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Pakistan has experienced a contradictory behaviour compared to equities in other countries after September 11, 2001. While mounting tension between India and Pakistan remained a source of concern for a while, hectic diplomatic efforts have subsided apprehensions considerably. With the reprofiling and restructuring of Pakistan's external debt, stabilizing of exchange rate and improving sovereign rating, funds are expected to flow to equities market. With the beginning of new year both institutional and large investors have become active. Though there are apprehensions about the sustainability of the trend, punters are very positive about the outlook. However, the forecast for enhanced activities demands vigilant monitoring by the regulators to curb activities of market manipulators.

Textile industry is eagerly looking for the trade package to be announced by the United States so that Pakistan's textile export, currently stagnant, could pick up momentum. The long awaited revised trade package has been prepared in consultation with Export Promotion Bureau and textile entrepreneurs, who had visited the US with the commerce minister. Textile sector in Pakistan is pinning hopes to have a good trade package to accelerate the declining exports.

The PTCL has once again announced to increase its monthly line rental charge. The eagerness of the PTCL to help boost its profits with least care to improve its customer and billing services is really a cover to fetch a better price for the disinvestment of 20-26 per cent shares. But most of all it undermines the one of the globally accepted benefits of deregulation of the telecom sector the emergence of real competition beneficial for the subscribers.

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