. .

Apr 16 - 22, 2001

Textile sector needs $500m annual investment

Chairman All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, Abid Farooq, said on Thursday that country's textile sector needed an investment of $500 million annually to keep itself competitive in terms of technological upgradation.

"The Textile Vision-2005 provides for upgradation and BMR of the machinery in a sustained manner to help the country's textile sector to cope with challenges needed to be faced in the post-2004 period," he said, while speaking at a seminar on Italian Textile Technology, jointly organized by ACIMIT, the Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers Association and the Italian Trade Commission.

Abid Farooq said that the Pakistani textile sector carried out upgradation worth $500 million during the past year. Pakistan's import of textile machinery from Italy had been very negligible as compared to that from China and Japan.

He said that Italian textile manufacturing firms could make inroads into Pakistani market by entering into joint ventures with the local textile manufacturers, like they had already done in India.

The APTMA chairman said that the Italians could also promote their textile technology in Pakistan by installing their products at NCTE, Faisalabad.

Italian Trade Commissioner in Pakistan, Dr Emilio De Matteis said that Pakistan could benefit from the technologically advanced machinery already being exported to over a hundred countries.

While some Italian companies had been operating in this market since many years, he said their presence in Pakistan could be further increased in view of the advantages to both parties.

He hoped that the Italian Trade Commission's presence in Pakistan would lead to a concrete programme of activities and produce tangible results.

EoIs for sale of 5pc NBP shares invited

Pakistan's privatization body invited expressions of interest (EOI) on Saturday from underwriters for the listing of five per cent of the shares of state-owned National Bank of Pakistan on domestic bourses.

A Privatization Commission statement said the underwriters should submit EOIs by April 30 for the listing of about 18.65 million shares of the bank.

"Privatization commission has invited expression of interest for the sale/listing of five per cent government-owned shares in the National Bank of Pakistan, through an offer to the general public on the domestic stock exchanges," the statement said.

The wholly government-owned National Bank of Pakistan is one of the largest commercial banks in the country operating more than 1,400 branches. It also handles treasury transactions for the government as an agent to the State Bank, the central bank.

Conditional World Bank loan for gas pipelines

Pakistan will have to establish that its gas sector could meet country's power sector demand on a sustainable basis to qualify for the assistance from World Bank for the development of private sector gas pipelines, its learnt.

The four-member fact finding mission of the World Bank on Pakistan's gas pipelines started its deliberations on Tuesday. The mission comprising Marc Heitner, Waqar Haider, Rashid Aziz and Ralph G. Schwimmbeck held separate meetings with the Secretary Petroleum, Abdullah Yousaf; Director General Gas Khalid Naseem; Director General Petroleum Concessions Shahid Ahmad; Senior Joint Secretary Water and Power Engineer Syed Ibrahim Shah; and representative of Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) Katsumi Uchida.

The mission was told that the current gas requirement in the country's power sector is estimated at around 1200 MMCFD (million cubic feet per day). This included 300 MMCFD in Karachi Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) and 900 MMCFD in Wapda system. The demand in power sector is estimated to go up by two to three times in next 10 years, official sources told.

Paltry sum for Pakistan in US budget

South Asia gets short shrift in the $1.96 trillion US budget for 2002, the Bush administration's first, unveiled on Monday.

In the foreign economic aid section, the budget gives just $7 million to Pakistan, earmarked for the restoration of democratic institutions and building civil society, and a similar sum is allocated for India to help it promote judicial reform, rule of law and measures to control trafficking in women and forced labour.

NTL move to sell factory

National Tanneries Limited has summoned a shareholders' meeting on April 28, to pass a resolution, authorizing the chief executive of the company to sell the factory of the company located at Kot Lakhpat Lahore, "at the best possible negotiated price".

The decision by the management to put the factory on the selling block may come as a surprise to some of the investors. The company had swung back to a profit of Rs5.3m in the financial year to end-June 1995, from a loss of Rs1.1m the year earlier and perhaps there has been no return to the red since.

Home appliances maker

A Chinese home appliances manufacturer is investing $35 million to set up a plant at Raiwind Road for producing one million units of refrigerators, airconditioners and washing machines every year.

This was stated on Monday by Muhammad Ayub, a Dubai-based Pakistani, whose company is contributing half of the equity in the joint venture with the Chinese company, at a news conference.

SECP cancels membership

The Securities & Exchange Commission on Monday ordered the removal of Iftikhar Shaffi and Tanveer Malik from membership of Lahore Stock Exchange for alleged malpractice and manipulations that triggered the crash of securities' markets in Karachi and Lahore in May last year.