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European shares rise on possible easing of COVID-19 curbs,...

November 24, 2020 (MLN): European shares gained on Tuesday as a possible easing of lockdowns in France added to a brighter mood from encouraging developments related to coronavirus vaccines.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.8% at 0805 GMT, supported by gains in travel stocks and the oil and gas sector after global crude prices hit their highest levels since March.

France reported its lowest daily tally of COVID-19 infections since Sept. 28 on Monday, with investors now focused on a speech by President Emmanuel Macron later in the day when he may announce a relaxation of lockdown rules.

The country's benchmark CAC 40 was up 0.9% in early trade.

Germany's DAX rose 0.9%, with exchange operator Deutsche Boerse revealing that the blue-chip index will expand to 40 from the current 30 companies with tougher membership criteria.

Data showed Germany, Europe's largest economy, grew by a record 8.5% in the third quarter, but the outlook remains clouded by a second wave of virus infections and a partial lockdown to slow the spread of the disease.

In company news, Phoenix Group Holdings fell 0.1% as the London-based insurer said it was assessing a range of strategic options for its European businesses.

Reuters

Avanceon’s subsidiaries receive three contracts worth multi-million dollars

November 24, 2020 (MLN): Avanceon Automation and Control WLL, and Avanceon FZE, both subsidiaries of Avanceon Limited, have received three contracts worth multi-million dollars.

According to the details disclosed by the company, Avanceon FZE, a subsidiary of Avanceon Limited, has been contracted to provide a sophisticated SCADA System for Pumping Stations Pipeline 1 & 2 in Al Qassim Province. The project has a total value at approx. 1M AED and is currently in its initial stages. The scope of work for Avanceon will be to ensure a reliable water solution for more than a hundred thousand of the region’s residents.

The company has also been contracted to provide a comprehensive Building Management System for the Khalifa Port Expansion. The Building Management System to be provided by Avanceon will include CCTV, PAVA and Access Control Systems for the Data Center at Khalifa Port. The total value of the project is approx. 5M AED and is currently underway.

Furthermore, Avanceon Automation and Control WLL, incorporated in the State of Qatar, has been contracted to upgrade the critical Fire & Gas PLC System for two of the main chemical plants. Avanceon will secure operations and assets through a highly intelligent controller (PLCs)to reliably detect alarms and initiate an orderly system control or shut down in case of emergencies. The total value of this project is around 2M QAR.

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Banking sector spread increase by 7 bps in October

November 24, 2020 (MLN): The Banking sector spread for October 2020 have marginally grown by 7 basis points (bps) over the month which brings its latest value to 4.65% as compared to prior month's spread of 4.58%. On the contrary, the spread has compressed by 148 bps as compared to the same period last year.

According to the State Bank of Pakistan's monthly data released on Weighted Average Lending & Deposit Rates, the lending rate for all banks (inclusive of zero markup) grown by 6 bps as it stood at 8.4%. Meanwhile, the deposit rate narrowed down by 3 bps over month, thus bringing the latest rate to 3.74%.

 

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Multinational firms repatriate 24% higher profits during Jul-Oct FY21

November 24, 2020 (MLN): Foreign investors’ confidence on Pakistan’s economy is gradually restoring as multinational companies operating in Pakistan repatriated $678.6 million in profit and dividends on investments in the country during four months of FY21 which was 24% higher than the profits repatriated in the corresponding period of last year.

However, in the month of October alone, repatriation of profits and dividends on investment by the foreign firms decreased 40% MoM and 49% YoY to $23.8 101.9 million, SBP data showed

The data further revealed that during Jul-Oct FY21, foreign companies repatriated $648.2 million worth of profit against the foreign direct investments (FDI) in various businesses compared to $499.3 million in the same period last year. Moreover, profits on equity investments stood at $30.5 million compared to $48.9 million a year earlier, marking a decline of 38% YoY.

Sector-wise:

The data shows that the major sectors that repatriated relatively higher profits include  Food, Communication sector, Financial Business, Transport,  Oil & Gas Exploration sector and Chemical, among which Food Sector repatriated highest profits of $161.4 million during 4MFY21 to overseas, against $44 million in the corresponding period of last fiscal year, showing a  growth of 267% YoY.

The data further revealed that profits outflow from the communication sector increased 19.28x YoY to $118.7 million; against an outflow of $6.2 million in Jul-Oct FY20.

Profit outflows from the Financial Businesses dropped to $91 million from $112 million. Transport sector repatriated $69.3 million in the first four months of FY21, compared with $77.4 million in the same period of FY20.

The Oil & Gas Exploration sector repatriated $55.8 million, which was 43% lower as they had sent $97.8 million during Jul-Oct FY20.

The Chemical sector repatriated 12% lower profits and dividend income during the period under review which amounted to $56.7 million, while in the corresponding period last year, the sector repatriated $64.4million.

Country-wise:

A country-wise break up of data on repatriation of profit/dividend released by SBP, revealed that firms and individual investors belonging to the United Kingdom dispatched the single largest profit of $275.4 million during 4MFY21 compared to $128.5 million in the same period prior year.

United States witnessed the second highest profits repatriation as the country repatriated $109.2 million abroad during the period under review, compared with $107.9 million in the corresponding period previous year.

Third in line is Malta which repatriated $91.7 million from Pakistan during the period, while in the corresponding period last year, the country did not remit any profits or dividend income from Pakistan.

Next followed by Switzerland with profit repatriation of $34.7 million which was 27% lower when compared with last year figures.

Companies from Hong Kong repatriated $28.9 million in 4MFY21 compared to $79 million in Jul-Oct FY20.

Furthermore, Chinese firms repatriated $28.7 million abroad during the period under study, compared with $44.8 million in 4MFY20, depicting a fall of 36% YoY.

 

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APTMA thanks government for approval of a five-year textile...

November 24, 2020 (MLN): Federal government has approved progressive and innovative Textile Policy 2020-25.

Taking to its Twitter handle, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) acknowledged Prime Minister Mr. Imran Khan and congratulated Finance Advisor, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and Advisor for Commerce & Investment, Mr. Abdul Razak Dawood on approval of the 5-year textile policy. The association also thanked the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for its support i.e. TERF, Refinancing Scheme for Wages, etc. during the pandemic.

'Govt has supported Export-led growth through a regionally competitive energy tariff of $6.5 per mmBtu for gas and 7.5 cents d/kwh for electricity over the last 18 months', the association said.

As a consequence, the Textile Sector is operating at full capacity and going through an expansion, up-gradation with new factories being constructed to cater for additional demand. This has created approx. 200,000 and 5 million jobs shall be created if the policy is implemented in letter and spirit, the ATMA said further. 

In its tweet, ATMA said that the textile industry assures the government that implementation of the policy will ensure the doubling of textile exports from $ 13 billion to $ 26 billion in five years.

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