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June 20, 2017






CDNS attracts Rs188bln in savings

ISLAMABAD: The Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) attracted Rs188 billion in savings till June 13, around 82 percent of the target set for the current fiscal year, an official said on Monday. 

The target for 2016/17 was set at Rs228 billion, the official told APP. He said CDNS kept profit rates for various saving certificates unchanged to benefit its investors, especially the widow and pensioners. 

“The consistency in previous rates was made in the backdrop of current market scenario and in accordance with the government’s policy to provide market-based competitive rate of return to the investors of national savings,” he added.

The CDNS official said as per the notification issued by the federal government, the rates for defence, special saving and income certificates and saving accounts were revised up at an average of 7.54, 6.03, 6.54 and 3.95 percent, respectively.

The official said the profit rates of return for specialised savings schemes, like Bahbood savings certificates and pensioners’ benefit account were increased at 9.36 percent to provide safety net to specialised segments of the society.

The CDNS launched its modernisation plan in collaboration with the National Institutional Facilitation Technologies to facilitate customers.


Energy awareness programme started

By our correspondent

KARACHI: Philips Lighting, a global leader in lighting, has initiated a sustainability programme in Pakistan to create awareness about energy efficiency and climate change among schoolchildren, a statement said on Monday.

The rapid growth in urban population has increased the overall energy demand, including lighting, which contributes to roughly 15 percent of the world’s energy consumption. Hence, there is an urgent need to create awareness about energy efficiency and its positive effects on the environment, it added.

Under this programme, Philips Lighting Pakistan is conducting interactive workshops for schoolchildren across various age groups at the local schools. The workshops include interactive and engaging sessions to help children understand topics such as climate change, sustainability and energy efficiency among others, the statement said.

As part of this initiative, Philips Lighting Pakistan had already conducted a workshop at the local school reaching more than 150 students.


‘Improved ties with climate members’

LUXEMBOURG: The European Union said on Monday it was deepening its alliances with other signatories of the Paris climate accord to ensure its implementation, rejecting U.S. President Donald Trump´s demands to renegotiate the pact.

Trump´s announcement on June 1 that he wished to renegotiate the terms of the landmark 195-nation deal - the first to oblige all nations to limit greenhouse gas emissions - was met with dismay the other countries who signed the agreement.

The EU pledged to team up with China, the world´s largest polluter, to achieve the goal of limiting global warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

The Paris accord is "fit for purpose and cannot be renegotiated," the foreign ministers of the bloc´s 28 nations said in a joint statement. They were meeting in Luxembourg.

"The Council (of ministers) deeply regrets the unilateral decision by the United States administration to withdraw from the Paris Agreement," they said.

The EU´s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting that the bloc had on Monday adopted "very strong language" to underline the need to adhere to the commitments stipulated in the climate agreement. "We are building strong global alliances to make sure that the Paris agreement, will be upheld, even after Trump´s decision to step back," Mogherini said.


Moody’s downgrades Australian banks

SYDNEY: Moody´s Investors Service on Monday downgraded 12 Australian banks, including the four biggest lenders, reflecting what it called elevated risks in the household sector.

Such risk was heightening the sensitivity of the banks´ credit profiles to an adverse shock, according to the ratings agency.

"While Moody´s does not anticipate a sharp housing downturn as a core scenario, the tail risk represented by increased household sector indebtedness becomes a material consideration in the context of the very high ratings assigned to Australian banks," it said.

Moody´s said the long-term credit ratings for Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank an Westpac Banking Corp were downgraded to Aa3 from Aa2.It reaffirmed their short-term ratings.

The Australian government has taken steps in recent months to cool the red-hot property market amid concerns that speculation in housing could ultimately hurt consumers, banks and the economy.

House prices in Sydney and Melbourne have more than doubled since 2009.With cash interest rates at a record low and house prices near record highs, the nation´s household debt-to-income ratio has climbed to an all-time peak of 189 percent, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).  That means there are an increasing number of people who have little cash for discretionary spending – on everything from cars to electrical appliances and new clothes - as their pay packets get consumed by large mortgages and high rental payments.