Good Morning

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has set mandatory targets for banks to extend mortgage loans and financing for developers and builders. Accordingly, all banks will be required to increase their housing and construction of building loan portfolios to at least 5 percent of their private sector credit by the end of December 2021. Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday kicked off the mega construction work at Diamer Bhasha Dam at River Indus near Chilas, that will produce 4,500 inexpensive and green hydel power. The 272-metre high, having capacity of 6.4 million acre feet water reservoir, will be the country’s third big dam after Tarbela and Mangla dams. Prime Minister Imran Khan termed the construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam a “window of development and opportunities for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan”.

Market View: The KSE-100 Index closed yesterday’s trading session at 36,679.03 points, down by 66.19 points. We expect the market to remain range bound in the upcoming session. However, forecast by Fitch solution of PKR/USD touching 171 in 2021 could dampen investors’ sentiment.

Commodities:
Brent oil (USD/bbl): 43.54 (-0.57% D/D)
WTI Crude oil (USD/bbl): 40.89 (-0.57% D/D)
Gold (USD/oz): 1811.9 (+0.11 D/D)

National News

PM kicks off construction work

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday kicked off the mega construction work at Diamer Bhasha Dam at River Indus near Chilas, that will produce 4,500 inexpensive and green hydel power. The 272-metre high, having capacity of 6.4 million acre feet water reservoir, will be the country’s third big dam after Tarbela and Mangla dams. Prime Minister Imran Khan termed the construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam a “window of development and opportunities for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan”.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/07/16/1-page/844598-news.html

Wheat procurement, import: ECC voices anger at failure

ISLAMABAD: The Econ-omic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has expressed its anger at failure to ensure timely procurement of wheat and wheat import to maintain a buffer stock to keep the wheat flour prices stable in the country.

https://www.brecorder.com/news/40005486/wheat-procurement-import-ecc-voices-anger-at-failure

Macroeconomic instability limits productivity growth: WB

ISLAMABAD: Productivity growth in Pakistan was limited by macroeconomic instability, says the World Bank (WB).The WB in its latest report, “Global Productivity, Trends, Drivers, and Policies” stated that in Pakistan, annual productivity growth picked up from a pre-global financial crisis (GFC) average of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent during 2013-18.

https://www.brecorder.com/news/40005487/macroeconomic-instability-limits-productivity-growth-wb

Housing finance: SBP sets mandatory targets for banks

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has set mandatory targets for banks to extend mortgage loans and financing for developers and builders. Accordingly, all banks will be required to increase their housing and construction of building loan portfolios to at least 5 percent of their private sector credit by the end of December 2021.

https://www.brecorder.com/news/40005488/housing-finance-sbp-sets-mandatory-targets-for-banks

IMF says govt likely to finalize ‘triage’ of SOEs

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is expected to finalize a “triage” of all State-owned entities (SOEs), which would identify those that would be maintained under state management, subject to privatization, or liquidated, says the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

https://www.brecorder.com/news/40005482/imf-says-govt-likely-to-finalize-triage-of-soes

Foreign investors contribute significantly towards GDP: OICCI

KARACHI: The Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), the chamber of leading 200 foreign investors in Pakistan belong to 35 countries, has released the consolidated financial contribution of its members for the year 2019 based on feedback from 150 members, 50 being subsidiaries of Fortune 500 companies and 57 listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange.

https://www.brecorder.com/news/40005477/foreign-investors-contribute-significantly-towards-gdp-oicci

Fitch expects Pakistan rupee to average Rs171.15/USD in 2021

KARACHI: Fitch Solutions forecast rupee to average 171.15 versus the US dollar next year as soft demand for Pakistani assets by foreign investors will continue to cool demand for the local currency.Fitch Solutions said rupee weakened around 7.1 percent against the US dollar year-to-date.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/687287-fitch-expects-pakistan-rupee-to-average-rs171-15-usd-in-2021

RLNG prices raised 6.4pc for SSGC, 5.7pc for SNGPL

ISLAMABAD: The government on Wednesday raised prices of re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) for July by 5.65 percent month-on-month for Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) and 6.35 percent for Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC).

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/687288-rlng-prices-raised-6-4pc-for-ssgc-5-7pc-for-sngpl

ECC approves offshore rupee linked bonds

ISLAMABAD: Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Wednesday nodded to floating of rupee-linked bonds in the international markets to finance energy and infrastructure projects in the country.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/687284-ecc-approves-offshore-rupee-linked-bonds

State Bank sells Rs249.2bln worth of MTBs

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan sold Rs249.2 billion worth of Market Treasury Bills at an auction on Wednesday, while the yields declined across the board.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/687295-state-bank-sells-rs249-2bln-worth-of-mtbs

Rs70bln COVID response programme launched to revive economy

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of planning launched COVID-19 response program worth Rs70 billion to upgrade health system and bring economy back on growth trajectory after the lockdown, deputy chairman Planning Commission said on Wednesday.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/687291-rs70bln-covid-response-programme-launched-to-revive-economy

International News

Oil prices slip after OPEC, allies agree to loosen oil supply curbs

Oil prices slid on Thursday after OPEC and allies such as Russia agreed to ease record supply curbs from August, though the drop was cushioned by hopes for a swift U.S. demand pick-up after a bigger-than-expected drawdown from the country’s crude stocks.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/16/oil-markets-opec-and-allies-in-focus.html

Gold inches up on coronavirus surge, US-China tensions

Gold prices edged up on Wednesday, holding above the key $1,800 level, as a surge in coronavirus cases and simmering U.S.-China tensions bolstered safe-haven demand, but a strong equities market capped the advance.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/15/gold-markets-coronavirus-china-us-tensions-in-focus.html

Asia Pacific stocks dip as China says its second-quarter GDP grew 3.2%; SMIC soars more than 200% in Shanghai debut

Stocks in Asia Pacific were little changed in Thursday morning trade as investors reacted to a slew of Chinese economic data released earlier. Mainland Chinese stocks slipped in morning trade, with the Shanghai composite down 0.58% while the Shenzhen component shed 0.369%.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/16/asia-markets-china-economy-smic-shanghai-debut-coronavirus-in-focus.html