Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Karachi Stock Exchange: Today's Morning News

Pakistan asks China to raise investments to $10 billion
Pakistan  has  asked  China  to  raise  the  investment  ceiling  up  to  $10  billion  from  $3  billion  through  the  EXIM  bank  and  China  Development  Bank  for  undertaking crucial projects. Islamabad also asked Beijing to treat trade corridor as linkage point among different regions such as the Central Asian Republics (CARs) and other important regions of the world. After withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, there will be a vacuum and this can only be filled  by  creating  economic  opportunities  in  the  region  to  create  jobs  and economic alternatives. In this regard economic corridor is of high potential for the people of this region .Pak-China economic corridor has bilateral links with  India,  Afghanistan  and  Iran  and  would  bolster  the  development  in South Asia, Central Asia and Middle East. Gwadar offers strategic opportunities not only to Pakistan and China but also to the rest of the world. We are keen to have Chinese investment in energy and infrastructure. We are already working with Chinese companies in Gaddani coastal energy park and in solar energy projects. He  said  that  main  challenge  is  to  make  translate the  vision  of  the  present  leadership  of  Pakistan  and  China  into  reality  as early as possible relations are.

Consumers to remain deprived of relief in gas price
Since the Lahore High Court (LHC) had suspended a decision of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) pertaining reduction in gas tariff by 45/mmbtu so  the  over  burdened  consumers  would  remain  deprived  of  relief  in  gas price.  the  over  burdened  gas  consumers  already  bearing  high  tariff  have been  deprived  of  a  sigh  of  relief  once  again  only  because  of  strategy  of SNGPL.  Earlier,  the  OGRA  had  rejected  the  request  of  Sui  Northern  Gas Pipeline Limited (SNGPL) on June 1 regarding charging the consumers with 7 per  cent  on  account  of  Unaccounted  for  Gas  (UfG)  and  also  approved  decrease in gas tariff by Rs45/mmbtu. The matter of fleecing the gas consumers  with  7per  cent  of  UfG  was  continuing  since  2011  between  OGRA  and SNGPL, as the former did not allow the later to charge the consumers with said rate of stolen gas. However, the LHC had given decision in the favor of public during February 2013. But, SNGPL, in its plea to the LHC, had raised a point  to  get  OGRA’s  decision  suspended  that  two  members  of  regulatory authority  (OGRA)  are  inactive,  while  both  chairman  and  vice  chairman  of OGRA  are  not  authorized  to  approve  Rs45/mmbtu  reduction  in  the  gas price.  So,  the  honorable  court  should  suspend  the  order  of  the  authority. Interestingly,  SNGPL  had  accepted  the  gas  tariff  of  previous  financial  year (2012-13),  which  was  also  approved  by  both  chairman  and  vice  chairman OGRA.

Debt servicing eats up Rs900 billion in FY13
Debt  servicing  of  domestic  and  external  liabilities  has  become  the  single largest component of the country’s expenditures, as it consumed Rs990 billion during the last financial year ended on June 30.  According  to  Fiscal  Operation  2012-13  released  by  the  Finance  Division  on  Tuesday,  the  debt  servicing  outpaced  de-fence, as well as development expenditures, indicating that the debt servicing will again become a major challenge for the struggling economy of the country on the same pattern of 90s when a major chunk of resources was consumed by debt servicing, leaving no fiscal space to look after areas of the much-needed area of development. According to official figures, the expenditure on defense and federal development stood at Rs. 540 billion and Rs. 348 billion, respectively. A joint calculation of both defense and federal development budgets showed that these heads consumed Rs. 888 billion, while debt serving alone had eaten away Rs. 992 billion. Pakistan’s  budget revolves around three Ds, including debt  servicing, defense and  development,  as  the  debt  servicing  has  been  again  surfaced  the  single  largest  head  of  expenditure  component.  The  country’s budget  deficit  stood  at  eight  percent  of  GDP  with  the  total  revenues  of  Rs. 2,982  billion  against  the  total  expenditures  of Rs. 4,816 billion, resulting in a financing gap of Rs. 1,833 billion in the last financial year. Although, the budget deficit of eight percent of GDP is lower than the expectation of 8.8 percent of GDP, as the government managed savings of 0.8 percent of GDP, and the provinces posted 0.2 percent revenue surplus.

SBP governor for developing Islamic microfinance

State Bank of Pakistan Governor Yaseen Anwar has stressed upon the Islamic finance industry to make individual as well as collaborative efforts to develop Islamic microfinance in the country. Addressing opening session of the Islamic Finance News Pakistan Road show on Islamic Banking held at the State Bank of Pakistan, Karachi on Tuesday, he said Islamic microfinance, a confluence of two industries; Islamic finance and microfinance, can not only be an efficient tool for financial inclusion by catering to both voluntary and involuntary financially excluded but also towards poverty reduction due to its inherent characteristic of being prudent and asset based. He said that financial inclusion is one of the key strategic objectives of SBP and emphasized the industry to develop capacity to tap strategically important sectors of agriculture and SMEs and create value for shareholders, depositors, and the country’s economy as a whole. He assured SBP will provide every support and facilitation to the industry in efforts to build and expand its portfolio in these sectors.

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