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The government on Wednesday signed a Rs442 billion contract with a joint venture of China Power and Frontier Works Organization (FWO) for the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha dam. The ECC on Wednesday approved Rs56.6 billion to provide farmers subsidy on fertilizers, reduction in mark-up on agriculture loans, subsidy on cotton seed, white fly pesticides and sales tax subsidy on locally-manufactured tractors. Ministry of Finance has reportedly agreed to convert PHPL debt of over Rs800 billion into public debt with bi-annual review of power sector performance as per an agreement with the World Bank, well-informed sources in Finance Division told Business Recorder. The ECC recently approved a proposal of Power Division for conversion of Rs136.5 billion PHPL loan into public debt.

Market View: The KSE100 Index gained 90.2 points on Wednesday, ending the session at 33,693 points. We expect the market to remain range bound in the upcoming session amid increasing number of COVID19 cases and deaths. Going forward, a sharp cut in the upcoming monetary policy my trigger a short rally. 

Commodities:

Brent oil (USD/bbl): 29.24 (+0.17% D/D)

WTI Crude oil (USD/bbl): 25.45 (+0.63% D/D)

Gold (USD/oz): 1,721.10 (+0.27% D/D)

National News

ECC approves Rs56.6 bn agri package

ISLAMABAD: The ECC on Wednesday approved Rs56.6 billion to provide farmers subsidy on fertilizers, reduction in mark-up on agriculture loans, subsidy on cotton seed, white fly pesticides and sales tax subsidy on locally-manufactured tractors.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/658593-ecc-approves-rs56-6-bn-agri-package

MoF agrees to convert over Rs800bn PHPL debt into public debt

Ministry of Finance has reportedly agreed to convert PHPL debt of over Rs 800 billion into public debt with bi-annual review of power sector performance as per an agreement with the World Bank, well-informed sources in Finance Division told Business Recorder. The ECC recently approved a proposal of Power Division for conversion of Rs 136.5 billion PHPL loan into public debt.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/14/596800/mof-agrees-to-convert-over-rs800bn-phpl-debt-into-public-debt/

21MW Tangir Hydropower Project: Wapda, JV of Power China-FWO ink agreement

Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and a joint venture of Power China-FWO on Wedn-esday inked agreement worth Rs 442 billion for construction of diversion system, main dam, access bridge and 21MW Tangir Hydropower Project.

https://www.brecorder.com/?p=596796

Rs442bn accord for construction of Diamer-Bhasha dam signed

ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday signed a Rs442 billion contract with a joint venture of China Power and Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) for the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha dam.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1556951/rs442bn-accord-for-construction-of-diamer-bhasha-dam-signed

Ferozsons subsidiary inks agreement with Gilead for manufacturing ‘experimental drug’ remdesivir

Ferozsons Laboratories announced on Wednesday that its subsidiary BF Biosciences Ltd (BFBL) has signed a non-exclusive license agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc for manufacturing and selling remdesivir — an experimental antiviral drug that is being used to treat coronavirus patients.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1556856/ferozsons-subsidiary-inks-agreement-with-gilead-for-manufacturing-experimental-drug-remdesivir

Govt to sell debt worth Rs2.875trln

KARACHI: The government plans to borrow Rs2.875 trillion from banking system to finance the budget deficit by selling treasury papers, an auction calendar published by central bank showed on Wednesday.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/658293-govt-to-sell-debt-worth-rs2-875trln

Rupee weakens

KARACHI: The rupee witnessed depreciation against the dollar for the third consecutive day on Wednesday, owing to increasing demand and lower inflows of the US currency, dealers said.The rupee fell 50 paisas to close at Rs160.95 against the greenback from the previous day’s closing of Rs160.45 in the interbank foreign exchange market.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/658288-rupee-weakens

Tax collection from exports drops 25 percent in April

KARACHI: Tax collection from exports sharply fell 25 percent year-on-year in April as the lockdown adversely hurt foreign trade for almost two months before having eased recently.

Large Taxpayers Unit Karachi’s data on Wednesday showed that collection of income tax from export proceeds decreased to Rs402 million in April compared with Rs538 million in the corresponding month of the last fiscal year.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/658286-tax-collection-from-exports-drops-25-percent-in-april

PIA in dire financial straits

ISLAMABAD: Air travel has come to a standstill with countries locked down to fight the coronavirus pandemic, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is also the worse-hit.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/05/14/19-page/837149-news.html

LNG scam: NAB summons Abbasi, son

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has summoned former prime minister and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and his son to appear before it on Friday (today) in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) scam.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/14/596794/lng-scam-nab-summons-abbasi-son/

Threat of locust swarms: Hafeez seeks UK support

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has sought technical support from the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) to combat the threat of swarm locust to standing crops and vegetation in Pakistan.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/14/596782/threat-of-locust-swarms-hafeez-seeks-uk-support/

PML-Q says PM to probe reopening of cases against Chaudhrys

ISLAMABAD: PML-Q, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s key coalition partner, on Wednesday raised the issue of reopening of corruption cases against its top leaders and urged him to look into the matter.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/658633-pml-q-says-pm-to-probe-reopening-of-cases-against-chaudhrys

International News

Oil prices edge higher on surprise US stock drawdown, but demand concerns linger

Oil prices crept up on Thursday, supported by a surprise decline of U.S. crude inventories, but gains were capped by worries that a potential second wave of the coronavirus pandemic might trigger fresh lockdowns and slam fuel demand once again.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/14/oil-markets-us-crude-inventories-coronavirus-in-focus.html

Gold inches higher on US stimulus talks; jobs data awaited

Gold rose slightly on Thursday as U.S. stimulus talks and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s downbeat economic assessments supported the safe-haven metal, while investors awaited U.S. initial jobless claims data due later in the day.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/14/gold-markets-coronavirus-in-focus.html