Mar 02, 2021: Pakistan has improved its position on World Bank (WB) Ease of Doing Business Index for the second consecutive year, according to the annual report issued by Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).
As per World Bank’s latest rankings on ease of doing business for 2020, Pakistan has improved its position by 28 points from 136 to 108 which is an unprecedented improvement, report said.
Out of 6 reform areas acknowledged in 2020 report, the highest improvement of 58 points has been made in Starting a Business indicator where SECP is leading the reform process.
Pakistan’s ranking in this indicator has improved from 130 to 72 and is placed at 2nd position in South Asian countries in terms of ease of Starting a Business.
This improvement is primarily due to integration of SECP e-Services with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Employees Old Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) at the Federal level and with Business Registration portals of Punjab and Sindh at the Provincial level.
After this integration, SECP’s eServices is offering one window facility for company registration with FBR (NTN registration), EOBI, provincial employees social security institutions (PESSI/SESSI), Labor Department and Excise and Taxation Department of Punjab and Sindh.
As a result of this reform, number of procedures to start a business as recorded in the Doing Business Report 2020 have been reduced from 10 to 5 and Pakistan has been able to ranked at first in South Asia and 6th among the top ten reformers globally.
Financial Institutions (Secured Transactions) Act, 2016 (STA), enacted on July 01, 2016, provides a comprehensive legal framework for creation, perfection, priority and enforcement of security interest on movable assets. STA applied to both incorporated and unincorporated entities with certain exemptions.
The charges created by companies continue to be registered in the register maintained by the SECP under the Companies Act, 2017 while charges created by unincorporated entities are required to be registered in the Secured Transactions Registry (STR) established under section 19 of the STA.
The administrative powers under the STA relating to operationalization of the STR have been entrusted to the Commission through the Financial Institutions (Secured Transactions) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020. The SECP, with financial support from DFID (UK), has launched the STR on April 30, 2020.
Mar 02, 2021: The federal government has released Rs 479.238 billion for various ongoing and new social sector uplift projects till date under its Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2020-21.
The released funds include Rs310.88 billion for federal ministries, Rs137.8 billion for corporations, Rs29.3 billion for special areas, and Rs1.2 billion for the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA), according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform.
The total PSDP allocation for ERRA for the year 2020-21 is Rs1.5 billion.
Similarly, Rs98.007 billion out of PSDP allocation of Rs118.67 billion has been released for the National Highway Authority, Rs39.84 billion out of Rs158.3 billion for the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC), and Rs63.98 billion out of Rs81.2 billion for the for the Water Resources Division.
Likewise, Rs22.48 billion out of allocated fund of Rs29.4 billion has been disbursed to the Higher Education Commission, Rs294.5 million out of Rs350 million to the Pakistan Nuclear Regulatory Authority.
The Railways Division has received development funds of Rs18.8 billion, the Interior Division Rs11.8 billion and the National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination Division received Rs10.78 billion.
Similarly, the Revenue Division has got Rs6.46 billion, and the Cabinet Division Rs24.11 billion. Likewise, the government also released Rs18.52 billion out of PSDP allocation of Rs27.24 billion for development projects in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Rs 10.77 billion out of Rs. 15 billion for Gilgit Baltistan projects.
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.
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')
Cost of sales
Selling and distribution expenses
Other operating expenses
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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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.