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Shipping activity at Port Qasim

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Five ships, Virgo, Prosper, Kirri Billi, Epic Saradina and Kano Carrying containers, Canola Seeds, LPG and LNG were allotted berths at Qasim International Container Terminal, Grain & Fertilizer Terminal, Engro Vopak Terminal and PGPC Terminal respectively during last 24 hours, said a report issued by Port Qasim Authority (PQA) here on Monday.

Meanwhile three more ships Glorious, Horizon and MSC Maeva carrying Diesel Oil, LPG and Containers also arrived at outer anchorage of Port Qasim during last 24 hours. Berth occupancy was observed at the Port at 59% on Sunday where total of ten ships namely Virgo, Prosper, Pan Oceanis, Yasa Pembe, Kirri Billi, Epic Sardina, While Purl, Kano, Al-Khattiya and Lime Galaxy were occupied at berths to load/offload Containers, Rice, Coal, Canola Seeds, LPG, LNG and Palm oil.

A cargo volume of 137,905 tonnes, comprising 114,181 tonnes import cargo and 23,724 tonnes, export cargo inclusive of containerized cargo carried in 2,892 containers (TEUs), (1,691 TEUs imports and 1,201 TEUs exports) was handled at the port.

Container Vessel ‘Prosper’ sailed out to sea on Monday morning, while two more ships ‘Yasa Pembe’ and Lime Galaxy are expected to sail on same day.

Four ships, Mediterranean Bridge, MSC Maeva, Newark and Reem-3 carrying containers and Bitumen are expected to take berths at QICT and MW-1 respectively on Monday, while Container MSC Busan and Bulk Cargo carrier Fareast Honesty are due to arrive at PQ on Tuesday.

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Saudia starts 2018 with gasoline, power tariff hike and VAT

Monitoring Desk

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia started on Monday the hike of local gasoline prices and electricity tariff and the activation of the value-added tax (VAT).

About gasoline, the Octane 91 will sell for 1.37 riyals (0.36 US Dollar) a liter, up from 0.75 riyals (0.2 US Dollars), while Octane 95 will sell for 2.04 riyals (0.544 US Dollars) a liter, up from 0.90 riyals (0.24 US Dollars), Al Arabiya local news reported on Monday.

The price of diesel for trucks remains unchanged. This is the second hike since the beginning of disturbance in oil prices in the international markets.

The country also introduced on Monday the VAT within the framework of a unified agreement endorsed by the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). “The imposition of VAT will help to raise tax revenues of the Saudi government to be utilized for infrastructure and developmental works,” said Mohammed Al-Khunaizi, a member of the Shoura (consultative) Council according to Arab News.

It is a five percent tax on most goods and services to boost revenue, like food, clothes, electronics and gasoline, as well as phone, water and electricity bills, and hotel reservations.

Meanwhile, the country has defended the decision to enforce the new electricity tariff to raise economic efficiency, rationalize consumption of natural resources and boost the contribution of the non-oil sector.

The savings from the new price tariffs will partly be used to support a new citizen account program to protect low to middle-income families from austerity measures including the VAT and other cost increases.

All these steps are part of a major revamp in the Saudi economy structure to make the country less dependent on oil revenues.

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PPL strives to establish commercial viability of unconventional discoveries

F.P. Report

KARACHI: Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), one of the key players in Pakistan’s E&P sector is playing its due role in the development of unconventional reservoirs in the country.

In order to explore tight gas potential in the lower Indus basin, PPL drilled a well in Naushehro Feroze exploration lease. Tight gas potential was confirmed through successful drilling and testing of first well Naushahro Feroze X1 (NF X-1). Due to the tight nature of the reservoir this discovery initially did not appear commercially viable. After detailed post well analysis and numerous sub-seismic geological and reservoir modellings, PPL re-drilled this well horizontally to total length of 4940 metres and completed with state of the art multistage frack technology. Where the Chiltan Limestone reservoir was successfully drilled in a horizontal section with total lateral length of more than 1.3 Km. The well was completed with ten stage open hole packers and fracking sleeves.

This well made history in drilling industry of Pakistan, by becoming one of the deepest and longest horizontal wells in tight carbonate reservoir. Later, all ten stages were stimulated (frac/acid) and successfully tested at 4.5 MMscfd with 1850 psi flowing wellhead pressure with 9 fold increase in production.

