Nov 12 - 18, 2001
Moody's upgrades Pakistan ratings
Moody's Investors Services — the international
rating agency — raised Pakistan's country ceiling for foreign
currency bank deposits, one notch from 'Ca' to 'Caa1'.
A statement issued from New York on Tuesday,
jointly signed by the MD David H. Levey and VP-Senior Credit Officer
at Sovereign Risk Unit of Moody's also said that the rating agency had
confirmed its Caa1 country ceiling on foreign currency debt as well as
the Caa1 rating on rupee-denominated government debt, and also raised
the outlook on Pakistan's country ceilings and on government debt to
stable from negative.
As a consequence of the bank deposit ceiling
upgrade, the bank deposit ratings of the four banks currently rated by
Moody's (Habib Bank, United Bank, National Bank and Muslim Commercial
Bank) were raised to Caa1 and their deposit rating outlooks revised to
NDFC amalgamated with NBP
The National Development Finance Corporation (NDFC)
stood amalgamated with the National Bank of Pakistan from Thursday
(November 1) following the approval by the government.
The government had placed a moratorium in August
this year to amalgamate the NDFC with the state-run National Bank.
A total of 25 branches will become a part of the
NBP network, which already has more than 1,300 branches nation-wide.
Debt relief sought from Japan
Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz has expressed
gratitude to the Japanese government for lifting economic sanctions
against Pakistan and providing it assistance to help offset the
negative effects of the current volatile situation in the region.
In a meeting with Secretaries General of Japan's
ruling coalition parties after arriving in Tokyo from Hong Kong, he
said the post-Sept 11 events had hurt Pakistan's economy in the shape
of reduced tax collection, falling exports and shrinking foreign
Pakistan loan deal soon, hopes IMF
The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday it
hopes to wrap up negotiations on a new poverty reduction loan for
"It is hoped that a financing package
supporting the authorities programme is agreed soon and that the
(poverty reduction loan) discussions can be wrapped up in the near
future," IMF spokesman Tom Dawson told a news briefing.
"Good progress is being made," he said.
Dawson said it was premature to speculate on the
size of the loan. Earlier this week, the US State Department said it
would support a $2 billion IMF loan for Pakistan.
SBP makes one more cut in T-bills yield
The State Bank on Wednesday cut the treasury bills
cut-offs by 1.64-1.81 per cent in a follow-up of a two per cent cut in
discount rates on October 20.
This is the third cut in the treasury bills yield
within a month. Earlier on October 3 and October 17 the SBP had made
modest cuts in the T-bills yield.
The SBP slashed the cut-off yield from 10.28 per
cent to 8.50 per cent on six-treasury bills and from 10.74 per cent to
9.10 per cent on one-year bills: it also reduced the maximum yield on
three-month bills from 10 to 8.19 per cent.
SBP makes heavy dollar buying
The State Bank made heavy buying of US dollars from
the inter-bank market last month to keep the greenback a bit stable
Senior central bankers confirm dollar buying but
none of them is ready to disclose the exact volume. Estimates vary.
"The State Bank bought no less than $350 million," said one
senior official who refused to be identified. He said $300 million
were bought in ready and the rest in forward. Another official said
total buying could be even higher.
Modarabas are ready to offer housing finance under
the recently-announced scheme of the State Bank and the SBP
authorities seem willing to allow them to do this.
"We sought permission of the State Bank to
participate in the rediscounting house financing scheme and the State
Bank Governor, Dr Ishrat Husain, told us he had no objection,"
said the chairman of Modarabas Association of Pakistan (MAP), Basheer
A. Chowdry. He said the issue came under discussion on Wednesday when
a delegation of the Association called on the governor.
Govt to inject Rs19m in FWB equity
The Ministry of Women Development and Social
Affairs will inject an equity of Rs19 million in the First Women Bank.
A press release issued by the bank said that it was
announced by Federal Minister for Women Development and Social Affairs
Dr Attiya Inayatullah while presiding over a meeting of the FWB at its
head offices on Wednesday.
HBL registers 30pc growth in September remittances
Habib Bank Limited, which handled around 40 per
cent of Pakistan's $1 billion workers remittances last year,
registered a growth by 30 per cent in remittances in September 2001.
The president of the Bank, Zakir Mahmood,
addressing a press conference said the drastic improvement in Bank's
working, efficient services, prompt delivery of remittances to the
beneficiaries and narrowing gap between kerb and official exchange
rate, which was same on Tuesday morning at Rs61.40, encouraged the
overseas Pakistanis to use official channels to send money back home.
10 TFCs floated
For the private debt market, financial year 2001
reflected excitingly encouraging trend since as many as 10 new Term
Finance Certificates (TFC) were floated during the year. These
equalled the TFC offers in all of the last five fiscal years,
The SBP while acclaiming the growth of the domestic
debt market, said: "However, secondary market transactions in
TFCs remained negligible as most of the investors prefer to buy and
IMF, Paris Club to fill $8bn gap
The International Monetary Fund and the Paris Club
have assured Pakistan to fill $8 billion financing gap during the next
three years in order to provide a major relief to the economy of the
"We have reached a broad understanding with
the IMF and the Paris Club for filling Pakistan's $8 billion financing
gap through generous bilateral and multilateral support by 2004",
said Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz.
Govt to clear refunds by Dec 31: Rs12 billion
The government has decided to help increase the
exporters' liquidity by assuring to clear their Rs12 billion refunds
by December 31 this year.
"The Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has been
asked to accelerate refunds, and pay Rs6 billion in November and
another Rs6 billion in December to exporters so that their liquidity
problem could be eased out to some extent," said Minister for
Finance Shaukat Aziz.