Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Housing Construction and Economic Growth in Pakistan

Housing construction is one of the largest sectors of most major economies in the world. In the United States, for example, housing is a significant contributor to the American economy, providing millions of Americans with jobs and generating hundreds of billions of dollars of economic output each year. It is also an important source of wealth building. Beyond economic measures, homeownership and adequate rental housing also contributes to society.

The construction and sale of new homes make direct contribution to GDP, based on the value of the housing built. However, the sales of existing homes do not enter into the calculation of the nation’s domestic output, just as a used car sales do not get entered because the transaction does not represent a new production. However, purchases related to the transaction of existing home sale do get included in the GDP. For example, all payments for services rendered, such as real estate agent commissions, home inspection, attorney, and loan origination fees, are included.

Currently, Pakistan has a serious housing crisis and needs about 7 million additional housing units now, according to the data presented at the World Bank Regional Conference on Housing last year.

According to BMI research, the country’s real estate sector continues to be dominated by the two major issues of a chronic shortage of housing against a backdrop of rapid urbanization and rising population and the impact of security factors on the risk appetite of investors and developers.



The first of these factors remains as intractable as ever, with the most recent estimates identifying shortfall of 7.9mn houses. By contrast, the current government is committed to building just 1 million houses. Other estimates paint a similar picture with the Punjab province, with a population of 82 million, said to be facing a shortage of 5 million houses. By some accounts, nationally there is an incremental demand for 700,000 units a year against the annual construction of just 150,000 units.

As to the second factor, the major projects currently moving forward are being executed by risk-tolerant developers from regions such as the Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC) and government or government-linked landowners in Pakistan. This has significantly reduced the scope to provide housing at the level required to supply the backlog. Recently, however, there are reports that Malaysian developers are coming to Pakistan, according to Malaysian news agency Bernama in August 2009. The Malaysian developers are negotiating to build some 500,000 low-cost houses annually in various parts of Pakistan.

The recent Dubai debt crisis will likely hurt some Pakistani workers in the Gulf region. However, the flip side of Dubai troubles is that many of these Gulf developers will look at Pakistan where real estate investments have always been winners, regardless of the political or economic environment. The supply has continued to lag demand for housing, retail and office properties.

The Gulf and Malaysian investments in housing can potentially help resuscitate Pakistan's currently moribund economy by creating millions of new jobs directly and indirectly. Construction is one of the most labor intensive economic activity requiring large numbers of workers, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. And when the buyers move in, they will demand all kinds of products and services to furnish their homes, thereby creating further employment opportunities. All of this is offers a great recipe for reigniting economic growth and renewed prosperity in Pakistan.

A new wave of housing construction offers an opportunity to the PPP leadership to live up to at least one of their election promises included in their "roti, kapda and makaan" platform. Looking back at the history of the political platforms that have succeeded, what comes to mind is the name of President Franklin Roosevelt and his "New Deal" , as well as the successive US Presidents' policies on "The American Dream" of home ownership for all. These policies helped reduce poverty and enhanced education and housing for a large number of people in the US. New housing construction can also help reduce poverty in Pakistan.

Related Links:

Food, Clothing and Shelter in India, Pakistan

Pakistan Real Estate Report Q4 2009

Dubai Debt Crisis

Food, Clothing and Shelter For All

What Does Pakistani Democracy Deliver?

Urbanization in Pakistan Highest in South Asia

Housing: Global and Local Perspectives

Uncle Sam Saves Fannie and Freddie

Pakistan Attracts FDI Despite Security Concerns

Witness a Failed State: Try Pakistan's M2

Doing Business Rankings of Countries

Post-911 Economic Boom in Pakistan

27 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an interesting report by Reuters in Pakistan:

By Alistair Scrutton

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - If you want a slice of peace and stability in a country with a reputation for violence and chaos, try Pakistan's M2 motorway.

At times foreign reporters need to a give a nation a rest from their instinctive cynicism. I feel like that with Pakistan each time I whizz along the M2 between Islamabad and Lahore, the only motorway I know that inspires me to write.

Now, if the M2 conjures images of bland, spotless tarmac interspersed with gas stations and fast food outlets, you would be right. But this is South Asia, land of potholes, reckless driving and the occasional invasion of livestock.

And this is Pakistan, for many a "failed state." Here, blandness can inspire almost heady optimism.

Built in the 1990s at a cost of around $1 billion, the 228-mile (367-km) motorway -- which continues to Peshawar as the M1 -- is like a six-lane highway to paradise in a country that usually makes headlines for suicide bombers, army offensives and political mayhem.

Indeed, for sheer spotlessness, efficiency and emptiness there is nothing like the M2 in the rest of South Asia.

It puts paid to what's on offer in Pakistan's traditional foe and emerging economic giant India, where village culture stubbornly refuses to cede to even the most modern motorways, making them battlegrounds of rickshaws, lorries and cows.

There are many things in Pakistan that don't get into the news. Daily life, for one. Pakistani hospitality to strangers, foreigners like myself included, is another. The M2 is another sign that all is not what it appears in Pakistan, that much lies hidden behind the bad news.

On a recent M2 trip, my driver whizzed along but kept his speedometer firmly placed on the speed limit. Here in this South Asian Alice's Wonderland, the special highway police are considered incorruptible. The motorway is so empty one wonders if it really cuts through one of the region's most populated regions.

"130, OK, but 131 is a fine," said the driver, Noshad Khan. "The police have cameras," he added, almost proudly. His hand waved around in the car, clenched in the form of a gun.

On one of my first trips to Pakistan. I arrived at the border having just negotiated a one-lane country road in India with cows, rickshaws and donkey-driven carts.

I toted my luggage over to the Pakistan side, and within a short time my Pakistani taxi purred along the tarmac. The driver proudly showed off his English and played U.S. rock on FM radio. The announcer even had an American accent. Pakistan, for a moment, receded, and my M2 trip began.

Built in the 1990s by then prime minister Nawaz Sharif, it was part of his dream of a motorway that would unite Pakistan with Afghanistan and central Asia.

For supporters it shows the potential of Pakistan. Its detractors say it was a waste of money, a white elephant that was a grandiose plaything for Sharif.

But while his dreams for the motorway foundered along with many of Pakistan, somehow the Islamabad-Lahore stretch has survived assassinations, coups and bombs.

A relatively expensive toll means it is a motorway for the privileged. Poorer Pakistanis use the older trunk road nearby tracing an ancient route that once ran thousands of miles to eastern India. The road is shorter, busier and takes nearly an hour longer.

