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xResearch

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Apr 9, 2017
1,537
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#81
News Pulse (November 29, 2017)

‘Pakistan to raise $1.5 billion via Eurobond, sukuk’
Pakistan’s federal cabinet has approved borrowing of up to $3 billion via a Eurobond and sukuk, but the government would “most likely” raise only $1.5 billion, a senior Pakistani government official told Reuters on Tuesday
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/250070-pakistan-to-raise-1-5-billion-via-eurobond-sukuk

Foreign bank loans clock in at $1.022bln in July-October
Pakistan’s debt from foreign banks clocked in at $1.022 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal 2017/18, almost half of total foreign loans and much above the annual target, official figures revealed on Tuesday.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/250068-foreign-bank-loans-clock-in-at-1-022bln-in-july-october

60pc progress achieved in Thar mining, power projects

Thar Coal block-II power project is progressing satisfactorily and approximately 60 percent progress has been achieved in both mining and power projects .
http://nation.com.pk/29-Nov-2017/60pc-progress-achieved-in-thar-mining-power-projects

Govt plans to build 1600KW micro power stations

The provincial government has planned to build 1600kilowatt (KW) mini hydropower stations here to provide inexpensive electricity to domestic consumers..
http://nation.com.pk/29-Nov-2017/news-brief

Textile sector receives Rs 11.44b under PM's Trade Enhancement Package
The government has dispersed Rs 11.44 billion among the textile sector against claims for Rs 20 billion through the State Bank of Pakistan under the Prime Minister's Trade Enhancement Package till November 22, 2017
http://nation.com.pk/29-Nov-2017/news-brief

Domestic borrowing soars to Rs853bln in July-August
Domestic borrowing shot up to Rs853 billion in the first two months of the current fiscal year of 2017/18 as government had to pay down maturing debts, a statement said on Tuesday.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/250073-domestic-borrowing-soars-to-rs853bln-in-july-august

Nepra slaps Rs1mln fine each on CPPA, power utility
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) slapped one million rupees in fines each on a power purchasing company and distribution utility for taking in electricity without signing a formal buying agreement with the producer and maneuvering tariffs, officials said on Tuesday.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/250069-nepra-slaps-rs1mln-fine-each-on-cppa-power-utility

Withholding tax collection from non-filers down 18pc

The collection of tax on banking transactions carried out by non-filers has dropped by 18 percent in October 2017 owing to a significant rise in the number of income tax returns received by the revenue department, sources said on Tuesday.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/250071-withholding-tax-collection-from-non-filers-down-18pc

SECP issues annual report: Share of Shariah-compliant assets rising at fast pace

Shariah-compliant assets represent 34.6 percent of the total assets of the non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) industry.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/250074-secp-issues-annual-report-share-of-shariah-compliant-assets-rising-at-fast-pace
 

xResearch

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Apr 9, 2017
1,537
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#82
News Pulse (November 30, 2017)

NAB blames Sharif for delay in Hudaibya case

In a fresh plea, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has accused deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif before the Supreme Court of exerting his influence as the chief executive of the country to prevent filing of the appeal in the Rs1.2 billion Hudaibya Paper Mills reference. Therefore, NAB pleaded in a two-page application the apex court should condone the delay in the filing of the appeal in the interest of justice, fair play and equity.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1373769/nab-blames-sharif-for-delay-in-hudaibya-case

Court orders pasting last notice at Dar’s residence

Accountability Court Islamabad judge Mohammad Bashir directed prosecution to display the last notice at former finance minister Ishaq Dar at his residence and outside the court premises, as part of process to declare him proclaimed offender. The court on November 21 had initiated the process of declaring Ishaq Dar proclaimed offender and the deadline of 10 days would be expiring today (Thursday), while the court would take up the assets beyond means reference against him on December 4 and would most likely to declare him proclaimed offender.
http://nation.com.pk/30-Nov-2017/court-orders-pasting-last-notice-at-dar-s-residence

Opec, Russia head for oil cut extension

Opec and Russia look set to prolong oil supply cuts until the end of 2018 this week while signalling that they may review the deal when they meet again in June if the market overheats. With oil prices rallying above $60 per barrel, Russia has questioned the wisdom of extending existing cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of next year as such a move could prompt a spike in US production.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1373696/opec-russia-head-for-oil-cut-extension

Ogra proposes increase in petrol, diesel prices by December

The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) worked out on Wednesday an increase of Rs1.48 and Rs1.20 per litre in the prices of petrol and high-speed diesel (HSD), respectively, for December. The regulator also recommended an increase of Rs15.35 and Rs13.15 per litre in the prices of kerosene and light diesel oil (LDO), respectively.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1373702/ogra-proposes-increase-in-petrol-diesel-prices

Government allows cotton import from India, but sets tougher rules

Government allowed cotton imports from India to meet the growing appetite of key textile industry, though it slapped tough set of rules for consignments from the neighboring country, officials said on Thursday. “Pakistan is likely to start issuing permit for import of cotton from India through land route in a next few days under new tough conditions that may not fully ease already imposed restrictions on trade,” an official said.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/250503-government-allows-cotton-import-from-india-but-sets-tougher-rules

Pakistan raises$2.5 billion by selling Sukuk, Eurobond in NY

Pakistan on Wednesday raised US dollar denominated Sukuk and Eurobond worth $2.5 billion in New York against the total offered amounts from investors by $8 billion in order to stop depletion of foreign currency reserves. “Pakistan raised $1 billion through five year Sukuk at rate of 5.625 percent and $1.5 billion with 10 year Eurobond maturity at rate of 6.875 percent,” Federal Secretary Finance Shahid Mehmood confirmed to The News from New York soon after finalising transactions on late Wednesday night.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/250856-pakistan-raises-2-5-billion-by-selling-sukuk-eurobond-in-ny

ADB approves $140m to improve KP’s road network

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday approved $140 million in loans to help improve the provincial road network, enhance road safety and road maintenance management in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The project was conceived in an attempt to improve the quality of transportation as upgrading the highway network will help with increased intra and inter-regional connectivity in trade, communication and economic well-being of the population.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1373698/adb-approves-140m-to-improve-kps-road-network

Federal, KP govts could sign PPAs for 76.6MW projects today

The federal and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments are likely to sign power purchase agreements (PPAs) for four hydropower projects today (Thursday), it was learnt reliably here. Both the federal and provincial governments will today (Thursday) discuss the signing of PPAs for the four hydropower projects with the combined generation capacity of 76.6MW, official source told The Nation. The meeting, which will be held at the Power Division, will be attended by the federal power minister Awais laghari, KP energy minister Atif Khan and other provincial and federal officials. The meeting will discuss the finalisation of PPA for 18MW Pehur hydropower project, 2.6MW Machai hydropower project, 17MW Ranolia hydropower project and 36MW Daral Khwar hydropower project. It is most likely that PPA for Pehur project is likely to be signed today, the source added.
http://nation.com.pk/30-Nov-2017/federal-kp-govts-could-sign-ppas-for-76-6mw-projects-today

