Pakistan Credit Rating Agency has upgraded the long-term rating of
First International Investment Bank Ltd (Interbank) to single 'A'.
Its short term rating has been maintained at A1, says a press release
issued here on Thursday. It adds that these ratings, which apply to the senior unsecured
creditors of the bank, represent high credit quality and the capacity for timely payment
of the financial commitments.
Acting SECP chief
Tariq Iqbal, Commissioner (Securities), has taken charge as acting
Chairman of the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) following
retirement of Shamim Ahmed Khan.
Khan was the founder-Chairman of SECP after its inception on January 1,
1999. Prior to that he was Chairman of Corporate Law Authority (CLA) which ceased to exist
with the coming into being of SECP. Under the SECP Act, the Chairman and Commissioners are
appointed by the Government for an initial term of three years which is of course
World Bank to fund gas authority
The World Bank has agreed on the possibility of providing $500,000 loan
jointly to the Ministry of Petroleum and Law Division for the establishment and
implementation of Gas Regulatory Authority (GRA), official sources told.
The institutional development finance (IDF) loan, which will equally be
distributed between the Ministry of Petroleum and the Law Division and will be utilised
for developing policy cell and institutional development.
The idea of providing $ 500,000 IDF loan was started after Petroleum
Minister Usman Amin-ud-Din requested the bank for assistance in this regard.
SBP to issue guidelines for banks
The State Bank may issue certain guidelines to all the banks to cut
their cost of financial intermediation.
"The SBP may come out with guidelines for the banks aimed at
reducing their cost of financial intermediation," said a source close to
Other sources at SBP said the central bank is busy compiling data
relating to cost of financial intermediation of all banks. They said senior SBP officials
would analyse the historical data to see how banking sector reforms had helped banks in
reducing their cost of financial intermediation.
Govt may enact law to help lenders' take-over
The government may consider drafting a law for empowering financial
institutions to take over nonperforming listed companies. The number of such companies has
risen to 300.
This issue came up for discussion in a meeting called by Securities and
Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECAP) of experts and stake-holders for soliciting their
views on draft regulations for 'substantial acquisition of shares and takeover'
The representatives of the commission assured the participants that
government would consider enacting such a law which would strengthen financial
institutions in taking over of nonperforming listed companies.
The participants representing Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE), Overseas
Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI), Institute of Chartered Accountants and Management
of Pakistan (ICAMP), Institute of Cost Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP) and
FPCCI stressed upon the need for securing the interest of small stake-holders in the
process of taking over nonperforming companies.
The participants were informed that out of 300 listed (nonperforming)
companies only 15 have been revived.
On the assertion by a participant that 90 per cent of textile members
of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) as of last year remained
non-performing companies, experts suggested that such rules and regulations must be made
to provide complete checks and balances to monitor imprudent practices behind acquisition
Free trade policy on cotton likely to go
The federal government has decided to give up its four years' old free
trade policy for cotton from next picking season.
The government will procure the crop by fixing its support price like
other crops under its new policy expected to be announced by the chief executive next
Meanwhile, the agriculture ministry also expects to achieve farm growth
rate of 4 per cent against 0.35 per cent last year. These disclosures were made by the
four senior officials cotton commissioner Dr Zakir Hussain, two senior joint secretaries
Rashid Mahmood Ansari and Abdul Rauf Malik and agriculture development commissioner
SBP governor to strengthen banking sector
The Governor, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Dr. Ishrat Hussain, vowed
to do his best towards strengthening the banking sector in the country.
He was speaking as chief guest at a luncheon hosted by the Karachi
Bankers Club (KBC) at a local hotel.
The function was organized to welcome Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Zakir Hussain
and Amar Zafar, Presidents HBL and UBL respectively and to bid farewell to former State
Bank Governor Dr. Muhammad Yaqub and ex-Presidents of HBL and UBL, Shaukat Tarin and Zubyr
Dr. Ishrat called for concerted efforts to achieve the aim, in an
atmosphere of global competition.
Japan to raise social sector aid by 10-15pc
With the last disbursement to the Pakistani NGOs under the grass roots
assistance programme for the year 1999-2000, the Japanese officials announced to raise the
social sector aid to Pakistan by 10-15 per cent next year.
"We hope to extend 10 to 15 per cent more than what has been
disbursed this year" Nakagawa, head of the economic section at the Japanese embassy,
told reporters after signing ceremony of extension of 0.43 million dollars to the social
sector NGOs here at a hotel.
Japanese Ambassador Minoru Kobuta signed the agreements with 12 NGOs
extending aid to assist them in the implementation of their projects in the fields of
education, health and vocational training sectors.