On my latest trip, I passed the lonely occasional worker in an orange suit sweeping the edge of the motorway in a seemingly Sisyphean task.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Quadrilateral

India has multiple mode of transport across cities

India has 92 airports with 12 international airports

http://travel.mapsofindia.com/transportation-and-communication/airports-in-india/airport-locations-in-india.html

http://www.aircraft-charter-world.com/airports/asia/pakistan.htm#M

where as pakistan has 42 civil airports. Further india has got one of the largest railway network to connect all corners of the country.

Riaz Haq said...

anon: "India has multiple mode of transport across cities.....
India has 92 airports with 12 international airports...where as pakistan has 42 civil airports. Further india has got one of the largest railway network to connect all corners of the country."

The numbers you quote for India are not impressive. Based on its population and area, India should have 5 to 7 times as many airports and larger railway track and road network as Pakistan.

Here's a sense of reality as pointed out by Dalrymple who compared both nations on 60th anniversary of partition:

"On the ground, of course, the reality is different and first-time visitors to Pakistan are almost always surprised by the country's visible prosperity. There is far less poverty on show in Pakistan than in India, fewer beggars, and much less desperation. In many ways the infrastructure of Pakistan is much more advanced: there are better roads and airports, and more reliable electricity. Middle-class Pakistani houses are often bigger and better appointed than their equivalents in India.
Moreover, the Pakistani economy is undergoing a construction and consumer boom similar to India's, with growth rates of 7%, and what is currently the fastest-rising stock market in Asia. You can see the effects everywhere: in new shopping centers and restaurant complexes, in the hoardings for the latest laptops and iPods, in the cranes and building sites, in the endless stores selling mobile phones: in 2003 the country had fewer than three million cellphone users; today there are almost 50 million."

William Dalrymple
14 August, 2007
The Guardian

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Indian report from last year about India significantly lagging Pakistan in clean energy and CNG usage:

New Delhi, May 5, 2008
India is way behind Pakistan in terms of its gas pipeline network, with the neighbouring country’s network stretching around 56,400 km against its 10,500 km, connecting only 20 cities compared to Pakistan’s 1,050, industry body Assocham said.

Pakistan’s pipeline density, at present is 1044 km/mmscmd (million metric standard cubic meter per day) per day compared to 116 km/mmscmd of India, Assocham said in its paper on gas sector ‘A Comparison between India and Pakistan’.

The neighbouring country has created a 31,000 km distribution network to serve its domestic and commercial consumers in large locations, against the 11,000 km network that have so far been build in India to serve the needs of its consumers in limited pockets, the report said.

While Pakistan has nearly 1,600 CNG stations, India has 380. The gas throughput in Pakistan is 38 mmscmd per day as against 8.5 mmscmd gas in India.

The number of gas customers and vehicles running on CNG in Pakistan is about 19 lakh and 15.6 lakh respectively, while in India the number is 5.50 lakh and 4.60 lakh.

“The gas availability in Pakistan is undoubtedly quite large, compared to India but given the imports of gas and even its domestic availability in India, its pipeline network is extremely poor and the main reason attributed for the low and limited pipeline network in India is because this sector has been thoroughly regulated which has now been opened for competition,” Assocham president Venugopal Dhoot said.

The paper added that since the pipeline network in India does not reach out to most of the potential demand centres, a number of industrial projects, which would ideally run on gas, have to depend on much more costlier and more polluting alternative fuels.

“Thus the unmet gas demand in India is probably much higher than what is reported,” he said, adding India, “at present has only one major cross country pipeline in the form of Hizira-Bijaipur-Jagdishpur pipeline and there is estimated to be considerable unmet demand even in the states serviced by this pipeline”.

With the increased availability of gas, the country needs to gear up quickly to meet the increased requirement of cross country as well as regional and local downstream gas distribution networks, he said. — PTI

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2008/20080506/biz.htm#1

Riaz Haq said...

The corruption of Pakistani politicians is exceeded only by their incompetence. With economy in virtual recession, the FDI is dropping as reported by The News:

Thursday, December 17, 2009
KARACHI: Net foreign investment in Pakistan fell 25.6 per cent to $1.08 billion in the first five months of the 2009/10 fiscal year compared with $1.45 billion in the same period a year earlier, the central bank said on Wednesday.

Out of total foreign investment, foreign direct investment fell 52.2 per cent to $774.0 million in the first five months of the fiscal year which began on July 1 from $1.62 billion for the same months last year, the State Bank of Pakistan said.

But foreign portfolio investment flows reversed, with a $311.3 million inflow in the July to November period compared with an outflow of $162.9 million in the same period last year.

Authorities imposed a floor on the Karachi Stock Exchange benchmark index in August last year as political uncertainty and economic and security worries drained investor confidence.

The floor discouraged new investment and also led to a sharp outflow of funds, as foreign investors sold holdings in off-market trade.

The floor was removed in December. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) saved Pakistan from a balance of payments crisis with a $7.6 billion emergency loan package in November last year. The loan was increased to $11.3 billion on July 31.

Pakistan’s economy is in virtual recession as gross domestic product growth in the 2008/09 fiscal year of 2 per cent is about the same as population growth. The IMF has projected GDP growth flat at 2 per cent this fiscal year.

Security concerns over a Taliban insurgency based in the country’s northwest and chronic power shortages have also put off investors.

Riaz Haq said...

Moderated by Saad Khan, a partner at CMEA Capital, there was a social entrepreneurs panel at Open Forum 2010 that featured Salman Khan of Khan Academy, Leila Janah of Samasource, Tabreez Verjee of Kiva, and Misbah Naqvi of Acumen Fund.

The panelists described what they do as social entrepreneurs and what led them to it. Salman Khan started at a hedge fund before he was inspired by a cousin and her friends to create Khan Academy for tutoring math and science via his Youtube channel.

Leila Janah of Samasource went to work for the World Bank in Washington to fight poverty, but she was soon soured by the bank bureaucracy whose focus was on self-interest rather than the interest of the world's poor which it is supposed to serve. Her first day at the World Bank was spent at a seminar advising bank employees on financing a second home. She quit her job to found Samasource, which is a non-profit service that seeks contracts from companies in the West, and slices large contracts into microwork tasks like data entry, software testing, transcription and research outsourced to the poor, but educated, workers abroad.

