August 9, 2020 (MLN): The highlight of the departed week was the upgrading of Pakistan’s outlook from ‘under review for downgrade’ to ‘stable’, while maintaining a B3 rating by one of the world’s top three credit rating agencies, Moody's Investors Service (“Moody's”).
Apart from this, the other important economic and business events that took place during the last week are in order so as to become acquainted with the recent developments in Pakistan’s economic and public policy.
Events of Importance through the Week:
On Friday, Bloomberg reported that China’s ambassador Yao Jing at a webinar in Islamabad has said Chinese President Xi Jinping is planning to visit Pakistan later this year.
Another development during the departed week was the introduction of ‘Non-Resident Pakistanis Rupee Value Account (NRVA) by SBP in order to facilitate expatriate to open and operate non-resident PKR account through digital means and to invest in shares quoted on the Stock Exchange(s) in Pakistan, residential & commercial real estate, GoP’s debt securities and term/ remunerative deposit products of ADs on repatriable basis.
On the upside, Japan announced to extend the grant assistance worth 318 million Japanese Yen to Pakistan for The Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship for fiscal year 2020.
On the external front, Abdul Razak Dawood Advisor to PM for Commerce and Investment announced on his twitter handle that in line with export product diversification strategy, Exports of Fish and Fish Products in July 2020 have increased by 50% YoY to US$26 million from US$17 million.
Meanwhile, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that the country will see the highest ever growth in the renewable energy. In a tweet, the minister said the Council of Common Interest approved the alternative and renewable energy policy of the government which will unleash the full renewable potential of Pakistan.
On Wednesday, Abdul Razak Dawood announced a temporary resumption of trade with China through Khunjerab Pass considering a longstanding demand of the businessmen, particularly from the Gilgit Baltistan region.
On the downside, Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) shared the results of its Business Confidence Index (BCI) Survey – Wave 19, which shows that the overall Business Confidence Score (BCS) in Pakistan stands at 50 percent negative, a further drop by 5 percent from the already – 45 percent negative score in Wave 18 Survey conducted in August 2019.
Besides, the government increased profits rates on National Saving Schemes (NSS) in the range of 12 to 36 basis points. The rate of profit on defense savings increased by 34 basis points to 8.44% while the rate on pension, Behbood and Shuada family up by 36 bps to 10.32%.
Asian Development in its recently published report said that Pakistan could lose around 27% of its international remittances in 2020 under the worst-case scenario because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With regards to revenue collection, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) informed that against the assigned revenue target of Rs.243 billion, FBR has collected Rs.300 billion overshooting the target by a staggering Rs.57 billion, which is 125% of the assigned revenue target for the month of July 2020.
On equity front, TRG Pakistan Limited updated that its indirect portfolio company, IBEX Limited started trading on the Nasdaq Global Market on August 7, 2020,
AKD Securities Limited, on behalf of ARY communications Limited and ARY Digital FZ LLC, submitted Public Announcement of Intention (PAI) to acquire more than 51% of the Issued and Paid-up Share Capital of WorldCall Telecom Limited together with management control.
The CEO of Arif Habib Limited, Mr. Shahid Ali Habib informed that the largest private-sector listed Sukuk of Rs. 25 billion for Karachi Electric Company (K-Electric) was overwhelmingly oversubscribed by 2.4x.
On Wednesday via notification to Exchange, Bank Alfalah Limited announced to issue a Medium-Term Note (MTN) Program of upto PKR 50 billion to hedge its fixed-rate assets.
Avanceon informed that it has been selected to provide a comprehensive Building Management solution for the new Business Hub building by DHA Lahore.
The Board of Directors of Ghani Global Glass Limited decided to set up another glass melting furnace for tube in view of an increase in demand for glass tubing, vials & ampoules and to meet forecasted export and local demands for COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition to the above, several companies announced their financial performances last week for the half year ended on June 30th 2020, as per which United Bank Limited (UBL) posted its net profits of Rs 10.72 billion (EPS: Rs 8.94), showing an increase of 17% YoY against net profits of Rs 9.16 billion of the same period last year.
