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  1. August 3, 2018 Summit Capital Research Jul-18: Oil sales volume dropped by 29%YoY I MS volumes intact… In Jul-18, POL products sales continued its downward trajectory to the tune of 1.6mn tons (-30%YoY) mainly attributable to lower furnace oil sales for the said period. Similarly HSD sales also plummeted by 19%YoY to 0.61mn tons whereas, MS sales remained intact at 0.61mn tons (-0.5%YoY) on continuous increase in automobile vehicles. Company wise data shows, PSO lost its market share in retail segment as HASCOL and APL are giving stiff competition to state owned oil company. During the month, PSO overall sales hard-pressed by 50%YoY to 0.6mn tons as FO sales figures significantly went down by 77%YoY to 0.14mn tons. Similarly, APL/HASCOL/SHEL total sales deteriorated by 15/11/-0.4%YoY in Jul’18 respectively. Conversely, to ease exposure to oil import and environmental issues, Govt. restricted electricity generation from FO which reflected in FY18 electricity generation figures. Furnace oil usage in electricity generation dropped to 21% in FY18 versus 32% during SPLY. Resultantly furnace oil sales continued its declining trend and reported at 0.35mn tons in Jul-18. Going forward, we expect FO demand for FY19 would likely in range of 3-4mn tons. We expect growth in retail fuel sales may slow down amid increase in oil prices and projected drop in car sales going forward. As upcoming Govt. in its way to bring improvement in regulatory structures, we expect that the oil marketing sector may get some relief from soaring circular debt (PKR566bn as per news reports).
  2. News Pulse (August 03, 2018) US cuts Pak security aid to historic low, ends conditions The US Congress has passed a $716.3 billion defence spending bill, capping its security-related aid to Pakistan at $150 million, which is significantly below the historic level of more than $1 billion per year. https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/350119-us-cuts-aid-to-pakistan Forex reserves up $1.35 billion on official inflows With the arrival of official inflows, Pakistan''s depleting foreign exchange reserves gained a much-needed support and surged to $17 billion by the end of July 2018. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180803395988/ Pakistan to Decide on More Than $12 Billion Bailout in Six Weeks Pakistan’s incoming finance minister estimates the economy needs more than $12 billion to halt a looming financial crisis, with a decision on where to source the funds to be made within six weeks. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-02/pakistan-to-decide-on-more-than-12-billion-bailout-in-six-weeks Senate body seeks new PPA draft between KE & CPPA-G Senate Standing Committee on Power on Thursday sought draft of new Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between Karachi Electric (KE) and Central Power Purchasing Agency-Guaranteed (CPPA-G) for 650 MW of electricity. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180803395993/ Historic feat: 330MW plants connected with National Grid: ETPL The Chief Executive Officer of Engro Powergen Thar Limited (EPTL), Ahsan Zafar Syed has announced that Pakistan has made history by achieving successful connection of its two 330MW power plants with the National Grid for the back-feed power supply required for the plant start-up. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180803396003/ Loan write-off: Loanees granted another opportunity The Supreme Court on Thursday granted another opportunity to the persons who had got their loans written off to decide about the options for the payment of outstanding loans by August 16. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180803395995/ LPG prices raised by Rs 7 per kg The federal government has increased the prices of domestic and commercial LPG cylinders by Rs 7 per kg with immediate effect. The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has notified new prices of the LPG. The impact of increase will be Rs 86 for domestic cylinder, Rs 329 per commercial cylinder and Rs 7,249 per metric ton. The OGRA has issued notification in this respect. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180803396008/ MMCL hands over fleet of over 40 vehicles to PSO contractors "Master Motor Corporation Ltd. (MMCL) in pursuit of its commitment to safe transportation of petroleum products has developed vehicles in compliance with standards set by Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA)." https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180803396050/ Oil sales drop 30pc Total oil sales in July fell by 30 per cent year-on-year to 1.6 million tonnes owing mainly to the decline in usage of furnace oil by power sector, according to the monthly sales report released by the Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC). https://www.dawn.com/news/1424623/oil-sales-drop-30pc Incoming govt to start laying TAPI pipeline in Pakistan In a bid to cope with the daunting challenge of energy shortages, the incoming government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will have to immediately kick off construction work on the $10-billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline project. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1772155/2-incoming-govt-start-laying-tapi-pipeline-pakistan/
  3. News Pulse (August 02, 2018) Honda defers plan to launch new car The management of Honda Atlas Cars Pakistan (HACP) has deferred the introduction of a new locally-assembled car owing to the country’s uncertain economic condition. https://www.dawn.com/news/1424433/honda-defers-plan-to-launch-new-car CPI hits 4-year high of 5.8 percent in July as rupee devaluation weighs Annual consumer price inflation reached almost four-year high of 5.8 percent for the first month of the current fiscal year of 2018/19, official data showed on Wednesday, as rupee devaluation pushed prices up in the market reliant on oil and food imports. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/349295-cpi-hits-4-year-high-of-5-8-percent-in-july-as-rupee-devaluation-weighs Rs6,000 bn black money whitened through amnesty scheme While the tax amnesty scheme has failed to attract repatriation of billions of dollars into the national kitty mainly because of different restrictions and uncertainty on the political front, still Rs6,000 billion worth of black money has been whitened through this scheme. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/349508-rs6-000-bn-black-money-whitened-through-amnesty-scheme Government to raise Rs5.7trln via T-bills auction The government will raise Rs5.7 trillion through sale of treasury papers during the three months, the central bank said on Wednesday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/349300-government-to-raise-rs5-7trln-via-t-bills-auction Hybrid rice seed to significantly increase yield, exports The commercialisation of Hybrid Basmati seed, expected to be achieved by 2019-2020, will boost farm income as well as exports, Shahzad Ali Malik, chief executive officer of Guard Agricultural Research and Services (Guard Agri) said. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/349301-hybrid-rice-seed-to-significantly-increase-yield-exports Incoming government to revamp all regulatory bodies Incoming federal government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will revamp all regulatory bodies by making them completely autonomous. These bodies are currently working under different line ministries. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180802395684/ Government expects Rs 4-5 billion more from amnesty scheme The government is expecting additional amount of Rs 4-5 billion from the amnesty scheme expired on July 31, 2018, taking the total projected amount to Rs 127 billion. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180802395654/ Hundreds of tariff lines: proposal to increase RD rejected Ministry of Commerce and Textile has turned down Finance Ministry''s proposal about increase in Regulatory Duty (RD) on hundreds of tariff lines, saying that any such move will fuel inflation without having any negative impact on imports, well informed sources told Business Recorder. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180802395648/ Power sector circular debt soars to Rs 566 billion The government said on Wednesday that power sector circular debt has accumulated to Rs 566 billion. A meeting of the special committee on circular debt headed by Senator Shibli Faraz was told that it did not include the circular debt of around Rs 500 billion parked in the Power Holding Company Limited (PHPL). https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180802395670/ Engro’s 660MW plant connected to national grid The National Transmission and Despatch Company (NTDC) on Wednesday connected Engro’s 660MW coal-fired power plant (Thar) with national grid after it completed a mega project of laying 500kV double circuit quad bundle transmission line originating from Jamshoro. https://www.dawn.com/news/1424428/engros-660mw-plant-connected-to-national-grid
  4. August 02, 2018 Arif Habib Research KSE100 index faced selling pressure, which was mainly caused by Banking sector results on HBL and UBL both of which caused decline in the index. The market opened on a positive note with 126pts positive but selling pressure settled in Cement and Banking sectors. By the end of session, EPCL’s result announcement changed the sentiment on stock and it became the volume leader. The Index closed at 42,330pts as against 42,810pts showing a decline of 480pts (-1.1% DoD). Sectors contributing to this performance include Banks (-269pts), Cement (-82pts), E&P (-74pts), Fertilizer (-27pts), Tobacco (-21pts) and Power (+46pts). Volumes slightly improved from 278.4mn shares to 284.3mn shares (+2% DoD). Average traded value also increased by 7.7% DoD to reach US$ 91.4mn as against US$ 84.8mn. Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes include EPCL, UNITY, PIBTL, PAEL and TRG reflecting 32% of total volumes. Scripts that contributed positively include HUBC (+32pts), DAWH (+18pts), KAPCO (+17pts), NBP (+11pts) and PMPK (+10pts). Stocks that contributed negatively include HBL (-135pts), UBL (-72pts), LUCK (-51pts), PPL (-40pts) and MCB (-36pts).
