Putin calls Imran to discuss Afghan issue 
In a significant development, Russian President Vladimir Putin
telephoned Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday and both
leaders stressed the need for peaceful, secure and stable
Afghanistan for ensuring peace in the region.
First ‘smart forest’ launched: Ravi Riverfront project may generate
$40bn: PM 
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday launched the country’s
first ‘smart forest’ in Rakh Jhok Forest, Sheikhupura. The Rakh Jhok
Forest is a part of the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development project
covering 24,000 kanals of land. Technology giant Huawei will be
the smart partner in the project.
ECC okays import of sugar, wheat.
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on
Wednesday approved import of 200,000 tonnes of sugar and
400,000 tonnes of wheat and Rs24.555 billion supplementary grant
for procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.
Dollar hits Rs166.3 on strong demand from importers 
The US dollar kept appreciating against the local currency for a
third consecutive day reaching close to an all-time high seen in
the middle of August 2020. The currency dealers as well as the
State Bank reported the closing rate of US dollar as Rs166.28 on
Wednesday showing an increase of Rs1.08 per dollar. This was the
highest increase in a single day this week.
Govt seeks to cut power subsidies 
The Monetary and Fiscal Policies Coordination Board on
Wednesday agreed to reduce electricity subsidies by Rs170 billion
and also discussed the possibility of scaling back grants for
subjects that fall in provincial domains.
Roshan Apna Ghar scheme for overseas Pakistanis soon 
The State Bank of Pakistan will be launching this week a new
product ‘Roshan Apna Ghar’ for non-resident Pakistanis for
acquisition of property in the country. They can buy or finance a
house from bank’s pre-approved projects or any other property,
said the SBP.

Alarming spike in Covid-19 deaths: NCOC 
Pakistan has reported 141 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours,
which is the highest death tally in a single day during the fourth
wave of the Covid-19, the National Command and Operation
Centre (NCOC) said.
Book building process of Air Link Communication begins on 30th
Air Link Communication Limited’s book building process is
scheduled on August 30 and 31, 2021 with which the Company
intends to raise Rs5.9 billion (new issue: Rs 3.9 billion, offer for sale:
Rs 1.95 billion) at a base price of Rs 65/share. It is the first of its kind
listing at Pakistan Stock Exchange.
Asian shares retreat from rally, South Korea raises rates 
Asian shares stepped back on Thursday after a sharp rebound this
week, though a solid Wall Street performance overnight
contained losses in the region as rising vaccinations offset some of
the worries over persistently high COVID-19 cases worldwide.
Oil prices fall first day in four as virus concerns return 
Oil fell on Thursday for the first session in four amid renewed
concerns about demand recovery as more restrictions are
imposed to curb COVID-19 infections. Oil stocks dropped by 3
million barrels in the week to Aug. 20, a little above than analysts’
expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.7 million-barrel drop.
S.Korea lifts interest rates from record low as debt concerns grow
The Bank of Korea raised its policy rate for the first time in almost
three years on Thursday, becoming the first major Asian central
bank to shift away from pandemic-era monetary settings as
surging household debt created new threats for the economy.
Japan’s service prices sustain rise as demand weathers COVID hit
The prices Japanese companies charge each other for services
rose for a fifth straight month in July, data showed on Thursday, a
sign the economy was holding up despite the hit from a
resurgence in COVID-19 cases and curbs to combat the