Pakistan cuts CRR

KARACHI: Pakistan’s central bank moved to inject liquidity into the country’s struggling financial system on Saturday by cutting the amount of cash commercial banks must hold in reserve. The bank lowered the cash reserve ratio (CRR) by two percentage points to six per cent, and said that it would be cut to five per cent on November 15, as it sought to ease tight credit conditions that have hit economic demand globally. — AFP

Canada, EU for pact

MONTREAL: The ongoing global financial crisis topped the agenda of talks between Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper and EU leaders, as they met on Friday to launch a process that might eventually lead to an ‘economic partnership’ between Canada and the EU. The meeting in Quebec City among Harper, French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, was focussed on a possible free trade deal between Canada and the EU. — DPA

China’s foreign stake

BEIJING: China’s sovereign wealth fund has increased its stake in the US private equity firm Blackstone Group to more than 10 per cent, but the investment was still short of the 12.5 per cent limit recently agreed to between China Investment Corporation (CIC) and Blackstone, the official China Daily reported, citing an unnamed source. — AFP

Russian measures

MOSCOW: The Russian government on Saturday announced a range of measures to boost the country’s economy that has been rattled by the global credit crunch, including state funds to support housing demand, agriculture projects and small businesses. A Kremlin spokesman said the government would release state funds for acquisition of ready to possess economy-class houses and provide credit for developers to complete the construction of partially built houses. — RIA Novosti

Indian aviation show

HYDERABAD: India’s first-ever international exhibition on civil aviation, India Aviation-2008, proved a big hit with thousands of people flocking to the Begumpet Airport here on Saturday to catch a glimpse of a variety of aircraft on the last day of the four-day event. After three days for business visitors, the show was on Saturday thrown open to the public, who thronged the venue in large numbers. So huge was the public response that the organisers had to stop the sale of tickets for sometime. — HNS