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SBP Revises Selected Chapters of the Foreign Exchange Manual

July 20, 2019 (MLN): The State Bank of Pakistan, after considering the market dynamics, business environment and changes in way of doing business, is in the process of revising the Foreign Exchange Manual in consultation with relevant stakeholders in a phased manner.

According to a press release by the SBP, the revision is mainly aimed at simplification of the existing instructions, adoption of best international practices, removal of redundancies, introduction of new foreign exchange regulations and gradual delegation of powers to the Authorized Dealers for facilitation of the stakeholders.

In this respect, seven chapters of the FE Manual have already been revised in November, 2018 and placed at the SBP’s website, while three chapters of the Manual regarding regulations on Non-resident Rupee Accounts, Blocked Accounts & Dealings in Foreign Currency Notes and Coins etc. by the Authorized Dealers stand revised.

The revised chapters of the Manual have been placed at the State Bank’s website for reference of the stakeholders.

 

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PM Imran Khan to emphasize cooperative ties in talks...

July 20: Prime Minister Imran Khan will arrive here Saturday for high-stake parleys with President Donald Trump on advancing Pakistan-US relations in the backdrop of improving climate of trust between the two countries.

In what would be a Pakistani leader’s first visit to Washington in more than five years, the prime minister will also interact with top American lawmakers including Speaker of the House of Representatives and members of Senate Foreign Relations Committee to develop understanding on some key regional and bilateral issues.

The visit is significant from many angles as Islamabad hopes to build on Washington’s

acknowledgment of its key role in facilitating the Afghan peace negotiations. Pakistan now aims to bring bilateral cooperation to the center stage.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistan would make a pitch for moving the ties away from 18-year long Afghan war to a place where the two sides focus on augmenting cooperation in wide-ranging mutually beneficial areas.

“We want a reset in the relationship,” he explained to members of the media on Friday, while noting that the equation has moved from coercion to cooperation and from isolation to invitation.

A White House statement last week also said the July 22 talks between the two leaders will seek to consolidate bilateral cooperation between the countries.

“President Trump and Prime Minister Khan will discuss a range of issues, including counter terrorism, defense, energy, and trade, with the goal of creating the conditions for a peaceful South Asia and an enduring partnership between our two countries,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s being part of the Afghan solution has been recognized internationally as it has not only brought the Afghan Taliban to negotiating table with the U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad but also joined calls for end to violence in Afghanistan.

As for the Afghan peace goal, the Trump Administration is looking to have some sort of Afghan agreement by September.

According to experts, a political settlement of the Afghan war – the longest running U.S. war in history – will be a big success for Trump who faces reelection in 2020.

The relationship between the countries saw many ups and downs since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in the aftermath of 9/11 terrorist attacks and nosedived in the first year of President Trump with suspension of aid for Pakistan.

But Islamabad says it now seeks trade and economic ties and is not looking for aid.

While Pakistan and U.S. both have an interdependent relationship, Qureshi said Islamabad was proceeding with a realistic and pragmatic approach to bolstering ties and did not want to raise unrealistic expectations as done in the past.

A key feature of Prime Minister’s engagements will be to invite American entrepreneurs to make use of investment opportunities in Pakistan. He will speak to members of US Pakistan Business Council as well as encourage Pakistani-Americans to engage in business in Pakistan, where his government is reforming various sectors of the economy to make doing business easy.

The prime minister, who is popular among expatriate communities, will address a large gathering of Pakistani-Americans in Washington D.C. in a rare public event by a Pakistani leader.

In the regional perspective, PM Khan is expected to highlight his government’s commitment to pursuing a peaceful neighborhood including support for Afghan peace quest and the imperatives of better Pakistan-India relations, which saw a dangerous escalation this year in the disputed Kashmir territory.

But it would be Prime Minister Khan’s meeting with President Trump, who has invited him after praising Pakistan’s cooperation, that would receive major attention. Trump, who personally sought Imran Khan’s support on Afghan peace search, recently said the U.S. relations with the South Asian country are far better than what they were a year ago.

The two leaders had publicly exchanged differences through Twitter messages at the start of 2018 but by the end of the 2018 Islamabad and Washington started a positive diplomatic engagement on making Afghan peace process possible.

The Foreign Minister highlighted the two countries’ convergence of views on a political solution to the Afghan conflict.

Pakistan has also recently taken concrete counter terrorism steps, and compliance with FATF requirements to choke terrorist funding.

Pakistan’s Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa will accompany the prime minister to the White House talks in an unprecedented move. According to foreign minister Qureshi, it shows the Pakistani political and military leaders are one on national issues.

Imran Khan will also have separate meetings with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and IMF and World Bank top leaders.

