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Feb 28 - Mar 05, 2000

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

'HBL loan defaults up to Rs300bn'

The actual defaulted amount of Habib Bank Ltd (HBL) stands at Rs250 to Rs300bn and not Rsl46 billion as was being shown and reported time and again.

This was stated by Shaukat Tareen, the immediate past president of Habib Bank at a farewell reception given in his honour by president and members of FPCCI.

He said that bank's actual defaulted amount in 1997 was Rs250 to Rs300 billion but was shown as Rsl46 billion. Similarly, the balance sheet of the bank he said showed over the table a default of Rs42 billion although the actual amount of default was around Rs70 billion.

FCA-holders allowed to transfer accounts

The State Bank has allowed persons holding foreign currency accounts to transfer their accounts from their existing bank to another without involving movement of foreign currency.

The SBP issued a circular referring to the instructions contained in the earlier circular, in terms of which "there are restrictions on withdrawal in foreign currency from foreign currency accounts (FCAs) except as permitted vide circular issued subsequently."

NIT to float 2 funds

The National Investment Trust (NIT) will float two funds within next six months with a total outlay of Rs 250 to Rs 500 million, NIT Chairman and Managing Director of Istaqbal Mehdi said.

Speaking at a meeting of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), he said the government had in principle cleared the scheme and work on the scheme was almost in final stages likely and to be launched in three to six months.

BEL clients to get money back in phases

The management of Bankers Equity (BEL) would begin making payments to its depositors in phases, starting from next month, under a State Bank order.

The State Bank that took over BEL on irregularities committed by the previous management has asked the present management to start payments of principal amount to the depositors in phases.

An SBP announcement says that under the first phase BEL will pay 30 per cent of the principal amount to all such depositors whose total investments with BEL do not exceed Rs2 million.

Debt relief accords signed with UK, Finland and Canada

Pakistan inked two debt relief accords with the UK and Finland for the rescheduling of debt $3.7 million and $4.604 million.

Signing debt relief pacts with the UK and Finland, Pakistan has completed agreement inking process with 16 countries out of total 18 states.

Debt rescheduling accords with Japan and Switzerland, worth over $800 million, are still to be signed by the current deadline expiring on Feb 29.

Under the agreement signed between government of Pakistan and the United Kingdom debt serwite payments of $3.7 million, due during the period from July 1, 1998, to Dec 31, 2000, on loans contracted up to Sept 30, 1997, have been consolidated and rescheduled for repayment in 30 semi-annual instalments, commencing from July 1, 2003.

Under the agreement, signed with Finland, debt service payments of $4.604 million, due during the period from July 1, 1998, to Dec 31, 2000, on loans contracted up to Sept 30, 1997, have been consolidated and rescheduled for repayment in 30 semi-annual instalments, commencing from July 1, 2003.

The instalments under the rescheduling pact would be repaid at interest rate of 0.55 per cent exceeding six-month Libor for US dollar.

Canada has consolidated and rescheduled Pakistan's $27.342 million loans as per the agreed minute of the Paris Club signed on Jan 30 last year.

Under this agreement, debt service payments of Canadian $40.370 million, equivalent to US $27.342 million, due during the period from July 1,1998, to Dec 31, 2000, on loans contracted up to Sept 30, 1997, have been consolidated and rescheduled, free of interest, for repayment in 20 semi-annual instalments beginning on July 1, 2010.

Saudi team to hold talks

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are to discuss rescheduling of debts shortly. Informed sources indicate a delegation of Saudi Industrial Development Fund, the Saudi agency which provides loans to various countries, is likely to visit Pakistan shortly to discuss this issue.

The sources indicate the rescheduling of the Saudi loans to Pakistan is to be discussed during the forthcoming visit of the Saudi delegation to Pakistan.

PIF stock up

The Pakistan Investment Fund Inc. managed by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Investment Management, was up 48.8 percent in terms of dollars in 1999 because of improved performance at the Karachi Stock Exchange.

Nadeem Naqvi, head of investment research at International Asset Management Company Ltd. adviser to the Pakistan Fund, says that the improved performance has been possible due not only to the significant rise in Pakistan stocks but also because of a more active management stance in asset allocation, greater sector rotation and increased emphasis on market timing than previously. "We started 1999 with around 10 percent cash and ended the year with less 5 percent cash holdings", he said.

Major banks gear up for financing BMR projects

Five major banks are drawing up and executing plans to increase BMR project financing particularly in textile sector that is showing signs of recovery on low cotton prices and reduced cost of borrowing.

Senior executives of three state-run and two partly-privatized banks say they expect to make liberal financing im Balancing, Modernising and Rehabilitation projects this year and in years to come.

Comstech may get $0.82m

Organization of Islamic Conference standing committee on scientific and technological cooperation (Comstech) will receive $820,000, biannually from the member countries to carry out its projects, sources said here on Monday.

Talking to APP, they said about $85,000 had so far been received from Saudi Arabia and Malaysia as the funds for Comstech were raised and the present bi-annul includes years 2000 and 2001.