Important Business News 18th March, 2020

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1. Coronavirus challenge SBP responds

— cuts policy rate by only 75 basis points to 12.50pc

— offers manufacturing sector Rs100bn package in response to anticipated slowdown

— will also refinance banks to provide Rs5bn to health sector

State Bank of Pakistan has cut the key policy rate by 75 basis points and announced two special financing schemes to address the economic and health challenges posed by the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
1 Business Recorder
2. GDP growth revised downward to 3pc In light of recent domestic and global developments, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has revised the real GDP growth projection downward side. 1 Business Recorder
3. PM asks rich economies to write-off poor states’ debts Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned richer countries to prepare to write off the debts of the world’s poorer states, expressing fear the coronavirus could devastate the economies of developing nations. 1 Business Recorder
4. Budget strategy paper approved by cabinet The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, on Tuesday said that the cabinet had approved budget strategy paper for the financial year 2020. 1 Business Recorder
5. Address to nation PM issues stern warning to hoarders
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday urged the nation not to panic from the spread of coronavirus and cooperate with the government to fight the pandemic by taking preventive measures.
1 Business Recorder
6. Moody’s scales down growth to 2.5pc Moody’s Investors Service has revised downward the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast for Pakistan from 2.9 percent to 2.5 percent, ie, by 0.4 percent for 2020. 1 Business Recorder
7. FBR seeks technical supplementary grant of Rs4.152bn Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has sought technical supplementary grant of Rs 4.152 billion to meet expenditures of head office and field formations, well informed sources told Business Recorder. 1 Business Recorder
8. Pakistan, China sign two MoUs, 4 LoEs President Dr Arif Alvi and President Xi Jinping witnessed the signing of two Memorandums of Understanding and four Letters of Exchange at a ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People, said a press release issued on Tuesday. 1 Business Recorder
9. Virus fears keep PSX in check BRIndex100 hammered
A declining trend continued on Pakistan Stock Exchange due to panic selling on investor concerns over deadly coronavirus spread.
1     Business Recorder
10. Coronavirus outbreak Punjab to bear major burden: minister
Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar Tuesday confirmed that there are eight positive cases of coronavirus so far and they are being provided best available medical treatment facilities.
3 Business Recorder
11. PM urged to announce relief package for leather sector The Chairman of Pakistan Tanners Association, Sheikh Afzal Hussain, has urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to announce a special relief package for the leather sector so that this vital industry of the country could be equipped with all the tools required to fight the economic war in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 5 Business Recorder
12. Face masks worth Rs20m seized in Islamabad The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration seized face masks worth Rs20 million in a raid in Sector F-6. 7 Business Recorder
13. APTMA urges govt to announce relief for industry The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association has appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan and Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textiles and Industry Abdul Razak Dawood to announce immediate relief for the industry as shipments to Europe and the USA are being deferred or cancelled on account of closure of international borders due to threats of Coronavirus. 20 Business Recorder
14. SBP launches Rs 100bn scheme to help offset virus impact: Rate cut, SBP Government Dr. Reza Baqir said the central bank’s decision was based on inflation expectations and preliminary data on effects of pandemic on the economy. 1 Dawn
15. China will always stand by Pakistan, says President Xi Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday special friendship between Pakistan and China was choice of the history as it had deep roots in the hearts of people of the two countries. 5     Dawn
16. Petroleum imports surge first time since June 2018 Import of petroleum products surged by 76 per cent year-on-year in February, witnessing an increase for the first time since June 2018, reported the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Tuesday. 10     Dawn
17. Steady trend on cotton market The coronavirus pandemic is impacting all commodity markets including cotton where trade remained slow and restricted on Tuesday. The Karachi Cotton Association kept its spot rate unchanged at Rs8,900. 11     Dawn
18. Govt decides to revise energy sector accords Due to the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy, the government on Tuesday decided to revise all international and local agreements in the energy sector, including those related to Independent Power Projects (IPPs) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), to provide relief to the common man. 14     Dawn
19. FO announces social distancing steps amid virus threat The Foreign Office on Tuesday set up a special cell for coordination on coronavirus and introduced a number of social distancing measures. 14 Dawn
20. Currency exchange rates   Countries  
U.S. U.K EURO CHINA SAUDIA ARABIA Symbol   $ £ ¥ ﷼, SR Rates   158.45 194.12 177.11 22.68 42.17
9 Business Recorder

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