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The State Bank had to go to great lengths to reject the report of 2013 Election Observers that it did not provide timely data on candidates to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for scrutiny purposes. According to the SBP's Chief Spokesperson, "a mutually agreed reporting format mechanism was developed between SBP and ECP for scrutinising the nomination papers of contesting candidates for election 2013. The mechanism was finalised at the highest level in meetings with the ECP which were also attended by the Governor SBP". The Spokesperson asserted that SBP had provided complete information as agreed with the ECP and there was no deficiency or delay in supplying the required information. As per the arrangement, Returning Officers (ROs) were required to upload the particulars of the candidates contesting elections on the web portal of ECP for onward transmission to the SBP, which had to provide information about the defaults of contesting candidates within 24 hours. "SBP started receiving requests from ECP through an online system from March 26, 2013 and the process was completed on April 7, 2013 on a daily basis". It was further explained that the SBP had developed an online information portal for the smooth and efficient verification of data. Besides, special arrangements were made to depute officials exclusively for the purpose. The particulars of 24,286 candidates and their 110,972 family members were searched in e-CIB database and responses were uploaded without any delay. A Director level official of SBP was also deputed for co-ordination and on the spot resolution of any related matter. State Bank carried out its part of work in national interest, which was also lauded by Chief Election Commissioner on several occasions.

Strike price is a price that is fixed by the seller of a security after receiving bids in a tender offer, typically for sale of gilt-edged securities or a new stock market issue; it is also the price at which a put or call option can be exercised. The placement of a cap on the strike price mechanism to discourage unrealistically high bids raising the average strike price by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), appears to have back fired. It angered a lot of prospective investors on Monday. The SECP - as the apex regulator - approved the prospectus of 36,231,500 ordinary shares (75 percent of total offer) of general public offering by Saif Power with a price band of Rs 18 to Rs 30 per share of Rs 10 face value. The public offer was a booming success as the offering was about three times the floatation. Normally, in cases of oversubscription, the distribution of shares is on a pro-rata basis. However, a strike price is based according to the 'Dutch Auction Method'. After closure of bidding period, the book runner analyses the demand generated at various price levels. The investors who have offered bids above the strike price are offered shares at the strike price and the differential refunded in case their margin money is higher than the price of offered shares. Thus, there is a tendency among the investors to bid high in order to be ahead in line to achieve success. This results in unnecessarily raising the strike price to the detriment of genuine investors.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan's strategy to mobilise wider public support for his sit-in agenda by holding rallies in different cities is working. After an impressive rally in Karachi, he managed to draw a mammoth crowd in Lahore, the country's second biggest city and the home base of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Imran himself. Tens of thousands of charged supporters responded with slogans and whistles as he railed against the leadership of the two major parties as well as members of Parliament. "Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari have joined hands to protect and preserve the present self-serving and exploitative political and economic system," he said, adding that the people are rejecting the system that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. Imran, of course, knows that his message resonates with the ordinary people, middle class as well as the more disadvantaged section of society who find it hard to make ends meet, and yet are being further burdened by inflated utility bills and rising cost of the life's necessities. The sit-in and now the rallies have provided the PTI leader with an unexpected and extraordinary opportunity to reinforce the perception of being wronged and point the finger at his opponents. It was not entirely in jest when he claimed that he did not want Nawaz Sharif to resign just yet "because I want to awaken the entire nation".
Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) President Shah Faisal Afridi emphasised the need to increase agricultural yield through "eco-farming" with the objective of averting a food crisis. He urged the farmers to adopt the Chinese cultivation model which focuses on hybrid seeds, better water management, an enhanced government role for ensuring effective safety and support mechanisms notably constructing food grain reservoirs as well as public-private partnership to overcome the food crisis.
According to the recently-released State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) provisional data the private sector retired its debt during July-mid September 2014 with net borrowing during this period at negative 74 billion rupees. First quarter of the financial year is normally a retirement period of loans. However, private sector credit has been on a decline primarily due to higher government borrowing from banks at a rate above the KIBOR plus rate (normally charged from the private sector). Except for a short spurt ruler private sector credit went up due to clearing of circular debt in one go by the government.
Addressing the army chief Gen Raheel Sharif, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) supremo, Altaf Hussain, has protested vehemently against "an illegal raid" on an MQM office in Karachi's Scheme 33 neighbourhood and has alleged that his party members were "brutally tortured, undressed before they were taken away". He alleged that a raiding Rangers party misbehaved with women as well, and also did not allow the MQM legislators access to their office in fact the 'officer incharge' of the raiding party refused to meet the local leadership which had reached the spot. The MQM boss recalled the support given by his party to the Army in the hope of an impartial 'across-the-board' action against all erring law enforcers.
Finance ministers from the 20 most developed nations of the world met in Cairns, Australia, to thrash out policies that would achieve a total growth rate of 2 percent over the next five years. However, the next day the G-20 scaled down their target to 1.8 percent - a scaled down target that nonetheless envisages injection of trillions of dollars into their economies but not as bailout packages. In other words, the ongoing controversy over growth versus austerity in the West in the wake of an ongoing recession appears to be over and the G-20 countries have now firmly focused on growth as the priority.


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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
WeeklySeptember 25, 2014
Reserves $13.305 bln