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Lower oil prices and PKR appreciation eased out inflationary...

October 29, 2020 (MLN): The Monthly Economic Indicator (MEI), a useful indicator of ongoing overall economic activity for policy purposes, has shown persistent growth in September, in continuation with the trend observed in the previous two months based on available data. It follows that economic growth in the first quarter of FY 2020-21 has exhibited persistent recovery.

In absence of any adverse future shocks, the economy is on its way not only to rebound from the pandemic-related crises but also to record a reasonable growth rate for the full fiscal year.

The Finance Ministry in its monthly “Economic Update and Outlook” for October 2020, revealed that some of the data underlying the September MEI are still provisional and may be revised next month.

It is pertinent to mention that MEI is based on combining monthly data of indicators that are proven to be correlated with GDP at constant prices.

The composite leading indicator (CLI) compiled by OECD, shows that Pakistan’s most important export markets have fully recovered from the pandemic-led recession in the UK and China only. In the US and the European Area, the CLI remained below pre-pandemic levels. The newly imposed precautionary measures in some of these countries may slow down their near-term economic recovery.

Under the Government’s unprecedented measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and to revive economic activity, the fiscal sector has witnessed a substantial improvement during the first two months of FY2021 as it reduced to Rs 415 billion i.e. 0.9 percent of GDP against 1.2 percent last year on an account of 71% increase in non-tax revenues during July-August, FY2021. While FBR tax collection surpassed its target set by Rs 34.1 billion for Q1, FY2021.  Similarly, the primary balance posted a surplus of Rs 69 billion (0.2 percent of GDP) in the first two months of the current fiscal year against a deficit of Rs 55 billion (-0.1 percent of GDP).

Keeping in view the encouraging growth in FBR tax revenue collection and a significant rise in non-tax revenues, the Finance Ministry expects that both will maintain its pace in the second quarter as well. Thus, it is expected that the fiscal deficit will remain as targeted for Q2 FY2021 as well, however, the risk of high public spending due to COVID-19 may build pressure on expenditure in Q2 FY2021.

The first two months of FY2021 reflected a revival of economic activities in the country as LSM grew by 3.7 percent (-5.9 percent during July-August FY 2020). The positive growth in LSM is coherent with the further economic expansion in the main trading partners, and with the deceleration of the strength of that expansion.

On the external front, the Current Account posted a surplus of $792 million (1.2 percent of GDP) during Q1 FY2021 against a deficit of $1492 million last year (2.3 percent of GDP). In October, following the rebound in economic growth in Pakistan, imports may re-join their level recorded last fiscal year. On the other hand, it may be expected that exports will still lag somewhat since economic activity in most of the trading partners has not yet fully recovered, the ministry highlighted.

During the first quarter of FY2021, remittances in USD were 31 percent higher than in the corresponding quarter of FY 2020. It is expected that the pattern will continue in October as well due to the policy measures that have positively affected the channels of remittance transfers. Further, remittances inflows are expected to remain higher than the trade deficit in goods and services.

Currently, inflation is one of the main challenges for the government. In Pakistan, most recently, CPI remained driven by higher food prices, while non-food inflation remained moderate. However, the government is taking all possible measures to control it. Together with measures that ensure sufficient supply of goods, especially food-related production, it is expected that inflation will remain under control whereas policy measures will contribute to better-functioning markets. In recent weeks, the international food prices have rebounded somewhat, whereas oil prices declined, and the PKR exchange rate slightly appreciated against the USD, thus easing out inflationary prospects.

Most importantly, although the domestic economic activity is expected to recover, still the risk of pandemic attack persists if the SoPs are not fully followed. Thus, Pakistan’s near-term economic prospects are promising subject to reducing uncertainty and restoring business confidence.

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SBP releases its Annual Performance Review for Financial Year...

October 29, 2020: The Board of Directors of the State Bank of Pakistan on October 26, 2020 approved the Annual Performance Review on the working of the Bank and its subsidiaries and the financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2020.

The Annual Performance Review, including financial statements of the Bank and the auditor’s report thereon, has been released to the public and transmitted to the Federal Government pursuant to Section 40(2) of the State Bank of Pakistan Act, 1956. The Annual Performance Review can be accessed at SBP website.

 

Press Release

 

Gold drops to $1,872 an ounce as US GDP...

October 29, 2020 (MLN): Gold remained under pressure on Thursday as US GDP expanded by 33% in the third quarter. In the international market, gold prices came down by $22 and traded at $1,872 per ounce, while silver was pegged at $22.60 an ounce.

On the domestic front, the price of 24 karat gold plunged by Rs 1,650 to Rs 111, 600 in the bullion market. The precious yellow metal of 24-Karat had closed at Rs 113,250 per tola on the last day.

According to the data released by the All Sindh Saraf Jewellers Association, the price of 10-gram gold also fell by Rs 1,414 to Rs 95,680 against the price of Rs 97,094 reported yesterday.  

On a similar note, silver witnessed a decrease in its price. The 24-Karat Silver slid by Rs 30 to Rs 1,170 per tola. Likewise, 10-gram silver dropped by Rs 25.72 to Rs.1,003.08 against the previous close of Rs 1,028.80, the association reported.

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Oil prices slide in lockdown-driven rout

October 29, 2020: Oil prices dived on Thursday on demand fears as more nations go into lockdown to staunch the spread of the coronavirus, while stock prices enjoyed a reprieve.

Both main oil contracts fell five percent, extending this week's meltdown to plumb four-month lows on virus-driven demand fears.

