The weekly roundup of Pakistan’s economy

Among various economic and policy-oriented developments that took place during the departed week, the event which caused excitement was the arrival of the Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman scheduled on 17 Feb, where more MoUs will be signed regarding further direct investments of worth US$15 bln in refining, renewable energy, petrochemical and minerals.

In addition to this, the other economic events and developments in public policy that took place during the departed week include the auction conducted by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday in which it sold T-Bills worth Rs.2,178.86 Billion for 3 and 6 months.

Moreover, on Thursday SBP conducted an auction in which the Government of Pakistan (GOP) purchased PKR78.95 worth of GOP Ijara Sukuk for 03 years on deferred Payment Basis (Bai Mujjal).

The Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCoP) on Wednesday sought proposal from the management of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) to sell a hotel of the state-owned airline in the US. Senior officials of PIA apprised the committee regarding the current status and prospects of Roosevelt Hotel New York, which is a foreign property of the airline. The committee said that formal proposal in this regard might be finalized by June.

Furthermore, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) certified the incorporation of Sarmaya-e-Pakistan Limited, the holding company for state owned enterprises, under the Companies Act, 2017.

The government of Pakistan appointed Mr. Arif Usmani as President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Bank of Pakistan and renowned economists Dr Hafeez Pasha and Dr Naveed Hamid as external members of the monetary policy committee (MPC) for the next three years, with immediate effect.

On the upside, Minister for Planning and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar informed that Chinese experts are visiting Pakistan this month in order to promote cooperation in agriculture sector.

On Saturday, the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Islamabad announced reduction of visit visa fees for the nationals of Pakistan who wanted to visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in which single entry visit visa fee had been slashed from 2000 Saudi Riyal ($533) to 338 Saudi Riyal ($90). Whereas, the multiple entry visit visa fee would now be charged 675 Saudi Riyal ($180) which previously cost 3,000 Saudi Riyal ($800).

On the down side, Moody’s Investors Service changed its outlook for the Pakistani banking system to negative from stable as reversal in economic growth is expected to bite the government papers-oriented banks.

The statistical data releases on the current standing of the economy and equity markets apprised that:

  • Pakistan's exports increased by four percent in first seven months of current fiscal year to $13.259 billion as compared to the same period of last year, while imports also decreased from $ 34.264 billion to $32.545 billion during July-January (2018-19).

  • The Bank deposits of scheduled banks have increased by 8.79 percent as it increased from Rs.12,002,239 million in January 2018 to Rs.13,057,570 million in same month of the year 2019.

  • As of January 2019, the internationally residing Pakistanis remitted over $12.77 billion during the first seven months of current fiscal year (FY19).

  • A total of 19,353 passenger car units were sold during the month of January 2019, increasing by 4 percent (YoY) and taking the cumulative seven-month sales up to 123,391 units.

  • Total Trucks sold during the month grew by more than 78 percent MoM at 537 units. However, Truck sales posted a decline of 39 percent YoY from 884 units sold in January last year.

  • Trade deficit during July to January FY19 shrunk by 9.6% to $19.264 billion.

  • Pakistan’s trade deficit in services narrowed down by 29% in the July-Dec FY19 period, as it stands at $1.95 billion while last year during this period, it was $2.7 billion.

  • Pakistan Telecommunications Limited stated consolidated bottom-line earnings of Rs. 5.7 billion for the year ended December 31, 2018, demonstrating an increase of 32% as compared to previous year.

  • Allied Bank Limited’s consolidated profits for the year ended December 31, 2018 clocked in at Rs. 13 billion, higher by merely 0.82% over Rs. 12.9 billion last year.

  • The government has so far released an amount of Rs 2156.118 million for various projects of the Finance Division under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP 2018-19) against the total allocation of Rs12346.359 million earmarked for the current fiscal year.

  • The transport services imports by Pakistan from other countries witnessed decrease of 11.54 percent during the first five months of the current financial year (2018-19) compared to the corresponding period of last year.

  • The total money supply circulating within the economy during December 2018 was over Rs.20 trillion.

  • Cherat Cement Company Limited’s profits for the half year ended December 31, 2018 declined by 23%, mainly on account of reduction in the company’s topline earnings and growth in operating expenses, creating a twofold impact on the financial position of the company.

  • Lotte Chemical Pakistan Limited performed terrifically during the year ending December 31, 2018, as its bottom-line earnings grew from Rs. 412 million last year to Rs. 4.4 billion.

  • Millat Tractors Limited (MTL) has announced its net income for the half year ended December 2018 at Rs.1.8 billion (EPS: Rs.41.11), a fall of over 40% from the net earnings of Rs.3 billion (EPS: Rs.69.10) recorded for the same period last year. 

  • Pakistan’s Forex reserves increased by USD 10.70 Million during the week and the total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at USD 14,895.8 million on Feb 08, 2019.

  • Pakistan’s External Debt and Labilities as of December 31, 2019 increased to $99.1 billion as per the provisional figures released by the State Bank of Pakistan on Friday.

  • Foreign net buying via Specially Convertible Rupee Accounts (SCRA) stands at Rs.1.6 billion, marking the week ended February 8, 2019 as the third consecutive week when overseas investors bent more towards a purchase of securities than sale.

  • As of February 2, 2019, the government sector’s cumulative net borrowing in the seven months of FY19, reached a sum of Rs.734.9 billion while net borrowing for budgetary support in particular touched Rs.861.3 billion.

Within the capital market, the benchmark index started off the week on a dreadful note by losing 560 points, after Moody’s downgraded Pakistani bank’s outlook from stable to negative. Panic continued to haunt investors throughout the week which led to dull trading activity in the last three days. By the end of the week, the index came down by 401 points from previous week’s closing to 40486 points.

Copyright Mettis Link News

Posted on: 2019-02-17T13:32:00+05:00