POLICY

 

July 22 - 28, 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

ALTOWFEEK TO MERGE WITH FIRST CRESCENT

Altowfeek Investment Bank Limited is all set to merge with First Crescent Modaraba, which would create First Standard Investment Bank Limited.

 

The giant new investment bank would hold more than Rs2.5 billion in total assets and accommodate directors from both companies on the new Board.

Tariq Aleem, director and company secretary, Altowfeek Investment Bank, confirmed from Lahore on Monday that it was indeed a merger between two different groups, with both agreeing to share the control and management of the amalgamated new investment bank.

Prior to the proposed merger, 60 per cent shareholding in Altowfeek was vested in AlBaraka Investment & Development Co, Jeddah, 10 per cent was with NIT and 9 per cent with the Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah. In the proposed amalgamated company (The First Standard Investment Bank Limited), the management company of First Crescent Modaraba Crescent Business Management (Pvt) Limited, which is a Crescent group unit would hold 35 per cent shareholding with three nominees on a seven member board of directors. AlBaraka Investment would have 14 per cent stake and a claim to two seats on the board. NIT's 10 per cent shareholding and one directorship would remain unaltered while the IDB's stake would reduce to 4 per cent with one nominee on the new investment bank's board.

Tariq Aleem admitted that the urge to merge had been fuelled in part by the SBP's minimum capital requirement. According to the quarterly reports ended March 2002, paid-up capital of the two companies would add up to over Rs500 million (Crescent Modaraba: Rs226 million and Altowfeek: Rs310 million), but due to the staggering accumulated losses of Rs275 million on the Altowfeek balance sheet, the net equity of the merged bank would amount to around Rs380 million. Aleem said that the new management would endeavour to bridge this gap to come up to the minimum equity requirement.

KPT PLANS 5 PIPELINES FOR LIQUID PRODUCTS

Karachi Port Trust (KPT) has planned five pipelines three for chemicals and two for edible oil to ensure efficient liquid product transmittal until Oil Pier (OP-II) becomes capable of handling 75,000 dead weight tonnage (dwt) vessels.

This was stated by KPT chairman Rear Admiral Ahmad Hayat while inaugurating the eight inch diameter pipeline from cargo berth no.1 which has been laid to facilitate smooth handling of chemicals while OP-II is under construction. This was first of the five pipelines planned by the KPT. The event was organized by the KPT and Al-Rahim Trading Company on Monday.

He said KPT is sharing 50 per cent of the cost of this arrangement with Terminal Association of Pakistan.

PSO, ARL SIGN MOU FOR RS10BN PIPELINE

Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Attock Refinery Limited (ARL) on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the Machike Taru Jabba Pipeline Project.

The MoU was signed by PSO Managing Director Tariq Kirmani and Chief Executive Officer of ARL Raziuddin, on behalf of their companies.

The project involves the construction, ownership and operation of a 470-km long petroleum supply pipeline from Machike, Sheikhupura, Lahore to Tarru Jabba near Peshawar at an estimated cost of Rs10 billion, says a press release.

The pipeline will complete the missing section of the cross country pipeline network and create a strategic backbone between two major cities with feeder offshoots to all of the country's main supply areas for petroleum products.

80,000 POLLING STATIONS

The Election Commission of Pakistan proposes to substantially raise the number of polling stations for the Oct 10 general election to help voters.

According to official sources, the EC planned to set up 80,000 polling stations instead of 34,000 set up for the 1997 elections.

PAKISTAN TO GET MORE US AID TO FIGHT TERRORISM

Mark D. Ward, new USAID mission director in Pakistan, said on Wednesday that the agency's new project portfolio would be more focused and would draw largely upon the local expertise.

"We would engage local expertise and Pakistani accounting firms as far as possible to monitor programmes here," he said at his first press briefing.

The mission, Mr Ward said, would help build capacity to develop new legislators, who understood their responsibility to do the best job.

RIVER DIVERSION DISALLOWED

Pakistan has refused to allow even a minor diversion of Neelum River by India because that could jeopardize the development of Rs87 billion Neelum-Jhelum power system in Azad Kashmir.

Informed sources told that New Delhi had requested Islamabad to allow it diversion of Neelum waters in the held Kashmir for power generation. It had assured that there would be no storage and the diverted water would be re-routed into the Neelum through Wullar Barrage.

DEBT STOCK TARGETED AT 90.5PC OF GDP

The government wants to bring down Pakistan's debt stock to 90.5 per cent of the GDP in the current fiscal year from 94.5 per cent in the outgoing fiscal, the secretary general of Finance Ministry Moeen Afzal said on Saturday.