Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Pakistan PPP GDP Nears Trillion Dollar Mark in 2015

Pakistan's PPP GDP is nearing trillion US$ mark in 2015, according to the latest figures available from the International Monetary Fund.

Nominal GDP based on current exchange rates is reported at $270 billion in 2015, up from $246 billion in 2014, an increase of $24 Billion.  Pakistan's per capita nominal GDP for 2015 is $1,427.085, up from $1,325.790 in 2014.

The nation's PPP GDP increased from $884 billion to $930 billion, an increase of $46 billion. Pakistan per capita PPP GDP is $4,902 for 2015, up from $4,749 in 2014, according to the IMF.

A dramatic decline in terrorist violence in Pakistan since the launch of Pakistan Army's Operation Zarb-e-Azb and a big drop in international oil prices have helped drive the country's economic recovery in recent months.

Among the clearest signs of recovery are increasing auto sales, growing smartphone purchases and cement consumption.

Pakistan auto industry is booming. Toyota, Suzuki and Honda factories are working around the clock in the southern port city of Karachi and eastern city of Lahore -- yet customers can still wait for up to four months for new vehicles to be delivered, according to media reports. At the same time, increased construction activity is visible everywhere in the country. First 5 months of the current fiscal year have seen sales of 93,570 cars, an increase of 66% over the same period last year.

Over 2 million 3G subscriptions and a corresponding number of smartphones are being bought every month in the country. More than half the people in Pakistan are expected to own a smartphone within the next few years.

Domestic cement sales have jumped by a phenomenal 16.89% to 4.29 million tons during July and August 2015 from 3.67 million tons shipped in the same period last year.

After its September meeting, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said the rise in fixed investment financing in the energy generation and distribution, chemicals and services sectors signal possible increase in their productive activity in coming months. “The implementation of infrastructure development and energy projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will further enhance the improving investment environment. Therefore, there is anticipation of higher economic activity in 2015-16, which is expected to boost credit uptake,” it said.

Even as its economy recovers, it is unfortunate that Pakistan continues to lag behind its South Asian neighbors in human development.  The latest 2015 human development report from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) shows that the country's leadership is continuing to fail its people, particularly the youth, by its lack of focus and underinvestment in education and health care sectors. There can be no sustainable economic growth without investing in human development. It requires immediate attention.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Auto Industry

Record Cement Sales Raise Hope Of Pakistan Economic Recovery

Credit Suisse Bullish on Pakistan Cement Industry

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Pakistan Army Acts Against Terrorists

Pakistan Middle Class Larger & Richer Than India's

Top Global Investor Bullish on Pakistan

The Role of Cement Industry in Economic Development of Pakistan


Majumdar said...

Good news, sir. And with terrorism under control and CPEC work in full swing, things can only get better. Education reforms and bringing power sector under control should be priority areas now.


19640909rk said...

Dear Riaz Sab

Pakistan has not even conducted proper census operation since the last 20 years. How do you expect the figures provided are correct? Mostly the ruling governments tend to dress their figures to retain feel good factor and fool the public. It has happened during Musharff's regime too.

Riaz Haq said...

19640909rk: "How do you expect the figures provided are correct? Mostly the ruling governments tend to dress their figures to retain feel good factor and fool the public."

Independent economists who have studied the economic data from Pakistan govt believe the official figures understate the GDP.

M. Ali Kemal and Ahmed Waqar Qasim, economists at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), have published their research on estimates of the size of Pakistan's informal or underground economy.

Kemal and Qasim explore several published different approaches for sizing Pakistan's underground economy and settle on a combination of PSLM (Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement) consumption data and mis-invoicing of exports and imports to conclude that the country's "informal economy was 91% of the formal economy in 2007-08".

State Bank of Pakistan Annual Report 2014 said as follows:

"In terms of LSM growth, a number of sectors that are showing strong performance; (for example, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector; plastic products; buses and trucks; and even textiles), are either under reported, or not even covered. The omission of such important sectors from official data coverage, probably explains the apparent disconnect between overall economic activity in the country and the hard numbers in LSM."

Riaz Haq said...

12 #startups from #Pakistan that raised funding in 2015. #technology …

1. Zamzama Property Group
Zamzama Property Group, which is the parent company of real estate sites Zameen and Bayut, raised US$9 million in series B financing, marking the largest investment in a Pakistan-based startup this year.

2. Naseeb Networks
Naseeb Networks is the holding company of job portals Rozee and Mihnati, concentrating on Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, respectively. The startup raised a US$6.5 million series C round, bringing its total funding to US$8.5 million.

3. Wifigen
Wifigen, a startup that provides wifi solutions for businesses in exchange for social media logins, raised an undisclosed amount of seed investment valuing the company at US$1 million. The angel investor behind this round is John Russell Patrick – a former executive at IBM and an early-stage investor in Uber.

