Feb-11 - 17, 2002
ADB to provide $250m for energy sector
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated
$200-250 million for the restructuring of Pakistan's energy sector in
This was stated by Country Director, ADB, Marshuk
Ali Shah in a chat on Thursday after addressing on the topic Private
Sector Investment in Energy Sector: Case of Pakistan, in a seminar on
Public Private Partnership in Infrastructure. The seminar was
organized by the National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA).
However, there has been no major lending by the Bank in the current
year as compared to $300 million in the year 2000 for energy sector's
ADB's total lending to Pakistan in the last 30
years stands at $2.9 billion of which $2.3 billion have been to the
power subsector and $0.6 billion to the natural gas and petroleum
subsectors, he said adding that the Bank has been a major source of
external assistance in the energy sector in Pakistan having provided
about one third of the total external resources to the sector.
Three fourths of the assistance to the power
subsector worth $1.575 billion has been provided to Wapda and the rest
to the KESC, he said.
On entire Pakistan basis, he said, the ADB has
targeted a total lending of one billion dollars this year for key
seven to eight sectors, which include capital market restructuring,
quality primary education, rural development and rural finance
The ADB has, however, initiated a major
intervention in 2002 to assist the government in restructuring the
power sector under the Energy Sector Restructuring Programme ($300
million). The programme aims at improving sector economic efficiency
and consumer satisfaction. He said the reform programme is to
restructure the power sector by breaking up the sector's monolithic
vertically integrated power projects, transmission and distribution
facilities and introducing market reforms into this sector.
Petroleum prices to go up by 14pc
Prices of all the petroleum products and furnace
oil are set to go up by 14 per cent across the board in two phases.
The first phase of around 6.5pc increase will come
into effect immediately followed by the 7.5pc rise on July 1. This
would ensure a 40pc return on equity to the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs),
petroleum ministry sources confirmed on Thursday.
The official said that the director-general, oil,
had prepared a summary for formal approval of the ECC under directives
of the Petroleum Advisory Council.
The logic behind the decision is stated to be the
OMCs' "unmanageable" margin and dealers' commission. OMCs'
margin currently stands at 64 paisa, 78 paisa, 19 paisa and 28 paisa
per litre of petrol, HOBC, Kerosene oil and high speed diesel,
respectively. Similarly, the dealers' commission is Re1.01, 89 paisa
and 43 paisa per litre of HOBC, petrol, and high speed diesel,
NIT to introduce two new products
The National Investment Trust (NIT) would launch
two new products to suit separately those classes of investors who
prefer, to earn dividends irrespective of fluctuations in Net Asset
Values (NAVs) and the other for those who are averse to risks and
would rather put money in capital-protected funds. Chairman NIT, Tariq
Iqbal Khan told a press briefing on Thursday that the decision about
the new products would be taken at the Board meeting to be held on
Khan, who also heads the Investment Corporation of
Pakistan (ICP) — managers of the 26 closed-end mutual funds — said
that there never was a proposal to merge ICP with NIT, but the process
of privatization of the latter was going apace. The four prospective
bidders: ABAMCO, Arif Habib Securities, PICIC and First Habib Modaraba
were in the process of conducting the 'due diligence' exercise.
IMF tranche soon: Shaukat
Head of the visiting four-member IMF review mission
Klaus Enders has said the Pakistan government is pursuing broad
economic reforms agenda to stabilise the economy.
He met Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz on Wednesday
and discussed with him the whole range of economic issues, including
revenues, exports, fiscal deficit, balance of payment position and the
SME Bank may write-off Rs5bn loans
With total outstanding portfolio of Rs11 billion,
the SME Bank is expected to write off Rs5 billion loans shortly. The
bank has been established through the merger of SBFC and RDFC.
"The recovery of this amount is doubtful and
may be written off", Kaisar Naseem, president and CEO of SME bank
told a news conference on Wednesday.
He said that the bank has been able to recover over
Rs4 billion in last 20 months against total outstanding amount of Rs13
billion but the figure has again piled up to Rs11 billion.
Elaborating, he said that Rs5 billion was the amount the borrowers
have not paid even a single instalment and many of them have died. Of
the remaining amount, the borrowers have now turned up to avail of
various concession packages with payment of principal amount and
restructuring of interest.
Pilcorp, TIB merger plan okayed
The shareholders of Pakistan Industrial Leasing
Corporation (Pilcorp) and Trust Investment Bank (TIB) have stamped
their approval on their plans to merge into one company.
Fauji Fetilizer posted 17.5 per cent growth in
sales of its "Sona" brand of fertilizer, to Rs11,982 million
for the year ended December 31, 2001, from Rs10,201 million the year
ago. Pre-tax profit increased 19.2 per cent to Rs4,994 million, from
Rs4,190 million and after charging tax at effective rate of 36
per cent, compared with 37 per cent last year.