ICCI shows concerns over sharp fall in value of rupee

Islamabad, March 21, 2018 (PPI-OT): The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry has shown great concerns over the sharp fall in the value of rupee against dollar as it would unleash a new wave of inflation in the country and create additional problems for the business and industrial activities. Sheikh Amir Waheed, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that rupee has fallen from Rs.110 per dollar to Rs.115 per dollar in a single day that should be a cause of great concerns for the policy makers.

He said the rupee was devalued by about five percent in December last year in similar manner and another devaluation of over 4.5 percent in a single day would create new challenges for the economy. He said instead of withdrawing support for the rupee in the daily market, State Bank of Pakistan should make efforts for a stable currency as volatile currency was disturbing the efforts of private sector for long-term business planning.

He said falling value of rupee would increase debt burden on the country as devaluation of Rs.1 caused Rs.60 billion jump in the public debt burden. He said the local industry needed new technology and machinery to upgrade itself and compete effectively with Chinese counterparts in the CPEC projects. However, the sharp fall in the value of rupee against dollar would make the import of industrial machinery costlier and thwart efforts aimed at upgradation of industry. He stressed that government should take urgent measures to end volatility and bring stability in the local currency.

Muhammad Naveed Senior Vice President and Nisar Mirza Vice President ICCI said that common man was already overwhelmed by the inflation and sharp devaluation of rupee would give rise to high inflation putting additional burden on the general public. They urged that the government in consultation with private sector should evolve a new strategy to deal with the issue of falling value of currency and to put the country on the path of sustainable economic growth.

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251 225 0526, 2253145, 8432676
Fax: +9251 225 2950
Email: icci@brain.net.pk
Website: www.icci.com.pk

Dy. Minister of Czech Republic visits Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry

Karachi, March 21, 2018 (PPI-OT): The global economic environmental and financial changes have caused lower trade volume between Pakistan and Czech Republic, this was stated by Ivan Jancarek Dy. Minister for Foreign Affairs of Czech Republic during a meeting with Mr. Tariq Haleem, Vice President and Members of FPCCI held at Federation House.

Deputy Minister who was accompanied by Ambassador and Honorary Consul General of Czech Republic lamented that volume of bilateral trade was below the potentials and had declined to 150 million dollars from 217 million dollars last year while volume of Pakistan export to Czech Republic is 92 million dollars and imports from Czech Republic is 57 million dollars which does not reflect the potential both the countries have.

It was further informed by Deputy Minister that in order to further strengthen economic ties between both the countries, Czech Republic would sign agreement with Pakistan on trade cooperation and foreign affairs. He expressed that Pakistan being saved country with a population of 208 million has a great attraction for foreign investment particularly in the back drop of CPEC. He said that Czech Export Bank can offer its services and cooperation in establishing various joint ventures. He also highlighted cultural and tourism heritage of his country.

Earlier, Mr. Tariq Haleem while welcoming the Minister informed about the FPCCI activities particularly in context with the investment policy and Pakistan’s export potential. He said that Pakistan and Czech Republic enjoy political relations and have common thoughts and views on global economic issues; however the bilateral trade between our two countries does not reflect the true potential and the depth of our relations.

Presently, Pakistan export to Czech Republic mainly constitutes Bed linen, Table Toilet and Kitchen linen, Articles of Apparel and Clothing, Accessories of Leather, and other Hosiery, Knitted or Crocheted. Pakistan is a buyer of Czech Republic, Steam turbine and Vapour turbine, Uncoated Kraft paper and paperboard, Radar Apparatus, Radio navigation etc. The reason behind the low bilateral trade between Pakistan and Czech Republic indicates lack of information about each other’s economic, trade and investment potential, and low level of interaction between the Private sector levelof both countries.

He emphasized on the need of frequent exchange of delegation, participation in trade fairs of each other countries as well as holding Joint Business Council Meetings between National Chambers of both the countries. Such interaction will contribute in enhancement of bilateral trade and economic relations. He praised that Czech Republic has a great capability of manufacturing of machineries and Pakistan should make use of their technologies.