Engro Powergen Qadirpur Limited reported earnings of Rs. 1.3 billion (EPS: Rs. 4.04) i.e. nearly 30% lower than the figures recorded in the same period of last year.
Engro Polymer and Chemicals Limited (EPCL) posted net profits of Rs 222 million, depicting the colossal decrease of 85.59% YoY when compared to net profits of Rs 1.54 billion in the same period last year.
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August 9, 2020 (MLN): Pak Suzuki Motor Company (PSMC) has revised the retail prices of some of its vehicles, with the change taking effect from August 10, 2020.
According to a notice addressed to all authorized dealerships, the price of Suzuki Bolan VX IM has been increased by Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 1,134,000. The price of Suzuki Bolan Cargo has also been revised up by Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 1,075,000.
Similarly, the price of Suzuki Ravi STD IM has been increased by Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 1,034,000.
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The KSE-100 index gained merely 771 points in the departed week and closed at 40,029-mark i.e. nearly 1.96% percent higher than the closing of the previous week.
“The market commenced on a positive note given further decline in COVID-19 cases post-Eid ul Adha. However, bears took over after higher than expected inflation of 9.30% was reported. Although this was short-lived as the market rebounded the very next day amid release of cement offtake data for Jul’20, depicting a stunning jump of 41% YoY followed by a decline in the trade deficit (by 15% YoY in Jul’20) and surge in SBP’s foreign reserves (by USD 567mn on weekly basis). Moreover, approval of key projects (ML-1 Railway up-gradation worth PKR 11.44tn under CPEC by ECNEC along with 4 projects by CDWP worth PKR 16.1bn) kept the momentum strong”, Arif Habib Limited stated in its weekly report.
Commercial Banks and Cement emerged as the best performing sectors during the week, as they contributed about 219 and 198 points respectively to the benchmark index. Company-wise, the scrips of HBL, TRG, LUCK, DAWH, and PIOC was the most desirable ones as they contributed 79, 65, 60, 45, and 43 points, respectively.
Figures released by NCCPL showed that foreign investors purchased USD 3.72 million worth of stocks during the week, with overseas Pakistanis doing the bulk of the purchasing.
On the local front, Individual Investors sold USD 41.1 million worth of stocks, while USD 29.3 million and USD 11.8 million worth of stocks were sold by Insurance Companies and Mutual Funds respectively.
The trend for PKR reversed as it not only lost the gain it had made in the previous two weeks but an additional 55 paisa during the outgoing week to the US Dollar.
The 10-day volatility decreased slightly from 4.11% to 3.39% as the dollar was traded in a range of 168.60 (Bid) and 166.70 (Ask) and closed at 167.87
Data released by the State Bank of Pakistan showed that Pak Rupee's Real Effective Exchange Rate Index (REER) decreased by 4.3 percent in June 2020 to a provisional value of 93.02 from the revised value of 97.20 in May 2020.
A note by Ismail Iqbal Securities on the subject read “Near term outlook of an external account is not daunting due to limited current account deficit and persistent foreign debt flows, while REER is also close to all-time lows, thus we believe chances of any major currency depreciation are low in the short term.”
Higher than expected inflation pushed the yields up even further as 3, 6, and 12-month rate increased by 12, 17, and 21 basis points while longer-term bond yields were up significantly more with 3, 5, and 10-year yields up 29, 36 and 23 bps.
According to data released by the SBP, bond trades seem to have completely dried up in the secondary market as no trades were reported by the SBP since July 22, 2020.
Bond yields have gone up 72, 85, and 73 basis points for 3, 5, and 10 years in FY21.
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August 09, 2020 (MLN): State Bank of Pakistan will be crediting the Duty Drawbacks directly into the bank accounts of the exporters from September 1, 2020, Abdul Razak Dawood announced on his social media account on Saturday.
Advisor to PM for Commerce and Investment said, ‘Exporters have always been wanting that their refunds go directly into their accounts from the SBP.’
