Gwadar Port ready to handle bulk cargo to and...

October 18, 2019 (MLN): The Ministry of Commerce has issued a notification to all shipping agents, forwarders, NLC and shipping associations, informing that the Infrastructure at Gwadar Port is ready to handle bulk cargo to and from Afghanistan.

The bulk cargoes imported at Gwadar Port for onward transit to Afghanistan will be transported in containers after stuffing/loading the same into containers of international specifications, the notification said.

The number of cargoes under Afghan transit trade have increased by 44 percent, as 93,732 containers were shipped in FY19 as against 60,516 containers in FY18.

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FCEPL incurs losses worth Rs. 808 million

October 18, 2019 (MLN): FrieslandCampina Engro Pakistan Limited (FCEPL) has announced its financial results for the nine months ended on September 30, 2019.  As per the results, the company incurred losses of Rs.808 million (LPS: Rs 1.05) as compared to the profits earned in last year.

During the period, the company’s net revenues were up by 19.91%, YoY, but more than a proportionate increase in the cost of sales (up by 27.15%) made the gross profits decreased by 12.12% from Rs. 4.4 billion to Rs. 3.8 billion. Therefore, the gross margin shrunk by 5 percentage points.

More notably, it bore 83.98% colossal finance cost from Rs. 471 million to Rs. 866 million when compared to the prior year owing to the higher interest rate. Moreover, the administrative and other operating expenses increased by 36.04% and 44.23% respectively.

Whereas, other income slumped by 15.99%, from Rs.396 million to Rs. 332 million, YoY.

 

Financial Results for the Nine Months Ended September 30th, 2019 ('000 Rupees)

 

 

Sep-19

Sep-18

% Change

Net Sales

                     28,709,315

                     23,942,195

19.91%

Cost of Sales

                  (24,832,171)

                  (19,530,401)

27.15%

Gross Profit

                       3,877,144

                       4,411,794

-12.12%

Distribution and marketing expenses

                     (3,058,750)

                     (3,189,068)

-4.09%

Administrative expenses

                        (891,966)

                        (655,687)

36.04%

Other operating expenses

                        (122,719)

                           (85,086)

44.23%

Other income

                           332,861

                           396,236

-15.99%

Operating (loss) profit

                           136,570

                           878,189

-84.45%

Finance cost

                        (866,897)

                        (471,184)

83.98%

(Loss)/Profit before taxation

                        (730,327)

                           407,005

-

Taxation

                           (78,430)

                           106,186

-

Profit after taxation

                        (808,757)

                           513,191

-

Earnings per share - basic and diluted (Rupees)

                               (1.05)

                                  0.67

 

 

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Pound drops as Johnson faces battle to pass Brexit...

October 18, 2019: Sterling fell Friday as investors fret over Boris Johnson's chances of pushing his Brexit deal through parliament, while Asian markets were mostly down after data showed China's economy expanded at its slowest pace in nearly three decades.

The pound rallied almost to $1.30 on Thursday following news that negotiators had hammered out an agreement that would avoid Britain's leaving the EU without a divorce deal, a move many warn would be economically catastrophic.

However, the joy was soon tempered by the realisation that the British prime minister faces an uphill task in getting it past lawmakers, with opposition MPs and even some in his own Conservative party saying they were against it.

Most importantly, Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up Johnson's government, said it was "unable to support these proposals".

AFP/APP

SBP to Conduct 7 Day OMO

Oct 18, 2019 (MLN): The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced that it will conduct a 7 day OMO to inject funds into the market.

Quotes timing is: 10:45 PST while result will be announced at: 11:15 PST

Settlement is same day - October 18, 2019

 

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FBR launches the Urdu website to facilitate the taxpayers

October 18, 2019: The Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Syed Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi has inaugurated the Urdu website of FBR.

The Urdu version of the website has been launched to facilitate the taxpayers.

The Urdu website offers online facilitation and services to the taxpayers about Income Tax, Sales Tax, Customs, and FBR Maloomaat. The Urdu version contains special features that contain a useful reservoir of information relating to taxation and customs.

Urdu website can be accessed by clicking on the Urdu button on the FBR’s website fbr.gov.pk.

Norway overtakes China as top direct foreign investor in...

