FINANCE

 

Nov 18 - 24 , 2002

 

1.INTERNATIONAL

2. INDUSTRY

3. FINANCE

4. POLICY

5. TRADE

6. GULF


REMITTANCES TO CROSS $3BN MARK

The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet was informed that remittances by the overseas Pakistanis are expected to exceed $3 billion mark by the end of 2002-2003.
These remittances for the month of October are tentatively around $380 million, indicating sustainable trend of foreign exchange inflows.

 

The ECC which was presided over by Minister for Finance Shaukat Aziz was also told that the remittances by the overseas Pakistanis during the first four months of 2002-2003 stood at $1.432bn, an increase of around 251 per cent over the corresponding period of the last year.

The ECC was also informed that Pakistan Postal Services have become a new channel for remittances. This role of the post office would enable overseas Pakistanis to ensure delivery of their remittances at their door steps.

The meeting noted that during the quarter July-October exports increased by 15 per cent as compared to 1.19 per cent in the corresponding period of the last year. The total exports during the first four months of the current financial year stood at $3.48bn which were on the target. The imports increased by 13.3 per cent. Non-oil non-food imports increased by 6.8 per cent indicating industrial activity.

According to the details later released by the ministry of finance, the imports of power generation and construction machinery increased by 51 per cent and 30 per cent respectively over the corresponding period of the last year.

The increased exports were attributed to the exports of textile to the European Union, which registered an increase of 22 per cent during July-October 2002 as compared to the corresponding period of the last year. With this trend, Pakistan is expected to achieve the target of exports to the tune of $10.4bn during the current financial year.

RUPEE KEEPS GOING UP

The US dollar has depreciated by 2.5 per cent against the rupee in the inter-bank market since July on higher dollar selling by exporters, larger inflow of home remittances and faster conversion of foreign currency deposits into rupees.

Bankers said the rupee gained further grounds in the inter-bank market where it closed at 58.56/58.57 to a dollar up six paisa from the close of 58.62/58.63. This is the second straight gain the rupee has recorded due to higher inflows of foreign exchange. The local unit had gained 10 paisa against the dollar sending signals to the exporters that it is time for selling their future export earnings in advance.

FUEL, ENERGY SECTOR POSTS RS20BN PROFIT

Fuel & Energy sector, which commands market capitalization of Rs132 billion or a quarter of all of the market value of listed stocks at the Karachi Stock Exchange , posted net income of Rs20 billion for financial year 2002, a report prepared by stock brokerage firm, IP Securities, has said.

The net income for financial year 2002 (FY02), was down 5 per cent from Rs21 billion the previous year and excluded the KESC's unaudited results for FY02, wherein the utility had posted mammoth loss of Rs17 billion. Adjusting for the loss, the aggregate income of the sector stood at Rs1.8 billion, compared with Rs4.6 billion in FY01.

Fuel & Energy sector could be placed in sub-sectors of Exploration and Production (E&P) companies; power & electric; oil marketing companies (OMCs); and gas companies. Humaira Zaheer, who follows the energy sector at IP Securities says: "Screening out the sub-sectors, the E&P companies have a 15 per cent share in the fuel & energy sector."

NCBS SEE FALL IN ADVANCES

The combined advances of four state-run banks saw a reduction of Rs6.5 billion in one year ending on September 30, 2002.

The banks are (i) First Women Bank (ii) Habib Bank Ltd. (iii) National Bank of Pakistan and (iv) United Bank Ltd. (UBL has now been privatized).

The cumulative stocks of advances of these four banks fell to Rs401.6 billion at end-September 2002 from Rs408.1 billion at end-September 2001.

CORPORATE PROFITS TAKE BIG LEAP

Thanks to lower interest rates, general increase in demand and rupee liquidity in the hands of consumers, overall profitability of the corporate sector took a big leap forward in the quarter July-Sept 2002, compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

In the banking sector, profit after tax at MCB rose 84 per cent due to some increase in spreads, coupled with 55 per cent decline in loan loss provisioning. Earnings at the other banking giant, NBP which unveiled third-quarter results showed an exuberant growth from Rs17 million to Rs534 million.

LPG SHORTAGE

Shortage of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) continues to persist in the city, resulting in price hike to over Rs50 per kg as compared to Rs40-45 per kg few days back.

30 PER CENT REMITTANCES COME FROM US

Money sent back home from Pakistanis living in the United States now accounts for more than 30 per cent of total home remittances.

Up till fiscal year 2000-01, the contribution of the US-based Pakistanis in overall home remittances was only 13 per cent.

The remittances from the US shot up to $779 million in fiscal July-June 2001-02 out of the total home remittances of $2.39 billion: In 2000-01 the remittances from the US stood around $135 million out of total $1 billion.

SBPBSC EARNS RS24.4M PROFIT

The SBP Banking Services Corporation (SBPBSC) that has taken up part of the job the State Bank was doing earlier has not only reduced the workload from the central bank but is also making money.

The corporation that became operational on January 2 this year earned a modest profit of Rs24.4 million up to June 30. The balance sheet of the corporation released recently along with the SBP annual accounts shows that it earned Rs9.9 million through discounting of treasury bills and Rs14.5 million in the shape of interest on staff loans.