Daily News:6th April 2020

Good Morning

The SPI inflation during the week ended April 2 against March 26 on Week-on-Week (WoW) basis witnessed a reduction of 2.01 percent for combined income groups, ie, from 128.10 points to 125.52 points, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistic (PBS) revealed. The World Bank (WB) has revised the real GDP growth projection massively for Pakistan to 1.1 percent from an earlier projection of 2.4 percent for 2020 and 0.9 percent for 2021 from the earlier three percent on account of steep decline in economic activity since March. Trade deficit narrowed sharply 26.5 percent in the first nine months of the current fiscal year of 2019/20 as imports continued to fall and exports showed a little recovery during the period, official data showed on Friday.

Market View: The KSE100 Index gained 839.12 points during Friday’s session. However, crude oil weakness is expected to pressure the index today.

Commodities:

Brent oil (USD/bbl): 33.49 (-1.82% D/D)
Crude oil (USD/bbl): 27.34 (-3.53% D/D)
Gold (USD/oz): 1,639.60 (-0.3707% D/D)

National News

SPI inflation down 2.01pc WoW

The SPI inflation during the week ended April 2 against March 26 on Week-on-Week (WoW) basis witnessed a reduction of 2.01 percent for combined income groups, ie, from 128.10 points to 125.52 points, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistic (PBS) revealed.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/05/1-page/832473-news.html

WB revises real GDP growth projection downward to 1.1pc

The World Bank (WB) has revised the real GDP growth projection massively for Pakistan to 1.1 percent from an earlier projection of 2.4 percent for 2020 and 0.9 percent for 2021 from the earlier three percent on account of steep decline in economic activity since March.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/04/1-page/832375-news.html

Construction sector being given industry status, announces PM

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the government has decided to give the status of industry to construction sector.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/03/586242/battling-coronavirus-pm-announces-relief-package-for-construction-industry/

Construction Package: IMF links it to certain conditions

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has linked the government package for construction industry with “stringent” conditions of timelines, nature and goals, aimed at providing support to the most vulnerable segments of the population, suffered due to COVID-19 crisis.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/05/1-page/832475-news.html

Cement sales down 16.7pc, exports up 5pc in March

Cement sales sharply fell 16.8 percent year-on-year in March as construction activities were seen declining during the last month, while its exports rose around five percent with an expected contraction in months ahead amid the coronavirus-induced slowdown worldwide, industry’s data showed on Friday.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/639050-cement-sales-down-16-7pc-exports-up-5pc-in-march

Trade deficit contracts 26.5pc in July-March

Trade deficit narrowed sharply 26.5 percent in the first nine months of the current fiscal year of 2019/20 as imports continued to fall and exports showed a little recovery during the period, official data showed on Friday.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/639048-trade-deficit-contracts-26-5pc-in-july-march

Customs face 37pc revenue shortfall in March amid lockdown

Pakistan Customs saw duty collection fall short of up to 37 percent vis-à-vis the targets in March – a nightmarish disaster for the tax authorities amid coronavirus-induced lockdown that adversely hurt the trade activity, it was learnt on Saturday.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/639481-customs-face-37pc-revenue-shortfall-in-march-amid-lockdown

Containers pile up at port as export orders cancelled

Export containers are piling up at Karachi ports since March 22 owing to non-availability of shipping lines and order deferments from buyers.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1546545

RLNG plants’ sell-off: Pre-qualified bidders assured of timeline extension

The Privatisation Commission has assured the pre-qualified bidders for the privatisation of two RLNG power plants (Haveli Bahadursha and Balloki) to extend the timelines for the transaction in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/05/1-page/832474-news.html

Govts, body of flour mills held responsible for wheat/flour crisis

The inquiry committee on wheat headed by the Director General FIA, has held Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFS&R) and Provincial governments and Flour Mills Association responsible for wheat/ flour crisis in the country.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/05/1-page/832480-news.html

Resumption of limited operation: Industrial units allowed to operate as per SOPs set for combating Covid-19