Tabreez Verjee serves on the board of Kiva, a Silicon valley startup that combines microfinance with the Internet to create a global community of people connected through lending. The company allows lenders to lend amounts as small as $25 and choose who to lend to via the Internet. The funds are disbursed to small entrepreneurs and loans repaid using existing microfiance companies operating in different parts of the world. Kiva is working with Asasah microfinance in Pakistan.

Misabah Naqvi is the business development manager of Acumen fund which invests in social enterprises. She was originally a banker in Pakistan before joining the Acumen Fund. The fund is a business rather than a charity, and puts all of its returns back into the fund to support more social efforts based on sustainability, scale and social impact. In addition to investing in microfinance, the Acumen fund has invested in Saiban which is building low-cost housing in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

A recent World Bank report on housing in South Asia mentions lack of housing finance as one of the key impediments to more low to middle class housing.

It says that "Pakistan's finance-to-GDP ratio in below 1 percent. The ratio in developed countries is 50-70 percent, and 7 percent in India."

It adds that "in spite of active and robust financial sector reforms led by the State Bank of Pakistan [SBP] in the recent decade, the unweildy land administration environment, unprecedented rises in land prices, and inadequate mortgage lender experience with lower-income housing have prevented the market from advancing in the provision of housing and housing finance solutions."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune story on housing trends in Lahore, Pakistan:

...as the middle class of the city has expanded, real estate developers have now increasingly begun to offer more affordable variants of the gated housing community, primarily by reducing the size of the average house. Builders predict the fastest growth in demand for the 125-square-yard duplex or townhouse, which is made affordable by offering an instalment plan for the full price, which can start as low as Rs1.2 million.

“The higher end of the market is saturated. Now the industry needs to cater to the rapidly growing middle class that is seeking comfortable housing facilities,” said Abdul Aleem Khan, who runs a real estate development business based out of Lahore.

“After completing one project with mostly larger units, I announced that I would build one with smaller, more affordable units and an easy instalment plan,” he said. “The response was very positive. People clearly need affordable housing and this [middle class] is a very neglected market segment.”

Eden Housing, one of the largest real estate companies in Pakistan, was the first to create such housing schemes in the 1990s, which typically include better roads and infrastructure than the rest of the city they are in. Since then, this formula has been copied by many developers, who saw how rapidly Eden was able to sell off its inventory.

“To live in such a community, which provides you with good infrastructure and security, is relaxing,” said Mujahid Ali, a resident of Eden Avenue, a gated community in Lahore developed by Eden Housing. “I moved here two years ago and have the peace of mind that there is no street crime or robberies within the scheme’s premises. My job requires me to visit other cities and I used to worry for my family’s safety. But since moving here, I can travel without that tension.”

Many of the facilities have hired a full-time staff of maintenance staff. The security is often provided by one of the more than 600 private security companies that now hire out both equipment and guards to a Pakistani middle class that is increasingly concerned for its safety.

Lahore has at least two dozen of these gated communities. In keeping with the temperament of the people in the Central Punjab region, there are hardly any apartments. Most of the housing units are bungalows, townhouses or duplexes. Some of the largest units can be spread over as much as 1,200 square yards, with the smallest ones generally being no more than 125 square yards. Other common sizes include 150 and 200 square yard units.

Builders often locate these communities close to major thoroughfares. Yet as real estate within Lahore proper grows increasingly scarce, many developers have begun to create such offerings on the outskirts of the city, taking advantage of the improvements in the transportation infrastructure in Punjab that includes a highway network comparable to that in some parts of the developed world. Once Lahore’s Ring Road is completed, such housing projects will be able to offer even faster access to the inner city.

Khan, the real estate developer, says that nearly all of the buyers of houses in these projects tend to be buying their own primary residences. “These schemes are not really meant for investors,” he said.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/328177/the-rise-of-pakistans-middle-class-as-crime-rises-property-developers-beef-up-security/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a 2011 Dawn Op Ed on cement industry by Pakistan Cement Industry Association leader Tariq Saigol:

While the private sector performed magnificently whenever provided with an enabling environment, the response of the present government remains mired in confusion and inertia. Installed capacity was a paltry nine million tons in 1990, much of it being grossly inefficient as it was based on the outmoded wet process technology. As demand rose, the industry responded by launching a massive expansion programme. Over time, the installed capacity rose to nearly 44 million tons, a magnificent feat by any standards and a credit to the entrepreneurial spirit of the private sector.

However a number of adverse developments from 2007 onwards have brought the GDP growth to some two per cent. It is being reported by the media that the revised allocation after the latest cut, is a measly Rs180 billion. High inflation combined with slump in real estate and increase in the cost of production due to weakness of the dollar, resulting in a spike in coal prices, electricity and freight rates and accounting for 70 per cent of the cost, has adversely affected consumption while production cost soars, retarding construction activity in the private sector.

The current economic environment including low public spending has had disastrous consequences for the cement sector.

Local sales during the first half of the current fiscal year have witnessed an eight per cent year on year drop to around 10.1 million tons. Simultaneously, exports fell from 5.6 million tons to 4.6 million tons. The bad news does not end here. On top of low volumes, the average cement FOB prices fell to $48 per ton during the corresponding period— a level low enough to hardly break even.

Consequently cement sales through the sea route alone declined by about one third. Cement sales to India were also hard hit on account of non renewal of BIS certification (a quality control licence). Burdened with high energy and freight costs as well, the manufactures are desperate for some government support.

But no support is forthcoming. One would expect the government’s economic planners to appreciate the tremendous odds against which the industry is battling. If care of the cement industry is in short supply, then some thought may be given to the enormous exposure of the banks which have provided financing to the tune of $1.5 billion to the sector during 2003-2008.


http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/14/opportunities-missed.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a blogger' view Pakistan's cement industry:

Cement is one of the most important industries of Pakistan. Limestone and gypsum are the main raw materials for manufacturing of cement and they are present in abundance in Pakistan along with good supply of Natural gas. This great potential makes the country capable of producing cement not only for local use but also for export as well. Pakistan cement industry has exporting cement to the neighbouring countries like U.A.E, Afghanistan, India, Iraq and Russia.

At present there are 22 cement plants are operating in Pakistan with the production of approximately 9.403 million tonnes. Out of these 22 cement plants, 17 are private and 5 are publicr. 11 new plants are also in planning stage and the capacity of these plants is estimated around 12.988 million tonnes. The industry has achieved a growth of 32% with the domestic demand increasing by around 24.95% and the exports by nearly 111.86% according to the financial year end June 30, 2007 ratings. Recently the country has been able to export to some of the African countries as well.