  5. August 02, 2018 Arif Habib Research CPI Review Jul’18: Underline Inflation Continues to Remain High Jul’18 inflation clocks-in at 5.83% YoY As per Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), CPI for the month of Jul’18 clocked in at 5.83% (44 months high) compared to 5.21% MoM in Jun’18 and 2.91% YoY in Jul’17. During 1MFY19, Inflation jumped on the back of food related items which shot up drastically due to 18% YoY PKR depreciation, increase in housing index (quarterly review of house rent up by 2% QoQ) and higher transport index (rising international oil prices). Factors attributable to rise in YoY inflation Surge in consumer price index reading is attributable to Food, Housing, Clothing, Transport, Education, Miscellaneous and Health which depicted a growth of 3.49%, 5.95%, 6.48%, 15.71%, 12.96%, 7.40% and 5.53% YoY respectively. Under food index, commodities that gained the most were Betel Leaves and Nuts (162%), Tomatoes (38%), Meat (11%), Dry Fruits (11%), Fresh Vegetables (11%). Other than the food group, Kerosene Oil (37%), Motor Fuel (25%), Education (13%) and House Rent (8%). However, decline in prices of pulses kept the food inflation under check. Monthly inflation shows a rise of 0.94% On MoM basis inflation increased by 0.94% in Jul’18 against 3 year average for July 0.69%. Major contributor remained Food, Transport, Housing and Clothing & Footwear which exhibited growth of 0.64%, 4.14%, 1.48% and 0.25% MoM respectively. On MoM basis, average price of Fresh Vegetables, Tomatoes, Eggs and Potatoes augmented by 23%, 16%, 12%, and 9% while prices of Chicken and Fresh Fruits went down by 17% and 15%, respectively.
  6. August 01, 2018 Arif Habib Research Market opened today on a positive note +38pts and jumped further close to 80pts. Selling pressure met the buyers half way and soon the selling pressure pushed the index down by 185pts contributed by Cement, Fertilizer and Banking Sector scrips. Early on, the news of increase in cement price / bag in South region failed to get traction, but last half hour showed buyers interest resulting in DGKC, FCCL, MLCF trading close to upper circuit. Among E&P scrips, pressure remained high on PPL, POL and MARI. The Index closed at 42,810pts as against 42,712pts yesterday, showing an increase of 98pts (+0.2% DoD). Sectors contributing to increase include Cement (+71pts), Tobacco (+30pts), Fertilizer (+24pts), Technology (+19pts), E&P (+17pts) and Banks (-76pts). Volumes slightly improved from 274.5mn shares to 278.2mn shares (+1.3% DoD). Average traded value declined by 23% DoD to reach US$ 84.2mn as against US$ 109.3mn. Stocks that contributed significantly to the volumes include DSIL, PIAA. EPCL, FFL and PAEL reflecting 34% of total volumes. Scripts that contributed positively include DAWH (+41pts), DGKC (+26pts), OGDC (+23pts), PAKT (+20pts) and FCCL (+19pts). Stocks that contributed negatively include HBL (-27pts), BAHL (-23pts), UBL (-20pts), FFC (-18pts) and MCB (-18pts).
  7. August 01, 2018 Market Strategy Jul’18: KSE-100 Index surged by 1.9% MoM PSX welcome General Election 2018 During Jul’18 the equity market jumped by 802 points, portraying a return of 1.9% MoM (USD: -0.3% MoM) compared to a negative return of -2.2% in June’18 (USD: -6.9% MoM). This took CY18TD | FY19 return to +5.5% | 1.9% (USD: -5.7% | -0.3%). Major reasons for robust performance of the bourse were conclusion of general election (GE) 2018 and commencement of the third consecutive democratic government. GE 2018 results suggest that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has managed to secure majority seats in the lower house and KPK province while maintaining second largest presence in the Punjab province. Trading commenced on a negative note in Jul’18 amid anticipation of announcement of verdict on Avenfield Apartment case against ex-Prime Minister, followed by Fitch Ratings’ warning to Pakistan to focus on its worsening external sector. However, by second week of Jul’18 market showed positive momentum as Banking sector portrayed optimism on account of policy rate increase by 100bps to 7.50% by SBP during second week of Jul’18. Additionally, the market posted a solid return of 3.3% in the last week of Jul’18, as GE 2018 concluded and PTI secured a majority in the lower house. Current account deficit has settled at USD 1,840mn for Jun'18, down by 8.5% MoM. During the month, downturn in Current Account deficit was witnessed due to higher other official transfers of USD 319mn (+10.0x MoM) along with improvement in net primary income of USD 297mn. Whereas, exports and remittances decreased by 10.4% MoM (USD 2,012mn) and 9.9% MoM (USD 1,595mn), respectively. During FY18, CAD witnessed an increase of 42.6% YoY to USD 17,994mn. The rise in deficit was driven by higher imports (up by 14.7% YoY, USD 55.8bn). On the other hand, exports also witnessed a growth of 12.6% YoY to USD 24.8bn. Other events that occurred during the month include: Nepra slightly revised up multiyear tariff for K-Electric to PKR 12.81/kWh, Trade deficit hit all-time high of $37.67 billion, Current account deficit widened to 5.7 percent of GDP in FY2018, SNGPL refused to import RLNG until government makes commitment, Ordinance enforced to address FATF concerns lapses and Govt planned duty increase to control imports. Average volumes during the month went up by 15% MoM to 186mn shares along with average daily valued traded which settled at USD 84mn (up by 1% MoM). On the local front, Individuals / Insurance companies remained the largest domestic accumulators with a net buy of USD 65.4mn / 31.9mn, while Mutual Funds and Banks remained sellers of USD 42.3mn and USD 9.2mn, respectively. Foreign selling continued Foreign selling persisted for another month at USD 63.7mn in Jul’18 vs. USD 74.0mn in the prior month. Outflows were majorly witnessed in Commercial Banks (USD 31.1mn) amid expectation of weak result for HBL and UBL. This was followed by E&Ps (USD 22.0mn) given 7% MoM correction in int’l oil prices, Cements (USD 4.3mn) as margins continue to remain upward sticky and OMCs (USD 3.9mn). On the local front, this was absorbed by Individuals (USD 65.4mn), Insurance companies (USD 31.9mn) and Companies (USD 17.7mn). Pertinently, flows remained negative across the Asia Pac region with major concentration of outflows in Thailand (USD 321mn), Vietnam (USD 111mn) and Philippines (USD 49mn) while minimal net inflows were reported in India (USD 76mn), Indonesia (54mn) and South Korea (USD 43mn). That said, this took the FY18 net sell-off to USD 288.5mn.