4. Bookme
Bookme, an online platform for booking bus, cinema, and event tickets, secured an undisclosed amount of seed investment from Element Ventures, which valued the company at US$4 million. The startup was previously one of the Startup Arena finalists at Tech in Asia Jakarta 2014.

5. EatOye
EatOye, an online food delivery service, was acquired by Rocket Internet’s Foodpanda as part of a regional acquisition spree to assert its dominance in the sector. The startup was a late entrant to the online delivery space in Pakistan, but had started to seriously threaten Foodpanda’s position at the top of the perch – hence the buyout.

6. Forrun
Delivery and logistics startup Forrun was acquired by technology services company Arpatech. The acquisition was made in line with a concentration on ecommerce, logistics, and technology verticals.

7. Markhor
Markhor, which makes handcrafted artisanal shoes, stole the show this year when it became the first startup from Pakistan to be accepted into Y Combinator, thus receiving US$120,000 in seed capital. Waqas Ali, founder of Markhor, had told Tech in Asia that the acceleration was aimed at strengthening Markhor’s position as a luxury lifestyle brand.

8. Interacta
Interacta, a startup which is trying to redefine conventional broadcasting by making television shows interactive, raised US$220,000 in seed funding from Fatima Ventures. The startup’s app, which is similar to music detection service Shazam, analyzes sound coming from television channels and pushes content accordingly. For example, in cooking shows, users can view the recipe directly on their phones. Broadcasters can also use the app for targeted advertisements.

9. Sportskot
Sportskot is a marketplace for sporting goods manufactured in Pakistan. There’s a large, fragmented industry of sports apparel and equipment, and the startup is trying to bring them all under one umbrella to assist in visibility and appeal to international clientele. Sportskot raised US$140,000 in seed funding to expand its operations.

10. MySmacED
MySmacED, a startup in the edtech space, is a communication platform that enables real-time information sharing between parents, teachers, students, and administrators. It creates a “moderated social network,” while also assisting with feedback on child performance and easier information sharing between teachers and students. The startup raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding valuing the company at US$2 million.

11. AutoGenie
Autogenie is Pakistan’s first on-demand car service and maintenance startup. Other than these basic services, it also offers premium members things like roadside assistance, regulatory and tax compliance, and car analytics. The startup raised US$100,000 in seed investment from PakWheels.

12. Mezaaj
Mezaaj is a platform for fashion designers to showcase their work and get noticed in the digital sphere. .... The startup secured an undisclosed amount of seed investment, valuing the company at US$500,000.

r_sundar said...

A few million here and there is hardly a sign of revival.
Days not go by in Karachi, where business have to close shutters for one protest or the other. A massive revolution is needed in Pakistan bottom up. But there is hardly any in sight. Worse, the youth with no future in sight get attracted to radicalism, and simply aggravating the problem.
If one place to start, it would be to abolish the Zamindari system and reign in on the Religious schools. Of course, easier said than done.

Iyengar Thaligai said...

A safe and prosperous Pakistan is the best antidote to ISIS and the spread of radical Islam. It would be even better if there could be a Middle East and South Asia Zone where people from all over south asia can move to and work anywhere else. If we had high speed rail and high quality motorways criss-crossing from Istanbul to Dhaka or Bangkok, imagine what a boost that will be for economic growth.

Riaz Haq said...

Improved Security Situation Drives Property Boom in #Karachi #Pakistan. 22% jump in prices #KarachiOperation

Anyone who bought property during the bloody carnage in Pakistan’s biggest city over the past few years is now cashing in.
Property prices are growing faster in Karachi than in any other major Pakistani city this year as the streets become safer following a security blitz that began in September 2013. Police have counted 68 murder-free days from August 2014 until early December, and the average number of daily killings has dropped to four from about seven.

“Karachi’s market, especially, has us on the edge of our seats,” said Zeeshan Ali Khan, chief executive officer of, which claims to run Pakistan’s largest property website. Sales have “grazed peak after peak” following the security operation, he said.
The safer streets reflect efforts by Pakistani authorities to clamp down on terrorism and organized crime that has deterred investment. More commerce in one of the world’s fastest-growing megacities will also help the national economy: Karachi generates about half of Pakistan’s tax revenue and is home to the country’s stock exchange and central bank.
“Now people have hope things will get better, and Karachi is the place they should be investing,” Arif Habib, chairman of Karachi-based conglomerate Arif Habib group, said in a Dec. 7 interview. “One year ago people were concerned to invest in their businesses in such a situation, or even expand.”
22 Percent Jump
Average property prices in Karachi increased 22 percent to 7,234 rupees ($70) per square foot in October compared with a year earlier, according to By contrast, real estate prices rose 14 percent in Lahore and fell 5.5 percent in Islamabad, the capital.
A reduction in extortion is helping to drive demand in middle-class neighborhoods of Karachi, according to Faraz Arif, head of research and marketing at Arif Habib Dolmen REIT Management Ltd. Previously, some potential buyers would have to pay about 20 percent of the purchase price to gangs in cash, he said.

