Showing posts with label Business News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Business News. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Lakhra to enhance power generation

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Upon the instructions of the Federal Government, the Lakhra Power Generation Company Limited (LPGCL) is assisting JICA for the feasibility study of state of the art 600 MW FBC Power Generation Plant at its Complex, located 31 kilometers off Jamshoro. 

According to the company sources, the objective is to enhance its present generation capacity from 30 MW to 60 MW by carrying out the rehabilitation work through essential major repairs of Unit 2 only at a cost of Rs 34 million during the next four months. 

Sources disclosed that LPGCL Complex has three Units of 50 MW each with a total installed capacity of 150MW, 31 KMs off Jamshoro with FBC technology, which burns low grade coal (lignite in this case) with the addition of limestone for power generations. 

In 2006 rehabilitation work was initiated by the Company for Units 1, 2 and 3 and only Unit 1 could be functional after rehabilitation. During the same year, the Federal Government decided to go for Lease Transaction of the 150 MW capacity plant and thus, the rehab work on Units 2 & 3 was grinded to a halt, forcing the Company to go for marginalizing its capacity to 30 MW from the only rehabilitated Unit 1. 

Sources further disclosed that stakeholders like the bidder and the others initiated legal proceedings in 2006, which culminated in the setting aside of the lease transaction by the apex court in August 2013. The company in quest to assist the Federal Government to overcome the energy crises has decided to go for the immediate functioning of Unit 2 at a cost of Rs 34 million. 

The company has also submitted a proposal to its mother concern i.e. the Office of GM, GENCO, for the rehabilitation of all the three Units at a total cost of 20 Million dollars, as only Unit 1 is working at declared de-rated capacity of 30 MW. The rehabilitation of all three Units shall enhance the capacity of 40 MW each to the national grid. 

It may be mentioned here that Units 2 and 3 were shut down from 2006 and 2008, respectively. The period of the job is expected to be completed within 18 months. The company will be able to recover 90 MW of capacity with an investment of 20 million dollars or 0.22 dollars per MW. The company is likely to reduce the current cost of Rs. 15.37 to below Rs. 09.50, when job done.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

