Good Morning

The Prime Minister, Imran Khan, said on Monday that lockdown would be further eased gradually to provide livelihood to the low-income group and daily wagers. While addressing the tiger force (volunteers), the prime minister said that “we have to gradually open the lockdown because people have been badly affected by it and have become redundant.” Out of the total outstanding liabilities of US$20 billion, Pakistan has formally sought debt relief of US$1.87 billion from 11 bilateral creditors among the G20 countries, it was learnt. The rupee closed stronger on Monday led by foreign inflows and slowdown in the dollar demand from importers, dealers said. In the interbank market, the local currency ended at 159.91 against the dollar, higher than its previous closing of 160.17, but below an intraday peak of 157.50.

Market View: The KSE100 Index lost 195 points on Monday, ending the session at 33,916.6 points. We expect market to rebound amid increasing oil prices as demand starts picking up after lockdowns have started to ease around the globe.

Commodities:

Brent oil (USD/bbl): 28.21 (+3.71% D/D)

WTI Crude oil (USD/bbl): 21.7 (+6.62% D/D)

Gold (USD/oz): 1,704.50 (-0.52% D/D)

National News

Lockdown to be lifted only gradually: PM

The Prime Minister, Imran Khan, said on Monday that lockdown would be further eased gradually to provide livelihood to the low-income group and daily wagers.While addressing the tiger force (volunteers), the prime minister said that “we have to gradually open the lockdown because people have been badly affected by it and have become redundant.”

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/05/594456/lockdown-to-be-lifted-only-gradually-pm/

Pakistan seeks $1.87 bn debt relief from G20 countries

ISLAMABAD: Out of the total outstanding liabilities of US$20 billion, Pakistan has formally sought debt relief of US$1.87 billion from 11 bilateral creditors among the G20 countries, it was learnt.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/654402-pakistan-seeks-1-87-bn-debt-relief-from-g20-countries

Rupee strengthens

KARACHI: The rupee closed stronger on Monday led by foreign inflows and slowdown in the dollar demand from importers, dealers said.In the interbank market, the local currency ended at 159.91 against the dollar, higher than its previous closing of 160.17, but below an intraday peak of 157.50.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/654081-rupee-strengthens

PSE delays Rs200bn sukuk

KARACHI: The Pakistan Energy Sukuk-II (PES-II), a government guaranteed Shariah-compliant security of Rs200 billion, which was to be on offer through the book building in the stock exchange from Tuesday has been delayed by 7-10 days, it was learnt on Monday evening.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1554605/pse-delays-rs200bn-sukuk

Capacity payments to state-owned companies under scrutiny

ISLAMABAD: With more than half of the country’s total capacity charges payable to state-owned power projects, the initial resp­onse from their managements has not been very encouraging.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1554607/capacity-payments-to-state-owned-companies-under-scrutiny

CCoE approves placement of various power project cos

ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCoE) has approved placement of various power project companies of alternative energy in advance category, and directed Ministry of Petroleum weigh financial feasibility of offshore stock of petroleum products to benefit from low international petroleum products.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/05/05/3-page/835873-news.html

Urea sales see double-digit decline in April

KARACHI: Urea sales are estimated at 240,000 tons in April, showing a double-digit decline compared to the corresponding month a year earlier and the previous month, as the virus lockdown hurt its sales during the month, a brokerage reported on Monday.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/654084-urea-sales-see-double-digit-decline-in-april

Import tax collection up 18.3pc to Rs664bln in July-April

KARACHI: Sales tax collection at import stage grew 18.3 percent to Rs664 billion in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year as withdrawal of zero-rated facility neutralised the impact of sinking imports, official statistics showed on Monday.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/654078-import-tax-collection-up-18-3pc-to-rs664bln-in-july-april

APCNGA demands reduction in gas price for CNG sector’s survival

Islamabad: To save natural gas sector from collapse there is need of difference in prices of petrol and CNG. The price of gas should have been reduced after decreasing the price of petrol to keep the troubled business of CNG viable as both the fuels are linked, said Ghiyas Abdullah Paracha, Central Chairman APCNGA.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/654368-apcnga-demands-reduction-in-gas-price-for-cng-sector-s-survival

Fury witnessed in SNGPL BoD meeting: Procurement scam of up to Rs450m without nod from BoD unearthed

ISLAMABAD: Verbal fury was witnessed on Saturday during the session of Board of Directors (BoD) of Sui Northern Gas Private Limited (SNGPL) on various issues, including the scam of procurement limit up to Rs450 million without any nod from BoD, non-declaration of blood relation between two private directors, conflict of interest of one director for providing legal services through his legal firm, slashing down the number of directors of the company and giving mandate to fact-finding committee to complete the probe against acting managing director and deputy managing director by May 18.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/654365-fury-witnessed-in-sngpl-bod-meeting-procurement-scam-of-up-to-rs450m-without-nod-from-bod-unearthed

