India

The fear of coronavirus falls on the stock market but investment pros advocate calm during the storm The World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic opened a Pandora’s Box for the global economy. As panic gripped world markets, the BSE SENSEX crashed to an all-time low this week, even as the rupee fell further against the dollar and gold traded flat. Investors lost nearly INR 11 Million crore in the stock markets, in a single day as the Bombay Stock Ex…


The increasing number of coronavirus cases has become a crucial concern for people in India, and across the world. According to the latest figure on India’s health ministry website, the total number of cases in India has reached 1,965 and the death toll has reached 50 by Thursday. The governments in all the states are ramping up efforts to fight the crisis in whatever way possible. While the country is already under lockdown and emergency helplines have been activated, central and state govern…


With 437 new cases reported in 24 hours, the number of Covid-19 infected people rose to 1,834 on Wednesday, the health ministry website showed. This was the biggest single-day rise yet. The number includes 1,649 active cases and 41 deaths so far in the country.   However, the health ministry said the spike did not represent a “national trend” and was primarily because of travel by those who had attended the Tabligh-e-Jamaat congregation in the national capital.....


Last week when the RBI permitted banks to allow a moratorium of three months on payment of instalments on all term loans, PSBs started announcing an automatic deferral of instalment for all "A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don't need it." An American comedian Bob Hope, thus, describes the banking industry in a lighter vein. One may see a glimpse of it in the ongoing covid-19-led economic distress.....


2020-04-02

Guillaume Cartier replaces Peyman Kargar, who is moving to a corporate role at Nissan Yokohama-headquartered Nissan Motor Company Ltd has appointed Guillaume Cartier as senior vice president and the new chairman for Africa, Middle East and India markets. Also appointed as the head of Global Datsun business unit, Cartier takes over both the roles effective immediately, the company said on 1 April. He replaces Peyman Kargar, who is moving to a corporate role at Nissan after serving as the chair…


Covid-19 effect; dip in revenues from domestic transactions, imports to blame Gross GST (Goods & Services Tax) collection at ₹97,597 crore in March was 8 per cent lower compared to the same period last year. However, for 2019-20 as a whole, the gross GST collection was nearly 4 per cent higher than in 2018-19. Also, the total collection was higher than the revised estimate of over ₹11.26-lakh-crore and budget estimate of over ₹11.89-lakh-crore, the Finance Ministry said on Wednesday...…


Disney Plus, the much-awaited video streaming service from The Walt Disney Company is all set to make its debut in the Indian market on April 3rd, 2020. Running as an independent portal in various countries, they will be launching their streaming services via Hotstar.  Earlier, they were supposed to go live on March 29th, along with the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, the suspension of IPL made them stop the launch as well but it seems like they have changed the plan to work things at to …


The Indonesian government has officially assumed the authority to tax digital companies operating in the country following the issuance of a new government regulation in lieu of law (Perppu) on Tuesday. The Perppu, which takes effect on Tuesday and aims to support the government’s efforts to fight the adverse economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, states that the companies will be charged value added tax (VAT) on taxable intangible goods and/or services sold through electronic platforms...…


2020-04-01

NRIs who have over ₹15 lakh income from Indian sources will be deemed as Indian residents for the purpose of taxation if they had spent 120 days in India in the previous year Another key change is the taxation of dividends in the hands of shareholders, in contrast to the earlier system of levying a DDT on the company   Big changes in India’s direct tax regime will come into force on Wednesday, covering a host of stakeholders, including non-resident Indians (NRIs), company shareholders,…


Extension of several time limits related to direct and indirect tax filings have been extended to June 30, so has the date for passing of order or issuance of notice by tax authorities under various direct taxes and Benami Law. The government issued an ordinance Tuesday to bring into effect compliance relief measures for taxpayers in the wake of Covid 19 that were announced by the finance ministry last week. The ordinance also allowed for 100% exemption of donations made to PM Cares fund, set up…


Pallonji Mistry and sons Shapoor Mistry and Cyrus Mistry, who together control the diversified SP Group, have tapped Canadian investor Brookfield for a mega $2-2.5 billion funding facility using part of its stake in Tata Sons as collateral. Tata Sons and its estranged minority shareholder Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group have clashed once again with the former objecting to cash-strapped SP Group’s plans to pledge a portion of its stake in the Tata Group parent to raise money.Pallonji Mistry and s…


