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Special joint teams of FBR to visit major shopping...

August 17, 2019 (MLN): Special joint teams of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will be visiting major shopping areas to check import documents and ensure that the goods being displayed are fulfilling compliance.

This development comes after seeing the impact of smuggled goods on Pakistan’s economy and industrial activity.

However, FBR has ensured that its exercise to investigation does not involve raid on the premises.

The team will be supervised by Member Customs, member IR operations, and will comprise of DG customs and DG Inland Revenue.

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PKR depreciates by 22 paisa over the week

August 17, 2019 (MLN): Pakistani rupee (PKR) appreciated by 29 paisa against US Dollar (USD) in today's interbank session as the currency closed the day's trade at PKR 158.67 per USD, against yesterday's closing of PKR 158.96 per USD.

The rupee traded within a very narrow range of 19 paisa per USD showing an intraday high bid of 158.75 and an intraday Low offer of 158.70.

During the week, the currency has lost 22 paisa against the greenback, as the previous week was concluded at PKR 158.45 per USD.

Within the Open Market, PKR was traded at 158.00/159.50 per USD.

On another note, within the money market, the overnight repo rate towards close of the session was 13.40/13.50 percent.


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Weekly SPI Increases by 0.64 Percent

Aug 17, 2019 (MLN): The Weekly Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI) for the Combined Group increased by 0.64% during the week ended Aug 16, 2019 while the SPI increased by 19.01% compared to the corresponding period from last year.

According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) the Combined Index was at 272.05 compared to 270.31 on Aug 08, 2019 while the index was recorded at 228.6 a year ago, on Aug 16, 2018

Out of the 53 monitored items, the average price of 24 items increased, 6 items decreased whereas 23 items registered no change during the week.

The weekly SPI percentage change by income groups showed that SPI increased across all quantiles ranging between 0.57% and 0.66%.

The Lowest Income Group witnessed a weekly increase of 0.57% while the highest income group recorded an increase of 0.64%.

On an yearly basis, analysis of SPI change across different income segments showed that SPI increased across all quantiles ranging between 15.58% and 21.95%.

Yearly SPI for the Lowest Income Group increased by 15.58% while the highest income group recorded an increase of 21.95%.

The average price of Sona urea stood at Rs.1874 per 50 kg bag which is 0.21% lower than last week’s price and 13.16% higher when compared to last year.

Meanwhile, average Cement price was recorded at Rs.581 per 50 kg bag, which is 0% lower than the previous week and 0.17% higher than prices last year.


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Federal govt appoints Aamir Khan as Chairman, SECP

August 17, 2019: The federal government on Friday issued a notification, appointing Mr. Aamir Khan as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) with immediate effect. The federal cabinet, earlier in its meeting held on August 9, 2019 had approved his appointment as the Chairman.

Khan possesses extensive and diversified experience spreading over 25 years, in the corporate/investment banking and the capital markets. Prior to his elevation, he had been serving the SECP as Commissioner, Company Law Division (Corporate Supervision) and Commissioner Specialized Companies Division.  He also held the charge of Information System and Technology Department.

In his position as Executive Director at the SECP for over six years, he headed key operational departments including the Specialized Companies Department, Securities Market Surveillance Department, Commodities Market Department and International Relations. Mr. Khan also served as Chief Spokesperson of the SECP.

 As a regulator of the corporate sector and capital market, he led key initiatives at the SECP such as launching of Commodity Murabaha at PMEX, Agri related initiatives, bringing Microfinance companies onto SECP's regulatory ambit, finalizing numerous laws and improving the business climate.

 He spearheaded various reforms aimed at digitizing the SECP’s operations, making corporate laws business friendly and supportive of Ease of Doing Business. In addition, he steered important legal and regulatory reforms for the organized development of the corporate sector and capital market.

 Prior to his joining the SECP, he served in various senior roles at Standard Chartered Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, and American Express Bank Ltd. He is a Chevening Scholar, and has an MBA degree as well as MSc in International Banking from UK.

ADB approves $25 million loan to expand women’s access...

August 17, 2019: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $25 million syndicated loan to support the lending operations of Kashf Foundation, one of Pakistan’s leading microfinance service providers, to low-income households and women-led micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

The loan will help expand women’s access to finance in Pakistan and empower them economically.

“There is a need to improve access to finance in Pakistan, particularly for women in low-income communities as well as women-led enterprises. An inclusive financial sector is essential for Pakistan’s sustainable development,” said ADB Investment Specialist Tina Rohner.

“ADB’s partnership with Kashf Foundation will help address this issue and provide much-needed financial products for MSMEs led by women, which have the potential to contribute significantly to the country’s growth and development.”

Access to finance is very limited in Pakistan, with only 21.3% of adults and 7% of women over the age of 15 having a bank account in fiscal year 2017.

This situation is particularly acute for MSMEs and individual borrowers, especially women-run microenterprises, as these entities receive only about 7% of total bank credit to the private sector despite contributing around 40% to gross domestic product. MSMEs account for about 98% of all enterprises in Pakistan, employing more than 80% of the nonagricultural labor force.

ADB’s assistance comprises an A loan (to be funded by ADB) of up to $15 million and a B loan of $10 million that will be funded by commercial cofinancers including international impact investors. The assistance will expand Kashf Foundation’s lending operations and market base, giving more women and women-led MSMEs access to much-needed long-term financing to further develop their livelihoods and incomes.

Apart from microenterprise lending, the project will support Kashf Foundation’s other objectives including narrowing the financing gap in the private education sector and improving the quality of education at schools it supports.

The successful syndication of this transaction has allowed ADB to mobilize valuable investment from international impact investors into Pakistan’s microfinance sector.


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