Good Morning

Foreign investors opted to pull out their investment from Pakistan equity market due to their concerns over deadly coronavirus and slowing economic activities. The offshore investors withdrew $37.497 million from the equity market during May 2020 as compared to an inflow of over $22.920 million in the same month last year. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Monday said coronavirus cases and deaths were on the rise in the country and urged citizens to follow the government mandated standard operating procedures (SOPs) against the virus, warning that “strict lockdowns” could be re-imposed across the country if the trajectory continued. The government is likely to remove 2 percent Additional Custom Duty on 1,630 tariff lines, in addition to substantial reduction in duties on 350 tariff lines in federal budget 2020-21, as all the stakeholders have reached a consensus on this plan, sources close to Prime Minister Advisor on Commerce told Business Recorder.

Market View: The KSE100 Index lost 96.2 points during the last trading session, and closed at 33,836.6 points. We expect the market to remain range bound in the upcoming session. However, declining international oil price may drag the index.

Commodities:

Brent oil (USD/bbl): 33.77 (-2.8% D/D)

WTI Crude oil (USD/bbl): 31.48 (-4.05% D/D)

Gold (USD/oz): 1,726.30 (-0.029% D/D)

National News

FIPI outflows exceed $244m: Offshore investors withdraw $37.497m

Foreign investors opted to pull out their investment from Pakistan equity market due to their concerns over deadly coronavirus and slowing economic activities.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/28/600643/fipi-outflows-exceed-244m-offshore-investors-withdraw-37497m/

Documenting economy: FBR urged to use data of bourse, property market

Pakistan Business Council (PBC) has asked the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to use stock market/property data and the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) information for documenting the economy and providing a level-playing field to the domestic manufacturing from the next fiscal year.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/28/600647/documenting-economy-fbr-urged-to-use-data-of-bourse-property-market/

1,630 tariff lines: 2pc additional duty may be removed

The government is likely to remove 2 percent Additional Custom Duty on 1,630 tariff lines, in addition to substantial reduction in duties on 350 tariff lines in federal budget 2020-21, as all the stakeholders have reached a consensus on this plan, sources close to Prime Minister Advisor on Commerce told Business Recorder.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/05/28/600652/one-630-tariff-lines-2pc-additional-duty-may-be-removed/

Another lockdown on cards

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Monday said coronavirus cases and deaths were on the rise in the country and urged citizens to follow the government mandated standard operating procedures (SOPs) against the virus, warning that “strict lockdowns” could be reimposed across the country if the trajectory continued.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/663512-caution-must-to-avoid-catastrophe-another-lockdown-on-cards

MUFAP for abolition of 8pc minimum tax

ISLAMABAD: The mutual fund industry has proposed the government to abolish eight percent minimum tax on Asset Management Companies (AMCs) and real estate investment trust (REIT) Management Companies licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in the coming budget (2020-2021).

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/05/27/8-page/838398-news.html

IMF hopes to soon complete second review of Pakistan’s credit facility

KARACHI: International Monetary Fund (IMF) has resumed discussions with Pakistan to complete the second review of the country’s extended fund facility program that was deferred last month due to the outbreak of the pandemic, its top official said.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/662325-imf-hopes-to-soon-complete-second-review-of-pakistan-s-credit-facility

World Bank approves $500m loan

The World Bank has restored Pakistan’s budgetary support after four years and approved a policy loan of $500 million to help the country mitigate adverse impact of the coronavirus amid heightened macroeconomic and political risks.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2227299/2-world-bank-approves-500m-loan/

$500m AIIB loan to mitigate Covid-19 impact

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will provide budgetary support worth $500 million to Pakistan to mitigate the significant negative economic and social impacts caused by Covid-19, it was learnt here on Tuesday.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1559606/500m-aiib-loan-to-mitigate-covid-19-impact

C/A deficit shrinks 71pc on lower import bill

KARACHI: The country’s external account continues to perform well as the current account deficit posted a notable decline of 71 percent during the first 10 months of this fiscal year, mainly due to lower import bill.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/05/22/1-page/838014-news.html

Implication of G-20 debt relief lacks clarity

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is reportedly facing lack of clarity on full implication of G-20 debt suspension initiative meant to mitigate the Covid-19 impact, well-informed sources in the Ministry of Economic Affairs told Business Recorder.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/05/23/1-page/838154-news.html

Pakistan borrows $7.381b from external sources in 10 months of current FY

SLAMABAD-Pakistan’s borrowing from external sources had remained lower in ten months (July to April) of the current fiscal year due to out-break of COVID-19 as the pandemic has completely halted the development activities across the country.

