No hurdle seen in release
of IMF tranche
Pakistan and IMF opened a crucial round of negotiations on Thursday
with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar hoping that things would go smoothly and the tranche of
$280 million would be released as per schedule.
"I don't see any problems. You can't be 100 per cent sure about
anything. But I would expect things would be normal and we should be able to get the
tranche," Dar told Pakistani correspondents at the Dulles International Airport where
he arrived straight from Jeddah on Thursday morning.
The talks are likely to continue for three to four working days as Mr
Dar's high level team, including State Bank Governor Yaqub Khan and Finance Secretary
Khalid Javed, try to convince IMF officials about Pakistan's sincerity to meet the targets
set in their accord last year when the EFF/ESAF programme was restored.
"It is not a matter of targets. It is a matter of regular review
and there are always issues that are discussed and sorted out accordingly," Dar told
Dar conceded that the release of the tranche had been delayed but he
said this was not unusual. "The tranche was delayed last time as well but there is
nothing unusual in it. Because of the Kargil situation certainly the things were delayed.
The PM was not available at that time. I was busy in the budget. We were in the process of
budget from June 12 to 28 and then I had to announce the trade policy," he said.
He said the current talks with IMF were "pre-agreed". It was
also agreed that after the normal review, the final discussions, which is stage-II, will
be held in Washington. That is why I am here."
Greenback slips in inter-bank market
The US dollar shed 30 paisa on Thursday to close at Rs 51.15/51.25 for
spot buying and selling in inter-bank market from Rs 51.45/51.55 on Wednesday.
Senior bankers told that the dollar fell on low demands. They said the
decline in the demand had forced the greenback to shed 55 paisa during the last two days.
The dollar had closed at Rs 51.70/51.75 for spot buying and selling in inter-bank market
TFC rating assigned
The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has assigned a long-term
rating of A+ (single A plus) to the secured TFC issue of ICI(Pakistan) Ltd which was
issued in 1996 for a tenure of 5 years to partly finance its Pure Terephthalic Acid (PTA)
project, according to KSE notice.
In September, 1998, while assigning a rating of AA- (Double A minus),
PACRA had envisaged a further downgrade in case the proposed joint venture between DuPont
and ICI (Pakistan) did not materialise as planned.
The rating has been lowered mainly due to the increased financial risk
emanating from the projected inclining gearing, despite the rights issue of Rs.4.73 bn in
1999, and falling coverages.
Nishat Chunian Ltd has improved its pretax profit by 36.59% to Rs
42.539 million during the first half of its current financial year ended March 31, 1999,
compared to Rs31.143 million in the corresponding period last year.
National Bank enforces revised tariff
State-run National Bank has started charging 0.40 per cent commission
from July 1 on import letters of credit not exceeding Rs 15 million. The minimum
commission being charged is Rs 500.
Up to June 30 NBP was charging 0.40 per cent commission on the import
LCs not exceeding Rs 50 million: the minimum commission was the same i.e. Rs 500. The
change in the commission is a part of the new tariff effective from July 1. Like all other
banks NBP too revises its tariff every six months.
Rs278m credit facility to Bank of Khyber
The NWFP government would provide a subsidiary credit line of Rs 278 m
to Bank of Khyber (BoK) for the extension of rural micro finance services in Malakand
division, an official handout said.
The NWFP would extend the facility to the bank under the Asian
Development Bank funded Malakand Rural Development Project.
An agreement to this effect was inked by representatives of the two
sides at a ceremony held here on Wednesday.
Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has maintained the ratings of Pak
Arab Refinery Co Ltd (PARCO at AAA (Triple A) and A1+ (A One Plus) respectively.
These ratings denote the lowest expectation of credit risk emanating
from the company's exceptionally strong capacity to service its obligations on a timely
basis. These are applicable to the senior secured creditors of the company, said a Press
release issued by PACRA.
$125m ADB tranche on Sept 30
Pakistan is likely to receive second tranche of $125 million from the
Asian Development Bank (ADB) by Sept 30, under the Capital Market Loan Programme (CMLP),
informed sources said on Tuesday.
The mission of the ADB visited Pakistan from July 12 to 17 to have a
programme review for the release of the second tranche of the CMLP loan. The ADB had
committed $250 million for Pakistan for its capital market reforms, out of which, the
first tranche of $125 million was disbursed early last year.