Daily News: 28th April 2020

Good Morning

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved the prime minister’s relief package of Rs50.69 billion for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through pre-paid electricity and credit loss subsidy of Rs30 billion for the risk sharing facility for the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP’s) refinance scheme to support employment and prevent lay-off of workers. The government is likely to revise GDP growth rate downward to around 2 percent against the budgeted 2.4 percent for the current financial year 2019-20, as the economy has suffered loss of around $20 billion so far on account of Coronavirus outbreak. Minister for Industries and Production Muhammad Hammad Azhar Monday said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was focusing on addressing the economic woes of the business community, especially the small traders, and hence their electricity bills would be waived off for the next six months.

Market View: The KSE100 Index lost 491.81 points yesterday, ending the session at 32,314.57 points. We believe that the market would be under pressure today due to the mounting political uncertainty regarding the 18th Ammendment, along with the weakness in oil prices internationally.

Commodities:

Brent oil (USD/bbl): 19.07 (-4.60% D/D)
Crude oil (USD/bbl): 11.04 (-13.62% D/D)
Gold (USD/oz): 1,712.90 (-0.6323% D/D)

National News

ECC approves Rs51bn package for SMEs

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved the prime minister’s relief package of Rs50.69 billion for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through pre-paid electricity and credit loss subsidy of Rs30 billion for the risk sharing facility for the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP’s) refinance scheme to support employment and prevent lay-off of workers.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/28/1-page/835161-news.html

Exports to Gulf states jump 36pc

Pakistan’s exports to the Middle Eastern countries increased by 36 per cent during the current fiscal year, data released by the Ministry of Commerce showed on Monday.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1552822/exports-to-gulf-states-jump-36pc

Govt mulling doing away with deemed duty on HSD sales

Federal government is considering doing away with deemed duty on high speed diesel (HSD) sales as oil refineries have stalled upgradation of their production processes and plants to produce better grade petroleum products, sources said.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/28/1-page/835158-news.html

GDP growth may be revised downward to around 2pc

The government is likely to revise GDP growth rate downward to around 2 percent against the budgeted 2.4 percent for the current financial year 2019-20, as the economy has suffered loss of around $20 billion so far on account of Coronavirus outbreak.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/28/1-page/835163-news.html

Power bills of small traders to be waived for 6 months

Minister for Industries and Production Muhammad Hammad Azhar Monday said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was focusing on addressing the economic woes of the business community, especially the small traders, and hence their electricity bills would be waived off for the next six months.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/28/1-page/835162-news.html

Govt grants licences for 100MW solar power plants

The government has licenced two local businesses to set up 100 megawatts of solar power plants for an estimated investment of $100 million, it was learnt on Monday.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/650703-govt-grants-licences-for-100mw-solar-power-plants

Wapda working on strategy to raise $2bn financing

Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) is working on a strategy to raising $ 2 billion financing through different tools in addition to issuance of green Eurobond for the projects.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/28/16-page/835279-news.html

Pakistan’s steel sector opposes reduction in tariffs

The government’s decision of reducing taxes on steel imports will lead to closure of the steel industry, argued steel manufacturers, urging the authorities to keep import duties in place.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2208449/2-pakistans-steel-sector-opposes-reduction-tariffs/

IPPs could face further inquiry

The Independent Power Producers (IPPs) are to face further inquiry in the days to come as National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has started a probe in the light of “ one sided” Inquiry Report prepared by a nine-member committee.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/28/16-page/835278-news.html

Pakistan’s cement sector posts hefty losses in third quarter

The cement industry is paying Rs195 worth tax per bag – highest in the region, along with a 50% increase in transportation cost after the implementation of the axle load policy that resulted in huge losses for the industry during the last nine month.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2208444/2-pakistans-cement-sector-posts-hefty-losses-third-quarter/

Sales tax exemption notified

The FBR on Monday issued a notification for exemption of sales tax on services of property developers and promoters in the federal capital.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1552816/sales-tax-exemption-notified

Share of hydropower in energy mix likely to decline sharply: report

According to a plan submitted to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra), the share of cheaper hydropower in the national power mix is likely to decline to about 20 per cent from 30pc at present by the fiscal year 2040 due to the negligible role played by private sector as the government attempts to renegotiate terms of contracts with thermal power producers.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1552568/share-of-hydropower-in-energy-mix-likely-to-decline-sharply-report

Flour prices up in Punjab

A number of flourmills in Punjab have increased the price of 20kg flour bag to Rs818 on short supply of wheat, as they accuse Punjab Food Department (PFD) of adopting monopolistic policies in the middle of wheat harvesting. Harvesting has gained momentum in the province, with visible heaps of wheat all around. On the face of it, price of grain should not increase.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/650895-flour-prices-up-in-punjab

Lotte Chemical suspends plant operations amid Covid-19 lockdown

The Lotte Chemical Pakistan Limited (LOTCHEM) has temporarily suspended its plant operations until further notice, informed the company in a statement to the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Monday.

https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2020/04/27/lotte-chemical-suspends-plant-operations-amid-covid-19-lockdown/

Opposition vows to protect 18th Amendment

Expressing their concern over controversial remarks by some federal ministers about the 18th Amendment, the opposition parties on Monday vowed to protect the provincial autonomy granted under the historic amendment and warned the government against any move to reverse or repeal it.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1552789/opposition-vows-to-protect-18th-amendment

International News

Oil drops 11%, extending Monday’s 25% decline

Oil prices slid 11% during overnight trading, extending Monday’s nearly 25% decline on ongoing fears that storage around the world is rapidly filling.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/27/oil-news-wti-crude-brent-prices-today.html

Asia stocks little changed as oil prices continue to fall; HSBC earnings ahead

Stocks in Asia were little changed on Tuesday morning as oil prices continued to slip following an overnight plunge on fears that global storage capacity will soon be filled as a result of weak demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/28/asia-markets-coronavirus-hsbc-earnings-oil-prices-in-focus.html

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