PML-N claims to be hitting new highs as inflation claims new lows. The year-on-year headline CPI inflation for July 2015 clocked in at 1.8 percent, the lowest number in at least five years. Similarly, the 12-month moving average is also at its lowest at 4.05 percent. On month-on-month basis too, CPI inflation remained below the market consensus of 0.6 percent, registering 0.36 percent.
It is no small feat. Within a year of launch, telcos have migrated nearly 12 percent of their cellular subscriptions onto their expanding 3G networks. It took Indian 3G/4G operators over four years to secure similar transition. From a non-existent base, the quantum of 3G subscribers has swelled to 13.3 million as of June 2015, PTA statistics show. The rise of mobile broadband took overall broadband subscriptions in Pakistan to 16.9 million, up from 3.8 million as of June 2014.
There is a new king in the North; for the countrys cement industry. After successful completion of the acquisition of Lafarge cement, Bestway has emerged as the domestic leader in production capacity. Its four plants: Bestway-Hattar, Bestway-Chakwal, Mustehkam-Hattar and PakCem-Chakwal; collectively boast about eight million tons of cement. Thats 17 percent of total domestic capacity.
Regardless of what happened at the judicial commission; one thing is clear, that the credibility of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has been damaged. It is the right time that government should take steps to reform the ECP and introduce electoral reforms.
Information asymmetry remains a main hurdle for investor base to grow at home. The fear of market manipulation by some has kept small ticket participants at bay. The losses booked in crises of 1998, 2005 and 2009 have swayed the respective fresh lot of investors from reentering the market.
It appears there are so many international air carriers touching down at Pakistani airports that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has had to take steps to discourage congestion. At least, that’s the explanation by the CAA for the announcement that air navigation charges have been raised by 25 percent, effective August 1, 2015. The authority has also raised airport charges that are paid by travellers.
The State Bank’s policy rate of 6.5 percent is the lowest in 42 years, yet credit to the private sector hasn’t gone up. Considering that eight months ago it was 9.5 percent, this momentous cut in the policy rate should have seen loans rise. The most commonly accepted reason is the ‘lag,’ while the other is that the bulk of the borrowing is being done by the government.