Participants of the meeting also discussed visa related issues, operation of direct flights, hotel and motel for tourism and joint venture and academic relationship with universities. The meeting was attended by a large number of members including Dr. Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, Alamgir Firoz Chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Diplomatic Affairs, Waseem Vohra former Vice President FPCCI and others.

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

State Bank of Pakistan will remain closed on 23rd March, 2018 on the occasion of “Pakistan Day

Karachi, March 21, 2018 (PPI-OT): The State Bank of Pakistan will remain closed on 23rd March, 2018 (Friday) on the occasion of “Pakistan Day” as declared by the Government of Pakistan.

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

State Bank of Pakistan holds SAARCFINANCE seminar on Digital Financial Services and Financial Inclusion

Karachi, March 21, 2018 (PPI-OT): A three-day SAARCFINANCE seminar on ‘Digital Financial Services and Financial Inclusion in SAARC Countries’ was hosted by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), under the patronage of SAARCFINANCE Forum at National Institute of Banking and Finance (NIBAF), Islamabad. SAARCFINANCE, a network of central bank governors and finance secretaries of the SAARC region, was established to share experiences on macroeconomic policy issues among member countries.

Mr. Riaz Riazuddin, Deputy Governor, SBP inaugurated the seminar. Mr. Riaz Riazuddin, while addressing the inaugural session, stressed upon SBP’s financial inclusion objectives, economic benefits of including the unbanked into the financial services network and opportunities relating to digital financial services ecosystem. He emphasized on digital financial services and financial inclusion as a new paradigm of economic growth that plays a major role in driving away poverty from the country.

Syed Salim Raza, the former Governor, SBP shared his views on evolution of financial services through technological innovations. The other prominent speakers were Syed Irfan Ali, Executive Director-SBP, Mr. Stephen Rasmussen, Global Head, Inclusive Markets Team, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), Mr. Shahid Mustafa, CEO- Telenor Microfinance Bank, Mr. Ghazanfar Azam, CEO Mobilink Microfinance Bank and Mr. Ali Sarfaraz, CEO Karandaaz Pakistan.

On the first day of the event, an agreement on developing “Regulatory Framework for Digital Banks in Pakistan” was also signed between SBP and Karandaaz. An exhibition had also been organized for SAARCFINANCE delegates and participants wherein eight to ten entities including banks, mobile operators, Fintechs, development agencies are showcased their initiatives in digital financial services.

Mr. Jameel Ahmad, Deputy Governor (Banking) while addressing the closing ceremony of the seminar, on second day of the event, emphasized upon the strategic approaches to tackle financial exclusion and creating an adequate policy and regulatory framework to address sector-specific risks and strategies addressingboth the supply and demand side issues for development finance sectors.

The seminar was attended by senior level officials from the central banks of SAARC member countries and other major stakeholders including concerned Ministries, Fintechs, branchless banking players and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). The SAARC delegates also shared their experiences with regard to developments in digital financial services in their respective countries. The seminar would help to further enhance the co-operation among SAARC countries in achieving financial inclusion objectives through digital financial services.

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

Algerian show interest in import of cotton yarn from Pakistan

Karachi, March 21, 2018 (PPI-OT): On 2nd day of visit, the trade delegation visited two textile units and agriculture farm used with economical use of water. In the agriculture farm, the water is being used for aquaculture and subsequently the water used in fish farm is being diverted to the orange, olive and pomegranate farm. The farm is being used for research and is best example of public private partnership.

The chamber requested for cooperation in agriculture sector by the government of Pakistan for food sufficiency by Algeria. The textile units were shown and informed that they are to import yarn. However, before import of yarn they want to discuss with concerned trade body. In this connection, APTMA will be given the contact details for further coordination.

Before visit of agriculture and textile units, there was visit of Relizane Chamber of Commerce and Industry where there was discussion on mutual cooperation between the officials and private sectors of the two countries. B2B meetings were also arranged between the business people of the two countries.