Cement industry is divided into two main regions; the northern and the southern region. Northern region is producing 35.18 million tonnes and southern region is producing 8.89 million tonnes of cement per year.

Per capita consumption of cement is an indicator of rate with which any country is developing. Unfortunately per capita consumption of cement in Pakistan is less if we compare it with other developing countries. It is about 131 kg per person annually; whereas world average is about 270 kg. This less consumption is due to the negligence given to the construction sector. However in last few years consumption of cement showed some rise due to increased commercial activities, infrastructural development and increasing demand of constructing houses.

Local demand for the year 2007-2008 was 20 million tonnes. Pakistan has started exporting cement few years back and has earned repute as a premium quality cement producer in the global market in this short period. Pakistan exported around 7.716 million tonnes of cement in 2007-2008 and earned a foreign exchange of 459 million dollars. There is surely a great potential of growth in this industry in Pakistan.


http://pakistan360degrees.contentcreatorz.com/cement-industry-of-pakistan/

Riaz Haq said...

Here are highlights of a presentation on Pakistan's cement manufacturing sector:

Beginning with just 500,000 tons in 1947, Pakistan's cement production almost tripled from 16 million tons in 2000 to 44 million tons in 2010.

At 145 Kg per person, Pakistan's cement consumption is up from 75 Kg in 2003, but still about half of the world per capita consumption average of 270 Kg.

http://www.slideshare.net/msaadafridi/cement-industry-of-pakistan

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a news story about construction expo in Pakistan:

The first ever international construction materials, property, furniture, stone and technology exhibition titled, ‘Build Pakistan 2012’, commenced yesterday at Lahore Expo Centre, Pakistan. The event is open for trade/corporate visitors only till tomorrow i.e. March 12, 2012.
Federal Minister for Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan inaugurated the event. Fakt Exhibitions CEO Saleem Khan Tanoli and others were also present at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Dr Firdous said such events are helpful to revive the construction industry in Pakistan, which is mother of allied industry and plays a vital role in economic revival.
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Pakistan’s soft image and avenues of investment in the country.
Earlier, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr Nadeem Ul Haque also visited the exhibition. He went to different stalls and met domestic and international exhibitors. He said construction industry played vital role in the economic revival of any economy, so the Planning Commission had laid focus on this in its growth strategy.
Talking to the reporters, he said Planning Commission also recommended revitalisation of the construction in its growth strategy which was adopted by the government as well.
Dr Nadeem suggested changing in living style of Pakistanis for the promotion of residential flats. He said there was a need of policy change to run the construction industry and kick start construction activities in every town and cities. To a question about the growth rate, Dr Nadeem said at present the growth rate is 4.5 per cent, but Pakistan needs to grow at 9 to 10 per cent annually, just like its neighboring countries, like India and China.
The first Build Pakistan 2012 exhibition is featuring over 100 exhibitors, ranging from major global suppliers to regional agents and distributors of building and construction sector. As the largest event of its kind in Pakistan, Build Pakistan provides an unrivalled platform for architects, consultants, interior designers, builders, landscapers, developers, contractors, machinery and equipment manufacturers and suppliers from the public and private sectors to network, source and specify the latest building and construction products and services. The event provides the most comprehensive product offering for the building and construction industry.


http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/03/build-pakistan-2012-expo/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt of a report in The Nation on shares market rise on the news of increasing cement sales:

The local bourse broke the 14,000 level on an intraday basis for the first time since 16th May 2008. The positive sentiment was on the back of expectations of the issuance of the much awaited SRO on capital gain tax rules. Additional impetus also came after the release of the robust cement dispatches data and easing of Consumer Price Index (CPI) to 10.8 per cent in March-12. As a result, the KSE 100 Index gained 113 points (up 0.8 per cent WoW) to close at 13,875 level. Volumes improved by 5 per cent WoW to 387mn shares indicating the upbeat investor sentiments. Foreigners, on the other hand, offloaded shares worth $1.6 million. Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) released CPI figure for the month of March-12 during the week. CPI clocked in at 10.8 per cent YoY in March-12, down from 11.0 per cent in February-12. The marginal improvement in the headline inflation came on the back of ease in food prices.
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Release of robust cement dispatches numbers kept the cement stocks in the limelight once again. Consequently, LUCK and DGKC both outperformed the market by 11.6 per cent and 6.9 per cent respectively. Conversely, HUBC underperformed the market by 2.4 per cent on news that the company’s dividend payments may get delayed after FBR froze the company accounts.

Though the market increased by 0.8 per cent during the week but it managed to cross 14,000 points level on intraday basis during the week. Cement stocks remained in the limelight on the back of increase in export price to Afghanistan and expectations of healthy earnings. Restoration of gas supply to Engro Corp new plant also kept the stock in investors’ radar. While lower than expected inflation numbers for March did not have any impact on the market sentiments.
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As per monthly data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) total dispatches witnessed a modest rise of 4 per cent YoY to 23.63m tons in 9MFY12 as against the total dispatches of 22.81m tons in the corresponding period last year. During the 9MFY12 growth in overall industry dispatches was primarily on account of 8 per cent YoY rise in local dispatches to 17.39m tons in comparison of the local dispatches of 16.04m tons in the same period last year. Local dispatches were higher in north zone by 7 per cent YoY to 14.09m tons and in south zone by a sharp 13 per cent YoY to 3.30m tons. On MoM basis, local dispatches were seen substantially higher by 32 per cent MoM mainly because of the reconstruction activities in flood affected areas, normal construction and on going work on mega projects.


http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/business/09-Apr-2012/cement-sector-outperforms-others-at-kse

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Pak Observer report on British aid for flood affectees:

The UK Government will build 27,000 flood resistant permanent homes in Pakistan that can provide some 189,000 women, men and children a permanent roof in addition to helping 28,500 families to repair their homes damaged by last year’s floods. According to George Turkington, Head of DFID-Pakistan “the UK has provided shelter and built flood resistant houses for more than half-a-million children, women, and men who have lost their homes in last year’s devastating floods.”

“It is of deep concern that eight months after the devastating floods in Sindh many people still live in severely damaged or temporary shelter.. That’s why the UK is building flood resistant permanent shelter for another 27,000 families, and will help tens of thousands more to repair their homes”, DFID official said in a statement. “This is testament to the deep friendship and bond between the UK and Pakistan – we will always stand by and support each other,” George Turkington added.

