Pakistan Economy

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  • جو شخص بہانہ بنانے میں بہت اچھا ہو ، وہ کسی اور کام میں اچھا نہیں ہو سکتا
  • پیسہ بدترین آقا ہے، مگر بہترین غلام بھی ہے
  • کسی فرد یا قوم کو برباد کرنا ہے تو اس کی امید کو مار ڈالیے اور اگر اسے تعمیر کرنا ہے اس کی امید کا دیا روشن کیجئے
  • کامیابی سوچ سے ملتی ہے
  • زندگی کی دوڑ میں دوسروں سے آگے نکلنے کیلئے تیز چلنا ضروری نہیں، بلکہ ہر رکاوٹ کے باوجود چلتے رہنا اور مسلسل چلتے رہنا ضروری ہے
  • جب باتیں آمنے سامنے ہوتی ہیں تو جھوٹ اور غلط فہممی کا خاتمہ ہو جاتا ھے
  • بہت اونچے پہاڑ پر چڑھنے کے لئیے قدم آہستہ آہستہ اٹھانا پڑتے ہیں
  • تین چیزیں نیکی کی بنیاد ہیں، تواضع بے توقع, سخاوت بے منت اور خدمت بے طلبِ مکافات
  • غربت اور افلاس کی وجہ پیداوار کی کمی نہیں، بلکہ اسکی غلط تقسیم ہے
  • دولت ہونے سے آدمی اپنے آپ کو بھول جاتا ہے اور دولت نہ ہونے سے لوگ اس کو بھول جاتے ہیں
  • مصروف زندگی نماز کو مشکل بنا دیتی ہے , لیکن نماز مصروف زندگی کو بھی آسان بنا دیتی ہے
  • گناہ کو پھیلانے کا ذریعہ بھی مت بنو, کیونکہ ہوسکتا ہے آپ تو توبہ کرلو, لیکن جس کو آپ نے گناہ پر لگایا ہے وہ آپ کی آخرت کی تباہی کا سبب بن جائے
  • اپنی زندگی میں ہر کسی کو اہمیت دو, جو اچھا ہوگا وہ خوشی دے گا اور جو برا ہوگا وہ سبق دے گا
  • درخت جتنا اونچا ہو گا اس کا سایہ اتنا ہی چھوٹا ہو گا, اس لیے اونچا بننے کی بجائے بڑا بننے کی کوشش کرو
  • جو شخص کوشش اور عمل میں کوتاہی کرتا ہے, پیچھے رہنا اس کا مقدر ہے
  • جو لوگ میانہ روی اختیار کرتے ہیں, کسی کے محتاج نہیں ہوتے
  • حقیقی بڑا تو وہ ہے جو اپنے ہر چھوٹے کو پہچانتا ہوں اور اس کی ضروریات کا خیال رکھتا ہو

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18 JANUARY 2018

Economy News

Industry group calls for release of detailed CPEC long-term plan CPEC| Neutral

Identifying short-term external liabilities as a significant challenge, Pakistan Business Council (PBC) on Wednesday called for a measured watch on increasing Chinese footprint in Pakistan’s economy and a calculated response with fiscal, monetary and exchange rate adjustments to manage the balance of payments. Click here for more

Saudi investment sought for gas pipeline Economy | Neutral

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have agreed to establish a working group for the export of halal food from Pakistan to the kingdom, Saudi investment in the construction of the north-south gas pipeline, accelerated negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty and the exchange of parliamentary delegations. Click here for more

Govt mulls imposing penalties on Thar-based IPPs Economy | Neutral

The government is likely to impose liquidated damages on slow-moving coal-based power projects and re-adjust completion timelines of others to minimise expected capacity payments to Chinese contractors of the 2.1-billion-dollar Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line. Click here for more

PPIB authorises agreement for supply of RLNG to 4 gas-based IPPs SPL| Positive

The PPIB Board has authorised interim agreement for supply of RLNG to four indigenous gas based IPPs namely Halmore, Saif, Orient and Saphire. These projects are operating on costly HSD due to non availability of gas. The replacement of HSD with RLNG will cut the fuel price to almost half, thus reducing the tariff considerably. Click here for more

Government to announce tax amnesty scheme Economy | Neutral

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that government would announce one time tax amnesty scheme , while special measures would be taken to enhance tax collection and widen tax base. Click here for more

Spinners to suffer $500mln in losses Spinners | Negative

The textile industry is braving the loss of $500 million due to the delay in the issuance of the revised permit to import cotton from India He said the textile industry needed the Indian organic cotton for stimulus in exports. Click here for more

Hyundai Motor Group pledges to hire 45,000, invest $22 billion over 5 years Hyundai | Positive

South Korea´s Hyundai Motor Group pledged to hire about 45,000 people over the next five years amid an emphasis on jobs by the government, but analysts doubted if the conglomerate would meet the goal as it was eyeing cost cuts to counter sluggish sales. Click here for more

Matco’s IPO book building from 23rd Matco | Positive

Matco Foods Limited, a country’s leading rice exporter and processor, will hold the book building for its initial public offer (IPO) on January 23 and 24, a consultant’s statement said on Wednesday. Click here for more

LNG cargoes likely to be awarded today LNG | Positive

Pakistan LNG Limited is likely to award the liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes for March to three lowest bidders today (Thursday). According to commercial evaluation report released by Pakistan LNG Limited trading companies Vitol, Trafigura and B B Energy submitted the lowest bids in a tender to supply Pakistan with four LNG cargoes for March. The commodity traders quote lower price of LNG as compared with cargoes for February. Click here for more

PM to announce package for industrial refunds soon Textile | Pharma | Positive

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will announce a comprehensive package in two or three weeks for industrial refunds as the government is committed to taking cogent steps for revival of sick industrial units in the country. Minister of State for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan said this on Wednesday while responding to a question during the question hour in the National Assembly. Click here for more

Government borrows over Rs 1 trillion via T-Bills Banks | Neutral

The federal government Wednesday borrowed over Rs 1 trillion through the auction for short-term government papers. Banks aggressively participated in the auction, conducted by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on January 17, for the sale of 3-month, 6-month and 12-month Market Treasury Bills (MTBs). However, financial institutions were reluctant to invest in more than three months' papers and not a single bid was received for 6-month and 12-month MTBs in the auction. Out of the received bids, the federal government borrowed Rs 1.066 trillion (Rs 1.05 trillion realized value) at 5.9910 percent. Click here for more

Political News

Lahore rally yields no concrete plan to oust Sharifs

The joint opposition’s gathering to seek ouster of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government ended abruptly on Wednesday after Sheikh Rashid’s repeated cursing of parliament and announcement of resignation from his National Assembly seat prompted Imran Khan to consider quitting the assemblies on the grounds that parliament had lost its utility in protecting people’s rights. Click here for more

Ashiana Housing Scheme scandal: NAB summons Shahbaz on January 22

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) summoned Punjab chief minister (CM) Shehbaz Sharif on January 22 over the alleged corruption scandal related to the Ashiana Housing Scheme. According to sources, Shehbaz Sharif will appear at the NAB office in Lahore at 10am on January 22. Click here for more
International News

Increased shale production threatens oil price ramp, OPEC cuts

The rising oil price has not only brought market stability to the global oil industry but joy to oil producing countries, especially those whose economies depend on oil proceeds for survival but this joy is being threatened increased output from shale. Click here for more
 

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News Pulse (January 18, 2017)

Government borrows over Rs 1 trillion via T-Bills

The federal government Wednesday borrowed over Rs 1 trillion through the auction for short-term government papers. Banks aggressively participated in the auction, conducted by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on January 17, for the sale of 3-month, 6-month and 12-month Market Treasury Bills (MTBs). However, financial institutions were reluctant to invest in more than three months' papers and not a single bid was received for 6-month and 12-month MTBs in the auction held Wednesday.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180118336452/

Spinners to suffer $500mln in losses
The textile industry is braving the loss of $500 million due to the delay in the issuance of the revised permit to import cotton from India, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Advisor Shahid Sattar said on Wednesday. He said the textile industry needed the Indian organic cotton for stimulus in exports. “We have been sensitising the Ministry of National Food Security and Research for a long time about the clearance of cotton from India, but the ministry remains unmoved,” he added.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/269587-spinners-to-suffer-500mln-in-losses

UN must step up pressure on Pakistan: US

Returning from a UN Security Council visit to Afghanistan, US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Wednesday stressed the Kabul government wants world powers to step up pressure on Pakistan. Haley joined the 14 other council envoys for talks with top Afghan leaders in Kabul at the weekend as the government considers holding peace talks with the Taliban to end decades of insurgency.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180118336370/

Gas-fired captive power plants: Nepra dismisses review motions against upfront tariff

National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has dismissed review motions against upfront tariff for gas-fired Captive Power Plants (CPPs) for short-term utilization of available generation capacity. The regulator had initiated suo motu proceedings for determination of upfront tariff for short-term utilization of the available generation capacity from captive power plants on gas. The upfront tariff was issued on July 31, 2017.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180118336382/

