Feb-25 - Mar- 10, 2002
POL prices raised by 0.29-2.9pc
The Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) on
Thursday increased the prices of petrol, diesel, light diesel oil (LDO),
high octane blending component (HOBC), JP-4 and JP-1 by 0.29 to 2.29
However, the OCAC had maintained the price of
kerosene at Rs 14.23 per litre, says a press release. The ex- depot
fixed sales prices at 29 designated locations will be effective from
March 1 to 15, 2002.
Petrol would now be available at Rs 30.51 as
against Rs30.37 per litre, while diesel would now cost Rs15.63 as
against Rs15.28 per litre. The new price of HOBC is fixed at Rs34.89
from Rs34.68 per litre, while LDO can be purchased at Rs 13 from Rs
12.79 per litre. Price for JP-4 has been increased to Rs13.85 from
Rs13.74 per litre. JP-1 will now be sold at Rs10.53 from Rs 10.50 per
OCAC said that the international prices of naphta
and high speed diesel have increased by 2.92 per cent and 2.89 per
cent, while kerosene price remained stable.
The benchmark crude oil price (Light Arabian) also
registered upward trend during the last fortnight. However the
exchange rate — rupee-dollar parity — slightly improved due to the
strengthening of the rupee. The OCAC, however, did not mention how
much strength the rupee had against the greenback.
Pakistan State Oil (PSO) has increased the prices
of high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) to Rs9,463 from Rs9,267 per ton. The
price of light sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) has also been slashed to
Rs10,786 from Rs10,880 pmt. Shell Pakistan Limited (SPL) has surged
the prices of fuel oil to Rs9,467.95 from Rs9,269 per ton.
25pc HBL, 9pc MCB shares sell-off by June
Lining up a heavy sale agenda in the coming
quarter, the government has decided to sell up to 25 per cent shares
of Habib Bank Ltd (HBL), 30 per cent shares of Bank Al-Falah and 9 per
cent shares of Muslim Commercial Bank through three different
It has also been decided to appoint Karachi-based
Arif Habib Securities as lead managers of Bank Al-Falah and Pak-Saudi
Fertilizer Limited (PSFL) immediately so that pre- qualification
process goes into full gear before end of March, finance ministry
A decision to this effect was taken by the
privatization board a few days ago and the cabinet committee on
privatization (CCOP) would accord formal approval on March 9, 2002.
The transactions of MCB, HBL and Bank Al-Falah are targeted to be
completed by the end of June 2002.
Gas tariff up by 8 to 20pc
The cabinet increased on Wednesday the gas tariff
by 8 to 20 per cent for various slabs of domestic consumers with
effect from March 1.
Official sources confirmed that the cabinet had
also approved the dismantling of Pakistan Petroleum's Gas Price
Agreement, 1982, aimed at phasing out the gas subsidy in five years.
Petroleum Secretary Abdullah Yousaf told that there
was no change in the gas prices for any other consumer group and added
that a notification in this regard would be issued on Thursday.
The secretary said that an average 8.5pc increase
had been approved by the cabinet and added that there would be no
increase for gas consumption up to first 100 units. The tariff for
first slab of 101-200 units would go up by 7.9pc, and for above 500
units by 20pc, he said.
SBP pumped Rs2.8 bn
The State Bank on Thursday pumped in Rs2.8 billion
into inter-bank market but the injection was too little to satiate
liquidity-starved banks and a discounting of Rs3.8 billion was
Banks have been facing liquidity shortage in the
wake of Rs10-12 billion withdrawals from their deposits before Eidul
Azha. The bulk of the amount withdrawn normally comes back into the
system after six to eight weeks.
Arif Habib Investment Management Limited — an
associated company of the brokerage firm, Arif Habib Securities
Limited — announced on Thursday that it had received subscriptions
totalling Rs500 million towards the core capital of its two open-end
mutual funds (unit trusts).
Rs90bn KESC debt made equity
The federal cabinet on Wednesday approved the
financial restructuring of the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation
that would convert the government guaranteed debt of about Rs90
billion into equity. The decision will help find out viable and
attractive offers to privatize the KESC which is currently incurring
losses to the tune of Rs50 million daily.
Small banks pile up PIBs
Ten-year Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) got a
rave response from banks and corporates on Wednesday's auction despite
a one per cent cut in their coupon rate.
The State Bank received Rs26.6 billion worth of
bids for the bonds against the target of Rs8 billion. But the SBP
stuck to the target and sold only Rs7.9 billion worth of bonds through
its primary dealers.
Maple Leaf Cement
Posting a pre-tax profit of Rs19.4 million for the
first half of the current year, in place of the mammoth loss of
Rs238.1 million in the corresponding period of the previous year.
3 private banks income surges
Three private banks have pushed up their incomes
considerably in the second half of 2001, mainly because of the
enlargement of spread and a lowering of tax rate.
Financial analysts doubt whether these banks would
be able to maintain their income level next year.
Balance sheets of the three banks, that appeared to have benefited
most from the State Bank's decision to slash down by 4 percentage
points the discount rate and cut down on T-bills rate of return plus
the lowering of tax rate, are of the Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB),
Bank AL Habib and Askari Bank.