  8. News Pulse (August 01, 2018) US dictates IMF on loan to Pakistan US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in an interview with CNBC television, said the United States looked forward to engagement with the government of Pakistan’s expected new prime minister Imran Khan but said there was “no rationale” for a bailout that pays off Chinese loans to Pakistan. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/348938-us-dictates-imf-on-loan-to-pakistan Government keeps prices of PoL products unchanged The government has decided to maintain the prices of petroleum products at the existing level during August 2018. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/348940-government-keeps-prices-of-pol-products-unchanged Tax amnesty scheme fetches Rs122 billion Almost 70,000 declarations for domestic and foreign assets have fetched around Rs122 billion into the national kitty and this scheme has expired on July 31, without any further extension. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/348951-tax-amnesty-scheme-fetches-rs122-billion Amount of pending refund claims stands at Rs 200 billion: FBR Pending refund claims amount to Rs 200 billion as per the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Rs 250 billion according to exporters. FBR sources told Business Recorder that pending refund claims include: (i) sales tax refund claims including deferred claims of around Rs 125-130 billion including deferred claims, (ii) customs duty drawback of around Rs 20 billion, and (iii) income tax refund claims of Rs 50 billion. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/08/20180801395433/ Govt mulls local, imported gas mix to revive closed urea plants To deal with a likely urea shortage of about 0.5 to 0.6 million tons, up to mid Rabi 2018-19, the government is mulling a mix of local and sourced gas to restore one million tons of idle manufacturing capacity, instead of opting for costly imports, an official said on Tuesday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/348846-govt-mulls-local-imported-gas-mix-to-revive-closed-urea-plants Pharmaceuticals seek price adjustment Troubled with more than 20 percent devaluation of local currency lately, the pharmaceutical industry seeks a provision in the recently announced medicine pricing policy that would enable devaluation related price adjustment of medicines. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/348847-pharmaceuticals-seek-price-adjustment Chinese firm keen to buy 51pc stake in Fauji Foods A Chinese dairy firm has expressed interest in buying majority stake in Fauji Foods against an estimated Rs9.7 billion. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/348849-chinese-firm-keen-to-buy-51pc-stake-in-fauji-foods Pak Suzuki raises car, bike prices Amid strengthening of rupee against the dollar, Pak Suzuki Motor Company Ltd (PSMCL) made the fourth increase in car prices – between Rs20,000 to Rs40,000 – for various models, effective from Aug 1. https://www.dawn.com/news/1424207/pak-suzuki-raises-car-bike-prices Cement prices likely to surge by Rs15 per bag Cement makers have decided to increase Rs15 per bag in the northern region amid monsoon season and the government transition that has caused construction activity to slow down, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably. https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/07/31/cement-prices-likely-to-surge-by-rs15-per-bag/
  9. News Pulse (March 16, 2018) ECP to select caretaker PM After the stormy but contentious election to the top Senate slots, all eyes are now set on the next caretaker prime minister/chief ministers and the anticipated sweeping measures https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/292964-ecp-to-select-caretaker-pm IMF projects gross external financing needs at $24.464 billion in FY2018 International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday projected Pakistan’s gross external financing needs at $24.464 billion for the current fiscal year of 2017/18 – a projection that brushed aside the finance ministry’s claim of $18 billion by a wide margin.. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/292803-imf-projects-gross-external-financing-needs-at-24-464-billion-in-fy2018 Widening GDP, fiscal, external deficits pose serious risk to repay foreign debt While extending warnings about eroding macroeconomic stability amid widening fiscal and external deficits, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has highlighted that Pakistan’s Net International Reserves (NIR) have declined from $7.476 billion in September 2016 to negative $0.724 billion till mid Feb 2018 https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/292959-widening-gdp-fiscal-external-deficits-pose-serious-risk-to-repay-foreign-debt Loss-making public sector enterprises incur Rs1.2 trillion in losses Loss-making public sector enterprises (PSEs) have so far raked in more than Rs1.2 trillion in losses, equivalent to four percent of GDP, IMF said on Thursday, underscoring an ‘urgency’ for their restructuring to ease burden on budgetary resources https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/292804-loss-making-public-sector-enterprises-incur-rs1-2-trillion-in-losses Chinese firms ink 41 CPEC-linked accords in 2018 Chinese companies have signed 41 different understandings for major undertakings related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during 2018, an official said on Thursday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/292807-chinese-firms-ink-41-cpec-linked-accords-in-2018 Forex reserves fall to $18.240bln Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $18.240 billion on March 9 from $18.329 billion a week earlier, the central bank said on Thursday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/292809-forex-reserves-fall-to-18-240bln C/A, budget deficits major challenges: adjustment in exchange rate starts bearing fruit: Miftah Advisor to Prime Ministry on Finance Miftah Ismail Thursday termed current account deficit and budget deficit as major challenges to national economy. Speaking at a seminar on national economy, he said five percent adjustment in exchange rate made in December 2017 has started bearing fruit with decrease in trade deficit and increase in exports, with encouraging number of exports for February 2018 https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180316352007/ ISLAMABAD: The government has given an undertaking to the The government has given an undertaking to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to immediately increase natural gas and electricity tariffs and conduct deeper scrutiny of foreign-funded projects to reduce increasing risks to fiscal and external accounts. https://www.dawn.com/news/1395477/govt-assures-imf-deeper-scrutiny-of-foreign-funded-projects Budget fiscal year 2019: relief for stock market on the cards The government will announce relief for stock market and may also consider withdrawal of super tax/tax on bonus shares in budget for next fiscal year after achieving comfortable position during the last four years with growth and revenue collection on the rise and subdued inflation, said Special Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Miftah Ismail stated. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180316352004/ Fertiliser sector demands abolition of GIDC Fertiliser sector on Thursday said abolition of gas infrastructure development cess (GIDC) on feedstock would make soil enriching chemicals affordable for farmers without any cash subsidy, easing the burden on national exchequer https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/292808-fertiliser-sector-demands-abolition-of-gidc Hubco, Fauji Fertilizer to set up 330MW coal power project Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited (FFC) and Hub Power Company Limited (Hubco) signed an agreement to set up a 330-megawatt local coal-based power project in Thar, a statement said on Thursday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/292806-hubco-fauji-fertilizer-to-set-up-330mw-coal-power-project Miftah stresses need to rationalise agri policies Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Miftah Ismail said that rationalised agriculture policies could double the value of its products in five years, reducing the burden of import by billions of dollars.. https://www.dawn.com/news/1395476/miftah-stresses-need-to-rationalise-agri-policies