Govt to resume privatisation of PIA, PSM

The government on Wednesday reiterated to restart privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), as accumulated debt and losses of these two entities had swelled to the unprecedented level despite extending bailout packages. Federal Minister for Privatisation Daniyal Aziz said that government would resume the privatisation of loss-making public sector entities (PSEs) including PIA and PSM . He further said that accumulated debt and losses of Pakistan Steel Mills had swelled to Rs276 billion by the end of June 2017. He said the government has extended bailout packages to PSM amounting to Rs 76 billion.
http://nation.com.pk/30-Nov-2017/govt-to-resume-privatisation-of-pia-psm

Debt repayment clocks in at Rs445.4 billion in July-Sept

Pakistan’s debt repayment amounted to Rs445.370 billion in the first three months (July-September) of the current fiscal 2017/18 – an amount nearly double than the aggregate development and defence spending during the period, official data revealed on Wednesday.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/250502-debt-repayment-clocks-in-at-rs445-4-billion-in-july-sept

Japanese firms keen to invest in power sector

Japanese investors are keen to invest in energy sector after a recent cooperation between Pakistan and Japan in construction of Islamabad-Burhan transmission line, an envoy said on Wednesday. Ambassador of Japan Takshir Kurai, in a meeting with Minister for Power Division Awais Leghari, said Japanese companies and investors are closely following the potential and good rate of return in the power sector.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/250518-japanese-firms-keen-to-invest-in-power-sector

PM opens over 1,300 MW Port Qasim coal-fired power project

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has said that the general elections will be held in August 2018 and added the future lies in democracy and there was no other way. He was speaking at the inauguration of unit-I of 1,320MW Port Qasim coal-fired power project here on Wednesday. “Pakistan has a vibrant democracy and the state institutions are on the same page and working for the betterment of Pakistan and it’s people.”
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/250848-pm-opens-over-1-300-mw-port-qasim-coal-fired-power-project
 

xResearch

Active Member
Apr 9, 2017
1,537
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#83
News Pulse (December 04, 2017)

Bond auction raises $2.5bn

In its first venture into foreign capital markets since the outbreak of major political turbulence in the country, the government managed to attract highest- ever bids in an auction of Pakistani debt. Bids worth over $8 billion were received for the two bonds that the government floated in New York on Wednesday: a five-year sukuk and a 10-year eurobond. The government raised $1bn through the sukuk at 5.625 per cent and $1.5bn via the euro bond at 6.875pc.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1373822/bond-auction-raises-25bn

WB approves $130m for water efficiency project
The World Bank has approved an additional financing of $130 million to continue supporting farmers in Punjab to use water more efficiently. The new financing will help in adopting drip and sprinkler systems that will significantly reduce widespread wasteful irrigation techniques. The loan amount represents additional financing for the first phase of the Punjab Irrigated Agriculture Productivity Improvement Programme (PIAPP), which had an original investment of $250m.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1374139/wb-approves-130m-for-water-efficiency-project

POL products get pricier by 8.25pc
The government on Thursday increased the prices of all petroleum products by up to 8.25 per cent effective for December, after putting on hold deregulation of diesel prices. The increase was approved by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who also cleared higher tax rates on kerosene and light diesel oil. Under the decision, the ex-depot price of high speed diesel (HSD) was increased by Rs1.36 per litre and that of petrol by Rs1.48.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1373903/pol-products-get-pricier-by-825pc

July-November: 20 percent growth in revenue collection
The revenue collection of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has witnessed a handsome growth of 20 percent during July-November (2017-18) when compared with same period of the last fiscal year, whereas total refunds of Rs 56 billion have been paid during this period of 2017-18. According to sources, the collection during first five months of 2017-18 has shown growth of 20 percent as against growth of less than 8% in the previous year. All taxes and duties have shown a healthy growth during this period. The FBR has paid refunds of Rs 56 billion during July-November (2017-18) as compared to Rs 44 billion in the same period of 2016-17, reflecting an increase of Rs 12 billion.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171204323872/

Reserves drop by $17.5m
Pakistan’s total liquid foreign exchange reserves amounted to $19.7 billion on Nov 24, down $17.5 million or 0.09 per cent from a week ago, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Thursday. Reserves of the SBP increased $6m to $13.54bn. Net foreign exchange reserves held by commercial banks amounted to $6.1bn on Nov 24, down 0.4pc from the preceding week.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1373901/reserves-drop-by-175m

Sindh approves 10 schemes

The Sindh Provincial Development Working Party (PDWP) on Thursday approved 10 development schemes worth Rs1.86 billion. The approved schemes focus on works and services, health, local government, and public health and engineering department (PHED).The PDWP meeting was chaired by Chairman Planning and Development Board Muhammad Waseem.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1373890/sindh-approves-10-schemes

Iran, Pakistan discuss banking, energy ties

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif have discussed issues of mutual interest in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku. During the Friday talks, the two sides discussed bilateral relations, especially banking and energy cooperation.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171203323681/

Rs 279.42 billion released under PSDP
The government has released Rs 279.42 billion (27.91 percent) for different development projects under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2017-18 against total budgeted allocation of Rs 1,001 billion. However, the government has not so far released funds for the development projects of various ministries, divisions and their departments including Establishment Division, Foreign Affairs Division, Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony Division, Textile Industry Division, National Security Division, Special Federal Development Programme, Energy for All, Clean Drinking Water for All, Special Provision for Completion of CPEC Project and Gas Infrastructure Development Cess.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171203323653/

Government in LNG talks with France, Italy and Spain
Government is in liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply talks with France, Italy and Spain, a senior Pakistani source said, which could lead to contracts for Engie, Eni and Gas Natural Fenosa. Intergovernment agreements (IGAs) could help Pakistan speed up its ambitious plans to bolster LNG imports as it aims to end the country''s chronic energy shortages. Pakistan opened its second LNG import terminal in Karachi last week and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said up to five more terminals are in the works.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171201323350/

LPG dealers to go on strike against duty imposition
Dealers have expressed concerns over imposing Regulatory Duty (RD) on import of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), as it would not only increase the fuel’s price but the decision could also lead to LPG shortage in the country during winter. The All Pakistan LPG Distributors Association on Saturday announced to hold a country-wide protest strike on Saturday, Dec 9, against the decision to impose RD on LPG imports.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1374146/lpg-dealers-to-go-on-strike-against-duty-imposition

