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Thursday, 15 November, 2012
From Russia, with suggestions
‘LNG import deal unworkable’ ISLAMABAD
Russia claims absence of direct links impede trade with Pakistan g Sees ‘good prospects’ for a PTA with Pakistan g Demidov says Russian mission can prepare feasibility study g
RADE relations between Russia and Pakistan may face a set back as Moscow is feeling the heat of the long absent direct sea, air and banking links with Islamabad, something Russians believe are hindering mutual trade. Russia sees “good prospects” for the initiative as the traders and industrialists in Pakistan urge the need for a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between the two countries to promote bilateral trade ties. “(The) unavailability of direct shipping-lines, airlines and banking channel are major obstacles impeding bilateral trade,” said Andrey V. Demidov, Russian Consul General during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Wednesday. At the Chamber, Demidov met KCCI President Muhammad Haroon Agar, Senior Vice President KCCI Shamim Firpo, Vice President Nasir Mehmood, Former President KCCI Majyd Aziz and members of the Chamber’s managing committee. The Russian consul general said good prospects for Pak-Russia PTA existed. “Russian Mission can prepare feasibility study on PTA as deliberations are required on certain legalities,” he added. Demidov viewed that to execute transit trade from Gawader Port, adequate infrastructure, railways, highways and bridges
were essential. He recalled that in early ‘90s PIA operated to Moscow and the restoration of such direct air-connectivity was important. “In past, PIA also used to stopover to Moscow while going to UK, while Russian Airline may stopover Islamabad or Karachi while going to UAE which can provide opportunity to visitors of both countries for interaction,” observed the Russian consul. Citing Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) as a good example of past cooperation between the two countries, he said similar cooperation could be extended in many areas, particularly in energy as Russia was number one in the energy sector. About the postponed visit of President Vladimir Putin to Pakistan, Demidov said upon his visit various MoUs and cooperation documents would be signed between the two countries.
Seeing a huge demand for Pakistani textiles and leather garments in Russia, he said Pakistan could also export potato, rice, vegetables and fruits to his country. “Russia is manufacturing helicopters and commercial jets which can be provided to Pakistan. Pakistani natural pharmaceutical products have immense demand in Russia,” he said. Demidov said multilateral cooperation in several areas, between Pakistan, Russia andCentral Asia Republics, was also workable. Bilateral cooperation in education was continued and Pakistani students could also avail Russian scholarships programmes, said he. During talks with Demidov, KCCI President Muhammad Haroon Agar urged Islamabad and Moscowto expedite their arrangements leading to the signing of PTA. Agar noted the dire need of Pak-Russ-
ian inter-governmental arrangements to develop direct shipping and air links as well as establish banking channels to multiply bilateral trade. He said during the last 64 years Pakistan’s economic relations had largely been American and west oriented with aid being its main focus instead of easing market access, transfer of technology and investment. Recalling Pak-Russian cooperation in the past, the KCCI president emphasized that the two countries should replicate their past cooperation on the lines of PSM in areas like heavy machinery, engineering, automobiles, revamping railways, energy from coal, corporate farming, mining, health, education and others. Agar said with the multilateral cooperation of Central Asian Republics, Russian trade could be facilitated from Pakistani ports to other countries. On the occasion, Former KCCI President Majyd Aziz hoped that Putin’s visit to Pakistan would open new chapters of bilateral relations. Aziz said to cater national transportation requirement, particularly for cargo movement, Pakistan should also benefit from Russian automobiles particularly, trucks and heavy vehicles used in logistics. A paradigm shift is required from trade of commodities to machinery and equipment, he said adding that Russian investors could invest in Special Economic Zones and construct their own enclaves as President of Pakistan had signed the Special Economic Zones Bill.
ECC may allow additional export of 0.2 mt sugar ISLAMABAD ONLINE
The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet scheduled to meet on November 20, is expected to allow additional export of 0.2 million tons sugar. Last month, the apex economic decisions making body had also allowed 0.2 million tons sugar export. According to Pakistan Sugar Mills Association (PSMA), the permission for further export of 0.2 million tons sugar will go a long way to improve the financial positions of the mills and payments to sugarcane cultivators. According to the agenda items available with Online News agency, the ECC will consider the summary of Commerce Ministry which has sought the export of
0.2 million tons sugar in addition to 0.2 million tons allowed earlier. The committee will also take up the ministry of Industry’s summary in which they (ministry) sought the waver of sales tax at import stage on the import of Swede bus Pakistan. Following a resolution passed by the National Assembly, the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet is also expected to give a go-ahead to switch to a monthly oil pricing mechanism as the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources will table the summary before the committee for its approval. The controversial weekly price review mechanism was also suspended by the government after giving an undertaking in the Supreme Court last month. The government has also been seen
to repeatedly ignore the continuous recommendations of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources and the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) to switch to the old oil pricing mechanism. The Ministry of Finance and OGRA had already opposed to the price review on a weekly basis when the summary was first tabled before the ECC for approval, but their concerns were not addressed. OGRA was of the view that the current price review was being exploited by refineries, oil marketing companies and hoarders. Flag protection of National shipping line, report on implementation of cabinet decisions and the review of economic indicators were also included in the agenda items of the upcoming meeting of Economic Coordination Committee.
Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Wednesday said that recent deal to import Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Qatar is unfeasible. The import agreement signed recently with Qatar is not practical as Pakistan lacks infrastructure to import LNG, it said. Government has been trying to import LNG since years during which billions were spent on studies, hiring of experts, foreign tours and road shows disregarding the fact that Pakistani ports cannot host any LNG vessel, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW. Depth of water at Port Qasim and Kemari is 39 feet while the average depth of a loaded LNG carrier in the water is 45 to 48 feet. The lightest LNG ship scarcely available is that of fifty thousand tones with 42 feet draught that cannot serve the purpose. Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that before planning to import LNG, government should have initiated dredging (excavation activity to enable waterways navigable) which will cost 40 million dollar and take two years minimum. Moreover, there is no degasification facility available in Pakistan which will take 24-30 months to be in place if work on it is initiated today, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal. He added that country will also need a 50 km pipeline to connect degasification facility with SSGC main pipeline which will also require two years’ time and 30 million dollar in costs.
NBP to put Railways on track Agrees to provide Rs 6.1bn loan to Pakistan Railways LAHORE: National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) will provide cash-strapped Pakistan Railways a Rs6.10 billion-rupee loan to revamp its depleted fleet, media reports said on Wednesday. According to the sources, an agreement to this effect has been reached between the National Bank and PRACS – a subsidiary of Pakistan Railways. Under the agreement, the NBP will provide the funds in one-go but the loan amount will be payable in the next five years carrying a mark-up of 10.45 percent per annum. During the first two years, Pakistan Railways will only pay the mark-up after every six months whereas in the next three years Railways will also be liable to payback principle amount along with the mark-up. The loan will be used for repair and maintenance of Railways engines. ONLINE
ADB touts disaster prevention as key to fiscal progress Says investments in disaster risk management essential to sustaining growth and reducing poverty ISLAMABAD ONLINE
The growing incidence of natural disasters in Asia and the Pacific—where four of five cities globally classified as at extreme risk are located—threatens to undermine seriously rapid economic progress, calling for a much stronger focus among governments on disaster prevention. This is revealed in a new study “Independent Evaluation at the Asian Development Bank. “We have thought for too long that natural disasters come and go, that they are just an interruption to development, and that they can be dealt with after they strike,” says the Director General of Independent Evaluation, Vinod Thomas. “However, there is growing international recognition that the incidence and impact of natural disasters are increasing be-
cause of persistent poverty, population growth, and climate change.” In its review of ADB’s disaster-related projects and programs, the study notes that disaster prevention accounted for one-third of investment, compared with two-thirds spent on disaster recovery. Yet, by some measures, one dollar invested today in reducing disaster risk saves at least four dollars in future relief and rehabilitation costs. The independent evaluation study finds that ADB’s disaster-recovery projects have been much more successful than ADB-supported projects overall. But many of them had the limited objective of restoring particular types of infrastructure, rather than rehabilitating livelihoods, or increasing disaster resilience. So far, very few countries have focused on the disaster risks in their economic development plans. Member country govern-
ments and ADB must do more to highlight the need for investment in disaster prevention, not just in infrastructure, but also in relation to social development. During 1995–2011, ADB provided
funding of $10.37 billion for 264 natural disaster interventions, including 104 loans for $8.55 billion. A special review of ADB’s disaster response programs in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan finds several areas where ADB and the rest of the development community could improve both disaster response and preparation. In Bangladesh, for example, ADB has been efficient at renovating damaged roads and bridges. But it can support the proactive and successful disaster management programs the government has implemented. These programs have dramatically lowered deaths in this disasterprone delta-region caused by regular, powerful cyclones. In a storm in 1997, for example, 111 were killed in contrast with 300,000 people in a similar storm in 1970. Another lesson learned in the earth-
quake-tsunami response is the hugely complex needs such disasters create. “You cannot simply rehabilitate roads and bridges and then build temporary shelter. Often, poverty, gender, ethnic issues, property rights and other problems compound the difficulties and require much greater attention and capacity for response from the development community,” says Tomoo Ueda, Principal Evaluation Specialist and the main author. In Pakistan, where the country’s defense forces have gained respect for their disaster response, there is significant need for greater support for civil disastermanagement institutions, such as the National Disaster Management Authority. “Throughout the region, we must recognize that investments in disaster risk management are an essential means to sustaining growth and poverty reduction,” says Thomas.
