FINANCE

 

Oct 14 - 20 , 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF


DEBT CRISES AND CURRENCY CRASHES

The key issue, without which neither globalization can be sustained nor can a sound international financial architecture be designed, is developing world's increased access into the developed markets.

 

The alternative is a self-reliant national economic growth with globalization restrained by growing debt crises and currency crashes.

Perhaps, finance minister Shaukat Aziz hit the nail on the head when he told the annual joint meeting of the IMF and World Bank: "What is the point of enhancing capital flows if the capacity to pay them continues to be constrained by restrictive trade practices."

In the current phase of their economic development, emerging markets suffer from "chronic trade gap, imports exceeding exports, that impacts on their current account adversely."

On the other hand, industrialized states suffer presently from economic slump and recessionary trends and need markets to sustain growth.

And the world trade order needs to be built on exchange of trade surpluses created by natural domestic advantage that each country possesses and as far as possible and practical on balanced bilateral trade.

When greater access to developed markets is denied, emerging markets suffer the balance of payments deficits that is managed either by external assistance, foreign investment or capital controls.

And the countries that borrow heavily and tend to integrate with the global financial system without corresponding rise in volume of exports, are hit by debt crises and currency crashes.

Owing to this imbalance, the global debt crises, that, so far were managed by IMF bailouts, are getting worse, forcing the Fund to consider something akin to bankruptcy law and practices as an option to resolve the global debt problem.

CHENAB FIBRES OFFERS BUY-BACK

Six majority shareholders in Chenab Fibres Limited, have offered to buy-back shares held by all other shareholders in the company, at Rs17.75 per share.

Extraordinary meeting of shareholders was held recently, which was stated to have passed a special resolution for de-listing of the company from all three stock exchanges. The purchase price of Rs17.75 offered by the six majority shareholders namely, Mian Muhammad Latif; Mian Muhammad Javaid Iqbal; Muhammad Naeem; Muhammad Faisal Latif; Muhammad Farhan Latif and Muhammad Rizwan Latif was stated to have been approved by the Karachi Stock Exchange.

The company said in a notice that the share purchase offer was valid from October 11, to December 9, 2002 both days inclusive.

The market price of the share in Chenab Fibres of Nishatabad, Faisalabad, is Rs17.75; the company holds paid-up capital of Rs75 million and a cash dividend at 15 per cent was paid for 2000.

KASB ACQUIRES PLATINUM BANK SHARES

Khadim Ali Shah Bokhari (KASB) & Co has acquired majority shares of Platinum Bank, making it financially viable to exist. KASB, country's one of the largest brokerage house , has entered into an agreement to acquire majority shareholding in Platinum Commercial Bank Ltd.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval of the State Bank," a statement of KASB said on Tuesday.

At the close of session at Karachi Stock Exchanges on Tuesday share value of Platinum Bank surged from Rs5.80 to Rs6.10.

Two other companies National Development Leasing Co, and Security Investment Bank were also vying to buy stakes of Platinum Bank. Pak-Libya Holding Co was also interested to buy shares of the bank.

NET HYDEL PROFIT

Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) and the NWFP government have, apparently, locked horns over the provinces's share of net hydel profit for 2002-03.

In its White Paper (budget document) for the 2002-03 financial year, the provincial government has projected receipts on account of net hydel profit at Rs15.9bn, as determined by the current National Finance Commission (NFC) award.

But Wapda, in response to a news report on Sept 30, has rejected the NWFP government's claim and said the province's share for the 2002-03 financial year comes to around Rs3.724bn, according to the Kazi Committee formula a stand rejected by the provincial government.

CONSUMER FINANCING

Commerce Minister Abdul Razak Dawood on Tuesday clarified that he did not favour consumer financing for imported goods, saying that current consumer financing scheme is focusing primarily on the locally manufactured products.

He said he was of the opinion that one should not insist on consumer financing for only such consumer goods every component of which is locally made.

GENERATORS REPLACEMENT

Hub Power Company Limited (Hubco) said that it would cost the company $3 million (Rs180 million) to replace the two Ansaldo make Generator Transformers.

Chief Executive Vince Harris told an analysts' briefing last week that the procurement cost of the two new generators would be Rs360 million, but the company would have to bear only half the cost since the transformer that broke down in June 2002 was fully insured.

NBP SHARES

The Privatization Commission (PC) on Monday offered second time 5 per cent government shares in National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) to the general public to be closed on October 9 with the close of banking hours.

In case of over subscription, the PC will exercise green shoe option of additional 5 per cent shares of the bank. This offer is being made to the general public on best effort basis at a fixed price of Rs21 per share.