In the future, “PPL plans to work on two additional tight gas discoveries to establish commercial viability,” says MD and CEO Syed Wamiq Bokhari. “The company’s effort in tapping unconventional reservoirs has the potential to add substantial reserves to Pakistan’s hydrocarbons base,” he adds.

NF X-1 is in Naushahro Feroz Block, Sindh, with PPL as operator holding 90 percent working interest and the remaining 10 percent held by Asia Resources Oil Limited.

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PEW for giving due attention to leather sector

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Monday said Pakistan’s leather sector can play its role in the national growth if it is patronized.

The country has abundant raw leather which can help it become a leading player in the one trillion dollars global trade of leather and leather goods, it said.

Pakistan will have to soften laws, change the attitude and stop discouraging this sector so that it can thrive, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

He said that local leather industry is on the decline since long while exports have dwindled after getting GSP Plus status which is amazing.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that according to some estimates Pakistan share in the global leather trade is declining to benefit the competitors.

He said that the current situation is a result of the energy crisis, increasing cost of doing business, tax issues, lack of skilled manpower, weak marketing strategies, an absence of upgradation and apathy towards latest international trends. Not a single institution has ever initiated serious efforts to promote leather sector providing jobs to over four hundred thousand people which has resulted in low-value addition.

Pakistani leather is best in the world outside Italy but regional countries like India and Bangladesh are grabbing its share because of active support of their governments.

Potential of the leather sector can be doubled in few years regaining the title of second largest export earner after textiles.

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Consumers to get uninterrupted gas supply throughout winter: Amjad

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) Managing Director Amjad Latif on Sunday said the company was committed to provide uninterrupted gas supply to consumer’s round-the-year especially in winter.

He said that supply of gas had been increased due to import of RLNG and the company had come in a position to meet demand of consumers without any interruption.

He expressed confidence that consumers would no more face gas shortage issues. “We are doing our utmost efforts to resolve all gas related issues of domestic and other consumers”, he said.

He said that industrial consumers, CNG pumps, Thermal power stations and all others were not facing any gas load-shedding problems at present.

The MD said the masses should also cooperate in this regard and avoid installation of gas compressors.

He added that use of heaters and geysers should be made limited.

Amjad Latif said the SNGPL’s share value was increased more than four times during the last one-and-half years of his tenure as MD.

A very handsome dividend is also earned by the shareholders of the SNGPL.

To another query, he said” “Culture of hardwork, sense of ownership and team effort have enabled the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited to set new records of financial gains and serving the consumers”.

When asked about main reason behind his personal achievements from an Sub-engineer to the MD, he said that hardwork and good intention for others was the main reason.

“I did not availed even 37 leaves in 37 years service”, he added.

“I am a man who did almost all of his job in fields and being the Managing Director now I am fully aware of the ground realities in my organization, this enabled me to boost working of my company”, he concluded.

Online adds: Due to government non-serious attitude and poor gas management and distribution policies, gas theft business of million of rupees is on large-scale across the country.

Sources said that gas theft crimes have been reduced due to the Anti Gas Theft Act, however, gas with the connivance of some corrupt elements in the concerned departments, is being provided to the industries and other plants on daily basis.

“No major arrest was made by Federal Investigation Agency in this regard, sources added, sources added”.

Gas utilities companies are busy to encourage these people instead of reducing the gas theft incidents.

Experts are of the view that “Gas crises would be end if concerned departments work honestly”.

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India’s Opp cannot affect CPEC: ICST

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders on Sunday said India has increased conspiracies and opposition to Pakistan after the launch of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). New Delhi thinks that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passing through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir challenges Indian sovereignty which is not based on facts, it said.

India has not only destabilized the whole region but it is also behind frequent tensions in Pak-Afghan relations which have badly damaged the bilateral trade hitting millions of people, said Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt.

India’s negative attitude has not only destabilized the strategic stability but it has also kept billions below the poverty line in the region, he added.

He said that it’s not only the military establishment of India but their political elite also considers Pakistan as a rival and leave no opportunity to destabilize our country. India should not link politics with economics resulting in deprivation of billions of people living in the SAARC region, he added.

He said that both nuclear states of India and Pakistan must realize that war is not an option and prosperity through trade is the only way to end hostilities and bring the people closer.