Chinese businessmen keen to have JVs with Pakistan: Adven Zhu
The Chinese entrepreneurs on Saturday have expressed their desire to enter into joint ventures and investment in Pakistan in areas of their interest. The delegation of Chinese entrepreneurs led by Adven Zhu, Managing Director, Suzhou China Aviation Technology Equipment Co. Ltd representing various sectors including infrastructure development, construction of roads, bridges, high rise buildings, IT, manufacturing of mechanical products, cold-bend steel, elevator components, mechanical components, plastic injections, furniture and tourism visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) here, said a statement issued on Saturday.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171203323705/

Govt expected to borrow Rs4.76trln in three months
The government is expected to borrow Rs4.769 trillion through the sale of treasury and long-term papers in December 2017 to February 2018 to cover the budget deficit, the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) auction calendar said on Thursday. The central bank would sell Rs4.725 trillion worth of three-, six-, and 12-month Market Treasury Bills (MTBs) at the auctions to be held from December 6, 2017 to February 14, 2018.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/250981-govt-expected-to-borrow-rs4-76trln-in-three-months

‘Port Qasim’s coal-fired power project to catalyse foreign investments’
The successful completion of 1,320-megawatt coal-fired power plant will serve as a catalyst in inviting other foreign investors to Pakistan, a Chinese firm’s official said. “This is a pilot project and would invite more confidence and investment in Pakistan,” Sheng Yuming, chairman of Port Qasim Electric Power Company said, referring to the coal-fired power project being developed by a consortium of Al-Mirqab Capital (AMC) of Qatar and Power China with a cost of $2.08 billion at Port Qasim.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/25...power-project-to-catalyse-foreign-investments

Zero power cuts from today, claims minister
After repeated claims to end load-shedding, the federal government on Sunday officially announced that zero power cuts will be observed from Monday (today) as overall power generation has surged to 16,477 megawatt. Speaking at a press conference, federal minister for power division Awais Leghari said that there will be no load-shedding as additional 2,700 megawatt electricity is being produced - a claim which the government has been making for last over four and half years.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171204323866/

ADB approves $140m to improve KP’s road network

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday approved $140 million in loans to help improve the provincial road network, enhance road safety and road maintenance management in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The project was conceived in an attempt to improve the quality of transportation as upgrading the highway network will help with increased intra and inter-regional connectivity in trade, communication and economic well-being of the population.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1373698/adb-approves-140m-to-improve-kps-road-network
 

xResearch

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Apr 9, 2017
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#84
News Pulse (December 05, 2017)

Private sector’s credit off-take quadruples

The private sector’s credit off-take from commercial banks nearly quadrupled year-on-year in the first five months of 2017-18, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday. Its monetary impact from July 1 to Nov 24 was Rs101.1 billion against Rs26.9bn a year ago. Although the lending by commercial banks and their Islamic branches to the private sector was substantially higher than last year’s, Islamic banks have shown poor performance since the beginning of 2017-18.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1374531/private-sectors-credit-off-take-quadruples

Pakistan, Hong Kong ratify treaty to avoid double taxation

Pakistan and Hong Kong on Monday ratified a treaty signed early this year to stave off double taxation on incomes of their individuals and companies. “Pakistan and Hong Kong SAR (special administrative region) have ratified the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income,” a statement said. “The tax pact will come into force from November 24.”
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/252180-pakistan-hong-kong-ratify-treaty-to-avoid-double-taxation

Afghan transit: extension in pact with US extended

The federal cabinet has reportedly approved extension in pact with the US till January 31, 2018 for transit of cargoes to and from Afghanistan, well-informed sources told Business Recorder. The approval has been granted on a summary of Ministry of Defence submitted to all the federal cabinet members through circulation which implies that ministers gave their approval individually without discussion. The sources said Nato has provided legal authority to Islamabad to auction/dispose of containers stuck at Karachi Port as per the law for reimbursement of outstanding dues.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171205324289/

Pakistan-Iran FTA draft finalized
Pakistan and Iran have finalised initial draft of much-awaited Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and expeditious resolution of banking channel issues, official sources told Business Recorder. This understanding was reached during the third meeting of the Trade Negotiation Committee (TNC) on Pakistan-Iran Free Trade Area Agreement (PIFTA) held on November 21-22, 2017 in Tehran.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171205324294/

Pak Suzuki introduces four new products
Pak Suzuki Motor Company Limited hosted a launch event to introduce 4 new products, Cultus (auto gear shift), Mega Carry, GR 150 and GSXR 600. The event was held in Pearl Continental, Islamabad on the 4th of December 2017. Present at the event were, Managing Director Pak Suzuki Motor Company Limited - Masufmi Harano, Senior Advisory Director Hirofumi Nagao, Executive Officer Marketing and After Sales Azam Mirza.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171205324373/

Export of surplus sugar: Sindh cabinet decides to grant Rs 9.3 additional subsidy
The Sindh Cabinet has decided to grant an additional subsidy of Rs 9.3 per kilogram for export of surplus sugar in order to resolve issues between the growers and the millers for starting the sugarcane crushing in the province, immediately. The decision was made in the cabinet meeting at the News Sindh Secretariat where Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presided over, here on Monday. The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, advisers, special assistants, chief secretary and concerned secretaries.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171205324347/

Package for textile sector: recommendations to be finalised today
Minister for Commerce and Textile has convened an inter-ministerial meeting on Tuesday (today) to finalise recommendations and decide a "practicable" package for the textile sector, official sources told Business Recorder. The package will be presented to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi who has also convened a meeting of businessmen on Tuesday (today). The Ministry of Commerce and Textile has asked the secretaries of the Finance, Textile Division, Petroleum Division, Power Division, Revenue Division and Governor State Bank of Pakistan to personally attend the meeting.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171205324318/

Nepra to hear KE request on MYT today

National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) is to hear reconsideration request of KE filed by the government of Pakistan on Multi-Year Tariff (MYT) on Tuesday (today) to be effective from July 2016 to June 2023. According to the Power Division, it has reviewed the contents of KE's reconsideration request and feels that it is important that the Authority should review its earlier determination to ensure the consumer interest in terms of continuous and efficient service of delivery.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171205324400/

Engro, IFC sign deal to explore growth opportunities in logistics

Engro Corporation, a leading business conglomerate in Pakistan, on Monday signed an agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to explore growth opportunities in the country’s underdeveloped logistics sector. Under the agreement, Engro would devise integrated solutions for products that require temperature controlled logistics (TCL), such as agricultural produce, medicines, and perishable food commodities amongst others. It would co-develop opportunities with IFC InfraVentures in the temperature controlled logistics industry of the country.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/25...-to-explore-growth-opportunities-in-logistics

