Oct 22 - 28, 2001
Britain writing off $84m loans
The visiting British Secretary of International
Development Ms Clare Short announced on Thursday that the
international community has decided to extend maximum economic support
to Pakistan including relief in debt repayment.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Finance
Minister Shaukat Aziz she announced that $84 million loans were being
written off by British government. She said immediately her department
will write of $34 million loans while $51 million loans will be
written off by the Commonwealth Development Corporation shortly.
Mr Shaukat Aziz during the press conference
disclosed that a comprehensive economic package was being finalised by
Pakistan in line with the wishes of the international community.
In reply to a question, he said that Pakistan has a
$12 billion bilateral debt and $15.5 billion multilateral debt.
"And our package initially focuses on getting relief on account
of $12 billion bilateral debt."
He disclosed that Pakistan has been assured maximum
support by international donors and bilateral creditors in this regard
and termed Ms Short's visit as very significant to have lined up
economic support for Pakistan both for economic recovery as well as
for Afghan refugees.
The British secretary of state for international
development also announced a 15 million pounds package to support the
government of Pakistan in its continuing reforms and in its efforts to
alleviate the humanitarian crisis which has been made worse by the
influx of Afghan refugees into the country.
Ms Short also declared that her department would
increase its bilateral programme to Pakistan to 45 million pounds
annually for the next two years. "These financial pledges come on
top of the additional 11 million pounds the UK has provided since
September 11 to ensure that weaker section of the society in Pakistan
do not suffer because of the influx of Afghan refugees, and further 40
million pounds committed to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the
region," she said.
Oil prices cut by 5.5-11.5pc
The Oil Companies Advisory Committee on Monday cut
the prices of petroleum products by 5.51 per cent to 11.48pc for the
Oct 16-31 fortnight. In another development, Pakistan State Oil
slashed the prices of light sulphur and high sulphur furnace oil by
4.53pc to 15.36pc.
The price of petrol (MS 87-RON) was slashed by
6.01pc to Rs30.51 per litre from Rs32.46, while a decline of 9.69pc
was announced in the price of high speed diesel, now quoted at Rs17.33
per litre against Rs19.19. High Octane Blending Component would now be
available at Rs34.48 per litre as compared to Rs36.49, while the new
price of kerosene oil was fixed at Rs16.27 per litre from Rs18.38.
The price of light diesel oil was reduced to
Rs14.48 per litre from Rs16.23. The new price of JP-4 is Rs14.72 per
litre, down from Rs16.62. OCAC chairman
US notifies $50m grant for Pakistan
The United States has formally notified the grant
of another $50 million for Pakistan in addition to a grant of a
similar amount authorized by President Bush late last month just
before the end of the financial year.
The second $50 million was approved by Mr Bush on
Tuesday after the beginning of the current financial year on October
1, but before Congress finally approved legislation granting waiver
authority to the president in relation to sanctions on Pakistan.
The grant, officials stress, is not connected with
this legislation, which in turn will permit the finalization of an
overall economic and military aid package for Pakistan.
Forex reserves rise
The foreign exchange reserves held by the State
Bank rose from $1.750 billion on September 6 to about $1.764 billion
on October 13 — showing a buildup of $14 million within a week.
Hubco lenders approve dividend
The Hub Power Company Limited (Hubco) announced on
Wednesday that the lenders had approved the 'company's request for
payment of an interim dividend'.
The much-awaited lenders' approval was greeted by
the stock market with 85 paisa increase in the stock price, which
closed at Rs18.05 with a huge turnover of 90.7 million shares during
OGDCL post-tax profit
The after-tax profit of the Oil and Gas Development
Company Limited (OGDCL) for the year 2001 stood at Rs20.644 billion
against Rs10.555 billion showing an increase of around 50 per cent.
According to profit and loss account approved by
the OGDCL board of directors last week, before-tax profit of the
company stood at Rs25.6 billion against Rs12.9 billion, showing an
increase of over 49 per cent.
SBP makes second cut in T-bills yield
The State Bank on Wednesday cut maximum yield on
six-month and one-year treasury bills for the second time during this
month. This reinforces an earlier SBP signal that it wants to keep
banks reasonably liquid in the months to come.
The SBP slashed the cut-off yield by 11 basis
points to 10.28 per cent for six months and by 5 basis points to 10.74
per cent for one year. The central bank said it sold Rs3.5 billion
T-bills at the reduced cut-offs and sucked in Rs3.2 billion from the
Investment in NSS rises
Investment in national saving schemes (NSS) shot up
to Rs6.8 billion in July-August 2001 from Rs3.6 billion in July-August
2000 as the government started paying a market- based floating rate of
return on them.
In the meanwhile average bank deposit rates also
declined, leading the savers to shift part of their savings from bank
deposits into NSS.
First Al-Noor Modaraba
On Monday, First Al-Noor Modaraba announced
financial figures for the year ended June 30, 2001, posting 35.6 per
cent growth in pre-tax profit to Rs49.5 million, from Rs36.5 million
the previous year.
Pakistan Industrial Credit and Investment
Corporation (PICIC) will extend Rs1.5 billion under lease financing to
industrial sector by the end of June 2002.