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The financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other multilaterals has lowered Pakistan’s financing risks from the coronavirus-related economic shock even though its fiscal deficit may touch double digits. Current account deficit during the first three quarters of current fiscal year shrank by 73 per cent to $2.768 billion compared to $10.284bn in the same period last fiscal year, data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) showed on Thursday. Secondly, Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan declined $85 million to $10.9 billion on account of external debt payments during the week ended on Apr 17. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) conducted an auction on Thursday in which it sold variable interest rate GOP Ijara Sukuk worth Rs.76.384 billion.

Market View: The KSE100 Index gained 386.60 points during yesterday’s trading session. We expect the market to remain calm in the upcoming session. 

Commodities:

Brent oil (USD/bbl): 22.32 (+4.45% D/D)
Crude oil (USD/bbl): 17.54 (+6.85% D/D)
Gold (USD/oz): 1,746.30 (+0.052% D/D)

National News

Current account deficit shrinks 73pc in nine months

KARACHI: Current account deficit during the first three quarters of current fiscal year shrank by 73 per cent to $2.768 billion compared to $10.284bn in the same period last fiscal year, data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) showed on Thursday.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1551799/current-account-deficit-shrinks-73pc-in-nine-months

SBP reserves fall

KARACHI: Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan declined $85 million to $10.9 billion on account of external debt payments during the week ended on Apr 17.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1551790/sbp-reserves-fall

Lenders’ help lowers Pakistan’s financing risks: Moody’s

ISLAMABAD: The financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other multilaterals has lowered Pakistan’s financing risks from the coronavirus-related economic shock even though its fiscal deficit may touch double digits.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1551760/lenders-help-lowers-pakistans-financing-risks-moodys

Auction Result: SBP Sells GOP Ijara Sukuk worth Rs.76.38 billion for 5 years

April 23, 2020 (MLN): The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) conducted an auction on Thursday in which it sold variable interest rate GOP Ijara Sukuk worth Rs.76.384 billion.

https://mettisglobal.news/auction-result-sbp-sells-gop-ijara-sukuk-worth-rs-76-38-billion-for-5-years

Covid-19 outbreak: $595 million coordinated multi-sectoral PPRP launched

Pakistan launched an initial US$595 million coordinated multi-sectoral Preparedness and Response Plan (PPRP) on Thursday to combat Covid-19, and urged the international community to support the initiative in a bid to suppress and mitigate spread of the coronavirus.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/24/592022/covid-19-outbreak-595-million-coordinated-multi-sectoral-pprp-launched/

Covid-19 pandemic: Japan to provide Rs2.5bn assistance

ISLAMABAD: The Government of Japan on Thursday reiterated grant assistance worth Rs2.5 billion for Pakistan to respond to Covid-19 pandemic, said a press release.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/24/1-page/834741-news.html

Developing country debt authority proposed

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on Thursday proposed the creation of an international developing country debt authority mandated to oversee the implementation of comprehensive temporary standstills as well as case-by-case longer-term debt sustainability assessments and consequent sovereign debt relief and restricting agreements.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1551797/developing-country-debt-authority-proposed

Automakers demand tax relief as sales plummet

LAHORE: The country’s carmakers have asked the government for tax relief as they said the Covid-19 lockdown has exacerbated the financial squeeze owing to drastic drop in demand.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1551795/automakers-demand-tax-relief-as-sales-plummet

Cement prices raised

KARACHI: Cement prices in northern region jumped by Rs45-50 per 50kg bag to Rs504-508 while rates in southern region remained unchanged at Rs625-650.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1551792/cement-prices-raised

RLNG power plants: Sell-off delayed on Covid-19

ISLAMABAD: The government has delayed the privatization of two RLNG power plants from the current fiscal year (2019-20) to the first quarter of next fiscal year (considered overly optimistic target) as ongoing COVID-19 has brought commercial activities to a standstill as well as due to concern of prospective  buyers with ongoing renegotiations with Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/04/24/1-page/834740-news.html

IPPs to urge government to put technical body on ice

The Independent Power Producers (IPPs) are to request the government to put technical committee on ice until the Inquiry Commission approved by the Cabinet completes its assignment.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/24/592006/ipps-to-urge-government-to-put-technical-body-on-ice/

SBP prepared for more measures to safeguard Pakistan economy against COVID-19

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is willing to introduce more measures in order to protect the country’s economy engulfed by uncertainty arise due to the coronavirus pandemic, informed SBP Governor, Reza Baqir.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/23/591721/sbp-prepared-for-more-measures-to-safeguard-pakistan-economy-against-covid-19/

Capital markets, corporate sector and others: SECP proposes measures for development

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Thursday proposed to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) measures for development of the capital market, changes in capital gains tax (CGT) regime for the stock market, steps for encouraging listing of new companies, incentives to Shariah-compliant companies, and facilitation of the corporate sector.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/24/591980/capital-markets-corporate-sector-and-others-secp-proposes-measures-for-development/

Govt allows export of textile masks

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday permitted export of textile masks in a bid to allow manufacturers to honour international orders. However, the ban on exports of N-95and surgical face masks — both falling in the list of personal protective equipment (PPE) — will remain.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1551798/govt-allows-export-of-textile-masks

International News

US job losses soar past 26mn as states move to reopen

WASHINGTON: Job losses from the coronavirus pandemic in the United States climbed to 26.4 million, as Congress on Thursday was poised to approve a new stimulus measure and governors in some states move to slowly reopen businesses.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/04/24/591862/us-job-losses-soar-past-26mn-as-states-move-to-reopen/

Gold slips on firm dollar; weak data, US stimulus cap losses

Gold prices fell on Friday as the dollar firmed, although they remained close to a more than one-week high scaled in the previous session following bleak economic data and a latest round of stimulus in the United States.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/24/gold-markets-economic-data-us-stimulus-in-focus.html

Oil prices extend rebound on output cuts, still set to end tumultuous week in the red

Oil prices rose on Friday, gaining further ground as some producers like Kuwait said they would move to cut output swiftly to try to counter the evaporation in global demand for fuels caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/24/oil-market-coronavirus-crude-output-in-focus.html

KASB Research