Oil market diverges

LONDON (AFP): Global oil prices diverged Monday as traders awaited this week’s key global economic data and an upcoming speech from US Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen. Brent North Sea for delivery in August rose 34 cents to stand at $107 a barrel in London early afternoon deals. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August fell 38 cents to $100.45 per barrel compared with Friday’s close. Investors were also looking out for a slew of economic indicators due to be released this week, starting with inflation data from Europe and US retail sales on Tuesday. China, the world’s second biggest economy and the largest consumer of energy, will release GDP and industrial production figures on Wednesday.

“The focus may turn to demand side of things as we have important data coming up, especially from China where the second-quarter GDP estimate and the latest industrial production number could help provide some clues about consumption,” said Forex.com analyst Fawad Razaqzada.

Also on Wednesday, Fed chief Yellen will conclude a testimony before the US Congress.

Yellen’s remarks and corporate earnings reports in the United States will be monitored for hints on the health of the world’s biggest economy and top oil consuming nation.

“Trading activity is expected to remain relatively subdued throughout today’s session in the run-up to Yellen’s testimony before the Senate committee on banking, housing and urban development tomorrow, which could provide some insight into policymakers’ thought processes,” said Sucden analyst Kash Kamal.

Crude futures had fallen heavily last week, stoked by the prospect of a revival in Libyan supplies.

Libya’s interim Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thani declared earlier this month that authorities had regained control of two export terminals blockaded by rebels demanding autonomy in the country’s eastern region.

The ports at Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidra could add about 500,000 barrels of crude per day to global energy markets, analysts say.

Output in Sharara, the site of Libya’s largest oil field, is reaching its maximum production capacity of 340,000 barrels, just days after it reopened following a deal between rebels and the government.

ICCI and HEC sign MoU to work

jointly towards knowledge economy

ISLAMABAD (INP):  Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) and Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work jointly towards creating a knowledge economy. Shaban Khalid, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Prof. Dr. Mansoor Akbar Kundi, Executive Director, HEC signed the MoU. ICCI is the foremost Chamber with a progressive and innovative approach to sign such MoU with HEC recognising the importance of strengthening the connection of academia, schools and universities with the industry to move towards a knowledge economy.

ICCI and HEC agreed to conduct joint research to understand the current trends of students and to use the information to inculcate an entrepreneurial mindset among graduates, thus nurturing a conducive entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country. HEC and ICCI shall work jointly for setting up Incubation and Skills Development Center to produce knowledgeable and skilled workforce for industry including modern management skills.

Pakistan, India likely to reach trade deal this year: Dastgir

ISLAMABAD (Online): Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir said Pakistan and India likely to reach an agreement to remove taxation and other hurdles in bilateral trade between the two countries this year. In an interview, he said talks between the two countries on the issue have made headway. Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir said he will meet his Indian counterpart on the sideline of the meeting of South Asian Free Trade Area, which will be held in Bhutan this month. He said in the meeting he will stress for liberalisation of visa regime for Pakistani businessmen and establishment of banking system between India and Pakistan.

Govt making efforts to enhance

power generation: Dr Musaddiq

ISLAMABAD (APP): Advisor to Prime Minister on Energy Dr Musaddiq Monday said that all out efforts were being made to minimize pubic difficulties by enhancing power generation. He said that the recent increase in loadshedding was due to hot wave of weather, jacking up the demand manifold. Talking to PTV, he said that hydel power generation would also be increased as a result of snow melting in hot weather. He said that solid efforts were being made to improve the power generation besides making the transmission lines efficient and decreasing line losses. He said that the loadshedding duration has witnessed decreased by 2-3 hours per day as compared to last year.

 which reflected the government’s sincere efforts to overcome power shortage. He said that the ongoing power projects will add more electricity to the national grid in next-2-3 years.

PCJCCI lauds govt efforts for growth

LAHORE (STAFF REPORTER): Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) on Monday appreciated the government for undertaking initiatives that have boosted gross domestic product (GDP) growth up to 4.1 per cent, which is the highest in the past five years, as stated in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) third Quarterly Report for Financial Year-14 on the State of Economy. Commenting on the SBP report, PCJCCI President Shah Faisal Afridi said here the government had encouraged private sector through loans and other business friendly policies, which proved to be successful in increasing private consumption by 5.9 percent that was the real driving force behind the economic growth.

It was more than double what was realized in FY-13, he added.

Afridi suggested further planning in a way that industrial sector remains least affected by energy crisis. He also emphasized to develop alternate energy sources for maintaining regular energy flow to the industry.

He observed that improvement in economy was the result of government’s resolve to address the energy shortage, a growing perception of business friendly policies, and external inflows that had recently been realized. More specifically, auction of 3G/4G licenses etc. had sharply improved the outlook of the country’s external sector as well as its fiscal position, he added.

He suggested that policymakers should formulate an Industrial Policy leading to the production efficiency and job creation in the country.

The new initiatives should focus on promoting competitiveness and creating a skilled labor force to meet the current needs of manufacturing sector.

Afridi observed that Pakistan s investment rate could be increased only by addressing the law and order situation and ending the energy crisis in the country. He said that tax exemptions, corruption and leakages in the tax-collecting machinery should be eliminated that would enable the government to build the lost confidence of taxable class of the society that would help expand the tax base by including all productive sectors of the economy.