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PSX Signs Agreement with NIFT to Launch E-IPO System

March 2, 2021: Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) and National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (NIFT) signed an agreement to collaborate in the development of a new payment and registration system by PSX.

PSX takes immense pride in announcing another important development for the capital market and its participants to digitally transform the Initial Public Offering (IPO) process through the E-IPO project. The E-IPO will be an automated system connecting investors and share registrars with brokers/ TRE Certificate Holders and banks through payment gateways including NIFT and the shares custodial company, CDC.

The digital portal will provide facility to investors (local, foreign, and institutional), TRE Certificate Holders, and even banks for submission of online subscription applications from anywhere in the world through the internet. The system is connected in real-time with Central Depository Company (CDC), payment gateways (e.g. NIFT and others), and shares registrars for providing end-to-end digitalization.

At the signing ceremony, Mr. Farrukh H. Khan, MD & CEO, Pakistan Stock Exchange, said, “The deployment of the new E-IPO system will open new vistas and expand the horizons for investors wanting to invest in new issuances through the convenience of a few clicks via the internet. This system will bring digitalization for investors at the front-end and will enhance the outreach of PSX, issuers and investors in terms of the IPO process as a whole. The connectivity that this system ensures between investors, share registrars, brokers, banks, gateway firms like NIFT and the shares custodians, CDC, is a great step forward for Pakistan Stock Exchange”.

Speaking at the occasion, the CEO of NIFT, Mr. Haider Wahab, said, “Pakistan is showing strong economic outlook for 2021 and beyond with positive market sentiments in the stock market, the regulator is geared up for providing state of the art digital products and services to the local investors. We are extremely excited to be part of PSX initiative to bring ease of participation in IPO digitally. NIFT ePay will help investors to make payments online for all the E-IPOs with a secure and seamless payment experience directly from their bank accounts expanding potential investors’ ability to digitally participate using NIFT ePay services”.

The E-IPO system will not only revolutionize the way investors and other market participants take part in an IPO but will also go a long way in establishing the digitalization of the IPO subscription process in Pakistan.

Dawood Hercules reports a 42% growth in earnings during...

March 2, 2021 (MLN): Dawood Hercules Corporation Limited has reported earnings of Rs. 42.63 billion for the year ended December 31, 2020, i.e. nearly 42% higher as compared to the earnings of last year.

The Earnings per share for the year stood at Rs. 15.76, which is 34% higher as compared to the EPS of Rs. 11.75 reported last year.

The company saw a 10.27% improvement in net sales and a 10% increase in cost of sales, both of which resulted in a 10.9% growth in gross profit. Further relief was drawn from a 16% increase in other income and a 26.3% decline in non-core expenses.

While the company experienced a loss allowance on subsidy receivable from GoP amounting to Rs. 1.2 billion, this was somewhat compensated for by a 143% increase in share of income from associates.

DAWH also benefitted from a 39.7% decline in income tax expense.

Financial Results for the year ended December 31, 2020 (Rupees '000')




% Change

Net sales




Cost of sales




Gross profit




Selling and distribution expenses




Administrative expenses




Other income




Other operating expenses




Finance costs




Loss allowance on subsidy receivable from GoP



Share of income from associates and Joint ventures




Profit before taxation








Profits for the period




Basic and diluted earnings per share





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OGRA increases locally produced LPG prices

 March 2, 2021: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has issued a price-revision notification of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for the month of March.

According to the notification, the authority increased the locally produced LPG price by Rs.21.78 per cylinder of 11.8 kilograms.

After the revised price, the cylinder would be sold in the open market at Rs1,884.92 during the current month, which was available at 1,863.14 in the last month.

Whereas, the per Metric Ton LPG rate has been fixed at Rs159,738.70 for the month of March.

The commodity sale price per Metric Ton was Rs157,894.35 during the month of February.

Radio Pakistan

As oil prices rally, old OPEC tensions set to...

Mar 02, 2021: As members of the oil cartel OPEC and its allies meet this week to discuss adjusting output, analysts expect old tensions between oil producer giants to flare up again.

Russia and Saudi Arabia, respectively the world's second and third largest producers of oil after the United States, had often been at loggerheads in the past, but when crude oil prices plunged due to the pandemic, they rallied to radically cut production levels and underpin prices.

Now that prices have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, at around $65 a barrel, the two heavyweights and their partners will discuss how to move forward -- and how much crude to release back onto the global market.

"The priorities are well known: Russia wants to return to normal production as quickly as possible while Saudi Arabia wants to benefit from high prices a little longer," Bjarne Schieldrop, chief analyst at commodities research group Seb, said ahead of a ministerial level meeting Thursday at which quotas are expected to be adjusted.

