Oil up in Asian trade as China shares recover

SINGAPORE (AFP): Oil prices rose further in Asia Friday following recent sharp losses, lifted by a recovery in Chinese stocks as the government beefed up measures to support the market. The rebound, which followed a 30 percent plunge Chinese share prices, eased concerns of a wider fallout into the world’s second biggest economy and top energy consumer, but analysts said it remained to be seen whether the rally it will be sustained. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery climbed 43 cents to $53.21 and Brent crude for August advanced 42 cents to $59.03 a barrel in late morning trade. Both contracts ended higher on Thursday.

“There are some signs that foreign investors are more optimistic about China’s efforts to arrest the stock slide,” said Bernard Aw, market strategist at IG Markets in Singapore.

“However, I feel much caution should be exercised and it is important to observe the Chinese markets in the coming sessions before calling it a bottom,” he said in a market commentary.

“As we have seen in the past, Chinese equities may recover in one session, only to fall straight back into a downward spiral the next day.” There were also hopes debt-strapped Greece would reach a deal with its creditors after Athens late Thursday laid out details of a new bailout plan to save the country from financial collapse.

The package involves a pensions overhaul and tax hikes in return for debt relief and a rescue loan from the eurozone.

Traders are also keeping an eye on negotiations in Vienna between western powers and Iran on a deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and allow the lifting of punishing sanctions.

Global powers leading the negotiations sought to ramp up the pressure for a deal, but Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hit back, saying Western countries among the so-called P5+1 group on the other side of the talks were back-tracking on previous commitments.

A lifting of sanctions will allow Iranian oil to flow back into the global market, adding to a supply glut and helping depress prices, according to analysts.

Mining sector sees 3.8 percent growth in one year

ISLAMABAD (APP): The mining and quarrying sector during the just ended fiscal year has witnessed 3.8 percent growth as compared to 1.6 percent last year. Pakistan is bestowed with all kinds of resources which also include mineral resources. The country also possesses a large number of industrial rocks, metallic and non-metallic minerals which have not yet been evaluated but thanks to positive policies of the government, 3.8 per cent growth was achieved. Sources at Finance Division on Friday said soapstone, crude oil, gypsum, coal and limestone posted a positive growth rate of 41.68 percent, 14.03 percent, 8.11 percent, 4.12 percent and 3.73 percent respectively.

The sources said major ongoing scheme last year was “Appraisal of newly discovered coal resources of Badin coal field and its adjoining areas of Southern Sindh” and also “Exploration of tertiary coal in central salt range Punjab” having total estimated cost of Rs. 170 million and 43.35 million respectively.

One new scheme, namely “Exploration and Evaluation of coal in Raghni area Tehsil Shahrig, Balochistan” is also included which has total cost of Rs. 56.78 million.

Govt losing Rs 25b revenue

to tax evaders

Lahore (Staff Reporter): Total consumption of illicit cigarettes in Pakistan is 19b, which is 23pc of the total cigarette consumption in the country. This translates into an estimated loss of over Rs 25b for the govt revenue, revealed Asia-14 Illicit Indicator Report, launched by International Tax & Investment Centre and Oxford Economics. Report further reveals that 82% of the govt revenue loss is due to illicit cigarettes in Pakistan. The issue of illicit cigarette is twofold; local manufacturer tax evasion and smuggling. These manufacturers operate from Mardan and AJK and their tax evaded cigarettes are available in every nook and corner of Pakistan. Smuggled cigarettes enter Pakistan mainly from Afghanistan, which has seen an increase of 15pc.

according to Asia-14 illicit indicator report.

Incentives in textile sector to

boost exports to $26b

ISLAMABAD (APP): The incentive of Rs. 64.15 billion cash subsidy to textile and clothing sector under textile policy would boost exports to $ 26 billion by 2019. The package announced under the policy (2015-19) carries special duty-drawback rates, duty exemption on plants and machinery, subsidy on long-term loans and also development subsidies. Finance Division will provide Rs.40.6 billion over five years for duty drawback, technology up-gradation and brand development etc. while another Rs. 23.5 billion will be provided for skill development, dedicated textile exhibitions, establishment of world textile centre, weaving city, incubators, apparel house, and mega textile awards.