“For them the difference is significant," Arif said in an interview. “Now those people are more confident.”
Pakistan’s economy is forecast to expand 5.5 percent, the most in nine years, as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and a more assertive army chief take steps to tackle power shortages and Islamic militancy that have held back growth. His government is also seeking to narrow the fiscal deficit and sell stakes in state-run companies to meet conditions on a $6.6 billion International Monetary Fund loan.
Army Chief
Better security in Karachi is key to Pakistan’s long-term growth prospects. The city once served as the base for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York. Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was murdered here in 2002. More than 13,000 people were killed in Karachi since January 2011 -- almost double the number of U.S. military personnel that died in the Iraq and Afghan wars.
While Nawaz Sharif’s government authorized the police in Karachi and paramilitary forces to clean up the city, much of the credit for the improved security has gone to army chief Raheel Sharif, no relation to the prime minister.

Since Taliban militants killed more than 130 students at a military school last December, the military has stepped up a campaign to flush them out of areas along the Afghan border. In Karachi, authorities have also gone after criminal gangs and political parties in a bid to stop turf wars that fomented the violence.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Karachi’s biggest political party known as MQM, has accused security forces of targeting its members instead of militant groups like the Taliban and Islamic State.
Outlook Mixed
“The operation should be focused on them," said Aminul Haq, an MQM spokesman. He added that his party was the first to support the crackdown and fully respects the army, paramilitary forces and police.

nizar said...

Pakistan Zindabad! Pakistan GDP is 1 trillion soon and India is only 2 trillion - I think because of poor development. All the united nation development figures are made up by america or hindu and zionist people who are anti pakistan at the IMF

Riaz Haq said...

nizar: "Pakistan GDP is 1 trillion soon and India is only 2 trillion"

That's not correct. India's PPP GDP is $7.4 trillion, ranking it the third biggest economy in the world.

Anonymous said...

PPP is a feelgood vapourware statistic for underdeveloped countries.

What matters is nominal GDP and consumption per capita

Newsprint/Paper(Very good proxy for actual literacy)

Luckily no one in India takes this we are #3 in PPP nonsense seriously.

The informal target is to be a nominal GDP world #3 by 15 Aug 2022(75th independence day).Now that would be something.Though a very tough ask as basically we are talking trebling the economy in 7 years.Very unlikely to happen.

I would suggest Pakistan take a long hard look at becoming a G-20 economy in the next 20 years.

PPP obsession won't do!

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "PPP is a feelgood vapourware statistic for underdeveloped countries....What matters is nominal GDP and consumption per capita"

I disagree. Here's why:

The bulk of any country's GDP is based on its domestic consumption of services such as retail, health, human services (haircuts, cleaning, cooking), information technology, education, hotels, restaurants, banks, etc. These services cost a lot more in developed economies of the West than in the developing economies in Asia and Africa such as India, Pakistan, Nigeria, etc.

Such services are priced in local currency and use exchange rates very different from the official exchange rates. For example, the World Bank's ICP (income comparisons program) for 2011 showed that Pakistan’s PPP conversion rate for GDP was 19.1 Rupees to the dollar in 2005 and 24.4 in 2011.

Over time, as the countries become more developed, the prices for services increase and so does the nominal GDP in terms of official exchange rates and PPP factor ultimately reaches one.

So the PPP GDP is much more relevant for domestic service-based economy.

Riaz Haq said...

The State Bank of Pakistan has pointed out a number of weaknesses in economic policies, including energy strategy, and has asked the government to address the weaknesses.

Pakistan's economy grew 4.2 per cent in fiscal 2015, but investors remain wary of systemic weaknesses, the central bank said in its annual report, urging the government to adopt clearer, more consistent policies on industry and trade. Growth for the financial year to June 2015 fell short of a target of 5.1 per cent, it was slightly better than the 4.0 percent achieved in 2014, the bank said.

According to the report, the economy needs to expand at least six per cent each year to absorb new entrants into the work force from Pakistan's growing population of 190 million.

“Despite a sharp reduction in interest rates and an incre¬ase in public investments, private investments did not recover. Investors' confidence demands the presence of a predictable macroeconomic environment with well-coordinated and consistent long-term industrial and trade policies,” the report said. Another factor daunting do¬me¬stic and foreign investors is the state of domestic energy supplies. Businesses have suffered over the past few years because of frequent power and gas outages.

Although the situation improved slightly in a couple of years, several industries like leather, paper and glass, are still not able to produce at optimal capacities.

