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Gold increases by Rs 200 to Rs 104,800 per...

July 03, 2020 (MLN): Today, gold witnessed an increase in demand as the price of 24 Karat-Gold rose by Rs 200 to Rs 104,800 per tola in the local market. The valuable yellow metal had closed at Rs 104,600 per tola on the previous trading day. 

According to the Karachi Sarafa Association, the price of 10-gram gold also increased by Rs 172 to settle at Rs 89,850 against Rs 89,678 on the last trading day.

On the other hand, the silver prices remained flat at Rs 1,050 per tola.  Similarly, 10-gram silver stayed stagnant at Rs 900.20.

In the international market, gold prices inched up by only $1 to $1,775 per ounce while silver was pegged at $18 per ounce.

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ECC takes up proposal for policy guidelines with respect...

July 03, 2020 (MLN): The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in its meeting held on Friday under the Chairmanship of Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, took up a proposal for policy guidelines with respect to sale price of RLNG.

The ECC was told that given the ring-fenced nature of RLNG and indigenous gas pricing, the sale of RLNG to domestic gas consumers at weighted average domestic tariff/gas sale price on M/s SNGPL network had resulted into accumulative tariff differential/RLNG revenue shortfall of Rs 73.84 billion for the period July-2018 to April 2020. The ECC was further told that this revenue shortfall had occurred after adjustment of RLNG impact on cost neutral basis as per the policy whereby the SNGPL sold indigenous gas as RLNG to its consumers and recovered some of the revenue shortfalls whenever the surplus system gas became available.

The ECC was also briefed that the issue of RLNG revenue shortfall had arisen mainly because of the price differential in domestic gas as 91 per cent of the domestic gas consumers had been paying an average monthly bill of Rs 121 which was many times less than the price of imported RLNG supplied to domestic consumers in the winter months.

The ECC considered the proposal and asked the OGRA to review it, especially the RLNG revenue shortfall as worked out by the SNGPL, and report back to ECC. The ECC also decided to further discuss the issue in a small group in order to develop a consensus-based solution to the issue for a policy decision at the government level to avoid the creation of a circular debt situation in the RLNG sector.

ECC also approved Rs 29.72 billion to provide cash assistance of Rs 12,000 per beneficiary to 3.725 million applicants irrespective of provincial, regional and district quota under the Ehsas Emergency Cash Programme.

Dr. Abdu Hafeez Shaikh allowed the BISP to spend Rs 29.72 billion from its allocated budget of Rs 200 billion for 2020-21 for providing cash transfers to 3.72 million applicants with the instruction that any additional requirement for regular operations of BISP would be also provided during 2020-21.

The decision came after the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division told the ECC that 3.151 million applicants who had applied for assistance through the SMS, were found eligible under the approved criteria but these applicants could not be provided assistance on account of provincial/district quotas.

The ECC was told that the Punjab government had already agreed to provide assistance to 700,000 of the applicants identified through SMS, leaving 2.451 million eligible applicants who could be provided cash assistance @12,000 (Rs 3000 for four months) at a total cost of Rs 29.72 billion.

The ECC also took up and approved a proposal by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication for NTC’s Budget for the FY 2020-21 (Budget Estimate Revenue Rs 4.59 billion, operating cost Rs 4.38 billion and ADP Rs 1.23 billion) and NTC Budget for FY 2019-20 (Revised Estimates Revenue Rs 3.95 billion, operating cost Rs 3.93 billion and ADP Rs 1.08 billion).

The ECC also took up a proposal by the Ministry of Industries and Production which submitted that as per the data furnished by National Fertilizer Development Centre (NFDC), the national inventory for Urea fertilizer would be below the buffer stock level of 200,000 metric tonnes in the months of December 2020 to February 2021. The ECC decided that in order to cover this gap and maintain the buffer stocks at the required level, gas at rate of Rs 756 MMBTU be provided to two shutdown plants at SNGPL networks, namely Agritech and Fatima Fertilizer, for three months w.e.f. July-September. This would involve the GoP’s share at Rs 959 million much less than the revenue spent previously on using these plants to produce the Urea fertilizer to cover up the shortage.


MCB-Arif Habib Savings approves payout for three Mutual Funds

July 03, 2020 (MLN): The Board of Directors of MCB-Arif Habib Savings and Investments Limited, i.e. the Management Company of Pakistan Capital Market Fund, has approved a dividend payout of up to Rs. 0.4533 per unit to its unit holders.

For the Alhamra Islamic Asset Allocation Fund, the Board approved a dividend payout of up to Rs. 0.825 per unit to the unit holders whose names appeared in the register of unit holders at the close of June 29, 2020.

Similarly, for the Alhamra Islamic Stock Fund, a dividend payout of Rs. 0.1168 was announced by the Board.

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Weekly SPI Increases by 2.29 Percent

July 03, 2020 (MLN): The Weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the Combined Group increased by 2.29% during the week ended Jul 02, 2020 while the SPI increased by 9.77% compared to the corresponding period from last year.

According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) the Combined Index was at 132.32 compared to 129.36 on Jun 25, 2020 while the index was recorded at 120.54 a year ago, on Jul 04, 2019

Out of the 51 monitored items, the average price of 14 items increased, 7 items decreased whereas 30 items registered no change during the week.

The weekly SPI percentage change by income groups showed that SPI increased across all quantiles ranging between 0.89% and 2.9%.

The Lowest Income Group witnessed a weekly increase of 0.89% while the highest income group recorded an increase of 2.9%.

On an yearly basis, analysis of SPI change across different income segments showed that SPI increased across all quantiles ranging between 8.26% and 13%.

Yearly SPI for the Lowest Income Group increased by 13% while the highest income group recorded an increase of 8.26%.

The average price of Sona urea stood at Rs.1631 per 50 kg bag which is 0.06% higher than last week’s price and 16.96% lower when compared to last year.

Meanwhile, average Cement price was recorded at Rs.548 per 50 kg bag, which is 0.92% higher than the previous week and 13.02% lower than prices last year.


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PKR appreciates by 1.5 rupees over the week

July 03, 2020 (MLN): Pakistani rupee (PKR) appreciated by 68 paisa against US Dollar (USD) in today's interbank session as the currency closed the day's trade at PKR 166.21 per USD, against yesterday's closing of PKR 166.89 per USD.

The Rupee saw significant volatility in today’s session and traded in a range of 1.35 rupees per USD showing an intraday high bid of 167.35 and an intraday Low offer of 166.25.

During the week, the currency has gained 1.5 rupees against the greenback, as the previous week was concluded at PKR 167.67 per USD.

Within the Open Market, PKR was traded at 166.30/167.70 per USD.

Meanwhile, the currency gained 2 rupees against the Pound Sterling as the day's closing quote stood at PKR 207 per GBP, while the previous session closed at PKR 209 per GBP.

Similarly, PKR's value strengthened by 1.9 rupees against EUR which closed at PKR 186.63 at the interbank today.

On another note, within the money market, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) conducted an Open Market Operation in which it injected Rs.700 billion for 7 days at 7.04 percent.

The overnight repo rate towards close of the session was 7.00/7.10 percent, whereas the 1-week rate was 7.00/7.05 percent.

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