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Saturday, 17 March, 2012
SBP conveys regret over autonomy bill KARACHI
AVInG shown what the sources called indirect regret over the recent legislation envisaged to make it more autonomous, the central bank is reported to have ended up in a situtaion to go nowhere. The State Bank on one hand is deeply concerned over the federal government’s excessive budgetray borrowings from the banking sector that not only render the private sector crowded out but also make the banks risk-averse, while on the other the regulator finds itself in what sources called “horns of dilemma” over the liquidity issue facing financial markets. “Liquidity has now taken the central position amongst all the key economic issues,” agreed the participants of the 2nd Discussion Forum held by the centra bank here at its head office on Thursday, Mar 15. Sources privy to the meeting said the State Bank itself seemed to be in a horns of dilemma over the liquidity issue the country’s financial markets are currently faced with. While much of the cash is being sucked up by the funds-starved government from the banking system, the latter remains at a higher risk of plunging into a liquidity crunch where small banks would be more likely to fail, a situation that keeps the State Bank on its heels, pumping billions into the system almost every week. Friday also saw the SBP pumping over Rs320.45 billion into the
banking system at 11.55 per cent rate of return. Moreover, official data reveal that the central bank as of February 29 raised over Rs3.815 trillion for the resource-constrained federal government through auctioning riskfree government securities including Market Treasury Bills, Pakistan Investment Bonds and Ijara Sukuk. This fiscal indiscipline, coupled with huge under-materialisation of the budgeted financial inflows, renders the monetary policy ineffective, implicitly, it was agreed in the SBP meeting. Despite this alarming situation, the sources said, the State Bank insisted on continued funding of the government’s widening fiscal deficit through injecting huge sums to be lent by the banks indirectly to the
soverign borrower. “The SBP said it will continue to fund government borrowing… as in case of no or stoppage of the injection, there would be extensive use of discount window,” the sources said. The bank even was intent to pump amounts in coming months higher than that of the current Rs350 billion, they said. “The government needs more funding to bridge for non-materialisation of the planned inflows,” the sources said. Also discussed in meeting was the formation of the bond market, as the launching of e-market platform was due anytime soon, for corporate as well as the government debt was accepted to lessen the rate, speculation and impact on interest rates.
Further, the SBP indirectly conveyed its regret over the SBP Autonomy Bill passed in the Senate after few “unwanted amendments” were made. “The bill largely stays biased towards SBP’s autonomy,” they claimed. A rollover risk of Rs800 billion, the meeting observed, was piling up each quarter that wuold continue to be funded through increasingly higher borrowings. The State Bank had no leverage to say no to the government’s borrowings and believed that its refusal would result in a forced majeure through the Parliament. Also, the SBP took up positively the suggestions with respect to more transparency through more frequent and timely data releases, interaction with other policy departments, credit off-take improvement either through segment wise interest rates (dual interest rate policy one for the government and one for the private sector) to phase out crowding out of investment and building more distribution channels, said the sources. They said the regulator mentioned comfort with the current account position so far, however, with rising risks are directly proportioned to oil prices and repayments, while another IMF program is not likely in the medium to short term. The SBP continued to put its faith in materialisation of any foreign funding on account of Coalition Support Fund, 3G auction, Eurobonds, etc, said the sources, adding that the country’s foreign exchange reserves have already contracted by $3.0 billion.
Ministry of production refers 2 corruption cases of Rs480m to NAB ISLAMABAD
n a major development, the ministry of production on Friday referred two cases of corruption involving embezzlement of Rs480 million in the two attach departments of the ministry to the national Accountability Bureau (nAB) for investigation. An official source said the cases were sent to nAB, after minister for production Anwar Ali Cheema was informed by secretary production Gul Muhammad Rind that an internal inquiry had failed to fix responsibilities on officials involved in the irregularities. Taking serious notice of the corrupt practices, the minister directed referring the two cases immediately to nAB for an impartial inquiry. He said that corruption was a menace and show zero tolerance would be shown against it. no matter how influential the corrupt people were they would be brought to justice. According to details, the cases relate to Pakistan Industrial Development Corporation’s (PIDC) Gujranwala Tools, Dies and Moulds Centre (GTDMC) and Ceramics Development Training Centre(CDTC) which have recently been established at Gujranwala. The two companies were established under section 42 of the Companies Ordinance 1984 as subsidiaries of PIDC. The funding of these companies has been provided by the government, whereas the affairs of these companies are managed by the private sector. The GTDMC hired a ghost consultant for procurement of machines which caused an estimated loss of Rs480 million to the national exchequer. Interestingly, there was no provision of hiring a consultant in the project. However, GTDMC authorities hired a consultant without any bidding procedure. As expected, the consultant delivered nothing and received a hefty payment of Rs2.048 million. The procurement of machines including heat treatment plant caused a loss of Rs4.26 million, laser cutting machine Rs3.73 million, and VMC-2 machine Rs2.77 million. In total, misappropriations were of estimated Rs480 million.