“At its core, this shortage of energy also reflects the lack of a coherent policy,” said the report. The absence of an export-oriented growth strategy or a rational import-substitution focus, over the years has resulted in recurring stress on the external account, which did not allow the economy to move towards a high growth trajectory, said the report.

Anonymous said...

"So the PPP GDP is much more relevant for domestic service-based economy."

Agreed! however both India and Pakistan right now need to move from pre-dominantly Agrarian economies to Heavy Industrial economies first! like China did during 90s. Then only services and hence PPP GDP will make sense. Domestic consumption of services will only make sense once an Industrial based economy becomes successful. Till then PPP based GDP is a false hope, especially looking at a per-capita level.

Anonymous said...

as per this, inflation will be higher than the GDP growth in 2016.

Riaz Haq said...

2015 Recap by S. Mahmud Ali of LSE

Islamabad reinstated the death penalty, beginning with the execution of around 500 death row convicts. The army boosted its Zarb-e-Azb and Khyber-I operations, and military-run anti-terrorism courts speeded up trials. Taliban militants responded by spilling more civilian blood. Fearing retribution, thousands of Afghan refugees fled back across the Durand Line.

Outrage united an oft-divided Pakistan. Opposition leaders Imran Khan and Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri ended their campaigns against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. But Sharif’s authority in national security and strategic diplomacy suffered grievous erosion. Demonstrating their resilient vigour, TTP militants continued attacking ‘soft’ targets, notably a mosque at another Peshawar garrison.

Pakistan’s economy, too, presented a mixed picture. With its GDP growing at only 4.4 per cent, exports falling and inflation declining, Islamabad faced major challenges. To complicate matters, Pakistan’s population is expected to reach 227 million in 2025 with 63 per cent below age 30. Acute energy shortages, a low revenue base, modest infrastructure, poor public health and educational services as well as continuing insecurity threaten Pakistan’s prospects. Yet the one bright spark of 2015, a promise of US$46 billion in investments, flashed during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit.

Xi pledged to help build the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) — a road and railway network linking China’s Xinjiang province with Balochistan’s Chinese-built and operated Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea. Of this US$46 billion, US$37 billion would be dedicated to rebuilding Pakistan’s anaemic power infrastructure. If fully implemented, the CPEC promises to partially transform Pakistan into a commercial powerhouse, enriching itself by extending China’s geo-economic reach. But insecurity challenged the vision.

This Chinese financial sunshine contrasted with Indian diplomatic clouds. Sharif met his Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at a summit in Russia. At the summit, both countries became full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and agreed on a five-step plan to restore a ‘normal’ relationship.

But the first of these steps, a meeting between National Security Advisers (NSA), was aborted when the Pakistani NSA insisted on meeting a Kashmiri separatist leader. Meetings with separatist leaders have previously been common practice as Islamabad considers them to be key stakeholders in the dispute. This time round, Delhi stated that any meeting with Kashmiri separatists would be ‘inappropriate’.

The two countries’ perspectives sharply diverged: Delhi focused on alleged Pakistan-based terrorist attacks on its territory, including in the disputed and divided Kashmir, before addressing anything else. Islamabad sought broad-based negotiations with Kashmir as a top priority. This rendered normalcy an elusive goal.

The geopolitical ramifications were significant. Pakistan announced a ‘breakthrough’ deal to procure attack helicopters from the historically India-friendly Russia, Indo–Russian friendship having cooled following over a decade of intensifying US–Indian strategic collaboration. Two months later, protracted negotiations culminated in another agreement. Russia, with Chinese help, would build and operate the 1100-kilometre North–South gas pipeline linking the port city of Karachi with the centre of national political gravity, Punjab’s provincial capital Lahore. Indian commentators had postulated the emergence of a Russia–China–Pakistan strategic triangle, with potentially adverse implications for India, since late 2014 when major accords were announced.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan infrastructure: #CPEC project with #China could boost Pakistan economy- Nikkei Asian Review

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor initiative, a planned $46 billion network of transport links, appears to be gaining momentum, which is good news for Pakistan's sluggish economy. Still, security and funding issues remain an obstacle.

The CPEC project, agreed to by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, in May 2013, would connect the Arabian Sea port of Gwadar in southwestern Pakistan with the Xinjiang region of northwestern China upon its scheduled completion in three years.

The corridor is part of China's "One Belt, One Road" initiative to establish a network of transcontinental land and sea routes. China views Gwadar as a potential hub for trade with the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The project is also aimed at promoting development in Xinjiang and Tibet.

Gwadar, a deep-sea port that is widely expected to become Pakistan's biggest, started container ship operations in May.

Claude Rakisits, senior fellow at the South Asia Center of U.S. think tank the Atlantic Council, said the project could be good for Afghanistan, too. "If peace eventually does come to Afghanistan, CPEC will help that country integrate more closely economically with Pakistan and Iran," he said. "And, of course, it will provide direct access to western China and its hinterland ... a vast and fast-growing region in need of development."