In a series of tweets, he thanked SBP and Pakistan Customs for establishing the direct transfer of Duty Drawback, without any human involvement on the initiative of the Ministry of Commerce.
This is considered another trade facilitation initiative by Pakistan Custom.
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August 09, 2020 (MLN): The Weekly Economic Roundup summarises key economic and financial data releases for the week, providing a more context on the current economic situation of Pakistan.
Moody's Investors Service (“Moody's”) on Saturday confirmed the Government of Pakistan's B3 local and foreign currency issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings with a stable outlook.
Pakistan's Forex Reserves increased by USD 650.70 Million or 3.44% and the total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at USD 19,562.90 Million on Jul 30, 2020.
Pakistan's Yearly Inflation Rate (New Base 2015-16) in July 2020 was 9.30 percent compared to 8.59 percent in June 2020 and 8.40 percent in July 2019.
The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has approved locust Emergency and Food Security Projects (LEAFS) for the uplift of the local agriculture sector and combating the locust threat in the country.
Pak Rupee's Real Effective Exchange Rate Index (REER) decreased by 4.3 percent in June 2020 to a provisional value of 93.02 from the revised value of 97.20 in May 2020.
Pakistan's trade deficit for the month of July 2020 was recorded at USD 1.64 billion compared to a deficit of USD2.12 billion from June 2020 showing an improvement of 22.64 percent.
Exports from Pakistan during the month of July’20 showed a growth of 5.8%, in dollar value terms, as compared to the same month last year.
Exports of Fish and Fish Products in July 2020 have increased by 50% YoY to US$26 million from US$17 million. Similarly, the export of Food Preparations increased by more than 300% to US$6.4M from US$1.44M.
Despite a challenging global environment, the country’s external account position remained stable during the fiscal year 2020. The current account deficit was reduced by 77.9% to $ 2.9 billion (1.1 % of GDP) against $ 13.4 billion last year (4.8 % of GDP).
Pakistan has resumed trade with China through Khunjerab Pass temporarily.
Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) shared the results of its Business Confidence Index (BCI) Survey – Wave 19, which shows that the overall Business Confidence Score (BCS) in Pakistan stands at 50 percent negative, a further drop by 5 percent from the already – 45 percent negative score in Wave 18 Survey conducted in August 2019.
The non-government sector has borrowed a net sum of Rs.3.28 billion during the week ended July 24, 2020, which brings the cumulative net retirement for ongoing fiscal year FY2021 to Rs.89.97 billion. The net retirement as of prior week was recorded at Rs.93.26 billion.
The government of Pakistan has retired an additional sum of Rs.146.44 billion during the week ended July 24, 2020, which brings its total net retirement for ongoing fiscal year FY2021 to Rs.265.21 billion. As of prior week, the government had retired a net sum of Rs.118.77 billion.
Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approved project for up-gradation of Pakistan Railways' existing Mainline-1 at the cost of over 6.8 billion dollars.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced the auction calendar for August – October 2020 in which it plans to raise Rs.3.59 trillion through the sale of Government Securities.
The new fiscal has started well for the cement sector as the cement despatches increased by a healthy 37.75 percent from 3.512 million tons in July 2019 to 4.838 million tons in July 2020 due to buoyancy in both exports and domestic market.
The overall volumetric sales of Oil and Marketing Companies (OMCs) in Pakistan increased by 3% MoM in July 2020 to stand at 1.66 million tons against 1.62 million tons in June 2020.
The overseas investors have shied away from the local market as the net sell-off of $124.35 million has been recorded by them during the month of July’20.
The rate of National Saving Schemes (NSS) has been increased in the range of 12 to 36 basis points.
FBR has collected Rs.300 billion in the first month of the current financial year i.e. July 2020, overshooting the target by a staggering Rs.57 billion, which is 125% of the assigned revenue target of Rs.243 billion.
Japan has extended grant assistance worth 318 million Japanese Yen to Pakistan for The Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship for the fiscal year 2020.
Council of Common Interests (CCI) has unanimously approved Alternative and Renewable Energy Policy 2019.
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