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BUSINESS Thursday, 1 August, 2013

Branchless banking accounts grow by 14pc KARACHI: The branchless banking in the country grew by 14 percent during first quarter of calendar year (CY-2013-January-March) and the branchless banking (BB) accounts have reached 2.4 million by the end of the quarter. According to State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) latest branchless banking newsletter, branchless banking deposits have grown by 32 percent and reached Rs 1.4 billion. A State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) statement here on Wednesday said the growth is mainly attributed to level `0’ and level `3’ accounts which grew by 33 percent and 56 percent respectively. The total volume and value of transactions processed during the quarter has jumped by 16 percent to 41.1 million and by 13 percent to Rs 171 billion respectively. This growth in transactions is largely attributable to early BB players (Easypaisa and Omni). The average size of transaction is Rs 4,150 while the average number of daily transactions has increased to 457,000 from 392,433. The fast growing network of BB agents has reached 64,716 as of March 31, 2013 from 41,567 as on December 31, 2012 registering an increase of 56 percent. This growth in agents’ network is largely owed to new players (Mobicash and Timepey). According to the newsletter, domestic fund transfers through OTC (P2P) remains the dominant category with 59 percent share in value and 36 percent in number of transactions performed by the customers. Growth in m-wallets has been driven by G2P accounts as 75 percent of the total 295,138 accounts registered during the quarter belong to G2P beneficiaries. G2P welfare payments worth of Rs 5.5 billion have been disbursed through BB channels during the quarter. APP

Stock ends higher, rupee strengthens KARACHI: Pakistan’s main stock exchange closed higher on Wednesday with the benchmark 100-share index of the Karachi Stock Exchange falling 0.12 per cent or 27.96 points to 23,312.77. The banking sector saw lackluster activity particularly in United Bank Ltd and Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd. The cement sector also failed to perform with investor expectation of low dispatches dampening sentiment. Dealers said they expected the market to be lackluster for the next few trading sessions as Eid holidays after Ramadan were around the corner. Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd fell 0.62 per cent to 272.01 rupees and Maple Leaf Cement Factory Ltd was down 0.46 per cent at 30.48 rupees. The rupee ended at 101.68/101.73 against the dollar, compared to Tuesday’s close of 101.70/101.80. STAFF REPORT

Pak, US mull signing of BIT ISLAMABAD

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S Ambassador Richard Oslon and BOI Chairman Mohammad Zubair on Wednesday discussed the way forward for signing the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) that has been pending since 2004. The US ambassador called on the BoI chairman and discussed various issues that remained pending during the tenure of last government. “The US and Pakistan started negotiating BIT in 2004 and after nine years the matter is yet to be addressed on serious note,” Oslon said while speaking on the occasion. He said the US government always desired to help Pakistan to get over the issues related to economic state of growth with rising prosperity and full employment to the people of Pakistan. Oslon said the US-Pakistan bilateral relations were very strong and America always valued the political and diplomatic support of Pakistan in the matters of high priorities. The US ambassador emphasised to organise road shows in the US to promote the new investment policy and special economic zones of Pakistan. He said such shows could be arranged all over the US to support the government to achieve the targets of energy policy. In this regard, he added, the American busi-

ness councils and other forums may actively be involved to attract more US investment to the country. The BOI chief assured Olson that the government was committed to sign the BIT without further delays and he may conclude the BIT before long with the

mutual consent of the major stakeholders. Talking about the restructuring of BOI, its chairman apprised the ambassador that USAID was providing technical and financial support to the BOI for improvement in procedures and organisational structure. He mentioned that BOI

No evidence yet of ‘shady’ IT software deal at KSE

will soon be made `one stop shop’ for the investors because investment is the key element to improve the Pakistan’s economy. He stated that Pakistan needs to achieve the target of 20 percent for investment to GDP ratio which is presently around 13 percent.