Added Rakisits, "Needless to say, with better roads and railroads, the huge Pakistan market will be easier to access for foreign investors."

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's gasoline demand set for strong double digit growth, imports to rise - Oil | Platts News Article & Story …

According to estimates from the petroleum ministry, gasoline demand is expected to grow by 15% year on year to 5.3 million mt (around 39.5 million barrels) in fiscal 2015-2016 (July-June) led by low prices, non-availability of compressed natural gas and a rise in auto sales.

In 2016-17, demand is expected to rise 11% on the year to 5.9 million mt, government officials estimated.

"To compete effectively in the market and ensure timely product availability, PSO has to import more Mogas in the coming years in view of the expected increase in demand," Sheikh Imranul Haq, managing director of Pakistan State Oil, told Platts Wednesday. PSO is the largest oil marketing and distribution company in Pakistan.

"Currently we are importing on average three cargoes per month, but this can go up to four or five by next year," he said.

Of the 4.6 million mt of gasoline Pakistan consumed in the fiscal year ended June 2015, only 1.5 million mt was produced domestically, with the remaining 3.1 million mt, or 67% imported, according to ministry data.

Though Pakistan is expected to see an increase in domestic gasoline output next year, this will not be enough to compensate for the rise in demand.

The 46,000 b/d Attock Refinery will lift its gasoline production from 30,000 mt/month to 50,000 mt/month by March 2016, while the 50,000 b/d Pakistan Refinery has already doubled gasoline production from 11,000 mt/month to 22,000 mt/month.

"Since refinery production is not expected to increase drastically, PSO will have to rely on imports," Haq said.


Lack of availability of CNG led by stagnant domestic production and delays in LNG imports has been a major factor driving up gasoline demand in the country.

Natural gas production in the country has been at standstill at 4.2 Bcf/day over the past two years, while demand has risen substantially.

The CNG sector needs around 450,000 Mcf/d of gas to meet demand, but owing to lack of gas availability and diversion to residential customers, gas supply to CNG pumps ranges between 380,000 Mcf/day to 400,000 Mcf/day, Ghaiss Abdullah Paracha, chairman of the All Pakistan CNG Association said by telephone from Islamabad.

The retail price of gasoline has fallen to Pakistan Rupees 77 ($0.6)/liter from Rupees 114/liter in November 2014 following the sharp drop in international crude oil prices.

"The surge in oil consumption hinged around the global crude price. However, the trend and international developments like OPEC maintaining the crude oil supplies indicate that low domestic price would stay for long," said Nauman Ahmad Khan, head of research at Karachi-based brokerage house Foundation Securities, adding that rising vehicle sales would also help consumption over coming years.

During the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015, car sales recorded growth of 31% year on year to 179,953 units. And in the four months to October 2015, sales shot up 67% year on year, said Muhammad Tahir Saeed, senior research analyst at Karachi based brokerage house Topline Securities.


Some industry officials, however, said that the growth in petroleum products demand might not be as much as estimated by the government as CNG pump owners have successfully lobbied the government to import LNG independently, instead of depending on the state run companies Pakistan State Oil and Sui Northern Gas.

Pakistan's overall oil products demand in 2014-15 period was 22 million mt, up from 21.44 million mt the previous year. In the year ending June 30, 2016, consumption is expected to rise to 22.8 million mt, while in the year ending June 2017 it would rise to 23.5 million mt, government officials estimated.

Riaz Haq said...

#PTI Chief #ImranKhan Inaugurates Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital in #Peshawar #Pakistan …

A young patient of cancer performed the inauguration of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Peshawar on Tuesday.

Addressing, the inauguration ceremony, the PTI Chief said the campaign for building the hospital in fact played a significant role towards his own character-building.

He said despite all the difficulties 75 percent patents are being treated at the hospital free of charge. Imran Khan said Shaukat Khanum is the world’s only hospital where such a large number of caner patients get free treatment.

The PTI Chief said the construction of Shaukat Khanum caner hospital is the reason for his greatest happiness in life.

He said during the hospital building campaign he got a chance to meet some of the finest people from around the world.

Riaz Haq said...

#Chinese #Trucks Market Share Could Surpass #Japanese Share in #Pakistan. #China #Japan #Pakistan #CPEC @business

Chinese trucks may become a more common sight than Japanese rigs on Pakistan’s roads as rising infrastructure investment creates demand for cheap and durable commercial vehicles.
To benefit from their expected growth in popularity, Karachi-based Ghandhara Nissan Ltd. began assembling China’s Dongfeng trucks in 2013, in addition to Japan’s UD brand. Ghandhara forecasts its Chinese truck sales will more than double to about 200 units in the year ending June and surpass UD deliveries in the next two years, according to Muazzam Pervaiz Malik, senior executive director for marketing at the company.