While global demand for crude is recovering, OPEC has ensured that its production cuts create an "artificial shortage" that supports prices, according to Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at broker group Axi.

Following two days of tough negotiations at 2021's first summit in early January, the 23 members of the OPEC and OPEC+ groupings agreed to slowly increase oil supply to the world market.

For March, members have already agreed to withhold 7.05 million barrels per day (bpd), less than the 7.125 million bpd they cut in February.

With vaccination campaigns underway and demand in China, the world's largest oil importer, back at pre-pandemic levels, exactly how much oil OPEC+ will allow to be traded for April will be at the heart of Thursday's ministerial-level debate.

Though the virus still poses a threat, it is likely "that the rise in oil prices will lead to a more rapid loosening of cuts," than previously anticipated, analysts at Capital Economics say.

The quota of cuts expected to be observed by each country will be closely scrutinised by market watchers -- as will any divergence between the main producers.

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia has in recent times been willing to take on extra production cuts to facilitate agreement.

Riyadh recently decided to reduce output by one million barrels per day, while Russia and Kazakhstan have slightly increased their crude production.

OPEC+ members have disagreed frequently in the past, with quotas expected to once again become a particularly contentious point of discussion this week.

Iran, Venezuela and Libya have been exempt from OPEC's quotas, while others, including Iraq and Nigeria, have flouted the OPEC+ agreement, producing above quota for months.

OPEC members are also monitoring any signs that US President Joe Biden might lift sanctions on Iran, which would allow Tehran to re-enter the global market and dramatically increase supply.

On Wednesday, a day before the ministerial meeting sets new quotas, the club's monthly meeting will assess current market conditions and threats in a videoconference.


Most Asia markets up again after Wall St surge,...

Mar 02, 2021: Asian markets mostly advanced again Tuesday, building on a global rebound from last week's rout as concerns about rising bond yields subsided and investors turned their attention back to the improving economic outlook and improving vaccine rollouts.

US lawmakers' push to get Joe Biden's huge stimulus through Congress in the next two weeks was also lifting spirits on trading floors, with Wall Street providing a powerful lead driven by a rally in tech firms.

A ramping up of immunisations, falling infection rates, government and central bank support and the easing of lockdown measures have fanned expectations that the global economy will enjoy a blistering recovery this year and next, helping propel equities to record or multi-year highs.

But the bright-eyed optimism has given way in recent weeks to worries that the so-called reflation trade will send inflation soaring and force officials at the Federal Reserve and elsewhere to wind in their ultra-easy monetary conditions, including lifting interest rates.

And the rise of yields in government bonds in the US and other key economies last week sparked a mini equity markets meltdown, which was exacerbated by profit-taking as investors considered some gains to have run a little too far.

However, a stabilisation in the bond market Friday and Monday appeared to have staunched the bleeding for now, while analysts said worries over a surge in inflation and rate cuts were overdone.

And in an interview, top Fed official Thomas Barkin reiterated the message from his bank colleagues that the rise in yields was nothing to be worried about.

"In fact, I would be disappointed if we didn't see yields... rise as the outlook improves," he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.

"If the driver is -- as it seems to be -- news about vaccines, or news about the health of the economy, or news about fiscal stimulus, then I think it's a natural reaction."

Julia Coronado, founder of MacroPolicy Perspectives, said: "There's nothing wrong with longer term interest rates where they are; financial conditions broadly are still fairly easy."

Seoul led Asia's gains, jumping more than two percent, while Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore, Wellington, Taipei, Jakarta and Manila were all in positive territory, though Tokyo and Shanghai struggled to maintain early momentum and dipped.

That came after a surge on Wall Street that saw the Nasdaq pile on more than three percent as tech firms such as Apple, which have been hit by selling as they are more susceptible to higher interest rates, being snapped up. Adding to the upward pressure for markets was news showing US factory activity expanded last month at its quickest pace in three years.

"It's amazing what a weekend time-out can do to right the ship... as bond markets rowed back into calmer waters on Monday," said Axi strategist Stephen Innes, adding that the approval of Johnson & Johnson's one-jab vaccine the United States had also provided major support.

Eyes are now on Washington, where the Senate is due to debate Biden's economic rescue package after it passed the House at the weekend.

"The Senate will take up the American Rescue Plan this week," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said. "I expect a hearty debate and some late nights but the American people sent us here with a job to do."

Democrats want to adopt the text before March 14, extended unemployment benefits from a previous aid plan expire.

Oil prices extended Monday's losses ahead of a meeting of OPEC and other top producers this week where they will debate winding back output cuts that have been in place for the best part of a year as they eye prices at 13-month highs.


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