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FINANCE

Mar 06 - 12, 2000

  1. International
  2. Finance
  3. Industry
  4. Policy
  5. Trade
  6. Gulf

Forex reserves at $1.536bn

Pakistan's liquid foreign exchange reserves stood at $1.536 billion on Feb 29. The amount included $322.5 million worth of foreign currency deposits the banks had placed with the State Bank during past eight months.

SBP injects Rsl.8bn

The State Bank on Thursday injected Rs 1.8 billion into inter-bank money market through one-week repo of treasury bills at 6 per cent. SBP said it had also received total offers worth Rs 6.6bn for the T-bills repo of which it accepted offers worth Rs 1.8bn and scrapped the rest.

Dividend

Gulf Commercial: Gulf Commercial Bank has decided to offer a cash dividend of 10 per cent or one rupee per share of the face value of Rs 10 for the year ended December 1999.

Knoll Pharma: Knoll Pharmaceuticals Limited declared a cash dividend of 200 per cent and bonus of 200 percent for the year ended December 31, 1999.

HBL financing for PTML

Habib Bank has decided to extend a financing facility of Rs 2 billion to a GSM cellular phone project of Pak Telecom Mobile Ltd. (PTML) which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd. (PTCL). The facility will be provided as a fixed term loan for seven years, says a press release.

Profits surge

Saudi Pak Industrial and Agriculture Investment has posted 86.6% hefty surge in profit to Rs 326.8 million in calendar 1999 from Rs 175.1 million in 1998, mirroring an increase by Rs 151.7 million.

Total income recorded an increase by 23.5 per cent to Rs 964.5 million from Rs 781.2 million in 1998, Chief of Saudi Pak Industrial and Agriculture Investment Company, Rashid Zahir said.

UBL, NBP cut internal lending rates

State-run National Bank and United Bank have cut internal lending and borrowing rates to drive their branches to lend more to their customers.

A senior executive of UBL said his bank had cut inter-branch lending and borrowing rates from 10 to 8 per cent. He said the new rates had become retrospectively effective from February 1.

It means UBL branches can now borrow funds from their treasury at 8 per cent instead of 10 per cent. If they have some excessive funds they can also lend the same to the treasury at 8 per cent instead of 10 per cent.

An executive of NBP said his bank had reduced internal lending and borrowing rates from 10.5 and 12.5 per cent to 10 and 12 per cent respectively. "Our branches can now lend to the treasury at 10 per cent and borrow from it at 12 per cent. Earlier they could lend to the treasury at 10.5 per cent and borrow from it at 12.5 per cent," he explained.

The two nationalized banks have reduced their internal lending and borrowing rates in the wake of the cuts they had made in their lending rates for customers in January this year.

The third nationalized bank i.e. Habib Bank adjusts internal lending and borrowing rates every month keeping in view the yield on Treasury Bills in inter-bank market. So it simply did not need to change its inter-branch lending and borrowing rates after it cut its lending rate for the customers from 18.25 to 16.80 per cent in January 2000.

Partly privatized bank Muslim Commercial Bank and Allied Bank have already revised their internal lending and borrowing rates downwards after slashing their lending rates for the customers in January. MCB has cut its internal lending and borrowing rates from 10.5 and 11.5 per cent to 9.5 and 10 per cent whereas ABL cut the same rates from 12 and 14 per cent to 10 and 12 per cent.

Banks place about $320m with SBP

The State Bank has kept unchanged the rates of return it would pay on foreign currency deposits placed with it in March.

SBP said it would pay 4.25 per cent on deposits of one week and 4.50 per cent on deposits of one month. The return on three month deposits would be 4.80 per cent. The rates are the same that remained in effect in February.

Senior bankers close to SBP said total placement of foreign currency deposits with SBP from June 1999 up to February 2000 stood around $320 million. They said this amount formed part of total liquid foreign exchange reserves of around $1.5 billion.

PICIC to buy private bank

The Pakistan Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation (PICIC) is on the lookout for purchasing a private commercial bank to augment its resource base and also to diversify its business.

Banking circles confirmed of negotiations underway between PICIC and at least three private banks, each of which has a capital base of Rs500 million or more.

ADBP recovers Rs l5bn

The Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan (ADBP) has recovered Rs.15 billion from the borrowers while loans worth Rs. 16 billion had been disbursed during the current financial year so far.

Korea reschedules $236.368m debt

Pakistan signed two separate agreements with Korea to reschedule $236.368 million worth of debt and to obtain $16 million loan for the procurement of grid station materials for the fifth STG project.

The first bilateral debt rescheduling agreement was signed by the representatives of Pakistan and Korea under which debt service payments of $236.368 million due during July 1, 1998 to December 31, 2000, on loans contracted up to September 1997 have been consolidated and rescheduled.

Overseas Development Aid (ODA) loans will carry interest rate of 3.5 per cent and repaid over a period of 10 years, starting from July 1, 2003, says a handout.