“Initially they were scared about the quality, but China has improved,” Malik said in an interview. “With the China-Pakistan economic corridor, more dams and motorways, we expect truck demand to grow.”
South Asia’s second-largest economy is forecast to grow at the fastest pace since 2008 and is seen as a beneficiary of the $45 billion that China has pledged in infrastructure investment to more tightly link its economy with Europe through central and western Asia.
The spending may help drive a 50 percent increase in truck sales to as many as 7,000 units a year by 2020, according to Ghandhara’s estimates. The company’s revenue will rise about 10 percent in the year ending June 30, buoyed by higher Dongfeng sales, Malik said.
Ghandhara’s stock has surged more than threefold this year for the biggest gain among auto retailers globally, buoyed by the truck demand and expectations that it will begin producing passenger cars in 2017. The shares dropped 4.7 percent to 181.4 rupees in Karachi yesterday.
The local newspaper Dawn reported in August that Ghandhara plans to start assembling Nissan Motor Co.’s Datsun cars in 2017. Ghandhara declined to comment on its future plans, while Nissan said no decision has been made on production in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

High joblessness in #Modi's #India forces 75,000 high-school & college grads to beg on the streets via @timesofindia

"I may be poor but I am an honest man. I beg as it fetches me more money, Rs 200 a day. My last job of a ward boy in a hospital got me only Rs 100 a day," said Dinesh Khodhabhai (45), a class 12 pass who can speak half-way decent English.
Dinesh is part of a motley group of 30 beggars who seek alms around Bhadra Kali temple in Ahmedabad. Before their work begins, they sip hot tea offered gratis by a city philanthropist.
Sudhir Babulal (51) is a third-year BCom fail beggar who earns Rs 150 per day. Sudhir had come to Ahmedabad from Vijapur town with dreams of a good life but masonry jobs were erratic, fetching him Rs 3,000 for a 10-hour shift and nothing for weeks on end. "After my wife left me, where was the need to keep a house? I sleep on the riverfront and beg," said Sudhir.
Dashrath Parmar (52), who has an MCom degree from Gujarat University, is another pan-handler. This father of three, who aspired for government service but lost even the private job he had, today lives off free meals offered by charity organizations. His mother is hospitalized.
Ashok Jaisur, who cleared high school from Mumbai, begs in Lal Darwaza area. He left his job as a security guard after he lost sight due to cataract and now begs.

"I have only one wish: to make my son Raj an animator," says Ashok who feeds his nine girls and wife from income earned off the streets.
"It's difficult to rehabilitate beggars as they get lured back due to easy money," says Biren Joshi of Manav Sadhana, an NGO working with beggars.
"People with degrees turning to begging reflects the grim employment scenario. People turn to soliciting alms when they do not get decent jobs and have no social support to fall back on," says sociologist Gaurang Jani.

Man of Action said...

"India's PPP GDP is $7.4 trillion".
No,according to which revision that revealed Pakistani GDP is 930 billions, Indian GDP is $8.027 trillions

Riaz Haq said...

MoA: "No,according to which revision that revealed Pakistani GDP is 930 billions, Indian GDP is $8.027 trillions"

Yes, you are correct. Here's the IMF report link:

It also shows India's nominal GDP in terms of USD exchange rates is $2.182 trillion versus Pakistan's $270 billion.

Riaz Haq said...

SBP Report for 2015 as seen by economist Kamal Monnoo:

First, Growth: As per the report the real GDP growth rate for the FY 2015 was 4.20% with 2.90% coming from agriculture, 3.60% from industry and 5.0% from services. Clearly this 4.2 falls short of 5.20%, the benchmarked target, but then from government’s perspective its defence could be that this is a better showing than in FY 2013 — when they took over — and that it has performed well to put the growth back on an upward trajectory. In FY 2013 we witnessed a fall in growth to 3.70% from 3.80%, but thereon it has been rising, 4.0% in FY 2014 and now 4.20% in FY 2015. A reasonable argument, but the problem is that when we dissect this growth performance, a rather troubling picture emerges. Pakistan, a country with high mix of existing employable youth and a population growth rate that requires more than 200,000 new jobs a year, essentially needs to grow in sectors that optimise job creation, meaning industry and agriculture.

However, these are the very sectors where we either saw stagnation or a decline: growth rates in industry fell to 3.60% from 4.50% (a staggering 3.20% off the target) and in agriculture a marginal movement of +0.20% (but 0.40% off the target). Even worse, the decline in industry came largely on the back of falling exports (not ‘stagnating’ exports as being claimed in the report) and that too in textiles – the most labour intensive industrial sector. Exports from developing economies, as we know, basically capitalise on cheap labour to gain competitive edge in international markets, in turn directly touching the lives of low-wage labourers and serving the twin purpose of mass employment generation cum distribution of income to low-income strata.

