The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) has directed petrol pumps to maintain a minimum supply of 20 days. In order to ensure the quantities OGRA has asked Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan (HDIP) to physically inspect the availability of petrol and high speed diesel at depots, retail outlets (petrol pumps) and refineries of all oil companies.
Pakistan is looking to remove the ban on the export of COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) this week. This will allow local manufacturers to export COVID-19 related material overseas. Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry took to Twitter to announce this. It was also announced that Pakistan has received a large number of orders for face masks from different parts of the world including the US, Canada, and Europe.
An eerie silence had fallen over Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s oldest and largest markets it prepares to reopen. There are now signs of life at the market as workers roam its alleys, spraying the floor, columns and walls ahead of the doors reopening on Monday for the first time in two months.
The ride-hailing service Careem announced on Monday that it will lay off 536 of its employees, representing 31% of its workforce, this week. Careem CEO Mudassir Sheikh said in a blog on the company’s website that their business is down by more than 80% and the recovery timeline is alramingly unknown. The company, which primarily operates in the Middle East, is owned by Uber.
Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and billionaire value investor Warren Buffett said that the conglomerate has sold the entirety of its position in the U.S. airline industry. The prior stake, worth north of $4 billion dollars, included positions in United, American, Southwest and Delta Airlines. He said that the world has changed for the airlines and he does not know how it’s changed.
Local one tola and 10 gram gold price in the country reached a peak of Rs100,400 and Rs86,076, respectively, on Tuesday. There was a gain of Rs700 and Rs600 in per tola and 10 gram prices from Monday. The local bullion body continues to issue “prices only for idea” since the shutdown of local markets – including jewellery shops – due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Pakistan has urged China to ease in payment obligations of over $30 billion worth of about 12,000-megawatt power projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This will help Pakistan minimise its financial and economic difficulties. This is part of the ongoing government efforts to secure discounts and savings on power purchases from independent power producers (IPPs) as circular debt liabilities cross Rs2 trillion.
Oil prices fell sharply today, with crude oil near an 18 year low and Brent hitting its lowest since November 2002, as the global coronavirus pandemic worsens. Saudi Arabia-Russia price war shows no signs of abating which could also be one of the possible reasons behind. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell as far as $19.92, near an 18-year low hit earlier this month, and was last trading down 3.77%, or $20.70 a barrel.
The US dollar touched eight-month high against rupee and rose by Rs3 to Rs162 in the opening hours of the interbank market on Wednesday. According to market sources, the increase in dollar’s value can be attributed to the central bank’s Tuesday night decision to cut the monetary policy rate, bringing it down to 11%.
The State Bank of Pakistan cut its key interest rate by 75 basis points to 12.50% on Tuesday. The central bank cited deceleration in domestic food prices as the reason for cutting the policy rate. SBP said that the outlook on the headline inflation, a measure of the total inflation including commodities such as food and energy prices, remains within its earlier forecast range of 11% to 12%