News from Around the World

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Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)

OPIC Launches Billion Dollar Co-investment Platform

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation and Liberty Mutual Insurance announced a billion dollar co-investment platform that will invest in small- and medium-sized enterprises, a first for OPIC as it looks to try new tools and attract more institutional investors to the development finance arena.

The Enduring Benefits of Trade

With large multilateral trade deals under the World Trade Organization having ground to a halt over the past decade, countries have turned to regional or preferential free trade agreements among smaller numbers of participants to inch liberalisation ahead.

The leader in this process has been the EU, concluding multifaceted deals with developed and developing countries since 2005. Its latest success was a series of agreements with Singapore signed last month.


Strong Dollar Hits China’s Foreign-Exchange Reserves

China’s foreign-exchange reserves saw its biggest monthly drop in October in nearly two years, hit by a strong U.S. dollar that hurt the value of other holdings and likely prompted government intervention to shore up the yuan.

October’s decrease of $33.93 billion was the largest since December 2016 when Beijing was battling capital flight and burned through $1 trillion to defend the yuan.

In Rural India, Tea Is Gaining Sustainable Development Ground

GUWAHATI, India — Ketan Patel, managing director of the first carbon neutral certified tea estate in the world, has spent nearly a decade pioneering a way forward using ethical and organic practices.

Financial Times

US-China Trade War Starts to Drag on Asian Growth

For months, as the trade war between the US and China escalated, other export-reliant Asia-Pacific economies watched and worried about a knock-on effect on their sales.

In recent days that contagion has become real, as China’s growth slowdown hit home around the region. Asian companies, economists and governments have begun to raise the alarm about the risk of lower Chinese demand for everything from Australian iron ore to South Korean cars and Thai beach vacations.

A Look at Digital Credit in Kenya and Why Access Alone Is not Enough

In addition to working at a hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, Grace is a clothing entrepreneur. She uses a mobile app to take out loans that help her keep the business running.

“My customers usually don’t pay for the clothes immediately, so I usually borrow to ensure I can go to the market and buy goods for sale as I wait for payment,” Grace said, who used a loan from Tala to start her clothing business which provides her with additional income outside her work at the hospital.

Will Oliver/EPA

Bank of England Holds Rates, Keeps Options Open before Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) - The Bank of England kept interest rates steady on Thursday and hinted at slightly faster future rises in borrowing costs if Brexit goes smoothly, but warned all bets were off if next March brought a “disruptive” EU departure.

The BoE said its nine rate-setters voted unanimously to hold interest rates at 0.75 percent, in line with expectations in a Reuters poll of economists, after raising them in August for only the second time since before the financial crisis.

What's Next For The World Trade Organization?

Since the Second World War, the United States has been a driving force in shaping the global trading system. From the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) to the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to the launch of the ill-fated Doha round of trade talks, the United States has nudged and cajoled the major trading nations of the world to come together and solve pressing trade issues.


Tame Inflation Keeps Fed on Track

WASHINGTON—A closely watched price index suggested Monday that, for now, inflation poses little threat to the economy.

The personal-consumption expenditures price index rose 0.1% in September from August, the Commerce Department said Monday. That marked the fourth straight month in which the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge fell short of the 0.165% monthly pace needed to meet its 2% annual target.

International Finance Corporation

World Bank Appoints New Treasurer

LONDON, Oct 29 (IFR) - The World Bank has appointed Jingdong Hua as vice president and treasurer, replacing Arunma Oteh, who is leaving the bank on December 1 to join Oxford University.

In his new job, effective 1 January 2019, Hua will be responsible for managing the World Bank’s US$200bn debt portfolio, as well as an asset portfolio of nearly US$200bn for the World Bank Group and external clients.