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Gold prices edge up on prospects of US fiscal...

January 20, 2020 (MLN): Gold inched higher on Wednesday as the US Dollar remained on the backfoot amid prospects of a hefty fiscal relief package. In the international markets, the gold prices went up by USD 8 and traded at USD 1,853 per ounce while silver was valued at USD 25.43 an ounce.

Gold rates inched higher in the domestic bullion market as the price of 24 karat gold rose by Rs 150 to Rs 113,000 per tola against the price of Rs 112,850 per tola reported in the previous session.

According to the data provided by the All Sindh Saraf Jewellers Association, the price of 10-gram of 24k gold also increased by Rs 130 and was sold for Rs 96,880 at the closing of trade as opposed to Rs 96,750 reported yesterday.

However, silver rates remained unchanged at Rs1,300 per tola. The price of 10 grams of silver also stood the same at Rs1,114.54.

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Petroleum Division responded to the claims made by former...

January 20, 2021 (MLN): The Petroleum Division, Ministry on Energy has responded to the claims being made by the former Minister Mr. Miftah Ismail in his article under the title ‘The LNG Story’, published in a section of the press.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the Petroleum Division provided facts about the claims being made by the former Minister regarding LNG terminals and its procurement. In an article, while comparing the spot price with the term price of LNG, Miftah Ismail stated that a 5-year bid for one cargo was used to set the price for the Qatar contract. Anybody who has familiarity with the financial/ commodity markets knows this is wrong since the two price determinants are volume and term. Therefore, the price of a 60-cargo deal over 5 years should not be used for a 900-cargo deal over 15 years. Despite knowing the fact that the LNG market was going to be flooded with new LNG supplies after 2017-2018, the previous government still chose to enter into a 15-year agreement, the division said.

The division said that the former Minister’s claim about merchant LNG terminals is also incorrect. The truth is that private entrants have been trying to set up a private LNG terminal on a merchant model since 2010. ExxonMobil announced to set up a terminal in Feb 2017 and pulled out of the project in October 2017 because unlike the oil business, a sufficient volume of confirmed gas customers is required to underpin the investment which was not forthcoming.

The Division further went on to say that it is also known fact that the previous government set up LNG terminals at fixed payment (take or pay method) at around $0.53 million per day, thereby taking the entire financial risk. Since the previous government had declared LNG as petrol and the price of LNG remained ring-fenced as a consequence, there are quite a few months when spot LNG was not required at all. Ordering LNG without confirmed demand creates huge financial losses.

Moreover, the article accused the current government of not buying cheaper LNG in the summer. Responding to this accusation, Petroleum Division said that without storage, cheaper LNG could not have been stored. The former Minister must know the fact that the longer lead time for procurement of spot cargo does not guarantee a better price. The cheapest cargo ($2.23/mmbtu) ever procured by Pakistan had 39 days between bid opening and cargo delivery, whereas the most expensive cargo ($10.27/mmbtu) ever procured had 71 days between bid opening and cargo delivery. Although there is never a fair comparison between the spot price and long-term price, Pakistan has procured 52 spot cargoes during 2017 to 2020 at an average slope of 11.9063%, whereas the 15-year G2G slope is 13.37%.

Presenting a narrative that India had already purchased all of its spot cargoes well before the winter season is also entirely misleading, the Division said.

The truth is due to Japan’s spree buying of spot cargoes, many Indian buyers have also faced the same situation as Pakistan, as reported by S&P Global on January 13, 2021. Despite these market conditions, the government managed to meet the requirement of LNG in December 2020 and January 2021 at the lowest prices of any winter period in Pakistan, it added.

 Lastly, contrary to the facts, Dr. Miftah stated that this government produced more electricity on furnace oil instead of LNG,  The Division stated that only 3.6% & 5% of power was generated by RFO in 2020 & 2019 respectively, whereas, the former government produced 28% electricity on RFO in 2017.

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Mere registration of a company doesn’t confirm the right...

January 20, 2021: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has clarified that mere registration of a company with SECP does not authorize acceptance of deposits from general public.

Deposit taking by companies other than banking companies is illegal in terms of section 84 of the Act. Financial services including car financing, leasing, acceptance of deposits, house financing etc. can only be offered by specialized companies holding valid licence and regulatory approvals.

General public is advised in their own interest to be careful, not to deal and invest in illegal schemes offered by such companies.

