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Weekly News Roundup

January 16, 2022 (MLN): The highlights of the important economic and business events that took place during the last week are in order so as to become acquainted with the recent developments in Pakistan’s economic and public policy.

  • On Saturday, the government increased petrol and diesel prices by Rs3 per litre.
  • Pakistan and China have launched air cargo service on Kashgar-Islamabad route with the successful landing of Pakistan Faxon Airlines Air Cargo plane at Kashgar airport in Xinjiang region of China.
  • To facilitate the nine million overseas Pakistanis, the federal government is going to introduce residential schemes under the smart housing concept.
  • President Dr Arif Alvi asked youth to capitalize the silent revolution of information technology in order to boost exports.
  • With the commencement of export of kinnows during the current season, it is anticipated that Kenya can become a promising international market of 40,000 – 50,000 tons of Pakistani citrus.
  • China has expressed interest to hire nearly 150,000 Pakistani employees with IT skills in the next year under CPEC.
  • During the week, Pakistan assumed chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China (G-77) for the year 2022 on January 14, 2022.
  • Intensifying its ongoing crackdown against smuggling, Model Customs Collectorate, Gwadar and Pakistan Navy, in a joint open-sea operation, confiscated a huge cache of foreign smuggled liquor,
  • The business community has expressed reservations on various tax measures taken by the government through mini-budget approved by the National Assembly a day earlier.
  • on the energy front, Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar on Friday said the government has brought the much-needed reforms to streamline the matters related to pricing of the imported gas for the domestic sector, new electricity generation contracts through a competitive and transparent process.
  • The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Thursday raised electricity tariff by Rs4.3 per unit for consumers of Ex-Wapda Distribution Companies (XWDISCOs) under Fuel Charges Adjustment (FCA) for the month of November 2021.
  • The National Assembly on Thursday passed the State Bank of Pakistan Act, 1996 [The State Bank of Pakistan] (Amendment) Bill 2021 and the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2021.
  • Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Special Communication Organization (SCO).
  • During the departed week, Pakistan's central bank has recommended banning cryptocurrency, arguing in documents submitted in an ongoing court case that allowing it would cause capital flight.
  • Islamic Finance News (IFN) has announced State Bank of Pakistan as the best Central Bank of 2021 across the world in promoting Islamic finance.
  • The government has so far released funds amounting to over Rs5.508 billion to execute 26 ongoing and 07 new agriculture-related projects under its Public Sector Development Program (PSDP).
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), to facilitate the insurance sector in complying with the applicable regulatory requirements, has issued a master circular, consolidating all existing applicable circulars, directives, and guidelines issued up to December 31, 2021.
  • The Fertilizer Manufacturers of Pakistan Advisory Council (FMPAC) on Wednesday clarified that none of its members had supplied Urea to any minister on preferential basis.
  • Link International Exchange Company announced that the company has distanced itself from Rahim Shah, who has been arrested by FIA Peshawar today, on account of illegal currency smuggling.
  • President Dr. Arif Alvi while upholding a decision of the Banking Mohtasib, has advised the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) to pay PKR 500,000 to a citizen who had been the victim of bank fraud at the hands of a former branch manager.
  • Majid Al Futtiam has invested a further Rs 1 billion to its current investment of Rs9.5bn in Carrefour.
  • The federal cabinet meeting approved a Re1 per unit cut in electricity tariff for the next three months to provide relief to the people.
  • Under PM's Agriculture Emergency Programme, Rs1.73 billion has been earmarked to provide subsidy on agriculture machinery to promote per acre production of sugarcane.
  • International real estate services provider Savills has announced that it has expanded its operations in three locations in Pakistan, effective as of 1 January 2022.
  • Pakistan's central bank chief believes the country has the capacity and financial cushion to ride out rising external account pressures being driven by a surge in global commodity prices.
  • Pakistan and Qatar have agreed to address all outstanding issues pertaining to the development of LNG terminals and finalize the final investment decision by the end of this month.
  • Binance assured its full support to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Cyber Crime Sindh regarding mega financial scam investigation involving eleven fraudulent applications using Binance blockchain addresses.
  • Following the most recent bull run in international prices, the price of cotton in the domestic market touched a record high of PKR20,000/mound despite a steady supply of commodity.
  • The NA standing Committee on Power informed that the circular debt stock is declining and will come down to Rs1.880 trillion by the end of the current fiscal year.
  • The CDWP approved eight projects worth Rs30.2 billion and recommended two projects worth Rs65.9bn to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) for further consideration.