Baloki and Haveli Bahadur Shah: 1200MW LNG-based power plants to be functional till February
The National Assembly Standing Committee on Planning, Development and Reform was informed that 1200-MW LNG-based Baloki and Haveli Bahadur Shah power plants would be functional till February 2018. The committee met with MNA Abdul Majeed Khan Khanan Khail in the chair here at the Parliament House on Monday. The committee appreciated the efforts of the managements over timely completing the power plants. The committee constituted a sub-committee under the convenership of MNA Iftikhar-ud-Din with MNAs Junaid Akbar, Sher Akber Khan and Shaheen Shafiq as its members. The terms of references (ToRs) of the sub-committee will be to look into: (i) Distribution and System Augmentation Program STG, BOP, ELR (PESCO) in district Buner under PSDP Programme; (ii) and status of PC-I of electrification work at different valleys of Chitral, including establishment of 132KV grid station in Chitral, Chitral Hydel Power capacity enhancement and status of PESCO, PEDO and WAPDA agreement and steps taken for provision of electricity to upper Chitral by December 25, 2017 (PSDP No. 1048 & 1054).
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171205324403/

Seven mega projects forwarded to NEC 17 projects approved by CDWP
The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has approved 17 projects at a cost of Rs 19.2 billion and forwarded seven mega projects valuing Rs 51.27 billion to Executive Committee of National Economic Council for final approval. The CDWP met with Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz in the chair here at the Planning Commission Secretariat on Monday. Senior officials from federal and provincial governments also participated in the meeting.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171205324398/

2018 to 2020: new ADB pipeline includes about $2 billion per year assistance for Pakistan
Asian Development Bank's (ADB) new pipeline for 2018 to 2020 includes about $2 billion per year assistance for Pakistan, expanding its support to urban development, water resources management, health and education. This was stated by Xiaohong Yang, ADB Country Director to Pakistan, while addressing the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) 2030 Strategy launching workshop here on Monday. The CAREC Strategy 2030 was formally launched jointly by the government of Pakistan and ADB. The new Strategy was recently approved by the 16th Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Ministerial Conference held on 27th October 2017 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. CAREC is an eleven-member country regional platform that aims to connect People, policies and projects for shared and sustainable development.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171205324359/

Three CPEC projects hit snags as China mulls new financing rules
China has temporarily stopped funding of some projects particularly those related to the road network under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) till further decision regarding ‘new guidelines’ to be issued from Beijing, a senior government official told Dawn on Monday. The decision could affect over Rs1 trillion road projects of the National Highway Authority (NHA). It was not clear how wide the impact of the delay will be, but initial reports confirm that at least three road projects are going to experience a delay.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1374532/three-cpec-projects-hit-snags-as-china-mulls-new-financing-rules
 

xResearch

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Apr 9, 2017
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News Pulse (December 06, 2017)

Minister explains why 6.2 percent growth target could not be achieved

Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal Tuesday said that the growth target of over 6.2 percent could have been easily achieved if there had been peaceful and conducive environment in the country. "The current growth rate is 5.3 percent and we would be able to touch 6 percent in the upcoming years. In order to pursue growth trajectory, we need to make investments and fix our energy crisis," said the minister while addressing the inaugural ceremony of three-day Sustainable Development Conference ''Seventy Years of Development: the Way Forward.''
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171206324621/

LNG tender: commodity traders submit lowest bids
Commodity traders B B Energy, Gunvor and Trafigura have submitted the most competitive offer in a tender to supply Pakistan with four liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes in February, traders said. B B Energy supplied the lowest bid for a February 6-7 delivery, Gunvor the lowest bid for the February 16-17 slot and Trafigura for the last two slots on February 21-22 and 26-27, sources said. Pakistan LNG is due to officially award the contracts on December 15, according to documents posted on its website.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171206324607/

CPI inflation up by 3.97 percent
Consumer price inflation has increased by 3.97 percent on year-on-year basis in November 2017 due to increase in prices of petroleum products, perishable food items, health and education. Average annual inflation increased by 3.59 percent in the first five months of the current fiscal year against the same period of last fiscal year, according to monthly inflation data released by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) at a select media briefing on Tuesday.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171206324592/

Cabinet upbeat about power generation
The Federal Cabinet has approved regulations of arms licences for prohibited automatic weapons and lifting of ban on non-prohibited bore arms licence. A meeting of the federal cabinet presided over by the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday considered six-point agenda items including a proposal of Minister of Interior for regularization of armed licenses. According to the proposal, all automatic weapons will be required to be converted to semi-automatic by authorized dealers within a specified time and get new licenses in lieu of the previously issued licenses.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171206324589/

Govt, EETPL reach agreement on 230mmcfd LNG supply

The government and Engro Elengy Terminal Pakistan Ltd (EETPL) have reached an agreement for the supply of about 230 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) at a re-gasification tolling rate of 17 cents per million British thermal unit (mmBtu). This brings down the average tolling tariff at 47 cents per unit for firm LNG supplies of 630mmcfd through Engro’s floating storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) that is now the largest source to the national transmission system, said EETPL Chief Executive Officer Jahangir Piracha on Tuesday.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1374802/govt-eetpl-reach-agreement-on-230mmcfd-lng-supply

Unviable tariff to affect K-E’s ability to raise financing for projects

Two banks Tuesday informed the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) that the determined tariff for K-Electric will adversely affect the company’s ability to fund ongoing and future projects. In NEPRA’s public hearing, which was chaired by Chairman Tariq Sadozai, representatives from UBL and HBL, in detailed briefing, said that the determined tariff will adversely affect K-E’s ability to raise financing for ongoing and future projects. The hearing was conducted as the Power Division had written a letter to Nepra to reconsider the tariff for smooth operations of the company.
http://nation.com.pk/06-Dec-2017/un...k-e-s-ability-to-raise-financing-for-projects
 

xResearch

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Apr 9, 2017
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News Pulse (December 07, 2017)

PSX proposes trading halts, enhanced circuit breakers
The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has proposed to widen existing scrip-level circuit breakers (CBs) to maximum 15 per cent and introduce trading halt if the KSE-30 index movement reaches 15pc. The bourse has passed on the suggestions for public comment, explaining that the proposed measures were in line with practices prevalent in the international markets.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1374943/psx-proposes-trading-halts-enhanced-circuit-breakers