In this regard, the SECP while exercising its regulatory power to curb the menace of illegal business practices in the country has taken stern actions against “Lasani Oil Traders (Private) Limited” and “New Lassani Chicks & Chicken (Private) Limited”. SECP has promptly initiated legal proceedings for the winding up of these companies in terms of section 301 read with section 304 of the Companies Act, 2017 and disqualification of directors thereof in terms of section 172 of the Act.

SECP has observed that both the companies are using their registration with SECP and FBR to win public confidence and are publicizing unauthorized investment schemes through Facebook groups and posts on social media. In an attempt to block companies’ access to general public, SECP approached PTA to block Facebook/twitter pages, cell phone numbers registered in the name of companies and its directors. The SECP has also made reference of the case to the relevant law enforcement agency.

The SECP has made public a list of 50 companies on its official website, involved in similar un-authorized business activities including illegally collecting deposits from investors by making false promises of exceptionally tantalizing returns.

Press Release

PSX Closing Bell: Harvester of Sorrow

January 20, 2021 (MLN): The KSE-100 index ended the trading session on Wednesday with a 226.29 point or 0.49 percent decline to close at 45,676.94.

The sentiments remained weak owing to the uncertainty regarding the IMF review. While most of the projections provided by the brokerage houses today hinted towards no change in policy rate by the State Bank, investors chose not to inculcate that in their trading activity.

Pessimism prevailed across the board as even a rise in oil prices in international markets, owing to the expectations of a massive stimulus spending by the incoming U.S. administration to boost fuel demand and draw down crude stocks, could not lift the index up.

The Index remained negative throughout the session touching an intraday low of 45,546.15

Of the 93 traded companies in the KSE100 Index 29 closed up 64 closed down, while 0 remained unchanged. Total volume traded for the index was 219.02 million shares.

Sector wise, the index was let down by Oil & Gas Exploration Companies with 64 points, Fertilizer with 49 points, Commercial Banks with 47 points, Cement with 32 points and Technology & Communication with 27 points.

The most points taken off the index was by OGDC which stripped the index of 35 points followed by HUBC with 33 points, ENGRO with 30 points, MCB with 25 points and PPL with 23 points.

Sectors propping up the index were Vanaspati & Allied Industries with 23 points, Miscellaneous with 9 points, Oil & Gas Marketing Companies with 9 points, Chemical with 7 points and Tobacco with 7 points.

The most points added to the index was by HBL which contributed 35 points followed by UNITY with 23 points, MARI with 9 points, SHFA with 9 points and PAKT with 7 points.

All Share Volume decreased by 15.17 Million to 476.62 Million Shares. Market Cap decreased by Rs.24.12 Billion.

Total companies traded were 413 compared to 425 from the previous session. Of the scrips traded 150 closed up, 246 closed down while 17 remained unchanged.

Total trades decreased by 14,723 to 144,683.

Value Traded decreased by 0.80 Billion to Rs.19.13 Billion

CompanyVolume

Top Ten by Volume

Silkbank42,706,000
Unity Foods41,064,248
Hum Network38,635,500
Power Cement28,183,000
TRG Pakistan21,702,000
Lotte Chemical Pakistan21,122,000
K-Electric18,219,000
Pakistan Refinery14,307,000
Fauji Foods11,328,500
Kot Addu Power Company9,563,500

 

SectorVolume

Top Sector by Volume

Technology & Communication89,353,200
Commercial Banks72,867,850
Cement48,343,076
Vanaspati & Allied Industries41,069,148
Power Generation & Distribution36,238,395
Chemical29,940,800
Food & Personal Care Products25,238,040
Refinery21,526,600
Engineering17,707,535
Oil & Gas Marketing Companies13,693,799

 

 

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PKR strengthens by 11 paisa against greenback

January 20, 2021 (MLN): Pakistani rupee (PKR) appreciated by 11 paisa against US Dollar (USD) in today's interbank session as the currency closed the day's trade at PKR 160.5 per USD, against yesterday's closing of PKR 160.61 per USD.

The rupee traded within a very narrow range of 9 paisa per USD showing an intraday high bid of 160.48 and an intraday Low offer of 160.42.

Within the Open Market, PKR was traded at 160.20/160.80 per USD.

Alternatively, the currency lost 1 rupees to the Pound Sterling as the day's closing quote stood at PKR 219.37 per GBP, while the previous session closed at PKR 218.34 per GBP.

Similarly, PKR's value weakened by 17 paisa against EUR which closed at PKR 194.75 at the interbank today.

On another note, within the money market, the overnight repo rate towards close of the session was 7.10/7.20 percent, whereas the 1 week rate was 7.05/7.10 percent.

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