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Saturday, 17 March, 2012
Gas shutdown worries industry KARACHI
FFICE bearers of the Bin Qasim Association of Trade and Industry (BQATI) have exprtessed serious concerns over Friday’s 12hour gas shutdown notice to Bin Qasim Industrial Zones. These included Mian Muhammed Ahmed, Patron in-chief, Mr Usman Ahmed, President, Mr Abdul Rasheed Jan Mohammed, Vice President, Mr Shakil Ashfaq, Chairman Law Committee, Mr Farhan Ansari, Chairman Law & Order Advisory Committee along with the Managing Committee. Mr Usman Ahmed, President
BQATI said natural gas provided by SSGC is the major source of energy for industries. “In the past we have done our best to respond positively and responsibly to SSGC requests of cut down in consumption in view of larger interest of the country till January 31, 2012, but now the industry is shaken at the sudden and unprecedented gas shut down announcement on Friday, which is not at all justified”. He added that the situation, unfortunately, has worsened. Frequent Gas shut down notices, PVMA & Oil Tanker Association’s strike and deteriorated law & order situation of Bin Qasim Industrial Zone have caused huge production losses to industries which were al-
ready besieged by the law & order crisis in the city and floods in Sindh. All this is translating into surmounting financial losses and threatening the survival of many industries. Mr Abdul Rasheed Jan Mohammed (vice president) was of the view that industries, particularly edible oil processing refineries, solvent extraction plant, soap manufacturing and others, need minimum 10-12 hours to start and shut their operations. They are in a miserable condition, industries that are on captive power and without alternate arrangement have no solution but to close operations, ultimately there will be hundreds of millions of rupees losses to national exchequer. If the government does not supply proper, adequate
and full pressure gas to industries, which comprise 50% of the export mix, Pakistan will be ruined, resulting in unmanageable employment problems. Mian Ahmed said Bin Qasim Industrial Zone is the back bone of the economy, where major foreign direct investment in process, the industrial zone is spread around 25000 acres and around 150,000 strong workforce is employed. At a time when industrial production needs to be boosted to help improve the economy, incidents like this shut down will act as a serious deterrent to investorsm, local as well as foreign. BQATI Managing Committee stressed the need to stop this practice immediately in the larger interest of the national economy.
Banks hold approx Rs4t in PSMC: Sales volumes to risk-free govt securities improve CY11 bottomline KARACHI
OMMERCIAL banks are pocketing huge sums by investing in heavilyweighted government securities, accumulating around Rs4 trillion. According to State Bank data, scheduled banks and non-bank corporate investors purchased risk-free government papers including Market Treasury Bills (MTBs), Pakistan Investment Bonds (PIBs) and Ijara Sukuk to the tune of Rs3.815 trillion up to the 29th of last month. This heavy investment in sovereign guarantees is fetching handsome profits for riskaverse banks as four of the country’s leading banks, Habib Bank, United Bank, MCB Bank and Allied Bank, earned cumulatively Rs66 billion during 2011, up 27 per cent over 2010. These four banks contribute over 50 per cent share of listed private banks’ deposits, and comprise 70 per cent of market capitalisation and represent approximately 60 per cent of the total branch network in Pakistan. To cater to their dire need for budgetary support, the cash-strapped federal and provincial governments raised over Rs2.750 trillion from scheduled banks, which the central bank said held 72 per cent of the total government securities auctioned. The government borrowed over Rs1.065 trillion from non-bank lenders including insurance companies, mutual funds and other corporate entities. This accounts for 27.9 per cent of total borrowings through the sale of government papers. A break up shows that, as of February 29 (2012) the government, through the
central bank’s Open Market Operations, auctioned MTBs, PIBs and Ijara Sukuk (Islamic bonds) worth Rs 2.634 trillion, Rs 898.9 billion and Rs 282.3 billion, respectively. Of these, banks bought treasury bills worth Rs2.035 trillion or 77 per cent, investment bonds of Rs 464.4 billion (52 per cent) and Islamic bonds of 251 billion (89 per cent). “Thanks to higher return on advances and better yield on government papers, overall net interest income of these four big banks grew by 17 per cent,” said Farhan Mahmood of Topline Research. As banks adopt riskaverse behaviour, perceivably, due to their rising non-Performing Loans in the ongoing recessionary climate, economists foresee “disastrous” repercussions for the country’s ailing economy. Economic observers are concerned that whereas most of the economic indicators were setting in the red zone, the banks were not playing their due role in extending a helping hand to the economic mangers to revitalise the troubled economy. “A major budget deficit is making the government borrow heavily from the commercial banks but this is an unhealthy practice,” viewed Dr Shahid Hussain Siddiqui. “The government should increase tax revenues, curtail the expenditures and lessen its reliance on the commercial banks. Otherwise, it would be disastrous for the economy,” the senior economist warned. Experienced bankers like Hussain Lawai, presently serving Summit Bank as president and CEO, propose the State Bank to limit the banks’ investment in the government securities at 25 per cent at maximum.
