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 5. TRADE  6. GULF



Feb-11 - 17, 2002

US to get money transfer data

Pakistan has agreed to share information with the United States on transfer of money and channels mainly relating to money laundering, hundi and hawala.

A team of US treasury officials and State Department held on Thursday a meeting with Chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Khalid A. Mirza.

An official statement of SECP said that Khalid Mirza assured the US team "of full cooperation from the commission and sharing of public information".

The officials of US treasury and state department are currently on a visit to Pakistan "in pursuance of the policy agreed by the coalition partners in the aftermath of the Sept 11 events for sharing information about working of the corporate sector, especially relating to methods of transfer of money and channels available to finance possible illegal activities," the SECP said.

The SECP said these officials assisted by the US embassy staff were meeting with trade bodies and regulators in connection with investment in capital market, money exchange and money transfer business.

It said that money laundering, hundi and hawala which were considered to be among the sources of illegal financial activities, including terrorism, were subjects of particular interest.

The US delegation comprised George Edwin Smith, III, director department of treasury, Mike Gayle of state department, Carol A. Mesheske, chief special activities division of supervision of federal deposit insurance corporation and the local embassy staff.

The SECP chairman, briefing the US team about Pakistan's capital market, said the Pakistani securities regulator had already achieved the 30 international standards prescribed by the international organisation of securities commissions (IOSCO).

Chinese firms to set up two power projects

Two Chinese companies would set up $500 million worth of two coal-based power projects in Jherruck, near Thatta, Sindh, official sources told.

The Sindh government has issued a letter of intent (LOI) to Jiangsu to carry out feasibility study of building a 250-mw coal power project in Jherruck.

Separately, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has also been signed with China Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMEC) to set up another power project of similar capacity. The cost of each project is estimated at $250 million, sources said.

Jherruck, near the historical city of Thatta, is reported to have enough coal reserves to produce 500mw electricity for more than 20 years and is second largest coal-bearing area after Thar coal system.

Govt to bear Rs92bn KESC losses: Altaf

Karachi Electric Supply Corporation's (KESC) losses will reach Rs92 billion by the time of its privatization that will be borne by the government to attract more buyers for the entity.

This was stated by the Federal Privatization Minister Altaf M. Saleem while addressing the members and management committee of the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Thursday.

He said the government would sell 75 per cent shares of KESC and would like that the local investors buy some 10 to 15 per cent shares so the rest could be offered to foreigners. He said that the appropriate measures have been taken to cover up the security risks involved in sell-off of public sector entities to foreigners.

Wapda chief opposes sales tax

Wapda chairman Lt-Gen Zulfikar Ali Khan on Thursday urged the government to refrain from charging 15 per cent General Sales Tax on electricity consumption and "be sensitive to public problems".

Talking to reporters at a prize distribution ceremony of Pakistan Green Task Force, he conceded that if the GST was imposed on Wapda, the brunt would obviously be passed on to consumers in the shape of increased tariff.

Joint ventures

A number of South Korean companies are interested in joint ventures with Pakistan to increase present level of their investment, says Yoon Jee-Joon, the outgoing Ambassador of South Korea.

Musharraf to meet Bush on 13th

Gen Pervez Musharraf, who meets President George Bush at the White House on Feb 13, will a day earlier address a meeting organized by two eminent Washington-based think-tanks on his views of a vision for Pakistan.

The organizations arranging Gen Musharraf's lecture are the Woodrow Wilson Centre for Scholars and the Carnegie Endowment for Peace.

Pak-India dialogue

The European Union must use its experience in forging cooperation between former enemies to facilitate a comprehensive Pakistan-India dialogue on Kashmir and other key issues, Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar said on Monday.

SME Bank plans package for Sialkot units

The president SME Bank Ltd, Kaiser H. Naseem has said that the Bank will soon design a grand package of incentives in collaboration with Smeda to develop the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of Sialkot, besides making more easier the early provision of the soft loans on long-term basis.

He was addressing a joint meeting of the local traders, industrialists and exporters at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) after visiting various industrial units in Sambrial, Daska and Sialkot, on Monday.

ADBP being revamped

Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan (ADBP) has launched the process of revamping and restructuring its operations for making available cost-effective credit to the agriculturists to enable them increase their per acre yield and also marketing out their produce on competitive international environment, bank sources told on Monday.