As part of the continued aid to last year’s flood-hit people om Sindh the UK agencies is also offering packages of 405g of vegetable seeds, 2 kg of sunflower seeds.


http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=152015

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Nation story on awards for Bahria Town developments in Pakistan:

Bahria Town has won five highly prestigious awards under various categories in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the award ceremony for “Asia Pacific International Property Awards 2012-13”, the world’s most prestigious competition recognised as the highest standard of excellence throughout the global industry. Bahria Town was the only property developer from Pakistan to win the prestigious property awards. Out of the five accolades two received were in the “Five Star” category whilst the other three were ranked as “Highly Commended”, another great achievement and proud moment Bahria Town earns for Pakistan. The awards are a sure proof that Bahria Town standards are at par with the global standards, says a press release. Speaking on the achievement, Malik Riaz Hussain, Chairman Bahria Town, said “This is an extremely proud moment for not only Bahria Town but the entire nation. We are honored to be a part of a historical moment in real estate sector of Pakistan. The accolades are a testament of the exceptional standards maintained in all our developments. We will Inshallah continue to deliver world class projects exceeding everyone’s expectations.”

Bahria Golf City Islamabad triumphed with two Five Star honors. It won the “Best Five Star Golf Development” award for the master planning and provision of complete international standard facilities and amenities along with the 18-hole USGA standard golf course. While the Sheraton Golf & Country Club in Bahria Golf City won for “Best Five Star Leisure Architecture”. Bahria Golf City Islamabad is a branded golf resort community with Sheraton Hotel, villas, apartments and plots to be launched soon.

Bahria Town’s first project in Karachi, Bahria Town Icon, also to be Pakistan’s tallest high-rise building was ranked ”Highly Commended High-rise Architecture”. Green Valley, Pakistan’s first Premium Supermarket, also a project of Bahria Town with its flagship store at the Mall of Lahore, won a “Highly Commended Retail Interior” award for its outstanding retail environment.


http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/business/20-May-2012/bahria-town-puts-pakistan-on-global-real-estate-map

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a UNHCR report on new houses for Dera Ghazi Khan flooad affectees:

The UN refugee agency has joined local authorities in handing over ownership of 400 new one-room homes to a fishing community in Pakistan left homeless by devastating floods in 2010.

The families receiving the new shelters belong to the Jam community, which for decades has lived along the banks of the Indus River in makeshift huts, or simply under their boats. Their homes and what few belongings they had were washed away by the floods that inundated large areas of Pakistan in 2010. UNHCR wrote about their plight in a story published on this web site in May last year.

"We're not used to such houses," said Zakir Hussain, who moved into the Boat Model Town with his family several months ago. "At first, we experienced a bit of culture shock, but now we are so grateful to have a solid roof over our heads."

The land for the new development was provided by the government of Punjab province and each unit consists of one common room, a small kitchen and separate toilet.

The families' new ownership of land and property is complemented by the gradual restoration of many basic rights that this marginalized group have been denied for decades. There are also plans for them to receive national identity cards, and they will have their own community centre, a mosque and water supply as well as access to health care and education.

The shelters are part of nearly 4,000 one-room houses that UNHCR has constructed for flood victims in areas of Punjab that were damaged in the floods. The agency's flood response interventions targeted the most vulnerable among the flood victims, including people with disabilities, female headed households and families unable to rebuild their own houses.

"We used to drink river water and we had no health and sanitation facilities, no schooling for the children," said Zakir's wife, Bashir, recalling their former lives. "For us, who were born and grew up on the boats, having a home and being able to live a normal life is like a dream."

Speaking at the handover ceremony, UNHCR Representative in Pakistan Neill Wright thanked the government of Pakistan and, in particular the Punjab administration, for providing the land. "Access to shelter is a basic human right," he said. "I am proud that together with government and non-governmental partners, UNHCR has been able to support the government in assisting some of the most vulnerable victims of the devastating 2010 floods."

In addition to the shelters in Punjab, UNHCR has constructed nearly 30,000 additional homes in the provinces of Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which were also affected by floods in 2010 and again in 2011.


http://www.unhcr.org/4fbcd6f09.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Daily Beast article on Bahria Town gated communities in Pakistan:

This unlikely playground for wealthy Muslims is the vision of Khan's boss and father-in-law, Malik Riaz Hussain, a 59-year-old billionaire Pakistani contractor. Set between the capital Islamabad and its sister city Rawalpindi, Bahria Town is the "masterpiece" of his 40-year career, a $6 billion project he has funded solo to avoid having to deal with outside investors. Its nine phases, too vast to fully appreciate without standing on one of the plateaus that overlook them, will one day mesh together into a planned residential city for 1 million people. The project broke ground in 1996, and already, many of the 50,000 luxury properties in the development are owned by wealthy Pakistan expatriates who swooped into Bahria Town after 9/11 to buy second homes amid fears they would be driven out of places like London, New York and Los Angeles. Equally important was the security and serenity that Bahria Town provides, which drew Pakistan expats and a smattering of wealthy Arab Muslims away from places like Dubai.

The complex offers amenities (24-hour armed security, schools, hospitals, a fire department, retail shopping, restaurants and entertainment centers) that go above and beyond those in many of the gated communities that have become so popular in countries from the United States to Brazil. Given the nation's security issues, it's especially easy to understand why the rich here want to cloister themselves. Rival Pakistani developers, including one owned by the military, have begun copying Hussain's vision, constructing their own gated communities in the suburbs of major Pakistani cities such as Karachi. Hussain himself is developing a second such site in Lahore, where former prime minister Nawaz Sharif already lives in a gated community called Model Town.

Hussain's original inspiration for the mega-community came from the pre-planned town of Reston, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C. Materials and design inspiration have been imported from everywhere. In the center of roundabouts sit giant Spanish fountains costing $500,000 a pop; the main streets are lined with palm trees brought in from Thailand; grass for the local golf course comes from the U.S. state of Georgia; the education expert for the 1,100-acre university being built is from Seattle. "When I see America, when I see Britain, when I see Turkey, when I see Malaysia," Hussain says, "the only thing I think is, 'Why not Pakistan?' "

This is Hussain's key notion—that Bahria Town is a world away from Taliban and Qaeda militants, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and weekly suicide bombings. "This is the real Pakistan," Hussain told NEWSWEEK.


http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2008/02/23/safe-behind-their-walls.html

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an LA Times story on gated communities in Pakistan:

Reporting from Rawalpindi, Pakistan — The houses and manicured lawns slope up the artificial hill edged by unbroken sidewalks and white picket fences, as children play and residents exchange pleasantries.

