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ECC to give approval for tax waiver on sugar...

January 12, 2021 (MLN): A meeting of the cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) is likely to give approval for the waiver of taxes on imports of sugar that will be held on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.

To be presided over by Federal Minister for Finance & Revenue, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, the ECC meeting will have 14 items agenda from different ministries.

The meeting would take up the proposal of the Interior Ministry for approval of the Technical Supplementary Grant amounting to Rs 10 million within the sanctioned budget for the purchase of spare parts for Helicopter Maintenance by HQs Frontier Corps Baluchistan (North), Quetta during CFY2020-21.

The ECC would also consider expenditure for payment to Hired Solicitor for pursuing cases in the UK.

Meanwhile, the committee would also deliberate on the Planning, Development & Special Initiatives’ proposal of Technical Supplementary Grant amounting to Rs 16.63 billion. Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony has also forwarded its proposal for scaling up of Road to Makkah Project.

Furthermore, the ECC would discuss Textiles and Apparel Policy 2020-25 as well as the National Freight and Logistics Policy (NFLP). The summaries related to both policies were deferred in the last meeting for a comprehensive consultation with stakeholders.

The committee would also take up a proposal moved by Industries and Production for the transfer of allocation of funds to the PSDP project titled ‘1000 industrial Stitching Units’ through Technical Supplementary Grant (TSG).

The Ministry of Industries & Production has also proposed for the transfer of allocation of funds to another PSDP project titled ‘Establishment of 132KV Grid Station at Bin Qasim Industrial Park (BQIP) modified PC-I’ through TSG.

The committee would also discuss the report to the ECC of the cabinet in compliance with ECC’s decision dated 21-10-2020.

The summary moved by the Ministry of Finance on the Draft Policy on Equity Investment Abroad by Residents will also be discussed during the meeting. In addition, ECC would take up a summary of the Aviation Ministry with regards to financial charges of Roosevelt Hotel, New York.

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China, Hongkong and Netherlands emerge as top three investors...

January 19, 2020 (MLN): China emerged as the largest direct foreign investor in Pakistan during December 2020, with a net direct investment of $53.7 million, followed by Hongkong and United States who invested $30.9 million and $27.7 million net respectively, according to SBP data issued.

However, the country witnessed a negative FDI of $16 million net in the previous month as China and Norway withdrew $78.4 million and $55.8 million from the country respectively.

Cumulatively, during July-December FY21 the country attracted $952.6 million of net FDI, with China, Hongkong, and Netherlands appeared as the top three investors in Pakistan with net FDI of $358.9 million, $86.3 million, and $72.3 million respectively.

The FDI from China was 9% lower in July- December FY21, compared to the net inflows of $395.8 million in the same period of FY20. While the inflows from Hongkong were almost the same when compared to the inflows during Jul-Dec FY20. The inflows from the Netherlands jumped by 61% YoY compared to the net FDI of $45 million recorded during 6MFY20.

On the other hand, investors from Norway showed the largest disinvestment of $44 million during 6MFY21, however, during the corresponding period last year, the country invested $288.5 million as FDI.

Other important investors were the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), and Malta with a net FDI of $64.8 million, $63 million, and $55.9 million respectively. The Inflows from the US and UK surged by 47% and 8% YoY respectively when compared to Jul-Dec FY20 while the inflows from Malta recorded a decline of 50% YoY in 1HFY21.

Moreover, Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI), which represents an investment in the equity market has shown a negative picture, as net FPI outflows during the period under review stood at $438 million compared to the inflows of $471 million recorded in the same period last year. The UK emerged as the biggest withdrawal of portfolio investment during the period, as it withdrew $183.6 million during 6MFY21, followed by the US with $126.3 million.

Meanwhile, UAE appeared as the largest contributor in portfolio investment with $101.7 million.

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Hi-Tech Lubricants enters into agreement to sell and supply...

January 19, 2021 (MLN): Hi-Tech Lubricants Ltd. (HTL) and Hyundai Nishat Motor (Pvt.) Ltd. (HNMPL) through its After-Sales Department have entered into an agreement on January 18, 2021, for the Sale, Supply & Branding of ZIC Brand Lubricants to all the Authorized / Designated Dealers of HNMPL.

The aforementioned information was announced by HTL via Pakistan Stock Exchange.

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Pakistan witnesses Foreign Direct Investment of $193.6 million in...

January 19, 2021 (MLN): Pakistan welcomed Foreign Direct Investments of $193.6 million during the month of December 2020, after witnessing divestment of $16 million in November 2020.

According to the data compiled by the State Bank of Pakistan, FDI fell by 29.8% YoY to $952.6 million during 1HFY21, i.e. July to December, as compared to FDI of $1.35 billion reported in the corresponding period last year.

During the month of December, the Foreign Private Investment into the country amounted to $134.8 million, out of which, $193.6 million was attributed to Direct Investments, whereas disinvestment of $58.9 million was attributed to Equity Securities i.e. a part of Portfolio Investments.

Within the Direct Investments, there was an inflow of $246.7 million and an outflow of $53.1 million during the month.  

Under the Foreign Public Investment, $67.7 million worth of investment witnessed in debt securities during December 2020, showing a more than three-fold increase against the net inflows of $19.6 million in November 2020.

All in all, the Foreign Investments in Pakistan during the month amounted to $202.4 million, when compared to net outflows of $36.2 million recorded in November 2020.

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Brent crude edges up as optimism over economy trumps...

January 19, 2021: Brent crude futures edged up on Tuesday as optimism that government stimulus will buoy global economic growth and oil demand trumped concerns that renewed COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns globally could cool fuel consumption.

Brent crude futures for March rose 17 cents, or 0.3%, to $54.92 a barrel by 0150 GMT after slipping 35 cents in the previous session.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $52.25 a barrel, down 11 cents, or 0.2%. There was no settlement on Monday as U.S. markets were closed for a public holiday. Front-month February WTI futures expire on Wednesday.

Investors are upbeat about demand in China, the world's top crude oil importer, after data released on Monday showed its refinery output rose 3% to a new record in 2020. China was also the only major economy in the world to avoid a contraction last year as many nations struggled to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Yesterday's data out of China was positive for oil prices," Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney said.

Investors are watching out for U.S. President-elect Biden's inauguration speech on Wednesday for details on the country's $1.9 trillion aid package.

Oil prices have also been supported by Saudi Arabia's additional supply cuts in the next two months which are expected to draw down global inventories by 1.1 million barrels per day in the first quarter, ANZ analysts said.

Concerns about rising COVID-19 cases globally and renewed lockdowns weighing down fuel demand kept a lid on oil prices.

ANZ analysts flagged concerns about falling fuel sales in India in January from December and rising COVID-19 cases in China and Japan that could dampen oil demand.

"In Europe and the U.S., the slow rollout of vaccines is also raising concerns that a rebound in demand will remain elusive," the bank said.


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