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Saturday,06-March-2021

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China denies seeking guarantees from Pakistan

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After reports emerged about Pakistans ally and all-weather friend China, asking Islamabad to provide guarantees if it intends to avail the $6 billion package; Beijing has rejected “what it called rumors” of gradually ending financial support to Pakistan, pledged under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Chinese Foreign Miniter’s spokesperson Zhao Lijian rubbished the reports, declared them as “groundless” and added that both Pakistan and China are “moving forward in the construction of the mega project”.

“Pakistan and China reiterated their commitment to implementing the consensus reached by the leaders of both sides,” he said.

China has been bailing out Pakistan from its financial crisis and repayment of loans.

Earlier in December, China gave $1.5 billion financing line to Pakistan, to help it repay the $2 billion debt of Saudi Arabia.

A government source stated that “China has not given the loan from its State Administration of Foreign Exchange, commonly known as SAFE deposit, nor has it extended a commercial loan,” he said.

“Instead, both countries have agreed to augment the size of a 2011 bilateral Currency-Swap Agreement (CSA) by an additional 10 billion Chinese Yen or around $1.5 billion,” he added.

Pakistan is provided with loan amounts through CSA, a Chinese trade finance facility. Pakistan has been using this facility since 2011 to repay foreign debt, along with keeping its gross foreign currency reserves at comfortable levels.

With China coming to Pakistan’s rescue, the overall trade facility from China to Pakistan would reach up to at least $4.5 billion.

Chinese foreign minister’s spokesperson also stated that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and CPEC has maintained positive momentum of development despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There is no halt in the construction, no job cut and no withdrawal of workforce from the CPEC projects, which effectively supports Pakistan in fighting the epidemic and stabilizing the economy,” said Zhao Lijian.

“I want to stress that China’s inputs in the BRI, including CPEC, has increased despite global economic recession.

“In the first three quarters this year, China’s direct investment in non-financial sectors of BRI partner countries grew by around 30 per cent. China has provided as much support and assistance as possible to help many BRI partners in combating Covid-19 and recover economy,” he added.

Business

Adidas provides 100% support through its Formotion collection for all women making moves

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ADIDAS

In its commitment to creating an inclusive space in society for women, global sportswear giant — adidas, has launched Watch Us Move — a campaign to celebrate womanhood and their freedom of movement.

Through this campaign, adidas reaffirms its belief that just like in sport where body types don’t matter, our society is rising above caring for beauty standards.

As per adidas, what is important is that we unbiasedly care about our ambitions, hard work, stamina, willpower, and everything that comes from within. Sport is beyond caste, socio-economic status, physical and psychological barriers. Through ‘Watch Us Move’, the brand celebrates the positive movement of women who are spreading an infectious aura of rebellious optimism.

The launch of the campaign saw Manushi Chhillar, Dipika Pallikal & Nikhat Zareen coming together to narrate how they have broken unrealistic stereotypes of perfection through their incredible journey and positioned themselves as role models for young girls across the country.

Present at the launch, Sunil Gupta, Senior Director, brand adidas, India said: “Watch Us Move” is all about encouraging women to express themselves through movement. Every woman has her own definition of movement, of what progress looks like. They’re already taking action, creating in their own way. Yet many tell her what to do, how to look and who to be. With the launch of “Watch Us Move”, adidas aims to unshackle these expectations and provide 100% support for all women making moves as they move the world.

Speaking at the launch, Manushi Chhillar, Miss World 2017, said, “I am delighted to be a part of adidas’ powerful roster of women athletes who are super inspirational. ‘Watch Us Move’ celebrates women, their achievements and inspires us to keep a positive approach to life. It celebrates the fact that being feminine is powerful in every way, shape and form. Through this platform, I’d like to say we are ready to MOVE and now, more so than ever, it’s time for the world to ‘WATCH US MOVE’.”

Adding to this, Deepika Pallikal, Indian Squash Player, said, “Watch Us Move is a rallying call for all women to be the drivers of change for one another with their inspiring rebellious optimism. Through this campaign, I urge women to express themselves more freely and also to move & enjoy and see how this movement can do wonders to their bodies and minds for overall wellbeing.”

