FINANCE

 

Oct 21 - 27 , 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF


PETROLEUM PRICES UP

The Oil Companies Advisory Committee (OCAC) has increased the ex-depot sale price of petrol by 98 paisa per litre followed by price hike in HOBC, kerosene and light diesel oil by 98 paisa, 66 paisa and 90 paisa per litre respectively.

 

Besides, the oil marketing companies (OMCs), which are authorised to announce high speed diesel (HSD) prices after deregulation from Sept 1, have also pushed up the prices of diesel by Rs1.22 per litre. The new prices will be effective from Oct 16 to 31.

The Pakistan State Oil, having a market share of 61 per cent, has increased the ex-depot price of diesel to Rs20.98 per litre from Rs19.76, and Shell Pakistan, which enjoys 30 per cent market share, has surged the price of diesel by Rs1.22 to Rs 20.97 per litre from Rs19.75. Caltex Oil, which enjoys 9 to 10 per cent market share, has also enhanced the price of diesel by Rs1.22 to Rs20.98 per litre from Rs 19.76.

Shell official said that the company has kept the diesel price 48 paisa lower as compared to local refinery price of Rs21.45 per litre.

The new ex-depot sale price of petrol has been fixed at Rs35.64 per litre as compared to Rs34.66, and the new price of High Octane Blending Component (HOBC) has been increased to Rs40.11 per litre from Rs39.13. The kerosene price has been raised to Rs19.27 per litre from Rs18.61 and light diesel oil (LDO) price has been fixed at Rs17.83 per litre as compared to Rs16.93.

The OCAC did not announce the prices of jet fuel without giving any reason. In a statement, the committee said that the prices of oil products in the international market have been continuously showing an upward trend during the last few weeks primarily because of the volatile situation in the Middle East.

During the current fortnight, the tension in the region has particularly impacted the price of diesel, which has increased by 5.67 per cent.

$260M ADB NEW LOAN FOR FINANCIAL SECTOR

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will extend $260 million new loan to help strengthen financial sector reforms including regulations and improve the governance of the financial market.

The Bank has also promised to provide $200 million risk insurance guarantee to help the country's insurance sector to avoid problems and losses experienced in the wake of terrorist attack on America in September last year.

A four-member team headed by the chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Khalid Mirza has returned home from Manila after having discussed broad details of new loan and the risk insurance guarantee.

Talking on Thursday, he said that since Pakistan has met various conditionalities relating to first financial sector loan ($300m), the ADB has agreed to extend another $260 million loan for improving the financial sector.

REMITTANCES UP AT $926M IN JULY-SEPT

Workers remittances or money sent back home by overseas Pakistanis shot up to $926.6 million during July/September this year from just $263.8 million in July/ September 2001.

The SBP said in a statement that in Sept 2002 workers remittances stood at $335m up from about $91.2m in Sept 2001.

The statement issued to the press gives the figures for the workers remittances only without making a mention of gross home remittances. Gross home remittances include i.e. money sent back home by overseas Pakistanis plus encashment of foreign exchange bearer certificates and foreign currency bearer certificates; Hajj remittances and remittances from Iraq-Kuwait war affectees.

NBP SHARES

The second offering of government of Pakistan's 5 per cent additional shares in National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) was four times oversubscribed to Rs1.628 billion.

The initial public offering of 5-10pc shares undertaken by the Privatization Commission in November 2001 was six times oversubscribed.

SBP CUTS MARGIN ON FCY BUYING, SELLING

No bank can now keep a spread of more than 20 paisa per US dollar between the buying and selling rates of foreign currencies quoted for the public. The State Bank issued a circular (F.E. no 15) on Thursday to notify this decision.

Previously the maximum permissible spread was 50 paisa per US dollar or its equivalent in other currencies.

SBP HOLDS 6-MONTH TBS RATE FIRM

The State Bank left the cut-off yield of six- month treasury bills almost unchanged on Wednesday amidst divided opinion on how long the SBP may keep the interest rates stable.

The central bank sold Rs19.75 billion worth of bills at a cut -off yield of 6.37 per cent down only two basis points from the previous 6.39 per cent. This was the first separate auction of six -month bills called by the SBP to refrain banks from what the SBP officials say speculative overbidding.

NORTEL FRESH INVESTMENT

Nortel Networks company has decided to enhance its investment in Pakistan, and initially it will be giving $7 million grant to PTCL to help it improve its nationwide wireless services.

Three senior representatives of Nortel Networks told a news conference on Wednesday that their company, which had earlier invested $70 million in Pakistan would further be making considerable investment.

ATTOCK CEMENT

Attock Cement Pakistan Limited, which raised Rs100 million through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on June 18, was only the second company to have entered the country's equity market this year Bosicor Pakistan Limited, the oil refinery, being the other one to make a public flotation in 2002.

INVESTMENT CLIMATE

The World Bank has identified inadequate incentive regime, risky and weak regulatory framework and weak financial institutions as the reasons for government's failure to improve investment climate in Pakistan.