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PM leaves for Saudi Arabia on two-day visit

September 19, 2019: Prime Minister Imran Khan has left for Saudi Arabia on a two-day visit.

The two sides will discuss ways to further strengthen economic partnership between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

The Prime Minister's visit to Saudi Arabia will further reinforce the close fraternal ties between the two countries and deepen bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.

Indus Motor blames inconsistent state policies for its substandard...

September 19, 2019 (MLN): Indus Motor Company Limited (INDU) held its corporate briefing for the financial results for the year ended June 30, 2019, on Tuesday. During the briefing, the company discussed and addressed issues that directly, or indirectly impacted the performance of the company.

To recall, the company had posted net earnings of Rs. 13.7 billion (EPS: Rs. 174.5) for the year ended on June 30, 2019, which were 13% lower than that of last year. The comparatives provided in the official document revealed that the decline wasn’t caused by adverse changes in sales revenue, but policies that were outside of company’s control.

This was in fact, confirmed by the management of the company itself, as it out rightly blamed several government policies and approaches for the jeer worthy performance of not just the company, but the entire automobile industry.

In the director’s report of the company, the management stated that significant and frequent changes in government policies pertaining to sale of vehicles to non-filers and Federal Excise Duty had proved to be counter-productive to mid-term and long-term planning, and had significantly impacted the confidence of both domestic and international investors.

With regards to the company’s controversial routine of increasing prices, the management said that the cumulative effect of abrupt changes in state policies and increase in the additional customs duties from 2% to 7%, devaluation and Excise Duty had forced the automobile companies to make unprecedented increases in prices.

However, company lauded the government for clamping down on the illegal and undocumented imports of used vehicles, and urged the Government to sustain these measures.

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SBP to Conduct 1 Day OMO

Sep 19, 2019 (MLN): The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced that it will conduct a 1 day OMO to inject funds into the market.

Quotes timing is: 11:15 PST while result will be announced at: 12:00 PST

Settlement is same day - September 19, 2019


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UGDC inks deal with ExxonMobil to Import LNG: Advisor...

September 19, 2019: The world's largest oil and gas company ExxonMobil has inked a gas supply deal with Pakistani energy company Universal Gas Distribution Company (UGDC) which will result in the import of private LNG for the first time in the history of Pakistan, says a press release received from Houston here today. After the agreement, the first shipment of LNG is expected by the next month which will change the entire gas landscape in Pakistan.

The agreement was signed in the American city of Houston between UGDC, the first company to get private gas marketing license in Pakistan and ExxonMobil. CEO of UGDC Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha and Vice President of ExxonMobil Richard Rayfield. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Babar, Chairman LNG Market Development Alex Volkov, President Market Development ExxonMobil, Irtiza Sayyed, Country Manager Pakistan ExxonMobil Shahrukh Mirza, senior officials of petroleum ministry and UGDC were also present on the occasion.

Speaking at the event, Nadeem Babar said that this is a historic day as ExxonMobil has decided to invest in Pakistan after a gap of twenty years. He said that businessmen would be provided enabling environment according to the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The deal is an honour for Pakistan and we will promote ease of doing business to promote investment in all the sectors including the energy sector.

The Advisor said that the government wants to come out of the gas import and this deal is the first step in that direction. Investment by ExxonMobil will also propel other energy companies to invest in Pakistan which will bring down the price of gas to help masses and the environment. Mr, Alex Volkov, and Irtiza Sayyed said that we have decided to invest in Pakistan after two decades with a vision to provide economical and environmentally friendly gas to consumers on regular basis. We will support UGDC so that it can overcome the shortage of gas in Pakistan.

Ghiyas Paracha said that the government has changed third party rules to allow the private sector to import gas. Now we will be able to buy surplus gas from terminals and also buy the fuel from five upcoming terminals which will revive the CNG sector. He said that the move will increase parity between the price of CNG and petrol, fares would be reduced, one billion dollars of foreign exchange per annum would be saved, two million vehicles would be converted to CNG and foreign investment would be attracted for import of CNG kits and cylinders.

Asian markets mostly up after Fed rate cut, eyes...

Sep 19, 2019: Asian markets mostly rose Thursday after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates but investors were left unsure about its next possible move, with focus now on whether the Bank of Japan will continue the global central bank easing drive.

While the Fed met expectations with its 25-basis-point reduction, the lack of strong forward guidance disappointed many, who were also concerned about a growing split in the policy board between hawks and doves.

Equity traders have spent much of this month in a positive mood, betting that central banks are taking a more accommodative tone with monetary policy to support the stuttering global economy.

The European Central Bank unveiled a fresh round of bond-buying stimulus and another rate cut this month, and there had been hopes the Fed would indicate a further reduction in borrowing costs this year.

Fed boss Jerome Powell said the board did not expect a recession but trade uncertainty is creating "cross winds", hitting business investment and exports. He added the bank will "will act as appropriate" to maintain economic growth.

"After raising rates nine times in the past four years, the Fed kicked off the wave of global central bank easing with their dramatic dovish pivot in January," said Tim Foster at Fidelity International.

"But simple rate cuts are now rather old-fashioned compared to the ECB's comprehensive and complicated package of easing measures last week."

- 'Lack of conviction' -

And Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at OANDA, said the Fed could regret its decision to not be more forthright.

Its "lack of conviction in signalling more rate cuts will probably be a policy mistake that is wasting the effectiveness of the first two rate cuts", he said in a note. "The Fed seems set on waiting for a couple geopolitical risks to rattle the economy before committing to a full-fledged easing cycle."

Still, with the BoJ due to end its latest policy meeting later Thursday shares in Tokyo rose one percent going into the break.

Sydney was up 0.7 percent, Seoul rose 0.6 percent, Singapore added 0.1 percent and Wellington gained 0.3 percent.

But Hong Kong, which has struggled all week under the weight of concerns about the impact on the economy of long-running, sometimes violent protests in the city, fell 0.6 percent. Shanghai was flat.

The easing stance taken by central banks comes as traders try to juggle a series of -- mostly negative -- issues including the China-US talks, the slowing economy and fresh geopolitical concerns after the weekend Saudi oil plant strike.

"In the end, we are keeping a keen eye on trade discussions, on recently concerning oil dynamics, on market liquidity, on Brexit, on the pace of slowing employment conditions, and as always on the inflation readings" to work out when the Fed will cut again, said Rick Rieder, BlackRock's Chief Investment Officer of Global Fixed Income.

Oil markets have settled for now -- both main contracts were slightly higher Thursday -- after the surge in prices at the start of the week caused by the Saudi blasts. But traders remain on alert for further developments including the US and Saudi response, with both putting the blame at Iran's door.

The crisis has reignited worries about a military flare-up in the oil-rich Gulf region, which would send prices soaring and likely hit stock markets.

A warning from European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker that the risk of a no-deal Brexit "remains very real" was putting downward pressure on the pound, with both sides still unable to come up with a solution to the crucial "Irish backstop" issue.

- Key figures around 0230 GMT -

  • Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.0 percent at 22,183.53 (break)
  • Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.6 percent at 26,603.21
  • Shanghai - Composite: FLAT at 2,986.72
  • West Texas Intermediate: UP 15 cents at $58.26
  • Brent North Sea crude: UP eight cents at $63.68 per barrel
  • Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1030 from $1.1034 at 2100 GMT
  • Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.20 yen from 108.43 yen
  • Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2470 from $1.2481
  • Euro/pound: UP at 88.45 pence from 88.40 pence
  • New York - Dow: UP 0.1 percent at 27,147.08 (close)
  • London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,314.05 (close)


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