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As 2022 starts, some may want to reflect on the past 12 months. At Brecorder.com, we also looked back to see what our readers found interesting and shared with others.

Pakistan's economy remained flooded with news over new car models, rupee depreciation, the IMF programme, coronavirus vaccinations/restrictions, and startups. Hence, it is not surprising to see it reflected in our reading trends as well.

Here is what Brecorder.com's readers found most interesting over the past 12 months. You can click on the links to read the stories from back then.

1. Honda City's 6th generation officially launched in Pakistan with price starting from Rs2.599 million

Towards the end of July, Honda Atlas officially launched its 6th generation City model in Pakistan. The base variant – the 1.2-litre manual transmission model – was priced at Rs2.599 million. It is now Rs2,729,000.

Read the latest prices here:

Automart: car prices in Karachi

Why the development was significant?

Not only for its shareholders – since Honda Atlas is a listed company – the development was popular among readers since City saw a change in generation after 12 years. Market talk also suggested that around 12,000 pre-bookings were made.

2. Suzuki: Preparing for the race

Improvement in financial performance always ignites interest, especially among shareholders, who read how Pak Suzuki turned a corner in the first half of this year after turning losses for eight consecutive quarters.

Why the development was significant?

At the time, when the half-year results were announced towards the end of August, Pak Suzuki seemed set for greater heights as lower tax rates, accommodating interest rate, and a growing economy remained favourable factors. Its performance in the next quarter ended September did not disappoint either.

3. Pak Suzuki discontinues 2nd-gen Swift, halts Cultus bookings, say dealers

Yes, yet another Suzuki story. The car is popular with a wider audience in Pakistan, and news that it has discontinued the 2nd generation Swift, and halted Cultus bookings took the market by surprise. Business Recorder was the first to report it.

Why the development was significant?

Development over the two vehicles, which target a bigger market segment in Pakistan, was always going to spark greater interest. Chip shortage along with a halt in bookings affect not only intending to buy, but also those who have made the bookings. Being a listed company, this news was probably not going to sit too well with shareholders either.

4. Sixth review to be presented to IMF board on Jan 12: Pakistan's finance ministry

This was the big one. For several weeks, the government kept saying that the $6-billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) was set to be revived. It was put on halt during the pandemic.

However, when a staff-level agreement was reached, it still took several weeks for the finance ministry to officially announce when the IMF board would sit and give its green signal.

Why the development was significant?

The announcement remains significant since it is likely to take some pressure off Pakistan's currency, which hit a record low multiple times this year, and would also see a billion-dollar inflow. January 12 remains a significant day.

5. FBR serves notice to beggar

The headline itself says it all, doesn't it. The country’s supreme tax collection body was shocked after seeing the details of assets owned by the beggar, who is said to be the “richest” beggar of Multan.

Why the development was significant?

Pakistan suffers from low tax collection, primarily because it hasn't been able to expand the net. When news of the FBR serving notice to a beggar made the rounds, its sheer uniqueness made people want to know more.

6. Pakistan can benefit from Dubai’s ‘structured’ approach to boosting startups

The article focused on how businesses love setting up shop in Dubai. Its relaxed tax regulation, economic free zones, and 'vibrant urban lifestyle' attract the best talent.

Some of Pakistan's startups already have a base of operation there, and consideration for others remains under way.

Why the development was significant?

The year was for Pakistan's startups. They raised a record amount, and left readers gushing with announcements being made every other month. In terms of numbers, they raised close to $345 million during the year, with a major portion coming in seed and series-A funding rounds.

Read details on funding here: Startup space 2021

7. Pakistan's rupee ends at historic low against US dollar

Probably one of the most used headlines this year. It stands accurate even today (December 29, 2021) and also on December 28. This one was on September 27, when the rupee was seeing – comparatively – happier times when it was trading below 170 in the inter-bank market.

Why the development was significant?

Many would want you to believe the rupee value should move in tandem with demand-supply dynamics. Ideally, it should.

But post-May this year, it only moved in one direction — depreciation. The rupee value is significant because it affects literally everything in the economy — how expensive imports would become, how cheap exports would get, and what kind of intrinsic value would the savings in your account have. The rupee's volatile ride this year made it all the more important to follow.

8. FBR issues tax rates on immovable properties

In August, the FBR issued updated rates of withholding tax on sale and purchase of immovable properties under Section 236C and 236K of Income Tax Ordinance, 2001.

Since the real estate market remains a huge component of the economy, any update on rates affects both buyers and sellers.

Why the development was significant?

Over the last few years, the property market has seen various revisions in tax rates. The distinction between filer and non-filer of income tax returns has become more obvious, and penalties have become heavier for the latter.

The move to revise rates is keeping in line with the FBR mandate to keep updating the rates as it looks to meet tax collection targets.

9. Karachi likely to receive heavy rain with strong winds from Monday, predicts PMD

A spell of strong monsoon currents, coupled with winds and thunderstorm, is likely to penetrate Sindh, especially Karachi from September 27 (Monday), the Pakistan Meteorological Department stated at the end of September.

The news spread with citizens rushing to prepare ahead of the monsoon spell.

Why the development was significant?

In 2020, just to refresh memory, rains wreaked havoc with urban flooding causing damage to lives, property, and routine. Grocery stores lined up, and people rushed to protect their homes ahead of the monsoon season. This year, preparations were made, but the spell wasn't as damaging as 2020.

10. Egyptian electrical giant acquires Pakistani transformers manufacturer

In May, Elsewedy Electric, an Egyptian multinational electrical company, said that it has entered the Asian market with the acquisition of a Pakistani electric power transformers company.

In a statement to the Egyptian Stock Exchange (EGX), Elsewedy informed that it has acquired 100 percent of Validus Engineering PVT LTD, a company that manufactures electric power transformers in Pakistan.

Why the development was significant?

Any foreign investor, company entering Pakistan excites not only the market, but also the government.

This news was especially significant because the investment was coming in one of Pakistan's most problematic sectors — power and energy.

These were the top-10 Business Recorder readers found interesting. There are some honourable mentions as well, though.

1. Telcos: merger talk

2. Reduction in oil, ghee prices: Govt, PVMA finalise MoU

3. Hyundai Nishat recalls over 1,600 Tucsons in Pakistan

4. Hafeez for reviewing pay, pension mechanism

Bilal Memon

Bilal Memon is the Head of Digital Content at Business Recorder. His Twitter handle is @bilala_memon

Comments

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Khumar Dec 29, 2021 08:36pm
Nice summarized work you have done by the year ended 2021
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