State Bank reduces policy rate by 50 basis points to nine percent

Yaseen Anwar, SBP Chief
By Mohammad Nazakat Ali
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has decided to reduce the policy rate by 50 basis points to bring it down to 9 percent with effect from June 24, 2013.
This was decided by the Central Board of Directors of the State Bank of Pakistan at its meeting held under the chairmanship of SBP Governor, Yaseen Anwar, in Karachi on June 21.
According to the Monetary Policy Decision, the SBP has decided to place a higher weight to declining inflation and low private sector credit relative to risks to the balance of payments position.
Following is the complete text of the Monetary Policy decision:
“There has been a discernible positive change in sentiments post May 2013 elections because of clarity on the political front. The change in the behavior of banks in auctions of government securities and reaction of stock market are two examples. Importantly, there has been a considerable improvement in SBP conducted surveys of consumer confidence, expected economic conditions, and inflation expectations. The absence of foreign financial inflows and high fiscal borrowings from the banking system, however, remain formidable economic challenges, especially for monetary policy. Similarly, power shortages and security conditions continue to be strong impediments to growth.”
“An almost continuous and broad based deceleration in inflation over the last year has had a favorable impact on inflation outlook – a key variable in monetary policy decisions.  In May 2013, the year-on-year CPI inflation was 5.1 percent while trimmed measure of core inflation was 6.7 percent; the lowest levels since October 2009. The average CPI inflation for FY13 is expected to be at least two percentage points below the target of 9.5 percent.”
“However, in the latest budget the government has announced an increase of 1 percentage point in the General Sales Tax (GST), from 16 percent to 17 percent, and changes in the tax structure for some goods and services. In addition, the government is considering a phase-wise upward adjustment in electricity tariff. The exact magnitude and timing of this adjustment is yet to be decided. Therefore, there is a risk that average inflation for FY14 could exceed the announced target of 8 percent for the year. However, aggregate demand in the economy is expected to remain moderate, which could have a dampening effect on inflation.”
“A reflection of the current declining trend in inflation can be seen in the muted real economic activity, especially private investment expenditures. Beset by energy shortages and law and order conditions, the GDP growth has struggled to ameliorate in the last few years and this year was no exception. The provisional estimate of GDP growth for FY13 is 3.6 percent, which is lower than the 4.3 percent target for the year. Similarly, private fixed capital formation has decreased by 1.8 percent – the fifth consecutive year of a declining trend. Although there has been an encouraging uptick in the growth of Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) sector, 4.8 percent in April 2013, it is too early to term it as an emerging trend.”
“A declining inflation trend and below potential GDP growth make a case for further reduction in the policy rate. The argument is twofold. First, the SBP has been giving a relatively high priority to inflation in its monetary policy decisions over the last few years. Thus, continuing to do so would indicate consistency in the monetary policy stance. Second, without further reduction in the policy rate, the real interest rate – policy rate minus expected inflation – would increase due to declining inflation. High real interest rates are not helpful for supporting private investment in the economy.”
“However, as indicated in the last monetary policy decision, the current balance of payments position and a structural imbalance in fiscal accounts suggest vigilance. The stress in the balance of payments position was a prime consideration in maintaining the policy rate at 9.5 percent in the last two monetary policy decisions. The basic argument has been that the return on rupee denominated assets needs to be sufficiently attractive to discourage speculative demand for dollars.”
“There is no significant revision in the assessment of the balance of payments position since the last monetary policy decision. The external current account deficit is expected to remain manageable, around 1 percent of GDP for FY13, signifying very low risk from this source for the external accounts. The real challenge continues to emanate from the lack of financial inflows. Let alone finance the small current account deficit, there has been a cumulative net capital and financial outflow of $143 million during the first eleven months of the current fiscal year. Add to this the on-going payments of IMF loans and it becomes clear that the pressure on foreign exchange reserves has not abated. As of 14th June 2013, SBP’s foreign exchange reserves stand at $6.2 billion.”
“There are two developments, however, that are worth highlighting. First, there has been a noticeable change in sentiments, as highlighted above, that can potentially have a favorable influence on private financial inflows. Other than the overall economic outlook, investment decisions do take into account the relative political certainty that determines the continuation of economic policies for some time in the future. Second, declining inflation has increased the relative real return on rupee denominated assets. This could provide some room for downward adjustment in nominal returns to cater to broad macroeconomic considerations despite external account concerns.”
“In this context, a lot depends on the fiscal outlook. The fiscal deficit for FY13 has been estimated to reach 8.8 percent of GDP, which is considerably higher than earlier projections. The source of deviation is structural and well known – low tax revenues due to absence of meaningful tax reforms and continuation of untargeted subsidies without comprehensively addressing the energy sector problems. For FY14, the federal government has announced a provisional estimate of 6.3 percent of GDP. “
“From the monetary policy perspective, it is the financing pressure of the fiscal position that is the source of stress. Due to almost zero net external financing in FY13, the burden of financing the sizeable deficit of 8.8 percent has fallen disproportionately on domestic sources, in particular the banking system. During 1st July – 7th June, FY13, fiscal borrowings from the banking system for budgetary support were Rs1230 billion, including Rs413 billion from the SBP. The high level of these borrowings has kept an upward pressure on the system’s liquidity and thus short term market interest rates and is restraining growth in the private sector credit.”
“If the economy is to reap the benefits of evolving positive sentiments and lure the domestic as well as foreign investors then implementation of a reform oriented and credible medium term fiscal outlook is essential. On its part, the Central Board of Directors of SBP has decided to place a higher weight to declining inflation and low private sector credit relative to risks to the balance of payments position. Therefore, the policy rate is being reduced by 50 basis points, to 9 percent, with effect from 24th June 2013.”

Friday, May 17, 2013

KCCI assures total support and cooperation to SSUET

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The elected representatives of the business community at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) have expressed the hope that dwindled economy and battered industrial sector will witness a new surge during the next five years. 

They made the assessment on the basis of formation of new government to be formed by Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif which, they noted, has dedicated industrialists, businessmen and experts in the related fields in its fold who are capable to deliver which the previous government could not. 

Their remarks in this regard came in a meeting with Engr Mohammad Adil Usman, Chancellor of Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET), Karachi, held at the university campus on May 15 The 21-member delegation of KCCI, led by its President, Mohammed Haroon Aagar, visited the university and discussed various matters to further strengthen the existing coordination and relationship with SSUET. 

