SBP-held reserves increase by $132 million

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at US$16,136.6 million on 27 February 2015. According to the break-up of the foreign reserves position released by SBP, foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan stood at $11,207.2  million, net foreign reserves held by banks are $4,929.4 million, thus total liquid foreign reserves are $16,136.6 million.  During the week ending 27 February 2015, SBP’s Liquid FX Reserves increased by $132 million to $11,207 million, compared to $11,075 million in the previous week, which includes disbursement of $51 million from International Development Association (IDA).

Seminar on investor relations

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): SAFE, in partnership with LSE, held a training seminar on “Role and Value of Investor Relations”. Similar ventures have previously been conducted at Islamabad and Karachi. The SAFE, being the representative body of all the stock and commodity exchanges of the region as well as being a recognized body of the SAARC, considers itself the most relevant forum to promote awareness and capacity building in areas which are identified to be requiring improvement or upcoming subjects internationally. In this regard, it was identified and acknowledged that the subject area of Investor Relations is being paid less attention and the standardized practices almost becoming compliance requirements in other parts of the world are being seldom adopted by listed companies.

Workers observe ‘protest day’

LAHORE (PR): Thousands of electricity workers observed “Protest Day” from March 3 to 5, 2015 under the aegis of All Pakistan WAPDA Hydro Electric Workers Union CBA and held protest rallies & meetings across the country. At Lahore, a large meeting of electricity workers was held, which was addressed by the union representatives including Sajid Kazmi, Rana Akram, Muzuffel Mateen, Haji Abdul Lateef, Ch Maqsood Ahmed and Rana Shakoor. On this occasion, Khurshid Ahmed, veteran trade union leader & general secretary of the union, said electricity companies in other countries including China, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, Chilly and Indonesia had been running in the public sector, therefore, the government should not privatize electricity in the public interest.

The Prime Minister should hold dialogue with the workers and engineers, he said.

Oil up in Asia trade

SINGAPORE (AFP): Oil prices climbed in Asian trade Thursday as signs that a refineries strike in the United States is weakening overshadowed a rise in US crude stocks, analysts said. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate added 21 cents to $51.74 a barrel and Brent gained four cents to $60.59 in afternoon trade. Daniel Ang, an investment analyst with Phillip Futures in Singapore, said despite the rise in US inventories, traders focussed on signs that a refineries strike the the US could be settled, allowing more crude oil to be processed. "Although they have not come to a conclusion (on ending the strike) it seems that workers are coming back to work, which shows weakness in the strike and suggests that the strike is coming to an end soon," he told AFP.

Workers and management are trying to end the strike at three major US refineries operated by Royal Dutch Shell following a stalemate on February 20.

More than 5,000 workers spread across around a dozen installations have been on strike since February 1 demanding improved wages and safety conditions.

The US Department of Energy (DoE) on Wednesday said commercial crude inventories jumped by 10.3 million barrels in the week February 27, higher than analyst forecasts.

Inventories have set new records for five straight weeks, and US oil production is already high at 9.3 million barrels per day.

Sanjeev Gupta, who heads the Asia-Pacific Oil and Gas practice at professional services firm EY, said the oil market is also closely watching developments in the talks between Iran and the US on Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

"Any positive news about likelihood of lifting of sanctions will lead to downward pressure on the price of Brent," Gupta said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif wrapped up three days of "intense" nuclear negotiations in the Swiss lakeside town of Montreux on Wednesday with still no deal, as a March 31 deadline for a framework agreement looms.

Iran and the so-called P5+1 -- Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany -- are trying to strike a deal that would prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb, a goal it denies having.

In return, Iran is seeking an easing of punishing economic sanctions.

Auto parts show from 6th

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): The Pakistan Auto Parts Show (PAPS) is being held at the Expo Center Karachi from 6th to 8th March. A premier industry event, held once in two years, the exhibition brings together several manufacturers, particularly from the auto and auto parts manufacturing sector at a grand event where the industry showcases its products, potentials and capabilities. The exhibition is expected to attract substantial number of visitors, including those from overseas markets, enhancing theindustry’s access to global export markets. Parvez Ghias, CEO IMC, said, ‘Pakistan has immense potential to offer in auto manufacturing and become an exporting hub for Asia. Holding such a show offers an opportunity to the local auto parts manufacturers and OEMs”.

He added that IMC has always worked closely with local parts manufactures and in that spirit is at the forefront supporting PAPS to enable projection of the local industry at a global scale so that Pakistan’s capability and potential can be showcased at such a high profile event.