October 18, 2019 (MLN): With the revival of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Pakistan, Norway appeared as the biggest investor during 1QFY20, as its net FDI inflows into the country stood at US$ 263.7 million, according to the latest data published by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

When compared with the same period last year, it divested US$ 24.5 million. This indicates that investors’ confidence was restored with the implementation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stabilization and reform program.

While, China which has been the top investors since few months due to its ongoing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in Pakistan, has emerged as a second-leading country during Jul-Sept 2019 with FDI of $103 million, marking a decline of 69% YoY from $ 336.6 million in the same period last year.

The United Kingdom came at number three, its net FDI inflows into the country witnessed an increase of 18% YoY to $77.7 million as compared to US$ 66million in Jul-Sept 2018.

Next in line is Malaysia, as it brought net direct investments of $25 million compared with $7.5 million in the corresponding period last year.

With regards to other countries, FDI from the United States stood at $22.5 million, went up by 18% YoY from $19 million, while FDI from Japan, UAE, and Turkey recorded at $24 million, $16.9 million and $15.2 million respectively. Net inflows from Japan declined by 17%, whereas, investments from the UAE and Turkey grew by 18% and 40% YoY respectively during the period under review.

On the other hand, Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI), which represents an investment in the equity market also painted a positive picture, as net FPI inflows stood at $22 million against the outflows of $ 185 million. The United States emerged as the biggest source of portfolio investment during July-Sept 2019, it recorded at $32.8 million against the outflows of $9.7 million.

Hong Kong emerged as the second-biggest source of foreign portfolio investment with FPI recorded at $13.8 million against outflows of $6.6 million in Jul-Sept 2018.

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UK, EU strike Brexit deal, urge MPs to back...

Oct 17, 2019: Britain and the European Union reached a new divorce deal Thursday that could allow Brexit on October 31, but faced immediate opposition among MPs in London -- who can still block it.

The deal was sealed just hours before a summit of EU leaders that is expected to endorse the text, but it must pass the British parliament when it meets on Saturday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has staked his leadership on leaving the EU this month, said he had secured a "great new deal that takes back control".

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said it was a "fair and balanced agreement" -- and both men urged MPs to support it to avoid any further delays.

If Johnson cannot get the deal through by Saturday, he will be forced by law to ask the EU to postpone Brexit, although Juncker said he agreed with Johnson that no postponement should be needed.

"We have a deal, and this deal means there is no need for any kind of prolongation," Juncker said.

It is for EU leaders, not Juncker, to decide whether or not to grant any eventual extension. Several heads of government arriving in Brussels urged British MPs to get behind the deal.

Johnson urged MPs "to come together to get Brexit done, to get this excellent deal over the line and to deliver Brexit without any more delay."

The deal is a personal victory for Johnson, a leader of the 2016 Brexit referendum who was told repeatedly by EU leaders that they would not give him a new deal.

But it could quickly turn to defeat if the House of Commons -- which rejected a previous divorce text three times -- again refuses to play ball.

The immediate reaction was hostile.

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which props up Johnson's Conservatives, said it "will be unable to support these proposals".

The main opposition Labour, Scottish National and Liberal Democrat parties also spoke out against it.

Their response sent the pound sinking again after it had earlier risen to five-month peaks on news of the deal.

- 'No Irish border' -

The draft agreement was forged just weeks before Britain was due to leave the bloc, ending more than four decades of close economic and political ties with its nearest neighbours.

Weeks of tense negotiations focused on changing the arrangements to keep open the border between British Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

All sides agree they do not want infrastructure on the frontier, to avoid exacerbating tensions over Britain's control of Northern Ireland that caused decades of deadly violence up until the 1990s.

The new plan would see Northern Ireland remain British legal territory but trade under EU regulations.

"There will be no border on the island of Ireland and the (EU's) single market will be protected," Juncker said.

But it would involve some customs and tax checks with the rest of the UK, and the DUP warned the plans "undermine the integrity of the union".

Northern Ireland's regional assembly would be given a vote every four years on whether to maintain the arrangements.

But the DUP warned that did not go far enough, as there would be no vote before the plans came into effect.

- Referendum call -

Johnson met repeatedly with DUP leaders this week in a bid to keep them onside -- and has also assured his European counterparts that he can get the deal through.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he was "reasonably confident" the deal could be ratified.

