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March 25, 2019: European stock markets fell further at the open on Monday, as a global selloff gathered pace on mounting fears of a sharp economic slowdown.
In initial trade, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index slid almost 0.6 percent to stand at 7,166.56 points compared with Friday's closing level.
In the Eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index shed nearly 0.4 percent to 11,323.20 points and the Paris CAC 40 dived 1.1 percent to 5,211.76.
Asian equity markets also plunged Monday after a fierce pre-weekend sell-off on Wall Street fuelled by concerns about the global economy and a possible recession in the United States.
Economic gloom had descended on world markets on Friday, as monthly US, French and German manufacturing indices all fell.
That rattled investors who were already uneasy after a surprisingly weak outlook from the US Federal Reserve.
"Concerns over the health of the global economy heat up at a rapid pace," said FXTM analyst Jameel Ahmad.
"Perhaps what is even more worrying for investor sentiment is that the US Treasury yield curve has inverted for the first time since 2007.
"This development will psychologically encourage further anxiety and rocket fears that the global economy is heading for another downturn, if recent economic releases across the globe have not already provided indications that the downturn has arrived."
March 25, 2019: Executive Chairman of Malaysian Gem Corporation Datuk Ahmed Hasham on Monday said that his company would soon invest fifty million dollars in Pakistan to promote the gemstone business.
In an interview on PTV, he said that his company would sign Memorandum of Understandings with the provincial governments.
"Secondly we would try to establish gemstone cutting and polishing centers in Islamabad," he added.
He said the company would set up a think tank to launch local stones of Pakistan on an international level as Pakistani stones were of the best quality, adding the Pakistani stone carvers could compete any lapidary in the world, he added.
He further praised the stance of Prime Minister Imran Khan for providing the safe and corruption free zone to the gem investors.
March 25, 2019 (MLN): Several major companies listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange made important announcements today, mainly pertaining to the change in the management affairs. Some of these announcements are;
The Board of Directors of Byco Petroleum Limited has appointed Mr. Zafar Shahab as the Chief Financial Officer as of 18th March 2019 in place of Mr. Naeem Asghar Malik who has resigned.
Matco Foods Limited has announced the resignation of Mr. Tariq Iqbal from the post of Chief Financial Officer with effect from March 22, 2019, and the appointment of Mr. Muhammad Aamir Farooqui as the new Chief Financial Officer.
Silkbank Limited has appointed Mr. Azmat Shahzad Ahmed Tarin as Director with effect from March 22, 2019, in place of Mr. Shamsul Hassan.
Hinopak Motors Limited has announced the cessation of Mr. Tatsuhei Muto from the designation of Chief Executive Officer of the company on March 22, 2019, and appointed Mr. Yoshihiko Naami as the new Chief Executive Officer of the company.
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March 25, 2019 (MLN): Pakistan’s government sector borrowed an additional net sum of Rs.164.2 billion during the week that ended on March 15, 2019, bringing the total net borrowing of the sector to Rs.940.2 billion for the ongoing fiscal year 2019.
The State Bank of Pakistan’s weekly report on monetary aggregates shows that the borrowed amount accumulated by this time of year is 86% greater than net borrowing during same period last year (Rs.505.3 billion).
The government sector borrowings are divided into three broad categories based on the purpose of loan, which are budgetary support, commodity operations and others.
Up until March 15, 2019, the government of Pakistan borrowed a net of Rs.1.1 trillion for budgetary support and Rs.834 million for other miscellaneous operations. Meanwhile, Rs.163.8 billion have been retired off Commodity Operations.
Within budgetary borrowing, over Rs.3.3 trillion (net) were borrowed from the central bank while 2.2 trillion were retired of Scheduled Banks.
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March 25, 2019 (MLN): Non-government sector has borrowed a sum of Rs. 851.7 billion as of March 15, 2019, during the current fiscal year.
According to the State Bank of Pakistan’s weekly report on loans, credit to the private sector during the period under review reached Rs. 551.8 billion, i.e. 49.3% higher than last year’s advances worth Rs. 369.8 billion.
Within the private sector, credit to conventional banking branches was Rs. 374 billion, credit to Islamic Banks was Rs. 80 billion while credit to Islamic Branches of conventional banks was Rs.96.7 billion.
On the other hand, credit to Public Sector Enterprises (PSE’s) during the period under review stands at Rs. 298.1 billion.
Furthermore, credit to NBFIs amounted to Rs. 1.7 billion for the aforementioned period.
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March 25, 2019 (MLN): As announced on Friday, Pakistan will receive 2.1 billion US dollar from China today, which would ensure balance of payment stability.
In a tweet, Finance Ministry's Spokesman Dr. Khaqan Najeeb said the funds would be deposited in the State Bank of Pakistan and it would also strengthen the country's foreign exchange reserves position.
March 25, 2019 (MLN): In line with a notice issued by NEPRA, Premier Industrial Manufacturing Company (Pvt.) Limited has proposed to add another Bulk Power Consumer (BPC) namely Premier Paper Mills Limited in its Generating License.
