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About Fayaz
Fayaz Hussain is a freelance journalist based in Okara, Pakistan.
English Punjabi Urdu
Feature Stories Content Writing Corporate Content
Business Finance Politics

University of Sydney develops method to turn landfill gas into SAF

30 Apr 2024  |  www.safinvestor.com
Researchers at the University of Sydney have developed a plasma technology process to convert methane gas from landfills into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). This method, which operates at low temperatures and atmospheric pressure, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by transforming methane into a low-carbon fuel source for the aviation industry. The findings, published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, highlight the potential for this innovation to provide a more environmentally impactful and commercially valuable product compared to current landfill gas management practices.

Gevo to raise $750m from mixed shelf offering

16 Jan 2024  |  www.safinvestor.com
Gevo announced plans to raise $750 million through a mixed shelf offering to fund general corporate purposes, including debt repayment, acquisitions, and capital expenditures. The company has a history of utilizing mixed shelf offerings, with previous filings in 2018 and 2020. The latest offering may result in share dilution, but Gevo's current financial position includes over $320 million, sufficient for operating expenses for the foreseeable future.

Cathay Pacific adds three firms to its SAF programme

15 Jan 2024  |  safinvestor.com
Cathay Pacific Airline has expanded its Corporate Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Programme by adding three new partners: Dimerco Express, Yusen Logistics, and Business Environment Council. The programme, which aims to help the aviation industry reduce carbon emissions and achieve net-zero by 2050, was launched in 2022 with several other companies. Cathay Pacific's CEO, Ronald Lam, expressed gratitude to the original partners and welcomed the new ones. The airline has a target to use 10% SAF by 2030 and has already begun using SAF made from waste materials, supplied by ExxonMobil and Shell. Additionally, Cathay Pacific signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SPIC to develop the SAF supply chain in China.

Dassault delivers 26 Falcon aircraft in 2023

15 Jan 2024  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Dassault Aviation reported a decrease in Falcon aircraft deliveries in 2023, with only 26 aircraft delivered against an expected 35. This marks the company's lowest delivery count in 17 years. The backlog as of December 31, 2023, stood at 84 Falcon aircraft, slightly down from 87 at the end of the previous year. New orders also declined, with 23 received in 2023 compared to 64 in 2022. The delivery delays are likely due to the late regulatory approvals for the Falcon 6X, which only entered service in November after receiving certifications in August. The Falcon 6X, which replaced the problematic 5X model, is equipped with Pratt & Whitney Canada PW812D engines. CEO Eric Trappier highlighted the Falcon 6X's compliance with the latest safety and security regulations.

Infinium, Mo Industrial Park to develop e-fuels project in Norway

11 Jan 2024  |  safinvestor.com
Infinium, an electrofuels provider, and Mo Industrial Park have announced a collaboration to develop an e-fuels project in Mo i Rana, Norway. The project aims to produce 2,000 barrels per day of e-fuels such as eSAF, eDiesel, and eNaphtha, with potential for expansion. Mo i Rana will provide the land and renewable power for green hydrogen production, essential for Infinium's process. The partnership is seen as a strategic move to reduce CO2 emissions and support the transition to renewable energy sources. Infinium has also secured a $75 million equity investment from Breakthrough Energy Catalyst for its Project Roadrunner, which is set to be the largest power-to-liquids eFuels project in North America.

Jet Aviation to provide SAF at WEF 2024

11 Jan 2024  |  safinvestor.com
Jet Aviation has announced its plans to provide sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for attendees of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2024. The company has a history of offering SAF since 2020 and has worked with Zurich Airport and other partners to ensure its availability. Joao Martins, a regional vice president at Jet Aviation, expressed satisfaction with the on-site availability of SAF for the upcoming event. Emanuel Fleuti from Flughafen Zürich AG highlighted the importance of SAF in the aviation industry's decarbonization efforts. Jet Aviation has expanded its SAF offerings to various locations, including Amsterdam, Singapore, Bozeman, Scottsdale, and most recently, Rotterdam.

Bangchak Group breaks ground on 1mbpd SAF production unit in Thailand

10 Jan 2024  |  safinvestor.com
Bangchak Group, Thailand's largest oil refiner, has started construction on a new sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production unit capable of producing 1 million barrels per day. This facility, the first of its kind in Thailand, is set to begin operations in early 2025 and will be managed by BSGF Company. It will include a pre-treating unit for used oil quality improvement and a fuel production unit. Bangchak Group plans to source used cooking oil through the 'Thod Mai Throw' project and other initiatives. The company has also increased its stake in Thanachok Vegetable Oil to 45% through a joint venture, securing a key raw material for SAF production. Additionally, Bangchak Group has partnered with Japan's Cosmo Oil, with a significant portion of the SAF production committed to a 10-year import agreement with the Japanese company.

Korean Air, Yusen Logistics sign SAF cooperation agreement

10 Jan 2024  |  safinvestor.com
Korean Air has entered into a partnership with Yusen Logistics to enhance the utilization of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the air cargo sector. This collaboration was formalized through a Sustainable Aviation Fuel Cooperation Program Agreement signed at Yusen Logistics' headquarters in Tokyo. Korean Air had previously initiated an SAF program in September 2023, allowing customers to purchase SAF for their air cargo operations and sharing the benefits of reduced carbon emissions. Yusen Logistics, being the first Japanese cargo SAF partner for Korean Air, is committed to the 2050 net-zero target and aims to help customers reduce their carbon footprint in supply chains. Korean Air is dedicated to working with governments, clients, and oil refineries to boost SAF use and develop a robust domestic SAF infrastructure in Korea.

Mytheresa to increase SAF usage via DHL’s GoGreen Plus service

10 Jan 2024  |  safinvestor.com
Mytheresa, a German e-commerce platform, has entered into a five-year strategic partnership with DHL Express to invest in the latter's GoGreen Plus service, which aims to increase the usage of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for international shipments. The investment, amounting to several million euros, positions Mytheresa as the first and largest e-commerce platform in Germany to commit to SAF. This initiative is expected to reduce Mytheresa's CO2e emissions by over 27,000 tons during the partnership. DHL Express' GoGreen Plus service, launched in 2023, collaborates with major SAF producers like bp, Neste, and World Energy to offer customers a way to lessen the environmental impact of their freight. Mytheresa's COO, Sebastian Dietzmann, highlighted the significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per order shipped as a result of this agreement.

OMV, Microsoft sign SAFc agreement

09 Jan 2024  |  safinvestor.com
OMV, an integrated energy company based in Vienna, and Microsoft have entered into an agreement to procure Sustainable Aviation Fuel certificates (SAFc). OMV has been producing SAF at its Schwechat refinery by using sustainable raw materials like used cooking oil. The company, in collaboration with RSB, an independent global organization, is offering SAF business solutions that enable the transfer of environmental benefits of SAF in the form of certificates. Martijn van Koten, EVP at OMV, emphasized SAF as a strategic element of OMV's 2030 strategy and expressed pride in supporting companies like Microsoft in achieving sustainability goals. Microsoft's Katie Ross highlighted the importance of this collaboration in reducing carbon emissions in aviation and advancing a sustainable future. OMV has also signed agreements with various air carriers, including Ryan Air, to further its SAF initiatives.

USA BioEnergy to submit $1.63bn loan application with US DOE

09 Jan 2024  |  safinvestor.com
USA BioEnergy, through its subsidiary Texas Renewable Fuels, has been invited by the US Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office to submit a Part II application for a $1.63 billion loan guarantee under the Title XVII Innovative Clean Energy Loan Guarantee Program. The company's CEO, Nick Andrews, expressed the importance of the low-cost capital that the loan guarantee program offers for funding large infrastructure projects. USA BioEnergy has also secured a 20-year offtake agreement with Southwest Airlines for sustainable aviation fuel, with the potential purchase of up to 680 million gallons. The company plans to build a facility in Texas to convert wood waste into various transportation fuels and aims to develop a series of 12 advanced biorefineries for producing sustainable fuels.

Washington state begins rulemaking to promote SAF usage

08 Jan 2024  |  safinvestor.com
The Washington State Department of Ecology has announced its intention to complete a rulemaking process by the end of 2024 to promote the production and use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) within the state. This initiative is part of the State's Clean Fuels Standards (CFS) program, which aims to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels by 20% from 2017 levels by 2034. The rulemaking will establish SAF pathways for producers to generate credits, make regulatory changes including book-and-claim accounting and third-party verification requirements, and consider additional changes to strengthen the CFS program. The department will use the WA-GREET 3.0 model or an equivalent for assessing greenhouse gas emissions. The article also mentions the federal tax credits for ethanol-to-SAF producers under the Inflation Reduction Act.

Volato’s market share climbs to 2.4% in light jet category

04 Jan 2024  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
US-based private aviation company Volato has seen its market share in the light jet category increase to 2.4% by the end of 2023, up from 1% in 2022. The company's CFO, Mark Heinen, attributes this growth to an expansion of their HondaJet fleet by 50% and a focus on operational excellence and customer satisfaction. Volato reported a significant increase in total flight hours to 11,273 in 2023, which is a 124% rise from the previous year. The company also maintained high customer satisfaction, with a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 86 or better throughout the fiscal year. The fleet expansion included the addition of three new aircraft in December, bringing the total to 24 HondaJet aircraft.

