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Balochistan Glass Ltd decides to temporary shutdown Tableware production...

April 8, 2020 (MLN): Following the directions of the government to control the spread of COVID-19, the management of Balochistan Glass Limited has decided to shut down the operations of tableware production temporarily at unit-3, situated at Kot Abdul Malik Sheikhupura road Lahore.

As per the notification to PSX, the management has also planned to make some necessary repair at Furnace with minimum staff.

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Global stocks turn negative as virus death toll mounts

April 8, 2020: World stocks turned negative on Wednesday as the coronavirus death toll mounted and euro zone finance minister failed to agree a rescue package to help economies recover from the impact of the outbreak.

COVID-19 hospitalisations seemed to be levelling off in New York state, but deaths across the United States jumped by a record of more than 1,800.

Meanwhile, France has officially registered more than 10,000 deaths from coronavirus infections, making it the fourth country to cross that threshold after Italy, Spain and the United States. Mainland China's new coronavirus cases doubled in 24 hours as infected travellers returned home.

After two sessions of gains, European equities fell amid renewed concern about the spread of the virus and the continent's response to it.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index dipped 0.7%. London's FTSE 100 fell 0.9%, as the country's coronavirus death toll crossed 6,100. Germany's DAX shed 0.8% after rallying more than 8% in the past two days, as the number of confirmed cases rose for a second straight day.

Japanese shares were boosted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ending market uncertainty by declaring an emergency, helping the Nikkei share average close 2.13% higher.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.5%.

"After the market rallying, we are having some consolidation as we are in a bottoming process, and you cannot have a V-shaped recovery," said Francois Savary, chief investment officer at Swiss wealth manager Prime Partners. "Trading is between 2200 to 2800 on the S&P 500 at the moment and we will stick to that for the time being as we are in recovery phase.

Euro zone finance ministers failed to agree in all-night talks on more support for their coronavirus-hit economies. Eurogroup chairman Mario Centeno said on Wednesday morning he was suspending the discussions until Thursday.

Italian government bond yields rose in response. The 10-year Italian yield rose 20 basis points to 1.799% in early European trading, reaching its highest since March 19. Two-year bonds yields were up 22 bps on the day at 0.79% , the highest in three weeks.

Investor sentiment was helped by a bounce in oil prices, with Brent crude adding 0.8% to $32.08 per barrel after falling 3.6% on Tuesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 3.8% to $24.45 a barrel. They were lifted on hopes that a meeting between OPEC members and allied producers on Thursday would trigger output cuts to shore up prices.

After U.S. stock markets closed on Wednesday, President Donald Trump said the United States may be getting to the top of the coronavirus curve.

The Trump administration asked Congress for an additional $250 billion in emergency economic aid for small U.S. businesses reeling from the pandemic.

"While the virus' 'curve is flattening', the economic effects of the corona crisis will linger for years in our view," Commonwealth Bank of Australia economist Joseph Capurso said in a note.

"Economies will take time to re-open, some businesses will not re-open, and unemployment will take years to return to levels reported at the end of 2019."

Against a basket of currencies, the dollar edged up 0.25% to 100.210. The euro fell 0.4% to $1.0852.

The Aussie dollar fell 0.5% to $0.6137 after ratings agency S&P downgraded the outlook on its sovereign AAA rating from stable to negative and warned the cost of combating the virus would weigh on the country's finances.

Gold prices were stuck at $1,648, after touching a three-and-a-half-week high on Tuesday at $1,671.


Nishat Chunian’s liquidity management under crisis due to escalating...

April 8, 2020: VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (VIS) has assigned initial entity ratings of ‘A+/A-2’ to Nishat Chunian Power Limited (NCPL). Outlook on the assigned rating is ‘Stable’.

The medium to long-term rating of ‘A+’ reflects good credit quality and adequate protection factors. Risk factors may vary with possible changes in the economy. The short-term rating of ‘A-2’ denotes good certainty of timely payments coupled with sound liquidity and fundamental protection factors.

According to the Press Release issued by VIS, the ratings assigned to NCPL take into demand risk coverage under Power Purchase Agreement signed with CPPA-G (Central Power Purchasing Agency). Moreover, the Implementation Agreement provides a sovereign guarantee for cash flows, contingent upon adherence to stipulated performance benchmarks.

Ratings draw comfort from NCPL’s association with Nishat Chunian Group; one of the leading groups in Pakistan. Assessment of adequate financial profile entails, sizeable margins, sound debt coverage metrics and healthy cash flows indicating satisfactory debt servicing ability.

However, liquidity management remains a concern, given the escalating inter-corporate debt and inconsistent payment cycle exhibited by the power purchaser has led to higher utilization of short-term credit facilities; the same has a sizeable impact on the company’s bottom line on account of the high financial cost incurred. Therefore, the recovery of outstanding dues is considered essential to easing the pressure on liquidity.

The Operations and Maintenance of the company are in-house, the management team has depicted satisfactory performance since FY15. Further, upholding operational performance in line with agreed performance levels would remain a key rating driver. Moreover, the ratings will be revised if there is any change in the PPA.


Berger Paints extends its shutdown to April 14

April 8, 2020 (MLN): Berger Paints Pakistan Limited has further extended its shutdown of the plant operations and offices till April 14, 2020, in compliance with directives of provincial governments to contain the spread of COVID-19 across provinces.

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Debt relief for the poorest countries critical in fight...

April, 8 2020: UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore has said that COVID-19 is generating an unprecedented global economic crisis.

“As we witness in all such crises, this economic destruction is cruelly and unequally distributed.

“For the world’s poorest countries, the financial fallout caused by the pandemic, combined with debilitating debt-service obligations, are hampering their ability to prevent further transmission and protect citizens.

“And for the families within those countries, with widespread loss of income and limited access to food in environments where social distancing is impossible, soap and water for handwashing a luxury, and quality health services non-existent, the situation is already dire, and it is only going to get worse.

“While children are largely spared the immediate health consequences of the pandemic, they will suffer the economic destruction left in its wake. More than 200 million children live in debt-distressed countries and those at high risk of debt distress. The burden of debt leaves countries struggling to prevent disease transmission. 

“Low-income countries, in particular, are being forced to drastically increase spending to respond to the health emergency, while scaling up – or, in some cases, creating – social protection systems including unconditional cash transfers, a guarantee of income for those who lose their jobs and employment security.

“The additional spending required must not come at the cost of other critical services for children, such as routine immunization, maternity care, and child protection. At this crucial time, countries need to spend more to protect the future of their children.

“To reduce disease transmission and prevent further economic catastrophe, UNICEF wholeheartedly joins The World Bank President and IMF Managing Director in their call for debt relief and debt restructuring for countries in need.”

“As the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres noted in his recent letter to the G20, debt restructuring is a priority — including immediate waivers on interest payments for 2020. By relaxing the burden of debt financings, countries are more likely to deliver the agile and aggressive response required to reduce the impact of the economic crisis and stop COVID-19 in its tracks”, her statement said.

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