The KCCI chief pointed out that no expansion occurred in the industrial sector during the last 5 years and this sector has much hopes on the new government which is going to be formed with an industry-related background. He offered large scale internship opportunities for the SSUET students, foreseeing the rapid industrial growth that is likely to take place in the coming years. 

He specially referred to the ongoing energy crisis and said that with other sources of energy generation potential also existed to tap solar energy prospects for use in the industries. He also offered to extend sponsorships for the SSUET students, wherever required. 

In his remarks on the occasion the SSUET Chancellor, Engr Adil Usman, thanked the delegation for coming over and described it highly encouraging with fruitful discussion. He said while foreseeing the future development prospects, there is imperative need to encourage the students studying engineering in this university which is being run with its self-generated resources to provide best possible knowledge to future builders of the nation. 

The Chancellor said that the university does not receive any government grant, still no student is allowed to give his studies just for financial implications and all requirements of poor students are fulfilled by this university which has been awarded the highest “W4” category by Higher Education Commission. 

He suggested the KCCI to establish a fund for poor students of this university which will be utilized under the criteria to be worked out by KCCI itself. He also referred to the SSUET’s Research and Development programs and pointed out that world over such programs are supported by the industry. He said that R&D programs at universities ultimately prove beneficial for the industry. 

He informed the KCCI officials that the university can send talented students abroad if a fund is created by KCCI for this purpose. Engr Adil Usman also referred to the bio-plant designed with SSUET’s cooperation and emphasized that it needs further development to launch it for meeting energy needs. 

He appreciated KCCI’s offer for 6-month IT training for the university students and said the University at its end can offer solutions for IT related problems if these come from the Chamber. 

On the occasion, Shamim Firpo, Senior Vice-President KCCI, appreciated SSUET’s participation in the Chamber’s ‘My Karachi; exhibition held at Expo Center last year and said that the projects displayed on that occasion drew big public liking. 

He said this year the KCCI is organizing the exhibition in July and will earmark an exclusive education pavilion to showcasing the projects of engineering students. He said such programs will help enhance greater SSUET-industry collaboration. 

He also referred to the menace of energy crisis and observed that if the new government surmounts this menace, the industry will grow and in turn new job opportunities will create and simultaneously ongoing law and order come under control. 

He assured KCCI's total support and cooperation for the SSUET along with other members of the visiting delegation who appreciated the presentation given on the occasion by Registrar SSUET Shah Mahmood Hussain Syed and particularly referred to the quantum of scholarships awarded and the financial assistance give to needy students. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

PakRe registers substantial growth

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Pakistan Reinsurance Company Limited (PRCL), rated as AA Company, has posted a net profit of Rs.925 million for the three Quarters ending September 30, 2012.

The break-up of Profit & Loss Account of PRCL in Underwriting Profit in nine months having ended on September 30, 2012, is Rs.578 million, as compared to Rs.283 million during the corresponding period last year.

The investment income stood at Rs.785 million as compared to Rs.747 million while the rental and other income went up from Rs.36 million to Rs.45 million. The general and administration expenses were brought down from Rs.30 million to Rs.29 million with the exchange gain being Rs.39 million compared to Rs.27 million last year.

The net profit before tax and value of available for Sale Investment-write-off was Rs.1408 million as Rs.1073 million last year, less Provision for Taxation Rs.337 million to Rs.217 million, net Profit after Tax and before Value of available for Sale Investment-write-off Rs.1071 million to Rs.856 million, and value of available for Sale Investment-write-off Rs.146 million to Rs.61 million.

The summary of accounts for the nine months ended September 30, 2012, as compared with the accounts for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 is Premium Written Rs.5472 million to Rs.4212 million, Reinsurance ceded Rs.2669 million to Rs.1278 million, Net Retention Rs.2803 million to Rs.2934 million, Premium Reserve Rs.282 million to Rs. 372 Million, Net Premium Rs.3085 million to Rs.2562 million, Net Commission Rs.644 Million to Rs.574 Million, Net Claims Rs.1530 million to Rs.1451 million Underwriting Profit before Management Expenses Rs.911 million to Rs.537 million, and Less Management Expenses Rs.333 million to Rs.254 million.

The Underwriting Profit during the period under report was Rs.578 million as compared to Rs.283 million during last corresponding period.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Karachi Electric Supply Company’s Board of Director has approved to offer right shares to the shareholders in its meeting held on July 29, 2011. The entitlement of the shareholders, post book closure, would be notified after the approval of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.

