Category Archives: Business

SBP asks forex companies to help strengthen rupee against dollar

KARACHI, Jan 18: The State Bank of Pakistan has been showing concerns about the appreciation of the dollar in the open market. Its officials held a meeting with representatives of the exchange companies and asked them to bring down the dollar rate.

The meeting was chaired by SBP Governor Ashraf Mahmood Wathra.

Dollars are imported against the export of foreign currencies to Dubai. Local demand for dollars has been rising while short supply from Dubai has aggravated the situation.

FAP President Malik Bostan explained that there is demand of 10 million US dollars in the market as against the supply of five to six million dollars, which include workers  remittances and cash foreign currency.

This situation is pushing up the dollar s rate in the free market, he maintained.

Money changers said the SBP’s decision will improve the supply of dollars and bring down its rate in the open market. The dollar rate is about Rs109 in the open market and Rs105 in the interbank market.

Over 78% American Companies willing to invest in Pakistan

DAVOS, Jan 17: Over 78 percent American companies are willing to invest more in Pakistan over the next 12 months, owing to improved security and long-term economic climate, a survey by the American Business Council (ABC) of Pakistan (ABC) said.

The survey results are 13 percent up from 65%, according to a perception survey conducted last year. The survey termed improved security situation of the country as the main reason behind the positive trend.

It also showed a significant improvement of over 30% in perception of security-related matters as compared to last year.

Up to 83 percent of ABC investors also expressed optimism about the long-term economic and operating climate in the country.

The ABC members rated their satisfaction on various economic, regulatory and political factors that affect the performance and growth of businesses operating in Pakistan over fiscal year 2015-16.

The business climate was rated on each of the various factors influencing it; including implementation and consistency of trade and competition policies, government development budget, domestic market, internal and external political climate and law and order.

For 2015-16, the vast majority of respondents rated the business climate of Pakistan as satisfactory with only 8 percent giving it a poor rating. This is a marked improvement over 2014-15 when 11 percent of participants rated the business climate as poor.

The overall positive perception of American investors reveals an expectation of some economic stability and an improvement in Pakistan’s economic environment.

The participants were also asked to rate the performance of various ministries and the overall trend showed a slight improvement in their performance from last year.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources showed a marked improvement with 78 percent of participants reporting the performance as fair and 16 percent reporting it as poor.

In 2014-15, only 46 percent had rated it’s performance as fair and 51 percent had rated it poorly.

The ABC is one of the largest investor groups in Pakistan with 67 members , most of them represent Fortune 500 companies.

They operate in various sectors including healthcare, financial services, information technology, chemicals and fertilisers, energy, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), food and beverage, oil and others. ABC members have cumulative revenues of $4 billion.

Their contribution to the national exchequer, through direct/indirect taxes, is approximately Rs102 billion.

Its members exported goods worth Rs6.6 billion during 2015.

Continue reading Over 78% American Companies willing to invest in Pakistan

Pakistan edible oil import reduces by 7% and 39% in five months

ISLAMABAD, Jan 5: Import of edible oil into the country
including soyabean and palm oil during first five months of current
financial year reduced by 33 percent and 6.93 percent respectively
as compared to the imports of corresponding period of last year.

Soyabean oil import into the country during the period from
July-November, 2016 reduced by 33 percent as compared to the same
period of last year, said the data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
During first five months of current financial year, soyabean
oil import into the country was recorded at 58,780 metric tons
valuing US$ 57,303 million as compared to import of 62,215 metric
tons valuing of US$ 85.528 million of same period of last financial
year.
Meanwhile, palm oil import into the country decreased by 6.92
percent and recorded at 972,028 metric tons as against the import of
1,140,836 metric tons of same period of last year, it added.
Palm oil import into the country came down from US$ 720.389
million in July-November, 2015-16 to US$ 670.583 million of same
period of current financial year.
On month on month basis, 4,044 metric tons of soyabean oil
worth US$ 3.059 million were imported in month of November, 2016 as
compared to import of 11,055 metric tons worth US$ 16.932 million of
same month of last year,showing an decrease of 32.32 percent.
On other hand, import of palm oil during the month of
November, 2016 witnessed decrease of 81.92 percent as import of palm oil was recorded at 224,912 metric tons valuing US$ 160.710 million as compared to 183,115 metric tons worth of US$121.459 million of same month of last year.

