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Bank branches dealing in FX will remain open on...

May 6, 2021 (MLN): The State Bank of Pakistan has decided that Banks will open 50% of their total authorized branches dealing in foreign exchange and trade activities on Monday i.e. May 10, 2020, while the remaining 50% of such branches will open on Tuesday i.e. May 11, 2020, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm (without break).

As per the circular issued by SBP, the decision has been taken to ensure the availability of banking services to trade & industry in particular and public in general during the extended holidays before the forthcoming Eid-ul-Fitr.

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Export industries and limited banking operations will remain open...

May 6, 2021 (MLN): Export industries and their suppliers (indirect exporters) will remain open on May 10, May 11 and May 12 2021, while limited banking operations will also be open to facilitate exporters, said Razzak Dawood, Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment on Thursday.

Taking to Twitter handle, Razaq Dawood stated that the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has been approached by the business community for clarification regarding business operations during the EID Holidays. 

“It is clarified that Export Industries and their suppliers (indirect exporters) will remain open on 10, 11 & 12th May 2021,” he said. 

He further added that limited banking operations will be open to facilitate exporters on 10 and 11th May from 9 am-2 pm across Pakistan.  Ports and Customs will also be operational during the break period.

Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) is already facilitating this exercise.  Exporters and their suppliers (indirect exporters) are requested to bring any difficulties faced by them to the attention of the Provincial Government, MOC, or TDAP, he said.

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Gold rates moved up by Rs300 per tola to...

May 6, 2021 (MLN): The price of 24 karat gold surged by Rs300 to Rs104,400 per tola. Likewise, the price of 10-gram gold also witnessed an increase of Rs257 to settle at Rs89,506 against the previous close of Rs89,249 per gram.

According to the data provided by the All Sindh Saraf Jewellers Association, the price of 24-karat silver remained flat at Rs1,360 per tola. Similarly, the price of 10-gram silver was recorded at Rs1,183.12 per gram.

The gold prices in the international market witnessed an increase of $3 and traded at $1,795 while silver was valued at $26.80 the association reported.

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Auto Sales Preview: Return to a robust growth path

May 06, 2021 (MLN): Auto sector is likely to continue strong growth sales in the month of April 2021. Auto dispatches (passenger cars and light commercial vehicles) will bounce back from the worst April 2020 on record- during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown- to cross 16k units in April 2021.

While country’s auto sector sales are expected to clock in at 146k units during 10MFY21.  

To note, the unique scenario of zero sales was reported in the same month last year owing to pandemic-induced lockdown, Senior Analyst, Ahmed Lakhani at JS Global Capital said.

With many people making the abrupt shift last year to work from home, facing financial and economic uncertainty and driving far less for leisure activities, the sector hit hard by the abrupt halt in operations due to pandemic.

The strong traction in light commercial vehicle (LCVs) and passenger cars (PCs) sales is likely to continue owing to sustained improvement in economic activity. The consumer sentiments in the PV segment remain strong on the back of preference for personal mobility while pickup in the economy has helped improved LCVs dispatches.

Company-wise, Pak Suzuki Motor Company (PSMC) is likely to top the monthly volumetric sales chart.

The company is expected to have sold 8.6k units of PCs and LCVs in April 2021, with nearly half of the total volumes contributed by the Suzuki Alto 660cc. Moreover, strong support is expected from Wagon-R and Cultus brands, he said.

While Indus Motor Company (INDU) is likely to secure the second spot on a monthly chart. The report said that the company is anticipated to have sold 5.4k units in Apr-2021 on the back of sustained demand for the Toyota Yaris, coupled with higher expected volumes for its higher-end brands amid improved demand due to favourable agriculture sector dynamics, and international travel restrictions leading to consumers employing their savings elsewhere, such as in-car purchases.

According to the JS Global Analyst, Honda Atlas Cars (HCAR) is expected to have sold 2.3k units during the month as competition from Yaris and new entrants and anticipation of a new generation City launch might result in customers holding off purchases for the time being.

Beyond April, Ahmed Lakhani expects auto volumes to retain their buoyancy given cheap car financing, higher agricultural incomes and new model launches. On the other hand, with the new competition in the frame, market shares of the Big 3 will undoubtedly face some attrition, particularly considering that yet more introductions are expected by the new entrants before June 30, 2021, he cited.

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Pakistan’s fiscal deficit shrank by 2% YoY in 9MFY21

May 6, 2021 (MLN): Pakistan’s overall fiscal deficit in 9MFY21 stood at 3.6% of GDP (Rs1,652 billion) against 3.8% of GDP (Rs1,686bn) in the comparable period of last year, showing a decline of Rs34bn or 2% YoY.

Data issued by the Ministry of Finance on fiscal operations for July-March FY21 showed that the government managed to record a surplus in primary balance at 1% of GDP (Rs425bn) which is higher than agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

As per the data, the government plugged this deficit through domestic borrowing of Rs1,099bn (66%), while external borrowing to finance the deficit amounted to Rs562bn (34%). Compared to the same period last year, the government domestic and external borrowings to aid the budget deficit were stood at Rs1,004bn and Rs682.36bn respectively.

In 3QFY21, the overall budget deficit has shrunk notably by 26% YoY, due to 13% YoY increase in Total Revenues, while Total Expenditures largely remained unchanged. Moreover, 79% of the deficit during the quarter mentioned above was financed through Internal Financing as opposed to 60% in 1HFY21.

Government data showed all four provinces recorded a budget surplus, clocking in a cumulative surplus of Rs413bn during 9MFY21 compared to a cumulative surplus of Rs343.54bn in the corresponding period a year ago, up by 21% YoY. Individually, Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, and KPK provinces recorded a budgetary surplus of Rs244.32bn, Rs67.445bn, Rs34.53bn, and Rs65.9bn as opposed to Rs89323bn, Rs74.95n, Rs115.9bn, and Rs63.35bn respectively.

Revenues and Expenditures

As the fiscal deficit is the difference between the expenditures and revenues of the government. During 9MFY21, total revenues and expenditures of the government as a percentage of GDP stood at 11% and 14.6% respectively, compared to 10.7% and 14.5% recorded in the same period last year. while in absolute terms, the total revenues amounted to Rs4,992bn and the expenditures to Rs6,645bn.

Tax Revenues stood at Rs3.765bn during July-Mar FY21. Of this, about Rs3,395bn came from federal revenues and Rs370.117bn came from provincial. Moreover, within the tax revenues, Direct Taxes and Sales Tax (Federal) have increased by 9% YoY and 14% YoY, respectively.

Non-Tax Revenues increased by 12% YoY to Rs1,227bn attributed to a significant increase in Petroleum Levy which is now classified as Non-Tax Revenue by 86% YoY to Rs369bn. On the flip side, the Surplus profit from SBP dropped by 22% YoY to Rs498bn.

On the expenditure front, Current Expenditures have increased by 8% YoY during 9MFY21, where Mark-up Payments were up 12% YoY even though interest rates have sharply come down. This is largely owing to the realization of coupon payments on PIBs sold during 1QFY20 and higher borrowing, a report by Topline Securities cited.

Government Expenditures (Current minus Markup and Defense) increased by 9% YoY during 9MFY21, however, Defense Expenditures have come down by 2% YoY. Development Expenditures & Net Lending also remained contained at Rs723bn, down 7% YoY.

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