This sprawling subdivision called Bahria Town — "Come home to exclusivity," it boasts — operates its own garbage trucks, schools, firehouse, mosques, water supply and rapid-response force — a kind of functioning state within a nonfunctioning one. And all supplied without the bribes you'd pay on the outside, residents say.

"I like living here," said Abdul Rashid, a sixtysomething retired government worker. "It's like you're in a little protected country — tidy, utilities work, the family can relax. If there's any problem, you just ring up security."

The jarring presence of a middle- and upper-class retreat in this increasingly violent nation has been paved, in part, by the involvement of the country's powerful military. Benefiting from laws put in place during British Empire days to reward friendly armies and militias with land grants, the military now controls about 12% of Pakistani state land, by some accounts. And its privileged position allows it to partner with and otherwise route valuable tracts to favored developers.

Bahria Town and its partner, the military-run developer Defense Housing Authority, occupy twice as much land as Rawalpindi, the garrison city 30 minutes from the capital, Islamabad.

In the posh Safari Villas subdivision, past Sunset Avenue and College Road, Mohammad Javed, 69, surveys his pocket garden before heading into his three-bedroom corner house with a beige sofa ensemble and Samsung flat-screen TV. Houses in the neighborhood run from $25,000 to $60,000, well out of reach of most Pakistanis.

Bahria Town has been a hit not only with moneyed Pakistanis but also with returnees. Javed, who owned a gas station in Canada before retiring, hopes to replicate his North American lifestyle. Bahria's protective walls bring security, he said, although he still won't let his grown children visit lest something bad happen beyond its confines. "We meet in Thailand or Canada," he said.
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"No one besides the military has such access," she said. Bahria Town advertised on a recent Sunday for retired major generals and lieutenant generals to fill positions at the company, Siddiqa said: "These are his keys" to greater access.

But for resident and food industry entrepreneur Shaheryar Eqbal, these are minor issues relative to what Bahria Town delivers.

"The government should take these communities as a model and replicate them," he said. "The army already has a joint venture with Bahria Town. Things work. Pakistan must get through this terrorism phase, but this could really be the future."


http://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/06/world/la-fg-pakistan-gated-communities-20111007

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET report on housing market in Pakistan:

In Pakistan, average monthly expenditure on rent per household has increased at an annual rate of over 13% for the last nine years, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

A look at the Household Integrated Economic Survey (HIES) released by the PBS reveals that an average Pakistani family spent Rs888 every month on house rent in 2001-02; which rose to Rs2,693 in 2010-11; signifying an annualised increase of 13.12% over a period of nine years.

Interestingly, in the same period, annual rise in average house rent in rural areas was 2.7% higher than the corresponding increase in urban areas – even though 85.63% of the populace of rural areas lives in owner-occupied houses. In contrast, 75.79% of the urban population lives in houses that they own.

Urban housing

The highest number of people living in rented houses in urban areas belongs to the third quintile of the population in terms of income distribution at 22.38%. The third quintile in income distribution is representative of the middle class in a society.

The lowest number of people living in rented houses in urban areas – 15.93% – belongs to the fifth quintile of the income distribution. This suggests that the richest people in urban areas are most likely to own the house they live in.

The HIES figures also reveal that the poorest people, belonging to the first quintile in urban areas, end up spending 83% more on house rent as compared to a comparable group living in rural areas. Similarly, the richest people belonging to the fifth quintile living in urban areas tend to spend 220% more on average house rent per household, as compared to a comparable segment of the population living in rural areas.

Home ownership and per-capita incomes

“Rise in per-capita income does not seem to display any correlation with the percentage of owner-occupied houses in Pakistan,” economist Kaiser Bengali said, while talking to The Express Tribune. “In many cases, someone who works as a peon and earns a low monthly income can still own a house in Pakistan. This is so because people belonging to certain professions – such as the civil service, military, police, government teachers, journalists etc – receive free or subsidised land from the government or other trusts.”

Data supports Bengali’s view. Pakistan’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, formerly known as the Gross National Product per capita, increased by 9.62% annually between 2002 and 2011; but the number of persons living in owner-occupied houses over the same period remained almost stagnant at around 79% of the population.

Bengali says an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis can afford to live in their own houses because the free-market mechanism does not actually operate in the country’s real estate sector. Many people receive land on subsidised rates, he informs us, because of professional affiliations. “The government announces housing schemes regularly for its employees in different ministries and departments. That enables people to acquire land at negligible costs,” he says; adding that land is the primary expense in real estate, because physical structures can be built gradually over an extended period of time.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/414818/real-estate-the-pakistani-housing-and-accommodation-market/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Gulf News on growth of upscale real estate developments in Pakistan:

Apart from ultra-modern residential and commercial projects undertaken on a massive scale, the concept of gated communities ensconced in the lap of extravagance isn’t just changing the dynamics of Pakistan’s luxury realty segment, but also the way residents of these projects are living in the country’s major cities like Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore. “The luxury property market in Pakistan has traditionally been unorganised and fragmented. However, the recent past has seen consolidation of a few developers who are stretching their capacities to the maximum to meet the growing market demand,” says Naveed Merchant, Managing Director, Merchant & Associates.

“REIT [real estate investment trust] regulations are in the process of formulation which will encourage large projects with sourced financing. While the Pakistan real estate market still lacks transparency and liquidity compared to more mature real estate markets, REITs would provide an opportunity to diversify the investor base in the sector through a regulated, tradable investment,” he says.

Nida Zahoor, Group Marketing Manager, Bahria Town, touted to be Asia’s largest private real estate developer, also vouches for this maturity in the market. “Generally the Pakistani luxury home buyer in this day and age, expects nothing but the best in quality. Most of them have travelled extensively to countries abroad, making them abreast with the latest trends in construction. Then there is also the growing middle class which is not as aware, but that too is changing over time” she says.

Zahoor says there is a shortage of one million homes in Pakistan with a 0.6 million (backlog) demand growing every year, which includes in it a large ratio of demand for luxury homes. In the next five years, predicts Zahoor, Pakistan will experience a tremendous growth in the luxury realty segment as awareness among the people, the trends, the policies by the government will give a fillip to this segment. So, what would Bahria Town’s benchmark project be? “It would be Bahria Golf City, Pakistan’s first ever branded luxury resort designed over a total area of 5.5 million square metres,” Zahoor says.