PICMPL has stated that Premier Industrial Manufacturing Company (Pvt.) Limited has been granted a Generation License which allows supplying surplus power to two Bulk Power consumers including HQ Steels (Pvt.) Limited and Zee International (Pvt.) Limited. Now, the company plans supplying power to another Bulk Power Consumer in the name of Premier Paper Mills Limited which is an Associated Company.
As per another notification issued by NEPRA, Liberty Wind Power 1 (Pvt.) Limited (LWPPL-1) has requested to update the name of the company in generation license from Zulaikha Energy (Pvt.) Limited to Liberty Wind Power 1 (Pvt.) Limited, change the tower hub height of wind turbines from 80m to 93m and extend the lifespan of wind farm from 20 years to 25 years.
The envisaged wind farm will be in operation for a period of up to 25 years. The updated operation life is to ensure lower levelized cost of energy and is in congruence with the cost-plus tariff awarded to the Project Company by NEPRA.
On the other hand, Liberty Wind Power 2 (Pvt.) Limited has requested to update the name of the company in generation license from Noor Solar Energy (Pvt.) Limited to Liberty Wind Power 2 (Pvt.) Limited and change the tower hub height of wind turbines from 80m to 93m.
This change is to ensure more efficient and effective wind turbine with respect to site selection and the choice offers a combination of scale and maximum performance. Furthermore. This is in line with the tariff that was applied by the companies and determined by NEPRA. The 93m hub height is a standard product range and is backed by the Type Certificate, which was not available at the time when the Company had originally applied for the Generation License.
All of the above companies informed that there would be no adverse impact on the tariff, quality of service and obligations of the licensee under the generation license.
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March 25, 2019: Accused of presiding over an unprecedented national humiliation in her chaotic handling of Brexit, British Prime Minister Theresa May's hold on power appears increasingly endangered.
The Conservative leader has in the past won praise for her determination and ability to survive what has often felt like one long political crisis since the 2016 referendum vote to leave the European Union.
But her approach to the Brexit endgame, doggedly seeking to force through parliament her divorce deal despite MPs twice rejecting it and agreeing to delay Britain's planned March 29 departure, has prompted frustration and anger on all sides.
Following a particularly chaotic last week even for May's crisis-plagued tenure, speculation is rife late that Conservative colleagues are trying to force her to resign.
The Sunday Times reported she was "at the mercy of a full-blown cabinet coup", with plans afoot for her de facto deputy David Lidington to take over in a caretaker capacity.
The newspaper said it had spoken to 11 senior ministers who "confirmed that they wanted the prime minister to make way for someone else" and planned to confront her at a cabinet meeting on Monday.
To May's critics, her uncompromising attitude in the face of a faltering strategy encapsulates her broader limitations as a political leader at this pivotal moment.
"At first she appeared to be a unifier, but she turned out to have too little courage, imagination or skill to lead the Brexit negotiations," said a recent editorial in the Conservative-backing Spectator magazine.
It has reluctantly urged MPs to back May's unpopular deal, but only so that Britain could "turn the page on this unhappy chapter of our political history".
March 25, 2019 (MLN): A delegation of the Financial Action Task Force Asia Pacific Group (FATF – APG) is scheduled to arrive in Islamabad today to evaluate Pakistan’s progress against money laundering and terrorism.
Starting tomorrow, i.e. Tuesday March 26, 2019, the team will conduct meetings with officials from The State Bank of Pakistan, Ministry of Finance, Foreign Ministry, SECP, Election Commission of Pakistan, National Counter Terrorism Authority and the Ministry of Interior, in order to assess whether the country has made enough progress to warrant its elimination from FATF’s grey list.
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March 25, 2019 (MLN): VIS Credit Rating Company (VIS) has assigned Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating of ‘AA-’ to The United Insurance Company of Pakistan Limited (UICPL). The rating denotes very high capacity of meeting policy holder and contractual obligations. Moreover, the risk is modest, but may vary slightly with possible changes in economic conditions. Outlook on the assigned ratings is ‘Stable’.
The assigned rating takes into account the sound business profile of the United Group. The group has business interests in insurance, microfinance, information technology, dairy and vehicle tracking.
UICPL being the flagship company of the group is a significant player among the lead general insurers, it also has an established and growing takaful segment of the business.
Rating derive strength from growth in business volumes and improvement in underwriting performance. Credit risk emanating from reinsurance panel selection remains sound with majority reinsurers rated in category ‘A’ or higher.
The rating takes into consideration the planned growth in topline and profitability to harness the relatively high leverage indicators and increasing trend in outstanding claims on a timeline basis. There is need to focus on supporting the sound underwriting results with commensurate investment income which is thin on account of strategic investment in a microfinance bank wherein turnaround is expected in the rating horizon.
Rating is dependent upon continued strength in underwriting risk management, planned growth of business volume with sound management of profitability and liquidity giving further strength to the capitalization position.
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