Industry group calls for release of detailed CPEC long-term plan

Identifying short-term external liabilities as a significant challenge, Pakistan Business Council (PBC) on Wednesday called for a measured watch on increasing Chinese footprint in Pakistan’s economy and a calculated response with fiscal, monetary and exchange rate adjustments to manage the balance of payments.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1383621/industry-group-calls-for-release-of-detailed-cpec-long-term-plan

PM announces plans for foreign assets amnesty scheme

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced on Wednesday the government’s intentions to offer an amnesty scheme for Pakistanis to declare their foreign assets, and reduce tax rates to broaden the tax base and address challenges on the external and fiscal fronts, ahead of next year’s budget and the upcoming general elections.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1383600/pm-announces-plans-for-foreign-assets-amnesty-scheme

Saudi investment sought for gas pipeline

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have agreed to establish a working group for the export of halal food from Pakistan to the kingdom, Saudi investment in the construction of the north-south gas pipeline, accelerated negotiations on a bilateral investment treaty and the exchange of parliamentary delegations.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1383620/saudi-investment-sought-for-gas-pipeline

Govt working on strategy to reform tax structure, says Abbasi

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday said a new tax strategy was in the works which, when implemented, would see an increase in the minimum threshold of taxable income and would also feature an amnesty scheme. Speaking at the Pakistan Economic Forum in Islamabad, Abbasi said several measures were being considered by the incumbent government as part of proposed tax reforms.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1383527/govt-working-on-strategy-to-reform-tax-structure-says-abbasi

Govt mulls imposing penalties on Thar-based IPPs

The government is likely to impose liquidated damages on slow-moving coal-based power projects and re-adjust completion timelines of others to minimise expected capacity payments to Chinese contractors of the 2.1-billion-dollar Matiari-Lahore Transmission Line.This was discussed at a board meeting of the Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) on Wednesday presided over by Minister for Power Sardar Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1383619/govt-mulls-imposing-penalties-on-thar-based-ipps

Business community hails initiative to seek suggestions

Business community unanimously hailed the Prime Minister' initiative to seek stakeholders' suggestions on its broad-based consultative process to formulate Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2018-23 for the period five years to encompass issues pertaining to supply chain development, market access initiatives, trade promotion, trade facilitation, reduction of cost doing business and facilitate business community to avoid unnecessary hurdles in importing and exporting.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180118336497/

Protest on The Mall causes Rs 15 billion loss to traders

The city traders have suffered an estimated loss of Rs 15 billion due to the anti-government demonstration by the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chief Tahir-ul-Qadri and his political allies, seeking justice for the Model Town killings and six-year-old Zainab, who was killed in Kasur district. All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran (APAT) President Khalid Pervez said that forceful closure of commercial markets and shops on The Mall by the city district administration and provincial police department have resulted in colossal financial damage to the traders' community. "Today, we have suffered an estimated loss of Rs 15 billion due to political demonstration of opposition parties," Khalid Pervez said while answering a query. He added that this was a huge loss which cannot be recovered.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180118336496/
 

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Economy News

Cotton production up 7.58pc Cotton| Neutral

The country has produced 11.33 million bales up to January 15, showing a growth of 7.58 per cent over the corresponding period of last year when 10.54m bales were produced. This means that around 0.79m more bales have been produced this season (2017-18) so far. Click here for more

Cargo handling increases at Karachi port EXIM| Positive

Karachi port handled 5.28 per cent more cargo during the first six months (July-Dec) of FY2017-18, at 27.198 million tonnes, compared to 25.83m tonnes handled in the SPLY. Click here for more

Pakistan's foreign reserves slide continues Economy | Neutral

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reported on Thursday its foreign exchange reserves amounted to $13.69 billion on Jan 12, down $2.45bn from $16.14bn at the end of June 2017. Click here for more

Indonesia offers Pakistan better market access Textiles| Positive

The Indonesian government has unilaterally agreed to provide Pakistani products with deeper market access under the preferential trade agreement (PTA), which will help reduce the negative trade balance between the two courtiers Click here for more

Pak-Iran train services to resume by September Trade | Positive

Pakistan and Iran have decided to resume a fortnightly passenger train service between them by September this year due to improvement in the security situation. Click here for more

Trade balance helps overcome external account challenges Economy | Neutral

Pakistan’s economy is moving on the growth trajectory as recovery in exports, curtailment in imports and surge in manufacturing are bolstering economic activities Click here for more

FBR relaxes duty payment condition on car imports Autos | Neutral

FBR relaxed a duty payment condition for car imports under gift, personal baggage and transfer of residence schemes. The relaxation may help importers to get around 4,000 cars cleared out of total 6,000 currently stuck at the ports Click here for more

Maple Leaf Cement seen adding 2.2mln tons capacity MLCF | Positive

Maple Leaf Cement on Thursday got a favourable ruling from a court on environmental concerns on its Rs23 billion clinker project and could restart work soon but may face tough conditions on how it proceed after the last month construction halt. Click here for more

KE accepts applications for net metering KEL | Positive

K-Electric (KE), the country’s only integrated power company, invited licence applications from its consumers producing solar power to sell surplus electricity to the energy grid. Click here for more

Cabinet body proposes ban on new cement plants in Punjab Cements| Neutral

The Standing Committee of the cabinet on legislative business has recommended the inclusion of the cement industry in schedule-C of the industrial location policy 2002.. Click here for more

Value-added sector for abolishing duties, taxes on cotton yarn import Textile | Neutral

Value-added textile export sector representative has urged the prime minister to abolish all duties and taxes on cotton yarn import Click here for more

Petition against PIA privatization adjourned PIA | Neutral

The Lahore High Court adjourned to January 25 the hearing in a petition challenging proposed privatization of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) and the asked petitioner-lawyer to apprise it about the process for privatization of a government institution. Click here for more

Political News

Lahore rally yields no concrete plan to oust Sharifs

The joint opposition’s gathering to seek ouster of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government ended abruptly on Wednesday after Sheikh Rashid’s repeated cursing of parliament and announcement of resignation from his National Assembly seat prompted Imran Khan to consider quitting the assemblies on the grounds that parliament had lost its utility in protecting people’s rights. Click here for more

Parliament turns on Imran

The National Assembly (NA) on Thursday passed a resolution to condemn PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed for using derogatory and indecent remarks for the parliament while addressing a public meeting in Lahore. Click here for more

Federal govt decides to put Tahirul Qadri name on ECL

The government of Pakistan has decided to put Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri name on the Exit Control List (ECL). Click here for more

International News

$70 Oil Cripples European Refiners

In the latest indication of the strength of the recovery of global oil prices, European refineries are struggling to pay their crude bills as margins decline and demand weakens for some of their products, Bloomberg reports. Click here for more
 

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News Pulse (January 19, 2017)

Industry group calls for release of detailed CPEC long-term plan

Identifying short-term external liabilities as a significant challenge, Pakistan Business Council (PBC) on Wednesday called for a measured watch on increasing Chinese footprint in Pakistan’s economy and a calculated response with fiscal, monetary and exchange rate adjustments to manage the balance of payments.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1383621/industry-group-calls-for-release-of-detailed-cpec-long-term-plan

Oil market heads towards ‘smooth rebalancing’

After long years of punishingly low oil prices, the global oil market is moving closer to reaching a healthy balance between supply and demand, Opec said on Thursday. In its monthly oil market report, the Opec said there were “growing indications that the oil market is heading smoothly toward rebalancing.”
https://www.dawn.com/news/1383858/oil-market-heads-towards-smooth-rebalancing

Pakistan, Iran agree to revive passenger train after 12 years

Citing improved security situation, Pakistan and Iran have agreed to restart passenger train after around 12 years and increase the number of freight trains, which would give a big boost to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), claimed Pakistan Railways. The official sources revealed to Business Recorder that Pakistan and Iran had also agreed to persuade Turkey for sharing tariff structure - a big hurdle in revival of ECO train services.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180119336730/

Forex reserves slip below $20 billion

The country's foreign exchange reserves maintained a declining trend reaching below $ 20 billion at the end of last week. According to State Bank of Pakistan's (SBP) weekly report issued Thursday, Pakistan's total liquid foreign exchange reserves fell by $248 million during last week due to external debt servicing. With current decline, the country's total liquid forex reserves stood at $19.772 billion as on January 12, 2018 as compared to $20.02 billion on January 5, 2018. During the week under review, SBP's reserves decreased by $284 million to $13.699 billion down from $13.983 billion a week earlier. The decline in the SBP's reserves was due to external debt servicing and other official payments.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180119336770/