Govt to revisit duties on raw materials
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue Haroon Akhtar Khan has assured All Pakistan Cable and Conductors Manufacturing Association that the government will revisit the regulatory duties recently imposed on raw materials. Talking to a delegation of the association on Wednesday, the special assistant said other proposals of the industry would also be considered favourably.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1374934/govt-to-revisit-duties-on-raw-materials

Cement despatches go up 14pc
Despatches by the cement industry increased by 14 per cent or 2.261 million tonnes in the first five months of 2017-18 on a year-on-year basis. According to the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), capacity utilisation remained 94.65pc during the five-month period. Although the increase recorded in domestic consumption in November was 10pc, sector-wide growth stood at 5.16pc because of a decline of 27.11pc in exports. In November, north-based mills sold around 3m tonnes locally, up 10pc from 2.69m tonnes a year ago. Local despatches in the southern region rose 8.4pc to 0.62m tonnes last month.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1374944/cement-despatches-go-up-14pc

PSO suspends fuel oil imports on LNG push
Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has suspended imports of fuel oil after an abrupt drop in domestic demand as the country turns to liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel its power sector, two company officials told Reuters on Wednesday. It is not clear how long the suspension will last but the country’s state-owned oil importer is expected to drastically cut fuel oil imports, one of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak with media. “It’s difficult to see demand (for fuel oil) recovering especially with two more LNG terminals coming up,” the source said.
http://nation.com.pk/06-Dec-2017/pso-suspends-fuel-oil-imports-on-lng-push


Ogra determined to roll out market-based tariff regime
Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) is determined to introduce market-based tariff regime for gas utilities, its chief said on Wednesday, emphasising that the reforms would improve the sector’s efficiency. Chairperson Uzma Adil Khan at Ogra said the new tariff regime was formulated on the demand of stakeholders, especially Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and the authority would deliver a regime in line with the international standards.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/252942-ogra-determined-to-roll-out-market-based-tariff-regime

Islamic banks post 44.26pc rise in Q3 gross earnings
The Islamic banking industry posted a 44.26 percent increase in third quarter gross profit, the central bank’s data showed on Wednesday, mostly on the back of higher financing to various sectors of the economy. The total of 21 Islamic banking institutions of those five full-fledged Shariah-compliant lenders and 16 conventional banks having Islamic banking branches, made Rs17.6 billion in profit before tax in the three months till September 30, 2017. This compares with a profit of Rs12.2 billion in the previous quarter.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/252944-islamic-banks-post-44-26pc-rise-in-q3-gross-earnings

Import of cotton: government all set to withdraw ST, customs duty
The government is all set to withdraw sales tax and customs duty on import of cotton, as was done last year, to encourage value addition, reduce cost of doing business and bridge the gap between production and consumption, sources in private sector told Business Recorder. Textile Division, source said, has submitted a summary to the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, which is expected to be considered very soon.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171207324908/

Major fault in new LNG terminal disrupts gas supplies
Pakistan’s second liquefied natural gas (LNG) re-gasification terminal at Port Qasim inaugurated by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi a fortnight ago suffered a serious technical fault at an underground pipeline, resulting in a failure to inject re-gasified LNG into the system. This may lead to the cancellation of a few lined-up cargoes over the next few weeks, industry sources told Dawn on Wednesday.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1374947/major-fault-in-new-lng-terminal-disrupts-gas-supplies

German investor terms Punjab ideal destination for investment
Hannes Huckebrink – ibvogt GmbH (Germany), Country Head for Pakistan and Bangladesh, has said that Punjab is proving to be an ideal destination to invest because of its vibrant middle class and hardworking workforce. During a visit to the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT), Hannes Huckebrink mentioned that Punjab government is taking active measures for boosting investment and for creating an investment-friendly environment in the province. CEO PBIT, Jahanzeb Burana welcomed Hannes Huckebrink, while a detailed and thorough discussion relating to the current and new potential projects was held between CEO PBIT and the German investor .
http://nation.com.pk/07-Dec-2017/german-investor-terms-punjab-ideal-destination-for-investment

UK businessmen want to invest in CPEC projects: London mayor
British investors have shown interest in investing in the projects initiated under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, said London Mayor Sadiq Khan at a meeting with Punjab Chief Misister Shehbaz Sharif. A delegation of British investors, led by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, called on Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif here yesterday. Sadiq Khan, while talking to the chief minister, highlighted the cordial relations between London and Lahore and said British investors had shown interest in investing in the projects initiated under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
http://nation.com.pk/07-Dec-2017/uk-businessmen-want-to-invest-in-cpec-projects-london-mayor

Moody’s assigns B3 rating to Euro bond, sukuk on growth prospects
US credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday assigned B3 rating to dollar-denominated senior unsecured notes and sukuk issued by the government last month to raise $2.5 billion, saying continued reforms would help tap robust growth potential. “Pakistan’s B3 issuer rating reflects a credit profile that balances robust growth potential and a relatively large economy, against low income levels, infrastructure constraints and very low global competitiveness,” Moody’s said in a statement.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/25...rating-to-euro-bond-sukuk-on-growth-prospects

Credit profile: Moody””s spells out constraints
The government of Pakistan''''s high debt burden, very narrow revenue base, fragile external payments position and high political risk constrain the credit profile, says the Moody''''s Investors Service (Moody''''s). "Political risk in Pakistan remains high, reflecting a high probability of a high impact scenario involving an escalation of violent terrorism or tensions between the different branches of the government which could threaten political stability and divert essential policy and economic resources," said the international credit rating agency in its latest report on Pakistan.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171207324873/

MTBs auction: government mops up Rs 602 billion
The federal government Wednesday raised Rs 602 billion through auction for Market Treasury Bills (MTBs). The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), on December 6, 2017, conducted the auction for the sale of 3-month, 6-month and 12-month T-bills. Overall, the received bids worth Rs 614.304 billion with a realized amount of Rs 604.427 billion. Bid worth Rs 525.204 billion were received for 3-month tenors and Rs 84.1 billion for 6-month MTBs. However, 12-month T-bills fetched lowest bids as financial institutions seemed reluctant to invest at lower interest rate. Bids amounting to Rs 5 billion were received for 12-month government securities.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171207324934/
 

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News Pulse (December 08, 2017)

PGPC terminal to recommence gas supplies to system today

Pakistan''s second LNG import terminal, established by Pakistan GasPort Consortium Limited (PGPC) at Port Qasim, Karachi is to recommence gas supplies to the national system by the evening of December 8 (today). Operations at the recently inaugurated terminal had been suspended for a few days after a leak developed in an insulation joint connecting the PGPC system to the connecting pipeline infrastructure. The leak was promptly stopped, the joint has been replaced, and the system is being purged and repressurized. There are no faults with the jetty and marine works or the Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) or the subsea section of the pipeline-and there has been no blast, as one report alleged.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171208325194/

