan, Norway appeared as the biggest investor during 1QFY20, as its net FDI inflows into the country stood at US$ 263.7 million, according to the latest data published by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

When compared with the same period last year, it divested US$ 24.5 million. This indicates that investors’ confidence was restored with the implementation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stabilization and reform program.

While, China which has been the top investors since few months due to its ongoing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in Pakistan, has emerged as a second-leading country during Jul-Sept 2019 with FDI of $103 million, marking a decline of 69% YoY from $ 336.6 million in the same period last year.

The United Kingdom came at number three, its net FDI inflows into the country witnessed an increase of 18% YoY to $77.7 million as compared to US$ 66million in Jul-Sept 2018.

Next in line is Malaysia, as it brought net direct investments of $25 million compared with $7.5 million in the corresponding period last year.

With regards to other countries, FDI from the United States stood at $22.5 million, went up by 18% YoY from $19 million, while FDI from Japan, UAE, and Turkey recorded at $24 million, $16.9 million and $15.2 million respectively. Net inflows from Japan declined by 17%, whereas, investments from the UAE and Turkey grew by 18% and 40% YoY respectively during the period under review.

On the other hand, Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI), which represents an investment in the equity market also painted a positive picture, as net FPI inflows stood at $22 million against the outflows of $ 185 million. The United States emerged as the biggest source of portfolio investment during July-Sept 2019, it recorded at $32.8 million against the outflows of $9.7 million.

Hong Kong emerged as the second-biggest source of foreign portfolio investment with FPI recorded at $13.8 million against outflows of $6.6 million in Ju-Sept 2018.

Copyright Mettis Link News

UK, EU strike Brexit deal, urge MPs to back...

Oct 17, 2019: Britain and the European Union reached a new divorce deal Thursday that could allow Brexit on October 31, but faced immediate opposition among MPs in London -- who can still block it.

The deal was sealed just hours before a summit of EU leaders that is expected to endorse the text, but it must pass the British parliament when it meets on Saturday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has staked his leadership on leaving the EU this month, said he had secured a "great new deal that takes back control".

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said it was a "fair and balanced agreement" -- and both men urged MPs to support it to avoid any further delays.

If Johnson cannot get the deal through by Saturday, he will be forced by law to ask the EU to postpone Brexit, although Juncker said he agreed with Johnson that no postponement should be needed.

"We have a deal, and this deal means there is no need for any kind of prolongation," Juncker said.

It is for EU leaders, not Juncker, to decide whether or not to grant any eventual extension. Several heads of government arriving in Brussels urged British MPs to get behind the deal.

Johnson urged MPs "to come together to get Brexit done, to get this excellent deal over the line and to deliver Brexit without any more delay."

The deal is a personal victory for Johnson, a leader of the 2016 Brexit referendum who was told repeatedly by EU leaders that they would not give him a new deal.

But it could quickly turn to defeat if the House of Commons -- which rejected a previous divorce text three times -- again refuses to play ball.

The immediate reaction was hostile.

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up Johnson's Conservatives, said it "will be unable to support these proposals".

The main opposition Labour, Scottish National and Liberal Democrat parties also spoke out against it.

Their response sent the pound sinking again after it had earlier risen to five-month peaks on news of the deal.

- 'No Irish border' -

The draft agreement was forged just weeks before Britain was due to leave the bloc, ending more than four decades of close economic and political ties with its nearest neighbours.

Weeks of tense negotiations focused on changing the arrangements to keep open the border between British Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

All sides agree they do not want infrastructure on the frontier, to avoid exacerbating tensions over Britain's control of Northern Ireland that caused decades of deadly violence up until the 1990s.

The new plan would see Northern Ireland remain British legal territory but trade under EU regulations.

"There will be no border on the island of Ireland and the (EU's) single market will be protected," Juncker said.

But it would involve some customs and tax checks with the rest of the UK, and the DUP warned the plans "undermine the integrity of the union".

Northern Ireland's regional assembly would be given a vote every four years on whether to maintain the arrangements.

But the DUP warned that did not go far enough, as there would be no vote before the plans came into effect.

- Referendum call -

Johnson met repeatedly with DUP leaders this week in a bid to keep them onside -- and has also assured his European counterparts that he can get the deal through.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he was "reasonably confident" the deal could be ratified.

But Johnson has no majority among MPs, and his threat to leave the EU with or without a deal this month has exacerbated existing divisions in parliament.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the only way out was for a second referendum, amid speculation such a motion could be put to MPs at Saturday's sitting.

"The best way to get Brexit sorted is to give the people the final say in a public vote," he said.

However, it is not clear there is enough support in the House of Commons for a new referendum, and Johnson's government is strongly opposed.

Opinion polls show Britons remain deeply divided over Brexit, although the balance has shifted slightly in favour of staying in the EU.

Labour's objection to the deal is focused on a perceived lowering of environmental, workers and food standards.

"The deal he's proposed is heading Britain in the direction of a deregulated society and a sell-off of national assets to American corporations," Corbyn said.

AFP/APP

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