Toronto, Sep 30 (AP/UNB) — Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland postponed her U.N. speech as free trade talks between the U.S. and Canada intensified.
Freeland had been scheduled to deliver Canada's address to the General Assembly on Saturday in New York, but Canada exchanged the slot with another country. Freeland may or may not give the speech on Monday.
A senior Canadian government official said they are making progress in the talks but said it's not certain that they will reach a deal soon. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said Canada will only sign a good deal.
Canada, the United States' No. 2 trading partner, was left out when the U.S. and Mexico reached an agreement last month to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement. The U.S. and Canada are under pressure to reach a deal by the end of the day Sunday, when the U.S. must make public the full text of the agreement with Mexico.
U.S. President Donald Trump has said he wants to go ahead with a revamped NAFTA — with or without Canada. It is unclear, however, whether Trump has authority from Congress to pursue a revamped NAFTA with only Mexico, and some lawmakers say they won't go along with a deal that leaves out Canada.
Among other things, the negotiators are battling over Canada's high dairy tariffs. Canada also wants to keep a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the U.S. wants to jettison.
U.S.-Canada talks bogged down earlier this month, and most trade analysts expected the Sept. 30 deadline to come and go without Canada being reinstated. They suspected that Canada, which had said it wasn't bound by U.S. deadlines, was delaying the talks until after provincial elections Monday in Quebec, where support for Canadian dairy tariffs runs high.
But trade attorney Daniel Ujczo of the Dickinson Wright law firm, who follows the NAFTA talks closely, said the United States put pressure on Canada, saying there would "consequences" if it didn't reach an agreement by the end of the day Sunday. Trump has repeatedly threatened to start taxing Canadian auto imports. Ujczo put the odds of a deal this weekend at 75 percent.
Relations between the two neighbors have been strained since Trump assailed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G-7 meeting in June, calling him "weak" and "dishonest." Canadian leaders have objected to Trump's decision to impose tariffs on Canadian steel, citing national security.
Dhaka, Sep 29 (UNB)- Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) recently signed an agreement with Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) at BREB Office.
Abu Reza Md Yeahia, Deputy Managing Director of the Bank and Md Hossain Patwary, Director of BREB signed the agreement on behalf of respective organisations.
This agreement will facilitate the members of Palli Bidyut Samity to pay their electricity bill through IBBL branches and agent banking outlets under the area of the Samity.
Md Mahboob Alam, Executive Vice President, M Zubayer Azam Helali, Senior Vice President, Nazrul Islam and Mohammed Masud Hakim Khan, Senior Assistant Vice Presidents of the Bank, Prosenjit Kumar Ghosh, Deputy Director, Md Abu Sayed Siddiquee and Md Ziauddin, Assistant Directors of BREB along with top executives and officials of both organisations were present on the occasion.
New York, Sep 28 (AP/UNB) — After four days of modest losses, Apple and Amazon led the U.S. stock market to small gains on Thursday. Internet and health care companies rose while mining companies fell with metals prices.
Apple and Amazon are the two most valuable U.S. companies, and analysts said each stock should keep climbing. Other market favorites including Facebook and Google parent Alphabet also rose.
Interest rates slipped for a second day, which led to losses for banks, while the stronger dollar weighed on metals prices and on shares of the companies that mine those metals. Smaller companies, which have struggled in September, also fell.
Scott Wren, senior global equity strategist for the Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said investors have been reluctant to get back into the stock market since the 2008-09 recession, and there are signs that's changing.
"Retail investors have been underinvested for this whole expansion," he said. "The economy is decent. The market is correctly pricing in a relatively low possibility of an all-out trade war."
The S&P 500 index rose 8.03 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,914. Despite its recent losing streak, the benchmark index is up more than 7 percent since the end of June. With one day left in the third quarter, the S&P 500 is on track for its best quarter since the end of 2013.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 54.65 points, or 0.2 percent, to 26,439.93. The Nasdaq composite climbed 51.60 points, or 0.6 percent, to 8,041.97. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks dipped 1.08 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,690.53.
Apple rose after JPMorgan Chase analyst Samik Chatterjee said the stock could climb another 20 percent by the end of next year. Chatterjee said the company was successfully building up its services businesses such as music and payments, which could bring in 20 percent of Apple's annual revenue in the next few years. Chatterjee said the company might make acquisitions in the gaming, automotive or smart speaker businesses.
Apple rose 2.1 percent to $224.95. Elsewhere in the technology sector, Salesforce.com rose 1.3 percent to $160.43. Internet companies also rose. Alphabet rose 1.1 percent to $1,207.36 and Facebook rose 1.1 percent to $168.84.