Signature Aviation acquires FBO operator Meridian

02 Jan 2024  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Signature Aviation, an aviation terminal operator, has acquired FBO operator Meridian, as announced on January 2, 2024. The acquisition, completed on January 1, 2024, adds Meridian's Teterboro, NJ, and Hayward, CA bases to Signature Aviation's extensive FBO network, which spans over 200 locations in 27 countries. Signature Aviation's CEO, Tony Lefebvre, expressed enthusiasm for the shared mission of safety, excellent customer service, and a positive team member experience. Meridian's CEO, Ken Forester, believes Signature Aviation is well-positioned to build on Meridian's legacy, offering more services and opportunities. The transition will include site enhancements, rebranding, and integrating Meridian's team into Signature Aviation, which operates in 38 of the top 50 busiest airports in the United States and manages over 14 million square feet of real estate.

Volato adds eight new aircraft to its fleet in 2023

02 Jan 2024  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Volato, the largest HondaJet operator in the US, has increased its fleet by 50%, adding eight new HondaJet aircraft in 2023, bringing the total to 24. The expansion includes three new aircraft delivered in December, with two coming directly from Honda and one managed plane. CEO Matt Liotta emphasized the importance of a measured approach to fleet expansion for sustainable growth. Volato's fleet remains one of the youngest in the industry, ensuring reliability and efficiency. The company plans to add another 10 HondaJet aircraft in 2024 and has signed a letter of intent for HondaJet's new Echelon aircraft. Volato also completed a SPAC merger with Proof Acquisition Corp. and started trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker SOAR, raising over $60 million in capital. In 2022, Volato reported $96 million in revenue, with the majority coming from fractional ownership and aircraft management.

Brussels Airport to incentivise SAF usage

02 Jan 2024  |  safinvestor.com
Brussels Airport has introduced an incentive program to promote the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by covering up to 80% of the additional costs for airlines. This initiative, supported by the Belgian government, is open to all passenger and cargo airlines for flights departing from Brussels Airport in 2024. The incentive is capped at €200,000 per airline and is part of the airport's efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in the aviation sector to zero by 2050. The airport aims for 5% SAF usage by 2026 and has already begun SAF delivery through the NATO pipeline. Belgium's minister of mobility, Georges Gilkinet, emphasized the importance of using all available means to reduce the aviation sector's ecological footprint and sees this support mechanism as a concrete step towards large-scale CO2 emission reduction in aviation.

Jet Aviation to offer SAF at Bozeman, Montana, and Scottsdale FBOs

23 Dec 2023  |  safinvestor.com
Jet Aviation has announced a partnership with World Fuel Services to provide sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at its fixed-base operator (FBO) locations in Bozeman, Montana, and Scottsdale, Arizona. This agreement is effective immediately and includes a long-term SAF supply arrangement. SAF has been available at Jet Aviation's Van Nuys, California FBO since 2019, and the company also offers SAF at its Amsterdam and Singapore locations. Additionally, Jet Aviation provides a global book and claim service for SAF in areas without physical supply. Richard Layson, vice president of Jet Aviation, expressed enthusiasm for expanding SAF offerings to customers at these locations.

Rolls-Royce launches SAF programme for business aviation

20 Dec 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Rolls-Royce has launched the SAFinity programme for business aviation customers globally, allowing them to invest in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and sustainability projects. The programme is open to all business aircraft and engine users and aims to boost the availability and use of SAF in the aviation industry. Rolls-Royce has partnered with Shell Aviation to integrate Avelia, a blockchain-based platform, to ensure secure allocation of SAF's environmental benefits. The company has also successfully tested 100% SAF in current engines for large civil and business jets, proving it as a viable full drop-in fuel option.

Sky Harbour announces two new developments in New York metro area

20 Dec 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Sky Harbour, an aviation infrastructure company, has announced the development of new facilities at Bradley International Airport and Hudson Valley Regional Airport to address the hangar shortage in the New York metro area. The company has secured ground leases to develop land at both airports. These developments will provide hangars and dedicated services for corporate and private jets. Sky Harbour also provided updates on ongoing projects, including enhancements to their hangar design prototype and expected delays and costs associated with retrofitting existing constructions. The company operates several campuses across the U.S. and is planning further expansions, having recently raised significant funding and aiming to secure additional debt for future projects.

Monterey Fuel wins sustainability leadership award for SAF

19 Dec 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Monterey Fuel Company has been awarded the Early Adopter Award: Leadership in Sustainability by Avfuel for its commitment to sustainability in aviation. The company began offering Avfuel’s Neste MY sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in 2021, which is produced from renewable waste materials. Matthew Wright, the vice president of Monterey Fuel Company, expressed pride in the recognition and the company's role in reducing aviation CO2 emissions. Instead of a traditional award, Monterey Fuel Company will receive carbon credits. The company has been instrumental in increasing SAF sales at its Del Monte Aviation FBO, which now accounts for 94% of SAF transactions at the MRY field. Keith Sawyer of Avfuel praised Monterey Fuel Company for its leadership and continuous advocacy for SAF at Monterey Regional Airport.

Luxaviation launches Go-to-Zero Investment Fund to decarbonize business aviation

14 Dec 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Luxaviation Group, a global business aircraft and helicopter operator, has launched the 'Go-to-Zero' Investment Fund aimed at decarbonizing its operations and achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. The fund will invest in new technologies, including renewable energy and sustainable aviation fuels (e-SAF), to support the company's carbon neutrality goals. CEO Patrick Hansen highlighted the company's commitment to understanding and reducing its carbon footprint and supporting technological advancements to cut carbon emissions. Luxaviation is also inviting other private aviation sector players to join their efforts. The recent outcomes of COP28 have been mentioned as a driving force behind Luxaviation's decisive action, and there is confidence that clients and partners will support the initiative.

Textron announces carbon offset program for Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker aircraft

12 Dec 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Textron Aviation has introduced a new carbon offset program called SustainableAdvantage, in partnership with 4AIR, aimed at reducing CO2 emissions for owners of Cessna, Beechcraft, and Hawker turbine aircraft. The program is set to launch in January 2024 and will provide a seamless option for aircraft owners to offset their carbon emissions. 4AIR will assist in monitoring and compliance reporting, offering a Bronze Level offset option that supports various global environmental projects. The initiative reflects the growing interest among aircraft owners in mitigating their carbon footprint and aligning with environmental commitments.

Will the 2024 US presidential election hit business jet sales?

11 Dec 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
The article discusses the impact of US Presidential Elections on business jet sales. It challenges the perception that sales decline during election years, citing data that shows only two decreases in the last eight elections, attributing them to the 2008 financial crisis and the 2016 election. Brian Proctor of Mente Group and other brokers at the Corporate Jet Investor Miami Conference expressed optimism for 2024, suggesting that election years can create opportunities for buying undervalued assets. Despite concerns over rising costs, high interest rates, and geopolitical tensions, such as the war in Ukraine and the Israel-Palestine conflict, the demand for business jets is expected to remain strong. Brokers like Chris Ellis of Avpro and Jay Mesinger of MesingerJetSales believe that the momentum from post-Covid demand and the desire to avoid commercial airlines due to safety concerns will continue to drive sales.

US bankruptcy court approves Air Methods restructuring plan

11 Dec 2023  |  helicopterinvestor.com
Air Methods Corporation, an air ambulance provider, has received approval from the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas for its Chapter 11 restructuring plan. The plan will reduce the company's debt by $1.7 billion and includes a capital injection of $185 million. CEO JaeLynn Williams expressed optimism about the company's future with a stronger balance sheet and the ability to continue investing in growth initiatives. The company had filed for bankruptcy on October 24th, citing high operating costs, rising interest rates, and the impact of the US No Surprises Act. Legal, financial, and restructuring advisers for Air Methods include Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Lazard, and Alvarez & Marsal, respectively.

Leonardo, Pratt & Whitney complete 100% SAF flight with AW139 helicopter

07 Dec 2023  |  helicopterinvestor.com
Leonardo and Pratt & Whitney Canada have successfully completed the first flight of an AW139 intermediate twin helicopter using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). The 75-minute test flight took place at Leonardo's facility in Italy, where the helicopter's PT6C-67C engines were evaluated for performance with the new fuel. The results were positive, showing no significant differences from the use of conventional Jet A1 fuel. Previously, AW139 helicopters had flown with a blend of SAF and traditional jet fuel in Japan, Malaysia, and the UAE. Leonardo's helicopters are certified to operate with up to a 50% SAF blend. Both companies emphasized their commitment to supporting sustainable aviation and reducing carbon emissions through the use of SAF.

