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ECC fixes Rs.1712 for imported urea price per bag

December 17, 2018: Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet in its meeting in Islamabad on Monday approved price of imported urea Rs.1712 per bag.

 Finance Minister Asad Umar in the chair.

The Committee decided to determine the price of imported urea.

Foreign investment drops by 54 percent from July to...

December 17, 2018 (MLN): Overall foreign investment amounted to $551 million from July to November, demonstrating a fall of 54 percent

On the other hand, foreign direct investment dropped by 35.2% to $881 million during the same period.

Outflow from stock market amounted to $330 million.

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Capital markets remain under pressure, KSE – 100 sheds...

December 17, 2018 (MLN): Due to lack of triggers in capital markets, KSE - 100 index remained within the red region in today’s trade, closing the session 276 points below yesterday’s closing value. The trading floors witnessed pessimism amongst investors, as the benchmark index recoiled to a closing of 38,309 points.

Moving within the range of 382 points, the index touched an intraday high of 38,585 points and an intraday low of 38,203 points.

Companies listed within KSE – 100 index witnessed a trade of 46 million shares through the day, at PKR 2.2 billion.

Of all the companies whose shares were traded, the share price of 29 companies soared while 56 companies experienced a decline.

The sectors that led the benchmark index into losses today comprise Commercial Banks and Oil & Gas Exploration Companies, as the two collectively took away over 160 points from the index.

In particular, losses on the scrips of HBL (-3.33%) weighed down KSE – 100 index the most heavily.

On the other hand, the broader KSE All Share Index shed 144 points today, concluding the day’s trade at 28,182 points.

Maximum volume of shares traded today amounted to 66.8 million, at a value of PKR 2.8 billion.

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Limited FDI and external account imbalances exert pressure on...

December 17, 2018 (MLN): PKR has depreciated by 12.5 percent against USD in the current fiscal year i.e. FY19, as compared to depreciation of 13.7 percent during FY18. As on December 07, 2018, PKR-US$ exchange rate closed at PKR 138.89 per US$ compared to PKR 121.50 per US$ as on June 30, 2018.

According to a report by Ministry of Finance, this depreciation of PKR against US dollar reflects the demand-supply gap in the foreign exchange market resulting from large current account deficit.

The main issue is the strong domestic demand, which is clearly visible from the twin deficits (fiscal and external current accounts) over the last two years, especially in FY2017-18. External account posted deficit due to high volume of imports. Beside other factors, increase in international oil prices contributed towards increase in import bill. The country’s exports are less than half of the total imports. Remittances, another source of financing for imports, grew slowly while the income and services account registered excess payments over inflows. Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows have remained limited.

Due to limited private financial flows, the current account deficit is largely financed through government’s multilateral or bilateral loans (which result in debt accumulation) or by using the country’s foreign exchange reserves. The falling reserves along with external account imbalances are exerting pressure on Pak Rupee.

It may be noted that regional currencies have also witnessed depreciating trend against US dollar. This depreciation in regional currencies had an adverse effect on Pakistan’s export competitiveness. The recent depreciation in PKR exchange rate would not only help contain external current account deficit, but also maintain the country’s export competitiveness.

With healthy global demand, improving domestic supply conditions, and continuation of GSP plus status by EU, the recent PKR depreciation would support exports to continue its current upward momentum. This, along with projected deceleration in import growth translates into lesser pressure on countries foreign exchange position in the coming period.

The recent PBS trade data indicate the imports marginally declined by 0.1 percent in JULY to October FY2018-19 as compared to 21.7 percent growth during the same period last year.

Regarding the impact on prices, it is to be noted that the CPI inflation has remained low in recent years. Specifically, CPI inflation was well below its annual target for the fourth consecutive year in FY2017-18. Average CPI inflation stood at 3.9 percent in FY17-18 lower than 4.2 percent during FY16-17. However, inflationary pressures stated to emerge in 2018-19 and average CPI inflation is 5.9 percent during July-October FY18.19. Furthermore, tightening of monetary policy as evident from 275 bps increase in the policy rate during January to September 2018 would help contain inflationary impact of the recent PKR depreciation.

EPCL replaces Company Secretary

December 17, 2018 (MLN): Engro Polymer and Chemicals Limited (EPCL) has appointed Ms. Mehreen Ibrahim Khan as Company Secretary, in place of Mr. Hussain Hasanali, with effect from December 17, 2018.

The announcement was made in an official press release issued to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), today.

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