Tehran, Aug 28 (AP/UNB) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has sought to defend his administration amid ongoing economic problems fanned by America's decision to pull out of the nuclear deal.
Rouhani spoke Tuesday before the Iranian parliament and linked nationwide demonstrations that rocked the country in December to January to President Donald Trump's decision months later to withdraw from the accord.
The president said: "Be aware that sabotage creates destruction. Be aware that painting a bleak picture of people's lives will lead to further darkness."
Rouhani also made a cryptic remark that Iran had a "third way" to deal with the crisis other than abandoning or staying in the nuclear deal. He did not elaborate, but said he mentioned it to French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday.
Tokyo, Aug 28 (AP/UNB) — Global shares were mostly higher Tuesday after the White House said it reached a preliminary agreement with Mexico on replacing a North American free-trade deal.
KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 rose 0.1 percent in early trading to 5,485.39, while Germany's DAX was up 0.2 percent at 12,561.44. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.7 percent to 7,630.36. U.S. shares were set to be flat with Dow futures virtually unchanged at 27,078. S&P 500 futures gained less than 0.1 percent to 2,899.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 finished at 22,813.47, up 0.1 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.6 percent to 6,304.70. South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.2 percent to 2,303.12. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2 percent to 28,333.14 after fluctuating throughout the day. The Shanghai Composite index inched down 0.1 percent to 2,777.98, adjusting from its gains the previous day.
TRADE DEAL: Asian economies generally benefit from trade deals that will encourage exports to the U.S. The Nasdaq composite index topped 8,000 for the first time after the North American Free Trade Agreement news, although the trade deal isn't final. The U.S. still needs to reach an understanding with Canada, the third party in the accord.
THE QUOTE: "Risk sentiment continues to improve with U.S. markets bolstered by the ... latest NAFTA progress, set to inspire Asian market higher into the session," said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore.
TOYOTA GAINS: Toyota Motor Corp. shares got a perk from the NAFTA news as the top Japanese automaker benefits from free trade. The manufacturer was also boosted by its announcement that it was investing $500 million in ride-hailing service Uber and will partner with it to build self-driving cars. Toyota was trading up nearly 2 percent in the morning session on the Tokyo Stock Exchange but settled at 0.9 percent higher in the afternoon.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 14 cents to $68.73 a barrel. It edged up 0.2 percent to $68.87 a barrel in the New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 4 cents to $76.25 a barrel.
CURRENCIES: The dollar inched down to 111.18 yen from 111.19 late Monday. The euro rose to $1.1684 from $1.1611.
Dhaka, Aug 26 (UNB) – Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Sunday said the crisis over the sale of rawhide of sacrificial animals will be over soon as the government has taken steps in this regard.
Talking to journalists at the Secretariat, he also said the government has no plan to export the rawhides to protect the local leather industry.
“We’ve talked to the leaders of Bangladesh Tanners Association, and they informed us that they would buy the rawhide despite the crisis,” the minister said.
He said they will resolve the persisting problems at the newly established Savar Tannery Industrial Estate (STIE).
As banks are reopened after the eid, Tofail said the tanners fund crunch will also be resolved. “So, the crisis over the rawhide will not be there.”
He said the main reasons behind the rawhide crisis are non-functioning of many tanneries at STIE, non-operation of Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) there, problem over the ownership document of STIE land and lack of loan from the banks.
The minister said the government will do everything necessary for the development of the leather sector.
He said the government is not taking any move to export the rawhide as it will ruin the local leather industry. “The government is always careful about protecting a potential sector like the leather one.”
About the next general election, Tofail said it will be held as per the Constitution like other countries of the world.
He said BNP’s existence will be at stake if it does not join the 11th parliamentary elections.
Replying to a question, Tofail said the current government will act as the interim administration during the election without dissolving parliament.
He hinted that the September session can be the last one of the 10th parliament.
Singapore, Aug 27 (AP/UNB) — Asian stocks rose on Monday as a dovish speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and all-time highs on Wall Street gave markets a breather from trade tensions.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.7 percent to 22,759.53 and South Korea's Kospi rose less than 0.1 percent to 2,293.67. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.9 percent to 28,191.43. The Shanghai Composite rebounded 1.2 percent to 2,760.86. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.2 percent to 6,259.90. Taiwan's benchmark rose and Southeast Asian indexes were mostly higher.