Announcements:

  • on the equity side, Pakistan Stock Exchange informed that a new ETF namely; Alfalah Consumer Index Exchange Traded Fund (ACIETF) by Alfalah GHP Investment Management Limited shall be launched on January 17, 2022.
  • Crescent Star Insurance Limited (CSIL) termed DSL’s material information intimated on January 14, 2022, regarding an investment offer from a potential investor to invest in the share capital of the company misleading.
  • Indus Motor Company (INDU) launched its all-new Taglon Supreme SP/GF-6A 0W-20 Engine Oil formulated specifically for Gasoline and Hybrid Vehicles.
  • Mughal Iron and Steel Industries Limited (MUGHAL) has increased the load capacity of the 132-KV grid station to 90 MW.
  • The management of Hi-Tech Lubricants Limited (HTL) obtained further extension in the provisional license up to December 31, 2023, from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) for setting up of an Oil Marketing Company (OMC).
  • The board of directors (BoD) of Nimir Industrial Chemicals Limited (NICL) has re-appointed Mr Zafar Mahmood as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company.
  • The Board of Directors of Cnergyico Pk Limited (CNERGY) has approved the acquisition of a 57.37% stake in Puma Energy Pakistan Private Limited (Puma).
  • National Clearing Company of Pakistan Limited (NCCPL) will collect capital gain tax (CGT) from clearing members and Pakistan Mercantile Exchange (PMX) for the month of November’21 on January 24, 2022.
  • Nishat Chunain Limited (NCL) has requested Nepra to delete 2 Bulk Power Consumers (BPC) and add 11 new BPCs in its generation licence.
  • The board of directors of ZIL Limited (ZIL) approved the closure of a factory located at Hyderabad as it faced operational difficulties due to housing society built in its surrounding area.
  • The management of the D. M. Textile Mills Limited stated that the placement of the company “on defaulter segment” at this stage of difficult environment would destabilize the process of revival of the company.
  • The production activities at Fateh Sports Wear Limited (FSWL) will be started in the shortest possible time on the availability of working capital and the receipt of stuck-up funds of $2 million.
  • Image’s sales are projected to grow to Rs1.6 billion for the year ending June 30, 2022, from the actual level of over Rs1bn for the year ended June 30, 2021, on the back of the expansion of existing production capacity.
  • Sazgar Engineering Works Limited (SAZEW) sold 579 units of Auto Rickshaw during the month of December 2021, which was around 33% lower than the sales of 865 units made in the previous month.
  • Landmark Spinning Industries Limited (LMSM) is in the process of a reverse merger with Liven Pharmaceuticals (Pvt.) Ltd to recommence its business operations again.
  • The management of Azgard Nine informed that the sale transaction of Muzaffargarh Unit to be completed by December 2022.
  • Regal Automobile Industries Limited has applied for listing on Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), seeking to raise Rs800 million to invest in the Electric Vehicle assembly line.
  • Salman Noman Enterprises (SANE) has closed its operations due to huge losses.
  • First Dawood Investment Bank Limited (FDIBL) has approved an equity investment of up to Euro 7.50 million by Mr Dmitry Plotnikov, CEO/Director of “Light World” of Czechoslovakia.
  • The shareholders of Bestway Cement Limited (BWCL) resolved the execution of the management services agreement between the company and Bestway International Holdings Limited.
  • The board of directors of Askari Bank Limited (AKBL), Askari Securities Limited (ASL) and Foundation Securities Pvt Limited (FSL) have resolved for the amalgamation of ASL with and in to FSL.
  • TRG board has announced the election results of directors of TRG Group at the Annual General Meeting held today as per which Mr. Khaldoon Bin Latif from Faysal Asset Management secured highest votes, more than 504 million votes.
  • The name of Orix Leasing Pakistan Limited has been changed to OLP Financial Services Pakistan Limited.
  • The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has informed that the name of General Tyre & Rubber Company of Pakistan Limited (GTYR) has been changed to Ghandhara Tyre and Rubber Company Limited.
  • Clover Pakistan Limited (CLOV) has requested Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) to remove it from the defaulters’ segment of the exchange immediately.
  • Attock Cement Pakistan Limited (ACPL) has received $2 million as dividend from accumulated profits of its 60% owned subsidiary i.e. Saqr Al Keetan for Cement Production Company Limited (SAKCPCL).
  • The shareholders of Panther Tyres Limited (PTL) have approved to acquire the Banbury Tangential Mixer along with parts and accessories from Dalian Rubber & Plastics Machinery Co. LTD. (Dalian / DXS), China at a price of Rs327.97 million instead of Farrel Limited, United Kingdom.
  • National Foods Limited (NATF)'s wholly-owned subsidiary, National Foods DMCC based in Dubai has established a subsidiary namely National Epicure USA Inc., in the USA.
  • Khalid Siraj Textile Mills (KSTM) has requested the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) to remove its name from the defaulter’s segment along with unfreezing suspension of trading the shares as the company is running its operations smoothly.