HE company is expected to announce profit after tax of Rs1.1b (EPS Rs12.83) in CY11, up massively by 4x YoY. “A 17 per cent YoY rise in unit sales coupled with nine per cent YoY increased sales proceeds are expected to support the bottomline,” said Abdul Azeem of InvestCap. Moreover, the analyst said, another factor which was expected to contribute more is the company’s other income that was projected to post an 11 per cent YoY increase. On QoQ basis, he said, the last quarter of CY11 was estimated to reduce company’s bottomline by 2.3 per cent QoQ to Rs384m (EPS Rs4.66) due to decline in unit sales by five per cent QoQ. As customers prefer to book vehicles with the new year registration, therefore, during the last quarter the unit sales of the company remained dull, Azeem said. Thus, amid decline in vehicle booking, other income, which mostly comes from the advances from customers, was hurt during the quarter, which is expected to decline 10 per cent QoQ. We expect Rs1.00/share dividend with the results. During CY11, the company’s cash balance is expected to have reached at Rs8bn, which is expected to add Rs473mn
(Rs5.74/sh) to the company’s bottomline. The massive surge in the unit sales by 17 per cent YoY has helped the company to book such a significant amount in the bottomline. A far as margins are concerned, the gross margins of the company is expected to post a significant improvement of 185bps to 4.2 per cent in CY11 as the company increased its product prices by five times during the CY11 (9 per cent YoY) while change in the sales of the product mix is also expected to provide some support to the bottomline. With the improvement in other income by 11 per cent YoY, the net margin of the company is also expected to rise by 145bps to 1.95 per cent in CY11. PSMC’s unit sales went up by 17 per cent YoY to 92.9k units. The new swift recorded a massive growth of 53 per cent YoY to 5.9k units during CY11. Mehran posted a 28 per cent YoY growth with 29.5k units sales. The company sold 12.9k units of its Alto model coupled with 12.9k units of Cultus. Bolan and Ravi also showed a increase of 23 per cent YoY to 15.7k units and 4.9 per centYoY to 14.97k units respectively, in CY11 while only Liana posted a decline of 26 per centYoY to 481 units. During CY11, the Government of Punjab’s Green Texi scheme helped the company to improve its unit sales as the Punjab gov’t selected Suzuki’s Bolan and Mehran for the scheme in CY11.
