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Sunday, 18 November, 2012
‘PRIVATE SECTOR NEEDS GOVT’S SUPPORT’ g
Business conference calls for more government support to investors KARACHI
HE business leaders conference here Saturday called for more government support, better monetary policies, and better law and order to strengthen private sector and to attract local and foreign investment to various potential sectors of the country. The speakers emphasised for implementing the comprehensive long-term economic policies based sector-wise targets to benefit from the country's huge wealth of natural resources. The nature has blessed Pakistan with economic edge over many other countries even in the region, the economic experts noted. The one-day business leaders conference was 2012 titled "Challenges and Opportunities in Fostering Economic Growth" was organised by Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP). The conference was aimed to bring the stakeholder together and gather feed-
back for the consumption of the policymakers. Former federal finance minister and senior banker Shaukat Tarin proposed for the merger of Ministry of Water and Power with the Ministry of Petroleum to effectively cater to the present and future energy needs of the country. He underlined the need for a comprehensive long-term plans for electricity generation through hydel, coal and renewable energy sources. The maximum use of savers would help bridge power and demand gap of the country, he said. He stressed that the Government should ensure power generation at very affordable price for the common man. He observed that our banking sector had failed to reach the people and said the banks would have to revisit their business plans and bring new financing products desired by the people. He said the corporate sector needs to be provided with more space at stock exchanges. He said that more investment be
made in agriculture and manufacturing sectors through global alliances, joint ventures and public-private partnership. He said Pakistan's tax and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio is very low even in South Asian region and that strong political initiatives were needed to increase the tax ratio. "Significant increase in tax ratio is vital for our economicgrowth," he remarked. Mr. Tarin said that after 7th NFC award, the Federation is very much generous to the provinces and now they do get lot of funds. However, he continued, after 18th amendment the provinces would have to increase generating their own revenue. He was very optimistic about the youth of the country. Amin Hashwani, President Pakistan India CEOs Forum, supported strengthening of strong economic and political relations between Pakistan and India as both the economies can complement each other to the prosperty of both the nations. Asif Jooma, President Overseas In-
Bangladeshi, Malaysian PMs won’t attend D-8 summit in Pakistan
vestor Chamber of Commerceand Industry, and Managing Director Abbott Laboratories (Pakistan) Limited, said Pakistan is the land of opportunities. This must be realized and the potential must be materialized. Atif Bajwa, President Bank Al-Falah Limited, Sirajuddin Aziz, President Habib Metropolitan Bank Limited, Hasan Aziz Bilgrami, President BankIslami Pakistan Limited, Dr. Amjad Waheed, CEO NBP Fullerton Asset Management Limited and Irfan Siddiqui, President, Meezan Bank Limited were of the view that the progress of the financial sector was remarkable.
The prime ministers of Bangladesh and Malaysia on Saturday formally excused themselves from attending the upcoming D-8 conference in Pakistan scheduled for Nov 22. Sources told a private TV channel that Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid has formally informed the Pakistani government through the Bangladeshi foreign office that she would not be attending the summit, despite having initially agreed to do so. According to reports, the Bangladeshi foreign minister had sought an apology from Pakistan for war crimes allegedly committed during the 1971 war after which the former East Pakistan acquired its independence. Pakistan has said that it has regretted in different forms in the past and that “it was time to move forward.” Earlier reports had said that Bangladesh would be represented at the conference by Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, however, no confirmation has yet been received in this regard Meanwhile, sources further told that the Malaysian prime minister had also excused himself from attending the conference. The reasons behind the Malaysian PM’s cancellation could not be confirmed.
US, Russia reach draft deal on hot-rolled steel trade
Foreign remittances to hit record $14b in FY 13: Finance Ministry ISLAMABAD ONLINE
THE Ministry of Finance has claimed that Pakistan will receive a record $14 billion in foreign remittances during ongoing financial year 2012-13 mainly because of the overseas Pakistan’s confidence in the economic policies of the incumbent government. An official of finance ministry told online that surge in foreign remittances will go a long way to put the nascent economy of the country on path to firmness and growth. The official said the government was expecting an increase in the inflow of foreign remittances in the upcoming months which will help support meager economy of the country. In the first four months (JulyOctober) of current fiscal 2012-13 overseas Pakistanies have sent $4.964 billion in foreign remittances, compared with$4.315 billion in the same period last year. According to the State Bank of Pakistan in October 2012, the inflow of remittances from Saudi Ara-
bia, UAE, USA, UK, GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman), and EU countries amounted to $347.52 million, $293.74 million, $217.56 million, $197.18 million, $163.37 million and $37.48 million respectively as compared with the inflow of $291.20 million, $216.50 million, $167.60 million, $117.56 million, $131.54 million and $28.08 million respectively in October, 2011. The monthly average remittances for July to October 2012 come out to $1,241.05 million as compared to $1,078.77 million during the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. During last financial year ending June 30, 2012 remittances sent home by overseas Pakistani workers crossed $13 billion mark for the first time in country’s history. According to the State Bank of Pakistan, overseas Pakistani workers remitted a record amount of $13,186.58 million during the last fiscal, showing growth of 17.73 percent when compared with $ 11,200.97 million received during the preceding fiscal year of 2010-11.
