Daily Archives: January 4, 2018

President FPCCI appeals Chief Minister Sindh to unveil water plan for Karachi immediately

Karachi, January 04, 2018 (PPI-OT):Ghazanfar Bilour, President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry has appealed Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah to chalk out plan for availability of water in Karachi in light of directions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan at the earliest so that unrest created among builders and developers could be pacified and construction sector could flourish for the best of benefits of national economy.

In a statement on Thursday here, he said that the construction industry is considered backbone of the economy but the successive governments have never paid full attention towards this important sector of the economy, which is the second largest job provider after agriculture and contributing a lot to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) besides providing shelters to the people.

He said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has banned construction of high-rises in Karachi due to false report of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KW and SB). Buildings do not consume water; water is consumed by people whether they will reside in a multi-story building or in a hut, he said adding now the Supreme Court has given directions to the Chief Minister to present a viable water plan for the Karachi so that the ban imposed by the Apex court could be revisited. He said that the ban on construction of high-rise and multi-story buildings in Karachi will not only be detrimental for builders and developers but more than 70 allied industries will also be badly affected.

He appealed the Chief Minister to unveil water plan for the megacity at the earliest to save investments of more than Rs 900 billion and thousands of jobs. He also appealed to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to intervene in this matter and help Sindh government in this regard for the promotion of the construction industry and boosting the national economy.

He said that Master Plan department was created to keep a watch on the working of the Sindh Building Control Authority but this department has been put under the SBCA, which is like putting a watchman under the control of a thief. Citing a report he informed that people are living in 60 percent area of Karachi while 40 percent areas of the city are inhabited and out of those 60 percent 58 percent areas are Katchi Abadis. Only 2 percent of Karachi have high-rises and multi-story buildings which is too low for a megacity like Karachi.

He said that builders and developers are paying billions of rupees on account of development charges but not enough money is being spent on the development of infrastructure of the city. He lamented that the ban on construction of high-rise and multi-story buildings in Karachi will affect people from the lower strata of the society and they will never be able to have their dream houses.

For more information, contact:
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Shahra-e-Firdousi,
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +92-21-35874332
Email: info@fpcci.com.pk
URL: www.fpcci.com.pk

Governor Bajwa urges business community and banks to ensure smooth implementation of SME finance policy

Karachi, January 04, 2018 (PPI-OT):“I believe that with active support of business community and banking sector, SME finance policy recently launched by the Prime Minister will achieve its desired objectives”, said the Governor SBP while chairing a meeting held at SBP (BSC) Sukkur. The meeting was attended by the presidents, vice presidents and general secretaries of chambers of commerce and trade associations of Sukkur, Ghotki, Shikarpur, Larkana, Kashmore, Qambar, Jacobabad and Naushehro Feroze. Regional heads of all commercial/Islamic and microfinance banks operating in these areas were also present.

Highlighting the consultative process adopted while formulating SME finance policy, the Governor underscored the significance of its smooth implementation and successful execution. He further said that effective communication of this policy at grassroots level will require number of awareness sessions at different locations in Pakistan. He went on to add that SBP will conduct outreach programs to create awareness in collaboration with chambers regarding SME finance policy.

Mr. Bajwa emphasized upon the importance of key priority sectors in economic development of the country. He explained that Agriculture, SME and low cost housing remain top priority sectors to SBP. He elaborated the importance of SME sector and explained that recently launched policy for promotion of SME finance comprises of measures which will help in boosting SME financing.

These measures include improving regulatory framework, upscaling of micro finance banks, risk mitigation strategy, simplified procedures for SME financing, program based lending and value chain financing, capacity building and awareness creation, handholding of SMEs, leveraging technology and simplification of taxation regime.

Representative from chambers and trade bodies appreciated the efforts of SBP and assured their full cooperation and effective implementation of this policy. Mr. Qasim Nawaz, Managing Director, SBP (BSC) and Syed Samar Hasnain, Executive Director along with senior SBP officials were also present on the occasion.

For more information, contact:
Chief Spokesman,
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Central Directorate
I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-111-727-111
Tel: +92-21-39212562
Fax: +92-21-39212433 – 39212436
Email: chief.spokesperson@sbp.org.pk
Website: www.sbp.org.pk

Pakistan’s Liquid Foreign Reserves Position

Karachi, January 04, 2018 (PPI-OT):The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at US$20,154.3 million on 29 December 2017. The break-up of the foreign reserves position is as under:-

i) Foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan: US$ 14,106.7 million

ii) Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks: US$ 6,047.6 million

iii) Total liquid foreign reserves: US$ 20,154.3 million

During the week ending 29 December 2017, SBP’s reserves decreased by US$26 million to US$14,107 million, due to payments on account of external debt servicing.

For more information, contact:
Chief Spokesman,
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Central Directorate
I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-111-727-111
Tel: +92-21-39212562
Fax: +92-21-39212433 – 39212436
Email: chief.spokesperson@sbp.org.pk
Website: www.sbp.org.pk

JCR-VIS assigns initial Entity Rating to Shajar Roads Limited

Karachi, January 04, 2018 (PPI-OT):JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited has assigned initial Entity Rating of ‘A/A-2’ (Single A/A-Two) to Shajar Roads Limited (SRL). Outlook on the assigned ratings is ‘Stable’. SRL is a public unlisted company established to undertake dualization and oversee management and maintenance of existing 43km Sheikhupura – Gujranwala Road (SGR). The company was incorporated by a consortium of infrastructure development companies, namely Habib Construction Services (HCS), Niaz Muhammad Khan and Brothers (NKB) and Deokjae Construction Company Pakistan (DJP). SRL has entered into a concession agreement with the Government of Punjab (GoPb) for a period of 25 years in this regard.