Salaries, pensions, other G2P transfers via branchless banks soon, says SBP Karachi
HE central bank is in the final stages of formulating the regulatory framework for interoperable mobile banking system. Also, the State Bank expects that the management of Government to Person (G2P) programs like the disbursement of salaries and pensions, Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), Watan Cards, Pakistan Cards, tax collections services, etc, would soon be managed through the fast spreading branchless banking. “We are already working closely with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enabling the interoperability framework where all banks and telecom companies can join hands to serve the customers,” SBP Governor Yaseen Anwar on Thursday told the 5th International
Conference on Mobile Banking in Pakistan here at a local hotel. The SBP governor said the central bank aims to provide basic banking services to every adult and bankable citizen in the country. “As a large portion of our population has access to mobile phones, we feel that if a workable partnership between the banking and telecom sectors continues, we shall see our dreams come true,” he added. The mobile phone subscription, he said, had seen an explosive growth in Pakistan – total subscription now reaches to 112 million customers in all income segments of the society, and growth continues rapidly. He, however, observed that banking accounts are owned by approximately 25 million customers, in a population of 180 million, largely belonging to high income segments while there are about seven million borrowers. He pointed out that Pakistan has one of the lowest financial penetration levels in the world with
56 per cent of the adult population totally excluded, and another 32 percent informally served. “At the macro level, we will continue to work with the industry and the other regulators to promote a sound, safe, efficient and inclusive mobile commerce ecosystem.” The interoperable systems, he said, were essential to mass adoption of mobile commerce and added that presently financial institutions and telecom companies can choose whatever business model suits their needs i.e. One-to-One or One-to-Many. “Let me assure that all the existing and the prospective One-to-One or Oneto-Many arrangements between banks and the Telcos would not be affected with the proposed regulatory framework,’ he added. The governor emphasised that the existing agents’ network needs to be further capacitated to generate new demand, and to handle and service even larger volumes of transactions to establish the business viability of
Branchless Banking operations. “Going forward, SBP will be initiating actionable research on the supply and demand side in collaboration with the Branchless Banking ecosystem for further development of such services in Pakistan.” Anwar said mobile phone banking was now the new market niche for both banks and Mobile network Operators (MnOs), and many of them were preparing to enter in this exciting market in a big way. “In almost two years, the branchless banking deployments with 22,500 agents offering low-cost services all over the country, including in the hitherto neglected areas, have surpassed the 10,000 branch network of banks,” he said adding the fast mobile penetration and its continuing strong growth fuels expectations that transformational branchless banking models would prove a game-changer in improving access to finance in Pakistan.
Rough road ahead for Pak mango exports to US LAHORE: Pakistani mangoes are likely to face difficult market in the US this season, unless the United States allows pre-shipment irradiation in Pakistan. Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry Member Export Ahmad Jawad indicated that India had been offered the same facility and it was irradiating its mangos in India under the supervision of a US inspector. He said the facility was developed and funded by the Indian government and the US inspector checked every shipment for compliance to US standards before the consignment could be shipped. As against this, Pakistani mangoes had to be irradiated at a plant in Iowa, USA. This facility cannot be availed because commercial shipments in sizeable quantities are unviable, he maintained. STAFF REPORT
Pak, NZ to enhance cooperation in agriculture and dairy industry ISLAMABAD: new Zealand and Pakistan agreed to enhance cooperation in the agriculture and diary industry value chain at the inaugural session of the Joint Trade Committee (JTC) in Wellington on Friday. JTC was established under a bilateral trade agreement signed in 1990. However, its first meeting was held after a gap of 22 years. Pakistan’s delegation was led by Secretary Commerce Zafar Mahmood. new Zealand side was headed by deputy secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). During the meeting both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral trade and ways and means to further enhance the economic co-operation. Measures to establish instruction linkages between the two countries, especially in the field of agriculture value chain and dairy industry were agreed upon. STAFF REPORT