Sky Harbour Group raises $15m in PIPE financing

30 Nov 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Sky Harbour Group Corporation, which constructs hangars for business jets, has raised an additional $15 million through a PIPE financing round managed by Altai Capital. This brings the total raised to $57.8 million after the first equity placement in early November. The company's CEO, Tal Keinan, expressed enthusiasm for the growth and future work with new partners. The investment includes contributions from various accredited investors and is expected to enable Sky Harbour to access over $200 million in additional debt capital. This funding is aimed at expanding the company's airfield constructions to over 2.4 million square feet of hangar space. Despite a significant increase in rental revenue, Sky Harbour reported a loss of $2 million in the third quarter.

Jet.AI services, software revenues soar in third quarter

21 Nov 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Jet.AI reported a significant increase in its services and software revenue in the third quarter, with a 270% rise to $3.37m. Despite this, overall revenue fell by 72% due to a lack of aircraft sales compared to the previous year. The company is in talks with Bombardier to purchase Challenger 3500 aircraft and has launched an AI-powered charter booking platform, CharterGPT. Jet.AI also plans to focus on developing Reroute, a component of its operator platform. The company saw a 445% increase in software application and on-fleet charter revenues and sold a number of prepaid flight hours. However, costs increased, and the company reported an operating loss of $4.3m, larger than the previous year. Jet.AI recently merged with SPAC Oxbridge Acquisition Corp and has $300m in cash for growth initiatives.

Wheels Up finalises $40m term loan with Kore Capital

17 Nov 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Wheels Up Experience, a charter and jet-card provider, has secured a new $40 million term loan from Kore Capital. This follows a previous cash infusion of $450 million from investors including Delta Air Lines, Cox Enterprises, and CK Wheels. The company's CEO, George Mattson, indicated that this would help stabilize the company's cash balance by year-end. The new credit facility now includes a $390 million term loan and a $100 million revolving credit facility. Wheels Up also issued additional common stock to lenders, who now hold approximately 95% of the company's equity. The company has been experiencing a decline in sales and membership, with a significant drop in live flight legs, and is undergoing restructuring to improve profitability.

Italian Sea Group (TISG) rides wave of yacht demand

13 Nov 2023  |  superyachtinvestor.com
The Italian Sea Group (TISG), a prominent player in the yachting industry, has reported a significant 25% increase in revenue for the first nine months of 2023, totaling €262m. Giovanni Costantino, the CEO of TISG, expressed satisfaction with the company's performance, highlighting the positive feedback from the Monaco Yacht Show and the intention to continue investing in upcoming projects. The company's growth is attributed to the progress of existing projects, new sales contracts for large yachts, and expanded production capacity. TISG's EBITDA also rose to €43m, with an EBITDA margin of 16.5%, thanks to effective cost management and price increases. With an order book valued at €1.3bn and deliveries planned until 2028, TISG is optimistic about meeting its 2023 revenue target of €365m and projects revenues of €400-420m for 2024. The company has also achieved ISO 14001:2015 certification, underscoring its commitment to environmental management.

Sanlorenzo posts 15% revenue growth

10 Nov 2023  |  superyachtinvestor.com
Sanlorenzo, an Italian luxury yacht manufacturer, has reported a 15% increase in revenue to €626m for the first nine months of 2023, with net profit rising by 27% to €67m. The growth was attributed to strong demand for high-end vessels and higher prices, with significant contributions from both yachts and superyachts, as well as a 28% revenue increase in the Bluegame division. The majority of new yacht revenues came from Europe, followed by the Americas. The company's chairman and CEO, Massimo Perotti, highlighted the strength of the Sanlorenzo brand and its sustainable growth strategy. Sanlorenzo also saw an 18% increase in maintenance operation revenues and is considering vertical integration and acquisitions to secure its supply chain and expand services. The orderbook stands at €1.7bn, with sold-out deliveries through 2026 for yachts and 2027 for superyachts, while the Bluegame division is sold out through 2025.

Sky Harbour revenues soar by 481% in third quarter

10 Nov 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Sky Harbour, an infrastructure company specializing in the development, leasing, and management of general aviation hangars, reported a significant increase in rental revenue for the third quarter, with a 481% rise to $2.5 million compared to $0.4 million in the same period the previous year. This growth is attributed to higher tenant leases at various airports including Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport, Sugar Land Regional Airport, and Nashville International Airport. Despite the revenue surge, the company incurred a loss of $2 million due to operating expenses and investments in hangar development and workforce expansion. Sky Harbour's portfolio spans several states, and it is actively negotiating new ground leases to expand its presence in the aviation market.

Airbus helicopter deliveries down 33% in third quarter

09 Nov 2023  |  helicopterinvestor.com
Airbus experienced a significant decline in its helicopter deliveries and revenue in the third quarter, with a 33% drop in deliveries and a 17% fall in revenue year-on-year. The company's earnings before income tax for the helicopter segment also decreased by 13%. Factors contributing to these downturns include supply chain issues, the war in Ukraine, and China's economic slowdown. Additionally, Airbus saw a 22% decrease in helicopter net order intake, partly due to order cancellations from Russian customers amid global market uncertainty. Despite these challenges in the helicopter segment, Airbus reported positive overall performance, with increased commercial aircraft deliveries and a strong satellite business. CEO Guillaume Faury acknowledged the complex global environment but expressed confidence in the company's operational plan and resilience.

Wheels Up revenue falls 24% in third quarter

09 Nov 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Wheels Up, a private aviation company, reported a 24% decline in revenue year-over-year in the third quarter, with figures falling to $320 million from $420 million. The company experienced a decrease in active members, users, and live flight legs, as well as a slight drop in revenue per flight leg. Despite a net loss of $144 million, Wheels Up maintains ample liquidity, including $245 million in cash and a $100 million undrawn rollover. The company has received a $450 million capital infusion from investors including Delta Air Lines and is introducing a new program, 'Up for Business,' targeting SMEs. Wheels Up also divested its aircraft management business to Airshare as part of its strategy to focus on more profitable operations.

Blade Air Mobility reports stellar Q3 performance

08 Nov 2023  |  helicopterinvestor.com
Blade Air Mobility has reported a significant increase in its financial performance for the third quarter of 2023, with a 56% rise in revenue to $71.4 million. The growth was primarily fueled by the MediMobility Organ Transport and short distance segments. The company achieved a net income of $0.3 million and a positive cash flow of $1.3 million, marking a turnaround from previous losses. Segment-wise, MediMobility Organ Transport revenues increased by 65% to $33.4 million, while short distance business revenues rose by 50% to $30.8 million. Blade's CEO, Rob Wiesenthal, attributed the success to the team's dedication and strategic acquisitions in Europe. The company is looking to further profitability through its new business line, Trinity Organ Placement Services (TOPS), which aims to reduce transplant waiting times.

Bombardier to redeem senior notes

07 Nov 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Bombardier has announced a financial restructuring plan that includes a tender offer for $110 million of its outstanding senior notes and the redemption of all its 7.5% senior notes due in 2025. The company plans to purchase $75 million of its 7.125% senior notes due in 2026 and $35 million of its 7.875% senior notes due in 2027. The tender offer will expire on December 6th, 2023, and is contingent upon the issuance of a new $500 million senior notes offering. This move follows Bombardier's report of better-than-expected results for the third quarter and is aimed at improving the company's liquidity profile and restructuring its debt.

Bombardier ‘firing on all cylinders’

03 Nov 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Bombardier, the Quebec-based jet manufacturer, reported a strong financial performance with higher-than-expected revenue of $1.85bn and an adjusted EPS of $0.73. The company's CFO, Bart Demosky, highlighted the exceptional quarter, citing improved prices and operational efficiencies. CEO Eric Martel indicated a positive outlook for the fourth quarter, with the company on track to deliver 138 jets by year-end, capturing nearly one-fourth of the global business jet market share. Despite concerns over high interest rates and rising costs, Martel noted no slowdown in demand, particularly from fleet operators. The company's backlog is solid at $14.7bn, averaging an 18-24 month order book. Analyst Robert Stallard from Vertical Research acknowledged the resilience of new business jet demand but cautioned against premature victory declarations in the current economic climate.

Bombardier delivers 31 jets in third quarter

02 Nov 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Bombardier, the aircraft manufacturer, reported an increase in aircraft deliveries for the third quarter of 2023, with a total of 31 jets delivered, which is six more than the same period last year. The deliveries included 16 Challenger jets and 15 Global series jets. The company has delivered 82 aircraft so far this year and has reached a milestone with the 150th Global 7500 aircraft. Bombardier expects to meet its annual target of 138 jet deliveries. The company's revenue rose to $1.8 billion, a 28% increase from the previous year, with aftermarket services also seeing a rise in revenue. However, despite the higher revenue, Bombardier experienced a net loss of $37 million, attributed to higher financing expenses and a non-cash change in the fair value of financial instruments. Excluding these impacts, the adjusted net income was a positive $80 million, a significant improvement from the adjusted net loss of $2 million in the same quarter of the previous year.