In the wake of resumption of limited operation in the industrial units, the Punjab industries, commerce, investment & skills development department has issued SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for industrial units, industrial zones, industrial units offices, stores, goods’ transportation in industrial unit or premises to deal with coronavirus.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/05/3-page/832496-news.html

PSDP 2019-20: Govt releases Rs467.24bn against budgeted Rs701bn

The federal government has released Rs467.24 billion (66.65 per cent) including Rs92.74 billion foreign aid (72.3 percent) for various ongoing and new development projects under the Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2019-20 against the total budgeted allocation of Rs701 billion.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/04/1-page/832378-news.html

Rs100bn refunds released under package: MoF

The Finance Ministry has stated that the government has released Rs100 billion to industry under tax refunds on Thursday (April 2) under the government’s Rs1,240 billion stimulus package announced by the prime minister on March 27, said a press release issued Friday.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/04/1-page/832379-news.html

Refinance Schemes: SBP allows deferment of loans for a year

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has announced to extend the scope of financial relief package to borrowers availing loans under Refinance Schemes. Now, the borrowers of SBP’s refinance schemes will be allowed for deferment in repayment of principal amount for one year.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/04/1-page/832380-news.html

APTMA wants textile units be exempted from lockdown

With a view to ensure smooth running of business operations of export-oriented industry and to bring them at par with the units operating in KPK and Sindh, the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) has requested the Punjab government to exempt textile export-oriented units of Punjab from lockdown restrictions subject to complying with the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/04/3-page/832400-news.html

Sindh stops transportation of its wheat to Punjab

The Sindh government on Saturday stop­ped transportation of its wheat purchased by the private sector to Punjab without assigning any reason.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1546516

$200m pandemic response pact signed with WB

Pakistan and the World Bank on Friday signed a $200 million ‘Pandemic Response Effective Project’ (PREP) that will help the poor and vulnerable cope with the immediate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic through social protection measures, food rations and remote learning education.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1546304/200m-pandemic-response-pact-signed-with-wb

Chemical importers look for relief due to financial crisis

Commercial chemical importers have said that they are feeling the pain of financial crisis, therefore, the government should arrange easy loans for one year to help them overcome liquidity crunch

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2190450/2-chemical-importers-look-relief-due-financial-crisis/

PTI govt fears COVID-19 tally may top 50,000 by end of April

The federal health ministry has told the apex court that coronavirus infections in Pakistan may rise to 50,000 by April 25 – a projection based on the pandemic’s trends in other countries

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2191171/1-govt-fears-virus-cases-may-top-50000-end-april/

Aftermath of COVID-19 outbreak: IMF likely to delay releasing of $450m third tranche to Pakistan

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) might delay completion of second review and release of third tranche worth $450 million for Pakistan in the aftermath of outbreak of coronavirus and surfacing of new realities on macroeconomic front, The News has learnt.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/639767-aftermath-of-covid-19-outbreak-imf-likely-to-delay-releasing-of-450m-third-tranche-to-pakistan

Jinnah Airport to be pledged

Fearing lower tax and non-tax revenue and higher expenditure due to coronavirus spread across the country, Finance Division has decided to raise over Rs 700 billion through issuance of Ijarah Sukuk through a consortium of Islamic banks by pledging the assets of Jinnah Airport Karachi, sources close of Finance Advisor told Business Recorder.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/04/1-page/832377-news.html

International News

Australia stocks surge 4%; oil prices drop as OPEC and its allies delay meeting

Stocks in Asia Pacific rose in afternoon trade as a scheduled meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, initially set to take place Monday, was delayed.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/06/asia-markets-coronavirus-opec-meeting-oil-currencies-in-focus.html

Oil drops following a record surge last week, as OPEC meeting on a production cut is delayed

Oil prices dropped during early morning trading on Monday after OPEC+ announced it was delaying its meeting, initially scheduled for Monday, stoking fears on Wall Street that a production cut might face hurdles.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/05/oil-drops-9percent-following-a-record-surge-last-week-as-opec-meeting-on-a-production-cut-is-delayed.html

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