January 27, 2020 (MLN): Mr. Shahid Salim Khan has been appointed as the Managing Director / Chief Executive Officer of the Oil and Gas Development Company, in place of Dr. Naseem Ahmad with effect from January 27, 2020.
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January 27, 2020: A big event was held to celebrate International Customs Day in Customs House, Islamabad which was chaired and addressed by Mr Syed Shabbar Zaidi, Chairman, FBR. Mr Muhammad Javed Ghani, Member (Customs Policy), FBR also addressed the Customs officers and officials.
International Customs Day is celebrated by 183 Customs Administrations of the World on 26th January of every year under the auspices of the World Customs Organization (WCO) that has chosen the theme “Customs fostering sustainability for People, Prosperity, and the Planet” for this year (i.e. 2020). The purpose is to urge upon the customs administrations world over to attach requisite priority to this theme and make practical arrangements to ensure tangible achievements in this regard.
While speaking on the occasion, Chairman FBR said that Pakistan Customs has achieved milestones in ensuring social, economic, and environmental development and safety for the people of Pakistan. He praised Customs for working very professionally and innovatively and engaging the Customs administrations of the leading trade partners of Pakistan for social, economic, and environmental development and protection of Pakistan.
He stated that, in addition to existing automated (WeBOC) system, Customs has initiated a project namely WeBOC-GLO and Pakistan Single Window for updating and modernizing the system keeping in lines with international best practices prevalent around the world for facilitating and securing trade. He stated that, in addition to these initiatives, Customs has implemented the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS), Global Travelers Assessment System (GTAS).
At the end of his speech, while felicitating the officers and officials of Pakistan Customs on this important occasion, he expected them to continue to strive for greater professionalism in line with international best practices and transform the organization into a business-friendly, forward-looking and a partner in the economic development of Pakistan.
He emphasized that customs’ efficiency can be improved best with the alignment of its operations with internationally recognized/recommended practices. He also underscored that customs’ role now is more of facilitation and regulatory.
Member (Customs Policy), in his address to the officers and officials of Pakistan Customs, highlighted the milestones, especially during the last one year, in fostering sustainability for people (who represents society), for prosperity (which represents economic gains), and for the planet (which represent environment in Pakistan and the world).
He referred to the enforcement tools like National Customs Enforcement Network (nCEN) which Pakistan Customs has installed. With nCEN, Pakistan Customs is included in the club of 35 customs administrations in the world who are using nCEN and now Pakistan is the seventh country in the Asia-Pacific region where nCEN is operational.
He further stated that, by streamlining its operations, Pakistan Customs has achieved a milestone in increasing its ranking by thirty-one (31) positions in the ‘Trading across border’ Index. This has also significantly contributed to Pakistan’s improvement in East of Doing Business Index by twenty-eight (28) positions. According to him, Pakistan Customs developed model Customs Mutual Assistance Agreements and MoUs, which included all the required provisions to have cooperation from other/important customs administrations in this arena.
To this effect, Pakistan Customs finalized the draft agreements and MoUs in consultation with all the ministries and departments in Pakistan and have sent the same for finalization (and signing) to the USA, European Union (EU), Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Moreover, significant headway has been made regarding the Green Corridor and other Customs initiatives with China. At the end of his speech, he congratulated the officers and officials of Pakistan Customs and the International community on the occasion of International Customs Day and hoped to work in close coordination with them to achieve the common objective of sustainable future where social, economic, and environmental needs are at the heart of viable actions.
After the speeches, destruction ceremony was held wherein Chairman FBR, Syed Shabbar Zaidi and the Member Customs-Policy, Mr Muhammad Javed Ghani inaugurated destruction of seized contraband goods and items by setting those on fire.
International Customs Day was also attended by a big number of the Customs officers and officials, representatives of the industry/business community, and the media persons.
Jan 27, 2020: Fears over the global economic impact of the deadly China virus sent oil prices plunging more than two percent on Monday to extend last week's sell-off, while safe-haven assets including the yen and gold rallied.
As the death toll from the epidemic jumped to 80 with those affected worldwide approaching 3,000, analysts said there were growing fears the crisis could become as bad as the SARS outbreak that hammered Asian markets in 2003.
The outbreak of the coronavirus has led to lock down the epicentre of the disease while imposing tight travel restrictions on a number of other cities.
The move comes during the Lunar New Year holiday when hundreds of millions of people criss-cross the country and spend billions of dollars.
