The establishment of the New Development Bank (NDB) and the Contingent Reserve Agreement (CRA) was anticipated since the announcement of intent during the BRICS annual meeting last March. Back then, too, policymakers and commentators on global affairs were aware of the reasons leading to the decision. However, with the agreement now signed, the BRICS have conveyed that they mean business.
Clichéd as it may sound, when there's a will there's a way. And that is precisely what Askari Bank Limited (AKBL) has achieved ever since Fauji Foundation took over the Rawalpindi-based bank's reins last year. From the depth of losses running in billions, AKBL has started yielding the fruits, sooner than most had expected, and the 1H CY14 financials are a testament to that.
A look at the firm's financial performance for the nine months ending June 30, 2013 might not show that Siemens Pakistan Engineering Company Limited has been in difficult time in recent years; revenues and profits have been steep decline since 2009.
A host of discrepancies is becoming visible in a variety of economic numbers released at various forums. The recent case of underreporting of GDP numbers in the IMF LOI, which the finance ministry blamed on a typo, is one such example. Or, the $1.5 billion gift from KSA, which was initially shown as “statistical discrepancies”. The story of showing 5.1 percent GDP growth in first quarter by PBS was not different. The latest addition to the list of discrepancies comes on the external account front.
Back in the days of the Raj, about 17-19 percent of the budget was spent on policing. That number slipped to average about 11 percent in the 70s and 80s. Now, in FY15, provincial spending on police will average about 7 percent of the combined budgets of the four provinces of Pakistan, despite an ever increasing need for effective policing across the country.
Five of the biggest local banks were awarded an improved outlook on local currency deposit ratings by the market favourite Moody’s Investors Service. The market’s response!? Dull!! Rather surprisingly, each one of the leading five banks fresh from a change in outlook from negative to stable-–saw their share prices dip, while the market made new highs.