By Arul Louis
United Nations, Aug 14 (IANS) While stressing direct dialogue between New Delhi and Islamabad, Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, whose country is the President of the UN Security Council, said on Tuesday that his ambassador will likely hold consultations on a request from Pakistan to take up the Kashmir issue.
Czaputowicz told reporters, "We are in favour of dialogue between Pakistan and India to sort out the differences."
"Today in the morning I was informed that the Security Council received the letter from the Ambassador of Pakistan. I think that the Security Council will discuss the issue and (take a) proper decision on how to proceed," he said.
Poland's Permanent Representative Joanna Wronecka "will probably start consultations" about the request with other Council members, he added.
Pakistan had asked the Council to hold a briefing on the Kashmir issue.
Czaputowicz said that he had had phone conversations with India's External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
He said, "We expressed concern over the current tension between India and Pakistan resulting from the proposed change in the status of Jammu and Kashmir. Poland believes that the dispute can only be resolved by peaceful means."
"As a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Poland stands ready to engage in preventing actions affecting the security situation," he said, adding, "We hope that both countries can work out the differences and find a beneficial solution. The strained relations between India and Pakistan negatively affect the South Asia region and may lead to serious political and economic consequences."
Czaputowicz said Poland fully supported the stand of the European Union (EU) and the statement issued by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini.
The EU statement reaffirmed its support for a bilateral resolution of the dispute between India and Pakistan.
An EU statement issued after she had spoken on Thursday with Jaishankar and Qureshi said, "The European Union supports a bilateral political solution between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, which remains the only way to solve a long-lasting dispute that causes instability and insecurity in the region."
It added, "In both calls, she underlined the importance of avoiding an escalation of tensions in Kashmir and in the region. To this end, dialogue between India and Pakistan through diplomatic channels is crucial."
(Arul Louis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @arulouis)
By Arun Kejriwal
The short-truncated trading week ended with losses but had hope and expectations on Friday. Dow Jones was a roller coaster this week and global events do make one nervous. BSESENSEX in three trading days closed with losses of 231.58 points or 0.62 per cent at 37,350.33 points while NIFTY lost 61.85 points or 0.56 per cent to close at 11,047.80 points. The broader markets saw BSE100, BSE200 and BSE500 lose 0.72 per cent, 0.67 per cent and 0.69 per cent respectively. BSEMIDCAP was down 1.31 per cent while BSESMALLCAP was down 0.90 per cent.
The week began on Tuesday after a religious holiday on Monday and was down sharply. This was followed by a recovery on Wednesday. Thursday markets were closed for India's Independence Day and they were flat with an upward bias on Friday.
Dow Jones was all over the place last week. The net result was a weekly loss of 401.43 points or 1.53 per cent at 25,886.01 points. The daily movement was an eye opener and indicates the amount of nervousness. Monday saw a loss of 390 points, Tuesday a gain of 382 points, Wednesday a sharp fall of 800 points, Thursday and Friday saw gains of 100 and 307 points respectively.
Total gains during the week were 789 points while losses were 1,190. Total movement during the week was 1,979 points. This is effectively a change of 395 points per day or 1.52 per cent per day. Just to put in perspective, while we had a short and volatile week, the total movement in three days on the BSESENSEX was 1,015 points (loss of 623 points and gain of 392 points) or 338 points daily average. This becomes a daily change of 0.90 per cent.
The immediate cause of concern in US was yet another round of duty being imposed on Chinese imports into the US. This seems to have become never ending and is getting markets really worried. To add to this is tension in Hong Kong where civil strife is on and the city has been locked down. China has moved in military to Shenzhen and there could be large-scale violence in the immediate near term. There is a slowdown looming large and this is certainly not good news for the markets.
Back home, after having meetings with various stakeholders, the Finance Minister had detailed meetings within the Ministry and also the PMO. No public outcome is yet available but is expected once Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns from Bhutan on Sunday. Expect some announcement on this subject on Monday or Tuesday.
The week ahead would see the listing of two IPOs on Monday and Tuesday. Monday would see the issue from Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd list. The issue was subscribed 1.05 times with the help of QIB portion which was subscribed 3.11 times. HNI and Retail was undersubscribed at 0.55 times and 0.09 times respectively. With little hangover of selling pressure the share should be able to sustain itself but one should not be surprised if the shares trade below the issue price.
Tuesday would see the shares of Sterling and Wilson Solar Ltd list. The company had tapped the markets with its offer for sale of Rs 3,125 crore which saw the issue to be subscribed. The QIB portion ensured that the issue scraped through. HNI portion was subscribed 0.89 times and Retail portion 0.30 times. Looking at market conditions and the response, the share is likely to be under pressure unless some QIB's decide otherwise.
In short, both issues are not expected to have any fireworks.
Markets are experiencing turbulence and tough conditions currently. This is with trade wars between China and the US continuing for almost nine months, civil unrest in Hong Kong, Iran and the middle East, Europe and Brexit. To add to this, we have a slowdown which seems to be gaining momentum. Oil prices which seem to have steadied are again under pressure.
Towards the end of June, in India it looked like this would be a monsoon starved year. By beginning of August, the scenario has changed completely and instead of a drought we have floods affecting about a third of the country. It appears the rain gods have rained with a vengeance this time.
In such a scenario, one has to depend on local cues and hope that issues on the domestic front are sorted out soon. FPI issue of surcharge, some sort of one-time relief for auto sector and retail sector will go a long way. Expect good tidings on Monday or Tuesday. Till then keep you fingers crossed and hope for the best.
(Arun Kejriwal is the founder of Kejriwal Research and Investment Services. The views expressed are personal.)