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 5. TRADE  6. GULF



Oct 08 - 14, 2001

Remittances down to $181m in 2 months

Overseas Pakistanis sent back home only $181.6 million in the first two months of this fiscal year i.e. July- August 2001 against $250.6 million during same period last year.

Official statistics show that home remittances fell largely due to a steep decline in the inflows from Kuwait. Pakistan had received $66.4 million from Kuwait in July-August 2000. But the amount fell to only $7.6 million in July-August 2001.

Top bankers said remittances from Kuwait fell this year because there was no lumpy payment to the affectees of the Kuwait-Iraq war of 1990s.

The statistics show that remittances from Saudi Arabia also fell from about $68 million in July-August 2000 to $48 million in July-August 2001. Bankers attributed the fall in the remittances from Saudi Arabia to the fact that Hundi wallas are more active there in the absence of the correspondents of Pakistani banks.

Remittances from the United Arab Emirates also fell from $45.6 million to $34.7 million ostensibly because most of the hundi wallas engaged in transferring money of overseas Pakistanis back home are based in Dubai.

In a sharp contrast to this falling trend the remittances from the United States rose from $18.8 million to $32.7 million that is reflective of the efforts made by Pakistani banks operating there in attracting home remittances.

Remittances from the United Kingdom and Sultanat-e-Oman remained almost unchanged at $13 million plus and $7 million plus respectively in July-August 2001.

Overseas Pakistanis in Bahrain and Germany also remitted back home almost the same amount of foreign exchange that they had remitted in a year ago period $4 million plus and $1.5 million plus respectively.

SBP makes modest cut in TBs yield

The State Bank on Wednesday made a modest cut in treasury bills yields signalling to the market that the State Bank wants to keep the interbank market liquid in the short term.

The SBP slashed the maximum yield by 18 basis points on three-month T bills. It also reduced the cut-off yield on six-month and one-year T bills by 12 bps and 7bps respectively. The new cut-off yield are 10pc for three months; 10.39pc for six months and 10.79pc for one year.

Although the move came a day after the Federal Reserve of the US cut its discount rate by half a percentage point, economists say the SBP rate-cut was not in response to the Fed action. "Pakistan is still not directly linked with international money market as its capital inflows are very small," said the State Bank Economic Advisor Dr Mushtaq A Khan.

Banks to get 1.63pc return (Box)

The State Bank said on Saturday it would pay banks and non-bank financial institutions 1.63 per cent annual return in October on the 20 per cent special cash reserves on their foreign currency deposits. The return fixed for September was 2.58 per cent.

The State Bank fixes the rate of return every month on the basis of the one-month LIBOR (London Inter-Bank Offered Rate) at the close of the last working day of the previous month.

Dollar gains further

The US dollar continued its upward journey in both the inter-bank as well as open currency market on Thursday. In the inter-bank market it closed at Rs62.70/ Rs62.75 for ready buying and selling up 18 paisa from the previous close of Rs62.52/Rs62.57. And in the kerb market it closed at Rs63.50/ Rs63.80 for spot buying and selling recording an overnight gain of 30 paisa.

Honda Atlas Cars

Honda Atlas Cars (Pakistan) Limited announced financial figures for the year ended June 30, 2001 on Thursday.

Sales in terms of value showed 28 per cent growth to Rs4,485 million, from a year ago sales valued at Rs3,507 million. Pre-tax profit improved by a marginal 1.7 per cent to Rs294.7 million, from Rs290.5 million, but due to the decline in effective tax rate to 30.6 per cent, from 34.1 per cent, the after tax profit could climb 6.8 per cent to Rs204.5 million, from Rs191.3 million the previous year.

CAA suffering losses

The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority has suffered half-a-million dollars revenue losses this month following the curtailment of flights over Pakistan space and landing and parking charges, due to discontinuation and reduction of scheduled flight operations by foreign airlines.

The CAA losses per week have been estimated to the tune of Rs33 million per week. These losses were the direct outcome of the situation in the wake of the Sept 11 events in the US.

Haroon Oils

Haroon Oils Limited posted pretax profit of Rs4.9 million for the year ended June 30, 2001, which replaced the loss of Rs10 million suffered the previous year.

The company announced financial figures at the stock exchange on Tuesday. After-tax profit for the year stood at Rs2.5 million, which compared with after-tax loss of Rs13.6 million the earlier year.

PSO, Shell raise furnace oil prices

Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Shell Pakistan Limited (SPL) on Monday raised prices of furnace oil by Rs387 and Rs385.25 per ton respectively.

The new price of PSO's furnace oil is Rs12,431 per ton as compared to Rs12,044, while the price of Shell's fuel oil has been increased to Rs12,477.50 per ton from Rs12,092.25.

Diesel price up

Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) has increased the ex-depot fixed sales prices of high speed diesel (HSD) by one rupee per litre to Rs 19.19 per litre from Rs 18.19 per litre, a raise of 5.5 per cent. The Committee, however, did not make any change in the price of petrol, which is currently selling at Rs 32.46 per litre.