Official sources on Friday said around 120,000 persons will be trained through skill development programme and 50 small companies from the sector will be picked each year for next three years for government support. The proposed measures will promote value-addition and generate employment for more than 5 million people.

On the performance of textile industry, the sources said it is the most important manufacturing sector of Pakistan and has the longest production chain with inherent potential for value addition at each stage of processing, from cotton to ginning, spinning, fabric, dyeing and finishing, made -ups and garments. They said the sector contributes nearly one-fourth of industrial value-added, provides employment to about 40 percent of industrial lab or force, and consumes about 40 percent of banking credit to manufacturing sector.

Barring seasonal and cyclical fluctuations, textiles products have maintained an average share of about 54 percent in national exports.

Moreover, the sources said textile sector in Pakistan has remained stagnant over last decade due to a number of exogenous and indigenous factors such as subsidies given to cotton farmers and other textile products by several countries which distorted prices, marketing constraints, global recession, and increasingly stringent buyers conditionality. They said on the domestic side, cotton production has remained stagnant at about 13 million bales per annum and the resistance to grading and standardization of cotton bales by ginners and spinners alike has consistently lowered the value of Pakistani cotton by around 10 cents per pound in the international market.

On the other hand, the value-added garments sector has grown marginally due to its limited product range, low usage of manmade fibers and inability of manufacturing units to restructure in order to meet changing international requirements.

China to launch “Farm to China Table” for mangoes export

MULTAN (APP): Underscoring the importance of Multani mangoes, Chinese envoy to Pakistan Sun Weidong said his country would launch “Farm to China Table” project for promotion of its export to China. He said mangoes of the region were popular among people across the world for its scrumptious taste and sweetness. He urged upon the need of further extending ties between two countries at local government level for generating swift economic activity resulting employment opportunities. Mr Weidong expressed these views while talking to Commissioner Multan Division Asadullah Khan at his office here on Friday. The envoy announced to provide scholarships to five students hailing from Multan at post graduate level to best universities of China.

600MW coal-based power plant at Gawadar to be completed by 2017

ISLAMABAD (APP) - As much as 600 Megawatt coal-based power plant and acquisition of land for Gawadar Port free zone projects would be completed by the end of 2017.

This was told at the meeting of National Assembly Standing Committee on Ports and Shipping held here on Friday. The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah MNA, said a press release.

The meeting was attended by Ch Hamid Hameed, Ch Salman Hanif Khan, Mehar Ishtiaq Ahmad, Seema Mohiduddin Jameeli, Shaheen Shafiq, Romina Khurshid Alam, Khalil George, Lal Chand Malhi, Muhammad Salman Khan Baloch, Muhammad Jamall-ud-din, Malik Muhammad Aamir Dogar, Kanwar Naveed, Jameel and Secretary, Ministry of Ports and Shipping and Chairman Gawadar Port Authority.

The meeting was briefed that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was working in full swing and the Gawadar package of this mega project consists of construction of Gawadar Port Eastbay Expressway, Pak-China Vocational and Training Institute, Break Water at Gawadar Port, capital dredging for additional channels, necessary facilities of fresh water treatment its supply and distribution, 300 bed China Pakistan friendship hospital, infrastructure development of industrial areas, the construction of new Gawadar international airport, all these projects should be completed by the end of December 2017.

Besides, other projects are also in the pipeline including a housing complex and a building for government departments.

Three road network and two rail networks linking Gawadar to Chinese northwest region Xinjiang are also being built on a fast track basis.

The people of Pakistan and of Baluchistan in particular will benefit from all these projects and this change the whole complexion of Balochistan and Gawadar, it was stated.