Remittances received from all countries of the world showed substantial growth during the last fiscal year and almost all of this growth was through banking channels. On the hand, the country’s foreign exchange reserves may continue to face pressure due to re-payment of I M F
loans in the n e x t m o r e than three years as Pakistan is likely to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to seek a fresh loan in
current fiscal year 2012-13 for the retirement of IMF’s Stand-by Arrangement (SBA) facility. According to the Central Bank, the country’s foreign exchange reserves have dropped from $14.100 billion to $13.845 billion in the week ending November 9, 2012.
The U.S. Commerce Department on Friday said it had reached a draft agreement with the Russian government to revise a 13-yearold deal governing imports of hot-rolled steel. The pact raises the minimum price at which Russian hot-rolled steel can be sold in the United States. The department launched the negotiations with Russia after U.S. steel company Nucor Corp. complained the 1999 agreement was out of date. Nucor and other interested parties will have a chance to comment on the deal before it is final. Those remarks are due to the Commerce Department by Nov. 23. After a preliminary review of the 1999 "suspension agreement," the Commerce Department agreed earlier this year that prices for Russian hot-rolled steel were well below the U.S. market. The reference price for Russian hot-rolled coil imports using the suspension agreement mechanism of $408.32 per tonne for the second quarter compared to the going rate in the domestic market of $763 per tonne in March, the department said in a June 1 notice announcing the preliminary results.
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Global stocks gain on fiscal hope; yen down for third day
Moody's to review Cyprus for possible downgrade
US stock markets ended higher on hopes that politicians would find common ground to steer clear of the ‘fiscal cliff’ that would hurt the US economy, while escalating tensions in the Middle East boosted oil prices g
UT shares on major markets still posted a second consecutive weekly loss as the collective worry about the U.S. government's fiscal problems and weak global economic growth weighed on sentiment. Democrats said they recognized the need to curb spending and Republicans said they had agreed to put "revenue on the table" following a meeting with President Barack Obama. "These are very small steps in the right direction," said Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones in St Louis. "The more evidence there is that Congress will make a decision sooner, the more likely we are to see stocks rebound." Investors have been concerned that if no deal were reached to modify automatic spending cuts and tax hikes, the U.S. economy could slip into recession. The S&P 500 has dropped about 4 percent over the past two weeks, in part due to these worries. The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI added 45.93 points, or 0.37 percent, to 12,588.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX rose 6.55 points, or 0.48 percent, to 1,359.88. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC gained 16.19 points, or 0.57 percent, to 2,853.13. For the week, the S&P was down 1.5 percent, its second week in a row in the negative. The Dow lost 1.8 percent, down for the fourth straight week, while the Nasdaq was lower for the sixth week, also off 1.8 percent. The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS recovered in late trading to trade little changed at 317.64 but has lost 1.7 percent this week.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index .FTEU3 of top companies shed 1.04 percent to 1,067.45 and posted its worst week since late September. Benchmark Brent crude oil prices rose above $109 a barrel as a showdown between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza stoked worries about supply. Investors were concerned that Arab producers may be drawn into any potential conflict, which could impact supply lines. Adding to worries, a fire broke out at an oil and natural gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Coast Guard said. It told local media the platform was not actively producing. Brent crude rose 94 cents to settle at $108.95 a barrel. U.S. oil gained $1.22 to settle at $86.67.