Saudi Arabia to remove ‘empty-leg’ restrictions

31 Oct 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Saudi Arabia's General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has announced new regulations aimed at reforming the country's aviation sector. These changes include the removal of 'empty-leg' restrictions, simplification of economic licenses for air transport, and eased requirements for airport operators and investors. The reforms are expected to increase flexibility for general aviation operators, enhance network connectivity, and create a more competitive environment for aviation investors. The regulations, which were developed with stakeholder consultation, will be implemented over 18 months and are part of the Saudi Aviation Strategy under Vision 2030. This strategy seeks to significantly increase the kingdom's connectivity, passenger traffic, and cargo capacity by 2030, with an anticipated investment of $100 billion from both private and government sources.

Embraer Executive Jet deliveries soar in Q3

27 Oct 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Embraer, the aerospace company, reported a 22% increase in corporate jet deliveries in the third quarter of 2023, delivering a total of 28 jets compared to 23 in the same period the previous year. The majority of these were Phenom 300s, a light business jet. The company also delivered Phenom 100s, Praetor 500s, and Praetor 600s. Embraer's executive aviation backlog is valued at $4.3 billion, with a book-to-bill ratio of 1.5, indicating a strong order pipeline. The Phenom 300 series recently became the most-flown business jet in the US. Embraer introduced the Phenom 100EX at the NBAA event in Las Vegas, an upgraded version of the Phenom 100. Additionally, Embraer conducted tests at its Melbourne facility using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in preparation for certification. In 2023, Embraer has delivered 105 jets, 66 of which are executive aviation jets.

Textron Aviation Q3 revenue jumps 15% to $1.33bn

27 Oct 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
Textron Aviation reported a 15% increase in revenue for the third quarter, reaching $1.33 billion compared to $1.16 billion in the same period last year. The growth was attributed to higher volumes and favorable pricing. Scott C Donnelly, the CEO of Textron, highlighted the strongest order quarter of the year with a 12% increase from the previous third quarter. The aviation segment's profit rose to $160 million, a $29 million increase from the previous year, with favorable pricing contributing significantly. Despite some offset from supply chain and labor inefficiencies, the aviation backlog grew by $600 million, indicating strong demand for business jets. Textron's overall revenue increased by 8.6% to $3.4 billion, with earnings per share up 27% to $1.35. Bell's revenues remained flat due to lower commercial helicopter volume, impacted by supply chain constraints.

Bell revenues remain flat at $754m in Q3

26 Oct 2023  |  helicopterinvestor.com
Textron's third-quarter financial results show that Bell, a segment of Textron, had flat revenues of $754 million, the same as the previous year's quarter. The stagnation is attributed to a decrease in commercial helicopter volume due to supply chain issues. Bell saw a reduction in commercial helicopter deliveries, down to 23 from 49 in the previous year, and a slight decrease in military helicopter deliveries. Despite this, the helicopter segment's profits increased slightly to $77 million. Textron's overall revenue grew by 8.6% to $3.4 billion, and earnings per share increased by 27% to $1.35. The aviation segment of Textron experienced a 15% increase in revenue. Scott C. Donnelly, the CEO of Textron, highlighted the growth in revenues and net operating profit across various segments.

General Dynamics reports $3.04 EPS for Q3

25 Oct 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
General Dynamics reported a higher-than-expected earnings per share of $3.04 for Q3, beating market estimates of $2.97. The company's revenue increased by 6% to $10.57 billion, driven by a rise in defense revenues. However, aerospace revenues dropped by 17% to $2 billion, with Gulfstream business jet deliveries decreasing to 27 from 38 the previous year. The company is awaiting FAA certification for its jets, aiming to deliver 139-140 jets in 2023. General Dynamics reported a record backlog of $96 billion, a 1% increase from the previous quarter, and generated $1.1 billion in free cash flow after capital expenditures. The company also repaid $500 million in fixed-rate notes, paid $363 million in dividends, and repurchased $56 million in shares. Analyst Robert Stallard from Vertical Research Partners noted the aerospace book-to-bill ratio expanded to 1.4x despite the dip in deliveries.

HI Insight: What lies behind Air Methods’ Chapter 11 filings

25 Oct 2023  |  helicopterinvestor.com
Air Methods, a major US air ambulance operator, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to a combination of financial and operational challenges. The company has reached an agreement with lenders and bondholders to reduce its debt by $1.7 billion and secured $80 million in debtor-in-possession financing to maintain operations. Factors contributing to Air Methods' financial strain include high debt maturity, increased interest rates, regulatory changes such as the No Surprises Act, and severe weather events affecting service delivery. The company is also struggling with operational issues like pilot recruitment and retention, leading to higher labor costs. The situation reflects broader challenges in the healthcare industry, with other companies also filing for bankruptcy due to similar pressures. The article highlights the impact of government regulation on the industry and the financial difficulties faced by healthcare providers.

Las Vegas airports to offer SAF for NBAA convention

05 Oct 2023  |  corporatejetinvestor.com
The 2023 National Business Aviation Association-Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas will offer Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) at the city's three airports. Ed Bolen, the president and CEO of NBAA, emphasized the role of SAF in achieving the industry's net-zero target. World Fuel Services will supply 40,000 gallons of SAF at Henderson Executive Airport and North Las Vegas Airport, while Signature Aviation and Atlantic Aviation will provide SAF at Harry Reid International Airport. The event, which is the largest business aviation event in the world, will take place from October 17th-19th and will focus on sustainability and the latest advancements in the industry.

Energy Security in ASEAN: Challenges and Policies

15 Jan 2023  |  mdpi.com
The article discusses energy security in Southeast Asia, focusing on the challenges and policies of various ASEAN countries. It highlights the vulnerability to natural disasters and dependence on fossil fuel imports in the region. Malaysia is presented as a case study, emphasizing the need for consistent and affordable energy. Singapore's energy security is stable but faces economic challenges. Laos has significant coal and hydropower resources but lacks infrastructure. Indonesia has improved its energy security score but still faces issues as a net oil importer and environmental concerns. Cambodia's household energy insecurity impacts welfare and development. Thailand and the Philippines are exploring renewable energy and policy strategies to address their energy security and environmental concerns. The article underscores the importance of energy security for economic growth and the need for sustainable policies to address the challenges in ASEAN countries.

A State-of-the-Art Review on Optimization Methods and Techniques for Economic Load Dispatch with Photovoltaic Systems: Progress, Challenges, and Recommendations

15 Jan 2023  |  mdpi.com
The article provides a comprehensive review of the optimization methods and challenges associated with Economic Load Dispatch (ELD) in power systems, particularly focusing on the integration of renewable energy sources like solar power. It discusses the mathematical formulation of ELD problems, optimization algorithms (classical, hybrid, and non-conventional), and the importance of considering renewable energy variability and system constraints. The article highlights the shift towards renewable energy to minimize generation costs and carbon emissions, the role of solar power in changing ELD research, and the need for new optimization methods to handle the variability and uncertainty of renewable energy sources. It also covers the impact of large-scale photovoltaic (PV) system integration on power system operation, including the challenges of maintaining stability and reliability. The article suggests that hybrid parameter-less metaheuristic algorithms could be effective in solving complex ELD problems due to their ability to manage large search spaces and computational efficiency.

Pakistan posts current account surplus for fifth straight month

22 Dec 2021  |  dawn.com
Pakistan has recorded a current account surplus for the fifth consecutive month in November, reaching $447 million, in contrast to a deficit of $326 million during the same month last year. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) attributes this to an improved trade balance and a significant increase in remittances. Exports and imports have both risen, indicating a recovery in both external demand and domestic economic activity. The cumulative surplus from July to November is $1.64 billion, a stark improvement from the $1.745 billion deficit in the previous year. Remittances have surged by 27% to $11.77 billion, aided by Covid-related travel restrictions. The SBP's foreign exchange reserves have increased by about $1 billion in November, reaching a three-year high of $13.1 billion. Prime Minister Imran Khan has remarked on the economy's strong performance despite the pandemic. Analyst Wajid Rizvi notes the resilience of Pakistan's external side and anticipates a further increase in the trade gap due to rising imports.

Remittances from overseas Pakistanis continue to soar

09 Jan 2021  |  dawn.com
The State Bank of Pakistan released data showing that remittances from overseas Pakistanis in December 2020 increased by 16.2% year-on-year to $2.436 billion. This marks the seventh consecutive month that remittances have been above the $2 billion mark. Prime Minister Imran Khan praised the overseas Pakistanis for their contributions. The majority of these inflows came from GCC countries, with significant amounts from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the UK, the US, and the EU. The increase in remittances has contributed to a current account surplus and bolstered Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves, which are beneficial for the country's economy amidst the pandemic.

December inflation eases to 8pc

01 Jan 2021  |  dawn.com
Inflation in Pakistan decreased to eight percent in December from 8.3 percent the previous month, primarily due to a reduction in the prices of perishable food items and transportation. Despite this, the cost of non-perishable food items rose significantly by 16.3 percent year-on-year. Other sectors such as restaurants, hotels, clothing, and health also saw price increases. Urban inflation was at seven percent year-on-year, while rural inflation was higher at 9.5 percent. The first month-on-month inflation decline in eight months was recorded at 0.7 percent. The average inflation for the July-December period was 8.63 percent, lower than the previous year's 11.11 percent. The State Bank of Pakistan has maintained a negative interest rate to support growth, suggesting that economic recovery may be prioritized over inflation control, with potential monetary tightening delayed until mid-2021.