  10. News Pulse (March 15, 2018) Bank deposits up 11.63pc to Rs11.880 trillion in February Deposits with banks grew 11.63 percent to Rs11.880 trillion at the end of February 2018 in a sign that the sector is enjoying the benefits of economic expansion, according to the figures released by the State bank of Pakistan on Wednesday. Analysts said banks have succeeded in attracting a decent inflow of deposits because of improving economic activity. “The main driver for strong bank deposits is economic growth,” said an analyst. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/292417-bank-deposits-up-11-63pc-to-rs11-880-trillion-in-february Engro Polymer plans Rs7.6bln investment for expansion Engro Polymer and Chemicals on Wednesday unveiled Rs7.6 billion investment plan to increase production of pipes and fittings to capitalise on growth in construction activities in the country and tap regional demand. “The board of directors has resolved that the company intends, in the near future, to carry out a right issue of ordinary shares at a premium,” the company said in a notice to Pakistan Stock Exchange. “However, the share price to be determined in the future for the proposed right issue will not exceed Rs30/share.” https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/292418-engro-polymer-plans-rs7-6bln-investment-for-expansion Amnesty scheme this month, govt tells SC The Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) said on Wednesday that the government was sleeping as it had done nothing in the Panama, Paradise Leaks cases. The government at this responded that an amnesty scheme was being introduced during the current month (March). The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday observed that transfer of money abroad without justification was disastrous for the country and hinted at banning the practice. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/292483-amnesty-scheme-this-month-govt-tells-sc Saudi Arabia to keep April crude oil exports under 7 million bpd OPEC raised its forecast for oil supply from non-member countries in 2018 as higher prices encourage U.S. shale drillers to pump more, offsetting an OPEC-led deal to clear a supply glut and a collapse in Venezuelan production. In a monthly report on Wednesday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said non-OPEC producers would boost supply by 1.66 million barrels per day (bpd) this year. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/292419-saudi-arabia-to-keep-april-crude-oil-exports-under-7-million-bpd ThalNova signs agreement with CMEC ThalNova Power Investments ThalNova is pleased to announce that it has entered into a subscription agreement with CMEC ThalNova Power Investments Limited pursuant to which it will subscribe for 10% shareholding in ThalNova, subject to all the regulatory approvals of Pakistan. CMEC ThalNova Power Investments Limited has also executed a Novation Agreement with the existing shareholders of ThalNova. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180315351770/ ADB’s $140 million loan for improvement of KP roads Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Pakistan on Wednesday signed a $140 million loan to improve the provincial roads in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province of Pakistan, said a press release. The loan agreement was signed by Xiaohong Yang, ADB Country Director for Pakistan and Syed Ghazanfar Abbas Jilani, Secretary of the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) in Islamabad. Muhammad Shahab Khattak, Secretary, Communication and Works Department and Ahmed Nabi Sultan, Managing Director of the Pakhtunkhwa Highway Authority signed the project agreement on behalf of the Government of KP. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180315351784/ PBS faces challenges in finalising FY18 economic data Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) is facing an uphill task to get growth figure and other important economic indicators ready for the current fiscal of 2017/18 in absence of the two key financial wizards for almost a year: chief statistician PBS and member National Accounts Committee. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/292415-pbs-faces-challenges-in-finalising-fy18-economic-data Pakistan expected to harvest bumper wheat crop of 26mln tons this season The country is expected to harvest a bumper wheat crop of around 26 million tons during the current season – a figure, albeit a little short of annual target, is the highest ever – as increased fertiliser offtakes offset the low acreage impact. The News surveys with farmers and agriculture experts across Punjab found that this year’s crop output may be close to 26 million tons against the target of 26.46 million tons despite lower acreage, water shortage and late sowing associated with marketing-related issues of sugarcane and cotton crops. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/292414-pakistan-expected-to-harvest-bumper-wheat-crop-of-26mln-tons-this-season Registration condition relaxed to facilitate software exporters The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday announced that the registration requirement for software houses/companies with the respective area office of Foreign Exchange Operations Department, SBP Banking Services Corporation is being dispensed with. However, the SBP has further elaborated that in pursuance of AML (Anti-money Laundering)/CFT (Combating the Financing of Terrorism) regulations, authorised dealers (AD), which are banks, are responsible to conduct customer due diligence, maintain customers profile, monitor remittances and authenticate source of funds or modes of transactions etc, in line with the applicable rules and regulations https://www.dawn.com/news/1395313/registration-condition-relaxed-to-facilitate-software-exporters NTDCL financial woes deepen after accounts attachment National Transmission and Despatch Company Ltd (NTDCL) is passing through a severe financial crisis and it has stopped payments to all of its vendors, contractors, consultants and other people. The company has even stopped routine payments to its employees and pensioners, a senior company official, requesting anonymity, told Dawn on Wednesday. https://www.dawn.com/news/1395315/ntdcl-financial-woes-deepen-after-accounts-attachment Online service for company, NTN enrolment launched The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) have launched a one-window facility for company and national tax number (NTN) registration. The move is part of ‘Doing Business Reforms’ and the one-window facility is based on back-end integration between SECP and FBR systems. https://www.dawn.com/news/1395316/online-service-for-company-ntn-enrolment-launched Gwadar to have 300mw coal-fired plant: official Gwadar Port has been made operational with weekly arrival of ships, as the first ship visited the port on March 7 and another one on March 14, said Director General Gwadar Port Authority Dostain Jamali Wednesday. While briefing the National Assembly Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reform meeting chaired by Abdul Majeed Khan Khanankhail, Dostain Jamali said that two liners (COSO and Sino-Trans) start arriving at the port with the first one on March 7 and another one on March 14, 2018. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180315351702/ FTA-II with China: sensitive list of items to be finalised today The Ministry of Commerce and Textile has convened a meeting of all key chambers and associations on Thursday (today) to finalise sensitive list of items to be placed before Chinese officials during 10th round of FTA-II, to be held in Islamabad during the last week of current month, official sources told Business Recorder. Prime Minister''s Advisor on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Dr Miftah Ismail will preside over the meeting to be held in the Commerce Division. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180315351729/ Matiari, other power projects: PPIB board approves extension in financial close deadlines The Board of Directors (BoD) of Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) Wednesday approved extension in financial close deadlines of +660 kV HVDC Matiari-Lahore transmission line and other Thar coal-fired projects. The Board meeting presided over by Minister for Power Division, Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari, also accorded approval to start the process for hiring of new Managing Director of PPIB as the scope of organisation will be widened after merging of PPIB and AEDB. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180315351708/