Petition against PIA privatization adjourned

The Lahore High Court adjourned to January 25 the hearing in a petition challenging proposed privatization of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) and the asked petitioner-lawyer to apprise it about the process for privatization of a government institution. The petitioner Nabeel Javed Kahloon Advocate alleged that the government had decided to privatize the national carrier and was going to sell it to a company of its own choice. He further alleged that Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who also owned a private airline in the country, had vested interests in the privatization of PIA.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180119336798/

Despite shortage, cabinet approves 235 new gas supply schemes

As general elections are around the corner, the federal cabinet has approved 235 new gas supply schemes of billions of rupees for the constituencies of parliamentarians, mainly from Punjab, at a time when existing consumers are facing gas shortage, particularly during the winter.
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1611343/2-despite-shortage-cabinet-approves-235-new-gas-supply-schemes/

Pepco sets up special monitoring cell to enforce zero loadshedding

Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) has established special monitoring cell headed by GM/chief engineer to execute the constraints removal by the DISCOs at the end of March 2018 enabling to enforce zero loadshedding on 0-10% losses feeders across the country
https://nation.com.pk/19-Jan-2018/pepco-sets-up-special-monitoring-cell-to-enforce-zero-loadshedding

Cabinet body proposes ban on new cement plants in Punjab

The Standing Committee of the cabinet on legislative business has recommended the inclusion of the cement industry in schedule-C of the industrial location policy 2002.
https://nation.com.pk/19-Jan-2018/cabinet-body-proposes-ban-on-new-cement-plants-in-punjab

Value-added sector for abolishing duties, taxes on cotton yarn import

Value-added textile export sector representative has urged the prime minister to abolish all duties and taxes on cotton yarn import, saying it would help earn much-needed foreign exchange for the country and reduce trade gap which reached $18 billion during July-Dec period of FY2017-18.
https://nation.com.pk/19-Jan-2018/value-added-sector-for-abolishing-duties-taxes-on-cotton-yarn-import

Maple Leaf Cement seen adding 2.2mln tons capacity

Maple Leaf Cement on Thursday got a favourable ruling from a court on environmental concerns on its Rs23 billion clinker project and could restart work soon but may face tough conditions on how it proceed after the last month construction halt.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/270038-maple-leaf-cement-seen-adding-2-2mln-tons-capacity
 

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22 JANUARY 2018

Economy News

Bank borrowings decrease by 13pc Banks| Neutral

Gross advances of all scheduled banks stood at Rs6,479.374bn, lower by 0.77pc over the preceding week’s figure of Rs6,529.968bn. Borrowings by all scheduled banks decreased in the week under review. It fell by 13pc to Rs2,615.011bn
against previous week’s Rs3,005.546bn. Click here for more

Tax collection growth surpasses rise in current expenditure Economy| Positive

Growth in revenue collection outpaced the rise in current expenditures during the first quarter of 2017-18. Click here for more

Economy set to achieve 6pc GDP growth: SBP report Economy| Neutral

SBP) said on Friday that prospects for economic growth remain strong, noting that the economy is poised to achieve the growth target of six per cent for 2017-18. Click here for more

Revised PTA will boost rice exports to Indonesia Exports| Positive

Pakistan will export 65,000 tonnes of non-Basmati rice to Indonesia as part of the revised preferential trade agreement (PTA). Click here for more

Current account gap expands to $7.4bn Economy | Neutral

The country’s current account deficit widened further to $7.41 billion in the first half of this fiscal year Click here for more

Big industry production shrank 2.02pc in November LSM | Neutral

LSM) sector posted a negative growth of 2.02 per cent year-on-year in November after rising for a few successive months. The negative growth is the outcome of a fall in the production of food and beverages, petroleum products, chemicals, engineering products, wood products, fertilisers and leather products. Industry-specific data shows that wood products recorded the highest negative growth of 49.3pc, followed by engineering products 23.78pc, food, beverages and tobacco products 21.9pc, fertilisers 16.3pc, leather products 11.7pc, chemicals 9.7pc, petroleum products 4.7pc and paper and board 0.19pc. Click here for more

PSM liability settlement plan discussed PSM | Neutral

The Privatisation Commission on Friday asked the China Investment Bank (CIB), the financial advisers on the sell-off of PSM, to develop a plan for the settlement of the liabilities of the mill. Click here for more

PM Abbasi reviews GSP+ status progress Textiles | Positive

Commerce and Textile Minister Pervaiz Malik on Friday hinted a positive outcome of the review and rollover of Generalised System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) scheme for another three-year term. Click here for more

High taxes on car imports may hurt competition Autos | Neutral

The central bank said higher duties on car imports may discourage competition in the local market, which is experiencing strong demand for automobile on low rate easy-to-get consumer loans. Click here for more

Govt urged to abolish duty, taxes on cotton yarn import Textiles| Neutral

Value-added textile sector has urged the prime minister to abolish all duties and taxes on cotton yarn imports for re-export with value addition to earn the much-needed foreign exchange for the country and to reduce trade gap Click here for more

Import of used cars increases considerably Autos | Neutral

The import of used cars has jumped considerably in first five months of fiscal year 2017-18 (5MFY18) due to improving macros and better law and order situation. In 5MFY18, the imports of used cars clocked in at 34,000 units, which were higher than expectation given that an estimated 55,000 units of used car were imported in entire FY17. Click here for more

Dewan Farooque Motors to resume vehicle production from February DFML | Positive

Dewan Farooque Motors Limited (DFML) is expected to resume vehicle production from February 2018 as it has received approval for its Brownfield plant from the Engineering Development Board (EDB) Click here for more

Rice exports mark 29 percent growth in first half Exports | Neutral

Rice exports from Pakistan have seen significant growth of 29 percent during the first half (July-Dec) of this fiscal year (FY18). Click here for more

Political News

PPP unlikely to retain its strength in Senate after election

The Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) will be fighting a battle for survival in the coming Senate elections as the party is on the brink of extinction in the House of Federation as all its four senators are set to retire on March 11. Click here for more

International News

Night-long siege of Kabul hotel leaves 30 dead

Gunmen in army uniform, who stormed Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel late on Saturday and battled Afghan Special Forces through the night, killed more than 30 people and wounded many more, although the final toll might still be higher.. Click here for more

Oil producers will cooperate beyond 2018: Saudi Arabia

Global oil producers are in agreement that they should continue co-operating on production after their deal on supply cuts expires at the end of this year Click here for more
 

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News Pulse (January 22, 2018)

Policy changes in power pit centre against provinces

The government decision to introduce competition in the country’s alternative energy market must help bring down power prices, but it can hurt new investment in renewables in the short to medium-term.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1384512/policy-changes-in-power-pit-centre-against-provinces

Bank borrowings decrease by 13pc

According to the weekly statement of position of all scheduled banks for the week ended Jan 5, 2018, deposits and other accounts of all scheduled banks stood at Rs12,011.635 billion after a 2.83 per cent decrease over the preceding week’s figure of Rs12,361.806bn.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1384516/bank-borrowings-decrease-by-13pc

With CPEC, Pakistan could play host to Chinese industries
Pakistan could see an industrialisation wave in the coming months through the addition of production and manufacturing units including mobile and laptop assembly plants from China, stated the central bank in its quarterly report on the state of the economy. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said that the country could benefit from technology transfers and spillovers from China, which is currently partnering with Islamabad in building a network of roads and highways along with participating in power projects in a multi-billion dollar economic corridor.
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1613991/2-cpec-pakistan-play-host-chinese-industries/

LSM falls 2.02 percent in November as food output decline

Large scale manufacturing (LSM) fell 2.02 percent year on as the sector snapped the growth momentum on slowdown in food outputs, but analysts are still bullish on its uptrend prospect. Food, beverages and tobacco sector, which has the second highest weight in the manufacturing quantum index, underwent a sharp 22 percent decline in production in November as compared to the corresponding month a year earlier, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data showed on Friday. Analysts said the growth eased because of falling food sector, mainly sugar industry. “Delayed sugar crushing took its toll on LSM growth,” analyst Adnan Sheikh at Topline Securities said.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/270515-lsm-falls-2-02-percent-in-november-as-food-output-decline

Abbasi to make ‘Invest in Pakistan’ pitch at Davos gathering

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will make a “Invest in Pakistan” pitch to a gathering of wealthy business executives and powerful world leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss ski resort of Davos next week. More than three-thousand elite, social activists and media representatives will attend the 48th annual meeting of the WEF, starting Monday.
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1614026/2-pm-make-invest-pakistan-pitch-davos-gathering/

Punjab’s $5b investment plan insufficient
Economic managers of Punjab have termed the increasing population of the province one of the biggest challenges to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As the latest census puts the provincial population at 110 million, it is estimated that by 2025, the population size will go beyond 125 million, equal to the combined population of the United Kingdom and France.
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1614030/2-punjabs-5b-investment-plan-insufficient/

Tax collection growth surpasses rise in current expenditure
Growth in revenue collection outpaced the rise in current expenditures during the first quarter of 2017-18, according to a recent report by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
https://www.dawn.com/news/1384213/tax-collection-growth-surpasses-rise-in-current-expenditure

