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NEPRA increases power tariff to ensure financial viability of...

August 10, 2020 (MLN): The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has made adjustments in the approved tariff on account of variations in the fuel charges from November 2019 to June 2020 for all power distribution companies.

The Fuel Cost Adjustment (FCA) calculations have been delayed by the authority which helped consumers with the limited increase in electricity rates.

According to a notification issued by NEPRA, the fuel cost in December’19 was high when the FCA was Rs 1.8779 per kWh, while it notified Rs1.1108 per kWh FCA for January’20, which increased to Rs1.2051 per kWh FCA for February’20.

The Authority being cognizant of the fact that the period for which FCAs are being allowed i.e. November 2019 to June 2020, has already lapsed and variations on account of fuel cost have not yet been recovered or passed on to the consumers.

In order to ensure the financial viability of the DISCOs, the authority believes that any such variations need to be passed on to the consumers in a timely manner, which otherwise would result in piling up of the legitimate costs and may impact their financial viability.

The authority has decided to club the positive and negative FCAs to minimize the impact on consumers and apply the same in two months period i.e. August and September.

Going into details, the FCAs pertaining to January’20, February’20, March’20, and May’20 will be charged in the electricity bills for the month of August’20.

While the fuel adjustment charges for the months of November’19, December’19, April’20, and June’20 will be charged in September’20.

FCAs will be applicable for all consumer categories except for the lifeline ones.

Copyright Mettis Link News

COVID outbreak hasn’t impacted JS Company’s portfolio materially, exhibiting...

August 10, 2020: Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has maintained entity ratings of Jahangir Siddiqui & Co. Ltd at ‘AA’ for long-term and ‘A1+’ for short-term, with a ‘Stable’ outlook forecast.  

The ratings reflect Jahangir Siddiqui & Co. Ltd.'s ('JSCL' or 'the Company') strong presence as a Holding Company in the financial sector with a portfolio of strategic investments mainly in banking (JS Bank, BankIslami Pakistan), insurance (EFU Life Assurance and EFU General Insurance), brokerage (JS Global Capital) and asset management segments (JS Investments).

JS Bank is on its path to establish itself as a medium sized bank whereas BankIslami aims to expand its presence in the growing Islamic Banking sphere. The results have been so far mixed with macroeconomic challenges and stiff competition in the banking sector.

JSCL holds significant stake in EFU General Insurance and EFU Life Insurance and plans to maintain it. After witnessing volatile markets for a while, JS Global and JS Investments are expected to have improved performance.

The Company has recently increased its holding in Azgard Nine, while divested some stake in Pakistan International Bulk Terminal and other non-strategic investments. JSCL intends to diversify its portfolio and has made significant investments in LPG storage and infrastructure and OMC segments.

The Company has made ~ PKR 2bln investments in these segments through its wholly owned subsidiary, Energy Infrastructure Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd. This is predominantly being funded by debt instruments. These initiatives are in gestation phase and will take time to mature. The recent upsurge in stock market, coupled with interest rate cuts of 625bps, are expected to improve the profitability of the Company.

Moreover, EFU Life and EFU General remain stable dividend resources. The Company has a very strong capital structure with low leveraging and strong coverages. The debt instruments are covered by a mix of strategic and non-strategic investments.

The Company has availed general relief provided by SBP for COVID-19, to defer part of its long-term debt repayment from bank. This will supplement cashflows along with lower interest payments due to reduced benchmark rate. JSCL does not plan to take further debt in the near term. The COVID outbreak has not impacted the Company's portfolio materially, exhibiting its resilience.

The ratings are dependent on the management's ability to execute its envisaged strategy of growth and expansion amidst prevailing tough environment. Timely materialization of these initiatives into sustainable ventures is critical. Strong performance of subsidiaries, stable dividends, and effective management of financial profile and liquidity remains important.


Mari Petroleum appoints new CEO

August 10, 2020 (MLN): The Board of Directors of Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MARI) in its meeting held today, has approved the appointment of Mr. Faheem Haider as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Company with effect from August 12, 2020,in place of Lt Gen Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad (Retd).

Mr. Faheem Haider is a Petroleum Engineer and possesses more than 27 years professional experience. Apart from handling core E&P operations in different parts of the world, he has hands-on experience of JV management, business development, strategy and growth delivery, operational efficiency, cost leadership, and stakeholders’ management.

Mr. Faheem holds a Post-Graduate Diploma from College of Petroleum Studies, Oxford UK, an MSc. Degree in Petroleum Engineering & Production Management from Imperial College London, and a BSc. Degree in Petroleum Engineering from UET, Lahore.

 Copyright Mettis Link News

Weekly SPI Increases by 8.47% YoY

August 10, 2020 (MLN): The Weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the Combined Group decreased by 0.06% during the week ended Aug 06, 2020 while the SPI increased by 8.47% compared to the corresponding period from last year.