  11. News Pulse (March 14, 2018) Setting up of mini-industrial estates on the cards The Punjab government is actively considering establishing mini-industrial estates in remote and less developed areas of the Province. The objectives of the proposed programme were to promote small-scale agro based and other industries in the province. The work on the proposed programme will be carried out in next fiscal year sources added. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180314351493/ Public debt surges 8.82 percent to Rs15.796 trillion in January Pakistan’s domestic debt rose 8.82 percent to Rs15.796 trillion in January 2018, higher than the debt recorded a year earlier, the central bank data showed on Tuesday. Major contribution in the domestic debt came from bank and non-bank borrowings. The government continued to rely on domestic sources - central bank and commercial banks - over the past few years to meet its budget deficit financing requirement. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/291963-public-debt-surges-8-82-percent-to-rs15-796-trillion-in-january Tricom Wind seeks licence for 50MW power project Tricom Wind Power, a joint venture between Adamjee Group and Yunus Brothers Group, on Tuesday applied for a wind power generation licence for 50 megawatts project estimated to cost $88 million as the government is encouraging private investment in renewable energy sector. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/291978-tricom-wind-seeks-licence-for-50mw-power-project SBP develops new method of measuring core inflation The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has developed a new method "RSC-CPI" for measurement of core inflation by permanently excluding relatively volatile commodities from Consumer Price Index (CPI) basket. The State Bank in its "Inflation Monitor for the month of January 2018", issued Tuesday has revealed that Relatively Stable Component of CPI (RSC-CPI) developed by the State Bank is a hybrid method based on permanent exclusion criteria. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180314351424/ Line losses slightly reduced in last 3 years The line losses of power sector have shown a slight reduction during the last three years, reveals the data submitted to the National Assembly on Tuesday. The overall line losses of ten Discos stood at 17.9 per cent by the end of the fiscal year 2016-17. In 2014-15, the losses were calculated at 18.7 per cent. The Sukkur Electric Power Company (Sepco) suffered 37.9 per cent transmission and line losses during the year 2016-17. Its losses during 2014-15 were 38.3 per cent. Insiders believe the improvement was occurred due to the Rangers’ role in bill recovery and electricity theft prevention operations. https://nation.com.pk/14-Mar-2018/line-losses-slightly-reduced-in-last-3-years Rs558b released for development projects The government has released over Rs 558 billion under its PSDP 2017-18 for various ongoing and new schemes against the total allocations of Rs1,001 billion. The Planning Commission has been following a proper mechanism for the release of funds and accordingly funds are released as per given mechanism. The commission releases 20% of funds in first quarter (July-Sept), 20% in second quarter (Oct-Dec), 25% in third quarter (Jan-March) and 35% in fourth quarter (April-June).–APP https://nation.com.pk/14-Mar-2018/rs558b-released-for-development-projects Chinese Alipay makes inroads into Pakistan with Rs20bln investment plan Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, on Tuesday agreed to acquire 45 percent stake worth around Rs20 billion in a subsidiary of Norwegian Telenor to broaden access to financial services through digital payment solutions in Pakistan. “Telenor Group has reached a strategic partnership agreement with Ant Financial Services Group in Pakistan, where Ant Financial will invest $184.5m for a 45 percent stake in Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB), a subsidiary of Telenor Group, to further develop TMB’s mobile payment and digital financial services,” a statement said. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/291961-chinese-alipay-makes-inroads-into-pakistan-with-rs20bln-investment-plan Foreign investors call for tax cuts, consistency in policies Pakistan is on the radar of foreign investors who rate the country positively for investment but there is a dire need for consistent and transparent policies along with affordable taxes, Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) President Bruno Olierhoek said on Tuesday. Talking to journalists at the Overseas Investors Chamber, Mr Olierhoek said that Pakistan – with a consumers market of 220 million people and a GDP growth rate of over 5 per cent – offered great attractions for potential foreign investors. https://www.dawn.com/news/1395157/foreign-investors-call-for-tax-cuts-consistency-in-policies Power surcharges run into challenges With the circular debt stock rising beyond Rs1 trillion, private stakeholders have challenged the government move to impose Rs1.55 surcharges on electricity tariff for covering Rs110 billion losses allegedly caused by inefficiencies of power companies. At a public hearing that was challenged by two interveners for having been arranged on very short notice, a senior officer representing the Power Division — Zargham Ishaq Khan — pleaded that three surcharges worth an average Rs1.55 per unit be notified as part of the consumer tariff to reduce the burden on federal budget. https://www.dawn.com/news/1395159/power-surcharges-run-into-challenges
  12. News Pulse (March 13, 2018) Govt to raise gas prices by 5-7pc The government has decided in principle to increase gas prices by 5-7 per cent, involving additional revenue of Rs18 billion to cover losses of the two gas utilities — Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd (SSGCL) and Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Ltd (SNGPL) — with retrospective effect from 2012-13. https://www.dawn.com/news/1394953/govt-to-raise-gas-prices-by-5-7pc US renews GSP scheme for Pakistan The US House of Representatives has passed a bill to renew the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme allowing duty free access for goods from 120 countries including Pakistan for the next three years. The scheme expired on December 31, 2017. The Bill now provides an extension up to December 2020. https://www.dawn.com/news/1394952/us-renews-gsp-scheme-for-pakistan Distribution companies: recoveries push up circular debt to over Rs 750 billion The Ministry of Power Division said on Monday that power recoveries of distribution companies have increased the circular debt to over Rs 750 billion and consequently DISCOs have been unable to invest in power infrastructure. The acknowledgement came from the Ministry of Power Division first time in the backdrop of the discussion that lack of investment in transmission lines has been causing frequent tripping and loadshedding, especially in remote areas. The ministry admitted during a meeting of the Planning and Development Sub-Committee of the National Assembly, presided over by Sher Akbar Khan, that governance issues in the power sector have pushed up circular debt to an unsustainable level. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180313351110/ Sindh faces 32 percent water shortage in Oct-Mar The Indus River System Authority (IRSA) said on Monday Punjab faced 31 percent water shortage, Sindh 32 percent, Balochistan 7 percent and Khyber Pakhtunkwa 21 percent during the period October 1, 2017 to March 10, 2018. As per IRSA account report, Punjab utilised 11.9 million acre feet (MAF) water against 17.3 MAF share, Sindh utilised 9.13 MAF against 13.4 MAF, Balochistan 1.05 MAF against 1.12 MAF and KPK 0.46 MAF against 0.56 MAF. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/291564-sindh-faces-32-percent-water-shortage-in-oct-mar CPEC debt liabilities estimated to be around $3.3-4.5 billion per year by 2025 The debt liabilities of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are estimated to be around US$3.3 to US$4.5 billion per year by 2025, said the findings of 10th annual report on the state of economy titled "China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Review and Analysis" prepared by the Shahid Javed Burki Institute of Public Policy at Net Sol.The report was launched on Monday. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180313351116/ Pakistan seeks to increase trade with Iran to $5 billion by 2021: PM Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Pakistan desires to increase bilateral trade with Iran to $5 billion by 2021 during a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Monday. Zarif met with the Prime Minister and the two leaders discussed efforts for strengthening bilateral relations and issues related to peace and security in the region, said a press release. The Prime Minister reaffirmed Pakistan''s desire to enhance mutually beneficial economic cooperation with Iran including bilateral trade, investments and commercial interaction. He added that in order to meet the bilateral trade target of $5 billion by 2021, the two sides should work together in all earnest. The Prime Minister emphasized the need to deepen connectivity to harness benefits from regional economic integration. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180313351099/ Sales of passenger cars maintain double-digit growth in February Sales of passenger cars has maintained double digit growth in February 2018 as compared to corresponding month of last year. The auto data released by Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) for the month of February 2018 revealed that total car sales clocking-in at 22,654 units (including LCVs + 4x4s), depicting a growth of 15 percent year on year (YoY) and down by 4 percent on month on month (MoM) basis, respectively. Analysts said that once again car sales during the month kept its momentum as 4 percent on MoM basis decline was on account of less days in a month compared to January and added that if we assumed normalized working days then car sales improved by 6.5 per cent MoM, while posting tremendous growth on yearly basis. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180313351172/ Budget 2018-2019: government urged to raise incentives for local manufacturing units Speakers at the meeting of Shura Hamdard Karachi chapter urged the government to increase the budget of education and health and give incentives to manufacturing companies in order to reduce bill of imports and make Pakistan a manufacturing nation, in coming national budget of 2018-19. The meeting was held on the theme: "National budget 2018-19, foreign loans and self-reliance", presided over by former Justice Haziqul Khairi at a local club. Hamdard Foundation Pakistan's president Sadia Rashid was also present at the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, Small and Medium Enterprises Alliance (SAMEA) president Zafar Iqbal said small and medium enterprises were the back bone of a country and engine of its economy, involving 80 percent labour force and having a share of 40 percent of GDP. So it was advisable to give special incentives to this sector for the overall development of the nation, he added. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180313351176/ SsangYong Motors keen to introduce premium SUVs in Pakistan Within weeks of launching Daehan SHEHZORE, the senior management of SsangYong Motor Company (SYMC), a well-known premier SUV manufacturer from South Korea visited Pakistan to deliberate and finalize plans with the top management of Daehan Dewan Motor Company (DDMC) for introducing SsangYong's premier sports utility vehicles (SUVs) early next year. The SsangYong team also visited Dewan Farooque Motors Limited (DFML) auto assembly plant located at Sujawal Sindh. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180313351182/
  13. News Pulse (March 12, 2018) Gas cos unlikely to meet unbundling deadline The timeframe for unbundling Sui gas companies is unrealistic and new five gas companies will not be able to meet their operational deadline of December 2018. In the Expression of Interest (EOI) document, it is mentioned that transaction to be done in six months but due to upcoming elections and volume of work it is unlikely that the process will be completed during the required time, said the potential Transaction Adviser Firms said in their queries regarding prequalification of transaction adviser on un-bundling of Sui companies, sources informed The Nation on Sunday. https://nation.com.pk/12-Mar-2018/gas-cos-unlikely-to-meet-unbundling-deadline Expansion: Byco Petroleum to set up two more refineries Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited, while re-commissioning its oil refinery, has announced that it will set up two more refineries to capitalise on domestic demand for petroleum products. Byco re-commissioned a catalytic reformer at its oil refinery, ORC-2, enabling the company to convert 24,000 barrels per day of heavy naphtha into motor gasoline, as per rated capacity. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1656670/2-expansion-byco-petroleum-set-two-refineries/ Pakistan set for Rs7.5bln investment in oil storage infrastructure in 3 years Pakistan is expecting at least seven billion rupees in investment from new oil marketing companies in building of storage infrastructure within the next three years, officials said, as growing demand of retail fuels is attracting investors to capitalise on the country’s low oil inventory capacity. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/290760-pakistan-set-for-rs7-5bln-investment-in-oil-storage-infrastructure-in-3-years Govt set to release Rs6b Central chairman of Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers & Exporters Association (PRGMEA), Shaikh Mohammad Shafiq has discussed the stuck up payments of PM package Duty Drawback of Taxes Order 2017-18 with Muhammad Pervaiz Malik, Commerce Minister, and Mohammad Younus Dagha, Federal Secretary Commerce. Shaikh Mohammad Shafiq said that the textile and clothing industry has been the main driver of the economy for the last 50 years in terms of foreign currency earnings and jobs creation. He also pointed out the severe cash flow crunch has squeezed the productivity resulting in reduced exports as billions of rupees are blocked. https://nation.com.pk/11-Mar-2018/govt-set-to-release-rs6b ‘Local furnace oil to be used for power generation’ Director General Oil of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources Abdul Jabbar Memon on Friday said that the government is not going to stop using furnace oil for energy generation but will only rely on local supplies and stop its import. He was presiding over a monthly product review meeting held at Byco oil refinery. This is being done, he said, in order to give sufficient time to oil refineries to upgrade and shift to new technologies. https://www.dawn.com/news/1394363/local-furnace-oil-to-be-used-for-power-generation Grey-listing by FATF does not affect Pakistan's ability to borrow money: IMF deputy director The grey-listing of Pakistan by the global watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has no direct consequences for its ability to borrow from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a top official from IMF has told Press Trust of India (PTI). The remarks comes days after the Paris-based 37-nation FATF placed Pakistan on the grey list last month. At the FATF meeting in Paris last month, JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and his charities were top on the list of the groups that the FATF wanted Pakistan to act against. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1657144/2-grey-listing-fatf-not-affect-pakistans-ability-borrow-money-imf-deputy-director/ Govt to borrow heavily ahead of polls The government will borrow massively from external as well as domestic sources ahead of general elections to finance the revised twin deficits during current fiscal year. The government has revised upwards the targets of twin deficits, budget and current account deficits, to 5.2 percent and 5 percent of the GDP respectively for the current fiscal year, according to the official of the ministry of finance. The government has once again revised the budget deficit target to 5.2 percent of the GDP (Rs1882.2 billion) for the ongoing financial year. https://nation.com.pk/11-Mar-2018/govt-to-borrow-heavily-ahead-of-polls PM inaugurates Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project at Tarbela today, reported Radio Pakistan. First unit of 470 MW is being commissioned today, while two more units will be online before the onset of summer this year. Commissioning of Tarbela 4th Extension Hydropower Project is another historic milestone achieved by the government to add 1410 MW to the National Grid. https://nation.com.pk/10-Mar-2018/pm-inaugurates-tarbela-4th-extension-hydropower-project Govt takes several steps for promotion of Pakistani products at int'l level The Government has taken a number of steps for promotion of trade and marketing of Pakistani products at international level, reported Radio Pakistan. According to spokesperson of Commerce Ministry, Free Trade Agreements with Thailand and Tunisia, bilateral trade Agreement with Nigeria, and preferential trade agreement have been initiated. https://nation.com.pk/10-Mar-2018/govt-takes-several-steps-for-promotion-of-pakistani-products-at-int-l-level Surcharges on power tariffs to continue The federal government has decided to continue with about an average of Rs2.35 per unit surcharges on electricity imposed in 2014 on all the electricity consumers. The Ministry of Energy has made a formal request to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) to allow three surcharges to continue in consumer tariff to ensure flow of more than Rs100 billion funds to meet debt servicing obligations of the power sector, subsidy to poor consumers to ensure countrywide uniform rate and investments required for expansion of power sector. https://www.dawn.com/news/1394372/surcharges-on-power-tariffs-to-continue Investments picking up momentum: UN report The economy of Pakistan needs to further lift its potential growth, and lay the foundation for more sustained and inclusive growth in the medium-term, a new report of the United Nations on the world economic situation and prospects says. A briefing paper issued by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) says the investment demand in Pakistan has gained further momentum recently, supported by healthy economic activity, improvements in the energy system, and large infrastructure projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and other public initiatives. https://www.dawn.com/news/1394549/investments-picking-up-momentum-un-report Govt to now present budget on April 27 PML-N led government has decided to present record sixth budget of its tenure on April 27, a month ahead of schedule, keeping in view the upcoming general elections and holy month of Ramazan. “The government has decided to present the budget on April 27 after consulting with Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Muttahida Qaumi Movement,” said Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Miftah Ismail said at a news conference here on Friday. https://nation.com.pk/10-Mar-2018/govt-to-now-present-budget-on-april-27 Naveena Group to set up steel melting, re-rolling mill at Port Qasim The Naveena Group has announced to enter into the business of steel production by establishing a 300,000 metric tons per annum steel melting and re-rolling mill at Port Qasim, Karachi. The project is being developed in view of the bright prospects of Pakistan's economy, rapid urbanization and industrialization in the country due to upcoming infrastructure projects like China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which will increase the demand for steel in the country. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180310350466/ MoC too supports import of used cars The Commerce Ministry has reportedly joined hands with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in support of used cars'' import with a justification that higher demand will result in exponential rise in black market commission referred to as "on money." The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet while according approval to release of around 10,000 used cars stuck at ports, directed the Commerce Ministry to deliberate on the issue holistically in consultation with all stakeholders and submit a summary with viable recommendations to the ECC for consideration. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180311350714/
  14. News Pulse (March 9, 2018) Senate’s chairmanship: PPP’s ‘abandoned’ Rabbani now PML-N’s candidate Former Prime Minister and Quaid of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif Thursday said that his party has nominated Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) Raza Rabbani as candidate for the slot of chairman Senate to curb horse-trading. Talking to reporters after appearing before the Accountability Court, he said someone who has 100 percent commitment to Constitution and does not have anti-democracy credentials should be the chairman of Senate. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180309350097/ Dual nationality: Law to be applied from 2012, says SC The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday, seeking affidavit from the senators-elect with regard to renunciation of dual nationality, ruled that the dual nationality law would be applicable from 2012. The SC adjourning the dual nationality suo motu case till March 10, directed four senators-elect, including Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Sadia Abbasi, Nuzhat Sadiq and Haroon Akhtar, to submit an affidavit that they had surrendered their foreign nationalities. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/289984-dual-nationality-law-to-be-applied-from-2012-says-sc IMF awaits Pakistan’s nod to release post program monitoring report Pakistan is yet to give a go-ahead to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to present the latest outlook on the country’s economy after the end of its three-year loan program, officials said on Thursday – a report that is crucial to guide external financing the country direly needs to keep up growth momentum. Officials said the government has not yet formally granted permission to the IMF to release its maiden post program monitoring (PPM) report. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/290095-imf-awaits-pakistan-s-nod-to-release-post-program-monitoring-report Neutral expert on Baglihar dam appointed The World Bank has selected Professor Raymond Lafitte as 'Neutral Expert' to look into the differences between Pakistan and India on Baglihar Dam being built upstream of Chenab River. The 'neutral expert', the Bank said, teaches at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and is acceptable to both countries. In an announcement made in Washington and here simultaneously, the World Bank said: "After consultation with the Governments of India and Pakistan, an agreement has been reached on the appointment of a Neutral Expert to address differences concerning a hydropower scheme under construction on the Chenab River in India. https://fp.brecorder.com/2005/05/20050512251837/ Standard Chartered Bank downgrades Pakistan’s credit outlook Standard Chartered Bank has downgraded credit outlook on Pakistan, citing concerns over widening twin-deficit and high external funding needs that could force the country to tap the international bond market soon. “We change our credit outlook on Pakistan to Negative from Stable currently,” said Standard Chartered Bank in a report tilted Pakistan—External financing blues, issued on Wednesday. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/290101-standard-chartered-bank-downgrades-pakistan-s-credit-outlook Change in economic merit order of power plants proposed Commerce Division, in its summary, has stated that the country'' s exports have started following a high growth trajectory of more than 11% year-on-year basis, since June 2017 and are expected to continue on the track during 2018. Commerce Division expects a 15 per cent increase in exports in February 2018 which is considered a big achievement of incumbent team. Commerce Division has also proposed that the supply of imported LNG for captive power generation may be disallowed, at least till the time the imported fuel prices come down resulting in improvement in the current account position. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180309350126/ Forex reserves shrink to $18.329 billion Pakistan’s total liquid foreign exchange reserves went down to $18.329 billion on March 2 from $18.413 billion a week ago, the central bank reported on Thursday. The foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $12.233 billion as compared to $12.346 billion in the previous week. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/290100-forex-reserves-shrink-to-18-329-billion PPIB signs agreements for 990MW coal-fired projects Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) on Thursday signed implementation agreements for two Thar coal-based power generation projects with a total capacity of 990 megawatts. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/290099-ppib-signs-agreements-for-990mw-coal-fired-projects Auto assemblers shifting investments to Punjab Investors at the Bin Qasim Industrial Park (BQIP) and Korangi Creek Industrial Park (KCIP) allege that bureaucratic hurdles of National Investment Park (NIP) are delaying the implementation of projects, thereby resulting in mountings costs and time overruns. Sources told on Thursday that Hyundai had originally planned to set up a plant at BQIP. However, NIP’s bureaucratic issues forced the Korean auto giant to shift investment to the Faisalabad Special Economic Zone (FIEDMC). https://www.dawn.com/news/1394102/auto-assemblers-shifting-investments-to-punjab
