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Fiscal deficit for 9MFY19 widens to 5%

May 21, 2019 (MLN): Fiscal deficit during July to March FY19 has widened by Rs 442 billion to Rs 1.9 trillion. Fiscal deficit increased to 5% of GDP from 4.3% in the corresponding period of last year.

According to latest data released by the Finance Ministry, during the period under review, defence expenditure amplified by 24% to Rs.774 billion while Debt and interest payments increased by 24% to Rs.1.46 trillion.

However, revenue improved negligibly by 3% to Rs 2.87 trillion, whereas, expenditure increased sharply by 17.7% to Rs 4.80 trillion.

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Closing Bell: one steady step at a time

May 21, 2019 (MLN): The domestic equity markets made it through another day in green territory as the market participants channeled positive sentiments after prolonged losses at the trading floors these past few days.

The benchmark KSE – 100 index gained 191 points in today’s trading session and concluded the day at 33,442 points, which is 0.58% higher than yesterday’s closing value.

Within the index, shares of 93 companies were traded today, 53 out of which recorded an increase in their share prices.

Today’s victory at the floors is mainly attributed to the Oil & Gas Exploration Companies which singularly contributed 149 points to the index.

In particular, gains on the scrips of OGDC (4.38%) and POL (4.96%) drove the index upwards.

A total of 127.6 million shares were traded in today’s session, at PKR 4.9 billion.

On the other hand, the KSE All Share Index gained 145 points in today’s session, thus closing the day at 24,817 points.

Within the broader KSE index, 153.5 million shares were traded at PKR 5.3 billion.

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PKR weakens by 2.3 rupees against greenback

May 21, 2019 (MLN): Pakistani rupee (PKR) depreciated by 2.3 rupees against US Dollar (USD) at today's interbank session as the currency closed the day's trade at PKR 151.92 per USD, against previous session's closing of PKR 149.65 per USD.

Meanwhile, the currency lost 2.1 rupees against Pound Sterling as the day's closing quote stood at PKR 192.82 per GBP, while the previous session closed at PKR 190.71 per GBP.

Similarly, PKR's value weakened by 2.5 rupees against EUR which closed at PKR 169.4 at the interbank today.

Within the Open Market, PKR was traded at 152/153.2 per USD.

This round of depreciation further weighs down Pakistan's external debt burden by Rs.240.61 billion which in dollar terms account for a $105.84 billion. Pakistan now owes external avenues a total of Rs.16.08 trillion.

On another note, within the money market, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) conducted an Open Market Operation in which it mopped up Rs.68.7 billion for 2 days at 12.2 percent.

The overnight repo rate towards close of the session was 10.75/11.25 percent, whereas the 1 week rate was 11.50/12.00 percent.

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Pakistan, Bulgaria agree to enhance trade in ICT, agriculture...

May 21, 2019: Pakistan–Bulgaria Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Tuesday agreed to enhance trade, economic cooperation in Information and communications technology (ICT), agriculture, livestock, tourism, culture, maritime and railways sectors.

The agreement reached here in the 2nd Session of Pakistan–Bulgaria Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC). Secretary, Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed, and Deputy Minister of Economy of Bulgaria Liliya Ivanova,led their respective delegations, a press release said.

Both sides agreed to work together for promotion of bilateral trade and investment. Bulgarian side agreed to facilitate the export of Pakistani citrus fruit, mango, rice, raw cotton, dates, fruits and marble to Bulgaria and other countries of Eastern Europe, while Pakistan would facilitate export of Bulgarian products in Pakistan and third countries.

Both sides also agreed to encourage their businessmen for participation in trade fairs and exhibition and to endeavor for establishment of joint ventures in automotive, engineering and food processing.

On the conclusion of the IGC, an Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income was also signed by the Director General, FBR and Deputy Minister of Economy, Republic of Bulgaria.

Representatives of various Ministries, organizations including Commerce, Information Technology, Railways, Maritime Affairs and National Food Security participated in the session.

Secretary, Economic Affairs Division Noor Ahmed, in his concluding said that both the countries will continue to strengthen economic and trade relations in future for mutual benefit of two countries.

The Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Economy also reciprocated the spirit of friendship, cooperation and assured that Bulgaria will enhance cooperation with Pakistan in the identified areas. 

During her stay in Pakistan, Deputy Minister of Economy of Bulgaria , Liliya Ivanova also hold meeting with the Minister of National Food Security and Research and Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Textile and Investment.


POL import bill up 4pc to $11.8 bln in...

May 21, 2019: The overall imports of petroleum group witnessed 4.01 percent increase during the first ten months of the current fiscal year as compared to the corresponding period of the last year.

During the period under review, the total imports of petroleum group stood at $11.899 billion against imports of $11.440 billion of the year 2017-18, according to latest data issued by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The products that contribute in inflated petroleum import bill included, crude oil, the imports of which surged by 14.32 percent as $ 3810.811 million were spent on purchase of the commodity from international markets in first ten months of the year 2018-19 as compared to spending of $3333.598 million spent during the same period of the previous year.

The import of liquefied natural gas also witnessed a sharp increase of 46.06 percent to US $2721.490 million during the period under review against import of US $1863.286 million in same period of last year.

On the other hand, the petroleum products that witnessed decline in imports during the period under review included petroleum products, which witnessed negative growth of 14.38 percent by falling from $6008.390 last year to $5144.459 million.

The imports of liquefied petroleum gas also decreased by 5.2 percent, from $234.904 million to $222.685 million during the current year.

The imports of all other petroleum group products, however increased by 18.89 percent, from $ 0.180 million last year to US $ 0.214 million.

Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the imports of petroleum products increased 5.72 percent in April 2019 when compared to the imports of the same month of last year.

The petroleum group imports during April 2019 were recorded at $1285.655 million against the imports of $1216.128 million last year.

On month-on-month basis, the petroleum group imports increased by 29.16 percent in April when compared to the imports of $995.427 million in March 2019, the data revealed.

It is pertinent to mention here that the country's merchandize trade deficit plunged by 12.82 percent during the first ten months of the current fiscal year compared to the corresponding period of last year.

The trade deficit contracted by $3.867 billion to $26.302 billion during July-April (2018-19) against the deficit of $30.169 billion recorded during July-April (2017-18).

The exports during the period under review witnessed nominal decrease of 0.12% by falling from $19.191 billion during last year to $19.169 billion during the ongoing fiscal year.

On the other hand, the imports declined by 7.88% to $45.471 billion during the period under review from $49.360 billion last year, the data revealed.


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