FINANCE

 

July 22 - 28, 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

REMITTANCES SHOOT UP TO $2.39BN IN 2001-02

Gross home remittances rose to about $2.389 billion in fiscal 2001/02 up 120 per cent from $1.086 billion in 2000/01.

 

The State Bank said in a statement on Thursday that the amount includes cash flows, encashment of foreign exchange bearer certificates and foreign currency bearer certificates, Hajj remittances and remittances from Iraq-Kuwait war affectees.

The statement said out of the total $2.389 billion received in July/June 2001/2002, $2.299 billion was sent back home by overseas Pakistanis up 151 per cent from $915 million received in July/June 2000-01.

"During the month of June 2002 the country received highest ever amount of $268.54 million as workers remittances as compared to $85.85 million in June 2001, posting an increase of 212.80 per cent."

Senior bankers say workers remittances crossed the $2 billion mark in the outgoing fiscal year primarily due to post 9/11 developments. They say that tightening of anti-money laundering laws in the US and in the rest of the world after 9/11 resulted in higher inflow of foreign exchange into Pakistan. That levelled the gap between the official and kerb market exchange rates and the incentive to send foreign exchange through informal channels disappeared. Hence a marked increase in home remittances.

The extraordinary increase in home remittances has helped the country build foreign exchange reserves. The reserves rose by $3 billion to $6.2 billion in the outgoing fiscal year.

SHELL'S $31.3M INVESTMENT PLAN

Shell Pakistan Limited (SPL) plans to invest approximately $31.3 millions in 2002 (which also includes $29 million for white oil pipeline project) for the up-gradation and development of its storage and distribution facilities.

This was stated by the SPL director, external affairs, Saleemuddin Ahmed, at a press briefing on Thursday at Shell's Keamari installation. Installation manager, Mohammed Owais Sultan, supplying logistic manager, Saleem Butt, regional transport manager, Lt-Col (Retd) Iftikhar Uddin and Iqtidar Siddiqui, manager finance also spoke on the occasion.

An overall growth in the industry storage is expected due to White Oil Pipeline Project and associated storage of 180,000 tons. Existing pipeline has a storage capacity of over 150,000 tons, he said.

EURO BEATS DOLLAR IN INTER-BANK, KERB MARKET

The euro flew past Rs60 on Tuesday after attaining parity with the US dollar in the international currency markets on Monday.

Senior bankers said the euro closed at Rs60.06/Rs60.08 for ready buying and selling in inter-bank market at the close of formal trading hours. But later on it rose as high as Rs60.60 on the back of growing strength in the international market. It could not be learnt whether the banks struck any deals at this level.

Against this the dollar closed at Rs59.67/Rs59.69 for ready buying and selling in the inter-bank market. So the euro had an edge of 39 paisa over the dollar in term of rupees, reflecting its victory against the once-mighty greenback in the world markets.

POWER RATE RAISED

Nepra on Thursday allowed an unprecedented power tariff increase of 44 paisa per unit to be suffered by some 10 million domestic consumers across the country, excluding Karachi.

The tariff revision exercise would yield Rs20 billion to 12 corporate companies of Wapda through an expected sale of 47.4 billion units.

PC BOARD ACCEPTS MCB'S FRESH BID

The Privatization Commission Board on Thursday accepted the increased bid of Rs12 billion by the Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) group to seek majority shares in the United Bank Limited (UBL).

"Our reference price was Rs11.8 billion but the MCB group revised its bid price from Rs8.5 billion to Rs12 billion, which is pretty good," said Minister for Privatization Altaf M. Saleem.

PRIVATE SECTOR TO GET RS94BN

The private sector borrowing from the banks has been set at Rs94.7 billion for the fiscal July-June 2002-03. The target is part of the new credit plan that was approved on Wednesday by the National Credit Consultative Council (NCCC), headed by State Bank Governor Dr. Ishrat Husain.

DOLLAR SHEDS 35 PAISA MORE IN KERB

The US dollar lost 35 paisa or more than 0.5 per cent against the rupee in the kerb market on Wednesday in line with its fall against the euro and other major currencies in the international markets.

The Forex Association of Pakistan said the US dollar closed at Rs59.25/Rs59.35 on Wednesday down 35 paisa from the Tuesday close of Rs59.60/ Rs59.70. At this level the greenback became cheaper in the kerb market as compared to inter-bank market where it closed unchanged at Rs59.67/Rs59.69 for ready buying and selling on Wednesday.

ABBOTT LABORATORIES

Abbott Laboratories (Pakistan) Limited announced the financial figures for the six months to end-May, 2002, posting an after tax profit of Rs131.4 million. The directors also declared an interim cash dividend at Rs1.50 (15 per cent) for the current year.

POL PRICES

The Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) on Monday has made a marginal decrease in prices of petrol, high octane blending component (HOBC) and high speed diesel (HSD) by six paisa to 12 paisa per litre.

$8 MILLION OUTFLOW

Foreign portfolio investment recorded net outflow of Rs470 million or around $8 million in June, figures released by the KSE on Monday showed.

Together with the net outflow of Rs297 million or $5 million in May, foreign investors were net sellers to the extent of Rs767 million or $13 million in two months.

NBP

National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) announced after-tax profit at Rs1.1 billion for the year ended December 31, 2001 and cash dividend of Rs1.25 per share, both of which were better than market expectations.