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Site update: May 24 2024, at 17:45 PKST
Stock update: May 24 2024.

Recent Financial News in the 'economic-indicators' category

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Friday, May 24 2024

Stocks soar on interest rate cut expectations
Aggressive value-hunting amid expectations of a reduction in the SBP policy rate next month, pushed the benchmark KSE index again above 75,000 on Thursday. Ahsan Mehanti of Arif Habib Corporation said a slight cut in yields by up to 5bps on different tenors of Pakistan Investment Bonds in the last auction strengthened market hopes for a decrease in the key interest rate as inflation is expected to decelerate to 13-15pc in May. He said speculations in the pre-budget session ahead of the government’s prior actions on energy, tax, and trade tariffs for reaching a Staff-Level Agreement for a new IMF bailout and deliberation on privatisation of state-owned enterprises also contributed to the bullish close. Topline Securities Ltd said the fertiliser, power, and E&P sectors contributed positively to the index, with OGDCL, K-Electric, Fauji Fertiliser, and Hub Power adding 175 points. Conversely, Engro Corporation, MCB Bank, and United Bank Ltd came under selling pressure and lost 110 points.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators psx stock-exchanges

IMF’s unease
THE first round of ‘engagement’ between Pakistan and the IMF over the former’s request for a larger and longer programme appears to have concluded — with some bumps still visible. Both sides are believed to have reached an understanding on the reform measures that Islamabad must include in the budget for the next financial year and get approved by parliament before an agreement on a new bailout facility is signed. A report in this paper has quoted a government official as saying that the IMF mission is leaving the country without announcing a formal staff-level agreement, because the “Fund wants a stamp of approval from parliament for the reforms and policy actions [to be implemented as ‘prior actions’ for the new programme] given the unpredictable political environment”.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

GDP size, per capita income rise in FY24
Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) and per capita income increased in dollar terms during 2023-24, indicating a revival in the country’s overall output compared to the previous year. However, the economy’s size remains lower than $375.449 billion recorded in FY22, indicating that GDP growth has slowed under the PMLN-led coalition government. On Wednesday, the National Accounts Committee (NAC) approved these figures in a meeting chaired by Planning Commission Secretary Awais Manzur Sumra. The size of the economy went up to $374.903bn in FY24 from $338.150bn in FY23. The increase indicates that growth is mostly driven by the country’s unprecedented inflation.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

CDWP approves seven projects worth Rs23bn
ISLAMABAD: The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) on Wednesday approved seven development projects worth Rs23 billion and recommended four projects to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) for consideration. Among these, three projects are worth Rs82.24bn, while the fourth project, Main Line (ML-1), costing $6.7bn, has been recommended to Ecnec for further consideration. A meeting of the CDWP, presided over Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan, discussed the projects of transport and communication, agriculture and food, education, energy, health, higher education, information technology and physical planning and housing sectors. The first project — upgrade of Pakistan Railways’ existing ML-1 and establishment of a dry port near Havelian with a cost of $6.7bn — has been recommended to Ecnec for further consideration. The project is proposed to be financed through foreign funding under the CPEC framework agreement.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

Record onion exports make consumers pay high prices
Unprecedented onion exports fetched $210 million during July-April FY24 at the cost of inflation-hit consumers who paid record prices for the vegetable. “Onion exports may soar to $250m by the end of the current fiscal year,” claimed All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Association Patron-in-Chief Waheed Ahmed, dispelling market impression that higher exports have caused a price flare-up in the country’s main staple food item. Pakistani consumers paid Rs300-350 per kg for onion following the Indian export ban from Dec 8, 2023 to April this year. New Delhi lifted the ban in the first week of May, bringing down the national average price to Rs70-150 per kg. “The price increase has nothing to do with the export shipments. It is the job of the price regulator to check fleecing of consumers by market forces,” Mr Waheed said, giving an example that “if the wholesale price of onion is Rs150 and retailers are charging Rs300, then exports cannot be blamed for local price hike”.
Related news categories: business economic-indicators misc

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