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The PIA plane was ‘detained’ by Malaysian authorities in a British court case | Instant News


ISLAMABAD / KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – A Pakistan International Airlines plane has been detained by Malaysian authorities over a British court case over the jet charter, the airline said on Friday, adding it would pursue the matter through diplomatic channels.

The Boeing 777 was seized after a court order, an airline spokesman said, and alternative arrangements were being made for passengers flying from Kuala Lumpur back to Pakistan.

“A PIA plane has been detained by a local court in Malaysia for taking a unilateral decision regarding a legal dispute between PIA and other parties pending in British courts,” a PIA spokesman said in a statement.

According to an order issued by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Thursday seen by Reuters, the plaintiffs in the case are Peregrine Aviation Charlie Limited and the matter relates to two jets chartered to PIA by Dublin-based AerCap, the world’s largest aircraft lessor, on 2015..

They are part of a portfolio that AerCap sold to Peregrine Aviation Co Ltd, an investment unit of NCB Capital, the brokerage arm of SJSC National Commercial Bank, in 2018.

Under an interim ruling, PIA is prohibited from moving the two aircraft in its fleet – the Boeing 777- 200ER serial number 32716 and the Boeing 777- 200ER serial number 32717 – after they land or park at Kuala Lumpur International Airport until further hearings on the matter later this month. this.

Tracking data from Flightradar24 shows only one of the two Boeing 777s covered by the court order is currently in Kuala Lumpur. The others were last recorded in Karachi last month. AerCap, which continued as part of an agreement to provide Peregrine with rental management services, declined to comment.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, the country’s airport operator, and its subsidiaries were ordered to ensure planes do not leave Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Malaysia’s Transport Ministry said in a statement on Friday that the plane was being held pending legal proceedings set for January 24.

Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd said the problem was not related to the operation of the airport.

The PIA in a statement described the situation as “unacceptable” and said it had sought support from the Pakistani government to raise the issue diplomatically.

The Malaysian prime minister’s office and the foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry said efforts were being made to address the problem.

“Our High Commission in Malaysia is in close contact with the relevant Malaysian authorities and Pakistan International Airlines to resolve the issue,” said ministry spokesman Zahid Hafeez in a statement, adding that the passengers would be flown home on Friday.

With more than $ 4 billion in accumulated losses, PIA was already struggling financially when flights were suspended last year due to the pandemic.

After resuming operations in May, a domestic PIA flight crash in Karachi killed 97 of the 99 people on board.

Pakistan’s aviation industry was then hit by a scandal in which pilots were found to have “dubious” licenses – prompting a number of countries to ban PIA from operating flights in their jurisdictions.

The airline has been barred from flying to the European Union for six months due to safety compliance issues under the ban that is still in force.

Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield in Islamabad, Syed Raza Hassan in Karachi, Joseph Sipalan and Liz Lee from Kuala Lumpur, and Tim Hepher in Paris; Written by Gibran Peshimam; Edited by Jason Neely and Susan Fenton

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Airbnb CEO says travel will never go back to what it was before pandemic | Instant News



(Reuters) – Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky predicted on Thursday that travel would change permanently due to the pandemic, with people searching thousands of small towns and spending more time visiting friends and traditional tourism and sightseeing tours to major global destinations would be significantly reduced. by travelers who will travel to smaller communities and travel less for business meetings. Travelers “yearn for what has been taken from them,” Chesky told the Reuters Next conference in an interview with Jonathan Weber, Reuters global technology editor. “They don’t want to see Times Square. What they aspire to do is see their friends and families that they haven’t seen for a long time. The startup was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 and its activity has fallen by 80% in just over eight weeks. However, as lockdowns eased, more travelers chose to book homes over hotels, helping Airbnb to post a surprise profit for the third quarter. The San Francisco-based company took advantage of growing interest in renting homes away from major cities, with the home rental company going public in a successful IPO in December, its shares having more than doubled when they debuted on the stock market. Airbnb shares rose 10% to an all-time high of $ 187.42 on Thursday WILL NOT FACILITATE VIOLENCE Rental platform has canceled house-sharing bookings in the Washington DC area for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next Wednesday after law enforcement warned of a Césky recalled the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. and said he didn’t want the platform form makes it easier for people to travel to commit violence in communities. Airbnb made the decision after consulting with local and federal officials and after a number of hosts worried about potential attacks sought to cancel bookings. Hotel chains, including Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc and Marriott International, said they plan to keep existing bookings. For more coverage of the Reut conference ers Next, please click here or here. To watch Reuters Next live, visit here Subrat Patnaik’s report in Bengaluru; Edited by Lisa Shumaker.



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The record price of LNG encourages South Asian countries to split gas, looking for other fuels | Instant News


* Industrial users looking for alternative fuels such as LPG, fuel oil

* After blackout, warning of crisis in Pakistan

* India may see 2-3 fewer LNG cargoes in Feb-March than usual

AHMEDABAD, India / DHAKA / KARACHI, Pakistan Jan 15 (Reuters) – Pakistan and Bangladesh are rationing gas and buyers across South Asia seeking alternative fuels after spot prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) soared to record highs, government and industry officials told Reuters .

LNG spot price LNG-AS has nearly tripled since early November as freezing temperatures across North Asia boost demand and deplete supplies. Since July, prices have risen by a dizzying 1,000%.

Natural gas and industrial power plants across the region save gas, with the scramble for other fuels driving demand for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and residual oil.

In Pakistan, which relies more on spot LNG imports for its winter needs, industrial gas use is restricted to certain hours and industry executives have warned the situation has become critical.