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Weekly Market Roundup

January 16, 2022 (MLN):  This week, the benchmark KSE100 index closed up by 417 points on a cumulative basis or 0.91% WoW to settle at 45,763 points.

The market kicked off the week on a positive note amid growing optimism on mini-budget approval and stability in USD-PKR parity, a report by Spectrum Securities said.

On the economic front, although, forex reserves dipped by $117mn to $23.9bn, however, PKR appreciated by 60paisa WoW against USD and settled at PKR 176.07/$.

However, in later sessions, profit-taking was witnessed on the back of increasing international oil prices and Pakistan requesting IMF to shift board meeting for approval towards tail end of Jan’22.

In terms of index contribution, the top 5 sectors throughout the week were commercial banks (282pts), miscellaneous (54pts), chemical (50pts), power generation & distribution companies (47pts), and oil & gas exploration companies (36pts).

Commercial banks added the most points in the index as advances witnessed a growth of 19% YoY (highest in 3-years) given the overall economic recovery and new financing schemes by SBP. Moreover, investors also factored in prospects of improvement in profitability on the back of increasing interest rates.

On the flip side, cement, technology, tobacco, fertilizer and investment banks/companies took away 181 points from the KSE100 Index. The cement sector witnessed the highest-selling pressure during the week as it alone eroded 66 points from the index on the back of a rebound in international coal prices during the week.

Scrip-wise, HBL, MCB, PSEL, HUBC, and GOLG were the best-performing stocks during the week as they added 298 points to the index, whereas SYS, LUCK, ENGRO, PAKT, and TRG took away 165 points from the index.

Flow wise, foreigners were the net buyers during the week, purchasing stocks worth $0.53mn compared to $24.2mn last week. Major buying was witnessed in technology ($0.5mn) and power generation ($0.4mn).

On the local side, the majority of the selling was reported by mutual funds, corporations and insurance companies amounting to $9.95mn, $2.45mn, and $0.15mn respectively. However, banks and individuals stood on the other side with net buying of $6.8mn and $2.9mn respectively.

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Govt sets Rs50b target for loans under KJP this...

January 16, 2022 (MLN): Government has set the target of disbursing loans worth Rs50 billion under the Kamyab Jawan Program (KJP) this year to promote entrepreneurship amongst youth and create job opportunities in the country, as reported by Radio Pakistan.

This was stated by Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib and Special Assistant on Youth Affairs Usman Dar at a news conference in Islamabad on Saturday.

Farrukh Habib pointed out that loans of Rs30bn were disbursed under Kamyab Jawan Program over the last two years under which twenty-two thousand new businesses were opened. This, he said, provided fifty thousand direct jobs to the youth and indirectly led to the creation of thousands of other jobs.

The Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting said startups are especially being promoted under Kamyab Jawan Program. He said a proposal will be floated in the cabinet for approval under which no guarantee will be sought from those acquiring loans up to Rs2 million.

Farrukh Habib said under an Rs10bn Skill for All Program, hi-tech certification is being provided to the youth in areas such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, graphic designing, and so on.

He stated under this program, scholarships have been awarded to one hundred thousand youth whilst another sixty-one thousand will be provided on the 31st of this month.