LSE down by 5.81 points

KARACHI STAFF REPORT

Preliminary enquiry into the allegations of massive financial irregularities in the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) has revealed that the former managing director of the country’s biggest bourse, Adnan Afridi, was not involved in any malpractice as being propagated by some vested interests, sources told Pakistan Today on Wednesday. Informed sources said that an anonymous email was received by the KSE Board in which it was alleged that the former IT director had allegedly embezzled Rs 51.5 million in the procurement of IT software for upgrading the bourse’s trading system. “The board initiated an enquiry into the allegations but in the meantime some vested interests started spreading rumours that the former managing director of KSE was also involved in the shady import deal,” said the sources. An investigation by Pakistan Today revealed that all major IT purchases at KSE are undertaken after approval by the IT Steering Committee which is constituted by the board. “The MD is not authorised to approve major capital expenditure. Moreover, during Adnan Afridi’s term, a

system of pre-audit and post-audit was implemented to ensure that major purchases follow all required processes. Any conflict of interest or variation was reported to the board and approval was sought of the entire board,” said an official, asking not to be named. Talking to Pakistan Today, Afridi denied that any enquiry had been initiated against him by the KSE board.

Meanwhile, the movers of the anonymous email have yet to come up with evidence in support of their allegations as the enquiry team has failed to locate the $0.75 million price quotation for the software which was alleged to have been procured later for $1.2 million. The enquiry team is expected to come up with its findings after Eidul Fitr.

LAHORE: Bearish trend prevailed in Lahore Stock Exchange on Wednesday as it shed 5.81 points following the LSE-25 index opened with 5048.01 and closed at 5042.20 points. The market’s overall situation, however, did not correspond to an upward trend as it remained at 2.018 million shares to close against previous turnover of 2.899million shares, showing a downward move of 881,000 shares. While, out of the total 105 active scrips 18 moved up, 56 remined equal with 31 shed values. MARI Petroleum Company, Habib Bank Limited and Attock Refinery Limited were major gainers of the day by recording increase in their per share value by Rs 9.62, Rs 3.90 and Rs 2.10 respectively. Exide Pakistan Limited, Engro Corporation Limited and Engro Foods Limited lost their per share value by Rs 13.14, Rs 2.73 and Rs 1.10 respectively. The Volume Leader of the day included Lafarge Pakistan Cement Limited with 399,500 shares, Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited with 312,000 shares and Byco Petroleum Pakistan with 267,000 shares. APP

( ENERGY CRISIS

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Govt ignoring cheap production through biomass: ICCI ISLAMABAD APP

Pakistan possesses tremendous potential for generating renewable energy from biomass and government should give special focus to harnessing this cheap energy source for power generation which is available in abundance in the country, said Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) President Zafar Bakhtawari. Bakhtawari said many countries including USA, Germany, China, India, Brazil and Japan were exploiting biomass for energy production but Pakistan had so far ignored this cheap and abundant energy

resource despite facing acute energy crisis. He said the country’s excessive reliance on furnace oil for power generation was the main cause of the prevailing energy crisis which had already created multiple problems for economy including closure of business and industry, loss of jobs, lowering of exports and overall economic stagnation. He called upon the government to give special incentives to investors for bringing latest bio-energy technologies in the country in order to tap the unharnessed potential of biomass resources. Zafar Bakhtawari said biomass energy could be used as a shortterm strategy, requiring as low time as 1824 months as being an agrarian country, Pakistan has numerous sources of biomass

like agricultural residues, animal waste, municipal solid waste and industrial waste. He said accordingly to some study reports, if 50 per cent of the biomass potential was utilised for power generation, it could easily replace more than 30 per cent of the total power generated from expensive imported furnace oil. Exploiting biomass for energy would also bring additional income to the farmers and create more business opportunities for traders who will buy biomass raw material from the farmers, process it and sell it to power operators. It will also increase lot of employment in the rural areas. He said initially the government should install a chain of small biomass-based power plants rang-

ing from 15MW to 50MW in areas where the biomass is available in plenty. It will save the transportation costs and reduce line losses. As a second option, the government can go for micro power plants of enhanced capacity based on gasifier and biogas plants using agricultural biomass and animal waste as the feedstock, he said. Zafar Bakhtawari said installation of municipal solid

waste-based power plants in cities would generate sufficient electricity and resolve the problems associated with garbage collection and disposal. He stressed that the new energy policy should have provisions to fully harness biomass energy potential to produce cheap energy which would help in accelerating industrial and commercial activities and reviving the economy.