The idea of the project will be to respond and mitigate the Covid-19 threat and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness in India, as per the project document. The World Bank has offered $1 billion to the Indian government for a proposed India Covid-19 emergency response and health systems preparedness project. This four-year project aims to develop the preparedness of India’s health care systems in the time of the pandemic. Read more at:https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/n…


Vehicle makers are working out plans and support measures for the sustenance of their dealer partners to manage the crisis arising out of 21-day nationwide lockdown, announced to fight the Covid-19 outbreak. As retail sales have stopped completely due to the lockdown, automotive dealers are facing several challenges to sustain their business.......


Joining the fight against coronavirus, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has decided to convert its sprawling Trauma Centre building into a COVID-19 hospital. Several preparations are underway to convert hotels and hospitals into dedicated COVID-19 treatment facilities. The total number of coronavirus cases on Tuesday had climbed to 1,420, with the death toll at 41. Watch the video for more....


2020-04-01

Online cosmetics and beauty products retailer Nykaa said on Tuesday that it has raised ₹100 crore from existing investor Steadview Capital.   However, on Tuesday, the company informed vendors on that it has suspended operations due to the lockdown to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic in India.....


Banks start giving options to avail loan moratorium Customers will either have to contact the bank or the bank will allow 3 months break on loan repayments by default Banks will mostly adopt one of two methods to honour the Reserve Bank of India’s call to allow borrowers to defer loan repayments for three months, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Read more at:https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/banking/finance/banking/banks-start-giving-options-to-avail-loan-moratoriu…


Principal Scientific Adviser releases manual to make masks at home Considering the acute shortage of masks, the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, K VijayRaghavan, has come out with a manual for making re-useable masks at home, using cotton cloth.....


The report did not give a detailed explanation as to why and how India and China will be the exceptions as the world faces a recession and loss in global income that will impact developing countries The world economy will go into recession this year with a predicted loss of trillions of dollars of global income due to the coronavirus pandemic, spelling serious trouble for developing countries with the likely exception of India and China, according to a latest UN trade report. With two-thir…


The traditional trade channel that serves over 1.3 billion people, compared to some 120 million by e-commerce, has fared significantly better when it comes to availability of essential goods Despite significant growth in e-commerce’s reach and sales during the Covid-19 crisis, the local kirana stores have emerged winners. The traditional trade channel that serves over 1.3 billion people, compared to some 120 million by e-commerce, has fared significantly better when it comes to availability …


The justification coming from the government sources is that while PMNRF is for all kinds of natural disasters, PM CARES fund is specially meant for COVID-19 similar pandemic situation The setting up of a special fund -- PM CARES Fund - for providing relief to those affected by COVID-19 has invited controversy after people questioned the need for a new fund when the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund (PMNRF) is already in existence. The PM CARES, or the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance…


Middle East

2020-04-02

Under normal circumstances most people do not give much thought to online shopping. However, with the closure of malls and shops because of coronavirus curbs, online shopping has become essential. But are people going overboard? Many people are buying unnecessary items, such as clothes, bags and shoes, online despite knowing that they will have no use for these items during the pandemic. It seems that through online shopping they are seeking some kind of mental satisfaction or emotional release …


2020-04-02

Kuwait’s central bank announced a stimulus package on Thursday to support vital sectors and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) amid the fallout from the coronavirus epidemic. The Central Bank of Kuwait has reduced liquidity and capital adequacy requirements for banks and cut risk weighting for SMEs, it said in a statement....


The UAE’s Ministry of Education has banned private tutoring “until further notice” amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it was announced on Thursday. In a statement carried by the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency, the MoE said that it has banned “all forms of remedial tutoring offered to students at private entities, residences and educational institutions.” Remote learning offered to students is exempt from the rule.....


2020-04-02

Saudi Arabia called for an urgent OPEC+ meeting on Thursday in an attempt to stabilize the oil market during the coronavirus pandemic.“We previously tried to reach an agreement in the OPEC + group, and a consensus could not be reached at the time,” an official said, adding that “The invitation to the OPEC + meeting comes in appreciation of President Trump's request and friends in the United States.”.....


