Booking of automobile proved a bonanza for the
investor for last about one year after leasing companies and banks
started offering liberal financial assistance and car business offered a
lucrative return. But automobile dealers said the slowdown in booking
was quite strange on the part of consumers as the assemblers had always
refunded the difference whenever the prices were cut.
A leading Japanese car assembler said that the
booking of new cars had also plunged.
The statements of Federal Minister for Industries and
Production Liaquat Ali Khan Jatoi for the last four months over possible
price cut followed by a firm statement on April 30 that assemblers had
agreed to cut prices on June 1 has caused a major shake up in the
market, thus resulting in cut of higher premiums on new models.
Suzuki Cultus CNG, on which Rs50,000 was being
charged as premium as against its actual price of Rs590,000, has reduced
by Rs20,000. Currently it is being sold out at Rs610,000.
CNG Mehran is being sold at Rs354,000 as against its
control price of Rs324,000. Currently, its rate in black-market has
fallen to Rs331,000. Alto 1000cc was selling at premium price of
Rs530,000 as against its company price of Rs496,000. Now it is being
sold at Rs510,000.
The premium on Toyota Corolla was being charged at
Rs100,000-150,000 when it took the market by storm last year. After
various statements by the federal industries minister over price cut in
the last four months, the rate of premium dropped to Rs70,000-90,000.
Currently, the premium on Corolla ranges between Rs50,000-60,000. Same
is the case of Honda VTI models.
REMITTANCES CROSS $3.5BN MARK
Home remittances showed an impressive increase of
89.61 per cent to $3.536 billion during July-April period of 2002-03
against $1.865 billion during the same period last year.
The amount includes cash flows, encashment of FEBCs
and FCBCs, Hajj remittances and remittances from Iraq-Kuwait war
Out of the total remittances received in the country
during July-April 2002-03, workers' remittances contributed $3.407
billion as against $1.778 billion during the corresponding period last
year, showing an increase of 91.58 per cent.
The total amounted remitted in April, 2003 was
$306.85 million as compared to $238.79 million the same month last year,
posting an increase of 28.50 per cent.
The euro skyrocketed to Rs68.53 in the inter-bank
market here after it matched its all-time high of $1.1899 in the
Global currency dealers quoted by news wire services
said the current rise of the euro was sentiment-driven and the single
European currency might see the $1.2 level before profit taking starts.
The euro has appreciated by about 27 per cent against
the US dollar since its physical trading started in January 2002. From
Rs54 at that time to Rs68.53 the upward journey of the euro has seen
many exporters in Pakistani exploring more markets in the eurozone and
pricing their export bills in euro rather than in dollar.
TWO BANKS T-BILLS AUCTION
The State Bank last week had to raise the cut-off
yield on six-month treasury bills by 16 basis points as National Bank
and Muslim Commercial Bank priced their bids well above the last
Senior bankers said the central bank had to accept
their bids to honour the target set for selling the bills. Sources in
the two banks said there was nothing unusual in pricing the bids at a
higher level because banks price their bid according to their own
perception about the market forces and keeping in view the need to
invest in T-bills.
CRESCENT INVESTMENT BANK
The first quarter (Jan-March 2003) report and
accounts of Crescent Investment Bank Limited (CresBank) confirmed that
the event to celebrate was the merger with Mashreq Bank.
For first quarter 2003, the bank posted 84 per cent
drop in pretax profit to Rs58.6 million, from Rs368.8 million in the
corresponding period of the previous year.
Privatization and Investment Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez
Shaikh has directed the Privatization Commission officials to complete
all related formalities for holding the bidding for the sale of assets
of Karachi Hotel Project formally allotted to Hyatt Regency Hotel,
The minister, who is also the chairman of
Privatization Commission and custodian of Hyatt Regency Hotel Project,
will chair a pre-Privatization Commission Board meeting to review the
present status and progress of various upcoming transactions.
Deutsche Bank Pakistan is considering to design
financial products for the capital market which now offer attractive
prospects to the investors.
A 30 minutes chat with Kenneth J. Borda, Chief
Executive Officer (CEO) Asia Pacific excluding Japan of Deutsche Bank,
and Chief Country Officer (CCO) Arif M. Ali revealed recent surge in the
stock exchange has evoked considerable interest among the investors in