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Site update: March 22 2019, at 16:30 PKST
Stock update: March 21 2019.

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Friday, March 22 2019

Market watch: KSE-100 continues to lose ground amid lack of triggers
KARACHI: In line with the norm, the benchmark stock index shed 163 points on Thursday as a lack of triggers kept the market under pressure. The KSE-100 index maintained a downward slide since early trading, plunging nearly 345 points during the day. A double-digit discount rate and a lack of positive triggers continued to dampen investors’ confidence, which led to a lower close of the market. Despite overall dull trading, the activity picked up following news of Supreme Court’s acceptance of Rs460-billion settlement offer from Bahria Town Karachi. The announcement was followed by a sharp recovery in steel and cement sectors. At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 163.04 points, or 0.42%, to settle at 38,384.72. Topline Securities, in its report, stated equities continued to suffer due to absence of market-moving triggers.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators ise kse lse misc psx stock-exchanges

SBP reserves surge 8.8% to stand at $8.84b
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank increased 8.81% on a weekly basis, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. Earlier, the reserves had spiralled downwards, falling below the $7-billion mark, which raised concern over Pakistan’s ability to meet its financing requirements. However, financial assistance from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia helped shore up the foreign exchange reserves. On March 15, the foreign currency reserves held by the SBP were recorded at $8,838.7 million, up $715.8 million compared with $8,122.9 million in the previous week.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

Sinotruk expands product range to benefit from CPEC
LAHORE: Sinotruk, a sister company of state-owned China National Heavy Duty Truck Group, has expanded its product range for Pakistan’s market in a bid to take maximum benefit of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and similar project investments. In this regard, the company recently rolled out six new vehicle variants equipped with Euro-3 engine technology besides having the option of consuming liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a third fuel. Sinotruk – a truck manufacturer – has maintained its presence in Pakistan since 2013. Its local partner is Dysin Automobiles which acts as its distributor in the country. Prior to rolling out new models, the two companies have launched seven heavy-duty commercial variants since 2013 while working as joint-venture partners.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

Prudent policies help Pakistan's textile sector pick up pace
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s textile sector is now picking up due to prudent policies of the government, declared Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood. While briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile, he hoped that the sector would assist in surpassing the overall export target of $25 billion by the end of current fiscal year. “In a recent meeting with stakeholders from textile sector, I assured them of government’s full support if the industry upgrades in all aspects,” he remarked. The adviser expressed optimism that after China’s assurance to import textile products from Pakistan, the sector would witness a further boom. He stressed that China’s promise of importing $1 billion worth of goods was excluded from the free trade agreement and hence it would be exempted from duties.
Related news categories: business misc textile-composite textile-spinning textile-weaving

Pakistan's Agri-committee to set crop targets in mid-April
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) is set to meet on April 17 to review the production of Rabi crops and set targets for the Kharif 2020 season, revealed Deputy Food Security Commissioner Dr Wasimul Hassan. Talking to APP on Thursday, he shared that the purpose of the meeting was to meet domestic food requirements and achieve export targets. During the meeting, provincial ministers and other prominent stakeholders will apprise participants of the arrangements made to ensure smooth availability of all agricultural inputs including water, certified seeds and fertiliser. “Representatives of the State Bank of Pakistan, Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited and private-sector banks will brief the committee on credit allocation and disbursement during the sowing season,” Hassan revealed. “On the other hand, the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) will discuss water situation for irrigation purposes.”
Related news categories: business misc helpline: +92-42-3631-4186 (10:30am to 5:30pm)