Weekly News Roundup

July 26, 2020 (MLN): The highlight of the departed week was the latest ‘Debt Report 2020’ by the World Bank in which it highlighted that Pakistan is by far the largest borrower within the group of DSSI eligible countries, with an external debt stock of $73 billion at end 2018.

Apart from this, the other important economic and business events that took place during the last week are in order so as to become acquainted with the recent developments in Pakistan’s economic and public policy.

Events of Importance through the Week:

On Friday, SBP said that given the number of MPC meetings that have taken place in recent months, and actions taken in those meetings, the MPC does not consider it necessary to hold the regular meeting of July 2020. The next regular meeting of the MPC will now be held in September 2020.

The same day SBP announced an increase in the Foreign Exchange Exposure Limit (FEEL) assigned to the Authorized Dealers (ADs) up to 25% of their Paid-up Capital (free of losses), based on their share in FX market volumes, with maximum cap up to PKR 5,000 million.

Meanwhile, the government under its Agricultural Fiscal Package approved Rs 1.5 billion sales tax subsidy on locally manufactured tractors in order to promote mechanization in agriculture sector to enhance per-acre crop output in the country.

On Agriculture front, the government approved Rs6.861 billion under Agriculture Fiscal Package to provide financial relief in terms of markup subsidy on bank loans for the most deserving sub-segment of the farming community.

On Thursday, Pakistan signed loan agreement with World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB), amounting to USD 500 million and USD 250 million respectively.

 In addition to this, Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said it would lend $250 million to Pakistan to help the country deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in its meeting under the Chairmanship of Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, approved subsidy worth Rs 33 billion for Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme, of which Rs 4.77 billion will be spent this year.

Furthermore, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) enhanced the scope of its Refinance Scheme for Renewable Energy by allowing financing under category III of the scheme to solar and wind-based energy sales companies.

Additionally, Federal government on Wednesday removed Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh from National Finance Commission (NFC).

On energy front, Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) made a gas discovery at its exploratory well Hilal-1, drilled in Mari D&P Lease Area, located in Daharki, District Ghotki, Sindh.

On Tuesday, K-Electric launched a Listed Sukuk of up to PKR 25,000 million (inclusive of PKR 5,000 million Green Shoe option). The Sukuk is secured, having a tenor of seven years and has been rated AA+ by VIS credit rating agency.

On the other hand, on equity front, several companies announced their financial results last week as per which Habib Bank Limited (HBL)’s net profits after tax for the half year ended June 30, 2020 increased over three-fold to Rs 15 billion (EPS: Rs 10.32).

Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Limited declared net losses of Rs. 511 million (LPS: Rs. 3.58) for the quarter ended June 30, 2020.

Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) unveiled its the financial performance for the FY19, as per which the net profits of the company deteriorated by 36.38% YoY to Rs 7 billion.

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Posted on: 2020-07-26T19:20:00+05:00