Good Morning

The country’s total liquid foreign exchange reserves posted a notable decline of $1.5 billion during March, mainly due to massive outflow of hot money. Moody’s Investors Service has revised downward the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast for Pakistan from 2.9 percent to 2-2.5 percent, ie, by up to 0.9 percent for 2020. The country’s exports have posted over 6.5 per cent negative growth in March 2020 to $ 1.847 billion as compared to $ 1.976 billion in the corresponding month of 2019 as the Coronavirus factor has started hitting the exports.

Market View: The KSE100 Index gained 1,277 points during yesterday’s session. However, weakness in international crude oil prices is likely to translate into trading today, as seen in early trading in Asian markets today.

Commodities:

Brent oil (USD/bbl): 28.77 (-3.91% D/D)
Crude oil (USD/bbl): 24.09 (-4.86% D/D)
Gold (USD/oz): 1,632.50 (-0.3175% D/D)

National News

Forex reserves plunge $1.5bn in March

The country’s total liquid foreign exchange reserves posted a notable decline of $1.5 billion during March, mainly due to massive outflow of hot money.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/03/14-page/832347-news.html

Moody’s scales down growth to 2-2.5pc

Moody’s Investors Service has revised downward the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast for Pakistan from 2.9 percent to 2-2.5 percent, ie, by up to 0.9 percent for 2020.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/03/14-page/832345-news.html

Exports post over 6.5pc negative growth

The country’s exports have posted over 6.5 per cent negative growth in March 2020 to $ 1.847 billion as compared to $ 1.976 billion in the corresponding month of 2019 as the Coronavirus factor has started hitting the exports.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/03/14-page/832346-news.html

WAPDA to award Diamer-Bhasha Dam contract this month

The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has finally decided to award the contract for the much-delayed Diamer-Bhasha Dam this month.

Private sector borrows another net sum of Rs 20 billion during the week

The non-government sector has borrowed another net sum of Rs.20.02 billion during the week ended March 20, 2020, which brings the cumulative net borrowing for ongoing fiscal year FY2020 to Rs.260.28 billion. The net borrowing as of prior week was recorded at Rs.240.26 billion.

https://mettisglobal.news/private-sector-borrows-another-net-sum-of-rs-20-billion-during-the-week

Oil sales decline by 29pc on YoY basis

The oil sales in the country have declined by 29 percent on year-on-year basis to 1.03 million tons in March 2020, lowest monthly sales since 2006. The oil sales in March 2019 were 1.46 million tons.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/03/16-page/832368-news.html

Govt decides to open construction industry

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said the government will announce a Rs100 billion package for the construction industry as the government tries to keep the country afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic. “We have decided we will give necessary incentives to the construction industry in order to provide job opportunities to people during this time of crisis,” Imran Khan said while addressing a ceremony in Islamabad.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/638688-govt-decides-to-open-construction-industry

PM urged to waive all storage, demurrage charges at ports

Leader of the Business Community and patron-in-chief of United Business Group (UBG), S M Muneer has appealed to the prime minister to instruct the Ministry of Maritime Affairs for waiver of all storage and demurrage charges at the ports and all the terminals of Pakistan from 17th March, 2020 to 20th April, 2020 (lockdown period) over and above the free time already allowed.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/03/2-page/832259-news.html

Terminals waive demurrages on imports till 5th

Port terminal operators have agreed to waive demurrages on the import containers arrived from March 20 to April 5, 2020 in order to facilitate importers during the lockdown announced by the Sindh government to avert the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/03/16-page/832369-news.html

World Bank approves Rs33 bn to help Pakistan counter COVID-19

The World Bank’s (WB) Board of Executive Directors on Thursday approved $200 million (Rs33.31 billion) package to help Pakistan take effective and timely action to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening the country’s national healthcare systems and mitigating socioeconomic disruptions.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/638695-world-bank-approves-rs33-bn-to-help-pakistan-counter-covid-19

Japanese firms seek incentives for assembly of hybrid vehicles

Two Japanese car manufacturers have called upon the government to offer incentives for local assembly of hybrid vehicles on the lines of those suggested for electric vehicles in the proposed five-year policy.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1546000/japanese-firms-seek-incentives-for-assembly-of-hybrid-vehicles

Govt all set to incorporate changes

The government is all set to incorporate changes to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) rules and regulations through the SBP (amendment) Bill 2020 meant to ensure the autonomy of Central Bank to promote collegial decision making in the bank to address the conflict of interest issues, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/03/14-page/832344-news.html

APTMA Punjab chief seeks govt’s intervention as export orders may drop by 50pc

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Punjab Chairman Adil Bashir demanded of the government to freeze the interest rate on loans and urged the State Bank of Pakistan to issue directions to banks for suspension of interest on long-term as well as working capital loans and advances for a period of 3 months from April 2020 till June 30, 2020.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/03/10-page/832325-news.html

Govt, IPPs gear up for crucial capacity payment talks

Faced with increasing liabilities in the energy sector, a cabinet committee on Thursday decided to engage with private investors in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals and power projects to renegotiate terms of their capacity payments, return on equity and exchange rate indexation.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1546015/govt-ipps-gear-up-for-crucial-capacity-payment-talks

Byco plans to install DHDS & FCC units

Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited (Byco) has announced its decision to establish a diesel hydro de-sulphurising (DHDS) unit and a fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit. An Extraordinary General Meeting of Byco’s shareholders was held on Thursday to approve this decision.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/03/15-page/832366-news.html

International News

Asia stocks little changed as oil prices pare gains after record surge

Stocks in Asia were little changed in Friday afternoon trade following a record surge in oil prices overnight that saw U.S. crude futures soaring more than 24%.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/03/asia-markets-oil-prices-coronavirus-currencies-in-focus.html

Oil futures pare record gains as doubts creep in on Trump’s Saudi-Russia output deal

Oil prices fell on Friday, coming off their biggest one-day gains in the previous session after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had brokered a deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia to cut output, but made no offer to reduce U.S. production.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/03/oil-markets-donald-trump-saudi-arabia-russia-in-focus.html