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BUSINESS B Thursday, 1 August, 2013

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( INCREASING TRADE RELATIONS

Brazil introduces 5-year multiple visa for businessmen ISLAMABAD

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RAZIL announced on Wednesday to implement five-year multiple entry visa to Pakistani businessmen to increase economic and trade relations between the two countries. While addressing a press conference at the Brazilian embassy, Brazilian Ambassador Alfredo Leoni said the new visa policy would allow free movement of business community in the two countries and enhance and strengthen bilateral trade. Head of Press and Commercial Section Helena Jornada and Head of Consular Section Gustavo were also present on this occasion. The ambassador said Brazil, the 6th largest economy of the world, was the largest commercial partner of Pakistan in Latin America and the balance of trade between the two countries reached almost US dollars 285 million in 2012. He said the exports from Pakistan to Brazil increased by more than 100 percent from US dollars 44 million in 2009 to US dollars 92 million in 2012.

Major Brazilian exports to Pakistan include cotton, fuel plastic, iron and steel, tobacco and pulp while imports from Pakistan are textile items, surgical goods, soccer balls and manicure instruments, he added. The ambassador said there was great potential to increase bilateral trade, which he hoped, would soon cross US dollars one billion mark. The ambassador said there was great potential for bilateral trade of

products like poultry meat, agricultural machinery, orange juice, tea, spices, coffee, auto parts, textile and garments, leather goods, marble and granites, sports gear, fans and wood handicraft. He said Pakistan and Brazil could also expand their cooperation in different fields through joint-ventures and joint-research, such as biotechnology, pharmaceutical, poultry production, telecommunica-

tions and bio-energy. Replying to a question, he said the Brazilian companies were also interested to share their experience in various energy production projects. He said there had also been progress between the two countries in cooperation in agriculture sector. Brazil can share its experience in improving sugar cane crop in Pakistan, he added. Ambassador Leoni also shared some of the activities that would be arranged by the Brazilian embassy in the second half of 2013. These included a Gastronomy Festival to be held at a local hotel from September 21 to 24, placing over 300 books about Brazil at the library of Quaid-e-Azam University in October and a photo exhibition about Islam in Brazil portraying some aspects of the life of Brazilian Muslim. The ambassador said there was a strong Muslim community living in Brazil and practicing their religion without any problem. Answering a question, the ambassador said both the countries had also agreed to enhance their diplomatic and political relations and high-level visits would take place in near future.

Major Gainers COMPANY Wyeth Pak Ltd Siemens Pakistan Colgate Palmolive Indus Dyeing Pak Tobacco

OPEN 1750.00 906.13 1757.51 599.21 242.50

HIGH 1837.50 951.43 1800.00 618.00 254.62

LOW 1798.00 951.43 1800.00 610.00 245.00

CLOSE CHANGE 1830.00 80.00 951.43 45.30 1800.00 42.49 613.00 13.79 254.62 12.12

TURNOVER 380 450 20 200 145,400

5125.00 404.00 253.19 227.00 174.80

5100.00 367.79 229.09 216.60 174.80

5125.00 367.79 229.09 218.67 174.80

-45.00 -19.35 -12.05 -9.33 -9.20

60 8,100 229,000 4,100 500

28.30 58.90 16.45 25.11 31.60

26.75 56.80 15.90 24.10 30.00

28.11 58.30 15.94 25.11 30.41

1.11 0.33 -0.23 1.19 -0.21

15,262,500 13,875,500 9,557,000 8,339,500 6,220,500

Major Losers Rafhan Maize Exide (PAK) XDXB Treet Corporat Tri-Pack Films Gatron Ind.

5170.00 387.14 241.14 228.00 184.00

Volume Leaders P.T.C.L.A National Bank. Fauji Cement Sui South Gas Maple Leaf Cement

27.00 57.97 16.17 23.92 30.62

Interbank Rates USD GBP JPY EURO

PKR 101.8067 PKR 154.9192 PKR 1.0428 PKR 135.2196

Forex US Dollar Euro Great Britain Pound Japanese Yen Canadian Dollar Hong Kong Dollar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal

BUY 102.25 132.86 151.88 1.0142 96.93 12.77 27.35 26.95

SELL 102.50 133.11 152.11 1.0246 98.62 13.00 27.60 27.30

Appoint PIA chairman in 3 weeks: Supreme Court ISLAMABAD

Thar coal project key to energy security: Motiwala ISLAMABAD nni

The Thar coal project is the key to Pakistan’s energy security and it will require continuous efforts at the federal and provincial levels to undertake this mega project. This was stated in a meeting of Board of Directors of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Co (a joint venture between Government of Sindh and Engro Corporation) which met under the chairmanship of Zubair A Motiwala to discuss quarterly performance of the company and other