Net FDI turns negative in November

17 Dec 2020  |  dawn.com
In November 2020, Pakistan experienced a negative net foreign direct investment (FDI) for the first time in over two years, with a net outflow of $16 million. The State Bank of Pakistan reported significant outflows in the power and communication sectors, with China and Norway divesting notably during the month. Foreign portfolio investment also saw a decline, continuing a negative trend for the last 10 months, influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic. Overall, FDI for the July-November period fell by 17% compared to the previous year, with China remaining the top investor in Pakistan, largely due to projects associated with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Total foreign investment, including both private and public, saw a substantial decrease of 80.7% in the first five months of the current fiscal year compared to the last.

LSM output grows 3.95pc during October

15 Dec 2020  |  dawn.com
The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics released data indicating that large-scale manufacturing (LSM) output in Pakistan grew by 3.95% in October compared to September, and by 6.66% compared to October of the previous year. Growth was observed in the production of minerals, pharmaceuticals, foods, paper and board, chemicals, and fertiliser sectors, while a decline was noted in wood, leather, engineering, electronics, and steel sectors. Officials, including Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar and Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, commented on the positive industrial growth. Analysts attribute the economic recovery to the government's decision to avoid lockdowns and to factors such as increased credit offtake, low interest rates, stable exchange rate, and cheap energy for export-oriented sectors.

KSE-100 tumbles 872 points as lockdown fears dampen sentiment

23 Nov 2020  |  dawn.com
The KSE-100 index in Pakistan fell sharply by 872.15 points due to fears of a complete lockdown amid rising Covid-19 cases, but later recovered some losses, closing down by 554 points after the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced the maintenance of the interest rate at 7%. Banks, cement, and oil & gas marketing companies were the most affected. Analysts like Mohammad Sohail from Topline Securities and Umer Pervez from AKD Securities commented on the market's reaction to the pandemic and government measures. Despite the current challenges, Pakistan's economy had shown signs of recovery with increased exports and sales in various sectors. However, the rise in Covid-19 cases and potential lockdown measures pose a threat to this recovery, as indicated by the Prime Minister Imran Khan's statements on the necessity of a lockdown if public gatherings continue.

Pakistan's current account surplus continues for the fourth month

19 Nov 2020  |  dawn.com
Pakistan's current account surplus rose to $382 million in October, marking the fourth consecutive month of surplus, according to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). This represents a significant increase from the previous year and is attributed to a sustained increase in remittances and a smaller trade deficit. The cumulative surplus since July has reached $1.2 billion, reversing the deficit from the same period last year. Remittances have been particularly strong, with a 26.5% increase in the July-October period. The trade deficit narrowed in October, and the country's total foreign exchange reserves have surpassed $20 billion, the highest since February 2018. The increase in reserves is due to various factors, including inflows from international lenders and reduced outflows due to the pandemic.

Rupee falls by Rs1.52 against dollar in interbank market

19 Nov 2020  |  dawn.com
The Pakistani rupee experienced a significant drop in value against the dollar in the interbank market, falling by Rs1.52 to close at Rs159.83. This decline was attributed to panic-buying by importers in anticipation of renewed talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Sana Tawfik from Arif Habib Ltd suggested that the drop was driven by sentiment rather than economic fundamentals. Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue, mentioned an upcoming IMF mission to Pakistan to discuss tax reforms and improvements in the power sector. Despite the recent dip, the rupee had gained 6.1% since late August but has seen a 1% loss over the last three sessions. Zafar Paracha from the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan views the volatility as short-term and expects the rupee to recover in the following week.

FDI in Pakistan hits 10-month high in October

16 Nov 2020  |  dawn.com
The State Bank of Pakistan released data showing that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Pakistan reached a 10-month high in October, with $317.4 million in inflows, representing 43.3% of the total for the current fiscal year. This marks a significant increase from October 2019's FDI of $126.5 million. China was the largest investor during the month, contributing $228.7 million, primarily in the power sector. Despite the monthly rise, total foreign investment declined by over 64% to $425 million in the July-October period, compared to the previous year, due to significant outflows from equity and debt securities. The power sector attracted the most investment, followed by financial businesses and oil and gas exploration. The article also notes that foreign investors have been selling off Pakistani stocks and government securities, a trend attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic, lower interest rates, and the appreciation of the rupee.

October remittances grow 14pc, rising for fifth straight month

12 Nov 2020  |  dawn.com
The State Bank of Pakistan released data showing that remittances in October rose by 14.1% year-on-year to $2.3 billion, marking the fifth consecutive month where remittances have been above $2 billion. From July to October, remittances reached $9.4 billion, a 26.5% increase from the previous year. The growth is attributed to improvements in Pakistan's forex market, efforts by the Pakistan Remittances Initiative to formalize flows, and reduced cross-border travel. Muhammad Sohail of Topline Securities commented on the trend and its positive impact on the local currency. The World Bank also projected a 9% growth in Pakistan's remittances for 2020, reaching about $24 billion, due to a shift from informal to formal channels amid travel restrictions. The largest contributions in October came from Saudi Arabia, UAE, and the UK.

Cotton output falls 43pc due to rains, pest attacks

04 Nov 2020  |  dawn.com
Cotton production in Pakistan has significantly declined by 43% to 3.4 million bales due to monsoon rains and pest attacks, as reported by the Pakistan Cotton Ginners’ Association. This drop has affected both Punjab and Sindh regions equally. The decrease in production is causing concern for the textile industry, which now faces higher costs due to the need to import raw materials. The government's projected production is much higher than current figures, and experts are calling for immediate action to address the shortfall. The decline in local production is also leading to increased prices for cotton and phutti. The country has already seen a rise in cotton imports, which is affecting the national import bill and the profitability of cotton growers.

Dollar falls below Rs160 for the first time in six months

03 Nov 2020  |  dawn.com
The US dollar has fallen to a six-month low against the Pakistani rupee in the interbank market, reaching Rs159.97. Factors contributing to the rupee's appreciation include increased remittance inflows, a current account surplus, the dollar's depreciation against major currencies, and the deferment of a $1.8 billion loan repayment to G20 countries. Analyst Sana Tawfiq from Arif Habib Ltd predicts the rupee will remain between 159-161 against the dollar until December 2020. The Roshan Digital Account initiative and the government's amnesty scheme for the construction sector have also been credited for improving the rupee's outlook by increasing dollar liquidity and investment in the property market.

KSE-100 rallies over 1,300 points on oil boost, global recovery

03 Nov 2020  |  dawn.com
The KSE-100 index saw a significant rise of 1,387 points in intra-day trade on Tuesday, driven by an increase in oil prices, a rally in international markets, and lower-than-expected inflation figures for October in Pakistan. The market rebounded after two days of heavy losses due to fears of new lockdowns amid rising COVID-19 cases. Analysts from Topline Securities and AKD Securities attributed the rise to a relief rally, global market trends, and strong corporate earnings. Meanwhile, Asian markets also moved higher, influenced by the US election, with investors anticipating a potential Biden win that could lead to more economic stimulus. The Reserve Bank of Australia cut its key interest rate to a record low, and Wall Street saw gains on Monday with the expectation of a Democratic sweep in the elections.

Stocks plunge as Covid-19, oil prices, US election fears rattle investors

02 Nov 2020  |  dawn.com
The Pakistan Stock Exchange experienced a significant drop on Monday, with the KSE-100 index falling by 963.74 points, influenced by rising Covid-19 cases and the potential for global lockdowns. Commercial banks, oil and gas exploration, cement, and oil and gas marketing companies were the top losers. Analysts from Topline Securities, Sherman Securities, and AKD Securities attributed the market pressure to the pandemic, falling oil prices, and uncertainty surrounding the US elections. Oil prices also fell due to concerns over demand amidst European lockdowns and the upcoming US elections. OPEC+ is considering delaying an increase in oil production, while Goldman Sachs noted that oil demand is outpacing supply. The article also mentions the rise in oil and natural gas rig counts in the United States according to Baker Hughes data.

PSX plummets as Covid-19 resurgence triggers global sell-off

29 Oct 2020  |  dawn.com
The Pakistan Stock Exchange experienced a significant drop on Thursday, with the KSE-100 index falling by over 1,900 points, reflecting global market downturns amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases and subsequent restrictions. The market opened with a sharp decline and continued to fall until a partial recovery in the late afternoon. The sell-off was influenced by international market trends, rising local COVID-19 cases, and foreign investor sell-offs in various sectors. The last three days saw foreign investors selling $15.85 million worth of shares, particularly in cement, oil and gas exploration, and commercial banks. The market's bearish sentiment was fueled by fears of economic contraction due to potential re-imposition of restrictions. Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar highlighted an increase in the national positivity ratio and the implementation of new restrictions in vulnerable cities.