Broker-to-broker functionality at bonds automated trading system approved ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has approved a regulatory framework to facilitate inter-exchange trades in listed term finance certificates (TFCs) to introduce a broker-to-broker (BTB) functionality at the Bonds Automated Trading System (BATS). Last year, BATS was revamped along the lines of Bloomberg-based E-Bond with various system enhancements aimed at facilitating price discovery in listed debt instruments and price negotiation between market participants in line with international standards. This system, however, was equipped only to support trading between brokers/investors of a stock exchange where such TFCs were listed and did not facilitate inter-exchange trading in TFCs listed on other stock exchanges. STAFF REPORT
European aviation agency invites PIA LAHORE: European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Organisations Department Head Wilfred Schulze has invited Pakistan International Airline (PIA) team to EASA headquarters in Cologne for a meeting to reinstate the Part145 maintenance organisation approval. PIA spokesman explained that continuity of EASA Part-145 approval is subject to regular audits by EASA or its representative auditors but EASA could not perform the surveillance audits (three audits every two years period) after november 2008 due to travel restrictions imposed by the Agency considering the regional safety issues. Therefore, as an alternate to the physical surveillance of PIA Engineering and Maintenance, EASA opted for mitigating measures, including the annual surveillance by Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) with intimation to EASA, continued monitoring by PIA Quality Assurance to ensure compliance with Part -145 standards and annual submission of monitoring / internal audit records to EASA. This arrangement continued to satisfy the agency till november 2011, PIA spokesman added. STAFF REPORT
Punjab fast becoming investment hub of region: Ibrahim Qureshi LAHORE: President Business Forum Punjab Ibrahim Qureshi has said Punjab is fast turning into investment hub of the region due to visionary leadership of the province. He lauded efforts of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for his tireless efforts, bearing fruits in the shape of keen interest by Turkey, Oman and other countries. According to him, the government of Turkey has recently gifted 100 trucks for waste management speaks volumes about the leadership skills of Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif. He said the Chief Minister Punjab is making further efforts to attract investment in areas like agriculture, livestock and energy besides information technology. According to him, Punjab is passing through severe electricity crisis but still the pace of infrastructure development in the province would prove fruitful once the energy crisis is over and investment inflow. Ibrahim said the Large Scale Manufacturing (LSM) sector in Punjab is facing acute power supply constraints and therefore the provincial government is coming with opportunities in alternative fields for investors, which is a healthy sign for country’s economy. He said the government of Punjab was trying its best to overcome the energy shortages but it will take some time, as it is not possible without a cohesive approach of the provincial as well as federal government. STAFF REPORT
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Saturday, 17 March, 2012
Bear hug drains KSE of 153.95pnts KARACHI STAFF REPORTER
EARISH trend was witnessed in the Karachi share market on the last working day of the week, Friday; as the benchmark KSE100 index plunged 153.95 points to close at 13,295.91. Trading remained high and the volume at ready counter shot up to 42.621 million shares as compared to 33.691 million shares traded on last trading session. “The index subsequently managed to post a new high and close for the current uptrend”, said Abdul Azeem, an analyst at InvestCap. Of 373 active scrips, 129 closed in positive and 181 in negative, while the values of 63 stocks remained unchanged. Market capitalisation declined to 3.442 trillion from 3.488 trillion. Azeem added that the KSE100
Nestle Pak SPOT Unilever Food SPOT Fazal Textile Shell Pakistan Mithchells Fruit
4102.79 1792.31 238.26 200.40 145.31
4299.00 1881.81 250.00 209.00 152.57
4055.00 1880.50 250.00 200.50 145.31
4299.00 1880.50 250.00 207.94 152.00
196.21 448 88.19 15 11.74 100 7.54 104,015 6.69 746
Major Losers index opened above the identified pivot level of 13,327, however some profittaking was observed but immediately got its footings, which indicates strong demand. KSE All share-index ended the day at 9,278.37 points, down 106.14 points or 1.13 per cent, KSE 30-index stopped the day at 11,721.24 points, down 218.2 points or 1.83 per cent while the KMI 30-index slumped by 345.63 points or 1.50 per cent to end
the day at 22,716.97. According to analysts, the KSE100 index is strigging to go further up towards 13,818pts level. Lafarge Pakistan was volume leader of the day, 57.481 million shares and gained Rs 0.41 to close at Rs 3.87, followed by Jahangir Siddiqui Company, Fauji Cement and Karachi Electric Supply Company with turnover of 48.677 million, 22.340 million and 10.068 million shares respectively.
nestle Pakistan SPOT and UniLever Pakistan Limited SPOT, up Rs101 and Rs9.18 respectively, led highest price gainers while Wyeth Pakistan Limited and Pakistan State Oil dropped Rs12.62 and Rs12.06 respectively, leading the losers. However, once again sideboard stocks were the main contributors, hence, suggesting little supply in the mainstream stocks, said Azeem.