Dubai developer Nakheel has begun a two-week precautionary disinfection process at 647 of its residential buildings across Dubai amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the company has announced. In a statement carried by the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency, Nakheel said that the programme – which will continue through April 12 – will cover all buildings covered by Nakheel Strata and all apartment blocks under Nakheel’s residential leasing division....


Dubai’s Emirates has received approval from UAE authorities to begin flying a “limited” number of passenger flights from Monday, April 6, according to Emirates chairman and CEO Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. On his official Twitter account, Sheikh Ahmed – who is also the president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority – said that the flights will initially carry travelers outbound from the UAE. More details will be announced “soon”, he added. .......


2020-04-02

A-AA+ ABU DHABI, 1st April, 2020 (WAM) -- UAE citizens invested to the tune of AED1.65 billion in Abu Dhabi and Dubai stock exchanges in March 2020, according to official figures recently released by the two bourses. The figure is the highest on record in several years in a sign reflective of the attractive returns offered by UAE equity markets which touch 10 percent in average, therefore exceeding those provided by other investment vehicles, primarily bank deposits. According to the official …


2020-04-02

Bernardita Catalla, Philippine Ambassador to Lebanon, has succumbed to the new coronavirus, which is projected to infect one million people around the world in the next few days. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Catalla passed away at 12:30 a.m. at a hospital in Beirut where she was confined.....


2020-04-02

Aldar Properties ("Aldar") today announced that its employees are contributing AED 1 million to the 'Together We Are Good' programme launched by The Authority of Social Contribution – Ma'an. The campaign is designed to encourage financial and in-kind contributions from individuals and companies to support the community and promote social responsibility.   'Together We Are Good' is the first project of Ma'an's recently launched 'Social Fund', the official government channel to receive contribu…


2020-04-02

As the COVID-19 pandemic causes volatile swings in markets across the globe, investors are making increasing use of the Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX’s) derivatives products and services as risk management tools. The DGCX last month saw its flagship Gold Futures product record year-on-year (Y-O-Y) Average Daily Volume (ADV) growth of 649.5%, and year-to-date (Y-T-D) volume growth of 742.8% compared to the same period last year. The DGCX’s G6 currency portfolio also saw a trading sp…


2020-04-02

Weekly online events that will cover various topics and issues related to the business community and economic sectors Buamim: Our smart transformation in organizing events is an extension of our efforts in converting all our basic services into e-services to facilitate customer experience Buamim: We have been able to foresee the future and serve the business sector successfully by investing in developing our digital infrastructure The first webinar, launched today, covered best practices f…


2020-04-02

Guillaume Cartier replaces Peyman Kargar, who is moving to a corporate role at Nissan Yokohama-headquartered Nissan Motor Company Ltd has appointed Guillaume Cartier as senior vice president and the new chairman for Africa, Middle East and India markets. Also appointed as the head of Global Datsun business unit, Cartier takes over both the roles effective immediately, the company said on 1 April. He replaces Peyman Kargar, who is moving to a corporate role at Nissan after serving as the chair…


An explosion of freight costs for agricultural goods and limited capacity have prompted the Federal Government to put forward $110 million to help agricultural and fishing exporters reach export markets. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says the International Freight Assistance Mechanism will help secure freight flights into Australia's key export markets, with an initial focus on China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UAE....


2020-04-01

Saudi Arabia cabinet approves memorandum of understanding between Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and Dubai Financial Services Authority in the field of financial services, according to Saudi Press Agency.     The statement said a royal decree has been prepared for that. .....


Dubai Municipality has withdrawn six types of hand sanitisers after they were found to not comply with approved specifications amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the municipality has announced.In a statement, Dubai Municipality said that the six hand sanitisers were found during an exhaustive inspection campaign aimed at verifying the safety of antimicrobial products.“Tests showed that six samples did not comply with approved specifications due to the presence of methanol, which is a color…


2020-04-01

Kuwait announced measures early on Wednesday aimed at shoring up its economy against the coronavirus pandemic, including soft long-term loans from local banks, and the central bank asked banks to ease loan repayments for companies affected.Kuwait, which as of March 31 had registered 289 coronavirus cases, was the first Gulf state to halt passenger flights and impose a partial curfew to stem the spread of the highly infectious respiratory illness.....


