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Gold loses its lustre

November 25, 2020 (MLN): Gold continued to lose lustre, reached $ 1809 per ounce. Yesterday, gold hit a four-month low of $1,800.80 and last stood at $1,806.10 per ounce amid Coronavirus vaccine optimism.  

The white metal, silver, was pegged at $23.36 an ounce.

On a similar note, gold prices dropped in the domestic bullion market as the price of 24 karat gold decreased by Rs 200 to Rs 110,300 per tola from Rs 110,500 per tola recorded on Tuesday.

According to the data released by the All Sindh Saraf Jewellers Association, the price of 10-gram gold also dropped by Rs 172 to Rs 94,564 against the price of Rs 994,736 reported in the previous session.

On the other hand, the price of per tola silver and 10-gram silver remained stable at Rs 1,180 and Rs 1,011.65 respectively, the association reported.

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Analyst Briefing: ASTL targeting 55% to 65% capacity utilization...

November 25, 2020 (MLN): Amreli Steels Limited (ASTL) conducted its analyst briefing session yesterday where the management discussed Company’s latest financial performance as well as future roadmap.

To recall, ASTL reported Rs 1.12 billion worth of net losses for FY20, against meagre profits of Rs 32.82 million earned in FY19.

As per the management, the losses were mainly attributable to COVID-19 outbreak resulting in the closure of business for 60 days, overall economic contraction started in 2019 and non-utilization of enhanced capacity (45% utilization).

Discussing about company’s business expansion, the management explained that current capacity utilization is 55% and their target capacity utilization for SITE plant is 50% – 55% whereas, for Dhabeji mill it is 60% - 65%

According to the key takeaways of the briefing covered by Taurus Securities, the management stated that the demand of steel is highly correlated with the demand of cement. It is estimated that the 7%-8% demand growth in cement will drive similar demand growth for the steel sector too, this financial year.

As the Steel industry is one of the most favored in current times in context of recent projects and CPEC, the company is expecting overall steel demand of 5.56 Mt, a report by Taurus Securities highlighted.

During the briefing session, the management said that the current PKR/USD 159.24 rate is favorable for ASTL. However, they can still absorb up to PKR/USD 168.

Commenting on Yield, the management informed that Yield of scrap to billet is 94% to 95%, whereas, the yield of billet to rebar is 95% along with 2% burning loss. Furthermore, the yield is highly dependent on the technology used in the process, the management added.

With regards to market share, the management underscored that ASTL holds an overall market share of 7% in the Country.  Region-wise, current concentration in South and North zones is 70% and 30%, respectively with 30% market share accounts for rebar sales in South, the report cited.

Speaking on business diversification, the Company stated that they are not planning to step into girder market as their major operations are being run in the South region where the demand of girder is very low.

Furthermore, on the back of company’s effort for boosting efficiencies and significant utilization of their enhanced capacities, the management is expecting to generate gross margins of 10% to 11% going forward, the report said.

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Foreign Investors seek protection of Intellectual Property Rights –...

November 25, 2020: Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) has announced the key findings of its latest Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Survey.

The OICCI IPR Survey 2020 conducted during September-October reflect the assessment of the foreign investors, on the state of intellectual property protection in Pakistan. Effective protection of IPR comprising of Copyrights, Patents and Trademark is critical for attracting and retaining FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) in the country.

OICCI IPR Survey 2020 respondents have expressed concern that IPR protection does not attract due attention from some key stakeholders, including the government, Law Enforcement authorities (LEA), media and even the consumers.

Long drawn judicial proceedings, lack of awareness and appreciation about IPR, and lengthy timelines for granting IP rights were some of the key concerns highlighted in the survey.  Overall 40% of the respondents indicated that it takes 1 to 3 years to resolve a standard IPR dispute. Respondents also expressed concern regarding the penalty on IPR violation being insufficient to act as a deterrent and the IP Tribunals not being fully functional. Currently, over 90% of the OICCI members prefer reliance on their own resources for monitoring threat of IPR violations. However, there is a great desire for all the IP owners to work in partnership with the government authorities for a better IPR regime in Pakistan.

The foreign investors participating in the survey expect that IPR regulator in Pakistan, IPOP, would take the lead in strengthening IPR regime in Pakistan; automate and fast track process of registering IP; massively promote awareness on the importance of IPR and its impact for business/investment; upgrade skills and motivate LEA to proactively arrest the abuse of IPR.

Commenting on the survey results, President OICCI, Haroon Rashid, expressed concern that, “Despite some improvement in the Priority Watch list in USTR Special 301 Report of 2016, Pakistan IPR environment has failed to instill a sense of confidence among the foreign investors and IP owners, that the country values IPR protection and will help create an enabling environment for innovation, creativity and all forms of IP so as to attract FDI and retain talented and innovative individuals in the country”. He added that ‘Foreign investors’ concerns are supported by the loss of revenue ranging from 5% to over 20% reported by 42% of the respondents”.

 Press Release

PKR trades 81 paisa higher against USD

November 25, 2020 (MLN): Pakistani rupee (PKR) appreciated by 81 paisa against US Dollar (USD) in today's interbank session as the currency closed the day's trade at PKR 159.28 per USD, against yesterday's closing of PKR 160.09 per USD.

 "The market is undergoing correction after the rupee lost ground the past few days, and this trend of appreciation is rupee is expected to persist", said Zafar Paracha, ex-secretary general secretary Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan.

The dollar should decline further to settle in the range of Rs155-156 by year-end, he added.

Forex Association of Pakistan's President Malik Bostan seemed to agree with that assessment, saying that if the Rs158 resistance is breached, then the parity will settle around Rs155. 

Speaking about today's dynamics in the interbank, he said few Lines of credit were opened which kept the demand for greenback low.

In today’s session, the Rupee saw moderate volatility and traded in a range of 88 paisa per USD showing an intraday high bid of 160.05 and an intraday Low offer of 159.22.

Within the Open Market, PKR was traded at 159.50/161 per USD.

Meanwhile, the currency gained 1.2 rupees against the Pound Sterling as the day's closing quote stood at PKR 212.84 per GBP, while the previous session closed at PKR 214.01 per GBP.

Similarly, PKR's value strengthened by 22 paisa against EUR which closed at PKR 189.82 at the interbank today.

On another note, within the money market, the overnight repo rate towards the close of the session was 6.75/6.90 percent, whereas the 1-week rate was 6.95/7.00 percent.

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BIPL Securities receives PAI from AKD Securities to acquire...

November 25, 2020 (MLN): BIPL Securities has received a notice of Public Announcement of Intention (PAI) from Topline Securities on behalf of AKD Securities to acquire more than 77.12% voting shares of the company beyond the thresholds prescribed under section 111 of the Securities Act, 2015.

The aforesaid information was disseminated by the company via notification to PSX.

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