Important Business News 16th May, 2020

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01. Policy rate cut to 8pc on positive inflation outlook The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Friday reduced the policy rate by 100 basis points (bps) to 8 percent on positive inflation outlook, the fourth time it has cut rates since the coronavirus pandemic hit two months ago. 01 Business Recorder
02. There was more space for reduction: economists  The 100 basis points reduction in the discount rate is not enough in view of the prevailing economic situation where it is critical to revive economic activity in the country struggling with the pandemic. 01 Business Recorder
03. Overnight Reverse Repo rate to be at 9pc  The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has decided to decrease its ‘Policy Rate’ (Target Rate) from 9.00 percent to 8.00 percent. 01 Business Recorder
04. Combined income groups SPI inflation up 9.26pc YoY  The SPI inflation during the week that ended May 14, 2020 against May 16, 2019 – Year-on-Year basis – recorded an increase of 9.26 percent for combined income groups, ie, from 116.52 points to 127.31 points, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistic (PBS) revealed. 01 Business Recorder
05. Global impact could reach $5.8trn South Asia GDP to be lower by 3.9pc to 6pc: ADB The gross domestic product (GDP) in South Asia will be lower by $142 billion to $218 billion (3.9 percent to six percent), mainly reflecting the tight restrictions in place in countries such as Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, says the Asian Development Bank (ADB). 01 Business Recorder
06. Rules amended to facilitate Sukuk-II issuance  Power Division has amended Pakistan Energy Sukuk Rules, 2019 aimed at facilitating issuance of Rs 200 Sukuk-II through Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE). 01 Business Recorder
07. Developers, enterprises BoI seeks extension in period of incentives for SEZs The Board of Investment (BoI) has moved a summary to the Finance Division asking for extending incentives for the developers and enterprises for Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which will expire on June 2020. 01 Business Recorder
08. Nepra raises question marks over KE’s performance  National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has raised question marks on the performance of K-Electric, saying that power utility kept its power plant “intentionally underutilized and undertook unauthorized load shedding.” 01 Business Recorder
09. PSX stays bullish BRIndex100 keeps rising A bullish trend continued on Pakistan Stock Exchange on the back of fresh buying by local and foreign investors on Friday. 01 Business Recorder
10. SECP Policy Board cannot make appointments, Mirza tells NAB Khalid Mirza, Member, Securities and Exchange Policy Board (SEPB, the “Policy Board”) Friday conveyed to the Chairman, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) that the SECP Policy Board cannot make any staff appointments whatsoever, and therefore, the question of illegal appointments simply does not arise. 02 Business Recorder
11. Businessmen for FTA with Afghanistan, 24/7 opening of borders   Local business community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has called signing of free trade agreement (FTA) with Afghanistan and round-the-clock opening of border stations to promote both bilateral and transit trade with Afghanistan. 02 Business Recorder
12. FBR should utilise automation for identifying taxpayers, HNWIs: Dr Ishrat Advisor to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity, Dr Ishrat Hussain Friday conveyed to the tax authorities of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to fully utilise automation for integration of data of all taxes to identify potential taxpayers and high net worth individuals. 03 Business Recorder
13. Business on cotton market to start after Eid holidays Trading activities on the cotton market will fully resume after Eid Ul Fitr. Market sources said that after the easing of lockdown by the government trading has started but it will fully resume after Eid. 08 Business Recorder
14. Ship breaking industry seeks tax relief The ship breaking industry is seeking tax relief from the federal and provincial governments to avoid complete collapse at a time when a number of industries are already passing through tough phase due to the coronavirus pandemic. 11 Business Recorder
15. Punjab govt decides to resume public transport To further relax the lockdown in the province, the Punjab government has decided to resume the public transport. 11 Business Recorder
16. State of Industry Report released Power sector under extreme financial pressure: Nepra National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) has accused the Power Division of controlling Distribution Companies (Discos), which use it as a shield, which leads to competition and opening of the sector. 11 Business Recorder
17. Business community told Intellectual property rights must be protected The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has conveyed to the business community that the intellectual property rights must be protected and Section 10 (deceptive marketing practices) of the Competition Act must be enforced to protect consumers from anti-competitive behavior, and to make provisions to ensure free and fair competition in the market. 12 Business Recorder
18. Dateline for payment, filing of returns extended The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has further extended the date for payment and filing of sales tax and federal excise returns for tax period of March 2020. 12 Business Recorder
19. Industrial activity: Power sector revenue drops by 67 percent? The Saudi government has decided to bar the companies from laying off Pakistani workers for the next three months. 12 Business Recorder
20. Moody’s hasn’t downgraded B3 rating: MoF The Ministry of Finance has said that the rating review conducted by the Moody’s Investor Service on 14th May 2020 did not downgrade Pakistan’s B3 rating, said a press release issued on Friday. 12 Business Recorder
21. Limited domestic flight operations resume today The government has decided to open the limited domestic flight operations from five major airports — Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta — from Saturday (today) due to growing demand and ease in coronavirus restrictions across the country. 01 Dawn
22. ECC allocates Rs75bn for labourers, daily wage earners The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Friday set aside Rs75 billion for distribution among labourers and daily wage earners through the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). 03 Dawn
23. Fuel imports fall by 55pc in April Petroleum imports plunged by nearly 55 per cent in April owing to a steep reduction in domestic demand as a result of lockdown across the country. 09 Dawn
24. Punjab, KP decide to conditionally lift ban on public transport Following a televised appeal by Prime Minister Imran Khan to the provinces to lift a ban on public transport vehicles, governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday decided in principle to conditionally allow the plying of such vehicles in their areas but Sindh declined the request, citing a spike in Covid-19 cases in the province. 12 Dawn
25. Diamer-Bhasha Dam’s construction China rejects India’s objection China on Friday rejected the objection raised by India over construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam and said economic cooperation between China and Pakistan was aimed at promoting economic development and improving the well-being of the local population. 01 Business Recorder
26. Currency exchange rates   Countries  
U.S. U.K EURO CHINA SAUDIA ARABIA Symbol   $ £ ¥ ﷼, SR Rates   160.00 198.00 172.50 22.53 42.10
09 Business Recorder

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