Continue reading Pakistan edible oil import reduces by 7% and 39% in five months

Pakistan’s stock market leaves India’s, China’s in the dust: Forbes

ISLAMABAD: Unshaken by the rise in US interest rates, Pakistan’s equity markets continue to beat China’s and India’s markets by a wide margin.In the last 12 months, Pakistan ETF was up 16 percent, beating India’s and China’s comparable ETF’s, which were in negative territory for the year.

That’s contrary to what one would have expected. India has become more competitive in the global economy recently, rising by 16 rankings in 2016 to the 39th position, while it is still at 122th position, near the bottom of the World Forum ranking.

Still, there are a few good Forum ranking. Still, there are a few good explanations for the Pakistan’s market lead over India and China.

Pakistan is a frontier market economy, while India and China are emerging market economies. This means that Pakistan’s economy is less exposed to the global economy than India and China. Thus, it is less vulnerable to interest rate fluctuations in developed countries, most notably in the US.

Then there’s the pouring in of Chinese investment, which is turning Pakistan into Beijing’s corridor to Middle East oil and to Africa’s riches. Add to that a couple of overseas endorsements for Pakistan’s market reforms from overseas institutions that have been hyping investor expectations. Like $1 billion in support from the World Bank – and a couple of domestic acquisitions from foreign suitors like the acquisition of Karachi’s K-Karachi by Shanghai Electric Power Co.

While Pakistan’s market has been getting praise from overseas institutions and investors, India’s markets have been rattled by Modi’s experimentations with the country’s currency. And China’s markets have been unsettled by the return of heavy-handed government policies, which have scared away foreign investors.

Frontier markets are highly volatile, with one year’s big winners turning into next year’s big losers. Besides, with a big run up over the last five years, the big gains are already behind, for now.

Emirates passengers can now get UAE visa using app

Dubai, Nov 30: Passengers who fly to the UAE via Emirates Airline may now apply for a visa using their mobile devices.

The Dubai Visa Processing Centre (DVPC) mobile app was launched last week during the third edition of VFS Global’s annual innovation workshop ‘iConnect’ for the outsourced government services industry in Dubai.

More than 90 government representatives from 42 countries attended the event to discuss and present new-age solutions for visa services and identity and citizen services as part of the outsourced government services industry.

“The workshop was more focused on convenience and ease to the traveller keeping in mind that we also need to do this in a controlled environment. This has more to do with digitisation — focus on digitisation, mobile biometrics, focus in areas on what governments can do to add value in terms of the applicants to ensure that the system and process is efficient,” Zubin Karkaria, CEO of VFS Global.

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Demand for more convenient services for visa and identity and citizen services is increasing with personalised mobile and online solutions becoming the preferred solution.

This is the reason why the DVPC mobile app was launched to enable applicants to complete the entire visa application process for a UAE visa using their smartphones or tablets.

To use the service, passengers need to download the app, register and create a profile. Once logged in, the passenger needs to key in his or her last name and booking reference. The third step is to complete the required details and make the payment. The passenger will then receive the e-visa via his or her email once issued.

“The launch of the [DVPC] Mobile App will allow our customers in India an even more convenient way to apply and complete their entire visa process through their phones. At Emirates, we are always looking for initiatives to enhance our customers’ experience online,” an Emirates spokesperson told Gulf News in a statement, clarifying that the app can be used outside India, too.

Through the app, passengers can apply for the 96-hour, 30-day or 90-day single entry visas, based on their Emirates itinerary. Application may be done 58 days or even up to four international working days prior to their Emirates flight.

During the conference, VFS Global also presented other technology-driven solutions such as the ‘Self-operated Visa Kiosk’ and ‘video interviewing’.