Amazon rose 1.9 percent to $2,012.98 after Stifel analyst Scott Devitt forecast more revenue for its retail, advertising and web services units and raised his price target to $2,525 a share. That would value Amazon at about $1.2 trillion.
Wren, of Wells Fargo, said many smaller investors have been reluctant to put too much money in the stock market, and with more U.S. workers nearing retirement age, that is probably not going to change. Some experts worry when retail investors hurry into the market because it can be a sign stock prices are going to get too high. But Wren said he's not concerned about that possibility yet.
Bed Bath & Beyond plunged 21 percent to $14.86 after the home goods and furnishings company reported earnings that fell far short of what analysts were expecting. The company also lowered its profit forecast for the rest of the year and said it expects lower sales. Its stock closed at its lowest price since March 2000 and has dropped from $75 in less than four years.
Several other companies that reported quarterly results also traded lower. Conagra Brands, the parent of Chef Boyardee and Hebrew National, fell 8.5 percent to $32.98 after its profit and sales fell short of Wall Street projections. Cruise line operator Carnival gave up 4.8 percent to $63.74 after it said prices for recent bookings have been lower than they were a year ago.
Tesla took a small loss during the day and then dropped 6.1 percent in aftermarket trading after the Securities Commission filed a complaint against CEO Elon Musk. The complaint says Musk made false statements about a plan to take the electric car maker private.
Benchmark U.S. crude rose 0.8 percent to $72.12 per barrel in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 0.5 percent to $81.72 per barrel in London.
Wholesale gasoline rose 1.2 percent to $2.08 a gallon. Heating oil gained 1 percent to $2.32 a gallon. Natural gas rose 2.6 percent to $3.06 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Bond prices rose again. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.05 percent from 3.06 percent.
The ICE U.S. Dollar index climbed 0.8 percent, which pushed metals prices lower. Gold slid 1 percent to $1,187.40 an ounce. Silver lost 0.8 percent to $14.29 an ounce. Copper fell 1.6 percent to $2.78 a pound.
The dollar rose to 113.42 yen from 112.85 yen. The euro fell to $1.1658 from $1.1762.
The FTSE 100 index in Britain rose 0.5 percent, as did France's CAC 40. Germany's DAX gained 0.4 percent. But Italy's FTSE MIB fell 0.6 percent and Italian government bond prices rose as the new government met to discuss its spending plans. Some investors appear concerned Italy will break eurozone budget rules on to satisfy election promises.
Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 1 percent and South Korea's Kospi, which reopened after a national holiday, added 0.7 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slipped 0.4 percent.
Dhaka, Sept 27 (UNB) – Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal on Thursday said the government has been working sincerely to turn Bangladesh as one of the attractive tourism destinations of the world by utilizing its potential and natural beauty.
He said the government has taken a mega plan to boost the tourism sector with higher presence of domestic and international tourists.
The Tourism Minister was addressing a rally at TSC intersection in Dhaka University campus marking the World Tourism Day 2018.
The colorful rally started from Matsya Bhaban intersection at 8:30 am and ended at TSC intersection in Dhaka University campus.
DU Vice Chancellor Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman, Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary M Mahibul Haque, Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation Chairman Akhtaruzzaman Khan Kabir and DU Tourism and Hospitality Management Department Chairman Dr Md Bodruzzaman Bhuiyan, among others, spoke at the rally highlighting the importance of the day.
Members of the Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh, Aviation and Tourism Journalists’ Forum of Bangladesh (ATJFB), a platform of journalists covering aviation and tourism affairs, Bangladesh Tourism Board (BTB), Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation and other stakeholders took part in the rally.
The government and different organisations have chalked out various programmes to celebrate the day.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages marking the day.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on governments to support digital technologies that can transform the way people travel, reduce the ecological burden of tourism and bring the benefits of tourism to all.
“Digital technologies have brought a positive momentum to societies and economies around the world. They’ve connected us on a global level, helped to empower the most vulnerable and become our crucial allies for sustainable development,” he said in a message marking the World Tourism Day that falls on September 27.
This year’s theme for the day is ‘Tourism and the digital transformation’.
The UN chief said the wide reach of tourism into many sectors, from infrastructure and energy to transport and sanitation, and its huge impact on job creation, make it a vital contributor to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“At the same time, tourism plays a pivotal role in advancing the cultural understanding and bringing people together,” he said.
Yet tourism, Guterres said needs innovation in technology to realise its potential contributions.