The simultaneous erosion of industry and exports depicts a dangerous trend, which if not quickly arrested can lead to serious social unrest. Add to this the dismal performance of agriculture in 2015 — the largest employment providing sector — and the picture becomes even gloomier. The mess-up in agriculture actually makes up for a perfect storybook tale of corruption, incompetence and neglect, qualifying for criminal investigation. A story of greed of seed and insecticide/pesticide mafia resulting in devastating outcomes where nearly one third of Punjab’s cotton crop stands wiped out and its quality badly bruised, once robust fields of sugarcane now reduced to low yield harvests, and the image of legendary Pakistani Basmati rice seriously dented.

Second, Financial Industry, Debt and Credit-to-GDP ratio: This dodgy saga of underlying growth does not end at the poor showing of industry and agriculture, but also goes on to manifest itself in the services sector, which presumably in 2015 has been the economy’s engine of growth. The services sector grew by 5%, up 0.60% from the previous year and with it taking the overall growth to a respectable level. But then again, scratch the surface and beneath it one finds the malaise of our banking and financial industry. Its growth mainly came on the back of governmental services, finance (debt) to the government, and insurance that also primarily catered to governmental borrowings. Nearly 1.90% out of the 4.20% GDP growth or 75% of the service-sector’s growth can be attributed merely to the government. And this policy of high state loans from commercial bank — in the process crowding-out the private sector — by itself is very counterproductive since in essence capital flows away from the efficient user (private sector) to the less efficient user (government). Moreover, it retards investment, employment generation, and creates an incremental debt in the economy, which otherwise could have been avoided.

Riaz Haq said...

Volkswagen's #China Partner Plans to Build VW V2 Hatchback Cars in #Pakistan in 2016 via @business

China FAW Group Corp., a Chinese partner of Volkswagen AG, plans to start assembling cars in Pakistan to tap growing demand as measures to curb terrorism boost growth in the South Asian economy.

The company seeks to sell 10,000 vehicles, including vans, cars and pickups, in 2018 after it begins local assembly of the V2 hatchback at the end of this year, Hilal Khan Afridi, chief executive officer of Al-Haj FAW Motors Pvt., said in an interview in Karachi. Al-Haj FAW is the Chinese group’s local venture and began selling imported V2’s in January last year.
FAW will be the first carmaker in a decade to start assembling in Pakistan, where the economy is set to grow at the fastest pace since 2008 as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government tackles power shortages and terrorism. China’s President Xi Jinping has also pledged to invest $45 billion in the country, boosting the outlook for expansion.
“Initially we had a lot of difficulty to convince them to help us with technical expertise,” said Afridi. “Now that the Chinese market has slowed down they have increased their interest in international markets. It’s a good sign for us.”

Chinese spending on infrastructure may help Karachi-based Ghandhara Nissan Ltd. double sales of Chinese Dongfeng trucks. Al-Haj FAW sold about 3,400 vans and pickups along with 535 locally assembled trucks last year. The company plans to invest 1 billion rupees ($9.5 million) to assemble cars in Pakistan.

“Things are looking up for the auto industry,” says Ahmed Hanif Lakhani, analyst at Karachi-based Arif Habib Ltd. “The economy is growing and consumer demand is rising with low interest rates making leasing more feasible.”
Pakistan’s economy is estimated to expand 5.5 percent in the year to June, according to the Ministry of Finance. Car sales in the nation increased 52 percent to 15,724 units in November from a year earlier, according to the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association.

Riaz Haq said...

‘#Pakistan to receive up to $500 million (portfolio investment) post #MSCI re-classification’ to emerging market … …

Pakistan is expected to receive an inflow of up to $500 million in foreign portfolio investment should the MSCI reclassify it as an emerging market in its upcoming annual review in May, says Next Capital CEO Najam Ali.

MSCI is a leading provider of international investment decision support tools. Assets of more than $9.5 trillion are estimated to be benchmarked to MSCI indices worldwide.

Investment portfolio: FDI shrinks to $803.2m in 11MFY15

Speaking to The Express Tribune last week, Ali said his conversations with foreign fund managers show Pakistan should expect “significantly better” investments after MSCI upgrades its status from Frontier Market (FM) to Emerging Market (EM).

Global institutional investors use different MSCI indices – such as frontier, emerging, China and US markets – to create balanced portfolios to generate maximum returns while keeping in view their overall risk appetite.

Ali’s comments follow several bouts of volatility on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) that were triggered by an unrelenting foreign sell-off.