KESC announced to offer 7.25 per cent right issue as per approval of the Board, that will be 29 ordinary right shares for every 400 ordinary shares held by the shareholders at par, which is Rs. 3.50 per share.

KESC has informed the shareholders that the approval of the Board to the said right issue is subject to approval of SECP and book closure, in order to determine the entitlement of the shareholders to the said issue.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Arshad Ali to head FPCCI’s committee on Labour Manpower Export and Overseas Pakistanis

Syed Arshad Ali, a prominent name in the hospitality industry and a former chairman of the Pakistan Hotel Association, has been appointed as the Chairman of the FPCCI’s Standing Committee on Labour Manpower Export and Overseas Pakistanis.

Arshad Ali, Managing Director, Integrated Facilitators (Pvt) Ltd, has been assigned the responsibility by Senator Haji Ghulam Ali, President, Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI), for the year 2011.

Monday, May 2, 2011


ENERCON and SME Leasing Limited, a subsidiary of SME Bank Limited, signed an agreement recently to promote the use of fuel efficient devices/equipments to control carbon emissions, in the transport sector of Pakistan, in particular and other energy efficient devices in general. As agreed by both the entities, ENERCON through SME Leasing Limited will be extending credit for lease finance facilities (at below market rates) for the equipment used for conservation of energy. The agreement was signed by Mr. Faridullah Khan –Managing Director – ENERCON and by Mrs. Arjumand A. Qazi - Chief Executive Officer - SME Leasing Limited in a meeting held at the ENERCON Head Office at Islamabad.

SME Leasing Limited specializes in providing financial solutions to small and medium enterprises in Pakistan. The company has been a pioneer in the field and has assisted in establishing several SMEs from the start to bringing them to a sizeable and bankable entity.

ENERCON is the national coordinating platform tasked with the vital and challenging mandate of efficiency culture change in the energy use in all sectors of economy. Being a cross sector challenge the support of private sector is absolutely vital for achieving the goal of national energy security through energy conservation (EC) and energy efficiency (EE) culture change. ENERCON welcomes the initiative of SME Leasing Limited for showing corporate social responsibility (CSR) by partnering with ENERCON for the national cause of energy EC and EE.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

National Industrial Relations Commission restrains NBP union official from unlawful activities

The Chairman, National Industrial Relations Commission (NIRC) vide its Order dated 16th March 2010 has stopped Syed Jehangir, President , NBP Employees Front, Head Office (CBA) from exhibiting banners & posters which are defamatory in nature and also from forcefully entering into the offices of senior Bank officials with a view to pressurize and overawe them. Restraining orders have also been issued directing the union official to refrain from creating law and order situation in the Bank. Both the parties will abide by the Court Orders.
Inspector General Police (Sindh) has also been directed by the learned Court to ensure that no law and order situation takes place in this respect.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

PICG, PBC Conference on the ‘Role of the Non-executive Chairman’

A half day conference on the ‘Role of the Non-executive Chairman’ was held by Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance (PICG) in collaboration with Pakistan Business Council (PBC) recently at Karachi Sheraton hotel.

With a brief introduction by Mr. Fuad A. Hashimi (President & CEO, PICG) and Mr. Kamran Y. Mirza (Chief Executive, PBC), the conference was focused on the role of a non-executive chairman, a key issue in the realm of Corporate Governance practice. Mr. Salim Abbas Jilani (Chairman SSGC) chaired the conference and was also one of the moderators. Mr. Munnawar Hamid OBE (Chairman BOC & Silk Bank) was the other moderator.

Mr. Ken Rushton, senior advisor at Nestor Advisors and a member of the Private Sector Advisory Group of the Global Corporate Governance Forum, delivered the key note address on ‘International Best Practices’. It was followed by presentation on ‘Experience with Pakistani State-Owned Enterprises’ by Mr. Zaffar A. Khan (non-executive independent director on the boards of companies like State Bank of Pakistan, Unilever, and Shell Pakistan etc.). The last presentation was on ‘Perspectives from Family-Owned Businesses in Pakistan’ by Mr. Razzak Dawood (Chairman, Descon Engineering & PBC and Rector of LUMS).

