The departed week remain satisfactory from an economic perspective, as the Chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission Pakistan (SECP), Mr. Farrukh Sabzwari together with the World Bank launched a Corporate Sector Report on corporate governance in Pakistan, according to which, corporate governance in the country has improved noticeably. Pakistan presently stands at the 137th position in ease of doing business scale. It was previously ranked at 147th position.
In addition to this, on Saturday, Finance Minister while addressing the media said that IMF is expected to visit Pakistan next month to hold decisive talks on the bailout package.
On the upside, The Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), one of the world's leading and fastest growing onshore business and financial centers, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) to collaborate on a variety of initiatives including promoting bilateral business development opportunities, facilitating the mutual cross-selling of financial products, facilitating trade and investment between companies in Pakistan and Qatar, as well as exploring the possibility to establish an international financial center in Karachi or another major city in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the largest hosiery producer Interloop Limited successfully raised Rs. 5,025 million through the largest private sector Initial Public Offering (IPO), placing it amongst the top 50 companies listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange by market capitalization.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in a circular issued to all banks and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) on Tuesday announced Islamic financing for low-cost housing in the country.
Meanwhile, On Tuesday, Pakistan received another USD1bn from the United Arab Emirates, said the State Bank of Pakistan. This was second tranche of USD3bn promised by the Emirates.
Furthermore, Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Tuesday announced that effective March 1, 2019 advance tax on buying and selling of shares had been abolished following the approval of the supplementary Finance Bill 2019.
On Tuesday, The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) approved Rs 2 billion Ramazan Relief Package-2019 to provide relief to the low-income groups in the holy month of Ramazan by providing them essential items at a lower price.
On Wednesday, Fitch Solutions in its latest report said that Pakistan’s growth is expected to scale further down to near four percent in the next fiscal year as rise in oil prices and economic imbalances continue to exert pressure on the real GDP but expected IMF-powered reforms would bring the economy back on track and revive investor confidence.
The statistical data released this week apprising the economic standing of the country are listed below:
- Pakistan’s Current Account Deficit fell by 59.22 percent to USD 356 Million in February 2019 compared to January 2019. According to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan, the July-Feb 19 Current Account Deficit fell by 22.56 percent to USD 8,844 Million compared to USD 11,421 Million during the corresponding period from last year
- Overseas Pakistani workers remitted US $14350.53 million in the first eight months (July to February) of FY19, showing a growth of 11.82 % compared with US $12833.64 million received during the same period in the preceding year.
- Government of Pakistan accumulated an additional net loan worth Rs.192 billion during the week ended March 1, 2019 according to weekly data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on monetary aggregates.
- A total of 17,071 passenger car units were sold during the month of February 2019, decreasing by 10.2 percent (YoY) and taking the cumulative eight-month sales to 140,462 units.
- Around 10.7 million bales of cotton arrived at various ginneries all over Pakistan as of March 1, 2019.
- During 8MFY19, non-government sector borrowed net amount of Rs 880.5 billion which is 93% higher than the net borrowed amount of Rs 455.8 billion in same period last year.
- According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on March 1st, consumer prices rose by 8.2% year on year in February, the fastest pace of increase since June 2014.
- Pakistan’s trade deficit during the first eight months of FY19 decreased by 11.03 percent to USD 21.523 Billion compared to USD 24.191 Billion from last year.
- Cutlery exports from Pakistan decreased by 3.08 percent during the first seven months of the current fiscal year as against the exports of the corresponding period of last year.
- Pakistan’s trade deficit in services for the month of January shrunk by 46.5% over prior month apprised Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) in its monthly report on trade, stating the deficit for the month at $196.5 million.
- After marking a winning streak that lasted for six weeks, foreign investors observed a net sale of securities via Specially Convertible Rupee Accounts (SCRA) that was recorded at a worth of Rs.620 million, during the week ended March 8, 2019.
- The output of Large-Scale Manufacturing Industries (LSMI) during the month of January increased by 20.82% as compared to December 2018, whereas it decreased by 4.64% as compared to January 2018.
- Pakistan’s forex reserves increased by USD 9.70 Million as the total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at USD 14,956.9 million on Mar 08, 2019.
- Pakistan’s weekly Sensitive Price Index (SPI) for the combined group registered a growth of 0.19% in the week ended March 15, 2019, whereas compared to last year, the SPI has increased by 12.23%.
- The State Bank of Pakistan recorded a 27.4% month-on-month increases in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during February 2019.
Considering the market’s performance over the last couple of days, it seems that investors are anxiously waiting for positive triggers. However, nothing significant is happening or expected as of now to pave way for optimistic sentiments amongst investors. The KSE-100 index lost around 644 points over the week and closed at 38,306 points against previous week’s closing of 38,950 points.
On the forex side, Pakistani Rupee depreciated by 80 paisa over the week, having closed trade at PKR 139.3 per USD, compared to last week's closing of PKR 138.5 per USD. Meanwhile, the currency's value against GBP depreciated by almost PKR 3.
Similarly, Rupee's depreciation again EUR has been recorded at PKR 2.2.
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