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Pakistans foreign direct investment (FDI) scorecard has closed first half of the ongoing fiscal on a mixed note. Net FDI - which equals gross inflows less outflows - went up by 19 percent year-on-year to $529 million in 1HFY15. Gross inflows surged during this period by a magical 49 percent to $1.57 billion. But outflows also grew by a dispiriting 71 percent to $1.04 billion in the same period.
The governments recent decision to impose a 15 percent regulatory duty on the import of steel billets has sparked a war of words among competing lobbies within the domestic steel industry. Readers of this publication have been witnessed contesting advertisements that have alternatively hailed the governments decision and appealed for its revocation.
Banks do not mind being lazy. Alright, let us not be too hard on them and let us just say they prefer, what in their own words, is safe and prudent banking. But how banks have moved away from being advances-friendly to investment-happy is quite a story. The tide has changed dramatically and will take some doing to get them lending more to the private sector than what they lend to the severing borrower.
Once again, the uncertainty looming over those 650MW from the national grid has come to haunt K-Electric. Only this time the situation is intensified; with the firm's agreement with NTDCL for the supply of 650MW of electricity expiring on January 26, 2015, for a moment it looks like Abid Sher Ali's continuous warnings of cutting the supply to K-Electric might finally come true with the fear that the contract might not be renewed.
Over the past 24 months, the Karachi Stock Exchange has been an investors' paradise. On January 1, 2013, the benchmark index had stood just below 17,000 points. Since then it has rallied beyond 33,500 points, with virtually all sectors offering gains to investors during the period.
The great recession of 2007-2008 is long gone but its after effects are still being felt. The World Banks latest Global Economic Prospects report informs that the prospects aren too bright. In its bi-annual report, the bank has predicted global growth of 3 percent this year and 3.3 percent next year, which is down from its June forecast of 3.4 percent and 3.5 percent respectively.
Going to school should not have to be an act of bravery, the UN chief befittingly remarked following the harrowing Peshawar school attack last month. But Pakistani children (and their parents) now live under a constant trepidation, similar to quarter billion children living in other violent regions. They will take some heart from the monumental courage of the returning students at the APS Peshawar earlier this week.

 



 
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ICT 2014


Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyNovember
Trade Balance $-1.664 bln
Exports $1.966 bln
Imports $3.630 bln
WeeklyJanuary 25, 2015
Reserves $15.019 bln