March 22, 2018, 07:55:54 PM Admin says: The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) has allowed Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd (SNGPL) to spend Rs20 billion to provide a record one million fresh connections within the remaining three months of this fiscal year.

In its determination, Ogra noted that it had already allowed about Rs4.22bn for 300,000 fresh connections and the SNGPL requested increase in the target for fresh connections to one million with an addition of 700,000 connections during the same year.

The regulator deplored that the company had originally demanded increasing the gas connection to clear huge backlog of 2.2m pending applications and to reduce the waiting period. It then changed its stance by saying the new connections shall be installed, provided Ogra also allowed change in bulk-to-retail ratio as part of system losses.

March 22, 2018, 07:55:33 PM Admin says: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has expressed great concern over the sharp fall in the rupee’s value against the US dollar as it will trigger a new wave of inflation and create more problems for business and industrial activities in the country.

“The rupee dropped from Rs110 to a dollar to Rs115 in a single day which should be a cause for great concern for the policymakers,” remarked ICCI President Sheikh Amir Waheed in a statement.

He said the rupee had weakened by about 5% in December last year in a similar fashion and another depreciation of over 4.5% in a single day would create new challenges for the economy.

March 22, 2018, 07:55:12 PM Admin says: Pakistan expects net foreign direct investment (FDI) to jump about 60 per cent in 2017-18, the chairman of Pakistan’s Board of Investment (BoI) said, but some Western investors appear to be put off by China’s growing influence in the South Asian nation.

Chinese companies are building roads, power stations and a deep-water port in Pakistan after Beijing offered more than $50 billion in funding for Pakistani infrastructure as part of China’s vast Belt and Road initiative.

Chinese investment has helped spur Pakistan’s economic growth to more than 5pc, its highest in a decade, while also increasing Beijing’s clout in Pakistan at a time when Islamabad’s relations with the United States, a historic ally, are fraying.

March 22, 2018, 07:50:29 PM Admin says: The stock market enjoyed another positive session on Thursday as it got support from active buying and the benchmark index crossed the 45,000 barrier to finish the fourth successive session in the black.

The momentum, generated by the rupee’s sharp depreciation on Tuesday, continued for the third day.

The KSE-100 Index gained points in the first hour of trading, but later it skidded off track to trade at lower levels around 44,700. Soon after, investors jumped in to buy stocks at attractive valuations, which propelled the index to an intra-day high of 45,032.41 points.

At the end of trading, the benchmark KSE 100-share Index recorded an increase of 384.27 points or 0.86% to settle at 45,030.22.

March 22, 2018, 07:50:03 PM Admin says: Pakistan’s currency lost value against the US dollar yet again as authorities struggle to create a balance in external trade and mounting current account deficit, which is fast eating up foreign exchange reserves and impacting the country’s ability to cover the import bill.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) abruptly allowed the rupee to lose 4% against the dollar, with the rupee ending at Rs115 in the inter-bank market on Tuesday. This was the second spell of depreciation in a short span of three months. Earlier, in December 2017, the rupee lost around 5% to become Rs110.64 to the greenback and stayed at the level for the last few months.

March 22, 2018, 07:48:06 PM Admin says: Pakistani stocks continued to gain ground in the mid-week session, helped by the momentum from the rupee's 3pc depreciation a day earlier, with the benchmark 100 index gaining 0.76pc to vault above 44,600.

By close of trading Wednesday, the KSE-100 Index had gained another 336 points to close at 44,646 points for the day. It had climbed to a high of 44,841 at one point, before paring gains to close slightly lower. The day's opening level marked the low for Wednesday.

The volume of 100 index stocks traded touched 82.6 million worth Rs5.96 billion, compared to 36.1m worth Rs3.5bn a day earlier.

All-share index volumes were recorded at 207.1m worth Rs9.11bn.

Foreigners were net sellers of Rs486.5m worth of shares, with foreign corporations leading the sell-off.