Accountability of business leaders demanded

ISLAMABAD (Online): The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Tuesday demanded accountability of the business leaders saying that economy cannot progress if people in important positions are not held responsible for their actions. The power struggle among national business leaders to rule FPCCI is unfortunate which has resulted in uncertainty, it said. The business leaders who were behind tens of millions of corruption in the construction of FPCCI capital office should come under inquiry, their assets must be scrutinised and they should be blacklisted, demanded Dr Murtaza Mughal, President PEW. 

He said that promotion of the economy can be ensured after free and equal representation of businesspersons in trade bodies most of whom have been held hostage by families, lobbies and groups of businessmen.

The qabza groups have been plundering resources and betraying government as well as members of these bodies, he said.

The situation has disappointed many which is a reason behind establishment and popularity of chambers of small traders, said Mughal.

The role of regulators is far from satisfactory which has ensured the continuity of malpractices, he said adding that the issue of FPCCI capital office is tip of the iceberg which surfaced due to struggle between warring business leaders.

SECP permits UIC to run Takaful


ISLAMABAD (Online): The SECP has allowed United Insurance Company (UIC) to launch Takaful operations. The notification issued by SECP in this regard said that UIC has been granted permission to launch window Takaful operations in respect of general Takaful products. Takaful is a type of insurance system devised to comply with the sharia laws, in which money is pooled and invested. Commenting on the development, Mian Shahid, Chairman of United International Group of which UIC is a member company lauded SECP to permit conventional insurance companies to launch Takaful which is the Islamic alternative to mainstream insurance products.

The decision of the government will help broaden the insurance base of as the public concern on the insurance being compatible with Shariah was barring growth of the this sector, he added.

Mian Shahid informed that after official authorization UIC will venture into untapped areas and increase insurance penetration which is less than one percent of the GDP.

Takaful has emerged as a Shariah-compliant tool for satisfying risk mitigation needs of the tens of millions of Muslims across the world.

Real estate markets in Pakistani cities vie for investor interest

LAHORE (Online): In Lahore, Pakistan’s second-largest city, Defence Housing Authority (DHA) is one of the best and most popular residential areas but only among a certain class of people, while the same class in the Federal Capital Islamabad has a wider and more promising range of locations to consider. Until recently, DHA Islamabad mostly served investor’s interest, who were not in any rush for their investments to mature, which may be the reason behind somewhat slower development of this housing society in the capital. However, DHA Lahore has been enjoying all sorts of real estate activity, including high demand for land and houses for sale and rent, over the last several years and has consequently been expanding ever since.

It would stand to reason, then, that the value of land and homes in DHA Lahore would be much higher than in DHA Islamabad, but that difference is surprisingly very small.

According to Pakistan’s largest property portal, a rise in demand for property in DHA Islamabad has been seen recently. A comparison of the prices of 500-yards 2 houses in DHA Lahore and DHA Islamabad in the first half of 2014 paints an interesting picture.

NBP approves financial statement

of 6 months

KARACHI (NNI): Board of Directors of National Bank of Pakistan in their meeting held on Tuesday at the Bank’s Head Office Karachi approved the financial statements of the Bank for the six months period ended June 30, 2014. Pre-tax profit of the bank stood at Rs. 12.3 billion in the first half under review which is higher by 63pc from the corresponding period last year. The bank in H1 2014 recorded after tax profit of Rs.8.1 billion which is a marked improvement compared to H1 2013 after tax profit of Rs. 5.7 billion, an increase of 42pc. Earnings per share for June 2014 stood at Rs.3.82 as against Rs. 2.69 (Restated) of last year.

The bank in Q2 2014 recorded after tax profit of Rs. 5.0 billion which compared to Q1 2014 is 59% higher mainly on account of higher net interest margin and capital gains.

Non interest/markup income increased by Rs. 2.5billion or 19% compared to the corresponding period last year. Fees / commission income is showing increase of 8% only due to downward revision in agency commission; however the same was offset through higher volumes.

Oil prices rebound as traders snap up bargain crude

LONDON (AFP): - World oil prices rebounded on Tuesday on bargain-hunting, one day after after tumbling on easing concerns about conflicts in Ukraine and Iraq, analysts said New York’s benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in September rose 30 cents to $96.71 a barrel.  London’s Brent North Sea crude for October delivery gained 17 cents to stand at $101.77 in afternoon deals. Brent, which is the key European futures contract, had plunged on Monday by $1.93 to settle at $101.60 a barrel, its lowest level since June 2013. “Yesterday saw Brent crude ... achieve the lowest price since June 2013,” said Dorian Lucas, analyst at Inenco research group.

“Losses are attributed to relaxed investor fears over supply disruptions resulting from the conflicts in Ukraine and Iraq, as well as recent strengthening to Libyan exports contributing to an already abundant global supply,” he added.