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The continuing slide in global oil prices has shifted many a priorities and Pakistan's treasury market players are also in the race. After the recent discount rate cut of 50 basis points, it was widely anticipated that the yields in longer term papers would fall drastically and the interest in treasury bills would return. But oil price outlook and the drop in inflation has changed many a minds, and the spread between treasury bills and PIBs has stayed where it was in the pre-rate cut era. A vast majority of treasury managers BR Research spoke to have a rather surprising outlook for yearly average inflation at 5 percent.
The remittance bandwagon is cruising at a comfortable speed. Latest data reported by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) show that workers remittances surged by 16.83 percent year-on-year to settle at $1.32 billion for November. However, the 4.5 percent month-on-month dip in November is not surprising, given that it fits in the historical month-on-month pattern (see illustration).
With all the gas and coal related efforts and initiatives taken by the current government, the generation mix is still askew. While the central banks annual report for 2013-14 reiterates that it is not the generation capacity but the transmission and distribution bottlenecks that need much more attention, the significance of fuel mix in power generation must not be underestimated.
Time and again, stakeholders have raised concerns over Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistans (DRAP) failure to resolve pharmaceutical industry crisis. Yet, the issues are on the same spot as they were back in 2006, which is perhaps why pharmaceutical sectors woes have not gone unnoticed by the central bank.
All those in the government circles bent upon getting more and more loans (and some investments, too) to set up new power generation units should read this: "the more binding bottleneck in the energy sector is not generation (which should be clear, as most generation units are working well below capacity), but distribution," according to the central banks latest annual report.
Something must really be happening at Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC). Though the firm started off FY15 on a weaker note with earnings dipping by 30 percent year-on- year, its stock has been climbing like a gecko.
Water may put out fire, but is itself a burning issue. Experts are sounding alarm over Pakistans water situation where per capita water availability - already low at just above 1000 cubic meters per annum - is estimated to reduce significantly over the next decade due to the deadly-combine of low water flows and a rising population. World Bank has already classified Pakistan as a water-stressed country.


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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.309 bln
Exports $1.957 bln
Imports $4.266 bln
WeeklyDecember 18, 2014
Reserves $14.04 bln