February 20, 2017
By Web Desk

Tensions between the US and China are so elevated - and the prospect of a trade war between superpowers so grim - that every change in the economic backdrop is significant. So signs that Beijing is successfully containing capital outflows, and preventing its currency from depreciating against the US dollar, are crucial. After all, some of President Donald Trump’s anti-China rhetoric often takes the form of accusations of currency manipulation. Confounding widespread expectations of a sharp depreciation, the renminbi, China’s currency, has in fact appreciated by 1.2 per cent against the US dollar during the first six weeks of...


By Web Desk

Early springtime protests about executive pay at companies in the UK, the US and elsewhere are becoming as perennial as snowdrops and daffodils. Protests in the UK this year are louder than elsewhere. Investors are urging that companies reflect on the views of a government that has promised to address the wide gap between society’s elite and its ordinary workers. The debate is no longer just about whether the CEO’s bonus is a fair reflection of the value he or she generated for shareholders but whether the amount is morally defensible in any case. In purely financial terms, it is an odd year to brace for rebellion. Corporate...


By Web Desk

Yet while France - with public debt about 97 per cent of national output - needs to make its public finances more sustainable, there are bigger threats to its economy than an infraction of the stability and growth pact. Three of the leading candidates, Marine Le Pen, Benoît Hamon and François Fillon, believe that without radical change France is doomed to decline. This has for years been the consensus in the French establishment. Voters on the left and right now share that disillusion. Ms Le Pen, who leads the polls for the first round of voting, wants to pull France out of the euro and redenominate most of its public debt in...


By Felipe Calderón

Days into his presidency, Donald Trump’s decisions have opened confrontations on several fronts and confirmed our fears: not only is he a threat to international trade and global growth, but also to the international order, the environment, racial and religious minorities, Nato, the UN and a long et cetera. Unfortunately, President Trump has shown a special interest in abusively hitting Mexico, knowing that there is a huge asymmetry between our countries. As long as he believes that “every nation” has been taking advantage of the US, Mr Trump’s attitude towards Mexico - threatening, insulting, with an intent to...


By Ihtasham Ul Haque

INSIGHT The first six months of 2016-17 have witnessed an unwarranted 55 percent fiscal deficit and 90 percent current account deficit leaving behind a big question mark about the much proclaimed economic stabilisation in the country.      These twin deficits at Rs400 billion and $3.6 billion respectively had presumably been allowed to immensely increase after the completion of three years $6.2 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) bailout International Monitory Fund (IMF) package that ended in September last year. The country’s fiscal deficit – a mother of all economic ills - has hit a four year high...


By Sirajuddin Aziz

MANAGEMENT No manager is disliked for wrong reasons. Almost all of this type actually deserve to be disliked. The only one reason for disliking that is unjustifiable is when he or she in addition to the disliked traits of their conduct and behaviour are also not helped by nature to have looks of Cary Grant, Rock Hudson or Audrey Hepburn. So the disliked manager has, for his own self, to contend with the deformed visible is in equal competition with the invisible convoluted persona. The word ‘boss’ by its improper use, normally conjures images of a ruthless blood sucking cousin of count Dracula or even worse the living devil in...


By James Saft

FINANCE Try to hide wherever you like but periods of rising interest rates mean lower returns. The Federal Reserve raised rates for the first time in more than nine years in December, and seeing as short rates are at 0.50 to 0.75 percent, investors may be facing an extended and potentially steep trip to higher levels. US inflation is now at 2.5 percent, the highest since 2012, and hawkish testimony before lawmakers by Fed Chair Janet Yellen has prompted traders to now see a 42 percent chance of a March hike, up from just 30 percent Monday. For many investors, especially those in their twenties or thirties, this may well be their first...


By Hussain Ahmad Siddiqui

ENERGY Small is big business, at least in the power sector. The recent growth of small power plants in Pakistan using various energy technologies is a testament to the statement. National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has so far issued 158 generation licenses of cumulative installed capacity of 3,488MW, which constitutes about 15 percent of total installed capacity at national level, whereas many other applications are in process. These Small Power Producers (SPPs), Captive Power Producers (CPPs) and Co-Generation Power Projects are each of capacity ranging from one megawatt up to maximum 56MW (higher capacity projects have...


By Zeeshan Haider

FOCUS TThe recent wave of terrorist attacks across the length and breadth of Pakistan has shaken the entire nation. More than 100 people were killed and hundreds were injured in attacks perpetrated in all provincial capitals, tribal areas as well as Azad Kashmir in less than a week. The attacks came at a time when the government was showcasing Pakistan as a favorite destination for private investment and convincing foreign entrepreneurs to invest in the country. The stable security situation is a pre-requisite to attract private entrepreneurs to put in their money in a particular area or a country. The security situation across the...