No fear of inflation ‘runaway train,’ says IMF chief

No fear of inflation ‘runaway train,’ says IMF chief
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Updated 17 October 2021

No fear of inflation ‘runaway train,’ says IMF chief

No fear of inflation ‘runaway train,’ says IMF chief
  • Growing supply chain bottlenecks source of concern for policymakers

WASHINGTON: Global finance officials are worried about rising inflation pressures but there it is little fear that it will become a “runaway train,” IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Sunday.

With supply chain bottlenecks growing in the face of surging demand, policymakers have focused attention on rising prices and whether they will linger or fade away in coming months.

“We are in a more somewhat more uncertain space now,” Georgieva said at the G30 central banking conference.

However, in advanced economies “policymakers have the tools” to deal with inflation, she said, so “there is no significant concern that this would be a runaway train.”

Even so, finance ministers and central bankers gathered last week in Washington for the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank were more concerned than previously that the prices increases could be more than transitory, she said.

And major emerging markets like Russia and Mexico already have raised interest rates showing that “in these places their policymakers are sufficiently concerned already to take action.”

In the world’s largest economy, US Federal Reserve officials have signaled they will begin to pull back on stimulus by tapering its bond purchases in the last few weeks of the year, but the benchmark interest rate is expected to remain at zero with no increase until late 2022 at the earliest.

The Bank of England so far has left its stimulus unchanged, but there were signs of dissent at its most recent policy meeting, when two of its rate-setting panel voted to stop the bond-buying stimulus as soon as possible to help quell inflation.

BoE Gov. Andrew Bailey said central bankers face a “very difficult balancing act” because they cannot address the underlying supply shocks with monetary policy, but have to respond to what is happening in the economy.

Failure to act to contain inflation risks undermining central banks' inflation-fighting credibility, he said.

“We have ... to preserve the huge progress we’ve made in terms of the credibility of monetary policy regimes. I mean that is absolutely critically important,” Bailey said at the conference.


Saudi Arabia takes more steps to develop and protect the Red Sea

Saudi Arabia takes more steps to develop and protect the Red Sea
Updated 10 sec ago

Saudi Arabia takes more steps to develop and protect the Red Sea

Saudi Arabia takes more steps to develop and protect the Red Sea
  • The Saudi cabinet approved on Tuesday the establishment of a new body to protect the coral reefs and sea turtles in the Red Sea

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is taking more steps to develop and protect the Red Sea, which the Kingdom deems to be a big contributor to the growth of its tourism industry. 

The Saudi cabinet approved on Tuesday the establishment of a new body to protect the coral reefs and sea turtles in the Red Sea, as well as organizational preparation work for a new authority in the area, according to the cabinet's weekly statement carried by Saudi Press Agency.


Egypt imposes a 10% customs tax on mobile phones 

Egypt imposes a 10% customs tax on mobile phones 
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 1 min 42 sec ago

Egypt imposes a 10% customs tax on mobile phones 

Egypt imposes a 10% customs tax on mobile phones 

RIYADH: Egypt’s house of representatives approved a presidential decree that includes imposing a 10 percent customs tax on imported mobile phones, to promote local industry.

Egypt’s Minister of Finance explained that the amendments aim to encourage investment, maximize production facilities and strengthen competitiveness of goods manufactured there in international markets.

Mohamed Maait added that computers and tablets are excluded from the tax, because they constitute a tool for digital transformation and the development of the education system. 

The amendment of some categories of customer tariffs comes in light of the conclusions reached by the Higher Council of Customs Tariffs in Egypt, head of the Egyptian customs authority, El-Shahat Ghaturi said. 


Sweden’s Lundin Energy explores potential sale that could reach up to $10.7bn

Sweden’s Lundin Energy explores potential sale that could reach up to $10.7bn
Updated 5 min 11 sec ago

Sweden’s Lundin Energy explores potential sale that could reach up to $10.7bn

Sweden’s Lundin Energy explores potential sale that could reach up to $10.7bn

Sweden-based Lundin Energy, valued at around $10.7 billion, is exploring a potential sale in what could be one of the largest European oil and gas deals in years, Bloomberg said citing unnamed sources.

The shares of the company climbed as much as 14 percent on Monday, the highest jump during a day since April 2020. They rose 10 percent by the market close in Stockholm, recording a value of about 96.8 billion kronor ($10.7 billion).

The company said in a statement Monday that it “continuously engages in opportunities that are potentially value accretive,” but there are no conclusive decisions yet.


India's CashFree invests $15m in UAE payment platform Teller

India's CashFree invests $15m in UAE payment platform Teller
Image: Shutterstock
Updated 16 min 53 sec ago

India's CashFree invests $15m in UAE payment platform Teller

India's CashFree invests $15m in UAE payment platform Teller
  • They also aim to develop a unified payments platform to help merchants in India

RIYADH: Indian payments and banking solutions company CashFree has invested $15 million in Dubai-based Teller, which provides electronic payment services in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

With this investment CashFree's market share has exceeded 50 percent.

The two companies intend to launch joint services in the MENA region, building on Teller's knowledge of the region's markets and payments infrastructure, Asharq reported.

They also aim to develop a unified payments platform to help merchants in India accept payments from customers in the region.

The electronic payments market in India exceeds $20 billion annually.


Saudi National Water Company unifies water distribution sector 

Saudi National Water Company unifies water distribution sector 
Updated 17 min 39 sec ago

Saudi National Water Company unifies water distribution sector 

Saudi National Water Company unifies water distribution sector 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s National Water Company has completed merging 13 public water distribution firms to increase efficiency of operations and fix technical gaps.

The move will also localize expertise in the sector, NWC’s chief Mohammed Al-Mowkley said on Monday. 

The announcement was attended by the Kingdom’s Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadley, who said investments in the water sector stood at $21.3 billion. 

The move is part of Saudi Arabia's National Water Strategy that aims to restructure the sector to serve its residents better. 

Under the integration, Tabuk and Al-Madinah will be the “northwestern sector,” while governorates in Riyadh will be under the “middle sector.”

NWC had previously launched a unified digital structure to improve its services across the Kingdom.