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 1. INTERNATIONAL   2. INDUSTRY
 3. FINANCE  4. POLICY
 5. TRADE  6. GULF

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FINANCE

July 01 - 07, 2002

$200M PLEDGED FOR KARACHI PROJECTS

A group of overseas Pakistanis Overseas Investors Group (OIG) have pledged an investment of SR750 million ($200 million) in various projects in Karachi. The OIG, a group of Pakistanis living in Saudi Arabia, has recently signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Karachi local government in this regard.

The projects range from building a metro railway system in Karachi to a new road transport project. Many other projects to be implemented within the framework of the MoU include setting up of waste water treatment facilities and recycling projects. These projects are anticipated to generate over 40,000 employments.

Referring to the projects, OIG convener Rana Abdul Rauf told a gathering in Riyadh, held to felicitate prominent Pakistanis for their outstanding contributions in different fields, that the Karachi local government had also approached investors in different countries for these projects. The OIG is seeking help from the Islamic Development Bank, Al-Awad Est; Bin Laden Group and the Arab Banking Corporation for the execution of these projects in Karachi.

OIG is already in discussion with a Swiss company to acquire luxury buses to be operated in Karachi. The group is expected to invest nine million Saudi riyals shortly in the project to acquire and operate 50 new Japanese Hino-Pak luxury buses in Karachi. The fleet will later be expanded in phases to cover 200 buses.

"We are also talking to Daewoo of South Korea, which has expressed its desire to press into service 100 buses," the OIG convener was quoted in the press here as saying. There was also a plan to set up workshops and other logistic facilities to ensure smooth running of the project and simultaneously offer better transportation facilities to the city dwellers.

LOW REVENUE NOT TO BLOCK TRANCHE: IMF

The executive board of the International Monetary Fund is all set to approve on July 3 the next tranche of $109 million for Pakistan despite having concerns on revenue shortfalls, says a senior IMF official.

"The IMF board is meeting in Washington on Wednesday to have the second review of the Pakistan's economy and approve the third disbursement of approximately $109 million, out of the $1.3 billion Poverty Reduction Growth Facility," Fund's Senior Resident Representative in Pakistan Henri Chesquiere told.

Pakistan, he said, had requested for waiver on revenue shortfalls which was a matter of concern.

EURO, STERLING MAKE SMART GAINS

The euro shot up to Rs59.30/Rs59.50 in the kerb market on Wednesday up 100 paisa or more than 1.5 per cent from the previous close of Rs58.30/Rs58.50 for spot buying and selling.

Forex Association of Pakistan president Malik Bostan said the new rates mirrored the impressive gain that the euro made against the US dollar in the international market on Wednesday.

The single European currency rose to 99 cents in early trade for the first time since January 2000 up from 97 cents on Tuesday as dollar nose-dived on report of a huge $3.8 billion hole in the accounts of the US telecommunication giant Worldcom.

NWFP GETS RS4.29BN HYDEL PROFIT SHARE

Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) has released Rs4.29bn net hydel profit share of the NWFP bringing an end to the financial woes of the provincial government, according to sources.

The Rs4.29bn released to NWFP brought the total amount received by the province during the current financial year on account of net hydel profit share to Rs6bn the capped share amount the Frontier province has been receiving for the last ten years.

ALL SET FOR PARIS CLUB DEBTS RELIEF PACTS SIGNING

Pakistan has completed the re-profiling and the minutes of draft agreements and reached the stage of signing the bilateral agreements, separately, on interest rates with seven donor countries for their cumulated debts of $5 billion under the third Paris Club Rescheduling agreement out of the total $12.5 billion debts owed to 18 club countries reached in last December, sources in Economic Affairs Division told.

JAVEDAN CEMENT

Javedan Cement Limited said that an extraordinary general meeting had resolved to convert debts amounting to Rs472 million due to State Cement Corporation of Pakistan (SCCP) into equity.

BOLAN BANK RATINGS UPGRADED

JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited has revised Bolan Bank Limited's 'outlook' ratings upwards from 'stable' to 'positive'.

The credit rating agency announced on Thursday that it had maintained the bank's medium to long-term rating of BB+ (double B Plus) and short-term rating of A-3 (A-Three).

JCR-VIS observed that the ratings primarily recognized the strong sponsor support depicted by injection of capital of Rs255.6 million and further willingness to inject another Rs250 million by January 1, 2003 to meet the State Bank of Pakistan's minimum paid-up capital requirement for commercial banks.

FAZAL MILLS

Fazal Cloth Mills Limited proposes to raise Rs33 million from the issue of right shares at 30 per cent (three-for-10) at a premium of Rs5 per share.

SITARA CHEMICAL TFCS GET RS224M

Sitara Chemical Industries Limited has received Rs224 million against the offer of Rs105 million worth of Term Finance Certificates (TFCs) to the public.