Morning Buzz for March 24, 2014 – MR Securities

Karachi, March 24, 2014 (PPI-OT): External debts, liabilities decline by $4 billion in CY13

According to MR Securities,

Pakistan’s external debt and liabilities scaled down by some $4 billion during the last calendar year, (CY13), mainly due to massive repayment of Standby Arrangement (SBA) programme to International Monetary Fund (IMF). Sources in banking sector told Business Recorder on Saturday that the country’s total external debt and liabilities stocks are gradually declining as under the IMF SBA programme massive repayments were due during the last year which were accordingly paid by Pakistan.

Govt bonds: Investors switch focus to longer-term papers
It is said that the best indications of the future course for the monetary policy come from the bond market. And the verdict of Pakistan’s bond market is loud and clear: the central bank is going to cut the key interest rate by at least 50 basis points to 9.5% in the next policy announcement in May.

Homeowner loans: Mortgage refinance firm to be functional in 2015, says SBP official
Mortgage Refinance Company (MRC), which will be the country’s first of its kind entity, is going to be functional next year, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

Waivers sought as EFF performance criteria not met: IMF Board meets tomorrow
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board would meet tomorrow (Monday) to take up the staff report of the second review under Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with the request to grant waivers for noncompliance of two performance criteria.

Government decides to show ZTBL president the door
Federal government showed door to President of Zarai Taraqqiati Bank Limited (ZTBL) Ihsan-ul-Haq Khan. He is accused of getting the office due to close relations with the then Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf.

CEOs of PSEs: Dar-led body interviews shortlisted candidates
To ensure merit, competence and transparency, a four-member committee headed by Federal Minister for Finance, Ishaq Dar interviewed shortlisted candidates for the posts of Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of House Building Finance Corporation (HBFC), National Investment Trust (NIT) and First Women Bank.

Government borrows Rs two trillion annually to meet its expenditures
Government is forced to borrow some Rs 2,000 billion annually to meet it expenditures because of shortfall in revenue collection. Addressing a workshop “Sales Tax Laws on Services” jointly organised by PTBA Academy of Taxation and Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA), Shahid Hussain Asad Member Inland Revenue (IR) Policy Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said Pakistan’s tax to GDP ratio is on low level and need to be enlarged with joint efforts of tax authorities, including the FBR and provincial tax collection arms.

Buksh Foundation joins hands with KIVA Micro Finance
Buksh Foundation has partnered with KIVA Micro Finance, a USA based non-profit organisation, operating with global network of channelling to mobilise funding and relieve poverty, for people around the world.

PM’s amnesty scheme unsuccessful so far: FBR
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has said that no encouraging response has so far been received for the tax amnesty scheme announced by the prime minister due to the lack of stakeholders’ interest.

OMCs: Keep margins on hold to fend off criticism, suggests ministry
The Ministry of Finance has suggested that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) should keep a proposed increase in margins of oil marketing companies (OMCs) and dealers on hold until prices of petroleum products start falling in a bid to avoid criticism from the public.

Oil and gas: OGDC wins 15 exploration licences
The government on Friday executed 15 more petroleum concession agreements and exploration licences with the Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC).

Carrot and stick: Manufacturers sweat over auto policy uncertainty
Mounting government pressure on the automobile industry is pushing vehicle manufacturers into reducing prices. At a time when the government is preparing new auto policy, auto industry has been under pressure to reduce car prices after a sharp depreciation of the dollar against the rupee, say industry analysts.

High speed diesel: Parco allowed to charge IFEM
The Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has allowed Pak-Arab Refinery Company (Parco) to charge Inland Freight Equalisation Margin (IFEM) on high speed diesel, which may have an annual impact of over 1.2 billion on end-consumers.

Nepra asks K-Electric to regularise ‘hook connections’ in three months
National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has asked K-Electric (Karachi Electric Supply Company) to regularise hook connections (aka Kunda connections) within 3 months as well as also directed K-Electric to collect all dues, while regularising illegal connections, through easy instalments.

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