FBR moving summary on recently-imposed RD

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has stated that a summary is being prepared in consultation with stakeholders on recently imposed regulatory duty (RD) to discourage imports and generate financing for export package. A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance presided over by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla was informed by the FBR member customs that Federal Board of Revenue is moving a summary after consultations with stakeholders over regulatory duty (RD) recently imposed on certain items.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171208325180/

$2.5 billion Sukuk, Eurobond proceeds Reserves receive a boost

Pakistan has received $2.5 billion proceeds of Pakistan sovereign bonds and Pakistan International Sukuk, recently auctioned in the international market. In the last week of November, Pakistan has successfully conducted transaction for sale of 10-year Eurobond and five-year Sukuk (Islamic Bond) amounted to $2.5 billion to replenish the depleting foreign exchange reserve and reduce the pressure on the external account.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171208325177/

Govt to tap $30 billion expats’ savings pool

The government has decided to launch ‘Overseas Pakistanis Savings Certificates’ to tap the pool of $30 billion held by Pakistanis living abroad, the Senate Standing Committee on Finance was informed on Thursday. “In a conservative estimate, overseas Pakistanis had earnings of around $50bn out of which $20bn were remitted through formal channels while the rest $30bn remains untapped,” Zafar Masood, Director General Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS) said.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1375237/govt-to-tap-30-billion-expats-savings-pool

FBR to clear Rs6 billion in five-year-old sales tax refunds
Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) decided to clear stuck sales tax refunds of around six billion rupees pending for the last five years because of incomplete documents, officials said on Thursday. The officials said the FBR will resolve deferred cases for which processing was stopped due to technical reasons, such as non-availability of supporting documents necessary to issue refunds.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/253436-fbr-to-clear-rs6-billion-in-five-year-old-sales-tax-refunds

Forex reserves reach 4-month high as Eurobond, sukuk proceeds land

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves rose to four-month high of $20.986 billion as the government received foreign inflows of $2.5 billion on account of dollar notes, the central bank data showed on Thursday. “SBP has received $2,500 million on 5 December, 2017 as proceeds from Pakistan sovereign bonds and Pakistan International sukuk, after which SBP’s reserves stood at $14,883.1 million, and total liquid foreign reserves at $20,986.4 million,” the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said in a weekly statement on foreign exchange reserves.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/25...h4-month-high-as-eurobond-sukuk-proceeds-land

Govt likely to allow private sector to supply RLNG
Government is mulling to authorise private sector to directly supply regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) to consumers as multiple suppliers can increase gas supplies nationwide, a document said. “LNG supplies broadly require well-defined gas market, access to transportation and effective regulatory framework,” the draft of Third Party Access (TPA) rules 2017 said.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/253439-govt-likely-to-allow-private-sector-to-supply-rlng

Pakistan, China to launch online trade verification from April

Pakistan and China will launch online trade verification from April 2018 to authenticate the volume of import and exports of both the countries, a top official of Pakistan Customs said on Thursday.
“China has agreed to provide online certificate of origin to all its exports for Pakistan,” said Wajid Ali, director, Automation and Reforms, Pakistan Customs at a meeting with members of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/25...o-launch-online-trade-verification-from-april

PTEA demands supply of system gas to textile industry

Pakistan Textile Exporters Association (PTEA) has expressed grave concern over suspension of system gas under quota regime and supply of high priced RLNG to export oriented textile industries in Punjab. This would further add to the high cost of doing business and would hamper the export pace. In a statement here on Thursday, Chairman PTEA Shaiq Jawed expressed severe concern over switching of system gas to RLNG supply for textile industry in Punjab on a lame excuse of drop in mercury. He condemned the government's indifferent attitude towards the Punjab-based textile industry as it is already facing a serious blow of non-viability due to high cost of doing business. Supply of high priced RLNG would serve to cripple the industry which is already at a comparative disadvantage in respect of production costs in the region, he said.
http://nation.com.pk/08-Dec-2017/ptea-demands-supply-of-system-gas-to-textile-industry

Pakistan, UK may enhance trade ties: Sadiq

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said that there is lot of scope for promoting trade , economic and cultural ties between Pakistan and United Kingdom. He was addressing a joint press conference here with Minister for Commerce and Textile Muhammad Pervaiz Malik after formal talks. Sadiq Khan expressed hope that the business interactions between Islamabad and London would be further increased with further cooperation at different levels.
http://nation.com.pk/08-Dec-2017/pakistan-uk-may-enhance-trade-ties-sadiq

SBP asks banks to accelerate adoption of PayPak cards

State Bank of Pakistan Deputy Governor Jameel Ahmad has emphasised the need for the adoption of domestic payment scheme, PayPak cards by banks in order to provide cost effective, ubiquitous and digital payment instrument to consumers. He was addressing senior banking and financial industry executives at the event “PayPak – The Way Forward” held at State Bank of Pakistan here on Thursday. Deputy Governor SBP in his speech reflected on the prevailing use of cash and financial exclusion in the country that reduces the overall economic efficiency and hampers the development of financial sector to its realizable potential. Citing key infrastructural gaps in Pakistan for electronic payments, he highlighted that SBP’s key strategic objective is to build modern and robust payment systems in the country that enables the provision of cost effective and easily available DFS to the general public.
http://nation.com.pk/08-Dec-2017/sbp-asks-banks-to-accelerate-adoption-of-paypak-cards

SNGPL clarification

MD SNGPL Thursday clarified that only initial consultations have been carried by OGRA on New Tariff Regime and TPA Rules on November 30 and December 4, 2017 in Peshawar and Lahore respectively. These sessions have been held by OGRA to seek view point of stakeholders including gas companies on the basis of which OGRA will be preparing proposals on the matter, which will also require mandatory federal government approval pursuant to section 6(2)(t) of OGRA Ordinance. It therefore must be understood that any illustrations/presentations given by SNGPL in OGRA hearings, at such an initial stage are only indicative, which are meant for educational purposes only and by no means shall be construed as impacting the profitability of the company. The decision on the matter will only be taken by OGRA once the requisite legal and consultative requirements have been fulfilled.
http://nation.com.pk/08-Dec-2017/sngpl-clarification

