Category: Business and commerce

China overtakes US as top direct foreign investor in Pakistan

China is overtaking the US as the largest direct foreign investor in Pakistan, with the South Asian nation increasingly favouring its neighbour’s “One Belt, One Road” trade route that is funnelling in billions of dollars and revamping decrepit infrastructure.

With relations frayed between the United States and Pakistan, China has been strengthening its ties to the nation of about 200 million people after it pledged two years ago to loan and finance about US$55 billion (S$77 billion) in a so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

US direct investment in Pakistan stood at US$505 million – from July 2013 to January this year, compared with US$1.82 billion that came from neighbouring China, according to central bank data.

What exactly is insider trading?

A: An “insider” is any person who possesses at least one of the following:

1) access to valuable non-public information about a corporation (this makes a company’s directors and high-level executives insiders)

2) ownership of stock that equals more than 10% of a firm’s equityInside Trading

A common misconception is that all insider trading is illegal, but there are actually two methods by which insider trading can occur. One is legal, and the other is not.

An insider is legally permitted to buy and sell shares of the firm – and any subsidiaries – that employs him or her. However, these transactions must be properly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and are done with advance filings. You can find details of this type of insider trading on the SEC’s EDGAR database.

The more infamous form of insider trading is the illegal use of undisclosed material information for profit. It’s important to remember that this can be done by anyone, including company executives, their friends and relatives, or just a regular person on the street, as long as the information is not publicly known. For example, suppose the CEO of a publicly-traded firm inadvertently discloses his/her company’s quarterly earnings while getting a haircut. If the hairdresser takes this information and trades on it, that is considered illegal insider trading, and the SEC may take action.

The SEC is able to monitor illegal insider trading by looking at the trading volumes of any particular stock. Volumes commonly increase after material news is issued to the public, but when no such information is provided and volumes rise dramatically, this can act as a warning flag. The SEC then investigates to determine precisely who is responsible for the unusual trading and whether or not it was illegal.



First GE Evolution loco for Pakistan completed

PAKISTAN: The first of 55 Evolution Series ES43ACi diesel locomotives which GE Transportation is building for Pakistan Railways is undergoing final testing ahead of delivery from the USA.

The 1 676 mm gauge Class GEU-40 locomotives are to be supplied fully assembled. Pakistan Railways expects to commission the first locomotive by January 2017, and deliveries are scheduled to run until mid-2017. Corys has been awarded a contract to supply a full-scope simulator for driver training.GE LOCOs in Pakistan

The first contract for the supply of Evolution Series locomotives to South Asia was signed by Pakistan Railways on June 20 2015. Minister of Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said 40 of the GE locomotives would be used to haul imported coal from Karachi to the Sahiwal and Jamshoro power stations, and 15 would be used on general freight services.

The ES43ACi has a 12-cylinder 4 563 hp GEVO12 engine, and to cope with the harsh operating conditions in Pakistan the design features additional cooling capacity and an air-conditioned cab suitable for bidirectional operation. The 137 tonne six-axle locomotives are designed for a maximum speed of 120 km/h, and are expected to provide better fuel efficiency and longer maintenance intervals than Pakistan Railways’ current fleet.


Five new auto companies in Pakistan

Board of Investment Chairman Dr Miftah Ismail said that five new auto companies in Pakistan to manufacture cars will be introduced hence, reducing competition and prices for the consumers.Hyundai Motors in Pakistan

He said that Automotive Development Policy was aimed towards providing cheaper cars to consumers with delivery on time.

He said that government was making an organization to regulate the quality of car engines and also reduced taxes on imported cars, the buses and trucks’ spare parts have also been reduced.

With people having the option of imported cars open to them, local manufacturers will also be motivated to produce quality cars.

Pakistan Economic Forum Chairman Humayun Iqbal Shami said the automotive policy is crucial to increasing competition in the local market as cars prices were reaching skies.Wolkswagen

He further added that the new policy bounds the company to deliver car within two weeks after the payment has been made. This would lead to competition and better quality as Pakistan has the capacity to locally manufacture automobiles.

Economist Dr. Saboor Ghayur stated that the policy would enable new competitors to establish their units and effectively compete with the three well-entrenched assemblers.

Export of products through this policy could help create many job opportunities, increasing country’s GDP, revenues and strengthening demand on large scale.






Hyundai plans to set up assembly plant in Pakistan


Nishat Mills Limited (NML), one of the largest integrated textiles mills in the country, on Friday announced that it has resolved to enter in to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Hyundai Motor Corporation (HMC), Korea and Sojitz Corporation, Japan to set up a green field plant to assemble Hyundai vehicles in Pakistan.

The joint venture will produce HMC passenger cars and 1-ton range commercial vehicles in PaHyundai Motors in Pakistankistan, according to a notice sent to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX).

Pakistan’s underdog businessman gearing up for comeback

However, the notice added, the project is subject to applicable statutory and regulatory approvals. NML share price closed at Rs169.52, up 2% on a day when the KSE-index declined by 110 points or 0.22% to close at 49,555.

After the announcement of the new auto policy in March 2016, a number of foreign automobile companies have announced to set up their plants in Pakistan.

Just two months ago, Lucky Cement, one of the largest cement makers in Pakistan, announced that it will set up a car plant in collaboration with Kia Motor Co with an investment of Rs12 billion.

Both leading Korean automobile companies, Hyundai and Kia, used to assemble cars in Pakistan but left the market mainly due to the liberal used car import policy in the Musharraf regime.

In November 2016, French carmaker Renault also agreed to invest in a new factory in Pakistan and the production phase is expected to start in 2018.

The re-entry of Korean brands is a big success of the PML-N government, which took over two years in announcing the new auto policy to give attractive incentives to new entrants and those who left Pakistan earlier. The government wants to encourage new players to invest in the local market, which is currently dominated by only three Japanese players.

Loads Limited CEO more than just bullish on Pakistan’s auto sector

Analysts say the trust in foreign companies on Pakistan is growing while the lucrative automobile market is attracting them to the country.

Pakistan’s car penetration of 13 vehicles per 1,000 persons is significantly lower than the regional average of 162, which shows there is a strong potential for automobile growth due to growing disposable income and low interest rate in the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2017.