The SGR project will be established under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) regime, with one of the sponsors, HCS, responsible for the construction of the road. Management expects to achieve the financial close by-end Jan 2018 and the projected timeframe of road construction is 1 year. Total cost of the project is approximately Rs. 5.8b, which will financed through a mix of debt (60%) and equity (40%).

The assigned ratings incorporate sound financial profile of the sponsors, their experience in infrastructure projects, presence of sub-sovereign concession agreement, and are supported by a structured debt service mechanism in place, in the form of an escrow account, to facilitate timely debt repayments. Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR) is expected to remain at adequate level during the debt repayment period and leverage indicators are expected to improve over time on the back of debt repayment and increase in total equity. Moreover, SRL will maintain a Debt Service Reserve Account (DSRA) equal to two peak instalments at all times.

As per the concession agreement, demand risk pertaining to lower than projected traffic is borne by SRL. However, ratings derive comfort from the projected traffic volumes being in line with the data provided by traffic survey study conducted by the Communication and Works department of GoPb; the same are also conservative as the survey does not take into account the projected increase in traffic after dualization of the road. Moreover, no competing or alternative road exists within a radius of 10km of the route, and the government will compensate SRL for the loss in revenues in case any alternate or competing route is constructed in future. Keeping in view all the aforementioned factors, projected traffic volumes are considered sustainable.

The project entails construction risk and SRL is liable to pay liquidated damages to GoPb in case of any delay beyond substantial completion date. However, this risk is partly mitigated by undertaking provided by the EPC contractor to bear the liquidated damages in case of delay in project. Moreover, sound profile and operational history of EPC contractor also provides comfort in this regard. We understand that adequate contingent costs have been incorporated in the financial model to address cost overrun risk.

For more information, contact:
CFA
JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited
VIS House, 128/C,
25th Lane off Khayaban-e-Ittehad,
Phase VII, DHA, Karachi
Tel: +92-21-35311861-72
Fax: +92-21-35311873
Email: sobia@jcrvis.com.pk

State Bank of Pakistan conducts Open Market Operation

Karachi, January 04, 2018 (PPI-OT):State Bank of Pakistan conducted its Open Market Operation, Repo (Mop up), in following contracts on January 04, 2018. Quotes received and accepted are as given below:

A: OMOs

       NO              OMO Tenor              Range        Number of Quotes Offered

       a           01 ­ Day (Mop up)      5.49% - 5.79%               11


B: OMO RESULT
                                                                         (Rs. in Millions)

                                                           Rate of Return
                              Amount          Amount                         Number of
   NO       OMO Tenor                                         Accepted
                              Offered         Accepted                     Quotes Accepted
                                                              (% p.a.)
   a        01 ­ Day          281,950.00      244,100.00        5.62             07

            Total             281,950.00      244,100.00

For more information, contact:
Chief Spokesman,
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Central Directorate
I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-111-727-111
Tel: +92-21-39212562
Fax: +92-21-39212433 – 39212436
Email: chief.spokesperson@sbp.org.pk
Website: www.sbp.org.pk

Prime Minister welcomes Enhanced Trade and Investment Ties between Pakistan and Japan

Islamabad, January 04, 2018 (PPI-OT):The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. Taro Kono, who is on a visit to Pakistan, called on Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi at the Prime Minister’s Office today. Welcoming the Japanese Foreign Minister and his delegation to Pakistan, the Prime Minister stated that the Government and people of Pakistan have deep warmth and affection for the people of Japan. Pakistan, therefore, attaches great importance to its relations with Japan and is keen to enhance cooperation in all areas.

Appreciating Japan’s role in the socio-economic development of Pakistan, the Prime Minister stressed on further strengthening cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, infrastructure development and human resources development. He expressed satisfaction over the renewed Japanese investors’ interest in Pakistan, and noted that there were enormous opportunities available in Pakistan in the wake of sustained economic turn around and improved security environment.

Prime Minister also recalled the latest JETRO survey on ‘Japanese Business in Asia’ that has declared Pakistan as the leading country in regard to positive sale profits and future business expansion. The Prime Minister noted that this is a good indicator of how the two countries could mutually benefit through expanded business cooperation. He also welcomed Prime Minister Abe’s statement on Japan’s readiness to work with other countries in developing infrastructure projects and in availing business opportunities across Asia.

Foreign Minister Kono thanked the Prime Minister for the warm welcome. He also conveyed the good wishes of Prime Minister Abe to the Prime Minister. The Foreign Minister further stated that Japan, as a friend, would continue to work with Pakistan for further strengthening bilateral relations. Appreciating the role being played by Pakistan in fighting terrorism and extremism, Foreign Minister Kono stated that Japan acknowledges the immense sacrifices made by Pakistan to root out terrorism and extremism from the region. Prime Minister Abbasi underscored Pakistan’s continued commitment to fight this twin menace.

Prime Minister also reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the promotion of peace and stability in the region and shared with Foreign Minister Kono various initiatives taken by Pakistan to reach out to its neighbours. The Prime Minister stressed that aggressive escalatory tactics being used by India in shunning dialogue and engagements with Pakistan and blatant human rights violations against the innocent Kashmiri civilians in the Indian Occupied Kashmir would not help the prospects of peace and stability in South Asia.

For more information, contact:
Principal Information Officer,
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323, +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325, +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com
Website: www.pid.gov.pk