“The government is targeting to enhance its IT exports to three billion dollars during the current fiscal year and this skill development program will help strengthen our IT exports,” he added.

In his remarks, Usman Dar said 2022 has been declared as the year of youth and different activities will be arranged during this year to promote the soft image of Pakistan.  He said, “We are also considering launching a sports scholarship program for the youth.”

Usman Dar highlighted that the loans under KJP are being provided in the most transparent manner.


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Weekly Economic Roundup

January 16, 2022 (MLN): The weekly economic roundup summarizes the country's key economic and financial data for the week from various sectors to keep an eye on next week's trends.

  • The government on Saturday has increased petrol and high-speed diesel (HSD) prices by Rs3 per litre to Rs147.83, and Rs144.62 respectively, according to a statement issued by the Finance Division.
  • Pakistan and China have launched air cargo service on the Kashgar-Islamabad route with the successful landing of Pakistan Faxon Airlines Air Cargo plane at Kashgar airport in the Xinjiang region of China.
  • The Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) of Pakistan, increased to 98.5 in November 2021, a jump of 2% compared to 96.4 recorded in October 2021.
  • The weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the combined group witnessed a drop of 0.43% for the current week ended January 13, 2022.
  • Workers’ remittances rose to $15.8 billion during 1H of FY22 which was 11.3% higher compared to the same period last year.
  • Private sector credit offtake during Jul-Dec FY22 reached Rs1,013 billion against Rs344.17 billion in the same period last year, up by 2.9x YoY.
  • The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) on Thursday raised electricity tariff by Rs4.3 per unit for consumers of Ex-Wapda Distribution Companies (XWDISCOs) under Fuel Charges Adjustment (FCA) for the month of November 2021.
  • After an economic expansion of 4.5 percent in 2021, Pakistan’s GDP growth is projected at 3.9 percent in 2022, driven by private consumption, record-high remittances and fiscal support,” the United Nations said in its flagship World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) report.
  • The National Assembly on Thursday passed the State Bank of Pakistan Act, 1996 [The State Bank of Pakistan] (Amendment) Bill 2021 after clause-by-clause reading with a majority vote, rejecting all the amendments tabled by the opposition parties.
  • The foreign exchange reserves held by the country dipped by $117 million or 0.5% WoW to stand at $23.9 billion during the week ended on January 7, 2021, compared to $23.9 billion in the previous week.
  • The government has so far released funds amounting to over Rs5.508 billion to execute 26 ongoing and 07 new agriculture-related projects under its Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) for the financial year 2021-22 in order to promote agriculture and livestock sectors in the country.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), to facilitate the insurance sector in complying with the applicable regulatory requirements, has issued a master circular, consolidating all existing applicable circulars, directives, and guidelines issued up to December 31, 2021.
  • The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) conducted an auction on Wednesday in which it sold Market Treasury Bills (MTBs) worth Rs730 billion for 3, 6 and 12 months.
  • The sale of passenger cars witnessed an upsurge of 59.4% MoM during the month of December 2021, clocking in at 24,462 units as opposed to 15,351 units sold in November 2021 on the back of improvement in the supply chain.
  • Sazgar Engineering Works Limited (SAZEW) sold 579 units of Auto Rickshaw during the month of December 2021, which was around 33% lower than the sales of 865 units made in the previous month.
  • The CDWP approved eight projects worth Rs30.2 billion and recommended two projects worth Rs65.9bn to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) for further consideration.

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Govt jacks up petrol prices by Rs3 per litre

January 15, 2021 (MLN):  The government on Saturday has increased petrol and diesel prices by Rs3 per litre, according to a statement issued by the Finance Division.

As per the statement, the price of petrol has been increased by Rs3.01 per litre to Rs147.83 and that of high-speed diesel (HSD) by Rs3 per litre to Rs144.62.

The price of kerosene oil was also increased by Rs3 per liter to Rs116.48 per liter.

In addition, light diesel oil will cost Rs3.33 more and will thus be valued at Rs114.54per litre.

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) had recommended a Rs5.52 per litre increase in the price of petrol and Rs6.19 per litre in HSD prices.

The new prices will be effective from January 16, 2022.

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