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Postal Industry facing numerous challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic:...

Jul 08, 2020: Like so many other industries, the postal industry has faced numerous challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic.

A new report by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the UN specialized agency for postal matters, titled, “The COVID-19 crisis and the postal sector” shows postal volumes dropping by 21 percent in 2020.

The steep decline is the largest seen by the UPU since it began recording exchanges of electronic data between its 192 member countries in 2010.

“The Post’s relevance has become clearer than ever as citizens reach out to them for essential services as they remain in their homes.

While postal operators around the globe have continued to work diligently for their customers throughout the pandemic, they have also experienced many set-backs caused by the very measures put in place to stop the virus’ spread,” said UPU Director General Bishar A Hussein.

According to the data, which covers the period between January 23 and May 14, international postal volumes decreased by 21 percent in 2020 compared to the same period last year. Only one of every 2.1 items sent are arriving at their destination within the same week, as opposed to 1:1 during normal times.

The report lists transport disruptions, suspensions, capacity shortages and total stoppages, in addition to the impact of the virus on workforce capacity, as major factors blocking the supply chain. It also projects that negative income shocks on households could have a role to play in declining volumes.

Researchers used official postal statistics and indicators constructed from electronic data interchange messages on postal shipments exchanged between countries to paint a picture of the pandemic’s economic impact on the activities of postal operators.

APP

DG Khan Cement wins cement export orders to Philippines

July 08, 2020 (MLN): Advisor for Commerce and Investment of Pakistan, Abdul Razak Dawood has congratulated DG Khan Cement for making a breakthrough in winning orders for export of cement to the Philippines.

Taking to his twitter handle on Wednesday, he said, ‘This follows on their success in China. Exporters should follow this example of extending their market reach across the globe.’

Further, he said that market share will increase once the market reach extends. ‘Increasing geographical diversification is an important part of our strategic trade policy’, he added.

Copyright Mettis Link News

Japan keen to import Basmati rice, establishing mutual agriculture...

July 08, 2020: Ambassador of Japan Matsuda Kuninori has shown keen interest in developing mutual agricultural research and importing Basmati rice from Pakistan in order to further strengthen bilateral trade between the two countries.

He showed the interest during a meeting with Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam in Islamabad.

They also discussed ways and means to enhance mutual cooperation in different sectors.

Fakhar Imam stressed the need for enhancing mutual cooperation in the transfer of technology from Japan particularly agricultural machinery.

He asked for providing market access to Pakistani citrus in Japan based on historical trade of citrus fruit with China, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Iran.

Matsuda Kuninori mentioned that Pakistani mango was more fragrant and showed interest in the export of Basmati Rice from Pakistan.

Pakistan exported 3847 thousand USD of Basmati Rice last year to Japan.

Radio Pakistan

Asian shares waver with coronavirus, corporate earnings in focus

July 08, 2020: Asian stocks dithered on Wednesday as an increase in new coronavirus cases in some parts of the world cast doubts over the economic recovery while oil prices eased on oversupply fears.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan were a tad lower after hitting a 4-1/2 month high just on Tuesday.

Chinese shares flickered between green and red. Australian shares were down 0.4% as were indexes for New Zealand and South Korea. Japan's Nikkei was off 0.1% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was slightly firmer.

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 added 0.18%.

Overnight, U.S. stocks fell, halting a five-day winning streak by the benchmark S&P 500 index, its longest this year and driven by better-than-expected economic data.

Following the recent rally, the declines looked like a consolidation, with the markets largely in "wait and see mode" ahead of the upcoming earnings session, said NAB economist Tapas Strickland.

The second-quarter earnings season will begin in earnest from next week.

"It will be important to watch the number of U.S. deaths in the coming weeks and whether greater questions will be asked about the extent of necessary restrictions," Strickland added.

California reported more than 10,000 coronavirus cases on Tuesday, a record rise for a single day that also surpassed the number of contact tracers recently trained by the state to detect and prevent potential outbreaks.

Coronavirus cases were also on the rise in the Australian state of Victoria, which led to lockdown measures being reimposed in Melbourne, the country's second-biggest city.

"The second wave of infection will see Victorian economic activity fall sharply and it will continue to lag the rest of Australia," said NAB economist Kaixin Owyong.

Victoria makes up around a quarter of Australian economic activity, she said.

Citi analysts predicted global equities would hang around current levels in twelve months' time.

"We expect bullish and bearish forces to cancel each other out," they said in a note. "We would not chase markets higher from current levels, but would prefer to wait for the next dip."

Citi has "overweight" positions on U.S. and Emerging Markets equities.

Most major currencies were trapped in a range.

The U.S. dollar was 0.15% higher on the Japanese yen at 107.65.

The risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars were a shade weaker at $0.6940 and $0.6544, respectively.

The euro was barely changed at $1.1273.

In commodities, gold hovered near a recent 8-1/2 year peak as investors preferred safe-haven assets. Spot gold was last a shade weaker after two straight days of gains at 1,792.5 per ounce.

Brent crude futures fell 8 cents, or 0.2%, to $43 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 6 cents, or 0.15%, to $40.56 a barrel.

Reuters

SBP extends the availability of Deferment of Principal Amount...

July 07, 2020: Considering the fact that COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to stress the cash flow of small and medium sized businesses and households, SBP has decided to extend the Deferment of Principal Amount facility up till 30th September 2020. 

This facility will however be available for Small & Medium Enterprise Financing, Consumer Financing, Housing Finance, Agriculture Finance and Micro financing only. The facility is not being extended to corporates and commercial borrowers since a significant amount of their loans and advances has already been deferred. It is expected that more businesses and households, who were not able to avail the facility, will benefit from this extension.

On March 26th 2020, amid growing concerns about the potential economic impact of the COVID–19 pandemic, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) with the collaboration of Pakistan Banks Association (PBA) announced a comprehensive set of measures to help businesses and households to manage their finances. Among these, a key measure was the deferment of principal amount of loans and advances by banks and DFIs.  Under this facility, businesses and households could request for the deferment of their loans and advances for a period of one year, albeit continuing to service the mark-up amount.

The measure also ensured that the deferment of principal will not affect borrower’s credit history and such facilities will not be reported as restructured/rescheduled in the credit bureau’s data. This measure proved extremely helpful for borrowers and is evident from the fact that up till 3rd July 2020, banks deferred Rs. 593 billion of principal amount of loans of over 359 thousand borrowers. A very large number of borrowers— 95 percent of total beneficiaries of this scheme, as of July 3, 2020 have been small borrowers including SMEs, consumer finance, and microfinance. 

 

Press Release

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