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Feb 28 - Mar 05, 2000

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

SECP notifies draft rules

Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) notified draft rules for the creation of different kinds of shares in addition to ordinary (equity) shares in listed companies for eliciting public opinion.

At present, explained Abdul Rehman Qureshi, SECP Commissioner (Company Law), the companies can issue only equity shares in which the minority shareholders make investment on the basis of profit/ loss and have voting rights in the general meeting of a company's members.

The new rules are in the nature of an enabling provision to allow the companies to float shares offering different options and thus to attract investment, particularly foreign investment, on the basis of fixed rate of return with or without voting right.

EU terms oil, gas sector sell-off move timely

The heads of commercial and trade sections of the European Union missions in Islamabad have seen the proposed privatization of oil and gas sector as timely and positive in view of the present market trend. They also lauded the government's efforts for improving the investor's confidence through the proposed privatisation law.

During a presentation regarding the Privatisation Programme of Pakistan, the Chairman, Privatization Commission, Altaf M. Saleem, who was invited by the EU representatives here on Thursday said that Pakistan has embarked upon an investment friendly privatization programme and steps were under way to boost the investors confidence through the introduction of privatization law, which was being processed by the Ministry of Law.


The State Bank appointed board of directors in the Bankers Equity Limited has named Asif Jamil as the company's new managing director in place of Majeeduddin Khan, who has resigned.

Govt revives CCOP

The government revived the Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCOP), to accelerate the privatization process.

Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf gave the approval for replacing the Privatization Board of Pakistan and the Committee of the Privatization Board of Pakistan with Cabinet Committee on Privatization (CCOP).

The Cabinet Division also issued the notification for a 9-member CCOP to be headed by the Minister for Finance, Shaukat Aziz.

Commercial courts

Federal secretary commerce, Mirza Qamar Baig, has said that the commercial courts in Karachi and Lahore will start functioning soon and as a first step the names have been sent to the law ministry for approval.

New rules for CMA

The State Bank of Pakistan announced new rules to operate the Cash Management Account (CMA) by the investment banks.

According to a circular of State Bank, all investment banks have been advised to maintain individual customerwise records for all amounts received by it under the CMA from its customers and for all transactions entered into for them on their behalf.

All investment bank will execute proper agreements with its customers for availing of service under the CMA, the circular said.

SBP chief rules out devaluation

The State Bank Governor, Dr Ishrat Hussain, on Monday said that there was no reason to devalue the Pakistani currency in view of the current low inflation rate of three per cent.

Speaking to businessmen here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr Hussain said the devaluation of the rupee could push up the inflation.

Responding to a point raised by an exporter that the Pakistani exports of aroumd $2 billion to the European countries were suffering due to depreciation in European currencies against dollar, which demanded readjustment of the value of the rupee, he sympathized with the exporters but refused to oblige them because it could trigger serious problems for the economy.

He also rejected the idea of putting restrictions on imports to improve the balance of payments situation, saying it would raise inflation, leading to depreciation in the value of the currency.

Dr Hussain said: "We need to reduce consumption of (the imported goods), grow more and increase public and private investments for curtailing our foreign debt".

He said Pakistan needed about $2-2.5 billion every year to meet its obligations and servicing debt without rescheduling (and seeking fresh loans from abroad). He said the amount could be raised by increasing exports by $1 billion, remittances of Pakistanis working overseas by $800 million and doubling direct foreign investment to $1.1 billion or so.

The central bank chief said: "We have to have a national plan developed by our own people for reducing debt burden."

'China asks Clinton not to skip Pakistan'

China has reportedly advised the United States to include Pakistan in President Bill Clinton's rescheduled South Asian tour next month, Times of India reported.

Quoting diplomatic sources the paper said: "China has reportedly told deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott that Clinton should visit Pakistan if the US wants to see an end to tension in South Asia".

Ishrat calls for internet, online banking system

LAHORE: State Bank Governor Dr. Ishrat Hussain has urged the commercial banks to go for internet and online banking system in order to ensure efficient and smooth payment system. He said that this would not only help in documentation of the transactions but also reduce the expenditure incurred on the exercise.

He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the automated cheque clearing system introduced by the National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (NIFT) (Pvt) Limited here on Tuesday. NIFT has already launched this service successfully in Karachi.

The facility is a consortium of six major banks — National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank Limited, Muslim Commercial Bank, United Bank Limited, Allied Bank Limited, First Women Bank — and the private sector.