Growers, mills fail to end row over cane price
Representatives of Sindh-based growers and sugar mills failed to settle the dispute over the sugarcane price in a meeting held in Karachi on Jan 19.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1384211/growers-mills-fail-to-end-row-over-cane-price

ADB to help develop economic corridors
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will assist Pakistan to realise the potential of economic corridor development with a view to boost industrial productivity, exports and job creation and thereby contribute to sustained, increased and equitable economic growth.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1384210/adb-to-help-develop-economic-corridors

Economy set to achieve 6pc GDP growth: SBP report
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Friday that prospects for economic growth remain strong, noting that the economy is poised to achieve the growth target of six per cent for 2017-18.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1384026/economy-set-to-achieve-6pc-gdp-growth-sbp-report

Banks urged to lift agri lending in Balochistan
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) jointly organised a workshop with representatives of 10 leading banks in Balochistan and farmers from a range of male and female Farmers Marketing Collectives (FMC).
https://www.dawn.com/news/1384016/banks-urged-to-lift-agri-lending-in-balochistan

Consumer confidence at an all-time high in Pakistan
Consumer confidence reached an all-time high increasing by nine points in July-September 2017, according to the Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions
https://www.dawn.com/news/1383174/consumer-confidence-at-an-all-time-high-in-pakistan

Mega oil city to be constructed in Gwadar under CPEC
Pakistan has decided to construct a mega oil city at Gwadar on 80,000 acres under much hyped China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/271367-mega-oil-city-to-be-constructed-in-gwadar-under-cpec
 

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23 JANUARY 2018

Economy News

IMF expects Pakistan’s economic activities to pick up in 2018 Economy| Positive

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday said Pakistan’s economic growth is expected to pick up during the current calendar year and the trend would continue in 2019. Click here for more

Half of Pakistan’s urban consumers prone to save money: McKinsey Economy| Positive

Over half of urban Pakistan’s consumers are now more prone to save money as Pakistan’s thriving consumer economy is experiencing a surge in thrifty brand loyalists, a foreign management consulting firm said. Click here for more

Gadoon Textile Mills plans 50MW solar power plant GADT| Neutral

The Gadoon Textile Mills Limited (GTML) planned to develop a 50 megawatt solar power plant to generate clean renewable energy Click here for more

DHCL proposes sukuk, TFCs DAWH| Positive

Dawood Hercules Corporation Limited (DHCL) on Monday proposed raising Rs13 billion through two separate instruments — sukuk (Islamic bonds), and term finance certificates (TFCs). Click here for more

Govt prepares to take aim at tax evaders Economy | Neutral

The government has drafted a new plan to broaden the tax net in phases as part of a revenue drive. Click here for more

Imported cotton: lobby creating hurdles in implementation of ECC decision Economy | Neutral

A strong lobby, reportedly backed by a cabinet member, is creating hurdles in the implementation of the ECC of the cabinet''''s decision on the withdrawal of sales tax and customs duty on imported cotton, Click here for more

Imported cars: RD against essence of Automotive Policy: SBP Autos | Neutral

SBP has termed the recent imposition of regulatory duty on imported cars against the essence of the Automotive Development Policy 2016-21. In order to curb the ballooning import bill, the federal government has imposed regulatory duty on consumer durables as a result, car imports would also face higher tariffs in the range of 15 to 80 percent. Click here for more

Fertilizer products: Rs 230 billion subsidy provided in nine years, NA told Fertilizers | Positive

A total of Rs 230.51 billion have been provided as subsidy on fertilizer products in the last nine years, from 2008-09 to 2016-17, while price of urea and DAP fertilizers have increased recently due to price hike in international market Click here for more

Govt likely to allow PSO, Shell to recover old duty claims PSO | Shel | Neutral

The government is likely to allow two major oil marketing companies (OMCs) – Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Shell Pakistan – to recover two-year-old claims of Rs482 million on account of regulatory duty on petrol and high-speed diesel. Click here for more

Political News

Shahbaz grilled by NAB in housing scheme case

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif appeared before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday, and was grilled for well over an hour for his alleged misuse of authority in the award of a contract for a low-cost housing scheme. Click here for more

Avenfield properties: NAB files supplementary reference against Sharif family

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Monday filed a supplementary reference against Sharif family in Avenfield properties reference. Click here for more

International News

Oil's rout is over, hail the return of $100 crude — well, maybe

After three years of gloom, the number 100 is finally starting to resurface in the forecasts of market analysts. Click here for more
 

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News Pulse (January23, 2018)

LCCI demands withdrawal of tax on bank transactions

The Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry has termed the withholding tax on banking transactions as “economic intimidation” for the business community and called for its immediate withdrawal .
https://nation.com.pk/23-Jan-2018/lcci-demands-withdrawal-of-tax-on-bank-transactions

Govt took $5.9b foreign loans in only 6 months

Pakistan has acquired $5.9 billion foreign loans in only six months to meet the increasing external account requirement and maintaining foreign exchange reserves.
https://nation.com.pk/23-Jan-2018/govt-took-5-9b-foreign-loans-in-only-6-months

Nadra reduces verification cost for micro-insurance policies
National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has reduced the cost of its verification for microinsurance policies on the recommendation of technical committee on insurance, formed under the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).
https://nation.com.pk/23-Jan-2018/nadra-reduces-verification-cost-for-micro-insurance-policies

Authorities advised to contain inflation
The economic managers need to stop facilitating a few segments of the economy and concentrate on containing inflation.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/271671-authorities-advised-to-contain-inflation

Dollar strengthens
The dollar regained some footing on Monday after slipping earlier on a U.S. government shutdown, supported by higher Treasury yields, while investors took a relatively calm view of the Washington wrangling.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/271666-dollar-strengthens

Oil rises
Oil prices climbed on Monday, pushed higher by comments from Saudi Arabia that cooperation between oil producers who are withholding supplies would continue beyond 2018
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/271668-oil-rises

Private sector credit falls 26 percent in July-Jan
Private sector credit sharply fell 26 percent to Rs201 billion during the past seven months as there was a muted corporate demand for loans despite availability of low-cost funds.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/271657-private-sector-credit-falls-26-percent-in-july-jan

WB advises credit access to improve business environment
The World Bank on Monday advised Pakistan to facilitate businesses in tax payments and increase their access to credit in order to improve the country’s investment climate.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/271658-wb-advises-credit-access-to-improve-business-environment

Car production increases 28.8pc in five months
The production of cars and jeeps increased by 28.84 percent during the first five months of the current fiscal year (2017-18) compared to the corresponding period of last year.
https://nation.com.pk/22-Jan-2018/car-production-increases-28-8pc-in-five-months
 

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News Pulse (January 24, 2018)

IMF give thumbs-up on reforms vital to sustained growth: officials
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to present encouraging views on Pakistan’s economy in its upcoming post program monitoring report – a likelihood that would augur well for external account in need of funds injection, officials said on Tuesday.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180119336798/

Textile exports up 8pc to $6.6bln in July-December
Textile exports rose eight percent to $6.642 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year of 2017/18 as exporters availed the government’s incentives to boost exports. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data showed on Tuesday that textile exports amounted to $6.146 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/272088-textile-exports-up-8pc-to-6-6bln-in-july-december

General Electric will fix technical issues with gas turbines: PM Abbasi
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that some of General Electric's flagship new gas turbines in Pakistan were still suffering from technical issues such as "vibration" but he was confident the American company will fix the problems.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/27...-technical-issues-with-gas-turbines-pm-abbasi

‘New trade policy to attract FDI in exports sector’
The new trade policy will focus on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in exports sector and integration of local industry into global value chain, a statement issued by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan said on Tuesday.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/272095-new-trade-policy-to-attract-fdi-in-exports-sector

Forex reserves: situation quite satisfactory: SBP chief
Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Tariq Bajwa informed the Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs and Narcotics Control on Tuesday that situation of foreign exchange reserves is satisfactory.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180124337984/

PAC informed: Japan Power Company caused Rs 5.47 billion losses to national exchequer
A parliamentary panel was informed on Tuesday that Japan Power Generation Company caused Rs 5.47 billion losses to national kitty by not operating 120 megawatts power plant during 2013-16
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180124338103/

‘Pakistan has no plan to enter IMF programme’
The Senate Standing Committee on Finance was informed on Tuesday that Pakistan has no plan to enter the IMF programme and the current account deficit would be met through loans and floating of bonds.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1384820/pakistan-has-no-plan-to-enter-imf-programme

FBR withdraws sales tax, duty on cotton imports

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Tuesday withdrew sales tax and customs duty on cotton imports in line with the government’s order, a move that was resented by the growers.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/272090-fbr-withdraws-sales-tax-duty-on-cotton-imports
 

