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Indian equities up on rate cut hopes
MUMBAI: Expectations of an interest rate cut in the monetary policy over lower monthly inflation combined with a rebound in Asian markets gave a push to the Indian equity market on Tuesday. Accordingly, the two key indices − Sensex and Nifty50 − closed over 1.30 per cent higher as healthy buying was seen in IT and other interest rate-sensitive stocks. The surge came on the back of expectations that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI
 
 
Saudi Aramco to issue bonds in Q2 2019
RIYADH: Saudi Aramco will issue bonds in the second quarter of 2019, Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Wednesday. The Saudi oil giant has considered issuing bonds to help finance its planned acquisition of a controlling stake in petrochemical maker SABIC. The deal is expected to involve the purchase of all or nearly all of the 70 per cent stake in SABIC held by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the kingdom’s top sovereign
   
Pakistan Economy Watch sees ‘domestic debt in manageable limits’
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) said foreign and domestic debt has been climbing sharply but it is still in manageable limits. The country’s total debt stocks have jumped to over Rs26.5 trillion but the government has the ability to tackle it, it said. The government is facing larger economic challenges such as repaying mounting foreign debt amid rapidly declining foreign currency reserves necessitating vital
 
 
Egypt’s Suez Canal revenues fall to $461.5m in November
CAIRO: Egypt’s Suez Canal revenues fell to $461.5 million in November, down around 8.8 per cent from October’s $506.1 million, data from the cabinet’s website showed on Tuesday. The canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia and one of the government’s main sources of foreign currency. The Suez Canal a sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez.
   
Bank of China offers Sri Lanka $300m loan option to raise $1b
COLOMBO: Bank of China, the country’s fourth-biggest lender by assets, has offered a loan of $300 million to Sri Lanka which can be raised to $1 billion, a source in Colombo with direct knowledge of the matter, told Reuters on Tuesday. The government is considering the offer because of “difficulty in borrowing money after recent ratings downgrades”, the source said, declining to be named as the information was not public.
 
 
25% of workers to use digital assistants globally by 2021
Mumbai: Twenty five per cent of workers globally would use a virtual employee assistant (VEA) on a daily basis by 2021 − from a mere 2 per cent in 2019 − a Gartner report said. The VEA examples include Amazon’s Alexa for Business which is helping employees delegate tasks such as scheduling meetings and logistics operations and Nokia’s “MIKA” helping engineers find answers as they perform complex tasks or diagnose problems.
   
Stop merger of public sector banks: India’s CPI-M
New Delhi: The CPI-M party on Tuesday urged the government to stop the merger of three nationalised banks, saying it will weaken all three post unification. The party said it was “deeply concerned at the un-seemly haste with which the government has been going ahead with the merger/amalgamation process of Vijaya Bank, Bank of Baroda and Dena Bank” ignoring the opposition of the employees and officers. “The merger of banks is
 
 
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