KSE-100 climbs 585 points buoyed by cement stocks, FATF announcement

26 Oct 2020  |  dawn.com
On Monday, the KSE-100 index saw a significant rise of 585 points, largely due to gains in cement stocks and positive reactions to the Financial Action Task Force's (FATF) recent announcement. The FATF acknowledged Pakistan's efforts against money laundering and terror financing, with Pakistan complying with 21 out of 27 action points. Lucky Cement Ltd reported a substantial increase in net profits for the first quarter of the fiscal year 2021, with a 66% increase in net sales year-on-year. The market also responded well to the potential for increased sales in the autos and oil & gas marketing sectors. Analysts from BMA Capital and AKD Securities provided insights into the factors driving market optimism, including industry growth and positive economic indicators such as a stronger rupee, rising tax revenues, and a surplus current account.

Rupee gains 30 paisas to reach five-month high against dollar at Rs161.82

22 Oct 2020  |  dawn.com
The Pakistani rupee appreciated by 30 paisas against the US dollar, closing at Rs161.82 in the open market, a five-month high, as reported by the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP). ECAP Chairman Zafar Paracha predicts the dollar could reach Rs160 by December due to declining imports and increased remittances. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced a record current account surplus and noted higher remittance inflows and lower outflows. The rupee's recovery is attributed to various factors, including G20 debt suspension, a rebound in textile exports, and measures by the SBP to channel remittances through official banking. The SBP also reported an increase in foreign exchange reserves. Experts from Intermarket Securities and BMA Capital suggest that the rupee's appreciation is due to a strong balance of payments and undervaluation of the PKR, with caution about potential volatility next year.

Pakistan's Current Account Surplus Hits Record in First Quarter

21 Oct 2020  |  dawn.com
Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that Pakistan is moving in the right direction as it recorded a current account surplus of $792 million in the first quarter of the fiscal year. This positive development is attributed to increased remittances and a rise in exports. Despite a surplus in September, there was a 65.4% decrease from August due to a widening trade deficit. The State Bank of Pakistan highlighted a third consecutive month of surplus and a significant improvement compared to the previous year's deficit. The trade deficit increased due to higher imports of food and machinery. Chief Economist Syed Atif Zafar of Topline Securities provided insights into the trade goods balance and projected the current account deficit for the fiscal year.

Rupee hits five-month high as dollar falls to Rs163.20

14 Oct 2020  |  dawn.com
The Pakistani rupee reached a five-month high against the dollar, trading at Rs163.20 in the interbank market. This improvement is attributed to measures taken by the State Bank of Pakistan to curb illegal currency movement and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to increased remittances through formal channels. The rupee has been stable, trading below Rs165 after peaking at Rs165.05 on October 1. Remittances have seen a significant increase, with a 31.1% jump year-on-year in the July-September period. The government is encouraged to boost exports and the G20 has deferred Pakistan's debt payments, with potential for an extension.

PM hails 'good news' as September remittances jump 31pc over last year

12 Oct 2020  |  dawn.com
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan celebrated a significant increase in remittances for September, with a 31.2% rise compared to the same month last year. The State Bank of Pakistan reported that the country received $2.3 billion in remittances, marking the fourth consecutive month of remittances staying above the $2 billion mark. The increase is attributed to the reopening of economies where Pakistani expatriates work, such as the Middle East, Europe, and the United States, and the Pakistan Remittances Initiative's efforts. The central bank's projections were slightly exceeded, and the rise is also linked to the impact of COVID-19, which has led to expatriates sending more money home and having fewer spending options abroad. Saudi Arabia was the top remittance-sending country, followed by the UAE, the US, and the UK.

Weekly inflation up 1.24pc due to increase in essential food items prices

09 Oct 2020  |  dawn.com
The article reports on the recent inflation data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), highlighting a 1.24 percent increase in the weekly Sensitive Price Index (SPI) for essential food items. The SPI, which tracks prices of 51 essential items across 17 cities, showed a higher increase for the lowest income group compared to the highest earners. Significant price increases were noted for tomatoes, onions, eggs, chicken, wheat flour, potatoes, moong pulse, and sugar, while prices for bananas, mash pulse, and gur decreased. Despite the rise in food prices, non-food item prices remained stable. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) also saw a higher-than-expected increase in September, driven by food inflation. Arif Habib Ltd (AHL) provided an analysis suggesting that the rise in food prices might be temporary due to post-monsoon supply improvements and lower international oil prices potentially easing inflation.

Global economy heading for a recession, IIF report says

12 Sep 2020  |  dawn.com
The Institute of International Finance (IIF) has released a report indicating that the global economy is expected to face a recession, with a projected global GDP contraction of 3.8% in 2020, which is significantly worse than the 2009 financial crisis. The report suggests that the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will be more challenging for emerging markets, with China and India contributing to a weaker global growth outlook. China's economy saw growth in the second quarter, but without the large infrastructure stimulus of 2009. India is facing a severe recession, with its economy contracting by 23.9% in the quarter ending June. The report also notes the negative impact on commodity-driven economies in South America and ASEAN countries due to the economic downturns in China and India.

Pakistan slips down on Global Innovation Index

05 Sep 2020  |  dawn.com
Pakistan's ranking on the Global Innovation Index (GII) dropped from 104 in 2019 to 107 in 2020, indicating a decline in the country's innovation capabilities. The GII, compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, INSEAD, and Cornell University, assesses various innovation-related factors such as institutions, human capital, infrastructure, market and business sophistication, and technology. The report highlighted Pakistan's deterioration in market sophistication, human capital, and infrastructure, while noting improvements in business sophistication and creative outputs like IT exports and mobile app creation. In the South Asian context, Pakistan ranks above only Bangladesh, trailing behind India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Globally, Switzerland, Sweden, the US, and the UK are the leaders in innovation.

Sindh farmers suffer huge losses as cotton bales perish in rains, pest attacks

30 Aug 2020  |  dawn.com
Sindh farmers have experienced significant losses of nearly 400,000-500,000 bales of cotton due to the monsoon season and subsequent pest attacks. Dr. Jessu Mal Leemani, former chairman of the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association, highlighted the lack of crop insurance and government financial support for affected farmers. Cotton grower Allah Dino from Tando Allahyar reported that 70% of the cotton crop in his area has been affected by pink bollworm attacks. The article emphasizes the importance of cotton to Pakistan's rural economy and the challenges faced by farmers, including high costs for fertilizers and pesticides, lack of knowledge on pesticide use, and the need for government intervention in setting minimum support prices and providing quality seeds.

Pakistan’s GDP growth rate may rebound to 1.8pc in FY21: IIF

29 Aug 2020  |  dawn.com
The Institute of International Finance (IIF) has projected that Pakistan's GDP growth rate may rise to 1.8% in the fiscal year 2020-21, driven by a recovery in private consumption. However, challenges such as low tax revenue and high public debt could test the government's commitment to reforms. The IIF's report acknowledges the impact of the pandemic on the economy but notes signs of recovery, supported by the Central Bank of Pakistan's liquidity measures and lower policy rates. The government's fiscal stimulus package and the Ministry of Finance's optimistic outlook, citing strong economic indicators, also suggest a rebound in economic activity.

Govt restricts financial institutions from investing in NSS products

01 Jul 2020  |  dawn.com
The Pakistani government has directed financial institutions to stop investing in national savings schemes (NSS) products starting from July 1. This decision is intended to push institutions to invest in other financial instruments like Pakistan Investment Bonds and the stock market. The Finance Division issued a notification following recommendations from the State Bank of Pakistan and a committee's decision. The Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS), which traditionally offered savings instruments to the public, has been asked to take necessary actions to implement this change. The CDNS had recently met its net collection target for the fiscal year, indicating significant investment from institutional investors.

Economic shock, health crisis to challenge Pakistan’s fiscal deficit target: Fitch

20 Jun 2020  |  dawn.com
Fitch Ratings has expressed skepticism regarding Pakistan's ability to narrow its fiscal deficit to seven percent in FY21, as projected by the government. The rating agency forecasts a deficit of 9.5 percent of GDP in FY20 and 8.2 percent in FY21, which would increase the public debt-to-GDP ratio to 89 percent. The government's FY21 budget, which anticipates a 28 percent increase in tax revenues without new taxes, is seen as overly ambitious by Fitch, especially given the economic slowdown. The government's revenue collection in FY20 was also lower than expected. Despite a Rs1.24 trillion stimulus package aimed at health spending and household support, the fiscal deficit widened. Fitch also noted that Pakistan's external situation remains fragile, but factors such as the G-20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative and potential IMF flexibility could provide some relief.

Large Scale Manufacturing sees major decline in April

19 Jun 2020  |  dawn.com
The article reports a significant decline in Pakistan's Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) in April, with a 41.89 percent drop compared to the previous year. Major sectors such as textiles, food, beverages, tobacco, and iron and steel products experienced substantial negative growth. The Oil Companies Advisory Committee reported declines in 10 out of 11 sectors. The only exception was the fertiliser sector, which saw a slight increase. The government's enforcement of a total lockdown due to COVID-19 led to production shutdowns and order cancellations. The LSM had already been struggling before the pandemic, partly due to reduced government spending following an agreement with the IMF and high interest rates imposed by the State Bank of Pakistan to control inflation.

