Connect with us

Business

Nepra forms committee to probe major power outage

Published

on

Nepra forms committee to probe major power outage

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) on Saturday formed a five-member committee to probe the massive breakdown in the national grid on January 23 that triggered the worst electricity outage across the length and breadth of the country in months, paralyzing life and highlighting the weak infrastructure of the heavily indebted nation.

Sources privy to the development said that the committee was set up on the directives of the Standing Committee on Energy to investigate the reasons behind the power outage.

The committee will be headed by the Nepra advisor while three technical experts have also been made part of the committee, and the report will be submitted to the Nepra chairman within a month, added sources 

Business

As Nikkei soars, Japanese investors rush for the exits

Published

on

By

As Nikkei soars, Japanese investors rush for the exits

As foreigners pile into Japan’s steepest stock market rally in years, local investors have been furiously cashing out or even betting against what many see as the beginning of a long-overdue era of profitability and returns.

The Nikkei share average’s (.N225) closed out its best month in 2-1/2 years on Wednesday, riding a wave of foreign cash and optimism for corporate reform that has taken it to heights not seen since the country’s asset bubble burst three decades ago.

Yet Japanese investors have been heavy sellers. In April and May, domestic outflows totalled around 2 trillion yen ($14.81 billion) for individual investors and over 2.2 trillion yen for Japanese institutions.

While foreign investors are excited about the prospect of a new era of growth in corporate Japan, domestic investors are eager to catch any profits they can, sticking to a strategy born out of decades of fleeting rallies.

Advertisement

That means future gains may rely on foreigners, who are bullish but notoriously slow to act in size and wary of a market that’s been disappointing for a generation.

“It has been a trend that retail investors sell stocks at a peak. This time short-term investors sold stocks as they were cautious about the sharp gains of the Nikkei,” said Shoichi Arisawa, general manager of the investment research department at IwaiCosmo Securities.

“Long-term investors also sold stocks because they were saddled with losses after the Nikkei made a range-bound move for a long time.”

The country’s retail investors, who hold about 17% of domestic shares, are often net sellers in rising markets, according to strategists, looking to book their profits.

Rakuten Securities strategist Masayuki Kubota said domestic retail investors were the main driver of the market before the collapse of Japan’s bubble economy in 1990, while foreigners were net sellers.

Advertisement

“After the bubble burst, foreigners turned to net buyers and it has been like that for 30 years,” Kubota said.

BUY CHEAP, SELL PEAKS
The benchmark Nikkei and the broader Topix (.TOPX) have long frustrated local and overseas investors alike as companies focused on market share ahead of shareholder returns.

But the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s push for better corporate governance and headline-grabbing purchases from famed investor Warren Buffet have propelled the Nikkei to an 18% rise in 2023, making it Asia’s best performing stock market.

“I sold some (when the Nikkei hit a 33-year peak last month) to lock in profits but kept most of them. I even bought some on the dip,” said Ohara, a Tokyo-based investor in his early 30s who only provided his last name.

Ohara said he would sell some of his stocks if the yen strengthened but was looking to add to his portfolio and expects Nikkei to rise further.

Advertisement

Others seem to be actively betting against the tide.

Nomura’s Next Funds Nikkei 225 Double Inverse Index ETF (1357.T) has been popular with individual Japanese speculators in the past and has been in demand this year.

The fund is designed to pay investors two times the opposite of the Nikkei’s daily return, by taking short positions in Nikkei futures.

The fund has seen inflows of nearly $1 billion in the past two months, according to Refinitiv Lipper data, with $579 million in inflows in April the biggest since November 2020.

While domestic and foreign investors are at the opposite ends of the trade, large investors have so far sat out the rally on worries that Nikkei will yet again disappoint and the uncertainty over the Bank of Japan policy outlook.

Advertisement

Analysts polled by Reuters last week expect the benchmark index to return to the psychologically key 30,000 level by year-end, with responses varying widely, revealing a deep split over the Nikkei’s outlook.

A Tokyo-based lawyer in his 60s, who asked not to be named, said Nikkei’s sudden rally was a signal to get out. “I would think that investing in bonds might be better under this environment.”

Continue Reading

Business

YoY: Sindh Revenue Board collection surges 28pc to Rs18bn in May

Published

on

By

YoY: Sindh Revenue Board collection surges 28pc to Rs18bn in May

The Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) collected 28.2 per cent more revenue (R18.01 billion) in May 2023 as compared to Rs14.05bn collected in the corresponding month of 2022, official statistics show.

The Board collected Rs161.3bn in the first 11 months of FY23 as compared to the collection of Rs131.8bn during the same period of last fiscal, posting a revenue growth of 22.4pc Year-on-Year (YoY.

“The SRB accomplished this remarkable performance despite the ongoing adverse effects of floods, overall economic slowdown and low GDP growth,” read a statement issued by the SRB.

“This success is attributed to the cooperation of the taxpayers, the continuous support from the Sindh government and the efforts of SRB officers and staff.”

Advertisement

According to Board, it remains focused to achieve the assigned revenue target of Rs180bn for the current financial year 2022-23.

Continue Reading

Business

Finance ministry cites higher inflation, external debt payments as risks

Published

on

By

Finance ministry cites higher inflation, external debt payments as risks

 The Ministry of Finance has again warned that Pakistan will continue facing multiple challenges mainly because of higher inflation and external debt repayments.

In its monthly economic update and outlook for May, the ministry, however, hoped that the inflation would peak at 34 percent to 36 per cent and start easing thanks to reduction in international commodity prices – thus absorbing the negative impact of currency depreciation.

The global commodity prices witnessed a 14 per cent reduction in the first quarter of 2023 and were roughly 30 per cent lower than their historic peak in June 2022 by March-end.

Moreover, the better crop outlook resulting from measures like Kissan Package and the recent reduction in POL prices would help achieve price stability.

Advertisement

However, the continued rise in prices during May is due to flood damages, disruptions in supply chains, devaluation brought by the macro-economic imbalances and political uncertainty.

Pakistan’s economy experienced 0.29 per cent provisional GDP growth in the fiscal year 2022-23 on account of many challenges emanating from the uncertain external and domestic economic environment, the ministry noted.

“The challenges triggered CPI inflation to remain on a higher trajectory despite monetary tightening primarily due to the rupee depreciation. External payments also remained burdened due to lesser foreign exchange inflows.”

According to the ministry, tax collection by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) by 16.1 per cent during the July-April period but remained less than the target.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © GLOBAL TIMES PAKISTAN