April 4, 2021 (MLN): The highlight of the departed week was that the Pakistani Rupee (PKR) led the chart of the world’s best-performing currencies in the first three months of CY21 as it closed on a stronger note with an appreciation of 4.43% against the US Dollars (USD). PKR reached its 22-month high levels by March 31, 2021 at PKR 152.76 against the USD.
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, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) refuted a news item published in a section of the press, claiming imposition of a new tax in the upcoming budget for the fiscal year 2021-22.
Meanwhile, Pakistan and Afghanistan formally signed the protocol on the extension of APTTA for 3 months.
The same day, the federal cabinet deferred an Economic Coordination Committee’s proposal for the import of cotton and sugar from India.
On the upside, Prime Minister Imran Khan commended the efforts of the Federal Board of Revenue for achieving the historic growth of 41 percent revenue collections.
In addition, Pakistan raised Eurobonds worth $2.5 billion in an auction that attracted bids of $5.3bn, suggesting there is interest among international investors for the country’s sovereign instruments given the high interest rates at the offer.
Also, Fintech SadaPay raised seed funding to digitize the banking industry in Pakistan. The new funding comes on the heels of accelerating consumer demand for SadaPay, whose waitlist is now crossing 200,000 registrations.
On Thursday, Moody's Investors Service, (“Moody's”) assigned a foreign currency senior unsecured programme rating of (P)B3 to the Government of Pakistan's global medium-term note programme, as well as B3 ratings to the senior unsecured, US dollar-denominated notes issued under the program with maturities of 5, 10 and 30 years.
Another rating agency, Fitch Ratings assigned Pakistan's (B-/Stable) proposed foreign-currency bonds a 'B-' rating.
On Wednesday, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) received IMF tranche of US$ 498.7 million (equivalent to SDR 350 million) under the Extended Fund Facility.
On the energy front, Pakistan and Denmark formed a Joint Technical Working Group (JTWG) aimed at framing the Terms of Reference (ToRs) for Government-to-Government agreements in the field of energy.
On the downside, Britain said on Friday that it would add Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan, and the Philippines to its travel “red list”, banning entry to people arriving from those countries unless they are British or Irish nationals.
On Monday, the federal government decided to replace Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and appoint Industries Minister Hammad Azhar as the new finance minister. Following this, new Finance Minister Hammad Azhar on Tuesday announced to decrease the petrol price by 1.50 rupee and that of diesel by three rupees.
On the equity front, Avanceon Limited secured a high-value contract to deploy a state-of-the-art up-gradation solution for one of the largest FMCG companies in the world.
Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Limited (FFBL) informed that it has been approached by Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited (FFC) with a non-binding Letter of Intent for the contemplated acquisition of FFBL's shareholding in Foundation Wind Energy – I and Foundation Wind Energy – II (public unlisted companies).
The Searle Company Limited successfully concluded an exclusive licensing & Supply agreement with Livzon Mapharm Inc. for the “recombinant novel Coronavirus vaccine (V-01)”
The Board of Directors of Habib Bank Limited (HBL), approved and authorized equity investment in The First MicroFinance Bank Ltd. (FMFB) of up to Rs.4 billion over the next three years to help FMFB to maintain a stronger capital base and provide sufficient headroom in its Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) for on-going business expansion and growth plans.
The Organic Meat Company Limited (TOMCL) received approvals and has been granted registration by Chinese customs authorities for the export of heat-treated beef meat to the People's Republic of China.
Samba Bank Limited has received intimation that the merger between its majority shareholder company Samba Financial Group (“SFG”) (of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and The National Commercial Bank (“NCB”) (of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), has now been renamed as The Saudi National Bank (“SNB”)
Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) clarified media reports relating to forensic audit of loss-making state-owned entities including SNGPL.
The Board of Directors of Reliance Weaving Mills Limited (REWM), approved to invest an amount of Rs. 3,500 Million in the Spinning Project and Rs. 1,000 Million in the Weaving Project by way of Debt & Equity Financing.
Tri-Star Polyester Limited, in an announcement to PSX, informed that the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan has approved a change in the name of the company to ‘Image Pakistan Limited’.
Byco Petroleum Limited (BYCO)’s Board of Directors considered and approved a change in the Company’s name from Byco Petroleum Limited to ‘Cinergyco PK Limited’.
Providus Capital (Pvt) Limited, a substantial shareholder of Pakgen Power Limited indirectly acquired 2,086,500 shares of the Company at an average rate of Rs.29.7993 per share through its wholly-owned subsidiary Providus Investments (Pvt) Limited.
The Oil & Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL)’s Board of Directors, in a meeting held on March 31, 2021, appointed Mr. Zafar Masud as Chairman Board in terms of Companies Act,2017.
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