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Nishat Chunian to either acquire or merge with NC...

December 10, 2019 (MLN): The Board of Directors of Nishat Chunian Limited (NCL), in its meeting held on Tuesday, discussed the matter of merger or acquisition of NC Electric Company Limited (NCECL) i.e. a 100% owned subsidiary of the company.

For the above purpose, Board of Directors granted in-principal approval for any of the following:

1.            Acquisition of all assets of NCECL along with its liabilities by NCL.

2.            The merger of both companies under Companies Act 2019

It has been decided in the board meeting that the final course of action will be taken after due consultation with the subject specialists.

 

European, US stock markets hit pause at start of...

December 10, 2019: European and US stock markets eased on Monday at the start of a key week for China-US trade hopes and ahead of Britain's general election.

The dollar wobbled against its main rivals ahead of the final monetary policy meeting of the year of the Federal Reserve.

Meanwhile, sterling drifted higher awaiting Thursday's UK election that is expected to see Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservatives win a big enough majority to push through his Brexit deal.

"In a week to remember, it was a session to forget," said Connor Campbell, analyst at Spreadex trading group, adding that investors were "not unjustified in their reticence to act." While observers widely expect Beijing and Washington to hammer out a partial tariffs agreement, trading floors remained nervous places with less than a week until the United States is due to impose fresh levies on Chinese goods.

"Though Wednesday has the final Fed statement of the year, it is going to be hard for American investors -- and investors in general -- to wrench their attentions away from the state of play between the US and China heading into Sunday's tariff deadline," said Campbell.

"So pressing is that matter that Thursday's UK general election is more of a local sideshow than the week's big macro event," he added.

On the corporate front Monday, shares in Tullow Oil, a London-listed independent oil producer in Africa, plummeted by 71 percent after the company cut its production forecast, froze dividend payments and its CEO resigned.

Shares in British supermarket giant Tesco topped the gainers board for London's blue chip FTSE 100 index, having shot up 4.5 percent after Britain's biggest retailer said it was looking at exiting its Thai and Malaysian businesses.

Sanofi stock shed two percent after the French pharmaceutical giant said it had agreed to buy US biotech firm Synthorx, boosting its immuno-oncology portfolio.

ArQule, which has been developing cancer medications, more than doubled after it agreed to be acquired by Merck for $2.7 billion. Merck dipped 0.2 percent.

In the commodities markets, oil prices retreated on profit-taking after Friday's healthy gains on the decision by OPEC and non-cartel producers led by Russia to cut output by a further 500,000 barrels a day.

Downbeat Chinese trade data over the weekend also gave reason to sell as it reminded traders that slowing growth is why oil producers are cutting output.

- Key figures around 2150 GMT - New York - Dow: DOWN 0.4 percent at 27,909.60 (close) New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.3 percent at 3,135.96 (close) New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.4 percent at 8,621.83 (close) London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,233.90 (close) Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.5 percent at 13,105.61 (close) Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.6 percent at 5,837.25 (close) EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.6 percent at 3,672.18 (close) Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.3 percent at 23,430.70 (close) Hong Kong - Hang Seng: FLAT at 26,494.73 (close) Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.1 percent at 2,914.48 (close) Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1065 from $1.1060 at 2200 GMT on Friday Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3148 from $1.3140 Euro/pound: DOWN at 84.16 pence from 84.17 pence Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.56 yen from 108.58 yen Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.2 percent at $64.25 per barrel West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.3 percent at $59.02 per barrel.

AFP/APP

Asian markets in retreat as traders eye tariffs deadline

Dec 10, 2019: Asian markets fell on Tuesday morning with investors keeping a nervous eye on the China-US trade talks with less than a week until Washington is due to impose fresh tariffs on Chinese goods.

The general consensus is that the two superpowers will eventually hammer out a partial pact as part of a wider agreement, which has fuelled a global equity rally for weeks, though comments from both sides -- both optimistic and downbeat -- are keeping dealers on their toes.

While the week is chock-full of key events including the UK general election and central bank decisions in the US and Europe, observers say the China-US negotiations are the only game in town.

The key concern for now is that with the December 15 deadline approaching, Donald Trump still has not scrapped planned levies on $160 billion of Chinese goods, which many fear could derail the long-running talks.

"Given the market has bought into the December tariff delay in a big way, all hell could break loose if the tariffs don't get postponed," said Stephen Innes at AxiTrader.

"Indeed, that would be a bitter pill for investors to swallow as the reality.. sets in that they have yet again been taken down the trade talk garden path only to end up at the cliff edge."

- Sterling holds ground -

Still, agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue provided some hope to markets when he said he did not think the levies will be imposed, though analysts pointed out that while this is positive, the ultimate decision is in Trump's hands.

In early trade Hong Kong slipped 0.1 percent, Shanghai eased 0.2 percent and Tokyo went into the break marginally lower.

Sydney, Singapore and Taipei each eased 0.2 percent, while Manila was off 0.5 percent. However, Seoul, Wellington and Jakarta edged higher.

