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Governance is one key issue raised in the ongoing political and social instability. And for a country like Pakistan, social and political unrest indeed perpetuate the vulnerability of poor. Institute for Policy Reforms Pakistan, an independent and non-partisan think tank’s recent report is aptly timed as it reveals how poor governance has taken its toll on the state, society and democracy.
The need of a central energy ministry (part of PLM-N manifesto) could not have been felt more had the two ministries not being confused on the amount of circular debt. Earlier this week, Secretary Water and Power with a high chin told Dar that circular debt has been reduced to Rs235 billion from Rs295 billion in a few weeks time. The, so-called, logical conclusion that had been drawn in the meeting was that discos have gained efficiencies in terms of bill recovery.
It’s difficult to say how the final flood impact assessment report 2014 would be like. Hopefully, it will not be as sobering as the one prepared after Floods 2010. Still, even as we write these lines, much damage has been done. Since heavy monsoon rains and the ensuing floods began in the first week of September 2014, it has killed about 300 people. The rivers Chenab, Ravi, Sutlej and Jhelum have overflowed and brought flash-floods. Media reports suggest that more than a million lives have been affected; and there are risks of more human damage in the days to come.
It’s uncharacteristic of NetSol Technologies (KSE: NETSOL) to close out a financial year with a net loss, and that, too, a hefty one. But FY14 was one such rarity. Company financials must be a dampener for shareholders who have gotten used to attractive profit margins the Lahore-based software firm has been churning over the years.
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.


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 16,614.81 1.31
Arrow Nasdaq 4,419.48 2.40
Arrow S&P 1,941.28 1.96
Arrow FTSE 6,372.33 1.68
Arrow DAX 8,886.96 1.94
Arrow CAC-40 4,081.24 2.25
Arrow Nikkei 14,804.28 2.03
Arrow H.Seng 23,088.58 0.08
Arrow Sensex 26,575.65 0.55

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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 20, 2014
Reserves $13.436 bln