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NBP issues Foreign Exchange Rates

November 25, 2020: Treasury Management Division of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) on Wednesday...

IPPs reject to accept proposed payment of Rs 400...

November 25, 2020 (MLN): In a new development, Independent Power Producers (IPPs) Tuesday refused to accept the proposed payment of Rs 400 billion from the federal government in three years, which is a breach of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between them.

According to Business Recorder, the government team has not disclosed any template of agreements with IPPs and has only expressed its intention. IPPs have been asked to consult their board and submit their suggestions. The templates are expected to be shared with 47 IPPs before December 4, 2020.

The government team includes Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Power, Tabish Gohar, Chairman Federal Land Commission Babar Yaqub Fateh Mohammad, Secretary Power, Ali Raza Bhutta, ISI officials, Acting CEO CPPA-G, CFO and CPPA legal expert, discussed with IPPs established under Power Policies 1994 and 2002.

The government expects a monetary gain of Rs 840 billion over 10-12 years. Minister for Planning, Development and Special Measures Asad Omar said that revision of agreements with IPPs would reduce electricity prices by Rs 1.40 per unit. He said that in 2022, the price will be reduced by 74 paise per unit while in 2023 it will be reduced by 66 paise per unit. Consumers will get a total relief of Rs 300 billion.

The government has indicated to the IPPs that it will clear their dues in three installments over a period of three years, i.e. 33 percent upfront and remaining two installments in three years which have been rejected by the IPPs, said Business Recorder.

Business Recorder said that the IPPs have agreed to the revised terms and conditions on the promise that all the outstanding amount would be cleared in one go but now the government is not willing to pay full payment on the plea that IMF will not allow and hence IPPs are not happy and will not show any flexibility from now onwards.

Markets extend rally as optimism abounds on vaccine, US...

November 25, 2020: Asian markets rallied Wednesday following a blockbuster performance on Wall Street as vaccine successes and easing US political uncertainty boosted investor confidence in the economic recovery.

Signs that infection rates in Europe are slowing enough to allow some countries to ease lockdown measures added to the sense of hope across trading floors.

However, still-high death numbers and a pick-up in new cases in several Asian nations tempered the excitement.

Hopes for a worldwide rollout of an inoculation were given an extra lift Tuesday when Russia said its Sputnik V drug had shown to be 95 percent effective, making it the fourth that could be available soon after similar positive announcements from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

"While the logistical challenges will still be immense, the geographic diversity of the possible suppliers is promising," said Gorilla Trades strategist Ken Berman.

"The fact that several European outbreaks seemed to have peaked was another bullish catalyst... as even though the US wave is lagging behind the European one by several weeks, the end of the current domestic outbreaks could be closer than previously thought."

The medical breakthroughs come as political uncertainty appears to be waning in Washington after government officials began the crucial transition process paving the way for Joe Biden to enter the White House.

While he still denies losing the November 3 election, Donald Trump's decision to sign off on the move by the General Services Administration (GSA) was effectively an admission of defeat.

Investors are also upbeat about Biden's cabinet picks so far, particularly former Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen's nomination as treasury secretary, with optimism she can work well with current central bank head Jerome Powell.

"A Yellen-Powell policy combination in government and the central bank is as dovish and positive as one can imagine for risk assets," said Axi's Stephen Innes. "Even if Congress balks at further significant fiscal stimulus... investors will position for high-profile policymaker pressure starting to bear fruit."

Wall Street's three main indexes ended more than one percent higher Tuesday, with the Dow closing above 30,000 for the first time and the S&P 500 also notching up a record.

The rally seeped through to Asia, which was already enjoying a broadly healthy week.

Tokyo, Hong Kong and Jakarta were all more than one percent higher, while Shanghai, Sydney, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei and Wellington were also well up.

The gains were led by energy firms and tourism-linked companies such as airlines as traders bet on a boost to business as the world slowly returns to some sense of normality.

Expectations of a rise in demand supported oil prices, which have jumped around a quarter over the past month and are now sitting at levels not seen since March, before they crashed into negative territory.

High-yielding currencies such as the South Korean won, South African rand, Russian ruble and Australian dollar were all up against the dollar, thanks to improving confidence in riskier assets.

"Looking three to six months out, we do think the recovery will maintain its momentum," Anna Han, at Wells Fargo Securities, told Bloomberg TV. "When you see that reflation trade coming back, it's telling you that investors are gaining confidence in growth prospects looking forward."


Pfizer signs MOU with Pakistani Lab to set up...

November 25, 2020 (MLN): A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Pfizer and Chughtai Labs to establish Vaccination Centers.

According to a note released on social media by the lab, these vaccination centers will improve access to vaccines across the country.  

Dr. Omar Chughtai tweeted “Several Covid vaccines are in various phases of development and approval.

Our mission is to be ready for the vaccine whenever one is approved and available.” Further adding “Timelines not definite yet. Inshallah in a few months. Our mission is to be ready for it.”


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Gold prices remain depressed owing to vaccine optimism

November 24, 2020 (MLN): The yellow metal prices plunged on Tuesday as the latest optimism about the possibly early rollout of the covid-19 vaccine knocked the safe-haven commodity.  In the international market, gold price was trading at $1,815 per ounce, down by $ 51 while silver was pegged at $23.22 an ounce.

On a similar note, gold prices dropped in the domestic bullion market as the price of 24 karat gold decreased by Rs 2,350 to Rs 110,500 per tola from Rs 112,850 per tola recorded on Monday.

According to the data released by the All Sindh Saraf Jewellers Association, the price of 10-gram gold also dropped by Rs 2,015 to Rs 94,736 against the price of Rs 96,751 reported in the previous session.

Likewise, the price of per tola silver and 10-gram silver also witnessed a fall of Rs 30 and Rs 25.73 to clock in at Rs 1,180 and Rs 1,011.65 respectively, the association reported.


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