Bahria Golf City is expected to accommodate 18,000 people in about 7,500 housing units. “From architects such as BEAMS construction to Nayyar Ali Dada, interior designers such Wingchair, Cracknel landscape designers; and Kroll security consultants; we are working with the best in the world who have been involved in prestigious projects like the Burj Al Arab, KL towers, Atlantis Dubai and Jumeirah Beach Resort,” says Zahoor.

Bahria Town isn’t the only player in the market, there are several interesting offerings such as Lake City, a 2,104-acre development on the outskirts of Lahore, which has a plan to have almost 4,000 residences, hundreds of shops, malls and dozens of office buildings. “When the project was envisaged in 2004, it was obvious that future developments in real estate in Lahore could only take place towards the south and south west. The trend in Pakistan, outside Karachi, is not towards vertical expansion but horizontal expansion,” says Farouk Khan, ED Coordination, Lake City Holdings and Rida Sarfraz, GM Marketing and Events, Lake City Holdings.

Besides, there are other attractive projects such as Defence Raya, a 400-acre development and The Centaurus, a project featuring a five-level shopping mall, two residential complexes, the corporate complex and a luxurious five-star hotel in Islamabad...


http://gulfnews.com/gn-focus/pakistan/luxury-property-market-soars-to-new-heights-1.1061693

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET story on Naya Mazimabad, a new gated community in Karachi:

After many years in Karachi, a housing society was launched on Friday for people who may want to escape the commercialisation of their neighbourhoods but cannot afford to buy pricier property in say DHA, PECHS or Mohammad Ali Housing Society.

Naya Nazimabad City, a project of stockbroker and businessman Arif Habib, is located at a drive of 20 minutes from Water Pump Chowrangi in Federal B. Area. Another big broker, Aqeel Karim Dhedhi, has also put his weight behind the project.

Naya Nazimabad’s sponsors want to outdo Defence Housing Authority (DHA) and Bahria by completing the project in time.

“We are not targeting the people who live in Defence or Bath Island,” said Ovais Sohail, the project manager. “Our clientele will come from Gulshan, New Karachi and Nazimabad.”

The project will be developed in phases with the first one to be finished by 2015. “This entire city will take ten to eleven years to complete.”

Sponsors have hired around 150 personnel of the Frontier Constabulary for security of the project, which is located near the violence-prone Qasba Colony and between Pukhtunabad and Baloch Goth. The number of FC guards will be increased once residents move in, an official said.

Naya Nazimabad, with hills on one side and Manghopir Lake on the other, will house 300,000 people in single-storey units and flats. Since the development of the homes depends on demand, developers were unable to say exactly how many houses will be built.

Hospital, schools and markets are part of the project.

Naya Nazimabad will have its own bylaws. “It’s not like you can buy the plot and construct whatever type of house you feel like,” said Sohail. “The bylaws need to be followed. We will continue to work as the administrator.”

A single-storey house covering 160 square yards is being offered for 3 million rupees, with a 1.2 million-rupee debt component.

The chairman of AKD Securities, Aqeel Dhedhi, said that the project drew on inspiration from the Askari and Navy Housing Scheme projects. “There are no gated societies in Karachi,” he claimed. “Naya Nazimabad will have gates on all three societies that will be properly guarded."
------------
According to him, a well-developed society needs over 1,000 acres of land. “Getting that in Karachi is near-impossible. The city stands divided on ethnic lines. And for all those schemes coming on the Super Highway, security remains a concern.”

Naya Nazimabad is spread over 1,200 acres, most of which belonged to Javedan Cement plant, a company of the Arif Habib Group.

While manager Ovais Sohail was sure that they would be able to provide basic amenities, a lot of questions need to be answered. Karachi’s water utility is under increasing criticism for failing to meet the needs of tens of thousands of people. How would it ensure a supply to Naya Nazimabad? Sohail explained that it helped that they are located right near Hub, the dam from where Karachi gets its water. “Both the main supply conduits pass near the project,” he added. “And I don’t see any reason for us to be denied the supply.”


http://tribune.com.pk/story/294569/naya-nazimabad-city-big-business-group-launches-gated-housing-society-near-sakhi-hasan/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an ET report on Emaar Alma Townhomes project in Islamabad:

With Spanish and Portuguese architectural designs, imported electrical and sanitary fittings, ironmongery for doors and design-fitted kitchens, Alma Townhomes offer dream homes for those wanting to invest in real estate.

The second phase of the housing project, that was opened for buyers by international real estate developer Emaar on Saturday, saw a large number of potential home owners from twin cities showing up. The two-day event is being held at a sales centre inside Emaar’s 400-acre gated community — Canyon Views.

Situated on the Islamabad Highway near the Grand Trunk Road (DHA Phase-II Extension), the Alma houses target a major segment in the housing market – end users who are looking for an “affordable” house in a safe and sustainable community, according to Emaar Pakistan Head of Development and Projects Shairyar Salim. The company has completed the first phase, which is fully occupied.

The earthquake-resistant housing units, which occupy eight to 12 marlas and have three to four bedrooms, start with a price of Rs14 million, which is slightly high compared to Bahria Town’s Safari Villas and Defence Housing Authority (DHA). A 10-marla house Safari Villas and DHA cost Rs12 million and Rs11.5 million on average respectively, according to a Rawalpindi-based real estate agent Waseem Kiyani.

He said that a ready-made house on 10 marlas in Bahria Enclave can cost around Rs15 million with a one-year payment plan.

Facilities at these housing projects seem comparable, although Salim believes Emaar’s designs are more “advanced”, as they draw on the developer’s experience of making international housing projects.

The Alma Townhomes might also have a superior security apparatus. The integrated community has a three-tier security plan which includes two outer boundary walls and a security patrol on the streets.

“With Emaar, you’re confident that your money will not go down the drain,” said Asif Akhtar, a resident of the Alma Townhomes Phase-I who works for the Army Welfare Trust.

“They deliver on their promises, and their quality of construction and services are simply amazing,” he added.

The houses will be made available under a two-year payment plan and the construction is expected to be completed within that time frame, said Emaar Pakistan Head of Sales and Marketing Uzair Adil.

According to Salim, houses in Phase-I were quick to sell out and a similar response is expected from the second phase. The new community will also have access to facilities that were constructed for the first phase, such as a school and markets.

“The advantage of Phase-II is that the infrastructure is already present and the roads are almost complete,” he added.

Salim went on to explain that the houses will be built in groups of 50 to 60 units, with each group having a park, play area and BBQ area. Plans to build a hospital, shopping malls, community club houses and mosques are also underway.