The government decided late Sunday it would extend the holiday and related school closures beyond the original January 30 end date to "reduce population flows", state media said.
"The biggest threat to the global economy is not just because the disease spreads quickly across countries through networks related to global travel," he said in a note.
He added: "Unlike 2003 where SARS was less impactful on the developed world market, the rest of the world could feel the pinch this time around."
- Flight to safety -
If the new virus has the same impact as SARS, the falls could be worse then projected, Innes said, because consumption is a bigger part of the country's economy and its overall growth trajectory is weaker.
Most regional markets were closed for break but Tokyo was open and fell 1.9 percent by the break. Wellington, Manila and Jakarta also dropped.
Both main oil contracts tumbled more than two percent, having dropped more than six percent last week owing to concerns about the effects on demand in the world's number two economy.
The flight to safety saw the yen rally against the dollar, with the unit now up more than one percent from eight-month lows touched earlier this year.
Gold, another go-to asset in times of turmoil and uncertainty, is heading back towards $1,600 and the six-year peaks touched at the start of January.
While the main focus is on the spread of the virus, traders will also be keeping an eye on the release of earnings this week from top companies including Apple, Facebook and Samsung.
- Key figures around 0230 GMT -
- Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.9 percent at 23,372.06 (break)
- Hong Kong - Hang Seng: Closed for a public holiday
- Shanghai - Composite: Closed for a public holiday
- Brent Crude: DOWN 2.1 percent at $59.41 per barrel
- West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.3 percent at $52.93 per barrel
- Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.93 yen from 109.23 yen at 2150 GMT Friday
- Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1032 from $1.1027
- Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3067 from $1.3077
- Euro/pound: UP at 84.43 pence from 84.32 pence
- New York - DOW: DOWN 0.6 percent at 28,989.73 (close)
- London - FTSE 100: UP 1.0 percent at 7,585.98 (close).
January 26, 2020 (MLN): The KSE-100 index lost nearly 534 points during the week, and closed at 42,633 level, i.e. lower by 1.24 percent in comparison to the previous week's closing of 43,167 points.
According to a research report by Arif Habib Limited, the trading remained dismal over the week on the back of hike in gas prices proposed by OGRA, as well as the decision taken by Government to eliminate GIDC on Fertilizer sector in a quest to reduce prices.
During the week, Fertilizer sector snatched around 180 points from the benchmark index, followed by Commercial Banks and E&P companies as the took away 87 points and 70 points respectively.
Company wise, the scrips of ENGRO (-153), OGDC (-93), EFERT (-80), PAKT (-53) AND HMB (-36) emerged as the losers, while those of FFC (+56), MARI (+48) and COLG (+27) captured the highest gains.
Likewise, the All-Share Market Index declined by $812.4 million, before settling at $51.4 billion.
Foreign investors were the net buyers during the week, with the total purchase of securities being recorded at $4.8 million. Amongst these investors, Foreign Corporates emerged as the largest group of buyers as they purchased securities worth $5.1 million.
On the contrary, local investors were the net sellers, with Individual Investors and Broker Propriety Trading making the largest sale at $19.3 million and $3.05 million respectively.
PKR remained relatively unchanged from the previous week, gaining 0.13 paisa to close at 154.5486.
The dollar moved in a range of 21 paisas during the week touching a high (bid) of 154.75 and a low (ask) of 154.54 while the 10 day volatility witnessed a decline from 0.84 percent last week to 0.62 percent.
In the open market, the dollar was quoted at 154.50/155.20.
Price trend in the secondary market were mixed with 3 and 12 month MTB yields coming down by a fraction while 6 month remained unchanged.
PIB yields increased across the board by up to 10 bps for some tenors as the market consensus built around the SBP holding the policy rate unchanged in its upcoming meeting.
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January 26, 2020 Pak-US Business Council Founder Chairman Iftikhar Ali Malik has welcomed US President Donald Trump’s statement for enhancing trade volume with Pakistan during his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
He expressed these views while talking to a delegation of traders and investors in Islamabad.
He said the perception of Pakistan under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan is improving in the international market as US firms and investors are looking forward for joint ventures and investment in Pakistan.
He said this is good omen for Pakistan that President Donald Trump was “extremely enthusiastic about the potential for increasing and expanding our US-Pakistan trade and investment relationship.
He further said Pakistan needs to chalk out comprehensive strategies to take full advantage of planned visits of 15 US trade delegations expecting to visit Pakistan this current year to explore possibilities for expanding trade with the country.