Category Archives: Financial Services

Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited maintains entity ratings of Al-Abbas Sugar Mills Limited

Lahore, March 31, 2016 (PPI-OT):The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has maintained the long term and short term entity ratings of Al-Abbas Sugar Mills Limited (AASML) at ‘A’ (Single A) and ‘A1′(A One) respectively. The ratings denote a low expectation of credit risk emanating from a strong capacity for timely payment of financial commitments.

The ratings reflect AASML’s significant positioning in its core business segments – sugar and ethanol. While sugar is characterized by stable demand supported by fundamentals, ethanol takes benefit of the value addition that it signifies as a product. Although margins are thin in sugar due to structure of domestic industry and softening of commodities in international markets, revenues of ethanol division support profitability.

With full repayment of long term debt; the company’s financial profile is in strength. The company’s financial profile becomes stretched during crushing season, owing to working capital related sizable borrowings. Nevertheless, adequate cash flows and largely stable coverages provide relief to it. The ratings continue to take support from the company’s seasoned management team, having sound understanding of the industry dynamics. AASML also has built storage terminal at Kemari port; this provides stable rental income.

The company owns a small power plant for which it is negotiating power purchase agreement with K-Electric. This should add another stable revenue stream. The ratings are dependent on the sustained risk profile of the company. Herein, business volumes and related margins are important. Deleveraging and addition of stable revenue streams are likely to positively impact the ratings.

For more information, contact:
Hammad Rashid
Analyst
The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited (PACRA)
Awami Complex, FB1, Usman Block New Garden Town,
Lahore – Pakistan
Tel: +9242 586 9504 -6
Fax: +9242 583 0425
Email: hammad.rashid@pacra.com
Web: www.pacra.com

Conversion rates of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special United States Dollar Bonds and profit thereon June 05, 2015

Karachi, June 05, 2015 (PPI-OT): The following rates will be applicable for conversion into rupees of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special U.S Dollar Bonds and profit thereon by all banks and for providing Forward Cover on Foreign Currency Deposits (excluding F.E-25 deposits) by the State Bank on June 8, 2015.

Currency         Rate in Pak Rupee

U.S. Dollar         101.8653

Japanese Yen          0.8165

Pound Sterling      155.9965

Euro                114.6901

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Tel: +9221 3921 2562
Fax: +9221 3921 2563
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk

Conversion rates of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special United States Dollar Bonds and profit thereon June 03, 2015

Karachi, June 03, 2015 (PPI-OT): The following rates will be applicable for conversion into rupees of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special U.S Dollar Bonds and profit thereon by all banks and for providing Forward Cover on Foreign Currency Deposits (excluding F.E-25 deposits) by the State Bank on June 4, 2015.

Currency         Rate in Pak Rupee

U.S. Dollar         101.8659

Japanese Yen          0.8192

Pound Sterling      155.5696

Euro                113.4277

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Tel: +9221 3921 2562
Fax: +9221 3921 2563
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk

Conversion rates of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special United States Dollar Bonds and profit thereon June 02, 2015

Karachi, June 02, 2015 (PPI-OT): The following rates will be applicable for conversion into rupees of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special U.S Dollar Bonds and profit thereon by all banks and for providing Forward Cover on Foreign Currency Deposits (excluding F.E-25 deposits) by the State Bank on June 3, 2015.

Currency         Rate in Pak Rupee

U.S. Dollar         101.8557

Japanese Yen          0.8162

Pound Sterling      155.2178

Euro                111.6745

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Tel: +9221 3921 2562
Fax: +9221 3921 2563
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk

The State Bank of Pakistan conference on affordable housing paves the way for a grand alliance between public and private sector

Karachi, May 29, 2015 (PPI-OT): The two-day International Conference on Affordable Housing and Mortgage Finance organized by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was concluded today in Islamabad. The Prime Minister, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, graced the occasion. The Prime Minister evinced keen interest in the deliberations of the conference and offered his candid comments. He reaffirmed the Governor State Bank’s reference to the fact that it is a formidable task and that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step.

The PM appreciated the work and directed the SBP to refine its proposal broadening its scope by including both the formal and informal sector. Further, citing his own experiences in the past, he advised SBP to involve housing experts and come up with a comprehensive proposal for his approval so that the vision of affordable housing could be given a real impetus under his leadership.

The major gain of this international conference marks the beginning between the government and the banking sector to accomplish the gigantic task of new cities with all the basic amenities in the spirit of inclusive development. ‘We want to build dignified houses for the downtrodden and not become a party to the perpetuation of a ghetto culture in the cities and suburbs,’ he remarked.

The Prime Minister pledged his unequivocal support for the initiation of this task by providing his full support for an effective legislative framework and public sector cooperation. The concluding session was marked by an interactive discourse among the Prime Minster, Finance Minister, SBP officials and the international experts which is a welcome departure from a more generally formal template of the concluding sessions.

Earlier, the Finance Minister, Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar while giving his remarks said that the government has already taken steps to develop mortgage industry and promote housing finance. In this regard, he mentioned the creation of Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company with a significant share of government in its equity.

The government has also initiated a Housing Finance Credit Guarantee Scheme, he said. The Finance Minister cited the global examples where foreclosure laws have helped to promote housing finance. He assured that the government would accelerate the process of foreclosure law to be passed from the parliament to give effective protection and stimulate housing finance by the financial institutions without any hesitation.

The Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, Ashraf Mehmood Wathra, in his welcome remarks sought Prime Minister’s support to accelerate the process to bring in a legislative framework to address the well known issue of repossession and recovery which is a pre-requisite for providing mortgage finance to a borrower.

This, he said, is central and the first step to realize the vision of affordable housing for the poor and low income segment of the population. The Prime Minister expressed his consent to the Governor’s suggestion and instructed Ministry of Finance, later on, to accelerate the process. The Governor appreciated the valuable contribution of international experts who brought in their valuable insights and shared their experiences.

The Deputy Governor, Saeed Ahmed, recapitulated the two day deliberations of the conference and highlighted the issues and challenges facing Pakistan to address the growing challenge of housing for the lower income groups. He emphasized that all avenues including public/private partnership is to be used to achieve the objective of filling the gap and meeting the demand.

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Tel: +92-21-39212562
Fax: +92-21-39212563
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk

Finance Minister launches National Financial Inclusion Strategy for Pakistan

Karachi, May 22, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Federal Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, today, launched National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) for Pakistan at Islamabad. The objective of the strategy is to build momentum and push forward reforms to achieve universal financial inclusion in an integrated and sustained manner.

While sharing the vision, Mr. Dar said “Government is striving to create more opportunities of doing business and make the common people of Pakistan self reliant and economically empowered.” In this regard, the government is working at various levels to improve governance and availability of energy and other key infrastructure inputs, he further said.

He highlighted that the recent historic agreement for creation of Pak-China Economic Corridor is an economically vital plan devised to help drive Pakistan’s economic growth. The economic corridor will connect economic agents and link economic centres with large resources which can be cultivated for job creation.

While emphasizing the need for increasing access to fair and dignified financial services to achieve sustainable economic growth, the Finance Minister said that the NFIS, championed by the State Bank of Pakistan, is consistent with the Government of Pakistan’s Vision 2025, which calls for enhancing access to credit for SMEs and focuses on strengthening and deepening of financial inclusion in the country.

He regretted media speculations regarding imposition of tax on remittances in forthcoming federal budget and categorically stated that no such proposal was under consideration by the federal government.

He further pointed out that the Government is already working on some of the drivers that the NFIS identifies to catalyze financial inclusion. In particular, digitization of payments is a priority area and resolute efforts have been taken to support the digitalization of payments and give depth to financial services among various segments of the population.

He shared that Pakistan has become a member of the Better than Cash Alliance – a global initiative. The contribution of branchless banking is significant when it comes to channelizing the Government-to-Person payments.

Finance Minister emphasized the stakeholders to show their full commitment and active engagement to increase access and quality of financial services for the underserved segments of the economy and help to build a sustainable and prosperous Pakistan.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Ashraf Mahmood Wathra, Governor SBP said that since the early 1990’s, Pakistan’s financial sector has witnessed considerable reforms that have significantly strengthened its soundness, profitability, efficiency and diversity. Also, Pakistan has been a pioneer in championing financial inclusion for over a decade and achieved a large number of significant milestones.

In particular, the creation of a regulatory framework for Microfinance Banks in 2001; the expansion and modernization of online credit information bureau (e-CIB) in 2005; the adoption of Branchless Banking Regulations allowing a tiered approach to know-your-customer (KYC) requirements in 2008; the launch of Financial Inclusion Program under DFID support which includes risk sharing initiatives, smart grant facilities for capacity development, innovation and market infrastructure development in 2008; the establishment of a specialized microfinance credit information bureau (m-CIB) in 2009; and the launch of a nationwide Financial Literacy Program in 2012.

He pointed out that despite the sustained efforts, the level of financial inclusion remains very low and there are a number of reasons for the low level of financial inclusion. He shared that the persistence of financial exclusion in the face of long-standing efforts to promote inclusion pointed the need for a comprehensive National Financial Inclusion Strategy. The strategy has thus created the needed platform for SBP, GoP and private sector to adopt and implement a comprehensive set of coherent and sequential reforms needed to influence financial inclusion in a big way.

He further shared that globally, there is an increasing trend towards adoption of financial inclusion strategies with explicit financial inclusion targets at country level. Empirical evidence suggests that, having a NFIS could double the pace of progress on financial inclusion targets. The NFIS will guide efforts to promote financial inclusion over the coming five years. It includes targets and objectives that will be monitored, but it will serve as a living document that can be adjusted as required.

On this occasion, Mr. Saeed Ahmad, Deputy Governor, State Bank of Pakistan while making a detailed presentation said that about 50% of the entire population is completely financially excluded with no access to financial services such as formal savings, payments, deposits, and credit, therefore, financial inclusion is a priority area for government and SBP. He also shared various initiatives taken by government and SBP to promote financial inclusion in Pakistan. He hoped that with successful implementation, the country will achieve its targets for a financially inclusive Pakistan.

He said that to advance financial inclusion, over 50 countries have set national commitments and tangible targets for financial access. Pakistan has now also developed national financial inclusion strategy which lays sound foundations for financial inclusion for the next 5 years. It identifies the gaps leading to persistent financial exclusion and sets out the national vision and roadmap to accelerate financial inclusion.

NFIS also identifies high-impact areas, assigns responsibilities, and provides targets and objectives that will be monitored. He hoped that with successful implementation, the country will achieve its targets for a financially inclusive Pakistan.

The ceremony was attended by local and international dignitaries including members of NFIS council, Presidents of banks, government officials, representatives of donor agencies, and large number of private sector representatives.

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Tel: +92-21-39212562
Fax: +92-21-39212563
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk