China, Japan, ROK discuss trade, investment in FTA negotiations

Delegates from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) discussed goods and services trade and investment as they met in Beijing on Wednesday for the 11th round of trilateral free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations. Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen led the Chinese delegation, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement. Since their launch in November 2012, China-Japan-ROK Free Trade Agreement negotiations have been carried out.

Bulgarian PM discusses investment opportunities with Chinese business representatives

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov met on Wednesday with representatives of three Chinese companies who are in the Balkan country to explore investment opportunities. Representatives of the Chinese companies -- Alibaba Group, GS-Solar Company and GoldPoly Group -- said their interest in Bulgaria came as a result of the good relations that Borissov had established with the Chinese leaderships, the Bulgarian government said in a statement.

Trade with China helps 2.6m US jobs

Trade with China supports some 2.6 million jobs in the United States, including jobs that Chinese firm have created directly in the US, according to a report released on Tuesday by the US-China Business Council. And as the Chinese middle class grows rapidly over the next decade, likely exceeding the entire US population by 2026, US companies will have opportunities to tap into a new and lucrative customer base that can further boost employment and economic growth, said the report, entitled Understanding the US-China Trade Relationship.

Chengtong buys Metallurgical Corp shares

Metallurgical Corp of China Ltd, the country's biggest metallurgical engineering contractor, announced on Wednesday that 24.76 million of its nonpublic offering shares were purchased by China Chengtong Holdings Group Ltd, a State-owned asset-operating group. The lockdown period for these shares will last for 12 months. MCC's stock rose by the 10 percent daily trading limit to close at 5.1 yuan (0.74 cent). This is the first time that China Chengtong, which currently holding 350 billion yuan of equity funds for financing the restructuring of SOEs, put money into the country's A-share market.

Chinese yuan strengthens to 6.9141 against USD Thursday

The central parity rate of the Chinese currency renminbi, or the yuan, strengthened 94 basis points to 6.9141 against the US dollar Thursday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trade System. In China's spot foreign exchange market, the yuan is allowed to rise or fall by 2 percent from the central parity rate each trading day. The central parity rate of the yuan against the US dollar is based on a weighted average of prices offered by market makers before the opening of the interbank market each business day.

China's Huawei breaks Guinness selfie world record

Chinese ICT giant Huawei broke the Guinness World Record on Tuesday for the most selfies taken with different people in just three minutes in Dubai. The image featuring 160 participants was captured using the Huawei Mate 9 with Dubai's iconic Burj Khalifa in the background. The record breaking attempt took place at The Palace Hotel in Downtown Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


506-point rally tosses index to record 49,372

The bulls were back with a vengeance on Wednesday which saw the benchmark KSE-100 index power past the 49,000-resistance level to gain 506 points (1.04 per cent) and settle at the all-time high 49,372 points. Investors remained positive in index-heavyweights, MCB Bank rose 3.59pc, Fauji Fertiliser 3.63pc, United Bank 2.02pc, Hub Power 2.57pc and Lucky Cement 1.97pc, which cumulatively contributed 269 points to the index.

ECC extends Neelum-Jhelum surcharge for 18 months

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Wednesday approved a 10-paisa per unit surcharge on electricity for 18 months and payment of Rs38 billion to Punjab as the first instalment of Rs83bn hydropower profit. The meeting presided over by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar also approved Rs180bn package for exporters announced a day earlier by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

FBR reopens KE’s sales tax claims worth Rs1.19bn

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday that it has reopened an input adjustment of sales tax claims worth Rs1.19 billion against K-Electric. The committee was informed that a reference of Rs1.19bn was sent to the FBR against KE. According to Rule 20(2c) of the Sales Tax Special Procedure Rules 2007, gas transmission and distribution companies shall charge sales tax at the rate of 25 per cent of the value of supply of natural gas to CNG stations. Similarly, according to Rule 58(h), electric supply companies shall charge and pay sales tax at the rate of Rs6 per unit of electricity consumed by steel-melters, re-rollers and composite units.

World Bank revises Pakistan's growth rate upward

World Bank has revised Pakistan's growth rate upward to 5.2 per cent for fiscal year 2017 and 5.5 per cent for 2018. The bank previously estimated growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Pakistan 5 per cent and 5.4 per cent respectively, a private news channel reported. The report “Global Economic Prospects; weak investment in uncertain times”, states that the uptake in activity was spurred by a combination of low commodity prices, rising infrastructure spending, and reforms that lifted domestic demand and improved the business climate.

Govt to exempt Chinese hydropower projects from sales tax

The government is expected to withdraw general sales tax (GST) on construction of hydropower projects being developed by Chinese companies under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on the pattern of tax exemptions given to mass transits like Lahore Orange Line Metro Train last week.

PM announces Rs180bn incentive package for export sector

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced incentives worth Rs180 billion in a bid to boost Pakistan's sagging exports. He made the announcement at a ceremony attended by members of the domestic business community in Islamabad Tuesday afternoon. The package includes the removal of customs duty and sales tax on the import of cotton. Customs duty on man-made fibres other than polyester and sales tax levied on the import of textile machinery has also been scrapped.

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