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25 JANUARY 2018


Oil, food imports surge Economy| Neutral
Imports of eatables and oil rose nearly 28 per cent year-on-year to $10 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year owing to a rise in global prices of grains and crude. Click here for more

APL profit down 7pc APL| Neutral
Attock Petroleum Ltd posted a profit after tax (PAT) of Rs1.48 billion during the second quarter of this fiscal year against Rs1.59bn in the corresponding period of last year, a fall of 7 per cent. Click here for more

Regulatory Duty on Afghanistan-specific products may be removed Economy| Neutral
An Inter-Ministerial meeting has asked traders to prepare a list for Afghanistan-specific products for consideration of removing Regulatory Duty (RD) on these items. Click here for more

Fertiliser sales up seven percent to 8.24 million tons in 2017 Fertilizer| Positive
Fertiliser sales rose around seven percent to 8.24 million tons during the last calendar year as government’s subsidy encouraged its demand in the growing agriculture sector. Click here for more

Pakistan Oilfields second quarter profit falls 13.7 percent POL | Negative
Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL) net profit lowered 13.7 percent to Rs2.139 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2017 translating into earnings per share (EPS) of Rs9.02 Click here for more

Gas line financial close likely in 2018 Economy | Positive
Financial close of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline is expected to be achieved this year, following which construction work would start on this multibillion dollars project. Click here for more

12 routes of PIA suspended since 2013, NA told PIAA | Neutral
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has suspended 12 of its routes, including eight international and four domestic routes, since 2013 due to economic non-viability of its fleet. Parliamentary Secretary for Cabinet Secretariat, Javed Ikhlas informed this to the National Assembly on Wednesday during the Question Hour. Click here for more

Record sale of motorcycles in first half ATLH | Positive
The production and sale of motorcycles and three wheelers achieved new heights in the first half of FY 2017-18 as data of 13 manufacturing units showed that a total of 940,825 motorcycles and three-wheelers were sold from 1st July till 31st December 2017 a 19 percent increase over the corresponding period of last year. Click here for more

MPS tomorrow: key policy rate may remain unchanged Banks | Neutral
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) will unveil monetary policy decision for next two months Friday with expectations of status quo due to positive inflation outlook. Independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of SBP is scheduled to meet on January 26, 2018 for deliberation on economic issues to make a decision on key interest rate for next two months. Click here for more

Golen Gol Project starts power generation Power | Positive
Golen Gol Hydropower Project 108 Megawatt has started electricity generation Wednesday as the first unit has started providing 36 MW power to Chitral. Click here for more

Govt Approves increase in Drug prices in line with inflation Pharma | Positive
Government has decided to amend the drug pricing policy in an attempt to burden consumers with cumulative effect of price increases for life saving drugs in past two years. Click here for more

Political News

Govt stopped from taking ‘illegal’ steps against Hafiz Saeed
The Lahore High Court on Wednesday restrained the government from taking any illegal action against Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, who had approached the court fearing possible arrest on account of a UN delegation arriving this week. Click here for more

International News

Oil hits Dec 2014 high on dollar weakness, decline in U.S. crude inventories

Oil prices on Thursday hit their highest level since December 2014, lifted by a weak dollar and a 10th straight week of declines in U.S. crude inventories. Click here for more
 

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News Pulse (January 25, 2018)

ADB accused of delaying project: construction cost of M-4 jumps by over Rs 30 billion
National Highway Authority (NHA) has revised PC-1 upward for construction of Faisalabad-Khanewal Motorway (M-4) from Rs 28.56 billion to Rs 60.82 billion, blaming the stringent land acquisition policies of Asian Development Bank (ADB) for delay in project implementation.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180125338348/

First-ever International Gwadar Expo-2018 on January 29
China Overseas Ports Holding Company and Gwadar Port Authority are jointly organizing the first ever international exhibition in Gwadar Free Zone on January 29 and 30, 2018
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180125338321/

Russia invites Pak entrepreneurs to participate in Expo 2025
A delegation of Russian Federation on Wednesday invited Pakistani business community to participate in the Expo 2025 that will be held in the Ekaterinburg city of Russia.
https://nation.com.pk/E-Paper/karachi/2018-01-25/page-9/detail-5

Exports to China hold $3.3 billion potential
Pakistan Business Council, a leading business advocacy group, proposed the government to seek zero-tariff access for 25 products, mainly rice and garments, from China in any revised trade agreement to add over three billion dollars in annual exports revenue.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/272525-exports-to-china-hold-3-3-billion-potential

Oil, food imports surge
Imports of eatables and oil rose nearly 28 per cent year-on-year to $10 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year owing to a rise in global prices of grains and crude
https://www.dawn.com/news/1385070/oil-food-imports-surge

Rs150bn loss at generation stage alarms Nepra
Expressing serious concerns over the dismal performance of public sector generation companies (Gencos), the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) estimated loss of more than 15 billion electricity units — way beyond permissible limits — in two years.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1385072/rs150bn-loss-at-generation-stage-alarms-nepra

Pakistan on right course to secure GSP Plus extension: EU official
Pakistan was on course towards securing an extension in the much-needed concessional trade with European Union (EU) bloc, an official said on Wednesday.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/272526-pakistan-on-right-course-to-secure-gsp-plus-extension-eu-official

Fertiliser sales up seven percent to 8.24 million tons in 2017
Fertiliser sales rose around seven percent to 8.24 million tons during the last calendar year as government’s subsidy encouraged its demand in the growing agriculture sector.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/272528-fertiliser-sales-up-seven-percent-to-8-24-million-tons-in-2017

Record sale of motorcycles in first half
The production and sale of motorcycles and three wheelers achieved new heights in the first half of FY 2017-18 as data of 13 manufacturing units showed that a total of 940,825 motorcycles and three-wheelers were sold from 1st July till 31st December 2017 a 19 percent increase over the corresponding period of last year
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180125338358/
 

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News Pulse (January 26, 2018)

ECB leaves monetary policy unchanged
The European Central Bank, as expected, left interest rates unchanged on Thursday and repeated that it expects to keep interest rates at present levels for an "extended period" and "well past" the end of its asset purchase program, which is due to expire in September
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/ecb-leaves-monetary-policy-unchanged-2018-01-25

Railways ML-1 project: China to provide $8.2 billion soft loan
Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Ahsan Iqbal has said that China would provide $8.2 billion soft loan to Pakistan for ML-1 railways infrastructure project under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The minister expressed these views here at a news conference on Thursday after the CPEC 52nd Progress Review meeting held at the Planning Commission.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180126338654/

Forms for annual financial statements of banks revised
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has amended the existing format of annual financial statements of banks and they have been directed to prepare their annual financial statements on the revised form, effective from the accounting year ending 31st December, 2018. In terms of Section 34 of the Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962, the banks are required to prepare their annual accounts in the forms set out in the Second Schedule of the aforesaid ordinance..
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180126338624/

Turkey offers help to revive PIA
Turkey expressed interest on Thursday to support government’s proposed restructuring of state-owned Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and upgrading the country’s aviation sector.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/272953-turkey-offers-help-to-revive-pia

NAP orders inquiry against DRAP chief
The executive board of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Thursday approved holding of an inquiry against the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) Muhammad Aslam Afghani.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/273093-nap-orders-inquiry-against-drap-chief

Fitch revises outlook to negative
Fitch Ratings has revised the Outlooks on Pakistan''''s Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to Negative from Stable and affirmed both IDRs at ''''B''''. A full list of rating actions is at the end of this rating action commentary.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180126338603/

Forex reserves fall to $19.640bln
Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $19.640 billion during the week ended January 19 from $19.771 billion a week ago, the State Bank of Pakistan reported on Thursday.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/272957-forex-reserves-fall-to-19-640bln

Nepra okays Rs 2.99/unit cut in power tariff
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) Thursday approved Rs 2.99 per unit reduction in power tarifffor ex-Wapda distribution companies for the month of December under a monthly fuel adjustmentformula.
https://nation.com.pk/26-Jan-2018/nepra-okays-rs-2-99-unit-cut-in-power-tariff

Imports of used cars jump 70pc
Imports of used cars and minivans surged to 65,723 units in 2017, up almost 70 per cent from 38,676 units a year ago, latest data released by the auto industry shows..
https://www.dawn.com/news/1385303/imports-of-used-cars-jump-70pc
 

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26 JANUARY 2018
Economy News


PM discusses investment at WEF Economy| Neutral
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would provide dividends for the centuries to come in the shape of employment generation, industrial growth and connectivity and expressed confidence in the Chinese leadership and its Belt and Road Initiative. Click here for more

Ahsan Iqbal stresses political stability for sake of key CPEC projects CPEC| Neutral
Announcing that China and Pakistan have agreement on the technical issues of $8.2 billion Main Railway Line (ML-I) and cleared a few other road projects and Karachi Circular Railway (KCR), Minister for Interior and Planning Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday called for political stability and continuity of policy to enable the country to take off. Click here for more

