India to impose delayed tariffs on some US goods in September

The Trump administration wants to reduce its $31 billion deficit with India, and is pressing New Delhi to ease trade barriers. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 04 August 2018

India to impose delayed tariffs on some US goods in September

  • New Delhi decided in June to raise import tax from August 4 on some US products but delayed the move
  • Trade differences between India and the United States have been rising since President Donald Trump took office

NEW DELHI: India said on Saturday that delayed higher tariffs against some goods imported from the United States will go into force on September 18.
New Delhi, incensed by Washington’s refusal to exempt it from new tariffs, decided in June to raise import tax from August 4 on some US products, including almonds, walnuts and apples, and later delayed the move.
Officials from New Delhi and Washington, including US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, are scheduled to hold a series of meetings including strategic talks with their Indian counterparts in September.
Trade differences between India and the United States have been rising since President Donald Trump took office. Bilateral trade rose to $115 billion in 2016, but the Trump administration wants to reduce its $31 billion deficit with India, and is pressing New Delhi to ease trade barriers.
India, the world’s biggest buyer of US almonds, in June decided to raise import duties on the commodity by 20 percent, joining the European Union and China in retaliating against Trump’s tariff hikes on steel and aluminum.
It had also planned to impose a 120 percent duty on the import of walnuts in the strongest action yet against the United States.
India has proposed to buy petroleum products from the US to help narrow the trade deficit. The United States has also emerged as a top arms supplier to India and US companies are bidding for military aircraft deals worth billions of dollars.


Saudi Arabia raises more than SR15bn in bond sale

Updated 28 March 2020

Saudi Arabia raises more than SR15bn in bond sale

  • Gulf oil exporters are increasingly turning to debt sales to help fund spending in a low oil price environment

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has sold more than SR15 billion in Islamic bonds, as the Kingdom seeks to develop its local debt market.

The Kingdom’s Finance Ministry said on Friday that it had closed the book to investors on its March 2020 riyal-denominated sukuk program.

The total amount raised by the sukuk sale was SR15.568 billion, divided into three tranches that mature in five, 10 and 30 years.

Gulf oil exporters are increasingly turning to debt sales to help fund spending in a low oil price environment while at the same time developing their own capital markets as part of ongoing diversification reforms.

“The closure of the issuance of government bonds exceeding 15 billion riyals shows many positive elements,” said Abdullah Ahmad Al-Maghlouth, a member of the Saudi Economic Society. 

“Such as confirming the robustness of the Kingdom’s credit rating and the strength of the Saudi economy; that the Kingdom’s debt-to-GDP ratio is still far lower than many other G20 countries; the Finance Ministry’s ability to deal with the requirements of asset and liability management; as well as the Kingdom’s strong foreign-exchange reserves in dollars, among others.”

The Kingdom’s strong credit rating means it can borrow more cheaply than many other Mideast economies despite a weaker oil price.

Economic analyst Fahd Al-Thunayan said: “The Ministry of Finance, represented by the National Debt Management Center, continued its efforts in developing local debt markets and providing the required balance in financing public-budget expenditures, through the optimal mixture of the use of reserves and borrowing within the upper limits, like a percentage of the GDP, where the local issuances reached 65 percent of the total debt in the year 2019.”