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SCCI for setting up export monitoring committee

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Zahid Latif demanded the government to set -up an export monitoring committee to keep an account of policies formulation and their implementation.

The proposed committee should also identify problems related to export and recommend remedial measures and solutions for overcoming the issues, he added. He also urged upon the government to take a step for setting up of sector specific Export Promotion Councils in the country.

Talking to APP on Sunday, the SCCI president said that keeping in view fast changing business trends globally a new concept of Shared Showrooms had been introduced in various countries. He suggested that Shared Showrooms and display centres in potential markets should also be set -up for providing opportunities to exporters to showcase their products with proper marketing facilities.

Zahid said the SCCI could offer significant help to the concerned high-ups in identifying such shared showrooms. For development of the export sector, it was imperative for the government to devise a sound sector specific strategy, he said.

In order to achieve positive results, he said that it was important that high priority sectors and potential sectors should also be identified depending on level of production and supply, potential contribution to exports, demand in international market and capacity to contribute towards economic development of the country, he added.

The SCCI president said the government should provide special incentives to encourage the export of high priority sectors like textile and clothing, surgical and dental instruments, leather products, sports goods, footwear, gems and jewelry and furniture.

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Malik appointed as FPCCI Chairman Coordination

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Business leader of the Capital city Malik Sohail Hussain has been appointed as Chairman Coordination of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

After the fourth consecutive victory of United Business Group (UBG), the first meeting of the Executive Committee of the FPCCI paid glowing tributes to the services, devotion and dedication of Malik Sohail and unanimously approved his appointment which amounted to reposing confidence in his abilities and services, says a statement issued here on Sunday.

Those present in the meeting were Chairman of UBG Iftikhar Ali Malik, Patron SM Muneer, Senator Ilyas Bilour, outgoing President of FPCCI Zubair Tufail, outgoing SVP Amir Atta Bajwa who paid glowing tribute to his services.

Incoming President of FPCCI Ghazanfar Bilour, newly-elected SVP Mazhar Ali Nasir, and ten elected vice presidents including Atik Ikram Sheikh, Karim Aziz Malik, Haji Irfan Yousuf, Syeda Saieeda Bano, Tariq Haleem and others were also present on the occasion.

The house approved the appointment and hoped that Malik Sohail who made it to the slot for the fourth time will leave no stone unturned to ensure the resolution of the issues of the business community. It may be mentioned that Malik Sohail not only successfully organised many events and a very important meeting between the Chief of Army staff and the business community and played a very important role in the recently-held elections.

Meanwhile, leaders of the business community including Sohail Altaf of RCCI, President RCCI Zahid Latif, President ICCI Sheikh Aamir Waheed, President SCCI Zahidullah Shinwari, Chairman PCPA Haji Atta ur Rehman and others have congratulated Malik Sohail on the appointment.

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Pakistan’s exports keep on declining

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s exports are on declining path for the last couple of years especially during the year 2017, when the exports registered a decrease of over four billion US dollars just in last few years and the trend is still continued.

According to data available from the Ministry of Commerce, the exports of the country were US dollars 25.11 billion when this government took over the charge in 2013 following the general elections and since then there has been no improvement in the exports level, rather it remained on the path of downward trend.

The data showed that at the start of financial year 2015-16, the exports of the country were around US dollars 25 billion but just in six months of the current fiscal year, the exports decreased and reached to US dollars 20.44 billion.

According to estimates of the Ministry of Commerce and Textile, the exports by the end of the current fiscal year will be les than US dollars 20 billion. On the other hand the imports which were US dollars 44 billions in the year 2013-14, has been continuously increasing and at the start of financial year 2015-16, it was US dollars 44.95 billion and at the end of the year it reached to US dollars 47 billion.

The trend of increasing imports continued in the first six months of the current fiscal year 2017-18 and according to estimates of the Ministry of Commerce, the imports of the country will cross the critical mark of US dollars 55 billion thus creating a gap in import and export to over US dollars 35 billion if the government did not take daring steps to boost exports of the country and Pakistan will be a very difficult position to meet the gap in the export and import.

Pakistan’s major exports communities are textile, rice and leather but their contribution in export has been decreasing due to various factors including the increase in the prices of inputs, shortage of energy, load-shedding of power and gas, increasing in taxes, political crisis in the country and corruption of the political leaders and strong competition at the international markets.