As part of the campaign, adidas is pushing boundaries to release product innovations that reflect women’s needs to access possibilities in sport and herself throughout the year. The campaign is timed with the arrival of adidas’ most supportive activewear range — Formotion — a collection that has been developed by an all-female design team to deliver maximum support, whilst offering a comfortable fit that works seamlessly with the body in motion. Formotion is a celebration of freedom and expression through movement and inclusivity for all women.

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IndiGrid inks largest transmission deal with Sterlite Power

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Power-demand

India Grid Trust, India’s first power infrastructure investment trust (InvIT), on Saturday signed a share purchase agreement to acquire NER-II Transmission Limited from Sterlite Power as part of the Framework Agreement.

The indicative value of the acquisition is Rs 4,625 crore and would boost IndiGrid’s AUM (asset under management) by 34 per cent to over Rs 20,000 crore ($2.8 billion).

Post completion, the platform’s asset portfolio would consist of 13 power transmission projects, with a total network of 38 power transmission lines and 11 substations extending over 7,570 circuit kilometers and 13,350 MVA in 17 Indian states and 1 Union Territory.

NER-II is part of Inter State Transmission Scheme (ISTS) network, and was awarded on a Build, Own, Operate, Maintain (“BOOM”) basis with a contractual period of 35 years. The project has 11 elements including two substations of 1,260 MVA capacity and four transmission lines extending over 830 circuit kilometres. The asset spans across Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura and is of strategic importance for the delivery of power in one of the toughest regions in the country. This project will strengthen the power transmission network in the North Eastern States and address the of transmission, sub-transmission, and distribution system needs of the region.

IndiGrid had signed a framework agreement in April 2019 with Sterlite Power for acquisition of NER-II upon commissioning. This transaction is expected to be consummated during Q4 FY21, subject to unitholders’ approval, regulatory approvals, and other customary closing adjustments. The acquisition will be funded through a combination of internal accruals, debt, equity proceeds from the preference issue done in May 2019 and forthcoming rights issue. Post this acquisition, the net debt/AUM would stand at 64 per cent.

Commenting on the acquisition, Harsh Shah, Chief Executive Officer of IndiGrid, said: “We are excited with acquisition of NER-II which is one of the largest acquisitions in Indian power transmission sector in India. NER-II fits well with our strategy of focusing on operating assets with long term cash flows and minimal counter party risk. This acquisition would be DPU accretive and augment our recent increase of DPU to Rs 12.40 per annum for a considerable period.”

Commenting on the transaction, Pratik Agarwal, Managing Director, Sterlite Power said, “This mega transmission project will help deliver reliable power for 5.3 crore people in India’s north eastern region.”

IndiGrid has acquired Rs 8,300 crore assets since the last capital raise including Rs 7,100 crore of Framework/ROFO projects from Sterlite Power and first cost-plus transmission asset from Reliance Ifrastructure. It has also announced its foray into the renewables sector with the planned acquisition of 138 MW solar asset. Separately, in FY21, KKR was inducted as a sponsor following the Rs 2,510 crore preferential issue in 2019 which was subscribed by KKR and GIC amongst other marquee investors. KKR has also acquired majority interest in the Investment Manager

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SUV outside Ambani home: Hiren’s autopsy kept ‘reserved’

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The autopsy on the body of businessman Mansukh Hiren — whose body was fished out of the Thane Creek marshes — was completed here early on Saturday, police officials said.

However, the autopsy report, findings and opinion of the four-member medical team, has been kept in reserve while his viscera has been preserved for forensic analysis, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone-I) Avinash Ambure.

Hiren shot into limelight after his stolen SUV Scorpio with 20 gelatin sticks and a purported typewritten threat note was found outside Antilia — the residence of industrialist and Reliance Industries Ltd. Chairman Mukesh Ambani, on Feb. 25.

Hiren’s body is likely to be handed over to his family around noon at their residence in Vikas Palms building in Charai area of the city.

The case has been handed over to the Anti Terrorist Squad, the Thane police as the SRPF deployed tight security outside the Hirens’ residence since earlier in the day.

The Opposition BJP in Maharashtra has demanded a probe by the CBI or NIA, while his family, including wife Vimala, has rejected the ‘suicide by drowning’ theory pointing out that Hiren was an excellent swimmer.

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