AJK hydropower project wins

international award

ISLAMABAD (INP): The 102MW Gulpur Hydropower project in Kotli, AJK has been recognised as the ‘best deal’ of 2015 in the hydropower sector of the Asia Pacific region at the prestigious IJ Global Awards ceremony held in Singapore last week, under the auspices of Asia Pacific Energy and Infrastructure Finance Forum, 2016. IJ Global Awards are an annual feature of a leading international economy publication, Infrastructure and Project Finance Magazine. The awards recognise excellence, achievement and innovation in energy and infrastructure finance. The Gulpur Hydropower project was selected as winner of the Award for securing $275.5 million as debt financing in a relatively challenging environment.

NBP to assist businessmen through novel services.

ISLAMABAD (INP): “The business community is playing an important role in the economic development of the country and the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) will come up with innovative services to facilitate it for promoting trade and industrial activities,” said Farooq Hassan, Senior Vice President and Regional Head of the National Bank of Pakistan, Islamabad on Wednesday. Exchanging views with a delegation of flour millers at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Farooq said NBP had opened a new branch at I-10 Markaz, which will enable the flour millers of Islamabad to deposit cash for the government wheat quota instead of going to other cities for the purpose.

He said the new branch was a reflection of NBP’s commitment to enable the businessmen to transfer funds and expedite the trading process.

He assured that NBP would consider introducing such new services that would help the entrepreneurs handle business transactions with a sense of security and confidence.

Biggest plastic exhibition in

Lahore from March 25

ISLAMABAD (NNI): The PAKPLAS exhibition, Pakistan’s largest show of plastic products, is to begin at Lahore’s Expo Center from March 25. The three-day mega-event has been organised by the Pakistan Plastic Manufacturers Association (PPMA)with a view to come at par with international plastic exhibitions by not only showcasing the achievements of Pakistan’s plastic industry but also by holding numerous sessions to highlight the technological progress, capabilities, evolving trends and export potential of the sector. PAKPLAS Organising Committee Convener Akhlaq Ahmed said the event was expected to attract a large number of buyers, experts, entrepreneurs, regulators, investors and professionals.

Experts for to complete cotton sowing before mid April

FAISALABAD (APP): Agri experts have advised the growers to immediately start the cultivation of cotton and complete it before mid April to get a bumper crop. Spokesman of the agriculture extension department said here Wednesday that farmers should cultivate approved varieties of cotton seeds over maximum space to get better yield. Among the approved varieties of cotton include Ali Akbar 703, Neelum-121, Sitara-008, MG-6, IR-1524. More information and guidance can be obtained through free helpline of agriculture department through 0800-15000 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, he added. Cotton is an important cash crop for Pakistan known as “white gold”. It accounts for 8.2pc of the value added in agriculture and about 3.2pc to GDP.

Crude price rally on US

inventories report

LONDON (AFP): Oil rallied on Wednesday as dealers digested the latest snapshot of commercial crude reserves in top global consuming nation the United States. Around 1715 GMT, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in April jumped $1.49 to $37.99 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for May delivery won $1.26 to $40.91 a barrel compared with Tuesday's close. The market had already risen in earlier deals despite festering concerns over the global economy, in particular weak Chinese growth. The US government's Department of Energy (DoE) reported Wednesday that commercial crude stockpiles gained almost 3.9 million barrels in the week ending March 4.

That beat market expectations for a build of 3.5 million barrels, according to analysts polled by Bloomberg News. However, it was far less than the 10.4-million-barrel jump posted the previous week.

"The price of oil added to daily gains after weekly US oil inventories rose by 3.88 million, higher than estimates -- but well below the shockingly large build seen last week," said CMC Markets analyst Jasper Lawler.

The DoE added that gasoline or petrol inventories sank 4.5 million barrels, which easily outstripped forecasts for a drop of 1.5 million.

Distillates, including diesel and heating fuel, declined 1.1 million barrels. Analysts had pencilled in a 900,000-barrel decline.

The market had skidded lower Tuesday on weak Chinese trade data and scepticism about the prospects of major petroleum producers agreeing to limit output.

China's exports tanked by more than a quarter in February -- the sharpest fall since May 2009 during the financial crisis -- fuelling fears that the world's second biggest economy and top energy consumer was in for a so-called hard landing.

"It's a signal of the slowing down of the Chinese economy, the largest consumer of energy in the world," said Margaret Yang, market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore.

China is the world's biggest trader in goods and a key driver for world economic growth, but its companies have been battered by weak demand from major markets.

In turn, its slowing expansion has helped send commodities prices plunging in recent times.