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Pakistan faces funding challenges amid global economic downturn: Moody’s

31 Mar 2020  |  dawn.com
Moody's, a ratings agency, has expressed concerns about Pakistan's ability to raise funds to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The agency highlighted the challenges due to a global economic downturn, including a potential weakening in Pakistan's debt metrics and increased vulnerability due to tightening financing conditions. Moody's stress test indicated that Pakistan's debt could exceed 70% of GDP, with interest payments nearing 40% of government revenue. Despite the central bank's interest rate cuts, investor sentiment remains weak, exacerbated by record-high capital outflows from emerging markets, including $1.8 billion from Pakistan in the first quarter of 2020. The depreciation of the Pakistani rupee to a record low against the dollar has added to the pressures.

Foreign investors pull out over $1.38bn in March

20 Mar 2020  |  dawn.com
The article reports on the significant withdrawal of foreign investments from Pakistan's capital markets due to the coronavirus pandemic, with over $1.388 billion being pulled out in March. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) reduced interest rates by 75 basis points, which was seen as disappointing by the markets. The UK-based investors have notably reduced their positions in Pakistan's risk-free government papers. The SBP Governor, Reza Baqir, attributed the sell-off to external factors and assured that the SBP has adequate reserves to manage the outflow risks. The trend of outflows is consistent with other emerging markets, with India also experiencing significant withdrawals. The article also mentions the International Institute of Finance's report on the unprecedented scale of outflows from emerging markets, surpassing the global financial crisis levels.

Pakistan's current account deficit narrows 71pc in 8 months

19 Mar 2020  |  dawn.com
Pakistan's current account deficit has significantly decreased by 71.04% to $2.843 billion during the first eight months of the current fiscal year, compared to $9.817 billion in the same period last year, as reported by the State Bank of Pakistan. This reduction is attributed to a 26.06% decrease in the trade balance, with imports falling by 13.81% while exports only marginally increased by 3.62%. The government's measures such as market-based exchange rate and import curbs, along with the completion of the first phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, have contributed to this decline. Additionally, the drop in global crude oil prices is expected to further reduce the deficit, as oil is a significant part of Pakistan's import bill.

SBP cuts policy rate by just 75 basis points

18 Mar 2020  |  dawn.com
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has reduced its policy rate by 75 basis points to 12.5 percent, a move that has disappointed local industry leaders who were advocating for a 200 basis points cut. The SBP also introduced two new measures, the Temporary Economic Refinance Scheme (TERF) and Refinance Facility for Combating COVID-19 (RFCC), to provide subsidized credit to industry amidst the pandemic. SBP Governor Dr. Reza Baqir justified the decision based on inflation expectations and the preliminary data on the pandemic's economic effects. Industry representatives, including the Pakistan Business Council and former chairman of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association Gohar Ejaz, criticized the decision as insufficient. The SBP anticipates a decrease in GDP growth and a moderation in inflation due to the pandemic and global economic slowdown.

Rupee slides further as foreign investors pull out

13 Mar 2020  |  dawn.com
Foreign investors have withdrawn a significant portion of their investments from Pakistan's treasury bills due to the risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic. The State Bank of Pakistan reported net outflows of $606.54 million from T-bills in the first 12 days of March, with total divestment from capital markets reaching $671.37 million. The outflows have also affected Pakistan Investment Bonds and put pressure on the local currency, which has depreciated against the dollar. SBP Governor Reza Baqir has previously defended foreign investments in Pakistan's debt market. The rupee's decline is part of a broader trend in emerging markets, where investors have pulled out $30 billion over the last month and a half.

Central government debt swells by Rs1.210tr

11 Mar 2020  |  dawn.com
The article reports on the increase in Pakistan's central government debt during the first seven months of the current fiscal year, which rose by Rs1.210 trillion to Rs32.997 trillion. This increase is attributed to a significant rise in funds raised through Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) auctions, with a 13% jump in PIBs outstanding debt. Domestic debt also saw a 10% increase, while external debt rose by 1%. The banking sector's investment to deposit ratio surged by 59%, with banks investing heavily in government papers due to high interest rates. However, the banking sector's advances showed minimal growth, with a 1% increase, as banks are cautious about non-performing loans in a high interest rate environment.

Pakistan’s capital markets and the foreign inflow conundrum

09 Feb 2020  |  dawn.com
The article discusses the current state of Pakistan's capital markets, highlighting the high interest rates, short-term macroeconomic stabilization, and exchange rate stability that are attracting foreign investments, particularly in T-bills. However, analysts are concerned about the sustainability of these inflows and the central bank's ability to maintain them once interest rates drop. JP Morgan's Saad Siddiqui was interviewed to address these concerns. He believes that while there are risks, such as potential currency depreciation, the inflows are not yet at a level that poses significant risk. He also notes that foreign investments in T-bills can be a starting point for structural reform in Pakistan's approach to financing its current account deficit. The article also touches on the reasons JP Morgan recommends buying six-month rupee T-bills and the potential risks of capital inflows.

Pakistan's IT and telecom exports surge

04 Feb 2020  |  dawn.com
Pakistan has seen a significant increase in its telecommunication, computer, and information services exports, which have risen by 18.5% to $517 million in the first seven months of the current fiscal year. The growth is largely attributed to software consultancy services and computer software exports. P@SHA Chairman Shahzad Shahid highlighted the impressive growth of the IT and ITeS sector, which is outpacing the country's overall export growth. The IT sector has the potential to become a $10 billion industry and create over a million jobs within five years with the right government policies. Pakistan's young population and status as a top destination for freelance work position it to become a leading ICT exporter. The country's overall services exports also increased by 3% to $2.165 billion in the first five months of the fiscal year.

Pakistan needs $234.5bn for SDGs by 2030: SC report

28 Jan 2020  |  dawn.com
Standard Chartered bank released a report titled 'Opportunity 2030: The Standard Chartered SDG Investment Map' which outlines the investment needed in Pakistan to achieve three sustainable development goals by 2030. The report estimates that Pakistan requires an investment of $234.5 billion in power, digital access, transport, and clean water and sanitation. It identifies significant opportunities for private-sector investment, particularly in the power sector, where $44.7 billion is needed to provide universal electricity access. The report also notes the potential for private investment in digital infrastructure, transport, and water and sanitation services. Additionally, it acknowledges the Pakistani government's efforts through programmes like Ehsaas, Clean and Green Pakistan, and Recharge Pakistan.

Environment, climate risks top global economy concerns: WEF survey

26 Jan 2020  |  dawn.com
The World Economic Forum's Global Risks Perception Survey 2019-20, as reported by Dawn, indicates that the top five long-term risks to the global economy are all related to the environment and climate. These include extreme heat waves, ecosystem destruction, pollution's health impacts, water crises, and uncontrollable fires. The upcoming decade is being termed as 'the decade of sustainability,' with a focus on the urgent need for environmental, social, and corporate governance integration. The International Institute of Finance emphasizes the necessity of collaboration and better ESG data to address these issues. The article also discusses the challenges and slow progress in transitioning to renewable energy, the debate over nuclear power's role in the EU's Green Deal, and the need for coordinated action to mitigate risks and build resilience.

Foreign direct investment surges by 68pc

17 Jan 2020  |  dawn.com
The article reports a significant increase in Pakistan's foreign direct investment (FDI) during the first half of the fiscal year, with a 68.3% rise to $1.34 billion compared to the previous year. The growth is attributed to investments in the telecommunication, power, and electrical machinery sectors, with China and Norway being the top investors. A notable investment from Malta was also mentioned. The article highlights a substantial one-off payment by telecom companies for licence renewal, which contributed to the FDI increase. However, there was a net outflow of foreign investment in December 2019 due to outflows in debt securities. The State Bank of Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves reached a 21-month high, with an increase in the central bank's reserves and a slight decrease in commercial banks' reserves.

Consumers fear weaker economy; Ipsos survey finds

15 Jan 2020  |  dawn.com
A survey conducted by Ipsos, a market research firm, indicates a negative sentiment among Pakistani consumers regarding the direction of the country's economy. The survey, which included 2,900 participants from both rural and urban areas, found that 79% of respondents were pessimistic about the local and national economic outlook. Consumers are concerned about inflation, job security, and additional taxes. Many have become less comfortable making both basic and major purchases and feel their financial situation is bad. Pakistan's investment index is the lowest among emerging markets surveyed by Ipsos, and the country's overall national index ranking is also at the bottom. High inflation and the impact of a $6 billion IMF bailout have contributed to the bleak outlook. The survey reflects a broader consensus among research firms predicting a challenging economic environment for Pakistan.