Imports of used cars jump 70pc Autos| Neutral
Imports of used cars and minivans surged to 65,723 units in 2017, up almost 70 per cent from 38,676 units a year ago, latest data released by the auto industry shows. Click here for more

Discos to refund Rs2.99 per unit for December Power| Positive
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Thursday ordered ex-Wapda distribution companies (Discos) to refund Rs2.99 per unit to consumers for overcharging them Rs21.7 billion in December. Click here for more

INIL undergoes restructuring INIL | Neutral
The board of directors of International Industries Ltd (INIL) on Thursday approved the scheme of amalgamation of the wholly-owned subsidiary IIL Stainless Steel (Pvt) Ltd (IIL SS) with and into International Industries Ltd. Click here for more

Hub fishermen to get floating jetty Economy | Neutral
China Power Hub Generation Company (CPHGC), a project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and the Coastal Development and Fisheries Department of Balochistan have signed a memorandum of understating to build a floating jetty for the fishermen of Hub. Click here for more

Fitch revises outlook to negative Economy | Negative
Fitch Ratings has revised the Outlooks on Pakistani’s Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to negative from Stable and affirmed both IDRs at ''''B''''. A full list of rating actions is at the end of this rating action commentary. Click here for more

Pakistan could be collateral damage if US china enter currency war Exports | Positive
As the US raises prospects of entering into a currency war with China. Pakistan is likely to face new challenges of further losing its competitiveness in the global market, while witnessing further pressure on its import bill. Click here for more

Political News

Zainab’s case: SC orders fool-proof security for accused
The Supreme Court on Thursday issued directives to Punjab Police chief and prison authorities to provide complete security to Mohammad Imran, the 'murderer' of minor Zainab in Kasur. Click here for more

International News

Oil hits $71 for first time since 2014
Oil hit $71 a barrel on Thursday for the first time since 2014, supported by Opec-led supply curbs, a record-breaking run of declines in US crude inventories and a weaker US dollar. Click here for more
 

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News Pulse (January 29, 2018)

Debt servicing balloons by 11pc in July-Nov
The government paid Rs598 billion in domestic debt servicing in July-November 2017, registering a year-on-year growth of 11 per cent, according to the Monetary Policy Information Compendium that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) issued on Jan 26.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1385661/debt-servicing-balloons-by-11pc-in-july-nov

Some regulatory duties may soon go: Miftah
The government is mulling withdrawal of regulatory duty (RD) on many items in the upcoming budget, said Adviser to Prime Minister on Revenue, Finance and Economic Affairs Dr Miftah Ismail on Saturday.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1385660/some-regulatory-duties-may-soon-go-miftah

SBP raises interest rate to balance growth, stability
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) increased the policy rate by 25 basis points to six per cent to pre-empt the overheating in the economy and inflation breaching its target rate.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1385438/sbp-raises-interest-rate-to-balance-growth-stability

BMP for streamlining FTA between Pakistan, Turkey
Pakistan with the potential to enhance its exports to Turkey up to $5billion needs to focus on streamlining free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, said the chairman of Businessmen Panel (BMP), Mian Anjum Nisar.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180129339504/

First Gwadar Expo opens today
All is set to inaugurate the first Gwadar Expo in Gwadar on Monday. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will inaugurate the two-day event being attended by foreign dignitaries, ambassadors and people from business community across the world.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180129339436/

GDP growth likely to hit 10-year high: Miftah
Dr Miftah Ismail, Adviser to Prime Minister on Revenue, Finance and Economic Affairs said on Saturday that Pakistan's economic fundamentals are very strong and the GDP growth likely to hit 10-year high at 6 percent this year.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180128339284/

Rs 344.35 billion released under PSDP
The government has released Rs 344.35 billion (34.4 percent), including Rs 67.6 billion foreign aid, for different development projects under Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) 2017-18 against total budgeted allocation of Rs 1001 billion.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180128339214/

Blossoming Gwadar
Early signs of a small Gwadar town transforming into a new international port city have started to materialise.
http://www.dawn.com/news/1385802/blossoming-gwadar?preview

Effectiveness of new trade policy
The government plans to share the draft of Pakistan’s first 5-year trade policy — Strategic Trade Policy Framework (STPF) 2018/2023 — with the business community by the end of next month, a senior commerce ministry official told a consultative session with businessmen in Lahore last week.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1385801/effectiveness-of-new-trade-policy
 

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News Pulse (January 30, 2018)

Etisalat likely to consider valuation of 33 PTCL properties
The UAE telecom giant Etisalat has shown its willingness to consider the valuation of 33 properties of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) carried out by the Pakistani government during a three-month-long correspondence between the two. Secretary Privatization Commission (PC) Irfan Ali told National Assembly''s Standing Committee on Privatization that Ministry of Information Technology (IT) carried out valuation of 33 properties to be transferred to PTCL for release of $800 million outstanding against the Etisalat. The value of these properties stands at $88 million, he added.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/01/20180130339616/

Textile value-added segment exports up 12pc
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has reported textile export numbers for the month of December 2017, wherein textile exports have risen 10 percent to $1.13 billion from $1.03 billion in same period of last year.
https://nation.com.pk/30-Jan-2018/textile-value-added-segment-exports-up-12pc

Byco inducts new oil tankers
Byco Petroleum on Monday inducted new oil tankers in its fleet to transport petroleum products from its refinery in Mouza Kund across Pakistan.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/274548-byco-inducts-new-oil-tankers

PM shoots down proposal to transfer NTDC to ministry
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has rejected a proposal to transfer National Transmission & Despatch Company (NTDC) under the administrative control of the Ministry of Water Resources or make it an associated company of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda).
https://www.dawn.com/news/1386147/pm-shoots-down-proposal-to-transfer-ntdc-to-ministry

After snags, new gas power plants may start by March
The three recently-built combined-cycle gas-fired power plants in Punjab are facing production delays of up to two-and-a-half months because of a “variety of factors”, including but not limited to problems with the world’s most efficient gas turbines.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1386149/after-snags-new-gas-power-plants-may-start-by-march

Faysal Bank to open over 100 branches
Bahrain-based Ithmaar Bank plans to add more than 100 branches in Pakistan this year through its subsidiary Faysal Bank, to capitalise on the country’s low penetration rate of banking services, a senior executive said.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1386146/faysal-bank-to-open-over-100-branches

‘Repatriation of profits surges 30pc
Repatriation of profits and dividends by foreign companies operating in the country increased by 30 per cent during the first half of this fiscal year compared to the same period last year.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1386148/repatriation-of-profits-surges-30pc

SC hearing to ascertain period of disqualification begins today
The Supreme Court is all set to take up on Tuesday (today) a number of appeals involving, among other constitutional questions, the interpretation of Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution with a view to ascertaining the period of disqualification of a member of parliament..
https://www.dawn.com/news/1386047/sc-hearing-to-ascertain-period-of-disqualification-begins-today

ECP announces Senate poll date, ends uncertainty
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday quashed rumours about the uncertain fate of the upcoming Senate polls by announcing that the election for 52 of the total 104 seats of the upper house of parliament would be held on March 3.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1386049/ecp-announces-senate-poll-date-ends-uncertainty

SECP amends policy to promote brokerage business
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has amended the Securities Broker (Licensing and Operations) Regulations, 2016 to reduce regulatory burden and to promote ease of doing business for the brokerage industry.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/274549-secp-amends-policy-to-promote-brokerage-business
 

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Economy News
01 February 2018


Petrol goes up by Rs2.89 per litre, diesel Rs5.92 OMCs| Positive
The government on Wednesday increased the petrol prices by Rs2.89/litre, diesel Rs5.92 and kerosene by Rs5.94 a litre for the month of February 2018, effective from today (Thursday). Besides, Light Diesel Oil (LDO) price has also been increased by Rs5.93/litre. Click here for more

Dollar demand high in kerb market, dealers tell SBP Economy| Neutral
The demand for dollars remains high in the open market, currency dealers informed the State Bank on Wednesday. During a meeting, the central bank asked the currency dealer to do more to bring the kerb rates down.Click here for more

Mega Conglomerate to acquire Dewan Cement DCL| Positive
Mega Conglomerate (Pvt) Ltd has appointed BMA Capital Management Ltd as managers to the offer for the acquisition of controlling shares in Dewan Cement Ltd (DCL). Click here for more

SBP sells Rs1.137bln worth of T-bills Economy| Neutral
The central bank sold Rs1.137 billion worth of three-month market treasury bills in an auction on Wednesday with yield on the paper going up, while no bids were received for other tenors. The yield on a three-month treasury bills edged up to 6.2144 percent from 5.9910 percent at the previous auction held on January 17 Click here for more

JS Bank, Porsche Pakistan sign auto financing agreement JSBL | Positive
JS Bank and Porsche Pakistan have signed an agreement to provide auto financing solutions for Porsche’s ultra-luxury and sport cars to consumers in Pakistan. Click here for more