Government given one week to formulate uniform policy

The Supreme Court once again emphasized for national policy and gave one-week to the federal and provincial governments to formulate uniform policy to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, which so far, has claimed 466 people’s lives.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/05/594453/government-given-one-week-to-formulate-uniform-policy/

New tribunal being set up: Nepra to be stripped of appellate powers

The federal government has reportedly decided to withdraw appellate powers from the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) by establishing a full-fledged independent appellate tribunal for the power sector.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/05/594451/new-tribunal-being-set-up-nepra-to-be-stripped-of-appellate-powers/

IPPs inquiry commission put on ice

The government has reportedly decided to put on ice the inquiry commission on Independent Power Producers (IPPs) tasked to conduct a thorough probe and the release of the inquiry report for at least two months aimed at using the report as bargaining chip for a better deal on power tariff , well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/05/594449/ipps-inquiry-commission-put-on-ice/

Digital banking grows sharply during lockdown

The use of digital channels for banking transactions has witnessed significant growth in the recent crisis of Covid-19 pandemic.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/05/594446/digital-banking-grows-sharply-during-lockdown/

Banks to use post-‘quarantine’ cash

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday allowed the banks for use of quarantined cash, which have completed quarantine period of fourteen (14) days.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/05/594445/banks-to-use-post-quarantine-cash/

No new currency notes this Eid: SBP

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has announced suspension of fresh currency notes to general public on Eid-ul-Fitr 2020.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/05/594438/no-new-currency-notes-this-eid-sbp/

Insurance cos: Net retained exposure limit, collateral requirements revised

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has revised net retained exposure limit and collateral requirements for insurance companies. The SECP has issued S.R.O. 345 (I)/2020 Tuesday to amend Credit and Suretyship (Conduct of Business) Rules, 2018.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/05/594436/insurance-cos-net-retained-exposure-limit-collateral-requirements-revised/

Three major demands of cellular firms accepted

The government has accepted three major demands of cellular companies including industry status, suspension of 12.5 percent withholding tax, and grant/auction of additional spectrum.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/05/594434/three-major-demands-of-cellular-firms-accepted/

First two days of current month: Massive shortage of petrol, HSD acknowledged

The Petro-leum Division acknowledged that there were massive shortage of petrol and high-speed diesel (HSD) on first two days of current month after sizeable reduction in petroleum prices.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/05/594432/first-two-days-of-current-month-massive-shortage-of-petrol-hsd-acknowledged/

Public procurement for SME growth

THE ensuing uncertainty coupled with the initial soft advisories and later strict restrictions following the Covid-19 outbreak has brought the economic system to a virtual halt. The adverse impact on the goods market has quickly spread to the labour market and some credible studies project the unemployment figures to rise by at least 4 million in the next few months.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1554389/public-procurement-for-sme-growth

Textile mills unable to pay wages to employees due to lockdown

KARACHI: The textile mills are not able to pay wages to their employees as ordered by the Sindh government due to the shutting down of their units because of the lockdown, the Sindh High Court (SHC) was informed here on Monday.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/05/05/16-page/835988-news.html

Govt urged to announce relief package for CNG sector

PESHAWAR: All Pakistan CNG Owners Association has urged government to announce special relief package for CNG sector to ensure its survival and save jobs of thousands of workers associated with it.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1554330/govt-urged-to-announce-relief-package-for-cng-sector

PSX demands incentives a la everyone else

“Eliminate capital gains tax (CGT) for the next 12-24 months,” says the PSX. “If that is not possible, then reduce the CGT rates for (holdings of) up to 12 months at 10 per cent and remove it altogether for holdings of more than 12 months.”

https://www.dawn.com/news/1554390/psx-demands-incentives-a-la-everyone-else

International News

Gold slips as easing lockdown measures boost risk appetite

Stocks in Asia edged higher in Tuesday morning trade following the release of Chinese trade data for March.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/14/asia-markets-china-march-trade-data-coronavirus-currencies-in-focus.html

Stocks in Hong Kong edge higher as the city’s economy takes a hit in first quarter

Stocks in Asia Pacific rose in Tuesday morning trade, with major markets regionally closed for holidays.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, which closed more than 4% lower on Monday, rose 0.84% in early trade. The city’s government announced on Monday that Hong Kong’s economy contracted 8.9% in the first quarter as compared to a year ago — its largest decline on record since 1974.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/05/asia-markets-rba-rate-decision-us-china-tensions-coronavirus-in-focus.html