But Johnson has no majority among MPs, and his threat to leave the EU with or without a deal this month has exacerbated existing divisions in parliament.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the only way out was for a second referendum, amid speculation such a motion could be put to MPs at Saturday's sitting.

"The best way to get Brexit sorted is to give the people the final say in a public vote," he said.

However, it is not clear there is enough support in the House of Commons for a new referendum, and Johnson's government is strongly opposed.

Opinion polls show Britons remain deeply divided over Brexit, although the balance has shifted slightly in favour of staying in the EU.

Labour's objection to the deal is focused on a perceived lowering of environmental, workers and food standards.

"The deal he's proposed is heading Britain in the direction of a deregulated society and a sell-off of national assets to American corporations," Corbyn said.

AFP/APP

Pakistan’s Forex Reserves Increase by USD 149.70 Million

Oct 17, 2019 (MLN): Pakistan's Forex Reserves increased by USD 149.70 Million or 1% and the total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at USD 15,142.60 Million on Oct 11, 2019.

According to data published by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) its reserves increased by USD 56.10 Million .

Summary of Holding and Weekly Change

Foreign reserves held byOct 11, 2019Oct 04, 2019Change% Change
State Bank of Pakistan7,813.707,757.6056.100.72%
Net Foreign Reserves Held by Banks7,328.907,235.3093.601.29%
Total Liquid Foreign Reserves15,142.6014,992.90149.701.00%

Amount in USD Million

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NAB constitutes cell to combat money laundering

Oct 17, 2019: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has constituted Anti Money Laundering, Combating the Financing of Terrorism Cell (AML/CFT) in NAB headquarters.

According to NAB spokesman, the cell has been tasked to maintain close coordination with national FATF secretariat and other stakeholders besides monitoring, analysis to help strengthen the ongoing efforts of eradication of anti-money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism with all stakeholders, said a press release.

Director General Operations NAB, Zahir Shah, will head the cell while director monitoring NAB, Zafar Iqbal, additional director NAB, Mufti Abdul Haq, banking experts, Jahanzab Fareed, Sohail Ahmed and senior legal consultant (Prosecution) Nasir Mehmood Mughal were among the members of the cell.

APP

SECP conducts roundtable on Enabling Regulatory Framework for Startups

October 17: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) is taking various initiatives to create an enabling regulatory framework for facilitating startups in Pakistan. These measures will attract local and international innovators, SECP’s Commissioner for Information System and Technology, Shauzab Ali revealed here on Wednesday. He said that SECP would amend the Companies Act with an objective to facilitate Startups and provide a conducive environment to young innovative entrepreneurs.

He was addressing a consultative session aimed at discussing options for a coherent industry policy for startups. The Chairman and Coach Planet N, Chairman National Clearing Company (NCCPL), representatives from Central Depository Company (CDC), President P@SHA, Director National Incubation Center, CEOs and founders of startup companies, lawyers were among participants. Young entrepreneurs, prominent technology experts and representatives of financial sector attended the session, organized by SECP at CDC House Karachi.  

The Commissioner briefed participants on various initiatives of SECP, including amendments in Private Equity and Venture Capital Regulations, draft Equity Crowdfunding Regulations, launch of a startup portal, setting up a CRO facilitation desk and launching of first regulatory Sandbox in Pakistan.

The SECP officials briefed the participants on proposals to eliminate arduous requirements in the Companies Act that are not viable for startups. Similarly, with the advent of new technology enabled financial products reshaping the modern businesses SECP discussed the concept of equity crowdfunding, which is one of the fastest evolving products within the Fintech landscape.

Moreover, in-line with the government’s initiative of ease of doing business and increasing access to finance to facilitate private equity investments, SECP has introduced significant amendments in the Private Equity & Venture Capital regulatory framework, which have been notified for public consultation.

Participants deliberated upon issues related to capital formation for small businesses and proposed various regulatory amendments to provide ease of doing business to startups.  In a fast-paced interactive workshop, participants discussed various proposals and gave feedback on SECP’s initiatives for facilitation of startups. In addition, the participants also discussed challenges in the current foreign exchange regime and taxation structure for startups. 

The participants were appreciative of SECPs continuous engagements with all stakeholders to progressively transform the regulatory landscape in Pakistan. The meeting ended with a note of thanks by the Commissioner SECP.

The SECP would hold two more consultative sessions on Startup regulations, each in Lahore and Islamabad.

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