Daily News:10th April 2020

Good Morning

The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank decreased 4.14% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. On April 3, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $10,722.5 million, down $463 million compared with $11,185.6 million in the previous week. The central bank attributed the decline to external debt repayments of $465 million. On the other hand, Over 79 per cent of all foreign investment in the country’s capital markets — including bonds and equities — has fled the country in the last 40 days. During the current fiscal year, foreign investment in domestic bonds and equity markets noted an inflow of $4.144 billion, however, that quickly turned into outflows during March. The pace has continued into April as well. As of April 8, total outflows during the current fiscal year have reached $3.274bn accounting for 79pc of the total investments. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board is scheduled to meet on April 16, to consider Pakistan’s request for $1.4 billion loan under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). The government has requested the Fund for additional $1.4 billion through RFI -which provides rapid and low-access financial assistance to member countries facing an urgent balance of payments need, without the need to have a full-fledged program in place. The RFI of $1.4 billion, if approved, would not carry any conditionality and would be disbursed in one go.

Market View: The KSE100 Index gained  866  points during yesterday’s trading session. Relief packages by federal government coupled with IMF and ADB budgetary support has kept the market afloat.  

Commodities:

Brent oil (USD/bbl): 32.03 (-2.47% D/D)
Crude oil (USD/bbl): 23.19 (-7.57% D/D)
Gold (USD/oz): 1,740.60 (+3.34% D/D)

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves fall $463m to $10.7b

KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank decreased 4.14% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. On April 3, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $10,722.5 million, down $463 million compared with $11,185.6 million in the previous week.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2194319/2-foreign-exchange-sbp-reserves-fall-463m-10-7b/

$1.4 billion loan under RFI: IMF to consider request on April 16

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board is scheduled to meet on April 16, to consider Pakistan’s request for $1.4 billion loan under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). The government has requested the Fund for additional $1.4 billion through RFI -which provides rapid and low-access financial assistance to member countries facing an urgent balance of payments need, without the need to have a full-fledged program in place.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/10/588204/one-4-billion-loan-under-rfi-imf-to-consider-request-on-april-16/

Capital market outflows jump to $3.27bn

KARACHI: Over 79 per cent of all foreign investment in the country’s capital markets — including bonds and equities — has fled the country in the last 40 days. The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) latest data issued on Thursday showed the pace of outflows from the country’s treasury bills, Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) and equity markets has accelerated.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1547975/capital-market-outflows-jump-to-327bn

ECC approves Rs300bn bailout for power sector

ISLAMABAD: A special meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Thursday cleared a cumulative bailout package of almost Rs300 billion for the power sector to settle immediate liabilities besides allowing compensation against foreign exchange loss to oil marketing companies (OMCs).

https://www.dawn.com/news/1547976/ecc-approves-rs300bn-bailout-for-power-sector

ADB repurposes $50 million from NDRMF to help combat COVID-19

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has repurposed $50 million from Pakistan’s National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) to support the government of Pakistan’s preventive and response efforts to fight the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/10/588202/adb-repurposes-50-million-from-ndrmf-to-help-combat-covid-19/

Rs 2.5 billion relief package to be enhanced to Rs 7 billion: Firdous

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan Thursday said that Rs2.5 billion relief package had been announced, which would be enhanced to Rs7 billion. Besides, the prime minister has also approved Rs10 billion for smooth supply of essential items on subsidised rates through the Utility Stores Corporation.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/10/588201/rs-25-billion-relief-package-to-be-enhanced-to-rs-7-billion-firdous/

Fuel adjustments in electricity bills: Deferment approved under govt relief package

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved the deferment of monthly and quarterly fuel adjustments in the electricity bills for power consumers for the next three months (till June 2020) under the government relief package.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/10/588200/fuel-adjustments-in-electricity-bills-deferment-approved-under-govt-relief-package/

Pakistan pledges $3m for Saarc Covid fund

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday pledged $3 million towards the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s (Saarc) Covid-19 Emergency Fund — the brainchild of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1547946/pakistan-pledges-3m-for-saarc-covid-fund

Govt plans to hand over coal pricing to OGRA

ISLAMABAD: The government is moving to place coal pricing within the purview of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) as it plans to revisit the imported coal supply agreement in a bid to cut prices. Currently, pricing of petroleum products, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) falls within the domain of Ogra and coal pricing would be a new addition for the regulator.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2194529/2-govt-plans-hand-coal-pricing-ogra/

Govt to reopen low-risk industries across the country

ISLAMABAD: The parliamentary committee on Covid-19 was informed on Thursday that the government was reopening low-risk industries to ensure the supply of essential commodities amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2194443/1-govt-reopen-low-risk-industries-across-country/

Pakistan boycotts India-sponsored meeting of SAARC trade officials

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday boycotted the virtual conference of trade officials from South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), saying such meetings could only be effective if spearheaded by the group’s secretariat instead of India.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2193666/1-pakistan-boycotts-india-sponsored-meeting-saarc-trade-officials/

ECC approves Rs100b borrowing from banks

ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday approved borrowing of Rs100 billion from banks to offset the impact of deferring increase in electricity prices for six months and also decided to compensate oil importers for exchange rate losses.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2194522/2-ecc-approves-rs100b-borrowing-banks/

International News

Pandemic will unleash worst recession since Great Depression: IMF

WASHINGTON: The pandemic sweeping the world will turn global economic growth “sharply negative” in 2020, triggering the worst fallout since the 1930s Great Depression, with only a partial recovery seen in 2021, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2194330/2-pandemic-will-unleash-worst-recession-since-great-depression-imf/

Saudi Arabia, Russia closing in on record oil cut deal

DUBAI: Opec and it allies held talks on Thursday on record oil output curbs of 15 million to 20m barrels per day (bpd), or 15 to 20 per cent of global supplies, to support prices hammered by the coronavirus crisis, Opec and Russian sources said.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1547973/saudi-arabia-russia-closing-in-on-record-oil-cut-deal

OPEC and allies’ historic oil cut hits snag as Mexico reportedly rejects deal

A historic production cut agreement between OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, hit a roadblock after Mexico reportedly refused to agree to its share of the cuts after a marathon meeting between the oil-producing nations that lasted more than nine hours.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/09/oil-jumps-ahead-of-make-or-break-opec-meeting.html

European shares post best week since 2011

European stock markets gained for a fourth straight day on Thursday with sentiment propped up by the latest round of stimulus from the US Federal Reserve and on hopes the coronavirus pandemic was close to peaking.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/10/588112/european-shares-post-best-week-since-2011/

Thursday’s early afternoon trade: Stocks stay up on Fed’s $2.3trn backstop

Wall Street rose for the third time in four days on Thursday as the US Federal Reserve rolled out a massive $2.3 trillion program to bolster local governments and businesses, while oil prices gained on expectations of a drastic cut in output.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/10/588115/thursdays-early-afternoon-trade-stocks-stay-up-on-feds-23trn-backstop/

Gold hits 1-month peak fuelled by Fed’s new stimulus measures

Gold prices surged over 2.5% to their highest in a month on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced a massive stimulus to combat the economic toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/10/588214/gold-hits-1-month-peak-fuelled-by-feds-new-stimulus-measures/

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