Morning Buzz for December 18, 2013 – MR Securities

Karachi, December 18, 2013 (PPI-OT): New beginnings: PIBT makes it to the stock exchange

According to MR Securities,

Trading for the shares of Pakistan International Bulk Terminal (PIBT) on theKarachi Stock Exchange (KSE) will commence from December 23 after the KSE approved the company’s application for formal listing and quotation on the bourse’s ready board. PIBT has a build, operate, transfer (BOT) contract with Port Qasim Authority (PQA) for the exclusive construction, development, operations and management of a coal, clinker and cement terminal at Port Qasim for 30 years.

Money inflow: FDI increases during July-November
Pakistan received foreign direct investment (FDI) of $330.7 million in the period July-November, which is 4.7% higher than $315.8 million it attracted in the corresponding five-month period in the last fiscal year. However, FDI dropped 26% year-on-year to $47.1 million in November, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan. In the fiscal year 2012-13, Pakistan had received FDI worth over $1.4 billion.

July-November foreign investment down 13 percent
Net foreign investment in the country slumped by 13 percent during the first five months of current fiscal year 2013-14 because of adverse law and order situation and energy crisis. The State Bank of Pakistan on Tuesday reported that net inflows of foreign investment (comprising Foreign Direct Investment and portfolio investment) in Pakistan fell to $399 million in July-November of FY14 compared to $456 million in the same period of last fiscal year, depicting a decrease of $57 million.

Boosting output: ECC decides to reallocate gas from IPPs to industries
In a clear violation of policy that gives priority to the power sector over industries, the federal cabinet’s ECC on Tuesday decided to divert gas supplies from power plants to industries. The move is likely to impact households who are most likely to face increased hours of load shedding.

Senate question hour: Hoarding to blame for dollar rate hike, says minister
Between 2008 and 2013, the government debt soared by Rs1.9 trillion due to depreciation of the Pakistani rupee, the Senate was informed on Tuesday. Minister of State for Education Balighur Rehman, on behalf of the finance minister, was responding to a question forwarded by Senator Sughra Imam of PPP.

Back-door deals?: Rupee gains despite SBP’s dollar purchases
The State Bank of Pakistan has purchased $250 million to meet the target of Net International Reserves (NIR) set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). However, the rupee has still gained against the US dollar, giving rise to speculation of a tacit understanding between foreign exchange companies and the authorities to stem the tide of a falling rupee.

In absence of reforms, ADB to stop $500m energy loan
Despite sounding positive about the government’s economic initiatives, the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) top man in Islamabad on Tuesday linked a $500 million loan for power sector with meeting a set of conditions to ensure administrative autonomy and financial viability of the energy sector. “Budgetary support for power sector will be disbursed not on the basis of promises but on the basis of actual actions that Pakistan will have to take in the next six weeks,” said Werner Liepach, the ADB’s country director for Pakistan, at a press conference.

A relief: OGRA cuts CNG prices
The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has announced a cut in prices of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) by Rs1.23 per kilogramme (kg) following a decision by the Supreme Court (SC) to reduce General Sales Tax (GST). The SC had termed the additional 9% GST on CNG by the federal government illegal and ordered Its removal to provide relief to the consumers.

Tough love: Raise gas tariff, do away with cross-subsidy, asks WB
The World Bank has asked the government of Pakistan to increase the tariff for gas consumers in order to recover the entire production cost and do away with cross-subsidy that shifts burden of a consumer to another one. The suggestion came from a World Bank mission, currently on a visit to Pakistan, during a meeting with government functionaries.

Steel items’ export to Afghanistan: 11 big cases of tax fraud transferred to Lahore The Federal Board of Revenue has transferred tax records of 11 big cases of tax fraud involving fake exports of steel products to Afghanistan, from Peshawar Customs to Lahore, for speedy completion of adjudication proceedings against bogus exporters.

$167.2 million loan approved for Discos
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan of $167.2 million for eight distribution companies in Pakistan to improve the power distribution system. The investment is part of an ADB”s $810 million Power Distribution Enhancement Investment Programme approved in 2008. The multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) targets investment in priority areas to reduce power losses and increase the reliability of power distribution system.

Pepco to unleash up to 10hrs’ loadshedding from December 25
Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco) will unleash up to 10 hours loadshedding from December 25, 2013, the date when the canal closure season will commence and consequently the hydel generation declines to about a 1,000 MW, well-informed sources told Business Recorder. Irsa has already started reducing water releases from Tarbela and Mangla reservoirs as indents from provinces are now less.

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