Shaukat Zia, a civil engineer from Rawalpindi, who was present at the launch with his family, seemed quite impressed after being briefed about the project.

However, he was concerned about the investment, saying that a house in the townhomes seemed only feasible for the elite.

Salim said Emaar is looking to sell around 150 units in the first batch, which is approximately one-third of the total units.

Emaar Pakistan has invested over $2.4 billion in the country since 2007, according to information available on its website.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/437366/coming-soon-for-islooites-a-new-housing-community/

http://www.emaar.com/pakistan/

Riaz Haq said...

5,000 flats planned for Islamabad, reports Express Tribune:

In a move to address the growing shortage of affordable housing in Islamabad, the government has approved an instalment-based housing project in the capital.

The project, which has similarities to the Ashiana Housing Project introduced by the Punjab government, was approved by Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Friday.

Explaining the project, Housing Secretary Kamran Lashari told The Express Tribune that work on the “much-needed project” will begin within three to four months.

During a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat on Friday, Lashari informed the PM that between 3,500 and 5,000 flats would be constructed on some 50 acres of land owned by Pakistan Railways.

Lashari, who is a former chairman of the Capital Development Authority (CDA), said that the land to be used for the proposed project near Sabzi Mandi in Sector I-11 is not disputed and that the ministry will negotiate with the Railways authorities over its acquisition.

The total estimated cost of the project is Rs28 billion. The housing secretary also informed Ashraf that only 28,000 housing units were available for government servants against a total demand of 50,000.

Approving the project in principle, PM Ashraf constituted a task force comprising representatives of the housing, railways and finance ministries along with the CDA to assess the price of the land and directed the task force to present its recommendations within a week.

According to a handout issued after the meeting, Ashraf said the government recognises the acute shortage of housing for government servants in the capital. He said this needs to be addressed with out-of-the-box solutions so that some relief can be provided to the bureaucrats.

Notably, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has not developed any new sectors in the capital for over 23 years.

“We need to work out criteria for allotment of flats and ensure their construction according to international standards and affordability,” said the prime minister, adding that due to the shortage of land for construction in Islamabad, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) should encourage high-rise buildings in the city.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/425848/accommodation-woes-after-years-of-wait-housing-for-govt-servants-on-cards/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune story of real estate boom in Faisalabad, Pakistan:

Yet unlike stories of most other business shutdowns, Crescent Sugar Mills’ decline came not because of economic slowdown, but rather the economic success of the city – and especially the neighbourhood – it is located in. The factory is 100-acre complex in Nishatabad, a neighbourhood in Faisalabad that used to be on the outskirts of the city, but has increasingly become host to residences that house the city’s growing affluent middle class.

In the 1960s, Nishatabad was on the outskirts of the city, which allowed farmers to bring their sugar cane to the factory easily, using large trailers and trucks. As the decades wore on and Faisalabad’s middle class grew, however, many of the outer areas of the city began going through gentrification, and became residential neighbourhoods.

With the advent of more residences, the city government began placing restrictions on the movement of trucks and trailers that brought in the sugarcane to the factory. Many of the roads that had been used by the trucks were blocked off altogether for heavy traffic. As a result, the company’s logistics cost increased significantly, making it difficult for the mill to compete in the highly commoditised sugar market.

“With every passing crushing season, our mill’s financial health was going from bad to worse. We had no choice but to close down the unit permanently,” said Naveed Gulzar, a director at Crescent Sugar Mills.

But the higher transportation cost appears to be only one reason for the mill’s closure. Another, more compelling reason, appears to be the gentrification of the neighbourhood itself. The Crescent Group owns 150 acres in Nishatabad, with the sugar mill taking up 100 acres and a paper board mill (shut down about a decade ago) taking up the remaining land.

While both of these businesses were going through squeezed margins, the value of the real estate on which they were sitting was skyrocketing. At a certain point, it no longer made sense to manufacture low-margin commodities on prime residential real estate less than 10 minutes drive from the Faisalabad city centre.

And so the group has decided to shut down the factory, sell off the machinery, bulldoze the factory buildings and instead construct a residential colony, with all sorts of amenities, including a shopping mall, a hospital, schools, and colleges, said Gulzar.

The Crescent Group is not looking to exit the manufacturing business altogether but will no longer be in the sugar business. Instead, the board of directors has decided to open up a cotton spinning mill – that manufactures cotton yarn – for export. The factory, however, will be in a rural area, for which the group has already bought land.

“This land is too expensive to set up a factory here,” said Gulzar. “It is prime Faisalabad real estate.”


http://tribune.com.pk/story/434474/shifting-trends-economic-boom-shuts-down-faisalabads-oldest-sugar-mill/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a press release of Hitor Group in Pakistan:

Hitor Group Inc. is pleased to announce it has executed an agreement with Orient Renewable Energy (Ptv) Ltd. relating to the Hitor technologies including a Manufacturing Plant for the fabrication of construction components and systems for housing and International Housing Development Projects.

Hitor will oversee the development, construction, commissioning and operations of a plant for construction components and systems including but not limited to a manufacturing plant for Structural Steel Systems™ or other Hitor technologies. Orient Renewable Energy (Ptv) Ltd. will contribute it's contacts, licenses (as needed), agreements and relational know how and development work to date as well as overall Primary Project Development services in the provision of process development, negotiations with the local Government and approval authorities of and the financing required for the manufacturing plant.


http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/hitor-group-inc-executes-licensing-agreement-in-pakistan-otcqb-hitr-1767513.htm

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune report on extraordinary customer interest in Bahria Town projects in Karachi:

People from all over Pakistan gave an overwhelming response to Bahria Town Karachi Project, according to the registration process which concluded on Friday.
According to a press release, people swarmed the Bahria Town offices, branches and customer support centres as soon as it announced the registration process. However, the registration process reached its peak as the deadline approached.
The BT has announced three projects – Bahria Town Icon, Bahria Town Tower and Bahria Town Karachi – in the megacity with the aim to contribute to the economic activity in the country and lay foundation of a prosperous Pakistan.
“The Bahria Town commits to complete and hand over the projects on the stipulated time,” says the press release. All projects will have 100% power backup, a foolproof security system, spacious parking and complete maintenance.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/613784/bahria-town-karachi-projects-received-overwhelming-response/

Mohammad Najeeb said...

Greetings... a bit about green housing tecknologies in pakistan http://eliteconstructions.pk/green-homes.html