“Its benefits need to flow to host communities. Governments can help connect startups with investors to facilitate innovation, entrepreneurship, employment and a truly inclusive tourism sector,” he added.
The UN chief said, “Our challenge is to continue harnessing this power for good while safeguarding against the risks.”
Meanwhile, Rabindra Sarobar in Dhanmondi, one of the capital’s popular cultural venues, wore a colourful look as three-day tourism festival “Biman Tourism Fest 2018” will begin on Thursday afternoon.
The theme of the festival is “Tourism and the Digital Transformation”.
ATJFB with the administrative support of BTB will host the festival.
Different organizations will display various tourism related products and activities at the venue from 10 am to 7 pm every day.
Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister AKM Shahjahan Kamal will inaugurate the festival as the chief guest at 3 pm. Social Welfare Minister Rashed Khan Menon will attend the closing session on September 29.
A discussion on the tourism master plan centring the Sundarbans will be held on the second day of the fest on September 28.
Experts and different stakeholders of the tourism industry will take part in the discussion where Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Md Mohibul Haque will attend as the chief guest.
On each day of the carnival, a cultural show will be staged where popular folk bands, bauls and other traditional solo singers will be performing.
Besides, tribal and traditional dance performances are also included in the festival itinerary.
The festival is sponsored by the national flag carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines as the title sponsor and powered by US-Bangla Airlines.
NOVOAIR, Rangdhanu Group, Regent Airways and Way Dhaka joined as co-sponsors while Well Food and DBC became food and media partners respectively.
Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation (BPC), Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB) and Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) also joined hands as strategic partners of the fest.
Buenos Aires, Sep 27 (AP/UNB) — The International Monetary Fund agreed Wednesday to increase a lending package with Argentina by $7.1 billion to a total of $57.1 billion, seeking to calm markets over the country's ability to meet its debt amid growing economic turmoil.
Argentina had secured $50 billion in financing as part of a deal worked out with the IMF in June after South America's second-largest economy was battered by a run on the Argentine peso amid double-digit inflation.
IMF Director Christine Lagarde said Wednesday that Argentina's central bank has agreed as part of the deal to intervene in currency markets only in case of extreme circumstances and that the new amount will help Argentina's government face its challenges.
"The Central Bank of Argentina has decided to adopt a floating exchange rate regime without intervention," Lagarde said at a joint news conference with Argentine Economy Minister Nicolas Dujovne in New York.
"In the event of extreme overshooting of the exchange rate, the (bank) may conduct limited intervention in foreign exchange markets to prevent disorderly market conditions."
Argentine Central Bank Chief Guido Sandleris later told reporters that under the revised deal, the central bank initially will intervene only by selling $150 million worth of pesos a day when the currency drops below 34 pesos or rises above 44 pesos per U.S. dollar.
"This will allow us to reduce inflation and recover the stability and predictability in prices that Argentina so badly needs," said Sandleris, who was named to the job Tuesday after Luis Caputo surprisingly resigned.
The new deal will also speed up disbursements to $13.4 billion from $6 billion previously agreed for this year and to $22.8 billion from $11.4 billion previously approved for 2019.
Argentina has been badly hit by a severe drought that has damaged crop yields in the world's third-largest exporter of soybean and corn. The situation worsened beginning in the first quarter of 2018 as world oil prices rose and then interest rate hikes in the United States led investors to pull dollars out of Argentina.
That caused panic among Argentines, who have stashed away dollars as a cushion since the country's worst crisis in 2001 when banks froze deposits and the currency tumbled.
The rush to buy dollars led the peso's value to collapse. Despite several interest rate hikes by the Central Bank, the peso has lost more than half its value this year, making it one of the world's worst performing currencies.
Following the run on the peso, President Mauricio Macri began pushing for early IMF disbursements under a revised deal. He aimed to restore investor confidence and ease concerns that Argentina will not be able to meet its debt obligations next year.
Consumer prices are rising at an estimated annual rate of about 40 percent. Many Argentines joined in a nationwide strike Tuesday to protest Macri's handling of the economic crisis and his decision to turn to the IMF for help.
Most Argentines blame the international lending institution for encouraging policies that led to the country's economic implosion in 2001. It resulted in one of every five Argentines being unemployed and millions sliding into poverty.
The IMF has admitted it made a string of mistakes that contributed to the economic implosion. A 2004 report by the IMF's internal audit unit concluded it failed to provide enough oversight and overestimated growth and the success of economic reforms, while it continued to lend Argentina money when its debt burden had turned unsustainable.
Without further IMF support, the government was forced to declare a record $100 billion sovereign debt default.