Country’s economic managers are in Dubai to negotiate on the fourth review with the IMF. This is for the release of fifth tranche of $550 million from the Fund under the extended finance facility of $6.6 billion. The review was due in July but has deliberately been delayed by the lender to let incumbent government achieve a couple of structural benchmarks including hiring of financial advisor for PIA’s privatisation.
Remittance from Saudi Arabia is a gift that keeps on giving. Well, it’s not the kind of gift that Dar proudly received; rather it’s the hard-earned money of Pakistani expats toiling there in sweltering heat. The figure shows that in the last decade, Saudi-origin remittances’ share has doubled in Pakistan’s overall remittances to 30 percent in FY14. These inflows have consistently outgrown and driven Pakistan’s overall remittances during this period.
For the nth time running, there were hardly any takers for the treasury bills on offer in the 6- and 12-month tenures. And it all makes sense. When the alternative PIBs are offering double-digit lucrative rates with short maturities, single-digit returns on T-bills do not have enough to entice market participants. The government fetched over Rs87 billion in the latest t-bill auction, missing the Rs100 billion mark by some distance, yet again.
It’s not as if the dismal state of South Asia trade had not been highlighted before. Indeed, as a region, South Asia had failed to adapt to global dynamics, whereby countries have taken advantage of regional clustering instead of solely relying on distant, developed economies of the world for trade.
Readers of Carl von Clausewitz, the 19th century military historian, are familiar with "fog of war". The term concerns the uncertainty regarding an adversarys intents, capabilities and logistics. Well, a war is almost at his gates but the dense political fog is making it difficult for Nawaz Sharif's government to grasp and respond to its rivals designs.
Wonder if the story of any leading bank is going to be any different for the half year ended June 2014. United Bank Limited (UBL) had a good time just like its peers ABL and HBL--with profits swelling, mainly on the back of investment in government papers. The asset composition has long been shifted towards investments, with ADRs of most leading banks hovering in the 40s--UBL is no exception.