August 9, 2020 (MLN): The highlight of the departed week was the upgrading of Pakistan’s outlook from ‘under review for downgrade’ to ‘stable’, while maintaining a B3 rating by one of the world’s top three credit rating agencies, Moody's Investors Service (“Moody's”).
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, Bloomberg reported that China’s ambassador Yao Jing at a webinar in Islamabad has said Chinese President Xi Jinping is planning to visit Pakistan later this year.
Another development during the departed week was the introduction of ‘Non-Resident Pakistanis Rupee Value Account (NRVA) by SBP in order to facilitate expatriate to open and operate non-resident PKR account through digital means and to invest in shares quoted on the Stock Exchange(s) in Pakistan, residential & commercial real estate, GoP’s debt securities and term/ remunerative deposit products of ADs on repatriable basis.
On the upside, Japan announced to extend the grant assistance worth 318 million Japanese Yen to Pakistan for The Project for Human Resource Development Scholarship for fiscal year 2020.
On the external front, Abdul Razak Dawood Advisor to PM for Commerce and Investment announced on his twitter handle that in line with export product diversification strategy, Exports of Fish and Fish Products in July 2020 have increased by 50% YoY to US$26 million from US$17 million.
Meanwhile, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that the country will see the highest ever growth in the renewable energy. In a tweet, the minister said the Council of Common Interest approved the alternative and renewable energy policy of the government which will unleash the full renewable potential of Pakistan.
On Wednesday, Abdul Razak Dawood announced a temporary resumption of trade with China through Khunjerab Pass considering a longstanding demand of the businessmen, particularly from the Gilgit Baltistan region.
On the downside, Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI) shared the results of its Business Confidence Index (BCI) Survey – Wave 19, which shows that the overall Business Confidence Score (BCS) in Pakistan stands at 50 percent negative, a further drop by 5 percent from the already – 45 percent negative score in Wave 18 Survey conducted in August 2019.
Besides, the government increased profits rates on National Saving Schemes (NSS) in the range of 12 to 36 basis points. The rate of profit on defense savings increased by 34 basis points to 8.44% while the rate on pension, Behbood and Shuada family up by 36 bps to 10.32%.
Asian Development in its recently published report said that Pakistan could lose around 27% of its international remittances in 2020 under the worst-case scenario because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With regards to revenue collection, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) informed that against the assigned revenue target of Rs.243 billion, FBR has collected Rs.300 billion overshooting the target by a staggering Rs.57 billion, which is 125% of the assigned revenue target for the month of July 2020.
On equity front, TRG Pakistan Limited updated that its indirect portfolio company, IBEX Limited started trading on the Nasdaq Global Market on August 7, 2020,
AKD Securities Limited, on behalf of ARY communications Limited and ARY Digital FZ LLC, submitted Public Announcement of Intention (PAI) to acquire more than 51% of the Issued and Paid-up Share Capital of WorldCall Telecom Limited together with management control.
The CEO of Arif Habib Limited, Mr. Shahid Ali Habib informed that the largest private-sector listed Sukuk of Rs. 25 billion for Karachi Electric Company (K-Electric) was overwhelmingly oversubscribed by 2.4x.
On Wednesday via notification to Exchange, Bank Alfalah Limited announced to issue a Medium-Term Note (MTN) Program of upto PKR 50 billion to hedge its fixed-rate assets.
Avanceon informed that it has been selected to provide a comprehensive Building Management solution for the new Business Hub building by DHA Lahore.
The Board of Directors of Ghani Global Glass Limited decided to set up another glass melting furnace for tube in view of an increase in demand for glass tubing, vials & ampoules and to meet forecasted export and local demands for COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition to the above, several companies announced their financial performances last week for the half year ended on June 30th 2020, as per which United Bank Limited (UBL) posted its net profits of Rs 10.72 billion (EPS: Rs 8.94), showing an increase of 17% YoY against net profits of Rs 9.16 billion of the same period last year.
Engro Powergen Qadirpur Limited reported earnings of Rs. 1.3 billion (EPS: Rs. 4.04) i.e. nearly 30% lower than the figures recorded in the same period of last year.
Engro Polymer and Chemicals Limited (EPCL) posted net profits of Rs 222 million, depicting the colossal decrease of 85.59% YoY when compared to net profits of Rs 1.54 billion in the same period last year.
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