https://nation.com.pk/23-May-2020/pakistan-borrows-dollar-7-381b-from-external-sources-in-10-months-of-current-fy

Foreign exchange: SBP reserves fall $141m to $12.13b

KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank decreased 1.15% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2226377/2-foreign-exchange-sbp-reserves-fall-141m-12-13b/

Ogra sent letters to OMCs thrice

ISLAMABAD: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) sent letters to oil marketing companies (OMCs) three times to ensure adequate supply of high speed diesel (HSD) and petrol in interior Sindh and Southern Punjab, in line with the directives of the federal government.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/05/28/27-page/838432-news.html

Govt to disburse Rs200bn raised through Sukuk

ISLAMABAD: The government has reportedly decided to disburse Rs 200 billion recently raised through Islamic Sukuk facility in the light of power sector inquiry report, which has already been rejected by the Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/05/24/1-page/838253-news.html

New committee formed for talks with IPPs

ISLAMABAD: The government has constituted another committee for renegotiations with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) for recovery of ‘overpayment’ to them and tariff reduction.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1558890/new-committee-formed-for-talks-with-ipps

Cement cartel again under CCP’s hammer

ISLAMABAD: Ten years after it busted and penalised a cement cartel in the country, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has again started investigating a suspected collusion between the cement companies, which had recently raised cement prices in the north region (Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), The News learnt reliably on Wednesday.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/662168-cement-cartel-again-under-ccp-s-hammer

Private sector borrowing falls by 47pc

KARACHI: Private sector borrowing in the first 10 months of current fiscal year fell by 47 per cent to Rs298 billion compared to Rs563bn in the corresponding period last year, data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) showed on Saturday.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1559282/private-sector-borrowing-falls-by-47pc

Sugar probe commission critical of key govt functionaries’ role in subsidy

ISLAMABAD: The shocking sugar inquiry commission’s report made public on Thursday was critical of the role of Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Industries Razak Daw­ood and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on the issue of sugar export subsidy as they failed to satisfy the commission.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1559077/sugar-probe-commission-critical-of-key-govt-functionaries-role-in-subsidy

Major sugar mills underreported sales, committed fraud: forensic report

Information Minister Shibli Faraz and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Accountability Shehzad Akbar on Thursday revealed details from a report issued by the Sugar Forensic Commission (SFC) constituted to investigate and assign responsibility for the shortage and price hike of the commodity in the country in recent times.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1558734/major-sugar-mills-underreported-sales-committed-fraud-forensic-report

Companies resume plant operations

Plants of more than 120 listed manufacturing companies had ground to a halt by early April. Notices that piled up in the offices of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) mentioned plausible re-commissioning dates. Some linked it to the lifting of the lockdown to prevent the spread of the pandemic while others made no promises as to when normal production activities could resume.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1559375/companies-resume-plant-operations

Exporters expect fresh orders

KARACHI: Fresh orders are being anticipated by country’s exporters who say the global slowdown, due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown in many countries, has created space for Pakistani exports.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1559616/exporters-expect-fresh-orders

APTPMA for exempting textile exporters from paying WHT

FAISALABAD: All Pakistan Textile Processing Mills Association (APTPMA) has demanded that textile exporters fall under final tax regime u/s 143(b) and should be exempted from payment of WHT and be given exemption certificates.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/05/23/5-page/838179-news.html

Pakistan losing over $2 bn export potential

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is losing over $2 billion export potential by not sending abroad Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), sanitizers and textile masks because the government has not yet granted permission to exporters, it was learnt.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/662124-pakistan-losing-over-2-bn-export-potential

International News

Oil drops on worse than feared rise in U.S. fuel stocks

Oil prices fell in early trade on Thursday after U.S. crude, gasoline and heating oil inventories all rose more than expected, dousing hopes of a smooth recovery in demand from coronavirus lockdowns.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/28/oil-markets-crude-inventories-coronavirus-in-focus.html

Gold gains as Hong Kong unrest stirs risk aversion

Gold prices rose on Thursday as tensions between the United States and China over a Hong Kong security law escalated, while fresh stimulus measures by several economies to mitigate the coronavirus fallout also lent support.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/28/gold-markets-us-china-tensions-economic-stimulus-in-focus.html

Japan jumps 2% as Asia Pacific stocks rise; U.S.-China tensions ramp up

Stocks in Asia Pacific were higher in Thursday morning trade on the back of an overnight surge on Wall Street as optimism over the reopening of economies buoyed investor sentiment.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/28/asia-markets-coronavirus-us-china-tensions-currencies-in-focus.html