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Rural women to get small loans

The federal government has approved a plan to disburse small loans among women in backward districts through the Regional Development Finance Corporation.

The loan amount will range between Rs50,000 to Rs200,000 for a period of three years on 10 per cent mark-up.

The RDFC, according to official sources, has been asked to work out a detailed plan for disbursing credit in consultation with provincial governments and chambers of commerce and industry of different areas.

Govt borrows Rs2.276bn thru T-bills

The government on Wednesday borrowed Rs 2.276 billion from a surplus interbank money market through the sale of one-year treasury bills.

Senior bankers said the State Bank raised the amount for the government.

They said the auction of T-bills had generated total bids worth Rs 12.476 billion of which bids worth Rs 2.276 billion for one-year T-bills was accepted at a maximum yield of 10.49 per cent.

IDA to provide $90m for poverty alleviation

The International Development Agency has signed an agreement with Pakistan for contributing $90 million towards the establishment of Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), to which Islamabad is contributing $10 million. Another $7 million would come from the participating communities.

Economic Affairs Division Secretary Zaheer Sajjad and World Bank Resident Chief Sadiq Ahmed signed the agreement. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and visiting World Bank Vice-President Ms Meiko Nishimizu were present on the occasion.

London Club reschedules $877.3m debt: Dar

The London Club has eventually rescheduled Pakistan's commercial loans amounting to 877.30 minion dollars, envisaging extension of repayment dates of these loans by two to three years with interest rates ranging from LIBOR plus 1 per cent to 1.5 per cent.

"We have successfully concluded negotiations with the commercial creditors of the London Club for restructuring our remaining 877.30 million dollar loans on lower mark-up rate, declared the minister for finance and commerce.

The finance minister said the London Club has agreed that no payment of principal amount will be made till Dec 31, 2000 as was done by the Paris Club for rescheduling 3.3 billion dollar debts.

He pointed out that 877.3 million dollar loans included Trade Maintenance Facility of 512.30 million dollars, National Bank of Pakistan's Rolled Over Loans of 265 million dollars and Non-Trade Facility of 100 million dollars for National Bank of Pakistan (NBP).

Dar said two loans of Trade Maintenance Facility (TMF) amounting to 512.30 million dollars and NBP's Rolled Over Loans of 265 million dollars (total 777.30 million dollar) had been clubbed together because their repayment period and the interest rates were the same. Interest will be paid quarterly on these loans according to the following time-table: LIBOR plus 1 per cent up to June 30, 2000, LIBOR plus 1.25 per cent from July 1, 2000 up to June 30, 2001 and LIBOR plus 1.50 per cent from July 1,2001-up to June 30, 2002.

He said that Trade Maintenance Facility (TMF) of 512.30 million dollars had been offered by nine foreign banks and syndicates. And according to the details, M/S TAIC extended 50.50 million dollars to Pakistan State Oil (PSO), ANZ Grindlays 27.70 million dollars to PSO, ABC Islamic Bank (E.C) 39.10 million dollars to PSO, Chase/Indosuez, 40 million dollar s to PSO, ABN AMRO Bank N.V 150 million dollars to ministry of petroleum, Dubai Islamic Bank 25 million dollars to ministry of petroleum, Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain E.C. 100 million dollars to ministry of petroleum, ANZ Grindlays 30 million dollars to National Refinery Limited and Citibank offered 50 million dollars to Rice Export Corporation of Pakistan.

Pakistan bond firmer on debt accord

Pakistan's Eurobonds were firmer in London trading on Tuesday following news that Pakistan had reached agreement with private lenders over rescheduling $877.3 million of commercial debt.

Bond traders said the agreement demonstrated Pakistan's eagerness to differentiate between London Club commercial debt and its sovereign Eurobond debt, making the prospect of a Eurobond default less likely.

Wapda losing Rsl8bn a month

Water and Power Development Authority has been losing an estimated Rs 18 billion a month on account of transmission and distribution losses which have been shot up to over 26 per cent, said Wapda's annual report.

According to the 1997-98 report, Wapda has been losing 3,000 mw due to the dilapidated distribution network system and power theft. Each percentage loss, according to a study means a loss of one billion rupees in revenue.

SNGPL pre-tax profit rises

The sales of Sui Northern Gas Pipelines (SNGPL) Ltd grew slightly in 1998 by 150,269 hundred cubic meters (hm3) to 65,238,294 hm3 from 65,088,025 hm3 during 1997, says its annual report for the year ended June 30, 1998.

The company's pre-tax profits rose by Rs68.286 million to Rs713.084 million during 1998 despite the fact that the borrowing costs incurred were higher by Rs904.644 million while earning per share (EPS) stood at Rsl.117.

State Bank withdraws cut in SLR, CR

The State Bank on Saturday withdrew the 2 per cent cut in statutory liquid reserves (SLR) and 1.5 per cent cut in cash reserves (CR) of the banks announced on May 18, 1999—the day the rupee was floated.

The SBP issued two circulars which said that from July 12 the banks would maintain SLR at 15 per cent and CR at 5 per cent of total demand and time liabilities instead of 13 and 3.5 per cent respectively.