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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

India behind Pak in doing business: Report

For the fifth year in a row, Eastern Europe and Central Asia led the world in business reforms. However, so far as India is concerned, it still lags behind its neighbours on the ease of doing business.

This is the finding of the 'Doing Business Report 2009’ prepared jointly by the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank. Since 2004, Doing Business has been tracking reforms aimed at simplifying business regulations, strengthening property rights, opening up access to credit and enforcing contracts by measuring their impact on 10 indicator sets.

September Share Market Reviews

Nearly 1,000 reforms with an impact on these indicators have been captured. Eastern Europe and Central Asia has accounted for a third of them. The region surpassed East Asia and Pacific in the average ease of doing business in 2007—and maintained its place this year. Four of its economies—Georgia, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia—are among the top 30 in the overall Doing Business ranking.

India, however, slipped two notches to rank at 122nd, below its neighbours such as Nepal , Bangladesh and Pakistan which have been placed at 121st, 110th and 77th place, respectively, in the overall ranking. One interesting fact, however, being that even the neighbours have slipped this time from their previous rankings.

September Share Market Reviews

However, Singapore continues to rank at the top on the ease of doing business, followed by New Zealand, the United States and Hong Kong (China).

Five of the top 10 economies implemented reforms that had an impact on the Doing Business indicators in 2007/08. Singapore further simplified its online business start-up service. New Zealand introduced a single online procedure for business start-up, lowered the corporate income tax and implemented a new insolvency act. Hong Kong (China) streamlined construction permitting as part of a broader reform of its licensing regime. Denmark implemented tax reforms. And entrepreneurs in Toronto, Canada, can now start a business with just one procedure.

September Share Market Reviews

For many economies the reforms captured in Doing Business reflect a broader, sustained commitment to improving their competitiveness. Among these systematic reformers: Azerbaijan, Georgia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. France and Portugal among the OECD high-income economies. Egypt and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East and North Africa. India in South Asia. China and Vietnam in East Asia. Colombia, Guatemala and Mexico in Latin America. And Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mauritius, Mozambique and Rwanda in Africa.

Crude price slides below $100 a barrel

Price of Crude oil has slipped more then 27% since june 11 when it touched the highest ever $ 147 mark / barrel.

The price of crude oil produced by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has plunged below $100 per barrel for the first time since late March, according to OPEC data released here on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, one barrel (159 litres) of OPEC-produced crude stood at $98.49, $2.59 less than the previous day's $101.08.

OPEC's latest price announcement came before its decision early Wednesday to cut overproduction.

OPEC calculates an average basket price based on 13 brands produced by cartel members.

A statement issued by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries issued after oil ministers ended their meeting early Wednesday said the organization agreed to produce 28.8 million barrels a day. OPEC President Chakib Khelil said that quota in effect meant that member countries had agreed to cut back 520,000 barrels a day in production over the established quota.

OPEC's statement on Wednesday noted that "prices had dropped significantly in recent weeks driven by a weakening world economy ... with its concomitant lower oil demand growth, coupled with higher crude supply, a strengthening of the U.S. dollar and an easing of geopolitical tensions." And it warned of the possibility of further price erosion, forecasting a possible "shift in market sentiment, causing downside risks to the global oil market outlook."

Oil demand from China's and India's booming economies have helped fuel oil demand and drive up prices.

At the next OPEC meeting on December 17, in Oran, Algeria, the organization would "reassess the market situation.

Since crude surged to a record $147.27 a barrel on July 11, it has tumbled by over $40, or more than 27 percent. Still, prices remain close to 14 percent higher this year than in 2007, and a barrel of benchmark crude still fetches four times what it did five years ago.

- Economic times