The yen fell for a third day against the dollar and posted its worst weekly loss since mid-February as expectations of aggressive monetary easing from the Bank of Japan continued to curb the currency's appeal Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda paved the way for a snap election on December 16. The lower house of parliament was dissolved on Friday. Shinzo Abe, leader of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party and seen as likely to be Japan's next leader, on Thursday called for the country's central bank to adopt interest rates of zero or below to spur lending. "The basic driver is still the interest rate differential between the dollar and yen, which is very narrow, and we have to wait for what happens after the
TSML Engineering becomes sole distributor of SolarWorld KARACHI
TSML Engineering, a division of Tuwairqi Steel Mills which operates under the renowned Saudi Group, AlTuwairqi Holdings (ATH), has signed a sole distributorship contract with SolarWorld, AG. The contract would make TSMLE an exclusive distributor of SolarWorld’s Photovoltaic Modules in Pakistan. In the presence of Horst Roeslor, Consultant to the Board, Pakistan German Business Forum and Hans Juergen Paschke, Consul and Deputy Head of Mission, Consulate General of Germany, the contract was signed by Asad Malik and Kai Klingenhagen. Zaigham Adil Rizvi, Director (Projects), TSML was also present on the occasion. SolarWorld AG is one of the biggest manufacturers of solar modules and solar power systems worldwide and contributes to a cleaner energy supply all over the world. The company employs approximately 3,000 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany, and Hills-
Oil prices rose Friday on concerns about supply in the wake of the latest burst of violence in the Middle East. The price of a barrel of light, sweet crude oil for delivery in December rose $1.22 to $86.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent futures, trading in the first day of the January contract, closed at $108.95 a barrel, up 94 cents on the Intercontinental Exchange. Friday's jump in oil prices reversed Thursday's trading, which saw oil prices retreat due to uncertainty about global economic growth. Given the tense situation in the Middle East, traders did not want to be caught before the weekend without sufficient orders for more oil in case the situation worsens, said John Kilduff, a trader at Again Capital. On Friday, the Israeli army continued its aerial
US House approves Russia trade bill with human rights slap WASHINGTON AGENCIES
boro, USA. SolarWorld Asia Pacific, based in Singapore, is the regional office of the SolarWorld group for Pakistan. There is no pretense that solar power is the only answer, Pakistan needs to produce 16,000 megawatts of electricity a day but only manages 13,000 megawatts, according to the Pakistan Electric Power Company. Pakistan needs reliable and sustainable solar power systems. SolarWorld’s PV Modules guarantees consistent output and set themselves apart with their outstanding product features.
Oil prices rise on Middle East tensions NEW YORK
(Japanese) elections," said Marcus Hettinger, global FX strategist at Credit Suisse in Zurich. The U.S. dollar was up 0.2 percent at 81.26 yen. The euro continued its downward drift as concerns over Greece's debt struggle and Europe's stagnant economy weighed. It was down 0.3 percent at $1.2739. U.S. Treasury debt prices rose, with yields touching their lowest levels in over two months on skepticism over whether Washington will produce a deal to avoid a budget crisis and worries about fighting between Israel and the Palestinians. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up 4/32 in price to yield 1.581 percent.
WASHINGTON: Rating firm Moody's said Friday it would review Cyprus for a possible downgrade, citing dragging bailout talks with international lenders on an aid package. Just five weeks after its last ratings cut, Moody's said the review on Cyprus's B3 government bond rating was due to rising liquidity risks for the eurozone country, closely linked to debt-crippled Greece. "The slow pace of negotiations with the Troika and the resulting uncertainty regarding the likelihood and timing of a support package which raises liquidity risks" was a key trigger for the review, Moody's said in a statement. The second factor was signs that Cyprus's budget deficit "will be significantly larger than expected." "The key difference between the drivers underlying today's rating action and Moody's previous actions on Cyprus is the increase in the country's liquidity risk in a short period of time," it said. Moody's chopped its grade for Cyprus's debt by three notches on October 8 to B3, citing the impact of the meltdown in the country's banks following Greece's financial crisis. AGENCIES
raids on Gaza and blocked major roadways to the Palestinian territory. In the latest move, Palestinian combattants at Gaza aimed rockets in the direction of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, pushing the Israelis to mobilize reservists and warn of an eventual ground offensive against the Palestinians.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Friday to "name and shame" Russian human rights violators as part of a broader bill to drop Cold War-era trade restrictions, brushing off warnings from Moscow that the move would damage relations. The House voted 365-43 to approve the legislation, which takes a jab at the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin while ensuring U.S. companies get the full benefits of Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization on Aug. 22. "Since Vladimir Putin was re-elected president in May 2012, his government has taken a harsh and confrontational approach to ongoing protests, cracking down on the Russian people's growing discontent with corruption and creeping authoritarianism," said Representative Jim McGovern, a Democrat. The bill, which still needs Senate approval, would establish "permanent normal trade relations," or PNTR, with Russia. In a provision that infuriates Moscow, the bill would direct President Barack Obama to publish the names of Russians believed involved in the abuse and death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian anti-corruption lawyer who died in a Russian jail in 2009.
Sunday, 18 November, 2012