For more information, contact:
Director
Information and Communication Division
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP)
3rd Floor, Block A, Finance and Trade Centre,
P. O. Box No. 1293, Shahrah-e-Faisal,
Karachi 75200, Pakistan
UAN: +92-21-111-444-111
Tel: +92-21-99206487-90, +92-21-99201526
Fax: +92-21-99206461, +92-21-99201526
Email: tdap@tdap.gov.pk, farooque.memon@tdap.gov.pk
Website: www.tdap.gov.pk

State Bank of Pakistan holds SAARCFINANCE seminar on Digital Financial Services and Financial Inclusion-

Karachi, March 21, 2018 (PPI-OT): A three-day SAARCFINANCE seminar on ‘Digital Financial Services and Financial Inclusion in SAARC Countries’ was hosted by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), under the patronage of SAARCFINANCE Forum at National Institute of Banking and Finance (NIBAF), Islamabad. SAARCFINANCE, a network of central bank governors and finance secretaries of the SAARC region, was established to share experiences on macroeconomic policy issues among member countries.

Mr. Riaz Riazuddin, Deputy Governor, SBP inaugurated the seminar. Mr. Riaz Riazuddin, while addressing the inaugural session, stressed upon SBP’s financial inclusion objectives, economic benefits of including the unbanked into the financial services network and opportunities relating to digital financial services ecosystem. He emphasized on digital financial services and financial inclusion as a new paradigm of economic growth that plays a major role in driving away poverty from the country.

Syed Salim Raza, the former Governor, SBP shared his views on evolution of financial services through technological innovations. The other prominent speakers were Syed Irfan Ali, Executive Director-SBP, Mr. Stephen Rasmussen, Global Head, Inclusive Markets Team, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), Mr. Shahid Mustafa, CEO- Telenor Microfinance Bank, Mr. Ghazanfar Azam, CEO Mobilink Microfinance Bank and Mr. Ali Sarfaraz, CEO Karandaaz Pakistan.

On the first day of the event, an agreement on developing “Regulatory Framework for Digital Banks in Pakistan” was also signed between SBP and Karandaaz. An exhibition had also been organized for SAARCFINANCE delegates and participants wherein eight to ten entities including banks, mobile operators, Fintechs, development agencies are showcased their initiatives in digital financial services.

Mr. Jameel Ahmad, Deputy Governor (Banking) while addressing the closing ceremony of the seminar, on second day of the event, emphasized upon the strategic approaches to tackle financial exclusion and creating an adequate policy and regulatory framework to address sector-specific risks and strategies addressingboth the supply and demand side issues for development finance sectors.

The seminar was attended by senior level officials from the central banks of SAARC member countries and other major stakeholders including concerned Ministries, Fintechs, branchless banking players and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). The SAARC delegates also shared their experiences with regard to developments in digital financial services in their respective countries. The seminar would help to further enhance the co-operation among SAARC countries in achieving financial inclusion objectives through digital financial services.

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

Asset quality of the banking sector improves in Q4CY17, says the 4th QPR of the Banking Sector

Karachi, March 21, 2018 (PPI-OT):The Quarterly Performance Review (QPR) of the Banking Sector for the quarter ended 31st December, 2017 has been released by SBP today. As highlighted in the report, improving asset quality, stableliquidity, robust solvency and slow pick-up in private sector advances are the key developments during the 4th quarter of CY17.

As per trend, asset base of the banking sector has expanded by 4.5 percent in Q4CY17. The promising demand from textile and cement sectors have improved gross advances (domestic) to private sector (by 7.3 percent QoQ and 16.4 percent YoY), despite retirements in chemical and pharmaceuticals.Banks have mostly invested in short-term MTBs while investments in PIBs and Sukuk have declined. Moderate growth in deposits and higher inter-bank borrowings have supported the funding needs of the banks.

Besides steady performance, the risk profile of the banking sector has remained satisfactory amid moderation in profitability.Asset quality has improved as the Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) to gross loans (infection) ratio, recorded at 8.4 percent as of end December 2017, has touched the lowest level in a decade. The banking sector has earned profits (before tax) of PKR 266.8 billion during Oct-Dec, 2017 (ROA of 1.6 percent and ROE of 19.5 percent). Encouragingly, Net Interest Income (NII) has improved; thanks to high growth in advances since the last few years. The Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of thebanking sector has improved to 15.8 percent, which is, well above the minimum required CAR of 11.275 percent. The report is accessible at URL: http://www.sbp.org.pk/publications/q_reviews/qpr.htm

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