Govt forms 5 groups to give recommendations for next budget ISLAMABAD
FTER being castigated by private sector experts for consistent poor economic management during the last few years, finance minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh held the media responsible for negative perception on the economic front and constituted five groups to give recommendations for balance of payments, reviving manufacturing sector, improving capital markets, enhancing centre-provinces financial coordination and strengthening social safety nets. The meeting of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) reviewed the overall economic situation and discussed suggestions for the upcoming budget of fiscal year 2012-13. The meeting was attended by Shamashad Akthar, nasim Baig, Hussain Ali Chandio, Shoaib Sultan, Ali Habib and other experts. Addressing concerns of the council, the finance minister said the media is continuously creating negative perception among masses regarding economic performance of the government, while reality is much different. He assured the EAC that his
economic team is doing its best for the country without taking into account any political biases. He claimed that over all the Annual Development Plan (ADP) and tax related measures were free and fair from any political objectives. He constituted five groups to give suggestion in specific areas for upcoming budget during next meeting. First group headed by nasim Baig will look into the matters of balance of payments, second group will provide concrete suggestions on different concerns raised by manufacturing and industrial sector, third group will look into the matters of capital market, fourth group will cover provincial financing and coordination and fifth group will work on social safety nets. All groups will give their suggestions at the next meeting of the council on April 7. Secretary finance informed that real GDP in FY2011 was 2.4 per cent while target of FY2012 is 4.3 per cent and projected GDP of 2012 is 3.6 per cent. Inflation (CPI) stood at 13.9 per cent during FY2011, target of FY2012 is 12 per cent and projected inflation in 2012 is 12.9 per cent. The fiscal deficit stood at 6.6 per cent in FY 2011, target of FY2012 is 4 per cent and projected fiscal deficit is 4.7 per cent. He informed the
council that losses to economy caused by recent flood are partially mitigated by good performance of agriculture sector in Punjab. He informed about the expected measures which will reduce the deficit. The measures include austerity measures in expenditure, auction of 3G license, tariff and fuel adjustments and recovery from Coalition Support Fund. Chairman FBR briefed EAC about the overall performance of FBR and measures adopted to enhance revenue collection during the current fiscal year. Secretary planning gave overview of the Public Sector Development Plans (PSDP 2011-12). He presented an outline of 20 mega projects under PSDP. He informed that foreign aid to PSDP has been increased to a significant level, which is reducing the overall burden on our existing financial resources. He discussed in detail the hurdles like political and bureaucratic pressure, poor project appraisal, over run cost of projects etc, faced by planning commission in overall project planning and implementation process. Governor, State Bank of Pakistan said the banking sector seems resilient despite the European financial crisis. He informed that some foreign banks were in pipeline to operate and invest in Pakistan.
UniLever Pak LtdSPOT Siemens Pakistan Wyeth Pak Ltd.SPOT ICI Pakistan Fazal Cloth Mills
5750.00 789.44 770.00 144.91 79.00
5748.00 790.00 770.00 147.98 75.71
5700.00 750.00 731.60 138.65 75.10
9.90 3.59 2.99 4.41 4.05
9.26 3.00 2.66 3.37 3.55
9.55 3.46 2.81 4.19 3.65
5705.92 753.11 749.66 139.62 75.71
-44.08 29 -36.33 219 -20.34 161 -5.29 109,307 -3.29 1,107
Volume Leaders BO Punjab Lafarge Pakistan NIB Bank Limited Dewan Cement TRG Pakistan Ltd.
9.09 3.11 2.73 3.41 3.99
0.46 26,227,451 0.35 18,766,656 0.08 18,634,045 0.78 18,444,917 -0.34 15,366,050
Interbank Rates US Dollar UK Pound Japanese Yen Euro
90.7428 142.1848 1.0843 118.5101
Dollar East US Dollar Euro Great Britain Pound Japanese Yen Canadian Dollar Hong Kong Dollar UAE Dirham Saudi Riyal Australian Dollar
90.80 117.91 141.46 1.0793 90.49 11.53 24.62 24.10 94.53
91.30 119.13 142.89 1.0900 91.90 11.71 24.84 24.33 96.92
CORPORATE CORNER AbacusConsulting Sponsors Mobile Commerce Conference 2012 KARACHI: The 5th international Mobile Commerce 2012 will be taking place in Karachi on March 15, 2012. The conference is an international endeavor which witnesses strategic alliance between Sybase, an SAP Company and its technology partner AbacusConsulting, both of which are the main sponsors for the event. The highly anticipated Mobile Commerce vent will provide an opportunity to showcase end-to-end solutions for Mobile Banking and Branchless Banking which is implemented in both developed as well as emerging markets. The event hopes to utilize the experience of the mature sectors of the Mobile Banking economies and leverage it to the developing markets. According to Matthew Talbot, Senior Vice President of mCommerce for Sybase, “Pakistan is one of the fastest developing markets for branchless banking in the world. We help banks like HBL to enable its customers to have full control of their bank accounts and make transactions through a mobile device regardless of their location. This creates opportunities for bringing the unbanked and under-banked segments of the society into the financial network.” PRESS RELEASE
