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A slump in commercial-vehicle demand led China's automobile industry association on Monday to downgrade its sales forecast, as anti-pandemic measures weighed on the economy and its car market, the world's largest, Reuters reported. The industry will sell 27 million cars this year, up 3% on 2021, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers forecast, cutting its outlook from the 27.5 million sales and 5.4% growth it predicted in December. Weak demand for commercial vehicles, such as buses and trucks, drove the downgrade, data from the association showed.
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Sri Lanka's parliament will reconvene on July 15 and a new president will be elected on July 20, the parliamentary speaker said on Monday, as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa plans to resign on Wednesday amid a devastating economic crisis, Reuters reported. "Nominations for the next president will be presented to parliament on 19 July. On 20 July parliament will vote to elect a new president," Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said in a statement.
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Sri Lanka's central bank governor signaled on Monday he would stay in the job but warned that prolonged political instability in the country may delay progress on negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout package, Reuters reported. Governor P. Nandalal Weerasinghe, who has been holding bailout talks with the IMF since taking office in April, had told reporters in May he could resign if there was no political stability in the island nation of 22 million that is facing its worst economic crisis in seven decades.
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China unveiled tighter rules late on Thursday to better regulate its $1.3 trillion credit card industry, urging lenders to adopt a "prudent" growth strategy, and monitor risks more closely, Reuters reported. Banks are also barred from using the number of cards issued or market share as main performance metrics, and are required to cap the number of dormant cards at 20% of total, according to rules jointly published by China's central bank, and the country's banking regulator.
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The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Chennai, has asked ASG Hospital for the sources of funds for its about ₹520-crore bid for Vasan Health Care Pvt. Ltd. under the corporate insolvency and resolution process, the Hindu reported. According to the legal proceedings, the committee of creditors had approved the Rajasthan-based ASG Hospital’s resolution plan with 97.9% voting in favour of the bid and sought the NCLT’s approval. At Friday’s hearing, the resolution professional told the NCLT that the bid was three times more than the liquidation value.
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Commodity investors looking to China to reverse the severe rout in global metals markets may be disappointed, with Beijing unable to deliver the kind of investment splurge that powered past bull markets, Bloomberg News reported. Authorities are mulling a plan to let local governments sell 1.5 trillion yuan ($220 billion) of special bonds in the second half. This potential boost for infrastructure spending helped commodities pare some of their steep losses in recent weeks.
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Sri Lanka raised interest rates to the highest level in two decades on Thursday, saying it had to head off runaway inflation to avoid even deeper pain for an economy that is already in crisis and is shrinking, Reuters reported. The Sri Lankan central bank increased its standing lending facility rate by 100 basis points to 15.50% while the standing deposit facility rate was similarly raised to 14.50%, the highest since August, 2001. Inflation touched a year-on-year record of 54.6% in June, and central bank Governor P.
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Pakistan’s central bank raised borrowing costs more than expected to quell Asia’s second-fastest inflation and meet conditions for a loan from the International Monetary Fund, Bloomberg News reported. State Bank of Pakistan lifted the target rate by 125 basis points to 15% on Thursday. The hike aims “to moderate domestic demand, prevent a compounding of inflationary pressures and reduce risks to external stability,” the central bank said in a statement. Inflation, due in part to pent-up demand, high global commodity prices and rising imports, surged to a 13-year high of 21.32% in June.
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Sri Lanka’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund on a bailout are more complex and difficult than before because it is a bankrupt nation, the country’s prime minister said on Tuesday, the Associated Press reported. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told lawmakers that recent discussions with a visiting IMF mission were fruitful but not as straightforward as in the past. The South Asian island nation is in its worst economic crisis in memory.
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Australia’s central bank on Tuesday lifted its benchmark interest rate for a third time in three straight months, changing the cash rate to 1.35% from 0.85%, Reuters reported. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s half a percentage point rise was the same size as its June increase. When the bank lifted the rate by a quarter percentage point at its monthly board meeting in May, it was its first rate hike in more than 11 years. Increases at the June and July board meetings were widely expected.
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