POLICY

 

Sep 09 - 15, 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF

 

SBP OKAYS EMIRATES MERGER IN UNION BANK

Union Bank Limited a private sector listed commercial bank announced on Wednesday that it had received the State Bank of Pakistan approval for take-over of Emirates Bank branches in Pakistan.

 

Union had first proposed in June this year, to take over all 10 branches of Emirates Bank in Pakistan for $18 million. A statement signed by the company secretary issued on Wednesday said: "Governor SBP, vide his order dated 2nd September 2002 has approved the Scheme of Amalgamation of Emirates Bank International PJSC Pakistan branches into Union Bank Limited under Section 48 of the Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962."

The Union Bank also released the condensed profit & loss account and the balance sheet of Emirates Bank at June 30, 2002, which showed total assets of the bank at Rs 20.3 billion including loans/advances of Rs7.4 billion. Total liabilities amounted to Rs18.7 billion with Rs11.6 billion held in deposits. The bank was noted to have earned operating profit of Rs193.6 million, pre-tax profit of Rs80.6 million and after-tax profit of Rs47.6 million.

A significant item on the profit & loss account was the "Ex- gratia payments to staff" of the substantial sum of Rs332 million. A responsible bank official could not immediately be reached to confirm whether the amount represented 'thank you bonus' or a 'golden handshake' to some or all of its employees. Just before the proceedings for takeover began in June, Emirates was understood to have 514 employees on its rolls. Of those, 69 fell in the executive cadre, 285 comprised senior and junior officers and staff and the remaining 160 were contractual employees. At the end of June, Union Bank held Rs30 billion in total assets; Rs21 billion in deposits and Rs14 billion in advances. The Bank has 32 branches in 17 cities and employees 858 people.

PIA EYES RS100BN ANNUAL INCOME: 10-YEAR PLAN

The Pakistan International Airline plans to take its annual income to Rs100 billion from the present Rs45 billion during the next 10 years.

PIA Managing Director Ahmad Saeed said on Saturday while talking to a group of businessmen that the national carrier had chalked out a comprehensive 10-year plan in this regard. During the period, three new Boeing 777 aircraft would be purchased and Fokkers would be replaced with other modern aircraft.

The MD claimed that the PIA has already come out of dire straits during the last 15 months; its Rs2.6 billion loss is converted into Rs900 million profit that, according to him, was a big achievement given the chequered past of the carrier.

LIVESTOCK SHORTAGE PUSHES MEAT PRICES UP

Beef prices have started crawling up in the local market following a shortage of supply of livestock. The livestock supply from across the border has come to a suspension since January this year, because of the deployment of armies of Pakistan and India on the border.

Around 40-50 per cent of meat demand is met through animals smuggled from India. "Even today the supplies of smuggled livestock from border has been put on hold," claims meat retailers while talking on Tuesday.

SBP CHIEF

The Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, Dr Ishrat Hussain has suggested to the government to appoint central bank chief for one term of five years period with no provision of renewal.

PROVINCES TO GET MORE IN NFC AWARD

The federal government has agreed, in principle, to increase the revenue share of the provinces from 37.5 per cent to about 42 per cent in the new National Finance Commission (NFC) award.

Official sources told on Wednesday that certain "benchmarks" have been agreed upon between the centre and the provinces to increase the revenue share of the provinces.

NHA FACES CLAIMS OF RS35 BILLION

The National Highway Authority (NHA) is facing litigation claims and penalties to the tune of Rs35.5 billion which if not contested properly would have to be paid out of the national exchequer.

When contacted, NHA Chairman Maj-Gen Furrukh Javed confirmed that the authority was currently facing liabilities of Rs35.5 billion in the form of litigation claims.

Most of these claims remain about disputes over contractual obligations, non-payment of dues to private construction firms on time and other related issues.

AZERBAIJAN, PAKISTAN FORM BUSINESS COUNCIL

Pakistan and Azerbaijan on Tuesday signed a protocol to enhance and strengthen the existing trade and economic relations between the two countries after comprehensive deliberations at the 2nd session of Joint Ministerial Commission.

Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, Yagub Eyyubov and Minister for Privatization, Altaf M. Saleem signed the protocol on behalf of their respective countries at a signing ceremony at Privatization Commission.

Secretary Economic Affairs Division, Dr. Waqar Masood was also present at the signing ceremony.

HYDEL PROFIT

The NWFP government wants of the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and Federal Government to resolve the impending net hydel profit issue during the current financial year, according to sources.

The provincial government had requested Islamabad to help it resolve the contentious net hydel profit issue during the current financial year as non-resolution of the impending issue had been seriously distorting the provincial budget over the years in addition to making difficult preparation and implementation of the NWFP budget.