Sat, 15 Aug 2020

NAIROBI -- Kenya's short-term government securities received the highest subscription in history this week as banks swamped the debt market with bids amid reduced economic activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 91-, 182- and 364-day Treasury bills attracted subscriptions of up to 950 percent, with bidders mainly going for the 91-day paper, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) said on Friday on auction results. (Kenya-COVID-19-Market)

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TOKYO -- Tokyo stocks closed lower Friday as investor sentiment was dented as daily coronavirus cases in Tokyo increased to a new record high for the second straight day.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average lost 238.48 points, or 1.06 percent, from Thursday to close the day at 22,290.81. (Japan-Tokyo Stocks-Closing)

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MANILA -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday said it has disbursed 20 million U.S. dollars, comprising a 10-million-dollar grant and a 10-million-dollar concessional loan, to help the Solomon Islands fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Manila-based bank said the loan and grant, which were handed out on Thursday, will be used to train nurses and doctors in the Solomon Islands to fight COVID-19 and obtain personal protective equipment for medical staff. (ADB-Solomon Islands-COVID19)

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WASHINGTON -- The 2020 annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group will likely be held in a primarily virtual format, the leaders of the two institutions announced Thursday.

In a joint statement, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank Group President David Malpass said they are recommending the annual meetings, scheduled for Oct. 12-18, be held in a "primarily virtual format," given the ongoing health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. (IMF-World Bank-Annual Meetings)

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that the Trump administration will work with the Senate to pass the next COVID-19 relief bill by the end of July.

"I had a very productive call with (Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell yesterday," Mnuchin said in an interview with CNBC. (U.S.-COVID-19-Relief bill)

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JERUSALEM -- Israel on Thursday presented an one-year economic plan totaling 73 billion new shekels (about 21.1 billion U.S. dollars) to help employees, self-employed persons and businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan, presented by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Israel Katz, includes a social assistance grant for the self-employed up to 15,000 new shekels every two months, as well as grants for existing and new businesses. (Israel-COVID19-Economic Plan)

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ISLAMABAD -- The sales of cement in Pakistan bounced back in the month of June after a declining trend since March as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the country, triggering lockdowns and affecting the economy, local media reported Thursday.

Cement sales grew by 76.92 percent to 4.6 million tonnes in June this year from 2.6 million tonnes in the previous month of May, local media reported while quoting statistics released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA). (Pakistan-Cement Sales-COVID-19)

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