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Morning Buzz for August 12, 2011

Karachi: According to MR Securities, many countries, including Pakistan, have had to face cutbacks in civil financial assistance. Instead of USD 1.5 bln during 2011, the USAID could get only USD 947.2 mln due to across the board cut on international assistance by the US government. This would most probably result in the organization scraping some of its planned projects for the year.

Petrol sales jump by 33.7pc in July
Following gas outage in most parts of the country for two days a week, the petrol (motor spirit) sales touched a record high of 250,000 tons, up by a colossal 33.7% in July, official data revealed on Thursday.

Ministry forwards summary to revise OMC margins
In line with the market expectations, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has forwarded the summary to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for revising upwards the margins of the oil marketing companies (OMCs).

KSE remains steady after early session panic
The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) remained largely steady on Thursday after early session panic, which eased as the US stock futures turned positive and regional markets remained calm, traders said.

FTA benefiting China more than Pakistan
Imports from China have been persistently rising even in the no concession category whereas Pakistan has been able to increase its exports only in the first two categories, reveals a study on Pakistan-China FTA available with The News.

Karachi Chamber rejects increase in water tariff
The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has rejected rise in tariff by Water Board, saying it would seriously hurt value-added sector water is a major raw material, a statement said on Thursday.

National Assembly passes Bill to regulate power sector
The National Assembly on Thursday passed ”The Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2010” to strengthen the regulatory role of NEPRA and the mechanism to regulate power sector.

Two sub-committees formed to resolve energy issues
The Committee on Energy formed two sub-committees to develop proposals for the resolution of energy issues including power generation. It would also develop proposals to deal with issues especially those relating to independent power producers (IPPs), circular debt, outstanding payments and work towards finding a sustainable way forward to devise a permanent solution to liquidity issues of the sector.

FED on services: move causing worry to taxpayers in Sindh
Although provinces have been empowered to collect FED on services following passage 18th Amendment, the move is causing worry to taxpayers, especially in Sindh as both the tax collecting authorities Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) are active in the field collecting the same levy.

Power used by commercial units: FBR mulling over sales tax waiver
The Federal Board of Revenue is examining a proposal to withdraw sales tax on electricity consumed by commercial and industrial units to check excessive payments of sales tax refunds to such consumers.

Tax evasion, counterfeiting: Cigarette industry urges FBR to take steps
The cigarette industry has urged the Federal Board of Revenue to take immediate measures to check production of counterfeit cigarettes, causing huge revenue loss to the exchequer.

ST relief on machinery import:
A major tax distortion has been pointed out by local engineering sector following issuance of notification on the sales tax exemption on import of plant and machinery, as locally assembled manufactured plant/ machinery would subject to sales tax, creating tax discrimination the imported and local machinery.

Trade Policy 2011-12: MoF may be unable to release funds
Commerce Ministry is having second thoughts on Trade Policy 2011-12 announcement, fearing that Ministry of Finance will be unable to release the earmarked funds as it was in 2010-11, well informed sources told Business Recorder.

Margin Financing Market: SECP revises eligibility criteria for securities
In a move to facilitate market participants and in the interest of the capital market, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has accorded its approval to revised eligibility criteria for securities in the Margin Financing (MF) Market.

Gas curtailment to fertilizer sector: Urea price may go up
SNGPL decision to run plants on 15-day rotation basis has created shortage of the fertilizer in local market and could result in another urea price hike.

Engro Result Forecast:
Profit after tax of Rs4.3bn (EPS: Rs10.8) in 1H2011 compared to earnings of Rs3.4bn (EPS: Rs8.64) in the same period last year, up 25%YoY

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