There was little early reaction to data showing Chinese consumer inflation picked up in November but not as much as expected, with surging pork prices the key reason owing to African swine fever, which has seen a vast culling of the country's pig herd. However, the drop in factory prices eased, soothing concerns about future inflation rates.

Sterling remains well supported going into the final straight of the UK national vote, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson tipped to win a clear majority that will help him drive through his Brexit deal.

However, his lead has narrowed slightly in recent days, which is keeping traders on guard for a possible hung parliament and more uncertainty.

- Key figures around 0230 GMT -

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: FLAT at 23,428.67 (break)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.1 percent at 26464.93

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.2 percent at 2,909.67

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1063 from $1.1065 at 2150 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3152 from $1.3148

Euro/pound: DOWN at 84.14 pence from 84.16 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 108.63 yen from 108.56 yen

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN seven cents at $58.95 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 10 cents at $64.15 per barrel

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.4 percent at 27,909.60 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,233.90 (close)

-- Bloomberg News contributed to this story --

AFP/APP

Pakistan ranks 152nd in UN’s Human Development Index

Dec 10, 2019: Pakistan was ranked at 152nd position among 189 countries in U.N.'s 2019 Human Development Index (HDI)'s annual rankings that is measured by combining indicators of life expectancy, educational attainment and income.

The HDI forms part of the Human Development Report (HDR) 2019, a flagship study produced annually by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which was released Monday.

The report is 29th in a series which began in 1990. The first UNDP Human Development Report (HDR) was prepared and launched under the leadership of the late Dr. Mahbubul Haq, a former Pakistan finance minister.

In other South Asian countries, India ranked at 129 on the index; Bangladesh: 135; Sri Lanka: 71; Maldives: 104; Nepal: 147, and Bhutan 134.

During the period, Pakistan's HDI value was 0.560; life expectancy 67.1 years; average years of schooling 5.2 years and gross national income per capita $ 5,190.

Oil-rich Norway, Switzerland, Ireland, Germany and Hong Kong (China) led the ranking, while Niger, the Central African Republic, Chad, South Sudan and Burundi have the lowest scores in the HDI's measurement of national achievements in health, education and income.

This year's Human Development Report, which reviews the performance of the countries in the year 2018, is titled: "Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: Inequalities in Human Development in the 21st Century."

Despite global progress in tackling poverty, hunger and disease, the report said, a `new generation of inequalities' indicates that many societies are not working as they should.

It states that just as the gap in basic living standards is narrowing for millions of people, inequalities surrounding education, and around technology and climate change, have sparked demonstrations across the globe.

Left unchecked, they could trigger a `new great divergence' in society of the kind not seen since the Industrial Revolution, according to the report.

"This Human Development Report sets out how systemic inequalities are deeply damaging our society and why," Achim Steiner, the UNDP Administrator, said.

"Inequality is not just about how much someone earns compared to their neighbour. It is about the unequal distribution of wealth and power: the entrenched social and political norms that are bringing people onto the streets today, and the triggers that will do so in the future unless something changes. Recognizing the real face of inequality is a first step; what happens next is a choice that each leader must make."

Steiner added crucially that `inequality is not beyond solutions'.

The human development approach views `richness' as going beyond the idea that economic growth will automatically lead to development and wellbeing.

It focuses on people, and their opportunities and choices.

UNDP said it's research shows that in 2018, 20 per cent of human development progress was lost due to the unequal distribution of education, health and living standards.

"What used to be `nice-to-haves', like going to university or access to broadband, are increasingly important for success, but left only with the basics, people find the rungs knocked out of their ladder to the future," said Pedro Conceicao, Director of the HDR Office at UNDP.

The report recommends revamped policies in the areas of education, productivity and public spending.

As inequality begins even before birth and can accumulate through adulthood, investing in young children's learning, health and nutrition is key. These investments must continue throughout life as they have an impact on earnings and productivity in the labour market.

UNDP said it observed that countries with a more productive workforce generally have a lower concentration of wealth at the top, which is enabled by policies that support stronger unions, the right to a minimum wage, social protection and which bring more women into the workplace.

The report further highlights the role of taxation, which cannot be looked at on its own. Rather, fair taxation should lie behind policies that include greater public spending on health, education and greener energy alternatives.

As the UNDP chief noted, `Different triggers are bringing people onto the streets -- the cost of a train ticket, the price of petrol, demands for political freedoms, the pursuit of fairness and justice. This is the new face of inequality'.

Looking to the future, the report asks how inequality might be viewed years down the line, especially in relation to "two seismic shifts" that will shape the next century.

Those are the climate crisis, and the progress of the technological transformation that includes renewables and energy efficiency, digital finance and digital health solutions.

The report calls for opportunities to be "seized quickly and shared broadly".

APP

CDWP approves 8 projects worth Rs31.44 billion

December 10, 2019: Central Development Working Party has approved eight projects worth 31.44 billion rupees while referred three worth 40.22 billion rupees to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council for consideration.

Meeting of the committee was held in Islamabad on Monday with Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan in the chair.

Senior officials from federal and provincial governments also attended the meeting. 

Radio Pakistan

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