Saudi Arabia has approved the listing of government assets to be privatised on the Saudi stock exchange – Tadawul – following an IPO, the government announced following a virtual meeting on Tuesday. “Assets, sectors and services planned for privatisation shall be listed in Saudi stock market through direct or indirect initial public offering,” according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA).....


2020-04-01

In this month’s ‘Go Your Own Way’ issue, the Saudi filmmaker talks life, work and success. “I really wanted to tell a story about a culturally conservative, traditional woman who decides to embrace the changes happening now and go out there and seize the moment,” says Haifaa Al Mansour, the first female filmmaker from Saudi Arabia, is a force to be reckoned with. Despite criticism, she tells EW why it’s crucial to march to the beat of her own drum......


2020-04-01

The UAE imports 90 percent of its food The cargo organization said it transported between mid-January and mid-March more than 225,000 tons of cargo Emirates Skycargo said on Wednesday that it deploys capacity to supply and replenish food and medicines in the UAE, as rulers role out strategies to sustain the country amid the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters news agency reported. The national cargo organization said it transported between mid-January and mid-March more than 225,000 tons of carg…


GEMS Education has said it will offer some parents discounts on school fees, subject to them submitting details of their financial situation. In a letter to parents at Jumeirah Primary School, GEMS said it would soon be release details of a Relief Package application process. Earlier this week, in a letter to parents, GEMS Education CEO Dino Varkey said there would be no fee cuts, instead offering payment instalment plans.....


South East Asia

2020-04-02

Bernardita Catalla, Philippine Ambassador to Lebanon, has succumbed to the new coronavirus, which is projected to infect one million people around the world in the next few days. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Catalla passed away at 12:30 a.m. at a hospital in Beirut where she was confined.....


2020-04-02

Tier-1 or Tier-2 aircraft components suppliers in Malaysia will likely be ousted from commercial aircraft original equipment manufacturers’ (OEMs) supply chain if they cannot continue operating amid the temporary movement control order (MCO). Local aerospace players urged the government to allow their operations to resume after 14 days of closures to avoid disruption in the global supply chain. “A minimum level of operations will allow such local companies to meet critical delivery deadlines…


2020-04-02

Local system in solid financial position Thailand's banking sector is strong enough to cushion against a potential upsurge in bad debt and debt restructuring cases stemming from the coronavirus outbreak and official measures to contain the spread, says a senior official at the Bank of Thailand.......


The number of internet users in Indonesia reached 171 million, or 64.8 percent of the total population, in 2018, according to a survey conducted by Polling Indonesia in cooperation with the Indonesian Internet Providers Association (APJII) in 2019. Progress on creating widely accessible and affordable internet access in Indonesia is slow, with a recent study placing Indonesia 57th among 100 countries on the Inclusive Internet Index, indicating there is still a huge amount of work to be done whe…


2020-04-02

HCM City earned 9.85 billion USD from exports in the first quarter of 2020, a year-on-year increase of 7.5 percent, thanks to support policies and effective trade promotion.However, the export value of agro-forestry-fishery products fell due to lower prices.Agricultural exports dropped by 3.2 percent to 860 million USD, with coffee shipments declining by 11.1 percent to 143.2 million USD, and rubber shipments by more than 37 percent to 85.5 million USD.


THE Philippines recently received new testing kits and ventilators from the Republic of Singapore. In simple turnover ceremonies, Chief of Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Robert EA Borje received the 40,000 testing kits and two ventilators from Ambassador Gerard Ho Wei Hong. The Temasek Foundation based in the city-state donated the medical equipment....


THEY may be free from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid 2019), but overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in China are experiencing “economic difficulties,” Ambassador Jose Santiago “Chito” Sta. Romana said on March 30. In a “Laging Handa” public briefing, Sta. Romana bared that Filipino workers, especially those under a “no work, no pay” scheme, are reaching out to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for financial assistance....


2020-04-02

Around 500 tonnes of Vietnamese products, including coffee, instant noodle, sweet potato, cabbage, pineapple, watermelon, and dragon fruit, were exported to Singapore in March, according to the Vietnamese Commercial Affair Office in SingaporeAmid COVID-19 outbreak, the agency has actively connected with industry associations of the host country and those in Vietnam in order to support Vietnamese firms in taking advantage of opportunities to boost their exports to Singapore....