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Demand fears pull crude southwards SINGAPORE AgENcIES
Crude prices fell in Asia on growing fears over the US and Greek economies Wednesday, while the International Energy Agency cut its demand forecasts and OPEC said stockpiles were “very high”. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for December delivery slid 16 cents to $85.22 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for delivery in December shed 35 cents to $107.91. Fears over the US fiscal cliff of tax hikes and spending cuts, which would tip the economy into recession, have dogged investors since the re-election last week of President Barack Obama. Adding to uncertainty was eurozone finance ministers’ delay to a decision on releasing the next batch of Greece’s much-needed bailout cash. “Crude oil fell... over concerns about lower demand in a well-supplied market and as the United States and Europe grappled with fragile economies,” Phillip Futures said in a report. “Oil prices also came under pressure from an International Energy Agency report that cut estimates for global oil demand in the last quarter of this year and for growth in 2013.” The IEA — which represents oil-consuming countries — predicted Tuesday that global demand will have increased by 670,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2012 to 89.6 million bpd. This was 60,000 bpd less than projected a month ago. For next year, the Paris-based group tipped a rise to 90.4 million bpd — 100,000 barrels less than the previously stated — due to sluggishness in the developed world. Also, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary-General Abdullah El-Badri said Tuesday there was ample supply and blamed speculators for high oil prices. “There is no shortage of oil anywhere in the world, stocks are very high (and) OPEC has strong spare capacities,” ElBadri told delegates at the Oil & Money industry event in London. “The market is very well supplied. There is no doubt about it, so I don’t understand why we have these high prices. Speculation is the problem.”
PSM to stop raking over coals Orders import of 50,000 MT Australian coal KARACHI
AKISTAN Steel Mills (PSM) has opened another Letter of Credit (LC) to import 50,000 metric tonnes of coal from Australia. According to a PSM spokesman, the imported coal would be used as one of basic raw materials in the steel-manufacturing process at the PSM. Moreover, PSM was still seeking the purchase of iron ore, tenders for which were in the process, he said adding that soon the iron ore shipments would be finalized after completion of necessary formalities. The spokesman quoted Chief Executive Officer of PSM Major General Mohammad Javed (Retd) as expressing the hope that after the availability of raw materials in continuity Pakistan Steel’s production level would improve. The CEO said after opening of the LC the raw material would take about more than 60 days in being shipped to the Pakistan Steel. “This transitional period must be included in the count down,” he said. The PSM recently purchased two ships containing 110000MT of coal which arrived last month after a long way from Australia and
Business 02 Major Gainers OPEN 538.57 539.00 162.61 138.62 138.50
COMPANY Island TextileXD Indus DyeingXD Pak.Int.Cont. SD IGI Insurance Linde Pakistan
HIGH 565.49 559.00 170.74 145.55 145.42
LOW 565.49 559.00 169.90 141.50 138.55
CLOSE 565.49 559.00 170.74 145.55 145.42
CHANGE 26.92 20.00 8.13 6.93 6.92
TURNOVER 100 100 14,500 177,500 28,900
1320.00 77.50 186.99 292.45 39.20
1320.00 75.61 183.61 287.00 39.20
1320.00 75.70 183.94 290.35 39.20
-65.45 -2.75 -2.16 -1.98 -1.95
50 7,000 254,900 6,200 1,000
11.34 53.65 16.85 6.35 6.70
10.35 52.50 16.40 5.75 6.49
11.34 53.03 16.55 5.94 6.57
1.00 0.26 0.10 -0.30 0.05
20,196,500 15,069,000 11,336,500 9,686,500 8,023,500
Major Losers Bata (Pak) XD Clover PakistanXD MCB Bank Ltd.XD National FoodsXD Dadex Eternit
1385.45 78.45 186.10 292.33 41.15
Volume Leaders Maple Leaf Cement D.G.K.CementXD Jah.Sidd. Co. JS Bank Ltd Fauji Cement
10.34 52.77 16.45 6.24 6.52
Interbank Rates US Dollar UK Pound Japanese Yen Euro
95.9049 152.3736 1.1990 122.1540
Dollar East BUY Canada after the release of first tranche of bailout package. Now this is the third LC for the import of coal. According to Pakistan Steel’s production plan the production units are currently working properly while after the induction of raw materials the production would be increase accordingly.
