Central Asia’s aim of improving regional connectivity and greater integration of Afghanistan are being challenged by tensions between the neighbours and the cocktail molotov that is US-Afghan relations.
China outbound M&A activities came to a freeze in the second quarter, dragging outbound dealmaking to USD 20.4bn (114 deals) in 1H19, recording the lowest value since 2011 amid uncertainty from the escalating trade war. Even Europe, the all-time most popular destination, saw less Chinese interest with a 64% decrease in deal value in 1H19.
Having planned to foray into Islamic finance since 2011 to capture Pakistan’s largely untapped agricultural market, Zarai Taraqiati Bank has now secured a license from the State Bank Pakistan, moving the regulator closer to its targeted 15% Islamic banking market share in 2018.
Pakistan has opened the investment universe of employees’ provident and contributory funds to include ‘A’-rated instruments under new rules, offering investors a greater range of investment options for their retirement savings plans.