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Recovery in the automobile sector appears to be gaining traction, reflected in the recently released numbers by PAMA. However, an uptick was also expected with the phasing out of the month of Ramzan as total car sales posted a massive month-on-month increase of 76 percent.
Remittances, the backbone of Pakistan's forex reserves, are doing just fine. The August remittances, as per the central bank, stood at $1.329 billion, about 7.14 percent more than same period of last year. The cumulative figure for the Jul-Aug period stood at $2.978 billion, a year-on-year growth of 12.61 percent.
A borrower facing considerable business risks: And a borrower offering you sovereign guarantee! The rates are almost similar. Whom would you rather lend? No rocket science there. The governments never ending appetite for hefty borrowing at hefty rates has evolved from being desperate to being ridiculous. Any bank today would have to be either naive or plain unlucky not to lend to the government, at rates similar to the most high profile corporate lending in Pakistan.
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.

 



 
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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 $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklySeptember 25, 2014
Reserves $13.305 bln