PNSC FEATURES IN GLOBAL SHIPPING
Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC), is a National Flag Carrier enjoys a global presence in the shipping world with a fleet of nine (9) ships. It undertakes business operations in an internationally competitive environment, competes even for transportation of national imports and exports and earns most needed foreign exchange for Pakistan. PNSC fleet is a mix of double hull Aframax tankers, Panamax, Supramax, Handymax and Handysize bulk carriers, all of modern vintage, having a total deadweight carrying capacity of 681,806 metric tons. PNSC transports all types of dry and liquid bulk cargoes on several geographical routes covering almost entire world.
Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has granted an Entity Ratings of Long Term ‘AA’ to Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC) in February, 2017. This rating has been raised from PNSC’s previous entity ratings of Long Term ‘AA-‘in 2016. The short-term ratings given to PNSC this year was ‘A1+’, while its 2016 short term ratings was also A1+. PNSC’s Outlook has also remained constant at ‘Stable’.
As per PACRA’s report, the ratings reflect PNSC’s strong ownership – majority owned by Government of Pakistan and its strategic significance as the country’s flag carrier. On a stand-alone basis, PNSC’s business profile has gained significant strength in recent years and exhibited by continuous improvement in business margins on account of efficient fleet utilization, better pricing strategy and cost management measures taken by the management.
Ministry of Ports and Shipping has granted first ever license to PNSC to operate ferry service on domestic and international routes. This license will make the PNSC capable to facilitate passengers on both domestic and international voyages through the ferry ships. It will also pave way and open new avenues in shipping sector.
PAKISTAN’S LIQUID FOREIGN RESERVES POSITION
The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at US$22,050.2 million on 17 March 2017.
The break-up of the foreign reserves position is as under:-
i) Foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan: US$16,960.5 million
ii) Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks: US$5,089.7 million
iii) Total liquid foreign reserves: US$22,050.2 million
During the week ending 17 March 2017, SBP’s reserves decreased by US$278 million to US$16,961 million, on account of external debt servicing.
STREET LIGHTING THAT IS FRIENDLY TO MIGRATING BIRDS
Philips Lighting (Euronext Amsterdam ticker: LIGHT), a global leader in lighting, today announced a connected LED street lighting project with a difference.
The lighting company will equip the picturesque island of Ameland, in the Netherlands, with energy efficient LED street lighting and Philips ClearSky, a light spectrum specially designed to be friendly to migrating birds. The new lighting infrastructure represents a major milestone in helping Ameland achieve its ambitious sustainability goals by saving energy and reducing light pollution.
Ameland, one of the Netherlands’ northern most islands, supports the Dark Sky World Heritage Wadden Sea Region UNESCO program1. Its new street lights incorporate Philips ClearSky technology which emits a subtle blue-green light that improves the ability of humans to judge perception at night whilst being friendly to birds and nocturnal animals.
“Regular white light can disorientate birds and affect their internal compass. Philips ClearSky technology, does not interfere with birds’ biological systems and so helps them to arrive safely at their roosts,” explained Maurice Donners, Senior Scientist Lighting Research at Philips Lighting
The energy efficient LED street lights that will be installed in the residential areas are wirelessly connected to a Philips CityTouch lighting management system. The system enables individual light points to be monitored and controlled remotely, saving maintenance costs and up to 70% of energy consumption. At the beachfront, the Philips ClearSky lighting incorporates Philips LumiMotion sensors that detect human motion. When no activity is detected, the lighting automatically dims to a level equaling moonlight, protecting darkness and limiting the impact of artificial light for waders, grassland and migratory birds.
“By installing connected LED street lighting on Ameland, we are taking the next crucial step in achieving our sustainability goals for 2020. Furthermore, it supports the ‘Dark Sky World Heritage Wadden Sea Region’ program by helping us to address levels of light pollution and preserve bird wildlife and the environment,” says Nico Oud, Alderman of Sustainability of Ameland.
“Together with the municipality, the covenant partners of the Sustainable Ameland Agreement2 and Ameland’s residents, we are helping to create a smart island and preserve a rich cultural and environmental heritage with our connected LED technology,” said Richard Boerop, Account Manager at Philips Lighting
1 The Dark Sky World Heritage Wadden Sea Region program is set up to reduce light pollution on Ameland and protect darkness. For more information please visit: http://www.waddensea-worldheritage.org/DarkSky
2 Philips Lighting, GasTerra and NAM are covenant partners of the Sustainable Ameland Agreement. By signing this agreement, all parties are committed to working together and experimenting on sustainable energy innovation on the island of Ameland.
ATTOCK BRANCH OPENING BY KHUSHHALI MICROFINANCE BANK
A new branch was inaugurated by Khushhali Microfinance Bank Monday in Attock, for customer facilitation in the area. This new branch will allow residents of Attock and adjacent areas an easy access to finance for their financial needs.
President Khushhali Microfinance Bank, Ghalib Nishtar said: “Ghalib Nishtar, said that opportunity drives us and there is a huge untapped potential in the remote and northern markets.”
“Head of Retail at Khushhali Microfinance Bank, Amina Hassan, mentioned that competition is also one of the driving factors of this growth”.
According to a survey by the State Bank of Pakistan, 77% of the total population in Pakistan lack access to basic financial services like savings accounts and credit. Access to financial services enables people to invest in education, housing, and business opportunities. It also enhances the ability to respond to and recover from shocks like a poor harvest, health crisis, or natural disaster. Financial inclusion is a critical enabler for many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and closing the access gap can play a role in reducing extreme poverty.