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.
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.
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
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.