HBL only bank with branch in Gwadar and China HBL | Neutral
HBL opened its branch in the Gwadar Free Zone on the 29th of January 2018, making it the only bank to have a branch in Gwadar as well as China. Click here for more

Used imported cars: ministries differ over bill of lading date Autos | Neutral
Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Finance are reportedly not on the same page with respect to bill of lading date for three-year used cars imported after amendment in Import Policy Order (IPO) Click here for more

KP, Russian group sign Rs35b deal to set up oil refinery Economy | Positive
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil and Gas Company Limited (KPOGCL) and a Russian consortium of investors Wednesday reached an agreement to establish an oil refinery having capacity to purify 200,000 barrels oil per day with an investment of Rs35 billion. Click here for more

Cement industry asks govt to raise duty on clinker import Cements | Positive
The cement industry has urged the government to increase custom duty on import of clinker to support the local manufacturers, as exports continue to decline amidst buoyancy in domestic market. Click here for more

Political News

Katas Raj case: SC orders removal of Siddiqul Farooq
Supreme Court Wednesday ordered removal of Siddiqul Farooq as the head of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) with directives to appoint an apolitical person as new head of the trust. Hearing the Katas Raj suo motu case, a three-member bench had summoned Farooq over his controversial appointment and role in the ETPB, which looks after affairs of minorities' religious places in the country. Click here for more

SC grants time to Nawaz Sharif in case about term of disqualification
The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted time to Azam Tarar, counsel for ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, to prepare arguments over determining the disqualification time period of parliamentarians under Article 62(1) (f) of the constitution. Click here for more

International News

Fed holds interest rates steady
The US Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged on Wednesday but said it anticipated inflation would rise this year, in a sign it is still on track to raise borrowing costs again in March under incoming central bank chief Jerome Powell. Citing solid gains in employment, household spending and capital investment Click here for more
 

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News Pulse (February 1, 2018)

Government borrows over Rs 1.8 trillion via T-Bills
The federal government Wednesday borrowed over Rs 1.8 trillion through the auction for short-term government papers. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), on January 31, conducted the auction for the sale of 3-month, 6-month and 12-month Market Treasury Bills (MTBs). Banks aggressively participated in the auction, however, financial institutions were reluctant to invest in more than three months' papers and hence the entire bids were submitted for 3-month T-bills. Not a single bid was received for 6-month and 12-month MTBs in the auction.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/02/20180201340241/

Prices of HSD, other POL products raised
The government on Wednesday increased per litre prices of petroleum products ranging between Rs 2.98 and Rs 5.93 for this month. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has estimated to collect over Rs 30 billion from this increase in the prices of petroleum products during February 2018, sources said. The government increased price of petrol by Rs 2.98 per litre from existing Rs 81.53 to Rs 84.51. The supply of domestic gas has been suspended to CNG retail outlets in Punjab. The demand of petrol, therefore, has increased manifold.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/02/20180201340182/

FBR collects over Rs 2 trillion in seven months
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has recorded provisional net revenue collection of over Rs 2 trillion during first seven months of the current financial year against Rs 1,699 billion collected during the same period of the previous fiscal year, recording an increase of more than Rs 300 billion. During January 2018, the FBR yet again replicates its robust performance by surpassing 2 trillion mark in the first seven months of the current fiscal year.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/02/20180201340185/

SBP asks ECs to reduce interbank-open market gap
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Wednesday asked exchange companies to reduce the rising exchange rate gap in interbank and open currency market up to one percent. It had already decided that the gap in exchange rate of interbank and open currency market will not be above one percent or Re 1. Presently, exchange rate in the open currency market surged to Rs 112.70 to the dollar, which is some Rs 2.10 higher than interbank market.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/02/20180201340176/

FTAs with different countries to be reviewed: minister
Executive Members of the chamber, former presidents of chambers and prominent businessmen were also present in the meeting. Shinwari remarked that more concessions under FTAs to different countries are causing de-industrialization and rapidly declining businesses in the country. He added the imports are also increasing due to this practice.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/02/20180201340252/

Annual power dispatch losses over Rs200b, PAC told
The Public Accounts Committee was informed on Wednesday that annual dispatch losses of electricity were around Rs213 billion. The PAC meeting, chaired by Syed Khurshid Shah, reviewed the audit objections of annual dispatch losses and theft in different Discos. Shah expressed displeasure over electricity theft in different parts of the country. He also criticised concerned ministry for not properly handling the electricity theft and losses in different areas of the country.
https://nation.com.pk/01-Feb-2018/annual-power-dispatch-losses-over-rs200b-pac-told

EU agrees to assist Pakistan in energy conservation
Pakistan and European Union have agreed for cooperation in energy conservation and energy efficiency. In this regard, the Power Division will send a high level delegation, comprising of government officials and private sector experts, to EU to participate in a workshop that will be attended by European experts and professionals.
https://nation.com.pk/01-Feb-2018/eu-agrees-to-assist-pakistan-in-energy-conservation

Govt to promote trade with Italy
Pakistan and Italy have vowed to remove bottlenecks in promotion of trade and agreed that the current level of bilateral trade and investment did not fully reflect the potential of their economies, a statement said on Wednesday.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/275394-govt-to-promote-trade-with-italy

KP, Russian group sign Rs35b deal to set up oil refinery
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil and Gas Company Limited (KPOGCL) and a Russian consortium of investors Wednesday reached an agreement to establish an oil refinery having capacity to purify 200,000 barrels oil per day with an investment of Rs35 billion.KPOGCL Chief Planning Officer (Energy and Power Department) Zainullah Shah and Yoroslav of Himmash signed the deal at KP House Islamabad.
https://nation.com.pk/01-Feb-2018/kp-russian-group-sign-rs35b-deal-to-set-up-oil-refinery

Mega Conglomerate to acquire Dewan Cement
Mega Conglomerate (Pvt) Ltd has appointed BMA Capital Management Ltd as managers to the offer for the acquisition of controlling shares in Dewan Cement Ltd (DCL). A notice released by BMA to the stock exchange said that Mega Conglomerate was submitting a copy of public announcement of its intention to acquire 424m shares of DCL, constituting up to 87.5pc shares of the total issued by the company.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1386544/mega-conglomerate-to-acquire-dewan-cement
 

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News Pulse (February 2, 2018)

SBP links Sindh-Summit banks merger with provincial cabinet’s nod
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday said it has no objection over the proposed merger of Sindh Bank with Summit Bank if the provincial government approves the deal.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/275765-sbp-links-sindh-summit-banks-merger-with-provincial-cabinet-s-nod

Bike assemblers push up prices
Japanese and Chinese bike assemblers on Thursday raised the prices of motorcycles by Rs1,000-7,000 citing rupee depreciation against the dollar and raw materials becoming pricier.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1386726/bike-assemblers-push-up-prices

Hub Power Company: Mega Conglomerate to buy shares of Dawood Hercules
The board of directors of Dawood Hercules Corporation has accepted an offer received from Mega Conglomerate (Private) Limited pursuant to which the Mega Conglomerate has agreed to purchase entire share holding of Dawood Hercules in the Hub Power Company at a purchase price of Rs 106.50 per share.
http://fp.brecorder.com/2018/02/20180202340526/

AGPL all set to go public; book-building next week
JS Global Capital Limited has kicked off registration for the book-building of 35 million shares constituting 12.5 percent of the total paid-up capital of AGP Limited (AGPL),
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/275782-agpl-all-set-to-go-public-book-building-next-week

After eating up $2.5b, Pakistan to float another $1b Eurobond within two months
After eating up the $2.5 billion it borrowed two months ago by issuing two sovereign bonds, Pakistan wants to float another Eurobond this month to raise around $1 billion amid fast depletion of its foreign currency reserves.
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1624314/2-eating-2-5b-pakistan-float-another-1b-eurobond-within-two-months/

China not losing interest in CPEC projects: envoy
The Ambassador of China, Yao Jing has dispelled the impression that their country losing interest in the CPEC projects, adding that Chinese government wanted expeditious execution of developmental schemes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its adjoining tribal belt.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/02/20180202340469/

Reserves fall $299m
The country’s total liquid foreign exchange reserves amounted to $19.354 billion on Jan 26, down $285.9 million or 1.45 per cent from a week ago, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Thursday.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1386721/reserves-fall-299m

Inflation jumps to 4.4pc
Pakistan’s annual inflation climbed to 4.4 per cent in January from 3.7pc in the same month last year mainly due to hike in petroleum prices.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1386727/inflation-jumps-to-44pc

Industrial sector: government may discontinue power subsidy
Federal government is likely to discontinue from December 2017 the Rs 3 per unit (KWh) subsidy extended to the industrial sector by the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 2015 as Finance Division is unwilling to release funds against the Discos claims.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/02/20180202340452/
 

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Economy News
02 February 2018

