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Jan 15 - 21, 2001

ADB to release $40m tranche

Asian Development Bank will release first tranche of $40 million in January under Micro Finance Sector Development programme worth $150 million approved for Pakistan last month by the ADB board.

However, the release of firs t tranche of $30 million under Small and Medium Enterprises Trade Enhancement Facility (SMETEF) has been delayed as one of the conditionalities of ADB Trade Export Promotion Industry (TEPI) loan programme relating to legislation for the restructuring of Board of Investment was not met by the government so far, well-placed sources said on Monday.

The ADB disbursed $525 million against approval of loans worth $707 million during calendar 2000, sources stated adding, first tranche of $150 million has already been released under Energy Sector loan programme of $300 million.

For current calendar, the ADB has so far approved three loan programmes worth $600 million including Energy Sector loan programme of $300 million, Micro Finance Sector Development loan programme $ 150 million and Small and Medium Enterprises Trade Enhancement Facility programme worth $150 million, the sources maintained.

There are around 40 on-going projects including three fresh programme worth $600 million approved in December 2000 by the ADB board, sources continued.

Responding to a question, sources hoped that next tranche of $150 million under the Energy Sector loan programme would be released in November or December 2001 against the conditonalities of the programme.

Meanwhile, the sources said that Resident representative of of ADB, M.F.W. Zijevelt will retire by mid January, after serving for about 3 years in Pakistan.

Net Asset Value of NIT up by 56%

The Net Asset Value (NAV) of National Investment Trust Limited (NIT) Unit had jumped up by 56 per cent (including interim dividend), during the fiscal year ended December 31, 2000 , Chairman NIT Istaqbal Mehdi told the board which met on Tuesday to approve the accounts for the financial year 2000, a press release of the trust said.

NIT claimed that it had outperformed the Karachi share Bazaar by 16 per cent, for the KSE-100 index was calculated to have appreciated by 40 per cent during the year, "Thus, the unit-holders value was enhanced by Rs2 billion due to out-performance", NIT statement said.

For the latest year to end-December 2000, NIT posted net income of Rs1.89 billion, which represented growth of 103 per cent over the year-ago income. Income from capital gains showed a huge increase to Rs818 million, from Rs84 million the earlier year.

Dividend income also increased by 42.9 per cent to Rs1.4 billion, from Rs980 million the earlier year.

Banks inject Rs30bn in the system

The pressure on money market eased considerably on the injection of about Rs30 billion in the system, by the banks after their liquidity position improved in the backdrop of some positive steps taken by the central bank.

But the inter-bank call rates stood on the higher side owing to market net-off following the outflow of Rs13.5bn from the system. A leading money market analyst at the KASB & Co said, "the open market operations are the chief villain of the game".

After fluctuating between 12 to 13pc, the call rates finally settled at the higher side of the daily average at 13 per cent.

B.R.R. International Modaraba

For the year ended June 30, 2000, B.R.R. International Modaraba distributed Rs63 million in profit to the certificate holders at 13 per cent, which represented improvement over 11 per cent paid for each of the preceding three years. On the ruling market price of Rs6.30 for the certificate, the dividend yield (after accounting for withholding tax at 10 per cent) works out to an attractive 18 per cent.

Rupee gains against dollar

After falling sharply over the last couple of sessions, the rupee on Wednesday showed a measure of strength and was quoted higher by 10 paisa against the dollar in inter-bank dealings.

Moving within an extremely narrow range of 15 paisa, as the demand for dollar was not that aggressive, rupee finally settled at Rs58.70 and 59.20 for buying and selling in comparison to Rs58.80 and 59.30, a day earlier.

SBFC loan ceiling may be raised

The government will soon promulgate an ordinance aimed at enhancing credit ceiling of loans disbursed by Small Business Finance Corporation among small and medium enterprises.

"The credit limit is being enhanced as a part of the Institutional Capability Building programme of SBFC," Managing Director SBFC Qaisar Naseem told on Wednesday.

Special deposit condition to go

The State Bank of Pakistan is withdrawing, on Thursday, its requirement on all the scheduled banks to maintain with it a special deposit of two per cent of their total time and demand liabilities.

A circular issued by the SBP on Tuesday informed all the banks to continue to maintain with it an average balance of 5 per cent of its total time and demand liabilities in Pakistan worked out on weekly basis, provided that the amount shall not, at the close of business on any day, be less than 4 per cent of the total time and demand liabilities.

Fish harbour income doubles

The Karachi Fish Harbour's annual income has almost doubled to Rs70 million during the last one-and-a-half year or less, as a result of restructuring of the fisheries sector under the development strategy formulated by the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority in the first half of 1999.

Foreign IT investment

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Dr Attaur Rehman has said Pakistan has been made the hottest place for investment and foreign companies have invested Rs12 billion in the information technology sector.