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Site update: January 18 2019, at 17:45 PKST
Stock update: January 18 2019.

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Friday, January 18 2019

Market watch: KSE-100 ends almost flat amid mini-budget uncertainty
KARACHI: The KSE-100 index closed slightly lower on Thursday amid investor concern over global equity sell-off and uncertainty about announcements in the upcoming mini-budget. The market showed signs of nervousness throughout the day with panic selling at some points as the index touched an intra-day low of nearly 500 points. Before the end of trading, the index, however, recovered and closed near the previous day’s level. Investor concern over weak global crude oil prices, prevailing economic uncertainty in the country and ongoing political noise played the role of catalysts for the bearish trend in the market. At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded a decrease of 28.05 points or 0.07% to settle at 39,243.89.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators ise kse lse misc psx stock-exchanges

US-based Cargill to invest $200 million in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: In a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, an executive team of US-based Cargill – the provider of food, agriculture and industrial products – announced plans to invest over $200 million in Pakistan over the next three to five years. The company’s future investment strategy includes expansion across its agricultural trading and supply chain, edible oil, dairy, meat and animal feed businesses. The prime minister told the delegation that Pakistan was following a liberal investment regime and was offering diverse and business-friendly incentives. “Pakistan is endowed with a wealth of resources, has demographic potential and an educated workforce,” he pointed out. “Concerted efforts are under way to further improve the ease of doing business in the country.”
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

New five-year plan faces hard choices
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government faces a tough choice between implementing an economic stabilisation programme that will lead to creating slightly over 5 million jobs or giving economic stimulus to fulfill promise of creating 10 million promised jobs. In case it picks up the option of economic stabilisation, the average economic growth rate by the end of the PTI government’s tenure will be equal to 4.8% that the last Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government had achieved in its five-year tenure. Despite achieving 4.8% growth rate, the PML-N government had missed all the macroeconomic targets set in 11th Five-Year plan 2013-18. The Ministry of Planning and Development is in the process of finalising the 12th Five Year Plan (2019-23) while keeping in mind the PTI’s economic priorities. It also wants to avoid the path that the PML-N government had taken.
Related news categories: business misc

SBP reserves fall 2.09%, go below $7b mark
KARACHI: The foreign exchange reserves, held by the central bank, remained on a downward trajectory for the fourth consecutive week, dipping 2.09% on a weekly basis and falling below the $7-billion mark, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday. The falling reserves raise concern over Pakistan’s ability to meet its financing requirements. Earlier, Saudi Arabia provided $2 billion in financial assistance to Pakistan, which pushed the reserves above $8 billion, but they later started falling again. Moreover, the third $1-billion loan tranche from the kingdom is expected to arrive next month. Separately, China has agreed to provide much-needed support for the fast depleting reserves.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

Textile industry likely to get higher import orders from US
ISLAMABAD: As the tariff war between China and the United States has not eased, Pakistan’s textile industry is likely to get higher orders from US importers. “Owing to trade tensions between the US and China, Pakistan’s textile industry is receiving a large number of import queries from the US,” an official of the textile industry disclosed. Already, the duties on the import of cotton – a major input for the textile industry – have been withdrawn by the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) in order to reduce the cost of industrial inputs. Earlier, the government had reduced the regulatory duty on the import of cotton yarn from 10% to 5% in September 2018. Furthermore, gas and electricity tariffs have been rationalised for the export-focused industry in an attempt to cut the cost of production and boost competitiveness.
Related news categories: business misc textile-composite textile-spinning textile-weaving helpline: +92-42-3631-4186 (10:30am to 5:30pm)