Govt to facilitate overseas Pakistanis to invest in real estate sector

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue Haroon Akhtar Khan has said the government is committed to promoting the real estate sector and facilitating the overseas Pakistanis to invest in the country's real estate sector to boost remittances and maximising revenues. "The government values the importance of real estate sector for driving the national economy and we are fully committed to providing all possible facilitation and incentives to boost investment in this sector," he said while talking to a delegation of Federation of Realtors of Pakistan (Real Estate) which met him at FBR House.
http://nation.com.pk/08-Dec-2017/go...as-pakistanis-to-invest-in-real-estate-sector

Govt approves five new SME projects

The government has granted approval to five new SME development projects proposed by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) under Public Sector Development Program 2017-18, which will cost about Rs3.2 billion in total Sher Ayub Khan, Chief Executive Officer SMEDA, has expressed deep gratitude to the Ministry of Industries and Production for seeking approval as well as allocation of funds for the five projects.
http://nation.com.pk/08-Dec-2017/govt-approves-five-new-sme-projects

GSP Plus scheme: UK promises to extend support

The United Kingdom has reportedly promised to extend support to Pakistan in the European Union (EU) at the time of second biennial review of the GSP Plus scheme due in January 2018. This consent was evolved at a meeting between Minister for Commerce and Textile, Pervaiz Malik and the visiting London Mayor Sadiq Khan, held in the Commerce Division. The EU accounts for 20 percent of Pakistani external trade with Pakistani exports to the EU amounting to $3.4 billion, mainly textiles, medical equipment and leather products, and the EU exports to Pakistan amount to $3.8 billion and consist mainly of mechanical and electrical equipment, and chemical and pharmaceutical products.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171208325201/

Pakistan's exchange rate facing risks, UN body warns
The government’s policy of keeping the exchange rate stable by intervening in the foreign exchange market may become unsustainable if the US dollar appreciates against most major currencies in global markets, warns a new United Nations report. The stable exchange rate may be encouraging for some investors and traders, but the report warns that it is draining precious foreign exchange reserves.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1375239/pakistans-exchange-rate-facing-risks-un-body-warns

More details of 7th JCC meeting on CPEC trickle out

In a series of tweets, Chinese diplomat Lijian Zhao has shared a full list of the various projects and agreements finalised and discussed during the 7th Joint Cooperation Council (JCC) meeting held in Islamabad between November 21 and 22. The tweets appear to be on behalf of the National Development Reform Commission (NDRC) of China, which is the counterpart of the Planning Commission in Pakistan, jointly responsible for giving shape to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) over the long run.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1375238/more-details-of-7th-jcc-meeting-on-cpec-trickle-out
 

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News Pulse (December 11, 2017)

Fed to hike interest rates

The US central bank is set to raise the benchmark interest rate this week, looking to get ahead of price increases that, though absent so far, are still expected to materialise. It would be the third rate hike this year, and is overwhelmingly expected by economists and traders, and hinted at by policymakers, even though official data show inflation remains well below the Federal Reserve's two percent target.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171211325959/

PKR devaluation to exacerbate external debt burden

The depreciation of Pakistani rupee will lead to a massive surge in Pakistan's external debt and one rupee increase in exchange rate will add approximately some Rs 85 billion to the foreign debt and liabilities quantum in term of Pak Rupee, as per economists' estimates. Economists are estimating that with the adjustment in exchange rate during this fiscal year, the country's external debt and liabilities burden, in term of rupee, will increase by over Rs 170 billion. The Pak Rupee had depreciated against the US dollar by some 1.3 percent in the interbank market on Friday.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171211325975/

In talks with IMF, Pakistan agrees to depreciate rupee

Amid a policy decision on Friday to allow rupee depreciation, Pakistan and an International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation concluded the first round of discussions on the country’s economy. Now members of the IMF delegation and Pakistan team are taking a two-day break to prepare for the policy-level wrap-up by Dec 13-14.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1375449/in-talks-with-imf-pakistan-agrees-to-depreciate-rupee

Pak expats to have bank accounts in Pakistan

Pakistan’s money monitoring authority, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has clearly vowed to make mandatory for Pakistanis living abroad to open bank accounts back home to transfer money legally. It is expected that the move would be helpful in curbing illegal transfer of money and frauds. Executive Director State Bank of Pakistan Syed Irfan Ali was speaking to the media after the first Pakistan’s Remittance Summit 2017 held at a local hotel in Dubai on Friday.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/254631-pak-expats-to-have-bank-accounts-in-pakistan

Early completion of OLMT: China assures its all-out support

China has assured all possible cooperation regarding earliest completion of the delayed orange line metro train (OLMT) service and congratulated Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif for obtaining permission (from Supreme Court) to continue this great public welfare project. A high-level Chinese delegation led by Minister of Communist Party Wang Yajun, called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif here on Sunday and discussed bilateral relations, progress of CPEC projects and strengthening of associations between Communist Party of China and PML (N).
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171211326022/

Rs 298.25 billion released under PSDP

The government has released Rs 298.25 billion (29.8 percent) including Rs 62.1 billion foreign aid for different development projects under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2017-18 against total budgeted allocation of Rs 1,001 billion. According to latest data released by the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform, the government has released Rs 65.3 billion including Rs 2.3 billion foreign aid (20.26 percent of total budgeted amount of the federal ministries) for development projects of the various federal ministries against the total budgeted allocation of Rs 318.44 billion.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171210325766/

Pakistan-China: JCC agrees to resolve tax-related disputes

The Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has decided to expedite tax dispute settlement process, increase interaction between tax authorities (Federal Board of Revenue and State Administration of Taxation, China) and utilize double taxation treaty fully to maximize tax incentives to Chinese companies operating in Pakistan. Sources told Business Recorder here on Saturday that the decision to resolve tax-related disputes between Pakistan and China through tax dispute settlement was taken in the 7th meeting of the JCC held in Islamabad for promoting and developing the CPEC.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171210325749/

Iran keen to invest in energy, infrastructure

Iran is keen to invest in various sectors of Pakistan’s economy to improve relationship between the two countries, an Iranian envoy said on Friday. “Iranian investors are very interested to invest in energy, infrastructure development, education, health and other sectors to explore potential in Karachi,” Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost said in a meeting with Governor Sindh Muhammad Zubair. “Multinational companies couldn’t overlook the Pakistan’s market and we will continue to lend support for the province’s development.”
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/253826-iran-keen-to-invest-in-energy-infrastructure
Local automakers gear up for competition
Local assemblers are not ready to reveal the models of cars and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) that they plan to launch in the next two years to compete with new entrants from China, South Korea and Europe. However, auto vendors said the existing car assemblers have already geared up to introduce new vehicles in 2018 and 2019. Requesting not to be named, the vendors said Pak Suzuki Motor Company is planning to introduce 660cc Alto in the first quarter of 2019.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1375585/local-automakers-gear-up-for-competition
Cement plants utilise 95pc capacity in July-Nov
The capacity utilisation of the cement plants in the country has reached the record level of 94.65 percent during the first five months (July-Nov) of the current fiscal year of 2017-18 while its dispatches have increased by around 14 percent during the same period. According to the latest data of November, 2017, the increase recorded in cement domestic consumption during this month was 9.89 percent, with overall growth of the sector standing at 5.16 percent.
http://nation.com.pk/E-Paper/karachi/2017-12-11/page-8/detail-6