The army chief and ISI chief will also have interactions with their American counterparts.

Pakistan says it will welcome American investment in the CPEC projects.

The U.S., for its part, used its influence to de-escalate Pakistan-Indian tensions in the wake of Pulwama attacks and American leaders would like to discuss possible ways toward achieving durable peace in the region.

President Trump’s invitation to Imran Khan for White House talks and Pakistan’s counter terrorism moves are being seen as confidence-building steps that may pave the way for expanded cooperation in areas of mutual interest.

APP

FBR Chairman blames hundi / hawala system for damage...

July 19, 2019 (MLN): Chairman of Federal Board of Revenue, Shabbar Zaidi has said that several companies in Pakistan are earning profits up to 25%.

Addressing a seminar in Islamabad on Friday, he said that industries have been closed down due to promotion of imports in the country.

He even expressed displeasure at the fact that Pakistan was importing shoes due to closing down of industries.

Moreover, he blamed the ‘hundi’ and ‘hawala’ system for the damage inflicted upon Pakistan’s economy.

He then went on to endorse Budget 2020, saying that the entire taxation system will be changed through it. Elaborating further, he said the government will charge more tax on income instead of goods and services.

Throwing praises at the very controversial CNIC condition, he said it has encouraged purchasing of over 50,000 rupees. He further backed it by saying that Prime Minister Imran Khan wants the CNIC condition to remain in force.

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Gold price soars by Rs 700 per tola

Jul 19, 2019: The per tola price of 24 karat gold soared by Rs 700 on Friday and was traded at Rs 84,100 as compared to the last closing at Rs 83,400, according to Karachi Sarafa Association.

The price of 10 gram gold also witnessed increase of Rs 600 and was traded at Rs 72,085 against Rs 71,485.

The price of silver remained constant and was traded at Rs 920 per tola and that of 10 gram gold at Rs 788.57.

In international market the price of per ounce gold increased by $ 16 and was traded at $ 1438 as compared to the last closing at $ 1422.

APP

Closing Bell: Clouds of pessimism take a break

Jul 19, 2019 (MNL): The KSE-100 index made a special appearance into the green-district during second session of the day, as anticipations regarding activation of Market Opportunity Fund from next week started making rounds.

Not only it bounced back from the losses made in the first session, but also gained 149 points and closed the week at 32,458-mark.

The Index traded in a range of 648.04 points or 2.01 percent of previous close, showing an intraday high of 32,549.31 and a low of 31,901.27.

Of the 89 traded companies in the KSE100 Index 45 closed up 38 closed down, while 6 remained unchanged. Total volume traded for the index was 106.39 million shares.

Sectors propping up the index were Oil & Gas Exploration Companies with 66 points, Fertilizer with 58 points, Oil & Gas Marketing Companies with 43 points, Cement with 26 points and Chemical with 9 points.

The most points added to the index was by ENGRO which contributed 39 points followed by OGDC with 33 points, PPL with 31 points, LUCK with 24 points and FFC with 23 points.

Sector wise, the index was let down by Commercial Banks with 33 points, Power Generation & Distribution with 14 points, Food & Personal Care Products with 13 points, Inv. Banks / Inv. Cos. / Securities Cos. with 8 points and Cable & Electrical Goods with 3 points.

The most points taken off the index was by UBL which stripped the index of 32 points followed by HUBC with 21 points, NESTLE with 17 points, DAWH with 10 points and BAHL with 8 points.

All Share Volume increased by 34.14 Million to 121.56 Million Shares. Market Cap increased by Rs.13.46 Billion.

Total companies traded were 316 compared to 320 from the previous session. Of the scrips traded 155 closed up, 129 closed down while 32 remained unchanged.

Total trades increased by 14,469 to 45,975.

Value Traded increased by 0.62 Billion to Rs.4.38 Billion

CompanyVolume

Top Ten by Volume

Maple Leaf Cement Factory14,413,500
TRG Pakistan12,180,500
K-Electric11,088,000
Pak Elektron7,624,000
The Bank of Punjab7,300,000
Lotte Chemical Pakistan4,521,500
D.G. Khan Cement Company4,513,000
International Steels4,119,000
Unity Foods3,740,500
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines3,470,500

 

SectorVolume

Top Sector by Volume

Cement26,928,100
Technology & Communication14,537,500
Power Generation & Distribution12,302,500
Commercial Banks11,864,600
Chemical8,346,470
Engineering8,159,300
Cable & Electrical Goods7,692,100
Oil & Gas Marketing Companies6,516,700
Textile Composite5,300,300
Vanaspati & Allied Industries3,740,500

 

 

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