Feb-18 24, 2002
Remittances rise to $982m in six months
The government is expecting $2 billion foreign
remittances during 2001-02, by the overseas Pakistanis, owing to fast
improving economic environment.
Official sources said on Wednesday that during the
first six months (July-December) of the current fiscal, remittances
had risen to $982.32 million against $609.16 million of the
corresponding period in 2000-01. "And now our assessment is that
these remittances will reach to roughly $2 billion by June 30 this
year", said an official.
The government is considering a proposal to offer
more incentives to the overseas Pakistanis for getting their
remittances transferred through normal banking channels.
The sources said that while new anti-money
laundering laws were in the offing to discourage Hundi and Hawala
transactions, the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) and Board of
Investment (BoI) were preparing a package to ensure protection of
overseas Pakistanis' investments/dollar accounts, and at the same time
offering them a 'reasonable return' on their investment.
The government, the sources said, would create an
institutionalised set up to attract Pakistani expatiates' investments
in the country. The Small and Medium Enterprises Authority (Smeda),
and small industrial corporations of Sindh and Punjab are particularly
being involved to have joint ventures with the expatriates in various
"There is a possibility of creating a new
institution for this purpose other than Smeda and small industrial
corporations", said another official. The government was also
considering to set up small industrial corporations in other part of
the country, he added.
The economic environment, the sources said, also
favoured to send more Pakistanis abroad for employment purposes.
State Bank injects Rs18.3bn
Most banks overcame their liquidity problems on
Tuesday as the State Bank pumped in Rs18.3 billion in inter- bank
market. The central bank made the injection through two-week and
four-week reverse repo of treasury bills at an open market operation.
The SBP said it injected Rs8.5 billion for two
weeks at 6.25 per cent and Rs9.8 billion for four weeks also at the
same rate. The injection is expected to keep banks liquid enough to
finance withdrawals from deposits ahead of Eidul Azha likely on
Pakistan expects $500m FDI
The government is expecting to have roughly $500
million foreign investment in Pakistan during the current financial
year due to what is being termed changed favourable international
"According to our latest projections there
will also be roughly $800 million and $1.5 billion foreign investment
in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004, respectively," said Chairman, Board
of Investment, Wasim Haqqie.
Speaking at a news conference along with Secretary
Commerce Dr. Akram Sheikh on Monday, he said that September 11 events
had swiftly changed Pakistan's perception in the outside world, which
was helping to secure substantial foreign investment in the country.
The IMF Board may meet in late March or early April
to approve the second tranche of $110 million out of $1.3 billion
Poverty Reduction Growth Facility (PRGF) for Pakistan.
Hubco declares 40pc cash dividend
The Hub Power Company Limited (Hubco) announced on
Thursday, interim cash dividend at 40 per cent or Rs4 per share. For
the six months to end-December 2001, Hubco reported gross profit
amounting to Rs4,264 million on turnover of Rs8,395 million.
PIA earns Rs300m profit
The Board was apprised that the airline had
recorded the operating profit of Rs300 million as against loss of
Rs3.9 billion during the corresponding six months of the previous
SG may acquire 10pc stake
French bank Societe Generale (SG) is negotiating to
acquire a 10-per cent stake in Pakistan's first Islamic commercial
bank, which is due to begin operating next month, an official said on
BBF, SSF decide merger
The Board of Directors of BSJS Balanced Fund
Limited (BBF) and Security Stock Fund Limited (SSF) have decided to
merge the two companies, an announcement by BBF on Wednesday said.
Sugar price soars by Rs2 per kg
The retail price of sugar has surged by Rs2 per kg
in the last 10 days to Rs23 from Rs21 per kg. The wholesale prices,
which were quoted at Rs1,850 per 100-kg bag 10 days back , have now
increased by Rs270 per 100 kg to Rs2,120 on Wednesday, wholesalers
The State Bank has allowed banks to issue foreign
currency travellers cheques to Pakistanis as well as foreign nationals
provided they surrender equivalent amount of foreign exchange in cash.
Up to 20pc HBL shares to be off-loaded
The government has decided to off-load five to 20
per cent shares of the Habib Bank Ltd with a view to giving benefits
of the privatization to the general public.
"Hopefully we will be offering 10 per cent
initial public offering (IPO) to earn roughly Rs1.6 billion, keeping
in view Rs16 billion capital of the Habib Bank," said Minister
for Privatisation, Altaf M. Saleem.
Dollar down by 1.3pc in two weeks
The US dollar lost 35 paisa more against the rupee
in the open market this week bringing the total loss it suffered in
two weeks to 80 paisa.
On Saturday the greenback finished at Rs59.90/Rs60
for spot buying and selling in the kerb market down from Rs60.25/
Rs60.35 a week earlier. Two weeks ago the dollar had closed at