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The net foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) increased by $11 million to $10.107 billion during the week ending June 12, 2020, according to data released by the central bank on Thursday. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected that Pakistan’s economy, which is expected to contract by 0.4 per cent in Fiscal Year 2019-20 due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 will regain momentum and grow at 2 per cent in the upcoming fiscal year 2020-21. As there was a shutdown of industry and markets due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the big industry has contracted by 41.89pc in April 2020 when compared with April 2019, and 32.85pc when compared with March 2020. The Pakistani Rupee after declining consecutively for four days slid by another 64 paisas (0.4 per cent) on Thursday, June 18, dropping to Rs166.65 for one United States (US) dollar, its lowest value witnessed in two months.

Market View: The KSE100 Index lost 308.83 points during Thursday’s trading session. Political uncertainty due to BNP Mengal parting ways with PTI coalition and announcement of smart lockdown brought about bears in the market. We expect the market to remain range bound in the upcoming session.

Commodities:

Brent oil (USD/bbl): 41.84 (0.79% D/D)

Crude oil (USD/bbl): 39.20 (1.03% D/D)

Gold (USD/oz): 1,734.30 (0.185% D/D)

National News

SBP reserves rise by $11m to $10.1bn

KARACHI: The net foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) increased by $11 million to $10.107 billion during the week ending June 12, 2020, according to data released by the central bank on Thursday.

Pakistan’s economy to grow by 2pc in FY21, says ADB

ISLAMABAD: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected that Pakistan’s economy, which is expected to contract by 0.4 per cent in Fiscal Year 2019-20 due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 will regain momentum and grow at 2 per cent in the upcoming fiscal year 2020-21.

Big industry suffers monthly contraction of 32.9pc in April

ISLAMABAD: As there was a shutdown of industry and markets due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the big industry has contracted by 41.89pc in April 2020 when compared with April 2019, and 32.85pc when compared with March 2020.

Rupee hits two-month low of Rs166.35

KARACHI/LAHORE: The Pakistani Rupee after declining consecutively for four days slid by another 64 paisas (0.4 per cent) on Thursday, June 18, dropping to Rs166.65 for one United States (US) dollar, its lowest value witnessed in two months.

‘Anomalies’ in Finance Bill identified

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Commerce has reportedly received over two dozen requests from different associations and companies identifying “anomalies” in the Finance Bill 2020-21 in the budget windup speech by the Minister for Industries and Production, Hammad Azhar, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

https://www.brecorder.com/news/1005593/anomalies-in-finance-bill-identified

OMCs found guilty of hoarding petroleum products

ISLAMABAD: A fuel crisis committee probing the current shortage of petroleum products in the country has found some OMC’s guilty of hoarding petroleum products and has recommended taking strict actions against Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) that have recently reported low or no sales.

Bears dominate PSX as index sheds 308 points

KARACHI: Bears remained in control of the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Thursday, as the indices struggled to find positivity amid political uncertainty and the rising number of coronavirus cases across the country.

Senate committee rejects luxury tax on farmhouses

ISLAMABAD: The Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs on Thursday rejected the government’s proposal to impose a luxury tax on farmhouses and houses bigger than two kanals in area.

CCI to take up distribution issue of WWF among provinces

ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interests (CCI) will take up the matter of distribution of the “Workers Welfare Fund (WWF)” among the provinces.

https://www.brecorder.com/news/1005591/cci-to-take-up-distribution-issue-of-wwf-among-provinces

Big stores, schools & hospitals: POS system being set up to monitor sales, taxes payment, Senate body told

ISLAMABAD: The government has said that the points of sale (POS) system of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would be linked with the big stores, schools and hospitals as part of automation and documentation to monitor their sales and payment of taxes.

https://www.brecorder.com/news/1005590/big-stores-schools-hospitals-pos-system-being-set-up-to-monitor-sales-taxes-payment-senate-body-told

SBP raises Rs47bn from Sukuk auction

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has reported that the government raised Rs47.24 billion through the auction of the five-year Government of Pakistan Ijarah Sukuk on Thursday.

Mango exporters welcome opening of borders with Iran, Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD: With the government’s intervention, major issues pertaining to the export of mangoes have been resolved, making it easier to achieve the export target of 80,000 metric tonnes for the ongoing season.

Cabinet approves 18 percent increase in MoFA budget

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has approved 18 percent increase in the budget of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) to Rs 24.995 billion from Rs 21.175 billion earmarked for 2019-20 to meet currency devaluation and unforeseen expenditure, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

https://www.brecorder.com/news/1005561/cabinet-approves-18-percent-increase-in-mofa-budget

Pakistan’s rice exports may surpass 4 million tonnes in FY20

LAHORE: Amid Covid-19 pandemic, food security has become the first priority across the globe, cashing on which Pakistan is likely to achieve the highest volume of rice exports (4 million tonnes) in FY20.

Budget 2020-21 disappoints PSA members, shareholders

KARACHI: PSX Stockbrokers Association (PSA) members and other participants of capital market are dismayed over the neglect of the PSX by the federal government in the budget for FY 2020-21.

https://www.brecorder.com/news/1005522/budget-2020-21-disappoints-psa-members-shareholders

Gwadar port contract is ‘confidential’, federal secretary informs Senate panel

ISLAMABAD: A Senate panel on Thursday was taken aback when a federal secretary declared that the contract governing affairs of the Gwadar port was “confidential” and its details could not be disclosed publicly.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1564454/gwadar-port-contract-is-confidential-federal-secretary-informs-senate-panel

$500m sought from World Bank for policy reforms

ISLAMABAD: The government is seeking a loan of $500 million from the World Bank to enhance the policy and institutional framework for improving fiscal management and regulatory framework.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1564254/500m-sought-from-world-bank-for-policy-reforms

KP govt proposes Rs310bn development outlay for FY21

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has proposed an annual development outlay of over Rs310 billion under the budget for the financial year 2020-21.

International News

Oil prices inch up on faith in supply cuts, demand recovery

Oil prices pushed higher in early trade on Friday, building on gains in the previous session, after OPEC producers and allies promised to meet their supply cut commitments and two major oil traders said demand was recovering well.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/19/oil-markets-opec-and-allies-in-focus.html

Gold flat as coronavirus fears offset firmer dollar

Gold prices were little changed on Friday as fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections buoyed demand for the safe-haven asset, but a stronger U.S. dollar and hopes of a swift economic recovery limited the upside.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/19/gold-markets-coronavirus-dollar-in-focus.html