Daily News:15th April 2020

Good Morning

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Tuesday that the global and domestic spread of Covid-19 has brought an exceptional set of challenges for the country and as the situation is extremely fluid and highly uncertain, the economic outlook remains subdued compared to the pre-outbreak estimates. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected a sharp decline in the GDP growth rate for Pakistan from 3.3 percent in 2019 to -1.5 percent in 2020, and projected rise in unemployment from 4.1 percent in 2019 to 4.5 percent in 2020, and further rise to 5.1 percent in 2021. The IMF in its latest report the “World Economic Outlook (WEO), the Great Lockdown” has projected GDP growth rate at -1.5 percent in 2020 against 3.3 percent in 2019, and projected at two percent for 2021. 

Market View: The KSE100 Index gained 189.75 points on Tuesday, ending the session at 31,222.74 points. We expect the market to remain under pressure in the upcoming session as IMF cuts GDP forecast for the country and warns that pandemic caused global recession could worsen. 

Commodities:Brent oil (USD/bbl): 29.99 (+1.32% D/D)
WTI Crude oil (USD/bbl): 20.59 (+2.39% D/D)
Gold (USD/oz): 1,754.70 (-0.802% D/D)
 
National News Covid-19: Economic outlook remains subdued: SBP
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Tuesday that the global and domestic spread of Covid-19 has brought an exceptional set of challenges for the country and as the situation is extremely fluid and highly uncertain, the economic outlook remains subdued compared to the pre-outbreak estimates.https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/15/589523/covid-19-economic-outlook-remains-subdued-sbp/                                                     

IMF projects sharp decline in growth
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected a sharp decline in the GDP growth rate for Pakistan from 3.3 percent in 2019 to -1.5 percent in 2020, and projected rise in unemployment from 4.1 percent in 2019 to 4.5 percent in 2020, and further rise to 5.1 percent in 2021. The IMF in its latest report the “World Economic Outlook (WEO), the Great Lockdown” has projected GDP growth rate at -1.5 percent in 2020 against 3.3 percent in 2019, and projected at two percent for 2021.
https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/15/589518/imf-projects-sharp-decline-in-growth/ 

Pandemic causing deep recession, and it could get worse: IMF
Washington: The coronavirus pandemic is pushing the global economy into its deepest recession in a century, cutting world output by three percent this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/644438-pandemic-causing-deep-recession-and-it-could-get-worse-imf 

COVID-19 bound to weaken economic activity, consumer demand: State Bank
KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday painted a bleak picture of the economy inflicted with the novel coronavirus-led slowdown despite that stabilisation measures started to yield positive results in the recent past.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/644437-covid-19-bound-to-weaken-economic-activity-consumer-demand-state-bank 

Reforms needed to be prioritized to attract, sustain FDI inflows: SBP
ISLAMABAD: Reforms are needed to be prioritized to attract and sustain higher Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into the country, according to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) second quarterly report on the state of economy, released on Tuesday.
https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/15/2-page/833613-news.html 

IPPs’ issue; Flawed govt approach?
ISLAMABAD: The government is reportedly divided in two camps on level of engagement with the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to bring down capacity payment and subsequently reduce tariff.
https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/15/14-page/833718-news.html 

Govt asked to retire GENCOs, IPPs established under 1994, 2002 policies
ISLAMABAD: The nine-member committee headed by ex-chairman of SECP Mohammad Ali which was earlier constituted by Prime Minister Imran Khan on August 7, 2019 has unfolded startling disclosures in its report recently submitted with the top man of the country that under the 1994 power policy, 16 out of 17 IPPs, which invested a combined capital of Rs50.80 billion, have so far earned profit in excess of Rs415 billion, having taken out dividends in excess of Rs310 billion.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/644714-govt-asked-to-retire-gencos-ipps-established-under-1994-2002-policies 

Textile industry seeks relief for a quarter
ISLAMABAD: The country’s textile industry has sought extension in payment of interest on loans/advances, date for sales tax returns and deferment of energy bills for March and April for at least one quarter.
https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/15/16-page/833728-news.html                      

Traders postpone business resumption after gradual ease assured
KARACHI: Traders on Tuesday decided to continue observing coronavirus-led lockdown after the Sindh administration assured them of procedures to gradually ease shutdown in two days.Sindh Traders Alliance’s (STA) spokesperson Mehmood Hamid said the government officials assured them that they would finalise much-awaited standard operating procedures (SOPs) for gradual ease from almost one month long lockdown.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/644439-traders-postpone-business-resumption-after-gradual-ease-assured 

PM Imran extends lockdown for two weeks
Prime Minister Imran Khan has extended the lockdown in the country for an additional two weeks, saying that the restrictions as well as other social distancing measures have benefited the country despite the economic costs incurred and announced opening construction as well as several other industries from today (Wednesday).
https://tribune.com.pk/story/2198071/1-pm-imran-extends-lockdown-two-weeks/ 

Curbs eased for certain industries
Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday announced that the construction industry had been allowed to operate with immediate opening of basic things for the industry in the first phase however, lockdown of public places would remain for the next two weeks.
https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/15/589522/curbs-eased-for-certain-industries/ 

PM decides to enhance lending limit to Rs25m
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday decided to further provide greater entrepreneurship opportunities to the country’s youth by enhancing the loan limits under the Kamyab Jawan programme from the current limit of Rs5 million to Rs25 million.
https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/15/16-page/833729-news.html 

Corona death toll rises to 107 in country
ISLAMABAD/KARACHI/LAHORE: The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country rose to 5,984 on Tuesday, with Sindh reporting 1,518 cases, Punjab 2,945, Balochistan 248, KP 865, Islamabad 131, Gilgit Baltistan (GB) 234 and AJK 43 till the filing of report at 1:59am on Wednesday.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/644715-corona-death-toll-rises-to-107-in-country

International News 

Oil drops more than 10% as producer cuts fail to banish demand fears
Oil prices shed more than 10% on Tuesday, with investors apparently unconvinced that record supply cuts could soon balance markets pummeled by the coronavirus pandemic, though a predicted plunge in U.S. shale output provided some support.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/14/oil-markets-coronavirus-pandemic-us-shale-in-focus.html

Gold hovers near 7-year peak as coronavirus-led economic fears deepen
Gold prices were steady on Wednesday, hovering close to a more-than-seven-year high hit in the previous session, as investor fears of a global economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic heightened, supporting the appeal of the safe-haven metal
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/15/gold-markets-coronavirus-pandemic-in-focus.html

Asia Pacific markets little changed as IMF flags risk of severe global recession
Stocks in Asia were little changed in Wednesday morning trade as the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic continued to weigh on investor sentiment.
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/15/asia-markets-coronavirus-imf-currencies-in-focus.html
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