VENTURE firm TNB Aura has launched a new special situations fund to invest in startups hit by the Covid-19 outbreak, with cheque sizes of about US$2 million each, the company announced on Thursday.  The special situations fund may be structured as a sub-fund of TNB Aura’s upcoming second venture fund, which is targeting a US$100 million final close, TNB Aura’s co-founder and managing partner Vicknesh Pillay told The Business Times....


Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. (FNI) on Tuesday said it is has requested the local government of Surigao del Norte for exemption from the temporary suspension of mining activities in the province....


The new economic stimulus measures will bolster household incomes and boost companies’ cash flow but the challenge is most of the package would have been disbursed by May, says Cassey Lee Malaysians have lived in extreme uncertainty and fear since the country came under a type of lockdown beginning Mar 18, when the Movement Control Order came into effect.   These restrictions were slapped to slow the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. As at Mar 31, Malaysia has seen 2,766 infections and 43 de…


Aid in the form of the Resilience Budget is welcome but more can be done to show how the Resilience Budget has achieved objectives, says OCBC’s Selena Ling The Resilience Budget, coupled with the Unity Budget announced earlier, amounted to a stunning S$55 billion, equivalent to 11 per cent of Singapore’s GDP.   The S$48 billion Resilience Budget was unique in two aspects – it came just five weeks after the Feb 18 announcement of the Unity Budget 2020, and secondly, requires a draw on …


A NEW Bill in Singapore aims to grant temporary relief for six months to those who cannot fulfil contractual obligations such as rent payments or planned events because of the fallout from the Covid-19 outbreak. The Bill is designed to provide "breathing space" for companies, in that the obligations are only suspended - not removed. So although the Bill will seek, for example, to protect tenants from eviction or deposits from being automatically forfeited, rent, for instance, will still accrue a…


Owners of more than 58,000 qualifying retail and food and beverage properties, including shophouses, will not need to pay property tax for this year, but some tenants say landlords are dragging their feet on passing on the savings. The Government expanded the property tax rebates announced earlier to allow about 60,000 commercial properties that qualified for Budget 2020's rebate of 15 per cent or 30 per cent to now pay zero property tax for this year.....


An explosion of freight costs for agricultural goods and limited capacity have prompted the Federal Government to put forward $110 million to help agricultural and fishing exporters reach export markets. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says the International Freight Assistance Mechanism will help secure freight flights into Australia's key export markets, with an initial focus on China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the UAE....


2020-04-01

Vietnam’s agriculture sector gained a trade surplus of nearly 2.9 billion USD in the first quarter of 2020, up 48.9 percent from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.During the three-month period, the sector achieved a total trade value of approximately 15.2 billion USD from horticultural, forestry and aquatic products, with exports worth 9.06 billion USD, equal to the same period last year; and imports of about 6.2 billion USD, down 13.2 percent..…


2020-04-01

Sime Darby Plantation Bhd (SDP) says the containment of palm oil plantations in Sabah needs to be balanced with considerations so that it will not jeopardise the sector.   Palm oil is one of the industries recognised by the National Security Council (NSC) as essential to avoid potentially adverse and severe implications arising from the decision.   On March 31, Sabah state government announced that it was closing palm oil operations in three additional districts in the state.   The decision e…


2020-04-01

Thailand's digital payments jumped 93% in March from a year earlier, the central bank said on Wednesday, as the coronavirus outbreak pushes up demand for online services. The number of transactions made via the PromptPay platform averaged about 11 million per day in March, up from 5.7 million per day in the same period last year, the central bank said.....


2020-04-01

Officials with telecommunications companies in Myanmar say that the use of internet data has risen 25 percent over the past four weeks. “As people use the internet more than before to learn the latest information and announcements about the coronavirus outbreak sweeping the world, including Myanmar, internet usage has risen more than 25 percent over the past four weeks, said U Tint Naing Htut, head of corporate communications for Ooredoo Myanmar. ......


Diversified petrochemical giant PT Barito Pacific Tbk plans to donate Rp 30 billion (US$1.8 million) worth of medical devices to help a number of hospitals in Jakarta, Banten and West Java treat COVID-19 patients. Funds sourced from the company’s two subsidiaries, petrochemical company PT Chandra Asri and geothermal company Star Energy Holding Pte Ltd., as well as its Yayasan Bakti Barito foundation, would be used to buy medical devices for hospitals in Jakarta, West Java and Banten. The two s…