IPPs demand settlement of outstanding payments

The Independent Power Producers Advisory Council (IPPAC) has urged the prime minister to resolve serious financial crisis the independent power producers are facing on account of large overdue receivables from the National Transmission and Despatch Company/Central Power Purchase Agency. “This is in continuation of our previous letter dated Nov 15, and as highlighted in the previous letter, the overdue amounts payable to the 20 members of the IPPAC is still outstanding and growing every month,” said the IPPAC in a communiqué on Dec 8.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1375583/ipps-demand-settlement-of-outstanding-payments

Kapco’s share purchase agreement with Dawood Hercules falls apart

The share purchase agreement (SPA) signed between Kot Addu Power Company Ltd (Kapco) and Dawood Hercules Corporation and ‘other shareholders’ has fallen apart, a stock exchange filing said on Friday. Kapco had signed the SPA for the acquisition of 201 million shares (approximately 17.37pc) in Hub Power Company (Hubco). The completion of the transaction was conditional upon the fulfilment of requisite corporate and regulatory conditions precedent. “Since the time allowed for the completion of the conditions stated in the SPA have not been initiated/completed/fulfilled, the parties have mutually agreed to terminate the SPA and further processing of the transaction,” the company said.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1375389/kapcos-share-purchase-agreement-with-dawood-hercules-falls-apart
 

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News Pulse (December 12, 2017)

Trade deficit jumps 29pc to $15bn

The merchandise trade deficit swelled nearly 29 per cent to $15.03 billion in the first five months of this fiscal year, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1375992/trade-deficit-jumps-29pc-to-15bn

‘Car sales grow 21.4 percent

Sales of passenger cars increased 21.4 percent in the first five months of the current fiscal year, July-November period, driven by a rising demand for 1,000cc and below category vehicles seemingly from the ride-sharing services, analysts said on Monday.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/254866-car-sales-grow-21-4-percent

State Bank relaxes forex regulations
Relaxing foreign exchange regulations, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) allowed exporters on Monday to directly dispatch transport documents to the buyers abroad against shipments valuing up to $100,000 or equivalent.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1375985/sbp-relaxes-forex-regulations

‘OPEC, allies to announce exit strategy from oil cuts in June’

United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui said on Monday that OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers plan to announce in June an exit strategy from global supply cuts, but that does not mean the pact will end by then.
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/254882-opec-allies-to-announce-exit-strategy-from-oil-cuts-in-june

Textile industry concerned over gas supply suspension

All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab Chairman Ali Pervaiz has expressed serious concern over suspension of the supply of system gas quota of 2 days per week to Punjab industries from 7th of December 2017
http://nation.com.pk/E-Paper/karachi/2017-12-12/page-9/detail-5

Power plants to start lifting of furnace oil

Amid continuing challenges at the second Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal, the government has decided in principle to ensure simultaneous lifting of domestic and imported furnace oil for power plants to ease jet fuel challenges.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1375994/power-plants-to-start-lifting-of-furnace-oil

Suspension of foreign operations unlikely, says PIA
THE Pakistan International Airlines has clarified a news report published in Dawn on Sunday (Dec 10) under the headline, “PIA’s foreign operations to be suspended if standards not improved”.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1376065/suspension-of-foreign-operations-unlikely-says-pia

Govt to get $7.5b loan from ADB in 3 years
Contrary to the tall claims of breaking the begging bowl, Abbasi-led federal government is all set to receive mammoth $7.15 billion loan from Asian
http://nation.com.pk/12-Dec-2017/govt-to-get-7-5b-loan-from-adb-in-3-years
 

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News Pulse (December 13, 2017)

Banking sector remains sound, stable in Q3CY17

The State Bank of Pakistan in its Quarterly Performance Review said that banking sector’s asset base has expanded marginally during Q3CY17, though, on YoY basis, the growth has been quite robust (16.0 percent). Financing has observed a minor dip over the quarter in line with the seasonal pattern of the credit cycle.
http://nation.com.pk/13-Dec-2017/banking-sector-remains-sound-stable-in-q3cy17

No more long-term power purchase agreements

Faced with looming capacity trap, the government decided on Tuesday to make a major shift in its energy policy and decline guaranteed power purchases from future private sector producers.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1376229/no-more-long-term-power-purchase-agreements

Global stocks mixed as bitcoin surges

Global stocks were mixed on Monday, with major United States indices ending at fresh records as bitcoin futures surged in their debut on a major exchange.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1376182/global-stocks-mixed-as-bitcoin-surges

CPEC long-term plan to be made public on Dec 18: Ahsan Iqbal

Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has announced that the long-term plan (LTP) for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that was signed on Nov 21 will be made public on Dec 18. Making the LTP public was a commitment given by the minister back in June.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1376344/cpec-long-term-plan-to-be-made-public-on-dec-18-ahsan-iqbal

IMF lauds healthy economic growth in Pakistan
A delegation of Post Programme Monitoring Mission of International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Harold Finger, met Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Revenue Haroon Akhtar Khan in Islamabad.
The delegation held discussion with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on different aspects of Pakistan’s economy, its growth and Federal Board of Revenue’s contribution towards it.
https://www.brecorder.com/2017/12/13/386403/imf-lauds-healthy-economic-growth-in-pakistan/

SSGC clarification
This is in response to a news item entitled ''SSGC signs controversial deal on idle capacity'' that appeared in Business Recorder on December 12, 2017. "Unfortunately, the information contained in the news item is totally devoid of facts and ground realities. SSGC deems it essential to put all the facts in right perspective so that a true and accurate picture can be presented.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171213326775/

Rupee devaluation will impede economic cycle: LCCI

Rapid devaluation of Pak rupee will damage the economic cycle of the country besides scaring off international investors; therefore the State Bank of Pakistan should control this dilemma without wasting a single moment.
https://fp.brecorder.com/2017/12/20171213326855/

FBR approves three border complexes
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has approved in principle the design for establishment of three state-of-the art ‘border complexes’ at Torkham, Chaman and Wagah to reduce dwell time for cross-border movement of goods and services.
https://www.dawn.com/news/1376230/fbr-approves-three-border-complexes