  15. News Pulse (March 6, 2018) Russian company eyeing up PSM deal As US influence in Islamabad wanes, Pakistan''s former adversary Russia is building military, diplomatic and economic ties that could upend historic alliances in the region and open up a fast-growing gas market for Moscow''s energy companies. Russia''s embrace of Pakistan comes at a time when relations between the United States and its historical ally are unravelling over the war in Afghanistan, a remarkable turnaround from the 1980s, when Pakistan helped funnel weapons and U.S. spies across the border to aid Afghan fighters battling Soviet troops. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180306349250/ Amendments to Drug Act: chemists observe partial strike across Punjab On the call given by the Punjab Chemists Council (PCC) and Joint Action Committee (JAC), owners of pharmacies and medical stores Monday kept their shutters down in all major cities of Punjab to protest against amendments to the Drug Act. A spokesperson of PCC said medical stores in Gujranwala, Narowal, Kasur, Okara, Sahiwal, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Sheikhupura, Nankana, Khanewal, Vehari, Chiniot, Multan, Rahim Yar Khan and other cities remained closed. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180306349328/ IMC gets UNGC award United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) has granted the first prize of Business Sustainability Award 2017 to Indus Motor Company (IMC) in the category of Multinational Companies. The award has been given in recognition of the best practices adopted by the company by embracing Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and integrating the 10 principles of UNGC. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180306349318/ SECP registered 1,021 new companies in Feb The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) registered 1,021 new companies in February this year, showing growth of 19 percent as against the corresponding months of the previous year. This has raised the total number of registered companies to 84,809. The massive increase in number of new companies is the direct result of various reforms measures introduced by the SECP , i.e. simplification of incorporation procedure, reduction of fee, assistance of incorporation by facilitation wings of CROs etc. Around 81 percent companies were registered as private limited companies , while around 17 percent were registered as single-member companies . Two percent were registered as public unlisted, non-profit associations, trade organization and foreign companies . https://nation.com.pk/06-Mar-2018/secp-registered-1-021-new-companies-in-feb LCCI for immediate withdrawal of Drug Act Progressive Group of Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry while announcing support to the demands of the pharmaceutical industry against "Drug Act 2017" has urged the government to immediately withdraw this law. The group's president Khalid Usman and LCCI Executive Committee member Arshad Chaudhry in a statement on Monday said that pharmaceutical industry was struggling against this law for the last many years and four ministers of the provincial government had assured the pharmaceutical companies for its withdrawal. Such laws are hindering growth of the local pharmaceutical industry and urged the government to restore Drug Act 1976 in its original shape, they said. https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/03/20180306349332/ APTPMA concerned over hydrogen peroxide shortage Textile processors, which are one of the major consumers of hydrogen peroxide (HP), have expressed grave concern over its artificial price hike and shortage in market. Rs550.29b released for uplift projects under PSDPAll Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTPMA) expressed with utter surprise and consternation that the local manufacturers of hydrogen peroxide (HP) have abruptly reduced the supply of hydrogen peroxide in the country which has created panic amongst APTPMA’s member units, which are one of the major consumers of HP. This hasty step, which appears to have been taken at the behest of local manufacturers of this essential item of basic raw-material in the country, in gross contravention of the universally acclaimed norms of monopoly and cartels, is likely to cast devastating repercussions upon the overall national economy. https://nation.com.pk/06-Mar-2018/aptpma-concerned-over-hydrogen-peroxide-shortage Rs550.29b released for uplift projects under PSDP The government has released over Rs 550.291 billion under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2017-18 for various ongoing and new schemes against the total allocations of Rs1,001 billion. The released funds include Rs 125.32 billion for federal ministries and Rs 47.484 billion for special areas, according to latest data released by Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform. https://nation.com.pk/06-Mar-2018/rs550-29b-released-for-uplift-projects-under-psdp Dispute ties up clearing of imported used cars Ever since the government rolled back the changes to the rules for clearing of imported used cars on February 23, 2018, a new dispute has emerged between customs clearing agents and terminal operators over the huge demurrage charges that have been incurred during the 141 days as more than 10,000 vehicles remained stranded at the port. The Customs Agents Association has written to three private terminal operators asking for waiver of all charges for the vehicles that were stranded on their premises. The vehicles could not be cleared due to changes in the clearing rules that took effect while the automobiles were in transit to Karachi port. The operators include Al Hamd, Pak Shaheen Container Services, and National Logistics Cell (NLC). https://www.dawn.com/news/1393439/dispute-ties-up-clearing-of-imported-used-cars AGP Ltd raises Rs2.8 billion GP Ltd, a pharmaceutical company in the fold of OBS Group, has raised Rs2.8 billion from foreign institutional investors, local institutions and general public. At the gong-ringing ceremony at the PSX on Monday that signalled the start of trading of company’s stock, AGP Ltd share price quickly hit the upper circuit of 5 per cent to take the stock price to Rs84, from the offered price of Rs80 a share. Chief Executive of JS Global, Kamran Nasir, the managers and consultants to the AGP share offering affirmed that AGP’s quest for more acquisitions and mergers would give a further foothold in new products to the company. https://www.dawn.com/news/1393438/agp-ltd-raises-rs28-billion Tri-Pack Films to invest Rs2.2bn Tri-Pack Films Ltd intends to invest Rs2.2 billion in acquiring state-of-the-art machinery for the production of specialised films and transparent and high strength metalised films. The company told the stock exchange in statement on Monday that the board of directors had approved the investment in their meeting held on Sunday. The company claimed that it would be the first time in Pakistan to invest in such machinery to cater to the export and local markets. https://www.dawn.com/news/1393434/corporate-watch
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