A highly interactive discussion forum followed the presentations raising issues on how to further enhance the role of non-executive chairman in the companies. In a nutshell, the objective of the conference was to highlight the current scenario and proposing a set-up where organizations in any segment, specifically those relating to public sector enterprises, must run in a neutral manner under the framework of good governance.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Govt asks traders to sell sugar at Rs50/kg

In the aftermath of a crackdown against sugar hoarders, Sindh government and City District
Government of Karachi have asked the wholesalers traders of sugar to supply the white sweetener at Rs48-per
kg while the retail price of the commodity should be Rs50-per kg.
The traders and mills owners have limited the supply of white sweetener in market, resulting in highest ever
increase in the prices of commodity to Rs54-per kg at retail market in the country.
While, the shortage of commodity in wholesale market also been reported in the country.
The artificial shortage of commodity has caused heated debate in Lower House of the Parliament, where
treasury and opposition benches levelled allegations against each other for hoarding.
Due to debate in National Assembly and crackdown against the hoarders’ mafia in Punjab, the Sindh Chief
Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Sunday directed the concerned administration to take action against the
traders involved in the hoarding in the province.
Sindh CM has also issued directives for ensuring supply of the sugar in market at reasonable price.
Meanwhile, a sugar broker Haji Siddique told The Nation that CDGK conducted a meeting of wholesalers, sugar
traders and sugar brokers to ensure the smooth supply of commodity on reasonable price in the City.
The CDGK officials issued directives to the concerned stakeholders to supply sugar at the price of Rs48 per kg
and Rs50 per kg in wholesale and retail markets respectively, he confirmed, adding that CDGK also instructed
for smooth supply of commodity during the holy month of Ramadan.
Dispelling the impression of shortage of sugar, Siddique said that sufficient stocks were available with the
traders, markets and private sector. “If smooth supply of sugar continued, the sugar brokers will supply the

Friday, July 31, 2009

Default by members of KSE: Names placed on ECL after two members flee country

Though it was a bit late to act, government finally has placed the names of five suspended members of Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) on Exit Control List (ECL).

Ministry of Interior placed these suspended members on ECL on the recommendation of Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), sources told on Thursday.

However, the action taken by the government with regard to these suspended members was of little use as two of these members have already flown out of the country; one reportedly in Europe and other in Singapore.

Though sources in SECP termed the placement of the names of suspended members on ECL to safeguard the interests of investors whose hard-earned money is at risk due to inability of these members to pay-off their liabilities, market participants said that apex regulator acted late and it should have taken this step once the membership of these brokers was suspended on June 30, 2009.

SECP took the action after failure of these members to give a specific timeframe to clear their liabilities and any concrete action plan to for the resolution of outstanding investors’ claims. Upon which, by using the regulatory powers, apex regulator issued orders for the suspension of registration of the said brokers. The suspended securities are Eastern Securities, Prudential Securities, Capital One Securities, MKA Securities and Click Securities. The owners of two brokerage firms that owed the majority of default amount are out of the country now.

Although, the working is underway to calculate the exact amount of defaulted amount of these companies, the varying estimates put the amount around Rs 1.5 billion with the Rs 630 million defaulted amount owed by those two firms whose owners left the country.

The default committee of KSE has given August 12, 2009 as the final deadline to these suspended brokerage houses to pay off the defaulted amount, otherwise their cards would be auctioned.

At the time of suspension of their membership SECP declared that the registration of the above-mentioned brokerage houses would remain suspended, in the public interest and for the protection of investors and to preserve capital market integrity, till claims against them in light of the investors complaints are ascertained and settled.

According to a director of KSE, these suspended members should not only be put on ECL but also should be blacklisted because they have breached the confidence of investors. He was critical of the way SECP handled the issue and said that action should have been taken since the launch of the inquiry against these members.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

PSO among the top 100 companies of the Muslim World for 2008

Pakistan State Oil (PSO) ranked 29th among the list of top 100 companies of the Muslim World released here.
US Consultancy, Dinar Standard in their 5th Annual Ranking released the list of 100 top companies of 57 member countries of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), which depicted Turkey�s 23 companies among the list bagging most, while the largest oil company of the world Aramco topped the list.
PSO ranked 29th whose revenue as compared previous year was seen surged by 41 percent. Previous year PSO was ranked at 31st and Sui Northern Gas at 99th.