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Insurance sector is in the limelight these days with mergers and acquisitions becoming the talk of the town. A few weeks ago, Rosewood Insurance Group of Switzerland expressed its intentions to acquire a controlling stake in TPL Direct Insurance and now UBL Insurers has caught the eyeballs of Bestway Cement.
Insurance sector in Pakistan is likely to have another feather in its cap. Rosewood Insurance Group--a Switzerland based insurance venture--is intending to acquire 74.9 percent stake in TPL Direct Insurance. Recall that a few months ago there was some tittle-tattle in the market regarding a foreign investor proposing to invest in the insurance sector in Pakistan, though further details on this matter were left behind the scenes by the regulator.
The postponement of the Chinese President's visit to Pakistan is a downer. That Xi Jinping would be in India next week instead of Pakistan is a symbolic knock back for Pakistan's arguably convoluted foreign policy. The deferment is a setback, if not a debacle, for the Pakistani government that has seemingly put all its eggs in the Chinese basket to plug gaping holes in the countrys energy and infrastructure sectors.
Its been many days since fiscal budget FY15 was passed. But the appeals to reconsider the budgetary measures are still going strong. The most recent among these is being made by a consortium of retailer associations who are calling out to the government to revert back to the age-old scheme for payment of sales tax at the rate of 0.5-0.75 percent of turnover.
Banks, particularly the larger ones, had a stellar first half CY14, enjoying double-digit growth from top to bottom. The good part was that there was organic growth too, which largely went unnoticed or underreported due to the PIB euphoria that hooked one and all. Yes, a significant bit of banks improved profits is to do with investments in lucrative government securities, but there were certainly more positives than just the PIB fiesta.
Pakistan has suffered through around two dozen floods since its inception. The frequency of floods has increased lately as the country has constantly faced natural calamity in the form of riverine floods or flash floods every year for last five years. Climate change is no myth and Pakistan is amongst the top-ranked countries in the world affected by climate-related disasters.
Having witnessed a rather modest beginning of the year, cement sales in the country picked up during the second month of FY15. The recently-released numbers from APCMA show a year-on-year increase of 25 percent for August, driven largely by sales in the North region.

 



 
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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyAugust
Trade Balance $-1.434 bln
Exports $1.930 bln
Imports $3.364 bln
WeeklySeptember 15, 2014
Reserves $13.414 bln