"The new lockdowns have since yesterday caused a carnage in the oil market," Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil markets at Rystad Energy.

"Oil demand will lose ground as a result of the new lockdowns... Prices now naturally decline on this grim prospect," he added.

Meanwhile, stocks were spared Wednesday's bloodbath which saw losses of more than three percentage points in several major markets.

Wall Street opened mixed after data showed the US economy posting the strongest recovery on record as it expanded at an annual rate of 33.1 percent in the third quarter, according to government data.

However, compared to the July-September of 2019, the third quarter contracted 2.9 percent after falling 9.0 percent year-over-year in the second quarter, according to the data.

The Dow shed 0.2 percent as trading began.

In early afternoon deals, European stocks slid and the euro sagged as the European Central Bank kept rates steady as expected, although it said it stands ready to bolster its pandemic response in December.

European equities were hammered Wednesday as the German and French governments unveiled tighter restrictions to curb soaring Covid-19 infection rates.

The moves followed weeks of exponentially rising new infections across Europe that forced governments across the continent to put fresh containment measures in place.

- Double-dip recession risks -

The deadly second wave could potentially spark another painful global recession, as businesses and economies buckle once more under the restrictions, analysts warn.

"Risks of a double-dip recession are rising for the global economy," warned Agathe Demarais, global forecasting director at The Economist Intelligence Unit.

"A second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is raging across Europe, prompting several countries, including heavyweights France and Germany, to re-impose stringent measures to contain the outbreak," she told AFP.

In tumultuous Wednesday trade, Frankfurt stocks dived more than four percent, while London and Paris each slumped by around three percent.

"Looking ahead, the prospects for the global economy have darkened for the rest of the year," Demarais added.

"Many major economies will likely see their GDP contract on a quarterly basis in October-December. In turn, the recovery... will take even longer than planned."

- Corporate earnings -

In London on Thursday, investors shrugged off news that British bank Lloyds and oil giant Royal Dutch Shell both rebounded into profit in the third quarter.

Paris digested news that European aircraft maker Airbus flew into the losses on exceptional charges linked to the deep job cuts, as virus fallout ravaged the aviation sector.

Frankfurt was partly helped by news that German auto giant steered back into profit in the same period, after negotiating pandemic fallout.

- Key figures around 1330 GMT -

  • London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 5,576.54 points
  • Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 0.1 percent at 11,545.01
  • Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.6 percent at 4,544.21
  • EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.7 percent at 2,941.53
  • New York - Dow: DOWN 0.2 percent at 26,478.84
  • Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.4 percent at 23,331.94 (close)
  • Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.5 percent at 24,586.60 (close)
  • Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.1 percent at 3,272.73 (close)
  • Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1708 from $1.1746 at 2100 GMT
  • Dollar/yen: UNCHANGED at 104.32 yen
  • Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2933 from $1.2983
  • Euro/pound: UP at 90.51 pence from 90.47 pence
  • West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 5.8 percent at $35.22 per barrel
  • Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 5.6 percent at $36.93.

AFP/APP

BankIslami reports a 45% growth in earnings during 9MCY20

October 29, 2020 (MLN): BanIslami Pakistan Limited has made profits of Rs. 1.55 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2020, i.e. around 55% higher than the earnings of the same period last year.

The earnings per share for the period stood at Rs. 1.4304, which is approx. 45% higher than the EPS recorded in the same period of last year.

The higher earnings resulted from net returns of Rs. 9.9 billion recorded during the period, I,e, around 34% higher than the SPLY. The other income also jumped by 57% on the back of higher fee & commission income, foreign exchange income, and gain on securities.

On the other hand, the bank saw an 18% increase in other expenses, as well as a 54% rise in provisioning cost. Both of these factors restricted the growth of profits.

With the approval of its Board of Directors, the Bank also approved the sale of 8,000,000 shares of BankIslami Modaraba Investments Limited to Mr. Atique Ahmed Khan (one of the promoters/sponsors of the Ghani Global Group) or any nominee.

Consolidated Financial Results for nine months ended September 30, 2020 (Rupees'000)

 

Sep-20

Sep-19

% Change

Profit / return earned

20,510,569

16,074,522

28%

Profit / return expensed

(10,562,930)

(8,656,686)

22%

Net profit / return

9,947,639

7,417,836

34%

OTHER INCOME

  

Fee and commission income

656,732

467,003

41%

Dividend income

7,050

8,972

-21%

Foreign exchange income

303,940

139,592

118%

Income from shariah-compliant derivatives

  

Gain / (loss) on securities - net

241,555

28,253

755%

Other income

85,840

179,598

-52%

Total other income

1,295,117

823,418

57%

Total income

11,242,756

8,241,254

36%

OTHER EXPENSES

  

Operating expenses

(6,250,900)

(5,391,566)

16%

Workers welfare fund

(58,061)

(31,746)

83%

Other charges

(130,354)

(36,316)

259%

Total other expenses

(6,439,315)

(5,459,628)

18%

Profit before provisions

4,803,441

2,781,626

73%

Provisions and write offs - net

(1,891,286)

(1,230,108)

54%

Loss for the period from BIPL Securities Limited - net of tax

(7,821)

 

Share of loss from associate - net tax

(221,451)

11,525

 

PROFIT BEFORE TAXATION

2,690,704

1,555,222

73%

Taxation

(1,140,891)

(556,496)

105%

PROFIT AFTER TAXATION

1,549,813

998,726

55%

Earnings per share

1.4304

0.9875

45%

 

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