Citibank Pakistan endorses government's economic policies

10 Dec 2019  |  dawn.com
Citibank Pakistan's senior management, including Managing Director Nadeem Lodhi, expressed strong support for the government's economic policies during a media round-table in Karachi. They praised the government's efforts to improve the tax-to-GDP ratio and the shift to a market-based exchange rate, which they believe are restoring investor confidence. Despite acknowledging the disruptive impacts of these policies, such as the challenges in broadening the tax base, the team emphasized the importance of staying the course. Lodhi highlighted the bank's significant investment in government securities and the necessity of high interest rates due to inflation. The team also downplayed the risks associated with Pakistan's grey listing by the FATF, noting progress in compliance and a non-material impact on their operations. They also discussed the influx of foreign investment in short-term government debt, particularly from the UK and US, and the potential for this to catalyze economic activity.

Trade deficit narrows as exports continue to rise

03 Dec 2019  |  dawn.com
Pakistan's trade deficit has been decreasing, with significant declines noted in the July-November period compared to the previous fiscal year. Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood highlighted the reduction in trade deficit and the increase in exports as positive outcomes of the government's policies. The country saw a current account surplus for the first time in over four years in October. Moody's has also revised Pakistan's outlook from 'Negative' to 'Stable'. The decline in imports and the increase in exports, particularly in November, are seen as contributing factors to the improvement in Pakistan's balance of payments and economic stabilization. The second phase of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement is expected to further boost Pakistan's exports.

Pakistan among top 10 economies improving business climate: Fitch

02 Nov 2019  |  dawn.com
Fitch Ratings released a report recognizing Pakistan as one of the top 10 economies that have shown significant improvement in the business climate over the past year. The report highlights the government's efforts to reduce the current account deficit and manage external financing needs. Despite the progress, Fitch points out challenges such as meeting external debt obligations, particularly those arising from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and the rising cost of external debt servicing which impacts the government's ability to invest in poverty alleviation and development. The report also mentions Pakistan's $6 billion IMF programme aimed at economic reforms, while noting the political challenges and historical difficulties in adhering to IMF conditions.

Foreign direct investment plummets by 58.4pc

19 Sep 2019  |  dawn.com
The article reports a significant decline in foreign direct investment (FDI) in Pakistan, with a 58.4% drop in the first two months of the fiscal year. The FDI fell to $156.7 million, with a notable decrease in inflows from China following the completion of the first phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Despite improvements in energy and security, the government has struggled to attract investments. The United Kingdom and UAE are among the top investors. The oil and gas sector attracted the most FDI. Conversely, Foreign Portfolio Investment saw a substantial increase. The government faces challenges in balancing payments and boosting exports, despite measures to curb imports and a local currency depreciation.

Stock market remains dull despite Eid holidays

17 Aug 2019  |  dawn.com
On Friday, the Karachi stock market experienced a decline, with the KSE-100 index dropping 664 points to close at 28,764. This downturn occurred despite a break for Eid holidays and was attributed to negative economic news and border tensions. Local institutional support was lacking, with insurance companies, mutual funds, and banks leading the sell-off. Foreign firms, however, increased their positions. Trading volume was down 15 percent, while traded value increased by 22 percent. Oil and gas exploration, fertilisers, commercial banks, and cement sectors were the biggest losers, while Pakistan Petroleum, Millat Tractors, Lucky Cement, Services Industries, and Pakistan Oilfields saw significant declines. Conversely, ISL and NCL had positive contributions, with expectations of favorable results for ISL and share buyback news for NCL.

Bears dominate stock market as index plunges

11 Aug 2019  |  dawn.com
The article discusses the significant decline in Pakistan's stock market during the past week, with the index dropping by 2,237 points due to ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, the arrest of former finance minister Miftah Ismail, and disappointing corporate results. The IMF Resident Chief Teresa Daban Sanchez warned of risks to Pakistan's financial stability, including the potential impact of remaining on the FATF grey list. Foreign investors sold off shares, particularly in commercial banks and oil and gas exploration, while local individuals and financials also engaged in major selling. Despite the downturn, experts suggest that the upcoming Eid holidays may provide a respite for investors, and there is potential for market recovery due to attractive valuations.

KSE-100 continues to bleed amid political, economic woes

10 Aug 2019  |  dawn.com
The KSE-100 index in Karachi experienced its seventh consecutive session of decline, closing with a loss of 309 points. The downturn was attributed to a lack of positive market triggers, political uncertainty, tensions over Kashmir, and fears of Pakistan's potential downgrade in the MSCI index. Trading volume and value both decreased, with significant contributions from Maple Leaf Cement Factory, Engro Polymer, TRG Pakistan, Wordcall Telecom, and United Bank Ltd. Mutual funds and foreign investors were net sellers. Major losses were seen in the banking, oil and gas exploration, and fertilizer sectors, while Nishat Chunian Ltd saw gains after announcing a buyback.

KSE-100 plummets amid political unrest and global trade tensions

09 Aug 2019  |  dawn.com
The KSE-100 index in Karachi experienced a significant drop of 539 points on Thursday, closing at 29,783, which is below the critical level of 30,000. This decline was influenced by political tensions surrounding the Kashmir issue and the arrest of PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif. Energy stocks were particularly hard hit, with OGDC, Pakistan Petroleum Ltd, and Pakistan Oilfields Ltd seeing declines in their share prices due to a fall in international oil prices caused by the US-China trade war. Other sectors such as banking, power, cement, fertiliser, and food also suffered losses. Despite local investors selling off, foreign investors ended the day with net purchases. The trading volume increased significantly, with the cement sector leading in shares traded.

Banks bid Rs2.3tr, but huddle near three-month tenor

18 Jul 2019  |  dawn.com
Following the State Bank's decision to raise the key policy discount rate by one percentage point, Pakistan's government debt market saw significant activity. In a Treasury bill auction aiming to raise Rs600 billion, the government received bids totaling Rs2.326 trillion, predominantly for three-month tenors. Banks showed a cautious approach, with most bids placed on the shortest tenure despite the central bank's assurance that interest rates and the exchange rate have been adjusted to address imbalances. The cut-off yields increased in line with the rate hike, with three-month papers at 13.66%, and six- and 12-month papers at 13.85% and 14.02%, respectively. The market behavior suggests banks are anticipating further rate hikes and are therefore reluctant to engage in longer tenor government papers.

Pakistan's export slump continues amid sectoral downturn

02 Jul 2019  |  dawn.com
The article reports on the continued decline of Pakistan's exports, particularly in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, as per data from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. Despite a devaluation of the Pakistani rupee, the country's exports in the first 11 months of the fiscal year decreased slightly compared to the previous year. The government's ambitious export targets for FY19 were not met, and various sectors such as food, textile, and manufacturing saw negative growth. However, the petroleum sector showed a significant increase, which helped mitigate the overall decline. The article also discusses the potential impact of new government measures, including taxes and wage increases, on the textile sector's cost of doing business, with insights from BIPLS research.

Widening tax base, facilitating exporters vital for growth: SBP chief

22 Jun 2019  |  dawn.com
State Bank of Pakistan Governor Reza Baqir discussed Pakistan's economic situation in an interview with Dawn. He highlighted the country's move towards a market-based exchange rate, the central bank's role in monitoring currency markets, and the recent staff-level agreement with the IMF for a $6 billion loan. Baqir expressed confidence in the stability of Pakistan's economy following measures to address fiscal and current account deficits. He also mentioned the government's compliance with IMF's 'prior actions' and the expected decrease in reliance on the SBP for deficit financing due to the IMF agreement. The budget for 2019-20 aligns with the strategy for macroeconomic stability, despite concerns about inflation and the impact of borrowing from the central bank.

Foreign investment halves to $1.4bn

22 May 2019  |  dawn.com
Pakistan's current account deficit (CAD) has decreased by 27% to $11.586 billion in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year, compared to $15.864 billion in the same period last year, as reported by the State Bank of Pakistan. This reduction is attributed to a 5% decrease in imports and a $1.4 billion increase in workers' remittances. Despite this, the government has struggled to manage the CAD, leading to a reduction in foreign exchange reserves and necessitating an IMF bailout agreement for $6 billion. The IMF deal is expected to bring additional external financing but comes with conditions such as loan rollovers and price hikes. Foreign direct investment (FDI) has also halved to $1.376 billion, with significant reductions in inflows from China, the UK, and the US. The government has taken measures to reduce imports and is seeking to reverse the decline in exports.

Spike in SBP policy rate

21 May 2019  |  dawn.com
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has raised its policy rate by 150 basis points to 12.25 percent, citing rising inflation and expectations of future inflation due to a weak rupee, widening fiscal deficit, and potential adjustments to utility tariffs. This decision aligns with a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $6 billion bailout package, which may impose strict conditions such as higher interest rates. Reza Baqir, an IMF-associated economist, has recently been appointed as the new SBP governor. The SBP's financing of the fiscal deficit has led to increased money printing and inflation. The government borrowed Rs4.8 trillion from the SBP, and the current account deficit has narrowed by $4 billion, although financing challenges persist. The rupee has depreciated significantly, and the SBP is monitoring the foreign exchange market to address volatility.

Fayaz's confirmed information

May 2020

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