PayPal becomes first member to exit Facebook’s Libra Association

PayPal said it would forgo any further participation in Libra Association and would instead focus on its own core businesses. (AFP)
Updated 05 October 2019

PayPal becomes first member to exit Facebook’s Libra Association

  • PayPal said it would forgo any further participation in the group and would instead focus on its own core businesses
  • Facebook announced plans to launch the digital currency in June 2020

WASHINGTON: US payments processor PayPal Holdings Inc. said on Friday it was leaving Libra Association, the entity managing the Facebook-led effort to build global digital currency Libra, making it the first member to exit the group.
PayPal said it would forgo any further participation in the group and would instead focus on its own core businesses.
“We remain supportive of Libra’s aspirations and look forward to continued dialogue on ways to work together in the future,” PayPal said in a statement.
In response, Geneva-based Libra Association said it was aware of the challenges lying ahead in its attempts to “reconfigure” the financial system.
“The type of change that will reconfigure the financial system to be tilted toward people, not the institutions serving them, will be hard. Commitment to that mission is more important to us than anything else. We’re better off knowing about this lack of commitment now, rather than later,” Libra Association said in a statement. Facebook Inc. declined to comment.
Facebook announced plans to launch the digital currency in June 2020 in partnership with other members of Libra Association but the project quickly ran into trouble with skeptical regulators around the world.
Reuters reported last week that Facebook could push back the launch of Libra to tackle regulatory concerns.
Visa and Mastercard Inc. are also reconsidering their involvement in Libra as they do not want to attract regulatory scrutiny, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.
France and Germany last month pledged to block Libra from operating in Europe and backed the development of a public cryptocurrency instead.
With the exit of PayPal, Libra Association now has 28 members, including Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc. and Spotify Technologies.
“We look forward to the first Libra Council meeting in 10 days and will be sharing updates following that, including details of the 1,500 entities that have indicated enthusiastic interest to participate,” Libra Association said in a tweet.


Pakistan’s central bank keeps key policy rate unchanged at 13.25%

Updated 39 min ago

Pakistan’s central bank keeps key policy rate unchanged at 13.25%

  • SBP keeps the GDP growth forecast unchanged at 3.5 percent and inflation at 11-12 percent for FY20
  • The key policy rate was last raised in July 2019 after the country secured $6 billion IMF bailout package

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at 13.25 percent, saying the projection for average inflation for FY20 broadly remained unchanged at 11-12 percent and maintaining the current monetary policy stance was appropriate for the country.
The central bank had previously raised the key policy rate back in July after the country secured $6 billion bailout program from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“The decision reflected the Monetary Policy Committee’s view that recent developments have had offsetting implications for the inflation outlook,” the bank said in a statement. “On the one hand, recent inflation outturns have been on the higher side. On the other, the causes behind these outturns have primarily been increases in food prices which are expected to be temporary.”
The SBP believes that inflation, which is at the higher side at present due to rise in food prices, will cool down over the next two years. 
“The MPC [Monetary Policy Committee] noted that recent outturns of month-on-month inflation had been higher than in previous months and if sustained could affect inflation expectations,” the statement added. “Nevertheless, in light of the temporary nature of these increases, continued softness in domestic demand, and recent appreciation of the currency on the back of improving market sentiment, the MPC was of the view that inflationary pressures were expected to recede in the second half of the fiscal year.”=
The central bank kept its projection for GDP growth for FY20 unchanged at around 3.5 percent as the recent economic data suggest that economic activity is strengthening in export oriented and import competing sectors while inward oriented sectors continue to experience a slowdown in activity.