Pakistan’s market appears to be stuck in a limbo around the 48k mark because of a lack of notable upside triggers. Investor concerns largely stem from rising COVID-19 infection rates and rising external account pressures, with CAD touching USD 1.65bn in Jun21. The upcoming result season, however, may impact the market’s direction as the financial results would largely reflect the recent economic uptrend.

 KASB Market View

We think investor participation may pick up post the extended Eid holiday week, after which investors are expected to closely monitor the result season. We continue recommending investors to play the economic up-cycle and build positions in cements, steel and automobiles. 

National News 

Pakistan’s Covid-19 positivity ratio jumps to 6.3%, highest since May 20Pakistan continued to record a rise in its coronavirus positivity ratio after 2,158 cases were reported to be positive on Thursday from 34,216 tests conducted during the last 24 hours.

https://www.brecorder.com/news/40108478/pakistans-covid-19-positivity-ratio-jumps-to-63-highest-since-may-20 

US says it backs Pakistan’s efforts on FATF grey list

The United States recognizes and supports Pakistan’ continued efforts to meet the requirements for coming out of the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) watch-list, says the US State Department.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1636257/us-says-it-backs-pakistans-efforts-on-fatf-grey-list  

C/A deficit shrinks to 10-year low of $1.9bln in FY21

Current account (C/A) deficit narrowed to a 10-year low in FY2020-21, latest data showed on Monday, as higher exports and remittances offset hefty import payments.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/866414-c-a-deficit-shrinks-to-10-year-low-of-1-9bln-in-fy21 

Rupee hits 8-month low

The rupee dipped to its lowest level in eight months on Monday amid a sharp increase in import payments, while remittance inflows remained dry because of Eid holidays in the Middle East and a shortened weekend in Pakistan, dealers said.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/866421-rupee-hits-8-month-low 

Tarin directs setting up body for capital market development

Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin on Monday directed concerned authorities to set up a coordination committee to implement recommendations for the development of the country’s capital market roadmap, which was prepared by the Capital Market Advisory Council (CMAC).

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/866422-tarin-directs-setting-up-body-for-capital-market-development 

TPL to capitalise on realty boom

TPL Proper­ties is going to make an equity investment of Rs250 million in its subsidiary to benefit from “the upsurge in the real estate sector,” a regulatory filing said on Monday.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1636146/tpl-to-capitalise-on-realty-boom 

Sindh mulls restrictions after sharp rise in cases

The Sindh government has observed that the Covid-19 situation in Karachi is turning ‘dangerously serious’, warning the masses that disregard of health guidelines before and during Eidul Azha would leave the authorities with no other option but to impose strict restrictions.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1636092/sindh-mulls-restrictions-after-sharp-rise-in-cases 

Bike assemblers shock buyers with surprise price hikes

Japanese and Chinese bike assemblers have shocked their buyers with surprise price hikes on the eve of Eidul Azha. Without giving any reason in their price revision letters to their authorised dealers, the Japanese assemblers have raised prices by Rs2,400-8,000 for different models. While Chinese bike-makers have jacked up rates by Rs500-Rs2,000 attributing it to rising raw material (steel, plastic and resin) prices on the world markets coupled with rising rates of locally made parts.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1636305/bike-assemblers-shock-buyers-with-surprise-price-hikes

  Rules being altered to ensure ease of doing business: SBP

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is in the process of revising the foreign exchange regulations, in consultation with relevant stakeholders in a phased manner, to promote the ease of doing business.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1636145/rules-being-altered-to-ensure-ease-of-doing-business-sbp 

SNGPL plea against lowering of UFG benchmark allowed

The Lahore High Court on Monday allowed a petition of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) against the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) for reducing the UFG (unaccounted for gas) benchmark while determining the price of regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG).

https://www.dawn.com/news/1636142/sngpl-plea-against-lowering-of-ufg-benchmark-allowed

 MPCL acquires working interest in Margala block

Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL), one of Pakistan’s largest exploration and production companies, has announced its farm-out agreement with MOL Pakistan Oil and Gas Co BV over Margala Block with an area of 1,847 sq km to collaborate their resources and efforts to jointly perform exploration activities.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2311487/mpcl-acquires-working-interest-in-margala-block 

Wind, solar output to reach 7pc of total generation soon

The renewable energy production in Pakistan is all set to account for seven percent of the total electricity generated in the country in the short to medium-term, an official said on Monday.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/866418-wind-solar-output-to-reach-7pc-of-total-generation-soon 

Govt to reverse sales tax on sugar to ex-mill rate by Nov 30

The government, in order to ensure reasonable reduction in the sugar price, on Monday decided to reverse the sales tax to the ex-mill rate till November 30, 2021.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/866688-govt-to-reverse-sales-tax-on-sugar-to-ex-mill-rate-by-nov-30 

PC board approves transaction structure for PSM

The board of Privatisation Commission (PC) on Monday approved the transaction structure for the privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM), taking the first major step towards selling the country’s largest industrial unit amid a patchy road ahead.

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2311484/pc-board-approves-transaction-structure-for-psm

 TPL to capitalise on realty boom

TPL Proper­ties is going to make an equity investment of Rs250 million in its subsidiary to benefit from “the upsurge in the real estate sector,” a regulatory filing said on Monday.https://www.dawn.com/news/1636146/tpl-to-capitalise-on-realty-boom 

Govt obtains 34pc more foreign loans in FY21

Despite healthy remittances and higher exports, Pakistan borrowed about $14.3 billion to build foreign exchange reserves in recently concluded fiscal year (FY21), 34 per cent higher than a year earlier.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1636088/govt-obtains-34pc-more-foreign-loans-in-fy21 

IT exports rise 47pc to $2.1bln in FY2021

Pakistan’s information technology (IT) exports soared 47 percent to $2.1 billion in the fiscal year ended June 30, according to latest figures from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/866945-it-exports-rise-47pc-to-2-1bln-in-fy2021

Textile exports: higher value addition and volumes

Textile industry has witnessed an unprecedented growth as depicted by an increase of 22% in exports in FY21 as compared to FY20 and 15% when compared to FY19. The resulting hike in exports was the direct result of enabling environment provided by the current government.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2021/07/21/4-page/894241-news.html

Oil up $1.50/bbl as demand recovery seen tightening supply

Oil prices rose about $1.50 a barrel on Thursday, extending gains made in the previous three sessions on expectations of tighter supplies through 2021 as economies recover from the coronavirus crisis.

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/oil-prices-keep-overnight-gains-demand-hopes-offset-us-stock-build-2021-07-22/

Taliban claim to control 90 percent of Afghan border

A spokesman for the Taliban claimed Thursday they controlled 90 percent of Afghanistan’s borders, following offensives carried out as foreign forces withdraw.https://www.brecorder.com/news/40108531/taliban-claim-to-control-90-percent-of-afghan-border