THE WEEK morning brief: 'Virtual' G20 summit on coronavirus

Saudi Arabia will chair and PM Modi will participate

Virus Outbreak Mideast Iran A pedestrian wearing a face mask crosses a street in northern Tehran, Iran | AP

A look at the headlines today:  

1. G20 summit on coronavirus

Saudi Arabia's King Salman will chair an emergency virtual summit of G20 leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today to advance the coordinated response to the novel coronavirus pandemic that has claimed nearly 19,000 lives and upended life and businesses across the globe. Saudi Arabia, which currently holds the G20 presidency, last week called for the "virtual summit" following criticism that the powerful group of major economies had been slow to address the global crisis. Leaders of over 40 nations and international organisations, such as the WHO, are expected to participate in the meeting.

2.RBI auction

The Reserve Bank of India will today hold the second tranche of purchases of Rs 15,000 crore of government securities under open market operations (OMOs). This auction was originally planned to be held on March 30. Last week, the RBI said it would conduct two OMO purchase auctions worth Rs 30,000 crore in two tranches in March to provide liquidity to the market, which has been subject to disruption due to the coronavirus outbreak. The four government bonds to be bought by the RBI in the auction include 8.08 per cent-2022; 7.68 per cent-2023; 7.27 per cent-2026 and 7.17per cent-2028, an RBI release said. These bonds will be purchased through a multi-security auction using the multiple price method.

3. Yes Bank board to meet

The reconstituted board of troubled lender Yes Bank will meet today. The meeting is expected to finalise capital-raising plans. The Hindu Businessline had reported the "bank is keen to have its funding in place by March 31 and a number of global investors have shown interest in investing..."

4. Pakistan suspends domestic flights

The Pakistan government has suspended "all types of domestic scheduled/non-scheduled, chartered and private aircraft passenger flight operations with effect from Thursday, March 26, at 6:00am (local time)" as the country battles the coronavirus outbreak. As of Wednesday, the nationwide tally of COVID-19 patients touched 1,037 with 413 cases in Sindh; 115 in Balochistan; 296 in Punjab; 117 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; 80 in Gilgit-Baltistan; 15 in Islamabad and one in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Seven people have died of coronavirus in Pakistan. The suspension of domestic flights will be in effect till April 2. Pakistan had already suspended international flights this week.

5. Huawei P40 series

Huawei is scheduled to launch its new P40 series of premium smartphones via livestreaming at 6.30pm (IST) today. The P40 and P40 PRo will be powered by the Kirin 990 5G chipset and will have 5G connectivity. The P40 Pro, which will have a 6.58 OLED display, is expected to cost over Rs 80,000 in India.

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