Aug 27 - Sep 02 , 2001
Kuwait promises $300m aid
Kuwait has promised to extend $300 million to
Pakistan for undertaking some mega projects, including the greater
Karachi and Quetta water supply schemes.
The Kuwait Development Fund has informed the
government that $300 million would be extended shortly, according to
official sources on Tuesday.
The funding by Kuwait would also be used for the
Right Bank Outfall Drain project. Officials said that before Kuwait,
the governments of China, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Oman
had decided to offer $250 million, $200 million, $268 million and $100
"We have been offered a little over $1 billion
upfront funding by our friends to start mega development projects for
reviving the economy, especially by creating over 4 million new
jobs," said a finance ministry official.
He said it had happened for the first time in the
country that certain substantial foreign funding had been made
available before the execution of development projects. He said it
would take three to five years to complete about 20 mega-projects.
Besides, President Gen Pervez Musharraf has
directed the finance ministry and the planning commission to take out
funds from the slow-moving projects and inject them into the
Planning and Development Division Secretary
Mutawakkal Qazi told that foreign funding was being received in the
shape of grants and at a low interest rate.
Sources quoted the president as having directed the
authorities to ensure that development projects were executed in a
transparent manner. The president said he knew that 30 to 40 per cent
funds had been misused in the past and added this practice cannot be
allowed to continue.
The president also reportedly said that there had
been roughly a 10pc reduction corruption in the development projects
and that it was further being removed with the help of the army
Sharp cut in treasury bills yield
The State Bank on Wednesday lowered the cut- off
yield of treasury bills by 87-96 basis points in the third downward
revision during this fiscal year. The slashing of the yield helped the
central bank sell Rs17 billion worth of bills and drain out Rs16.5
billion from inter-bank market against a target of only Rs5.65
The cut in T-bills rate reinforces earlier SBP
signals that it is poised to follow a rather expansionary monetary
policy to kick-start the economy. The first signal came on July 18
when the central bank lowered its discount rate by one per cent to 13
per cent. Then on August 16 it reduced the discount rate by another
percentage point to 12 per cent and also cut the coupon rates of
long-term Pakistan Investment Bonds by up to one per cent. It is
against this background that the central bank went for another one per
cent cut in the yields of T-bills.
Saudi Pak to set up bank, insurance firm
Saudi Pak Industrial and Investment Company has
decided to set up an insurance company and a bank to expand its
operations in Pakistan, says its Chief Executive Muhammad Rashid Zahir.
"Both our insurance and bank projects will
materialize within this year, and the company will mobilize financing
for the projects from the banking system of the country."
"We have a good strength and hopefully we will successfully
mobilize funds specially for our new bank."
On Wednesday, Atlas Honda Limited unveiled
financial figures for the year ended June 30, 2001. These showed that
the company had earned pre-tax profit amounting to Rs202.9 million,
which stood twice the year ago before tax profit of Rs101.9 million.
Profit after tax amounted to Rs117.8 million, which also was up 97 per
cent over the previous year's taxed profit at Rs60.2 million.
Gold prices continue soaring
Gold prices continued to show rising trend,
touching all time high to Rs5,950 per 10 grams as compared to Rs5,940
per 10 grams on Tuesday. Gold prices have been under pressure since
August 15 following continuous price surge in the international
markets. A week back, the yellow metal was quoted at Rs5,928 per 10
Reckitt's sales up
Sales at Reckitt Benckiser showed an overall
increase of 19.1 per cent to Rs1,196.9 million for the first half of
the current year ended June 30, 2001 from Rs1,005.1 million in the
corresponding period last year.
IFAD to give $14m loan
The NWFP Barani Area Development Project, a US$98.6
million project, will receive US$14.4 million loan from the
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). According to a
Press release issued on Saturday by the UN Information Centre, a loan
agreement was signed on Thursday at the Fund's Headquarters in Rome,
by Mr Zafar Hilaly and Mr Lennart Bage, President of the Fund.
Shaukat for stable rupee
Foreign Exchange Advisor of State Bank Zafar Sheikh
informed Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz on Saturday that the rupee had
remained stable in July-August despite big outflows of foreign
exchange. He told the minister that the State Bank made bulky payments
in July and August but its effective use of interest rate tool and
open market operations kept the rupee almost stable, bankers told.
Micro credit banks
The government has decided to allow setting up of
private investment banks at national, provincial and district levels
to disburse small loans for alleviating poverty.
"The proposed private banks will work as micro
credit institutions for which an ordinance will be promulgated by the
president very soon", this was stated by Minister for Finance
Faysal Bank rated A+, A-1
JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited has upgraded
entity ratings of Faysal Bank Limited (FBL) to A+ (A Plus) for the
medium to long-term and A-1 (A One) for the short- term. The outlook
on these ratings is 'Stable', says a press release issued on Monday.