The recent power outages were partly due to a gas shortage after buyers who bought cheap LNG earlier in the year refused to pay during recent price spikes.

“The gas crisis currently facing the industry includes cutting off gas supplies to industry as well as low gas pressure,” said Saleem Uz Zaman, president of the Karachi Industry and Trade Association.

Sui Southern Gas Company, the gas distributor for Pakistan’s southern half, said in a letter to the industry association that it was facing an “emergency situation” and pegged a daily supply gap of around 200 million cubic feet.

In Bangladesh, the government has cut gas supplies to power plants due to lower electricity demand during winter, while maintaining a steady flow of gas to industry, said a senior official at state-run Petrobangla.

IMPORTED BULLETS CANCELED

Surging prices have led to the cancellation of orders from state-owned buyers Indian Oil Corp, LNG Pakistan and Rupantarita Prakriti Gas Co. from Bangladesh.

“LNG prices are going crazy … Over the last few tenders, we have had no response from suppliers,” said Rafiqul Islam, general manager at Rupantarita Prakriti.

“We are continuing our efforts to buy from the spot market … But it is very unlikely to get competitive prices in this very volatile market,” he said.

Reliance Industries, operator of west India’s largest refining complex, has almost stopped importing LNG and turned to cheaper alternatives, industry sources said. Reliance did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

South Asia has become a critical growth market for LNG, with imports by India, Pakistan and Bangladesh rising 8% in 2020 to a record 50.48 billion cubic meters (BCM) despite the coronavirus pandemic hitting the region’s economies, according to ship tracking data Refinitiv.

That growth rate is the second after China’s LNG import expansion by 11.5% in 2020.

SOUGHT ALTERNATIVE

Tile makers from Morbi, the center of India’s ceramics industry, have sought permission from local authorities to switch to alternative fuels such as LPG, the Morbi Ceramics Association wrote in a letter to officials on Jan. 9.

“Fuel is a significant input cost for us, accounting for 30% of the total production cost,” he said.

India’s consumption of fuel oil has also increased after the price of gas surged.

“Whatever fuel we produce is consumed here. We have not been able to build an inventory for the oil furnace, ”said an official at the Bharat Petroleum Corp refinery who declined to be named. “The situation is completely different from what happened after the COVID-19 outbreak … Nobody can afford LNG at this level.”

India could see 2 or 3 fewer cargoes in February and March than usual, said ES Ranganathan, head of marketing at India’s largest gas transmitter GAIL (India) Ltd.

However, he expects the impact of supply to customers to be minimal. GAIL will receive 32 cargoes this year under its long-term agreement with Gazprom compared to 24 years ago, he added.

Reporting by Sumit Khanna in Ahmedabad, Ruma Paul in Dhaka and Syed Raza Hassan in Karachi; Additional writing and reporting by Nidhi Verma in New Delhi; Edited by Florence Tan, Gavin Maguire and Edwina Gibbs

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Australian tyro fell after short-sellers targeted payment terminal problems | Instant News


January 15 (Reuters) – Australian Tyro Payments Ltd shares plunged more than 12% on Friday after a short seller said the company was under-reporting the level of outages at its payment terminals over the past week.

Tyro on Wednesday said 30% of its 32,000 customers – mostly using a single terminal – faced outages caused by software problems, and it collects 2,000 terminals daily for repair and return.

Short seller Viceroy Research on Friday said it estimated around 50% of Tyro’s terminals were offline based on “extensive” checks with anonymous customers of Tyro.

Tyro shares, the largest payment terminal provider outside of Australia’s so-called ‘Big Four’ banks, have lost nearly a third of their value since the company first disclosed the outage last Thursday.

Tyro did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the report and trading in its shares was suspended on Friday after a sharp decline awaiting the announcement.

The stock was last down 11.8% before being stopped at A $ 2.32.

“Many of the stores we have contacted and checked have switched providers,” Viceroy said in his report, adding that the impact on Tyro’s reputation and finances is likely to be “severe and long-lasting.”

In Tyro’s announcement on Wednesday, it said the outages faced by most customers would be fixed by the end of the week while the rest would be operational next week. (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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USTR says Austrian, Spanish, UK digital taxes discriminate against US companies | Instant News


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US Trade Representative Office said Thursday it had found that a digital services tax imposed by Austria, Spain and the UK discriminated against US companies and was inconsistent with international tax principles, but would not take immediate action.

Releasing the results of a “Section 301” investigation into the country’s digital taxes, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the trade agency would continue to evaluate all available options.

“The best outcome is that countries come together to find solutions,” Lighthizer said in a statement.

Announcement here reflects last week’s findings in similar digital services tax imposed by India, Italy and Turkey, and follows USTR’s decision to suspend planned tariffs on French cosmetics, handbags and other goods as a penalty for France’s digital services tax.

The decision not to impose tariffs immediately provided breathing room for USTR President-elect Joe Biden, Katherine Tai, to try to negotiate a tax dispute settlement once he takes office in the coming weeks.

The Section 301 report found that foreign digital taxes discriminated against big US tech companies, such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.com, that hinder US trade. The US Treasury Department has tried to negotiate a global treaty on digital taxation through the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, but talks have stalled in recent months.

The issue is also complicated by US President Donald Trump’s feud with big tech firms during his fading days in office, one source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The source added that it made sense to postpone unilateral tariffs for now to allow OECD talks to continue and avoid tying the hands of Biden’s trade team. USTR officials have stepped up efforts to ensure a smooth transition to the new government since mid-December, the source said.

Reporting by David Lawder, additional reporting by Andrea Shalal; Edited by Chizu Nomiyama and Alexandra Hudson

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