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UK inflation surges, weakening case for rate cut

Feb 19, 2020: British annual inflation surged to 1.8 percent in January from 1.3 percent one month earlier, official data showed Wednesday, boosting the pound.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate jumped more than expected on higher energy bills, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

Analysts' consensus forecast had been for an increase in the rate to 1.6 percent from a three-year low 1.3 percent in December.

"While CPI inflation rose for the first time in six months, the inflation figures were in line with the Bank of England's expectations, so they are unlikely to move the dial on the outlook for interest rates," said Ruth Gregory, senior UK economist at Capital Economics.

The Bank of England last month voted to keep its main interest rate at 0.75 percent, deciding against a cut despite slashing its estimates for UK economic growth this year and next, as the country tackles tough trade negotiations with the European Union following Brexit.

Wednesday's inflation data "vindicates the Bank of England's decision to keep interest rates on hold in January", said Debapratim De, senior economist at Deloitte.

"Further rises would significantly reduce the chances of a rate cut in the near future."

Nevertheless, January's inflation surge helped push the pound above $1.30.


Surge in value-added exports lifts Textile Exports in 7MFY20

February 19, 2020 (MLN): The overall exports of the textile group, during the month of January 2020 stood at $ 1.19 billion i.e. around 4.59 % higher as compared to the previous month and an increase of 2.25% as compared to the same period last year.

According to the research note by BIPL securities, the meagre YoY increase was attributed to a 3% YoY increase in the value-added exports on the back of an increase of 5% YoY in readymade garments when compared with the same period last year. Also, the non-value added export slightly went up by 1% YoY due to cotton yarn exports, registering an increase of 10.4% YoY.

On a sequential basis, a 4.59% increase in textile exports was accredited to a growth of 20% MoM in non-value added textile exports. Conversely, the value-added part showed a negligible growth of 1% MoM as per BIPL research.

During 7MFY20, the overall exports of textile group witnessed an increase of 3.68% YoY to stand at $8.09 billion against $7.8 billion, as per the latest data issued by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on export receipts by commodities.

The segment-wise analysis revealed that value-added reported growth of 6% while non-value added depicted the decline of 2% on a cumulative basis, the research added.

The report highlighted that cotton production stood at 8.6 bales, down by 20% YoY as opposed to 10.7 bales in the same period last year. The key reasons for the low productivity of cotton crop were heatwave, heavy rainfall and pest attacks.

Going forward, it is expected that textile exports might suffer in the medium term on account of ongoing Coronavirus in China which might hamper Pakistan’s exports with China, the report added.

Copyright Mettis Link News

Hascol’s CEO steps down from his position

February 19, 2020 (MLN): Hascol Petroleum Limited on Wednesday announced that Mr. Saleem Butt has submitted his resignation as CEO of the Company due to personal reasons, which was accepted by the Board subject to ninety days’ notice as per his employment contract commencing from December 20, 2019.

The Board in its meeting held today has shortlisted a candidate for appointment as the Chief Executive Officer in place of Mr. Saleem Butt, who will be appointed once all legal formalities are completed at which point a separate notice will be issued by the company.

Copyright Mettis Link News

Global internet provider VEON’s top official calls on PM

February 19, 2020: Sergi Herrero, Chief Operations Officer of VEON/Jazz, a leading global provider of connectivity and internet services called on Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Wednesday.

Chairman Board of Investment Syed Zubair Gilani and head of Digital Pakistan programme Tania Aidrus were present in the meeting, said a PM Office media statement issued here.

Sergi Herrero thanked the Prime Minister and the government for providing competitive and transparent working environment for the telecom companies.

He informed that Jazz Pakistan has launched "Internet for all" campaign that includes affordable mobile phones with internet connectivity for social media, Jazz Cash and the Prime Minister's Citizens Portal.

The provision of this service will help enable citizens to undertake economic activity at small and medium scale and will promote good governance.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan has great investment potential in communication and energy sector.  

He appreciated the long association of VEON with Pakistan having 9 billion dollars investment and serving 60 million subscribers with multitude of services.

The Prime Minister said his government has launched "Digital Pakistan" initiative with the aim to provide a platform to the Pakistani youth to become independent and drivers of economic growth.

He said under the Digital Policy, the government has aimed to increase the size of Pakistani ICT industry to 20 billion dollars in next few years.


Global Stocks rally on strong jobs data

European stocks rise at open

Feb 19, 2020: European stock markets advanced at the start of trade on Wednesday, with London's benchmark FTSE 100 index up 0.6 percent at 7,423.19 points.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index won 0.4 percent to 13,733.70 points and the Paris CAC 40 also added 0.4 percent to 6,077.75 compared with Tuesday's closing levels.


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