Emirates to launch new service to Washington DC KARACHI: America’s capital city will soon enjoy enhanced international connections through a nonstop link to Emirates ’ global network , after the airline announced that it would start flights to Washington Dulles International Airport from September 12th , 2012. Emirates will operate a Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft on its DC route, providing eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat beds in Business Class and 304 seats in Economy Class. “As Emirates’ seventh U.S. gateway and our third new American route to launch in 2012, Washington, DC is a significant next step as we continue to expand our services across the country,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman
and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group. “This new route will provide further impetus to the vibrant trade relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States, boosting exports and imports and increasing opportunities for business, industry and tourism.” PRESS RELEASE
United States supports dairy development in Punjab
ISLAMABAD: Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) is all set to launch Waseela-eTaleem Scheme as part of its endeavor to empower poor and downtrodden segments of society. More than one million children with age bracket of 5-12 from beneficiary families would be enrolled in schools across Pakistan in April 2012 as first phase of the programme. It may be recalled here that the leading experts from various sectors of economy and social sector world-over have recently shown agreement that poverty has direct linkage with the level of education in any society. Therefore, many of the organization working in the social sector have made education their prime area of focus. In realization of the same fact, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has envisaged “waseela-eTaleem scheme which would help the parents belonging to underprivileged society to send their children to school. PRESS RELEASE
LAHORE: In support of a U.S.program that will positively impact the lives of 12,000 small dairy farmers, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Director for Economic Growth and Agriculture William Patterson attended a U.S.-sponsored conference hosted by Livestock and Dairy Development Department Punjab (L&DD) in Lahore. In his remarks Mr. Patterson said, “This forum will result in better program interventions, minimal overlaps, and more visible impact on the lives of the people of the Punjab.” The primary objective of the conference was to coordinate supportamongst donors and gather informationto develop an effective approach for the advancement of livestock and dairy business development in the Punjab. Secretary Livestock and Dairy Development Punjab Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh remarked, “Due to a lack of coordination, a large number of projects for the livestock sector tend to chase similar targets and focus on similar geographical areas limiting their impact. This conference is the first of many, which will ensure that efforts are not duplicated and more people of the Punjab benefit from these programs. The government of Punjab is committed towards the improvement of Livestock and Dairy Development in Punjab.” PRESS RELEASE
Xiamen International Stone Fair, 2012 concludes
Samsung inaugurates two more Concept-Shops in Lahore
XIAMEN: Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) successfully participated in 12th edition of Xiamen International Stone Fair (XISF) which was held from 06th to 09th March, 2012 at Xiamen, China. XISF is the world’s second biggest annual event for the stone industry and predictable to be no.1 in 2013 with expansion of 30,000 sqm provided by the under-construction exhibition center. The exhibition had 115,000 sqm covered area with a total of 5,900 standard stalls including outdoors space. PRESS RELEASE
LAHORE: Samsung Electronics, a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, and telecommunications, is expanding its network of ‘Samsung Concept Shops’ in numerous cities across Pakistan. Special inauguration ceremonies were held on 16th March, 2012, at the two new Concept Shops established in Allama Iqbal Town-Lahore and Liberty Market-Lahore. Managing Director Samsung Pakistan Mr. John Park said; “The Samsung Concept Shop is a model of the Samsung Retail Brand, from where all retailers can learn and emulate for a consistent branding approach.
BISP all set to launch Waseela-e-Taleem initiative
This month, we have also opened new concept shops in Gujranwala, Sargodha and Faisalabad, which are already providing world-class retail consumer experiences.” Samsung Concept Shop is a One-Stop solution for exploring and purchasing all Samsung products with genuine Samsung warranties. It displays; Samsung 3D Smart TV’s, LED and LCD TV’s, Monitors, Plasma Display Panels, IT products, Cameras, Mobile phones, and Home Appliances. For the first two weeks after the inauguration, product installation services will be provided free-of-charge to the purchasers. PRESS RELEASE
LG aiming for home appliance leadership
LAHORE: LG Electronics (LG) revealed its home appliance business strategies for 2012 in a discussion with members of the media at the tail end of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Moon-bum Shin, Executive Vice President and CEO of LG Home Appliance Company, announced that LG’s primary goal this year is to strengthen its business foundations so that it can achieve the top position in the home appliance category by 2014. In order to achieve the objective, LG plans to enhance its competitive advantage in the refrigerator and washing machine segments and make strong investments in smart appliances. Despite the global economic downturn, LG aims to achieve double digit sales growth rate this year. PRESS RELEASE