matters. Motiwala said that Thar is the only choice for the country to cater its energy needs on a long-term and affordable basis. According to a press release issued on Wednesday, the board was informed that by adapting a phased approach, the company plans to build a 600 MW power plant in 3.5 years and expanding it to 1200 MW yielding a power tariff of approximately 8 US cents/kWh. At ultimate capacity of a single mine, the SECMC will be able to produce 3600 MW in less than 10 years at a power

tariff below 6 US cents /kWh – cheaper than any other conventional fuel including hydro-based power. The board was further informed that SECMC had mobilised its site team and completed the demarcation and survey work for acquiring the required land to start mining works. The company has met several international and local financial institutions and investors who have expressed a strong interest in financing the project. The board members appreciated the efforts of the company to move the project in

the right direction. The chairman advised the company management to complete all the formalities including coal and power tariff approvals and expedite their efforts on achieving financial close enabling start of mine construction within foreseeable future. The board expressed its satisfaction and appreciated the role of government of Sindh on the progress made on all the infrastructure projects including road network rehabilitation, effluent disposal scheme, fresh water supply scheme and construction of Islamkot Airport.

OnlinE

The Supreme Court has given three weeks final deadline to the government for the appointment of permanent PIA chairman. The order was passed by the three-member bench of the SC headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary on Wednesday while hearing the applications of Marvi Memon and Iqbal Zafar Jhagra. The court observed that under section 8 the chairman of national airline could not be made on temporary basis. Additional Attorney General Shah Khawar told that acting PIA chairman Aslam Khalid had tendered his resignation on June 29. On this, the CJP said that slot of the PIA chairman was a permanent job and the reason for raising objection on secretary defence was the same that no temporary appointment could be made on the said post. The additional AG requested the court to allow some body to run the daily affairs as the government had given the advertisement in the media for the selection of appropriate candidate for the head of PIA. He assured the court that the induction would be made in a transparent manner by the commission.

CORPORATE CORNER

KARACHI: NUS Summer Program participants with Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation representatives, including its CEO Ali J Siddiqui on their return from Singapore. PR

MJSF sponsors students for summer programme at NUS KARACHI: The Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation representatives met with the students on their return from the NUS Summer Program on

Economic and Enterprise Development. These fifteen students were selected after extensive interview sessions from universities nationwide. This was a two week summer program being held at the National University of Singapore (NUS) with the students from Pakistan being the 2nd largest group being represented. This year’s program hosted a large multicultural and diverse community of over 60 students from 12 countries, providing an excellent opportunity for participants to learn about Singapore: how the smallest nation in Southeast Asia has progressed into a modern city-state and has grown into a thriving centre of commerce and industry. These students also get an opportunity to learn about creative and innovative ideas to start their own business in future and be an entrepreneur. The students were also hosted by the High Commissioner of Pakistan in Singapore and the event was attended by the leading Pakistani businessmen and professionals residing in Singapore to support the initiative undertaken by Mahvash & Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation and Sajjad Foundation. The Pakistani students excelled in their work and were highly appreciated by National University of Singapore Faculty and other participants for their valuable

participation to enhance the overall learning among all. PR

Citibank NA Pakistan named Best Corporate / Institutional Internet Bank

D. Giarraputo, publisher of Global Finance. “The continuing improvements in Internet offerings represented by this year’s entries show that more significant Internet banking developments are still ahead of us.” Nadeem Lodhi, MD & Citi Country Officer Pakistan, said: “We are delighted to receive this award from Global Finance. This is a strong recognition of Citi’s capabilities and the service we provide to our clients in the country.” PR

KARACHI: Global Finance has announced Citibank N.A. Pakistan as the country’s “Best Corporate / Institutional Internet Bank”. Winners were chosen among entries evaluated by a world-class panel of judges at Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing. Global Finance editors were responsible for the final selection of winners in the First Round. Winning banks were selected based on the following criteria: strength of strategy for attracting and servicing online customers, success in getting clients to use web offerings, growth of online customers, breadth of product offerings, evidence of tangible benefits gained from Internet initiatives, and web site design and functionality. “The Internet has transformed the way many consumers and most businesses bank,” says Joseph

ISLAMABAD: ZONG hosted an Iftar dinner in honour of IT and Telecom Minister Anusha Rehman. Picture shows Rehman with ZONG’s CFO Fen Tuixian (6th from left) and other officials. PR

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