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Pakistan is seeking another $1.4 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help it deal with the economic slowdown from the coronavirus, Finance Adviser Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Wednesday. The Pakistani rupee took a drubbing at the hands of the US Dollar after USD rose to Rs162 after a rise of three Pakistani rupees at the interbank on Wednesday. Foreign investors divested some $1.8 billion investment from the government debt instruments during this fiscal year (FY20). Economists said that the global markets are witnessing disintegration due to COVID-19 panic and foreign investors are offloading their portfolios irrespective of asset class of geography. Like previous auction, the cut-off yield on all T-bills declined ranging between 120 bps to 140 bps in the auction held Wednesday. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has cut the policy rate by 225 bps during last one week on lower inflation to support the economy.

Market View: The KSE100 Index lost 1336.06 points during the last trading session. We expect the market to remain under pressure amid foreign selling. Investor’s across emerging markets are liquidating their positions in equity and bonds to invest in safe heavens like US dollar and gold as corona virus has disrupted global economy.

Commodities:

Brent oil (USD/bbl): 27.25 (-0.51% D/D)
Crude oil (USD/bbl): 24.16 (-1.35% D/D)
Gold (USD/oz): 1,628.10 (-0.325% D/D)

National News

Pakistan seeks $1.4 billion IMF loan to tackle economic slowdown from COVID-19

(ISLAMABAD) Pakistan is seeking another $1.4 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help it deal with the economic slowdown from the coronavirus, Finance Adviser Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said on Wednesday.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/03/25/583450/pakistan-seeks-1-4-billion-imf-loan-to-tackle-economic-slowdown-from-covid-19/

US Dollar takes massive stride against Pakistani Rupee

The Pakistani rupee took a drubbing at the hands of the US Dollar after USD rose to Rs162 after a rise of three Pakistani rupees at the interbank on Wednesday.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/03/25/583361/us-dollar-takes-massive-stride-against-pakistani-rupee/

Outflows of ‘hot’ money surge to $1.8 billion

Foreign investors divested some $1.8 billion investment from the government debt instruments during this fiscal year (FY20). Economists said that the global markets are witnessing disintegration due to COVID-19 panic and foreign investors are offloading their portfolios irrespective of asset class of geography.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/03/26/583662/outflows-of-hot-money-surge-to-18-billion/

State Bank abolishes import advance payment limit

ARACHI: The central bank on Wednesday withdrew advance payment limit on imports of various essential merchandises amid COVID-19 pandemic.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/634465-state-bank-abolishes-import-advance-payment-limit

T-bills margin declines on rate cut

Like previous auction, the cut-off yield on all T-bills declined ranging between 120 bps to 140 bps in the auction held Wednesday. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has cut the policy rate by 225 bps during last one week on lower inflation to support the economy.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/03/26/10-page/831111-news.html

Govt unveils three measures to stabilise stock market

The government unveiled three major measures to support the capital market, ie, Capital Value Tax (CVT) on capital market transactions to be eliminated; easing liquidity of Asset Management Companies – bank borrowing increased from 90 to 360 days, and speculative trading (short selling) restricted in stock market.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/03/26/1-page/831034-news.html

NDRMF extends grant worth $50 million to NDMA

The National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) has provided grant financing of $50 million to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to deal with the spread of the COVID-19 in the country. The Board of Directors (BoDs) of the NDRMF following the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan approved grant financing of $50 million in the wake of declaration of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/03/26/583663/ndrmf-extends-grant-worth-50-million-to-ndma/

ECC to approve increase in KE tariff today

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet which is scheduled to meet on Thursday(today) with Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez in the chair, will approve increase in tariff of K-Electric (KE) up to Rs 2.89 per unit to bring it at par with other Discos, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/03/26/583654/ecc-to-approve-increase-in-ke-tariff-today/

Auto vendors decide to enter into medical devices industry

Auto vendors have decided to enter in the medical devices industry aimed to support the government’s efforts to deal with coronavirus syndrome. In a letter to the Engineering Development Board (EDB), chairman Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts & Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM), Muhammad Akram has stated that the auto vendors understand the global calamity of coronavirus which Pakistan is enduring as well, a resultant fallout from other countries.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/03/26/583642/auto-vendors-decide-to-enter-into-medical-devices-industry/

Pakistan’s business community disgruntled as SBP keeps interest rate in double digits

“Was this a populist move? Was it under the federal government’s pressure? Was the MPC convinced that they had made a blunder? I’m confused,” says Majyd Aziz Balagamwala, a Karachi-born business tycoon, of the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) second policy rate cut in less than 10 days.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/634481-pakistans-business-community-disgruntled-as-sbp-keeps-policy-rate-in-double-digits

660MW Lucky electric coal-fired plant

KARACHI: The government will arrange Rs750 million foreign financing for “Evacuation of Power from 660 MW Lucky Electric Coal Fired Plant at Port Qasim” project. The project has been approved at the cost of Rs1.315 billion, in which Rs454 million would be financed through domestic resources, official documents of the project indicated.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/03/26/1-page/831033-news.html

APTMA, PRGMEA urge govt to fix interest rate at 5pc for industry

LAHORE: The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association and the Pakistan Ready Made Garments Manufacture and Exporters Association on Wednesday appealed to the prime minister, advisor to prime minister on finance and advisor to prime minister on commerce, industry and textile to fix the interest rate at 5 percent for the industry, especially when it is facing problems due to deferment or cancellation of shipments to Europe and the USA on account of closure of international borders due to coronavirus.

https://epaper.brecorder.com/2020/03/26/12-page/831137-news.html

Coronavirus patients tally reaches 1,022 in Pakistan, says Zafar Mirza

(Karachi) Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Zafar Mirza said the total number of coronavirus patients in the country has reached 1,022.Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, Mirza said that overall 21 people have recovered from the disease. He pointed out that eight people have so far died of the deadly disease. Zafar Mirza said that condition of five patients is critical.

https://www.brecorder.com/2020/03/25/583436/coronavirus-patients-tally-reaches-1022-in-pakistan-says-zafar-mirza/

CM Murad Ali Shah receives 500,000 masks donated by China

China has donated 500,000 face masks, including 50,000 N-95 surgical masks to the Sindh government, and the chief minister received them at the Cargo Terminal of the Karachi airport on Wednesday.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/634451-cm-murad-ali-shah-receives-500-000-masks-donated-by-china

International News

Oil prices mixed as demand shrinks, but stimulus hopes support

Oil prices were mixed on Thursday following three days of gains, with the prospect of rapidly dwindling demand due to coronavirus travel bans and lockdowns offsetting hopes a U.S. $2 trillion emergency stimulus will shore up economic activity.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/26/oil-markets-coronavirus-stimulus-measures-in-focus.html

Gold falls on cash run, markets await US stimulus

Gold prices fell on Thursday as investors scurried for liquid cash while awaiting the passage of a $2 trillion dollar U.S. stimulus package to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/26/gold-markets-coronavirus-stimulus-measures-in-focus.html

US deaths soar past 1,000, according to Johns Hopkins University

The number of deaths in the U.S. has reached 1,041, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.New York City has the highest number of fatalities at 280. The total number of cases in the U.S. was at 68,960, according to the data.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/26/coronavirus-live-updates-china-cases-spains-death-count-surpasses-china.html