WALL STREET: Major U.S. indexes finished higher on Friday, lifted by strong corporate earnings amid uncertainty from simmering trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The benchmark S&P 500 index closed at an all-time high, adding 0.6 percent to 2,874.69. It has now finished with a weekly gain in seven out of the last eight weeks. The Nasdaq composite and the Russell 2000 indexes also ended the day at all-time highs. The Nasdaq gained 0.9 percent to 7,945.98. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 0.5 percent to 1,725.67. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5 percent, to 25,790.35.
DOVISH FED: U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sketched a positive picture of the U.S. economy on Friday and said the Fed's incremental approach to raising rates has so far succeeded. "The economy is strong. Inflation is near our 2 percent objective, and most people who want a job are finding one. We are setting policy to do what monetary policy can do to support continued growth, a strong labor market and inflation near 2 percent," Powell said, at an annual conference of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The chairman's measured tone about the economy and his message that the Fed plans to stick with a gradual pace of rate hikes appeared to sit well with investors. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 133 points — about half a percentage point — and bond prices rose as well.
TRADE TENSIONS: The United States and China have imposed 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion of each other's goods including automobiles, factory equipment and other goods. On Thursday, U.S. and Chinese negotiators ended two days of meetings without breaking a deadlock over trade that has unnerved financial markets and disrupted global commerce. Lindsay Walters, a White House spokeswoman, said the delegations exchanged views on achieving a balanced economic relationship, without mentioning further talks. China's Commerce Ministry said the talks were constructive and the sides would maintain contact, but didn't give details.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "The lingering theme from last Friday had been the Jackson Hole symposium which was perceivably dovish, enthusing equity markets into the end of the week," Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary. "Still, the watch lies with data as we head into the end of the month while keeping that keen eye on trade tensions after last week's failed talks," she added.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 13 cents to $68.59 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 1.3 percent to settle at $68.72 per barrel on Friday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dropped 9 cents to $75.73 in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar eased to 111.06 yen from 111.20 yen in late trading Friday. The euro rose to $1.1630 from $1.1625.
Dhaka, July 29 (UNB) - City Bank and bKash Limited on Sunday announced a strategic partnership, enabling their customers to enjoy a bundle of services, including instant fund transfer between bank account to bKash account, credit card bill payment and cash withdrawal from ATM by bKash customers.
Managing Director and CEO of City Bank Sohail RK Hussain and Chief Executive Officer of bKash Kamal Quadir signed an agreement in this regard on behalf of their respective organizations at the head office of City Bank.
Under this agreement, City Bank customers will be able to transfer fund instantly from their City Bank account to bKash wallet using Bank’s digital banking platform called Citytouch via mobile app and web.
Similar facility of instant fund transfer from bKash account to City Bank account will also be available.
Moreover, City Bank credit card members will be able to pay their credit card bills from their bKash wallet while bKash customers will be able to withdraw cash from any of the 350 City Bank ATMs across the country.
Sohail Hussain said the strategic partnership will begin a new era in country’s payment system. “We have always been very proud of our digital banking platform Citytouch and this integration with the top mobile financial company like bKash will give some unique benefits to our customers.”
Commenting on the partnership, Kamal Quadir said bKash, City Bank partnership creates tremendous opportunities for City Bank customers to avail all bKash services including reaching out 30 million bKash customers.
The agreement signing ceremony was also attended by Mashrur Arefin, Additional MD, Kazi Azizur Rahman, DMD and Chief Information Officer, Arup Haider, Head of Retail Banking, Mustafizur Rahman, Head of Alternate Delivery Channel of City Bank and Mizanur Rashid, Chief Commercial Officer, Mohammad Azmal Huda, Chief Technology Officer, Mir Nawbut Ali, Chief Marketing Officer and Major General Sheikh Md Monirul Islam (retd), Chief External and Corporate Affairs Officer of bKash and other senior officials from both organizations.