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Pakistan's economy has been the centre of attention for several months with inflation readings, hike in interest rates, stock market movement, and rupee depreciation grabbing the headlines.

However, on Thursday, a lot more happened, and it was difficult even for us to keep track.

To facilitate our readers, Business Recorder has compiled a list of all the major developments that it reported on June 2, 2022 — a day many will remember as the one that impacted them in some form or another.

The stories are not placed in any order, but aim to give you a complete rundown.


Govt increases petrol prices again

We will start with the big one.

Miftah Ismail appeared out of nowhere to announce that the government was increasing petrol prices again by a margin of Rs30 — identical to its previous move a week ago. This increase took the price of petrol to Rs209.86 and that of high speed diesel to Rs204.15.

Read the story here: Govt announces another Rs30 increase in petrol price

Following the development, motorists rushed to fuel pumps to refill tanks, but some reports suggested that stations were shut. The reason is anybody's guess.


Moody's downgrade and its impact

In the evening, Moody's Investors Service (Moody's) downgraded Pakistan’s outlook to negative from stable. It affirmed Government of Pakistan's B3 local and foreign currency issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings.

It said Pakistan's weak institutions and governance strength adds uncertainty around the future direction of macroeconomic policy, including whether the country will complete the current International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme and maintain a credible policy path that supports further financing

Read the complete story here: Moody's downgrades Pakistan's outlook to negative from stable

This development was seen as a major negative by experts who stated the impact will be felt in the bond markets as well.

Read the reaction here: Experts react as Moody's downgrades Pakistan's outlook to negative


NEPRA approves hike in power tariff by Rs7.91/unit

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) approved the increase of Rs7.91 per unit in the power tariff under its Multi-Year-Tariff for next fiscal year 2022-23.

Read the story here: NEPRA hikes electricity tariff by Rs7.91 per unit

This hike goes hand-in-hand with the gradual rolling back of energy subsidies, announced late in February, as Pakistan looks to meet conditions of the IMF to restart its bailout programme.


Not a good day for startups

After Airlift announced that it is slashing global headcount by 31%, other admissions came forward as well.

Truck It In, set up in August 2020, said it is “recalibrating its strategy” due to which some employees “will be moving on to solve other challenges”.

Just four months ago, the Karachi-based firm said it had raised $13 million in early-stage funding.

Read the story here: After reporting $13mn funding round in Feb, Truck It In announces 'severance packages'

Another tech-based company, Swvl, the Egypt-born, Dubai-based startup that entered the Pakistani mass transit market in 2019, also announced it is suspending its intra-city services in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Faisalabad starting from Friday June 3.

Read the story here: Swvl hits pause on intra-city rides in Pakistan, days after announcing global job cuts

If this wasn't enough, Careem Pakistan also said that it is suspending its food delivery business in Pakistan, as it looks to redirect efforts to its ride-hailing and delivery verticals.

Read the story here: Careem suspends food-delivery business in Pakistan over unfavourable economic conditions


SBP's reserves fall to critical level

In the midst of developments, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) released its foreign exchange reserves' data, like it does every Thursday.

According to its statement, foreign exchange reserves held by the SBP decreased by $366 million in the period between May 20 to May 27 to stand at $9.72 billion.

Read the story here: Alarm bells: SBP-held foreign currency reserves fall to $9.72bn

For context, this is less than two months of import cover, and raises further urgency on Pakistan's desperate financing needs.


Miftah shares some 'positive news'

Meanwhile, the finance minister took it upon himself to share some 'good news'.

He said the government has reached a refinancing agreement worth $2.3 billion with Chinese banks, a move that would ease pressure on the external front.

Read the story here: Miftah says $2.3bn refinancing agreement reached with Chinese banks


At the same time, oil prices in the international market were little changed after erasing early losses on Thursday after OPEC+ agreed to boost crude output to compensate for a drop in Russian production.

Read the story here: Oil little changed after OPEC+ agrees to boost output

Bear in mind that this update was of Thursday, and since then, prices would have moved as further developments happened.


There were several other developments, and some of them are listed below:

Fifth day of gain: Rupee appreciates to 197.59 against US dollar

KSE-100 drops 1.21% amid sharp increase in yields in secondary market

Fire at Karachi's departmental store still rages, nearby residents directed to evacuate

EU gives final approval to sanctions targeting Russian oil and Sberbank

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Furqan Jun 03, 2022 03:15pm
Good Roundup. This should be a daily feature. Thanks
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