RBI board holds review meeting to take stock of economic situation

Amid the uncertainties created by the coronavirus pandemic, the Reserve Bank’s (RBI’s) central board on Friday held a meeting to discuss, among other things, the economic situation and other challenges.

The meeting, which was held through video conferencing, also deliberated on the issues concerning financial stability in the present context.

“The board reviewed the current economic situation, continued global and domestic challenges and various areas of operations of the Reserve Bank. The board also discussed the working of sub-committees of the central board and the local boards and deliberated on the aspects related to financial stability in the present milieu,” the RBI said in a release.

Apart from RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das and other central bank functionaries, the meeting was attended by N Chandrasekaran, Ashok Gulati, Manish Sabharwal, Prasanna Kumar Mohanty, Dilip S Shanghvi, Satish K Marathe, S Gurumurthy, Revathy Iyer and Sachin Chaturvedi.

The finance ministry was represented by Tarun Bajaj, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and Debasish Panda, Secretary, Department of Financial Services.

It was the 585th meeting of the RBI Central Board.

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Airtel Africa’s profit falls 9% to $88 million on higher finance cost

Bharti Airtel’s Africa unit on Friday reported a 9 per cent fall in its profit after tax (PAT) to $88 million for the quarter ended September on account of higher finance cost. The company posted a PAT of $96 million in the year-ago period.

However, the company’s revenue grew by 14 per cent at $965 million, against $844 million in the corresponding period last year, driven by increased data usage and mobile money. The revenue growth in data was 33.4 per cent and that in mobile money was 30.4 per cent, during the quarter. The two contribute 40 per cent to the company’s overall revenue.

In constant currency terms, recorded a growth of 19.5 per cent to $472 million in operating profit on a constant currency basis, the company said in a statement.

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Pentagon Condemns Turkey S-400 Test, Erdogan Dismisses US Criticism

The United States strongly condemned NATO ally Turkey on Friday after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed the first test of a Russian-made S-400 air defense system and dismissed US criticism.

“The US Department of Defense condemns in the strongest possible terms Turkey’s October 16 test of the S-400 air defense system — a test confirmed today by Turkish President Recep Erdogan,” Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.

“We object to Turkey’s testing of this system, which risks serious consequences for our security relationship,” Hoffman said.

“We have been clear and unwavering in our position: an operational S-400 system is not consistent with Turkey’s commitments as a US and NATO ally.”

“Turkey has already been suspended from the F-35 program and the S-400 continues to be a significant barrier to progress elsewhere in the bilateral relationship,” Hoffman said.

The Pentagon reaction came several hours after Erdogan confirmed that tests of the S-400, which was delivered to Turkey by Russia last year, had been carried out by the Turkish armed forces.

“It is true about the tests, they have been done and will continue,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul. “We’re not going to ask America for permission.”

Erdogan stressed

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