July 21, 2019 (MLN): The KSE-100 index lost nearly 1,214 points during the outgoing week and closed at 32,459 points. This massive downturn was an outcome of pessimism created by the hike in Policy Rate.
Nonetheless, the benchmark index made a special appearance into the green-district during the last session of the week, as anticipations regarding activation of Market Opportunity Fund started making rounds.
Meanwhile, the following data releases gave a general view of the country's currenr financial and economical standing:
- The Governor of State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Raza Baqir announced further tightening in Monetary Policy for the next two months, thus bringing it up by 100 basis points (bps) to 13.25%.
- Foreign investment in Pakistan plunged by 94% during FY2019, as the total amount for this period stands at $329 million as compared to $5,680 million in FY2018.
- Pakistan's outstanding debts as of June 30, 2019 stand at a collossal amount of Rs.20.24 trillion whereas total debt at the end of prior month was Rs.19.45 trillion, meaning that around Rs.794.03 billion were additionally borrowed during this month alone.
- Net purchase of securities via SCRA for the week ended July 12, 2019 clocked in at Rs.911.34 million, i.e. around Rs.12.98 million higher than last week's numbers.
- Pakistan's Forex Reserves increased by USD 989.90 Million or 6.94% and the total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at USD 15,249.20 Million on Jul 12, 2019.
- The services sector of the country grew by 4.7 percent during the financial year 2018-19, representing a slowdown when compared to last year.
- Pakistan’s trade deficit reduced by 14% to $32.48 billion in FY19 against previous fiscal year's figure of $37.9 billion.
- Pakistan’s current account deficit (CAD) for fiscal year 2019 largely narrowed down by $6.3 billion to $13.6 billion, while last year’s deficit was recorded at $19.9 billion.
The various economic and policy-oriented developments that took place during the departed week include:
- On Friday, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division (EAD), Mr. Noor Ahmed; Ambassador of France to Pakistan, Mr. Marc Barety, and Country Director of the French Agency for Development (AFD), Mr. Jacky AMPROU signed the Credit Facility Agreement worth Euros 50 million and a grant agreement of Euros 0.2 million for Rehabilitation of Dargai and Chitral Hydropower Projects.
- On Thursday, federal minister for Economic Affairs, Hammad Azhar urged the Asia Development Bank (ADB) to scale up its lending to Pakistan including programme lending and project financing.
- Meanwhile, the Country Representatives of United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Nadia Aftab on Thursday said that 'Agro-Food and Agro-Industry Development Project' in Pakistan worth US$5.2 million would be commenced by the next month (August) which will improve the livelihood of farmers and reduce rural poverty.
- The same day, adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood said that the government would provide Rs 1 billion subsidy on import of fertilizers to facilitate the farmers and promote agriculture sector.
- On Wednesday, the State bank of Pakistan conducted an auction in which it sold market treasury bills (MTB’s) worth Rs.2.32 trillion for 3, 6 and 12 months. The auction target was Rs.600 Billion against a maturing amount of Rs.638.505 Billion.
- Meanwhile, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Wednesday, allowed PIA Corporation Limited to make a re-appropriation in its already approved budget of Rs.24 billion for the upgradation of in-flight entertainment (IFE) system of its fleet of 8 Boeing-777 aircraft. The project will cost Rs.700 million.
- Moreover, ECC decided to impose a ban on export of wheat/wheat flour and asked that a meeting of National Price Monitoring Committee may be convened to suggest measures to control the price hike trend of ‘Roti’ and other wheat products in the local market with the cooperation of the provincial governments.
- In addition to this, ECC endorsed the decision of Governing Council of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) to change the base of price statistics from 2007-08 to 2015-16.
- On Tuesday, the Governor of State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Raza Baqir announced further tightening in Monetary Policy for the next two months and bringing it up by 100 basis points (bps) to 13.25%.
- On Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed setting up of a commission to investigate Reko Diq affair and determine who was responsible for making the country suffer such a loss
- Meanwhile, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Shabbar Zaidi on Monday said the last date for filing tax returns for year 2018 has been extended till 2nd of next month. He urged the people to benefit from this opportunity and file their tax returns timely to avoid difficulties.
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