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IMF Reaches Staff-Level Agreement on the Second Review of...

February 27, 2020: Statement by Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, Mission Chief for Pakistan, on the second review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF):

"Following discussions between International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff and the Pakistani authorities in Islamabad from February 3-13 (see Press Release No 20/51), which continued from the IMF headquarters in recent days, IMF staff and the Pakistani authorities have reached a staff-level agreement on policies and reforms needed to complete the second review of the authorities reform program supported under the EFF. The agreement is subject to approval by the IMF management and consideration by the Executive Board, which is expected in early April. Completion of the review will enable disbursement of SDR 328 million (around US$450 million)."

 

IMF Press Release

PKR’s Real Effective Exchange Rate Index increases by 0.91...

Feb 27, 2020 (MLN): Pak Rupee's Real Effective Exchange Rate Index (REER) increased by 0.91 percent in January 2020 to a provisional value of 96.59 from the revised value of 95.72 in December 2019.

According to data published by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the REER index has decreased by 1.04 percent compared to January 2019.

However, the Nominal Effective Exchange rate Index (NEER) decreased by 0.35 percent in January to a provisional value of 62.79 from the revised value of 63.01 in December. On a yearly basis, the NEER Index has decreased by 9.49 percent.

PKR closed January at 154.4878 against the USD having appreciated by 0.23 percent compared to its value in December 2019. However, Compared to January 2019 PKR has depreciated by by 11.76 percent.

REER is a measure of the value of a currency against a weighted average of several foreign currencies, an increase in REER implies that exports become more expensive and imports become cheaper therefore, this increase indicates a decline in trade competitiveness.

 

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Meezan Bank and Orient Electronics Private Ltd join hands...

February 27, 2020: Meezan Bank, Pakistan’s first and largest Islamic bank and Orient Electronics Private Limited, a leading manufacturer of home appliances have recently joined hands to streamline Transaction Banking Services for Orient Electronics.

Under this agreement, Meezan Bank, through the provision of its state-of-the-art online banking solution, named eBiz+, will enable Orient Electronics to fully automate its dealer collections and business payments. The partnership will create value for Orient Electronics by serving as an end-to-end transaction banking solution delivering efficiency, controls and operational excellence while ensuring world class cyber security standards.

The agreement was signed by Muhammad Abdullah Ahmed – Group Head, Corporate & Institutional Banking, Meezan Bank & Mian Talat Mahmood Fazal, Managing Director, Orient Electronics.  Also present were M. Saqib Ashraf – Head of Transaction Banking, Meezan Bank and Mian Ahmad Fazal, Executive Director, Orient Group.

Mr. Muhammad Abdullah Ahmed, while speaking at the occasion said, “We at Meezan Bank take pride in the confidence demonstrated by Orient in Meezan Bank’s Transaction Banking services and technology. Our eBiz+ Transaction Banking system enables customers to automate their transactions while ensuring operational integrity resulting in business efficiency with utmost security.

Mr. Mian Talat Mahmood also commended the Bank for successfully launching Transaction Banking services and bringing forth operational integrity and efficiency in Orient Electronics’s collections and payment process.

Press Release

China vows easier market access for foreign investors

February 27, 2020: China will provide wider access to its markets and offer greater opportunities for foreign investment, the country's commerce ministry said Thursday.

The country will look to unveil more opening-up policies and measures, Zong Changqing, an official with the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) told a news briefing.

Zong said the ministry would work with relevant departments to accelerate the revision of two negative lists for foreign investment market access in the pilot free trade zones and nationwide, and unveil the lists as soon as possible.

He said China would remain an important part of the global supply chain and industrial chain, and the impact of the novel corona-virus outbreak will only be temporary, noting there was no large-scale supply chain shift-away from the country.

While continuing to contain the epidemic outbreak, the country will increase support for foreign-funded enterprises to help them resume business, especially to industry leaders crucial for the global supply chain, and facilitate production resumption of foreign firms as well as their upstream and downstream firms in the auto and electronics sectors, Zong said.

With the world's largest and full-fledged manufacturing systems, China can provide a complete industrial chain that no other country can provide, and the country's importance to the global supply and industrial chains will remain unchanged, according to Li Xingqian, another MOC official.

Li said the industry chain would be further boosted as the effects of the country's foreign trade-supportive policies gradually filter through.

XINHUA/APP

Commercial Bank’s Reserves Decrease by USD 91.10 Million

Feb 27, 2020 (MLN): Pakistan's Forex Reserves decreased by USD 4.30 Million or 0.02% and the total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at USD 18,742.80 Million on Feb 21, 2020.

According to data published by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) its reserves increased by USD 86.80 Million. However, reserves held by commercial banks declined by a further USD 91.10 million.

Summary of Holding and Weekly Change

Foreign reserves held byFeb 21, 2020Feb 14, 2020Change% Change
State Bank of Pakistan12,591.5012,504.7086.800.69%
Net Foreign Reserves Held by Banks6,151.306,242.40-91.10-1.46%
Total Liquid Foreign Reserves18,742.8018,747.10-4.30-0.02%

Amount in USD Million

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