The share of three products, textile, rice and leather is more than 70 percent in the exports of the country so when there is less export of these products, the overall export targets will not be achieved.

Pakistan has also failed to improve its share in the international market and the only exports to already available markets in USA, China, UAE, Afghanistan and European Union were declined in the last four years due to lack of interest by the government and for taking adequate measures to boost exports in these markets as more than 60 percent of the total exports destinations are in just these few countries.

Sources at Ministry of Commerce, while highlighting the factors affecting the cost of production in Pakistan said that increase in energy tariff, increase in interest rate which is at 7.5 percent, highest in the region, highest corporate taxes in the region, highest rate of duties, taxes, surcharges on export and less installed capacity utilization in the region.

The economic experts were of the view that slowdown in the economies of many countries and over all 3.3 percent decline in the international exports also affected Pakistan’s exports.

Referring to Free Trade Agreements with some of the countries, the sources at Ministry of Commerce said, these FTAs have also negative impact on Pakistan’s exports as all these agreements were in favour of other countries instead of Pakistan due to the concessions given under the FTAs. Pakistan has presently Free Trade Agreements with Sri Lanka signed on Juse 12, 2005, with China signed on July 1st, 2007, and with Malaysia signed on January 1st, 2008 but trade balance with all these three countries is not in favour of Pakistan and these three countries are getting benefit from these FTAs and their exports to Pakistan have been increased while Pakistan’s exports to these three countries reduced after signing the agreements.

Pakistan has also signed South Asian Free Trade Agreement, but due to presence of India in this agreement, there has been very limited scope for Pakistan for improving its trade in the South Asian region. Pakistan has also Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Indonesia, Iran and Mauritius but due to lack of proper and comprehensive negotiations, these three PTAs are not helping Pakistan to boost its trade especially the export to these three countries.

Despite the announcement of Prime Minister’s Initiative for Enhancement of Exports, like duty drawback, zero rating of sales tax for exports and removal of import duty on cotton, Pakistan has failed to increase its exports in the last couple of years.

Regarding top five imports sectors of the country, according to the data available are, petroleum products, machinery, food, metals textile and transport sectors are at the top in the list of the imports of the country. The share of these six products has over 75 percent in the total imports of the country. Maximum increase was seen in the import of the machinery as it was Rupees 6 billion in 2014 and increased to Rs. 11.5 billion during 2017 indicating over 82 per cent increase.

Highlighting the reasons for the increase in the imports of the country, the sources in the Ministry of Trade said there has been increase of 184 percent in the import of machinery for the power sector, 105 percent increase registered in the import of machinery for construction and agriculture sector that has increased the total import bill of the country in the last couple of months.

The increase of petroleum products by over 27 percent in last just one year has also increased the import bill besides shortfall of supply of pulses and cotton in the local market also forced the country to import these two important products for local consumption that also increase the imports.


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ABL launches ACPF for investors

F.P. Report

KARACHI: ABL Asset Management is pleased to announce the launch of Allied Capital Protected Fund (ACPF). It is second in the series of Open End Capital protected funds. ACPF is suitable for the investors who are risk averse and want 100% capital protection. The Fund is now open for subscription.

Alee Khalid, CEO ABL Asset Management stated “This fund is specially designed after considering the needs and demands of our customers. Allied Capital Protected Fund offers a competitive opportunity for those who are willing to earn profit on their investment without losing their capital.”

Besides Capital Protection, ACPF aims to get optimal returns at the maturity of the fund.

To protect the principal amount of the investors, ABL AMC will place a significant portion of the investment in TDR with a minimum AA-rated Bank and / or DFI, and remaining amount will be placed in equity market or any other SECP permitted investments to provide better returns to its investors. Earlier in the series, ABL AMC Capital Protected Fund (ABLAMC CPF) provided a healthy cumulative return since inception of 25.07% to its investors at the completion of its two years tenure.

For the past 10 years, ABL Asset Management is providing innovative Investment solutions with quality services to its investors. ABL Asset Management, the wholly owned subsidiary of Allied Bank is rated AM2 ++ by JCR VIS which donates High Management Quality. It has the distinction of being the only AMC in Pakistan which is ISO 27001 certified. ABL Asset Management is presently managing eleven mutual funds and several administrative plans under its umbrella to cater the varying investments needs and unique circumstances of its clientele with total AUM of around 50 billion.