According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) the Combined Index was at 134.23 compared to 134.31 on Jul 30, 2020 while the index was recorded at 123.75 a year ago, on Aug 08, 2019

Out of the 51 monitored items, the average price of 17 items increased, 8 items decreased whereas 26 items registered no change during the week.

The weekly SPI percentage change by income groups showed a mixed trend with SPI ranging between -0.33% and 0.07%.

The Lowest Income Group witnessed a weekly decrease of 0.33% while the highest income group recorded an increase of 0.07%.

On an yearly basis, analysis of SPI change across different income segments showed that SPI increased across all quantiles ranging between 7.16% and 11.27%.

Yearly SPI for the Lowest Income Group increased by 11.27% while the highest income group recorded an increase of 7.16%.

The average price of Sona urea stood at Rs.1650 per 50 kg bag which is 0.55% higher than last week’s price and 12.37% lower when compared to last year.

Meanwhile, average Cement price was recorded at Rs.557 per 50 kg bag, which was unchanged from the previous week and 3.47% lower than prices last year.


Copyright Mettis Link News

Most Asia markets rise but trade talks, stimulus cause...

August 10, 2020: Asian markets mostly rose Monday, with investors keeping a wary eye on China-US trade talks planned for the weekend, which come after Washington imposed sanctions on several Hong Kong officials, further straining tensions between the superpowers.

Adding to uncertainty was US lawmakers' inability to find common ground on a much-needed, new stimulus for the world's top economy, with executive orders signed by Donald Trump considered sticking plasters for a crippling crisis.

Washington on Friday hit a group of Chinese and Hong Kong officials -- including the city's leader Carrie Lam -- with sanctions in the latest salvo in a row linked to Beijing's decision to impose a security law on the city.

The move came after the White House set the clock ticking on forcing Chinese internet giants TikTok and WeChat to end all operations in the US, as part of a diplomatic-commercial offensive analysts fear will likely worsen leading into November's presidential election.

China slammed the sanctions as "barbarous and rude".

On Monday, Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai, one of the city's most vocal Beijing critics, was arrested under the security law, deepening a crackdown on democracy supporters.

US regulators also last week recommended overseas firms listed in the US should be subject to US public audit reviews from 2022, which could cause Chinese firms to delist.

The developments have put the spotlight on Saturday's meeting of trade officials to review their "phase one" trade deal signed in January.

There is a concern that the pact could be torn up as China has failed to meet certain criteria owing to the impact of the virus, a move most experts say would be devastating to a global economy that is already teetering.

Still, National Australia Bank's Tapas Strickland said: "The running assumption in markets has been President Trump needed the phase one deal to succeed (as much as China) this side of the November elections to secure the midwest" farming belt.

But he added: "At the same time President Trump is running a hard China line into the elections".


 - Washington stalemate -           

And Stephen Innes at AxiCorp warned that with polling figures tumbling and US virus infections surging, he could use the China row to show him as a strong leader.

 "If he thinks it will boost his polling numbers, look for him to lash out at China more aggressively, even heaping on additional tariffs. The ramifications for the nascent global recovery would be grim."

Hong Kong edged lower, though the rest of Asia was in positive territory with Sydney more than one percent higher and Shanghai up 0.5 percent.

Seoul gained almost one percent, while Taipei put on 0.8 percent.

The stimulus stand-off in Washington continues to disappoint, with Democrats and Republicans still unable to bridge their differences to push a new plan through.

With matters at a standstill, Trump signed measures Saturday giving Americans up to $400 a week extra in their unemployment benefits, while others offer some protection from evictions and relief for student loans. Another ordered a freeze in payroll taxes.

Observers said there was some hope the move would spur politicians to work harder to reach a deal, though others warned it could in fact give them less urgency to work together, with the Democrats' $3.5 trillion offer more than three times bigger than the Republican proposal.

"Both parties are going to have to tread very carefully but they are going to have to move on and try to come to some kind of agreement," Kim Forrest, at Bokeh Capital Partners LLC, told Bloomberg TV.

There was some good news for markets Friday, with data showing the US economy created 1.8 million jobs in July, far fewer than in May and June, but more than economists had been expecting, while unemployment dipped to 10.2 percent from 11.1 percent.


 - Key figures around 0245 GMT -

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.3 percent at 24453.29

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.5 percent at 3,370.25

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: Closed for a holiday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1798 from $1.1786 at 2100 GMT

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 105.78 yen from 105.94 yen

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3075 from $1.3057

Euro/pound: DOWN at 90.22 pence from 90.24 pence

West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.1 percent at $41.68 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.9 percent at $44.80 a barrel

New York - Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 27,433.48 (close)

 London - FTSE 100: FLAT at 6,032.18 (close)


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