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BEOE launches online foreign jobs portal for overseas job...

Jan 17, 2022: Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment (BEOE), Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OP&HRD), has launched an online foreign jobs portal www.beoe.gov.pk/foreign-jobs, to facilitate overseas job seekers.

An official source told APP here on Sunday that the decision has been taken for the interest of overseas job seekers to reduce the load of unemployment in the country.

To a question, he said that job seekers could easily search details of overseas job opportunities with Licensed Overseas Employment Promoters as some mafias were looting the innocent youth in the name of jobs in foreign countries.

He said recently, the Ambassador of Kuwait had held a meeting with Advisor to the Prime Minister on OP&HRD Muhammad Ayub Afridi and discussed bilateral relations and matters of mutual interests.

The Advisor has appreciated the step of the Kuwaiti government for opening work visas for Pakistanis. He asked the Ambassador to enhance the job quota for Pakistanis youth as Pakistan has potential manpower to meet Kuwaiti market requirements.

They reiterated for close coordination between a relevant official of both countries regarding data sharing of migrant workers in order to ensure the protection of their rights.

APP

Oil extends rally on supply tightness, Brent at more...

January 17, 2022: Oil prices rose on Monday, with Brent crude futures at their highest in more than three years, as investors bet supply will remain tight amid restrained output by major producers with global demand unperturbed by the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Brent crude futures gained 42 cents, or 0.5%, to $86.48 a barrel by 0022 GMT. The contract touched its highest since Oct. 3, 2018 - $86.71 - earlier in the session.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 62 cents, or 0.7%, at $84.44 a barrel, after hitting $84.78, the highest since Nov. 10, 2021, earlier in the session.

The gains followed a rally last week when Brent rose 5.4% and WTI climbed 6.3%.

Frantic oil buying, driven by supply outages and signs the Omicron variant won't be as disruptive as feared for fuel demand, has pushed some crude grades to multi-year highs, suggesting the rally in Brent futures could be sustained a while longer, traders said.

"The bullish sentiment is continuing as (producer group) OPEC+ is not providing enough supply to meet strong global demand," said Toshitaka Tazawa, an analyst at Fujitomi Securities Co Ltd.

"If (investment) funds increase allocation weight for crude, prices could reach their highs of 2014," he said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies - OPEC+ - are gradually relaxing output cuts implemented when demand collapsed in 2020.

But many smaller producers can't raise supply and others have been wary of pumping too much oil in case of renewed COVID-19 setbacks.

Worries of a Russian attack on neighbouring Ukraine that could disrupt energy supply also lent support to prices.

U.S. officials voiced fears on Friday that Russia was preparing to attack Ukraine if diplomacy failed. Russia, which has massed 100,000 troops on Ukraine's border, released pictures of its forces on the move.

The U.S. government has held talks with several international energy companies on contingency plans for supplying natural gas to Europe if conflict between Russia and Ukraine disrupts Russian supplies, two U.S. officials and two industry sources told Reuters on Friday.

U.S. crude oil stockpiles, meanwhile, fell more than expected to their lowest levels since October 2018, but gasoline inventories surged due to weak demand, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Concerns over supply constraints outweighed the news of China's possible oil release from reserves, Fujitomi analyst Tazawa said.

Sources told Reuters China plans to release oil reserves around the Lunar New Year holidays between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6 as part of a plan coordinated by the United States with other major consumers to reduce global prices.

Reuters

Telenor to divest stake in Myanmar’s Wave Money to...

January 17, 2022: Norwegian telecom firm Telenor has agreed to sell its 51% stake in Myanmar's Wave Money, a digital payment service provider, for $53 million to a subsidiary of Yoma Strategic, the companies said in a joint statement on Monday.

The subsidiary, Yoma MFS Holdings Pte Ltd, is to be funded by a consortium of investors led by Singapore-listed Yoma Strategic, the companies said.

The sale price values Wave Money at about $104 million. That compares with a valuation of about $150 million in mid-2020 when the companies had first signed a deal for Telenor to divest its stake for $76.5 million.

Yoma said the new deal took into account factors including the economic and business developments in Myanmar since the previous announcements and potential synergies for Wave Money to collaborate with the company's other businesses.

Telenor wrote off the value of its Myanmar operations last year following a military coup in February, and in July agreed to sell its telecoms business in the Southeast Asian nation to Lebanese investment firm M1 Group for $105 million https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/telenor-sells-myanmar-operations-m1-group-105-mln-2021-07-08. That deal is still awaiting approval from Myanmar authorities.

Wave Money was launched in November 2016 as a joint venture between Telenor and Yoma Bank, which is part of First Myanmar Investment (FMI). FMI and Yoma Strategic are part of tycoon Serge Pun's Yoma Group.

In 2020, Wave Money processed $8.7 billion in remittance and payments. The business has seen a significant recovery in volumes since June 2021 with the trend expected to continue, the companies said in a statement.

Reuters

ECNEC approves Lai Expressway project

January 17, 2022: Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) has approved the mega Nullah Lai Expressway and Flood Channel project.

According to Commissioner, Rawalpindi Division, Gulzar Hussain Shah, all-out efforts would be made, utilizing all available resources to complete the project within shortest possible time frame.

All the preparations to start the construction work of the project were in full swing which were being completed on fast track policy, he added.

He said the land acquisition process for Lai Expressway & Flood Channel project worth Rs 24,960.70 million had almost been completed.

The Revenue Department and the Land Directorate of the Rawalpindi Development Authority were also working on this project, he said adding, the Lai Expressway project would be completed under public-private partnership.

He said, PC-I of the project had been cleared by the Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP), the Planning Commission, the Central Development Working Party (CDWP) and ECNEC.

He informed that senior officers of RDA worked day and night to complete PC-I to acquire land for Leh Expressway till Oct 14, last year.

He said now in next phase, tendering process of the mega project would be completed after which the construction work on the project would be kicked off.

APP

China coal output hits record in Dec and in...

January 17, 2022: China's coal output hit record highs in December and in the full year of 2021, as the government continued to encourage miners to ramp up production to ensure sufficient energy supplies in the winter heating season.

China, the world's biggest coal miner and consumer-produced 384.67 million tonnes of fossil fuel last month, up 7.2% year-on-year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday. This compared with a previous record of 370.84 million tonnes set in November.

For the full year of 2021, output touched a record 4.07 billion tonnes, up 4.7% from the previous year.

Since October, authorities have ordered coal miners to run at maximum capacity to tame red-hot coal prices and prevent a recurrence of September's nationwide power crunch that disrupted industrial operations and added to factory gate inflation.

The most-active thermal coal futures contract on the Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange, for May delivery, was up 2.82% at 708 yuan per tonne at 0239 GMT on Monday. Prices have more than halved since hitting record highs in October last year.

Coal traders in China shrugged off an Indonesian coal export ban as stockpiles at power plants were strong and power demand was set to weaken for the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays.

Coal inventory at Chinese utilities exceeded 162 million tonnes on Jan. 21, or 21 days usage, about 40 million tonnes higher than the same period last year, the state planner National Development and Reform Commission said on Friday.

Coal supply was guaranteed, the state planner has said, even as coal inventories were "slightly fluctuating" from a record high of 168 million tonnes struck on Dec. 22, it added. They remained above 160 million tonnes, exceeding levels in the prior year.

Meanwhile, China's 2021 power consumption rose 10.3% year-on-year to 8.31 trillion kilowatt-hours (kWh), the National Energy Administration said in a separate statement on Monday.

Reuters

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