SBP links Sindh-Summit banks merger with provincial cabinet’s nod SMBL| Neutral

SBP on Thursday said it has no objection over the proposed merger of Sindh Bank with Summit Bank if the provincial government approves the deal. Click here for more

Cement sales likely to post 22pc growth in Jan Cements| Positive
Cement sales are expected to post a 22 percent or 3.7 million tons year-on-year growth in January 2018, mainly supported by high local demand. Click here for more

Dawood Hercules accepts offer for HUBCO stake sale DAWH | HUBC | Positive
Dawood Hercules Corporation Limited on Thursday announced it has accepted Mega Conglomerate Private Limited’s (MCPL) offer for the acquisition of its entire shareholding in Hub Power Company (HUBCO) at a purchase price of Rs106.5/share, which brings the total transaction outlay to Rs18.38 billion. Click here for more

HBL hires JP Morgan banker as new chief HBL| Neutral
Habib Bank Limited (HBL) on Thursday said it has nominated Muhammad Aurangzeb, a top JP Morgan banker as new head of the bank to oversee its operations. Click here for more

AGPL all set to go public; book-building next week AGPL | Positive
JS Global Capital Limited has kicked off registration for the book-building of 35 million shares constituting 12.5 percent of the total paid-up capital of AGP Limited (AGPL), one of the leading local pharmaceutical companies of Pakistan Click here for more

CEOs of four underperforming Discos sacked Economy | Positive
The federal government on Thursday removed chief executive officers (CEOs) of four distribution companies for their inefficiency and inability to contain theft and revenue losses. Click here for more

Inflation jumps to 4.4pc Economy | Neutral
Pakistan’s annual inflation climbed to 4.4 per cent in January from 3.7pc in the same month last year mainly due to hike in petroleum prices. Click here for more

Pakistan to float another USD 1bn Euro Bond Economy | Positive
Amid Depleting reserves, Govt has decided to tap international debt market again. Click here for more

LPG prices too increased LPG | Positive
After more than 10 percent increase in POL products prices the government Thursday increased the prices of LPG and set Rs 1332.48 per 11.8 Kg cylinder for the end consumers. Click here for more

Reserves fall $299m LPG | Positive
The country’s total liquid foreign exchange reserves amounted to $19.354 billion on Jan 26, down $285.9 million or 1.45 per cent from a week ago, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Thursday. Click here for more

Political News

ECP issues Senate election schedule today
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad on Thursday said that schedule for the Senate of Pakistan elections would be issued on Friday. Since the Elections Act, 2017, could not be extended to the Federal Capital and the Tribal Areas, therefore, the schedule for these regions could not be issued on Friday. Click here for more

Mystery as PPP minister, wife found shot dead
Mystery surrounded the case of seasoned Pakistan Peoples Party politician and senior Sindh minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani and his wife Fariha Razzak Haroon, a former provincial assembly member and long-time media professional, who were found shot dead inside their Defence house on Thursday. Click here for more

Foreign assets: SC takes suo motu notice
The Supreme Court Thursday took a suo motu notice of funds deposited in foreign bank accounts and foreign assets held by Pakistani citizens. Click here for more

International News

Goldman Sachs sees oil surging above $80 in 6 months
Goldman Sachs on Thursday raised its 2018 oil price forecasts, projecting that Brent crude will soon top $80, fueled by blockbuster oil demand, a deal among big producers to limit output and U.S. drillers' inability to meet the world's growing energy appetite. Click here for more
 

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News Pulse (February 6, 2018)

UK property law spells trouble for Pakistani politicians

The UK government has introduced new rules giving unprecedented powers to law enforcement agencies to crack down on properties and assets amassed through “dirty money”.Under the new rules, which are designed to stop corrupt people from using Britain as a safe haven, individuals can be fined and jailed if they make misleading statements.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1387198/uk-property-law-spells-trouble-for-pakistani-politicians

Pakistan, Afghanistan agree to carry forward engagement

Pakistan’s offer to Afghanistan for joint investigation into recent terrorist attacks in Kabul helped break the ice at the inaugural session of talks on Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) on Saturday and both sides agreed to carry forward their engagement despite deep-rooted mutual mistrust.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1387204/pakistan-afghanistan-agree-to-carry-forward-engagement

Witnesses to testify via video link in case against Sharif

Two UK-based prosecution witnesses, including a nephew of an additional director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), have been allowed to testify through a video link in a supplementary reference against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif related to Avenfield apartments.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1387035/witnesses-to-testify-via-video-link-in-case-against-sharif

ECP issues schedule for Senate polls

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday issued the schedule for the upcoming Senate polls with slight amendment to dates for submission of nomination papers already announced by it. The commission, however, withheld the schedule for Senate seats from Fata and Islamabad, as the president is yet to extend the Elections Act, 2017 to Fata and determine the manner for Senate seats from the tribal areas and Islamabad through two different orders.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1387034/ecp-issues-schedule-for-senate-polls

US general rules out military operations inside Pakistan

A senior US general has assured Islamabad that the United States is not planning to conduct military operations inside Pakistan. Another general said that despite differences Pakistan remains “absolutely critical” to America’s success in Afghanistan, while the Pentagon’s chief spokesperson urged Islamabad to join US efforts to defeat terrorists in the South Asian region.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1387031/us-general-rules-out-military-operations-inside-pakistan

CPEC coal-based power plants to damage environment: ADB

The Asian Development Bank says that the upcoming 10 gigawatts generation capacity under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which is expected to be commissioned before 2019, will increase greenhouse gas emissions substantially that will worsen the climate change mitigation concerns.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1387105/cpec-coal-based-power-plants-to-damage-environment-adb

Pakistan, WB sign loans worth $305m

Pakistan and the World Bank signed agreements worth $305 million on Friday to support projects in the agriculture sector in Punjab and to improve the nutritional status of children and women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1386922/pakistan-wb-sign-loans-worth-305m

Ninth round of CPFTA-II in hot water

The 9th round of China-Pak Free Trade Agreement-II (CPFTA-II) is in the hot waters as both sides are not ready to change their respective positions on Tariff Reduction Modalities (TRM), well informed sources in Commerce Ministry told Business Recorder. The 9th round of FTA-II is being negotiated in Beijing, China, from February 5 to 8, 2018. Pakistani side is represented by Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Industries & Production, Federal Board of Revenue, Textile Division, National Tariff Commission and MINFAL.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/02/20180206341504/

First quarter provincial development spending declines by 7.4 percent

The provincial development spending fell 7.4 percent during the first quarter (July-Sep) of fiscal year (FY18). The trend is against the persistent increase recorded during three previous years. According to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in contrast to the trends in recent years, provincial current expenditures increased while development spending declined. Probably, lower receipts from federal revenue might have affected provincial development spending, it added.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/02/20180205341318/

Budget likely in second week of May

The government is expected to present fiscal year 2018-19 budget in the second week of May 2018, one-and-a-half months before the end of current fiscal year because the holy month of Ramazan is expected to begin on May 16 or May 17, 2018. The government had presented current fiscal year budget on May 26, 2017, two days before the advent of Ramazan. Talking to media persons, Minister of State for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal stated that next fiscal year''s budget should be presented by the incumbent government, which will be its sixth budget.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2018/02/20180204341045/

Pakistan loses 1,000GW of electricity in two year

Pakistan lost a gigantic 1,000 gigawatts of electricity during the past two years due to technical inefficiencies and inept management of state-owned power plants, an official report revealed. The poor state of public sector generation companies (Gencos) resulted in a loss of 1,051 gigawatts of energy in 2014/15 and 2015/16, causing considerable financial loss to national exchequer and which compelled the government to phase out inefficient and old power plants.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/277373-pakistan-loses-1-000gw-of-electricity-in-two-years

Exchange rate spread may route remittances via grey channels

A widening gap between exchange rates in interbank and open markets is feared to promote remittances through unofficial channels as kerb rate is relatively more attractive, analysts said. The spread between the exchange rates widened to Rs1.55 on Friday as rupee closed at 110.55/dollar in the interbank market and 112.10 in the open market.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/276255-exchange-rate-spread-may-route-remittances-via-grey-channels

Cement despatches grow by 15pc, but exports suffer

Capacity utilisation in the cement industry during the first seven months of the current fiscal year reached 91.28 per cent which is the highest since 2004-05.The cement industry despatched 26.33 million tonnes during July 2017-January 2018 versus 23mn tonnes in the corresponding period last year.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1386925/cement-despatches-grow-by-15pc-but-exports-suffer

Sindh slaps 15pc sales tax on inter-provincial POL supplies

Sindh government fixed a 15 percent service sales tax on tankers supplying petroleum, oil and lubricant (POL) products outside the province, keeping exemption intact for some territories, officials said on Saturday. The officials said Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) notified the new rules to end the long-standing conflict regarding sales tax on services.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/276613-sindh-slaps-15pc-sales-tax-on-inter-provincial-pol-supplies
 

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