US Dollar Euro Great Britain Pound Japanese Yen Canadian Dollar Hong Kong Dollar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal Australian Dollar
96.30 121.09 150.64 1.1812 94.52 12.19 25.94 25.33 98.40
96.80 123.15 153.18 1.2010 96.61 12.42 26.35 25.71 101.51
BEars, Bulls play out a draw LSE sheds 8.87 points LAHORE APP
Bearish trend prevailed in Lahore Stock Exchange on Wednesday as it shed 8.87 points, following the LSE-25 index opened with 3932.53 and closed at 3923.66 points. The market’s overall situation, however, corresponded to an upward trend as it remained at 2.193 million shares to close against pre-
vious turnover of 1.904 million shares, showing an upward move of 289,200 shares. While, out of the total 97 active scrips 21 moved up, 19 shed values and 57 remined equal. Cherat Cement Company Limited, Maple Leaf Cement Factory and Balochistan Glass Limited were Major Gainer of the day by recording increase in their per share value by Rs 2.06, Re 1.00 and Re 1.00 respectively.
Muslim Commercial Bank Limited, Pakistan State Oil Company Limited and Adamjee Insurance Company lost their per share value by Rs 2.00, Rs 1.35 and Rs 1.30 respectively. The Volume Leader of the day included Maple Leaf Cement Factory with 698,000 shares, Silk Bank Limited (Saudi) with 422,500 shares, Lafarge Pakistan Cement with 192,500 shares.
KARACHI: Pakistan Association of Photo Journalist (PAPJ) organized a convention in Karachi The three day convention brought many such journalists from different parts of the world, but mainly from the SAARC countries. Japan Foundation was a major sponsor of the event. A dinner reception was arranged by Kalim Farooqui of Pakistan Japan Cultural Association to honour the visiting delegates which was also attended by the new Consul General of Japan in Karachi, Akira Ouchi, also present on the Occasion.
PTCL connects remote Balochistan through Vfone Wireless Service ISLAMABAD: As part of its vision to bring latest Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to the remotest areas of the country, Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL) has extended its Vfone wireless service to isolated Mekhtar, Bard and Murgha Kibzai areas of Balochistan. Part of Loralai region of Balochistan, Mekhtar, Bard and Murgha Qibzai areas are one of the remotest areas of the country. PTCL aims to facilitate the people of the region with the launch of Vfone service. PTCL Vfone has the country’s largest WLL coverage and is available with both prepaid and postpaid options. Supported by high-speed CDMA technology, Vfone also offers SMS and internet connectivity at affordable rates.
UMT organises seminar on Balochistan crisis
Participants of 12th SMC visit PEMRA
LAHORE: Brig (R) Imran Malik and Brig (R) Farooq Hameed Khan were invited to share their insight on the Baluchistan crisis in a special seminar arranged by the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Management and Technology (UMT), Lahore.Brig (R) Imran Malik explained the external dynamics of the conflict in Balochistan, describing the ‘Great Game’ at play between major powers of the world and the region. He highlighted the interests of USA, Russia, China and India, the importance of the international trade corridors, and the part played by the strategic location of Balochistan in this conflict of interests between the major powers.
ISLAMABAD: The participants of 12TH Senior Management Course (SMC) comprising of senior Govt. officers from various Federal & Provincial Govt. departments, autonomous and public sector organizations visited PEMRA Headquarters today here at Islamabad. The visit was scheduled in line with the requirement of the course whereby the participants are supposed to be sentient with different working environments, management practices and policies in vogue as to offer them a diversified exposure of practical working. This enables the senior civil servants to formulate and implement public policy for continuous improvement of governance at national and provincial level.
Mobilink awards Rs 5m and 1300 cc cars in ‘SMS Khazana 8’
LAHORE: Mobilink announced the winners of the five million rupee bumper prize and eight 1300 CC cars for the Jazz SMS Khazana Offer, 2012. The prize money and cars’ keys were handed over to the winners in a ceremony held in Mobilink House, Islamabad. This is the 8th version of Mobilink’s highly popular trivia-based contest that offers Mobilink customers the opportunity to win high-valued prizes on a daily and weekly basis by answering simple questions over SMS.
HEC to award more than 10,000 UIC stall draws attention at International Expo. need based scholarships ISLAMABAD: In lieu with the policy of government of Pakistan, The Higher Education Commission HEC has decided to award more than 10000 scholarships to needy students from different parts of Pakistan under HEC needs-based scholarship program during current financial year. These scholarships would be awarded to talented but financially constrained students especially those from rural areas to ensure greater equity in enrollment at different public sector higher education institutions HEIs throughout the country.
LAHORE: An expo was arranged under Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan at Expo Centre Lahore, it continued for three days in which Universal Insurance Company (UIC) of BIBOJEE Group of Companies exhibited its services. Stall drawn lot of attention due to its significant background and services it has been providing. UIC is an experienced organization and providing services since 1958. It has achieved remarkable excellence by introducing many dynamic programs.
KARAcHI: Thai Airways organised “Thai Face of the Season” contest at Dolman Mall, Mr.Haroon Agar President KccI along with Mr. Polapat Neelabhamorn gM Pakistan Thai Airways Pakistan inaugurate the event.
Thursday, 15 November, 2012