June 04 -
Oil, gas attracts $911 million investment: Usman
Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, Usman Aminuddin
has said that Pakistan has attracted $911 million foreign investment in the oil
and gas sector in the last 18 months while more investment is in the pipeline.
Speaking after performing the ground breaking ceremony of
White Oil Pipeline Project of Pak Arab Pipeline Company (PAPCO) at the Port
Qasim, he said the main thrust of the government was to promote foreign
investment to develop the oil and gas sector. He said the government also wants
to improve the existing infrastructure for movement of petroleum products. Usman
said his ministry is concerned at the inadequacy of the existing transportation
infrastructure against the backdrop of the growing oil demands of the upcountry
On white oil pipeline project, he said that China has
accepted National Bank's guarantees in place of government of Pakistan required
for the foreign currency credit of $120 million, which is being extended to the
contractors of CPECC by China Exim Bank. He said with the completion of this
pipeline, targeted for December 2, 2002, up to 12 million tons per year of
additional petroleum supplies would become available to the upcountry areas
which account for approximately 70 per cent of the country's total oil
He said the new pipeline would not only improve oil
transportation logistics but will also bring about savings in transportation
cost. The 817 km and 26 diameter underground pipeline commences from the FOTCO
Oil Jetty, terminating at Mahmoodkot, District Muzaffargarh.
The cost of the project is $480 million. The field has
already started pumping 60 million cubic feet of gas a day in the Sui Southern
Gas Company's system. He avoided a direct reply when the waiting newsmen asked
him whether the oil prices are being increased next month, but said that oil
prices have gone up in international market.
WB to give $350mn credit
The World Bank will disburse a $350 million Structural
Adjustment Credit on June 13, a senior Finance Ministry official said on
Tuesday. The additional secretary and spokesman for the ministry, Dr Waqar
Masood Khan, said the World Bank's executive board was meeting on June 12 to
formally approve the credit. "This will be an upfront single tranche to be
disbursed the very next day," he added.
SAC, said Dr Masood, was a highly concessional assistance for
Pakistan to help improve its balance-of-payments position.
The credit, he claimed, would be offered as the government
was ensuring good governance and an equitable use of public resources. The
credit would support reforms in various sectors.
ADB concerned at delay in KESC project
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has expressed serious
concern over a 30-month delay over a $80 million power project of Karachi
Electric Supply Corporation (KESC) even as Karachiite's continue to face
repeated power breakdowns.
Official sources told that an ADB mission which visited
Pakistan early this month had already declared KESC 6th Power (Sector) Project
as "problematic" after assessing its progress as "unsatisfactory
and partially satisfactory". In view of ADB's adverse comments, the federal
government has sought a detailed report on the subject.
The $40 million loan agreement on 220KV transmission line
ring around Karachi city was signed in 1994. The implementation on the project
has been termed as 'unsatisfactory' in view of the fact that it was 30 months
Rupee pales again
After remaining firm on Wednesday the rupee lost 20 paisa to
a US dollar in inter-bank market on Thursday. Bankers said the rupee finished
around 63.30/63.35 for ready buying and selling per dollar against the previous
close of 63.10/63.15. In the open market, the rupee closed at 65.70/65.80 for
spot buying and selling per dollar down 20 paisa overnight.
Reserves inch up
Pakistan's liquid foreign exchange reserves rose by $22
million to $2.320 billion on May 26 from $2.298 billion on May 19. According to
a State Bank statement issued on Thursday, total reserves included $1.256
billion held by the central bank and about $1.064 billion held by all other
The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has assigned
long-term rating of 'A' (single A) and short-term of 'A1' (A One) to Prime
Commercial Bank Ltd.
Muslim Commercial Bank has announced 7.5 per cent cash
dividend for its shareholders for the year ending on December 2000. MCB earned
an operating profit of Rs 2.48 billion in 2000 compared to Rs 1.5 billion in
SBP sells Rs 22bn T-bills
The State Bank on Wednesday sold Rs 4.5 billion three-month
T-bills at 11.23 per cent and Rs 10.13 billion six-month T-bills at 11.60 per
cent. The central bank also sold Rs 7.40 billion one-year T-bills at 12 per
cent. Thus SBP sold Rs 22 billion treasury bills to effectively suck in Rs 20.6
billion from a highly liquid money market.
The National Insurance Corporation (NIC) has showed a profit
of Rs2.004 billion in the year 2000 and has declared dividend of Rs400 million.
Car sales up
Except for tractors, buses and trucks, which have shown slump
in sales, all other segments of auto sector displayed a remarkable recovery.
Sale of cars have surged by 30 per cent, light commercial vehicles (LCVs) by 40
per cent and two-wheelers by 33 per cent in July-April 2000-2001.
Bank of Punjab earns
Bank of Punjab (BoP) has earned a pre-tax profit of Rs319.639
million during the FY2000 showing an increase of 156 per cent over the previous
ICI to issue TFC bonds
The ICI Pakistan on Tuesday said it would offer Rs2.5 billion
of term finance certificate (TFC) bonds for subscription in June. In a
statement, the company said up to Rs2 billion would be offered to institutions
before the initial public offering (IPO) while Rs500 million would be offered to
the general public.