Pakistan’s market witnessed a bearish spell during the past week and fell by 1,220pts. The fall was catalyzed by rising COVD-19 cases, instigating fears of stricter economic restrictions to curb the spread. The NCOC has imposed restrictions on educational institutions and has also limited inter-provincial transport. The upcoming result season, however, may arrest the market’s decline as the results would likely incorporate the recent economic recovery.

KASB Market View

The sharp rise in the country’s trade deficit (+118% Y/Y) and elevated inflation levels may likely compel the SBP to hike interest rates faster than anticipated to alleviate external account pressures and control the inflationary trends. COVID-19 cases continue to remain elevated and may place a limit on the market’s upside. For the longer run, we maintain our preference for cyclical stocks including cements and automobiles.

National News

March trade deficit widens by 118.36pc YoY: PBS

Pakis-tan’s trade deficit widened by a massive 118.36 percent on year-on-year basis to $3.271 billion in March 2021 compared to $1.498 billion in March 2020, says the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2021/04/04/1-page/880579-news.html

Cement sales grow record 44.4pc in March

Cement sector posted the highest-ever monthly growth of 44.39 per cent in March to 5.773 million tonnes from 3.722m tonnes in the same period last year due to a massive increase in domestic consumption and exports.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1616099/Cement-sales-grow-record-44.4pc-in-March

Ministry moves summary on payments to IPPs

The Power Division has again moved a summary to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) regarding release of payments to Independent Power Plants (IPPs).

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2293085/ministry-moves-summary-on-payments-to-ipps

Govt plan aimed at vaccinating 70m people against Covid-19 by CY21-end: IMF

The government is targeting vaccinating 70 million people by the end of calendar year 2021 as under the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP), the country has put together an ambitious plan to procure vaccines through three channels including donations, outright government purchases, and private imports of vaccine.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2021/04/04/8-page/880628-news.html

Govt waives taxes on foreign loans

The federal cabinet has waived income tax on profits that foreign commercial banks are earning on over $3 billion worth of loans that they lent to Pakistan during the past one year.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2293080/govt-waives-taxes-on-foreign-loans

FFC approaches FFBL with non-binding LoI

Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim (FFBL) has been approached by Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC) with a non-binding Letter of Intent for the contemplated acquisition of FFBL’s shareholding in Foundation Wind Energy – I and Foundation Wind Energy – II (public unlisted companies).

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2021/04/03/8-page/880529-news.html

Nepra slashes equity return of 12 power plants

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has slashed the Return on Equity (ROE) and the Return on Equity During Construction (ROEDC) components of 12 thermal power plants in a bid to reduce the electricity tariff.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2292976/nepra-slashes-equity-return-of-12-power-plants

Cotton arrivals hit three-decade low of 5.6 million bales

Cotton arrivals in ginning factories hit the three-decade lowest level of 5.6 million bales as the industry is concerned about prospects of textile production without sufficient raw material and no alternative arrangement by the government, traders said on Saturday.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/814315-cotton-arrivals-hit-three-decade-low-of-5-6-million-bales?_ga=2.66989290.552849884.1617589979-2026443033.1524057990

PM reconstitutes 25-member economic advisory body

Prime Minister Imran Khan has reconstituted a 25-member Economic Advisory Council (EAC) with the induction of prominent businessmen, including former finance minister Shaukat Tarin, to ensure availability of best possible professional advice to the government on its economic policies.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1616320/PM-reconstitutes-25-member-economic-advisory-body

No plan to privatize PIA

The government informed National Assembly on Friday that there is no plan to privatize Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2021/04/03/1-page/880480-news.html

Weekly SPI inflation down 0.43 percent

The Sensitive Price Indicator (SPI)-based inflation for the week ended April 1, for the combined consumption group, witnessed a decrease of 0.43 percent, compared with the previous week, according to the latest data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Saturday.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/814311-weekly-spi-inflation-down-0-43-percent?_ga=2.66989290.552849884.1617589979-2026443033.1524057990

Dividend

-Word of the Day-

A dividend is the distribution of some of a company’s earnings to a class of its shareholders, as determined by the company’s board of directors. Common shareholders of dividend-paying companies are typically eligible as long as they own the stock before the ex-dividend date.