In fact, foreign selling was one of the main reasons for the flat performance of the PSX in 2015, as the net outflow of foreign investment amounted to $317.3 million. In contrast, there was a net inflow of $382.5 million in 2014, resulting in a 33% rise in the benchmark index. Investors’ confidence in the stock market remains shaky, as most blue-chip shares continue to take a battering.

Three Pakistan companies upgraded on investors’ radar

Pakistan was part of MSCI EM between 1994 and 2008. However, the temporary closure of the Karachi Stock Exchange in 2008 led MSCI to remove it from EM and classify it as a “standalone country index”. MSCI made Pakistan a part of FM in May 2009 and it has remained as such since then.

Currently, six Pakistani companies – Engro Corp, MCB Bank, Habib Bank, United Bank, OGDC and Fauji Fertilizers – meet the size and liquidity criteria of MSCI for EM. A company must have market capitalisation of $1.3 billion to be part of EM as opposed to $670 million for FM. Similarly, the EM requirement for minimum free float is $670 million as opposed to $52 million for FM.

Pakistan’s weight in the MSCI FM Index is 8.9%. Its weight in the MSCI EM Index will be approximately 0.17%. “Most FM funds will continue their investment in Pakistan as long as the improving macro theme is intact,” Ali said, adding that EM funds will also start investing in Pakistan post-reclassification. “If Pakistan’s macro story improves further, we can expect a significantly higher level of inflows.”

Qatar and UAE underwent an MSCI upgrade recently. Both markets witnessed “dramatically positive impacts” when their reclassification to MSCI EM was announced in May 2013, Ali said. “UAE saw a 40% re-rating in the price-to-earnings multiples between May 2013 and May 2014 while the re-rating in Qatar over the same period was 45%,” he added.

Currently 15 companies on the PSX have a market capitalisation of more than $1 billion. More companies will qualify for MSCI EM with better liquidity and free float, he added.

365 days, 685 points

Time to buy

Ali said nothing in the Pakistani market should worry international investors. “Foreign funds are receiving redemption requests, which means they have to offload investments locally as well. But foreigners are selling only a handful of Pakistani stocks. Why should the rest of the market fall? It is time for locals to buy.”

He suggested that the finance minister should set up a market stability fund of Rs20 billion under the state-owned asset management company with the sole objective of absorbing any foreign selling. “It will restore investors’ confidence in the market. The economy is doing well, so should the stock market,” he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Car sales in #Pakistan soared 45pc in July-Jan to 107,000 units - #automotive #manufacturing #economy via @PKKHTweet

Sales of locally assembled cars jumped 44.85 per cent to 107,907 units during the first seven months (July-January) of 2015-16 from 74,497 units in the same period last year, Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association data showed on Wednesday.

In 1,300cc and above, buyers lifted overall 49,168 units as compared to 40,388 a year ago. Toyota Corolla led the sales with 33,225 units as compared to 26,593 in July-January 2014-15. Combined sales of Honda Civic and City increased to 13,625 as compared to 11,799 units last year. Suzuki Swift sales inclined to 2,318 from 1,974 units.

Total sales of 1,000cc cars swelled to 14,145 from 9,973 units in the same period last year. Suzuki Cultus share was 8,976 as compared to 7,747 units, followed by Wagon R — 5,165 units from 2,180 a year ago.

Suzuki Mehran and Bolan sales went up to 22,292 and 22,302 from 16,164 and 7,972 units, respectively.

Total vehicle sales, including LCVs, vans and jeeps, registered a 57pc growth to 133,437 units during the period under review as compared to 85,135 a year ago.

Mohammad Tahir Saeed of Topline Securities attributed the sector’s performance to the rise in auto financing, Punjab Taxi Scheme and improving law and order situation.

He predicted the local car sales to grow 15pc (206,777 units) in FY16 due to expected completion of taxi scheme in February 2016 and decline in Civic sales volume in anticipation of new model by mid-2016.

He said that the delivery time of new Toyota Corolla was still hovering between two to four months.

Tractor sales, however, posted a 40pc year-on-year decline to 14,727 units due to the delay in provincial tractor subsidy schemes.

Punjab and Sindh governments, in budget FY16, announced a subsidy of 25,000-29,000 tractors but, as per media reports, Punjab has suspended its scheme due to lack of funds.

Millat tractors sales declined to 9,178 from 14,965 units while Al-Ghazi tractors sales dipped 45pc year-on-year to 5,004 units.

Trucks and buses sales, however, posted an increase of 40pc year-on-year to 3,246 units during the period.

Toyota Fortuner sales fell to 332 from 432 units and Sigma Defender sales declined to 164 from 293 units a year ago. Suzuki Ravi sales climbed to 22,136 from 7,629 units, while Toyota Hilux increased to 2,891 from 2,273 units.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan announces new #auto industry policy to encourage greenfield investments in #manufacturing …

In the hope of attracting a European carmaker, the government on Friday approved a new automobile policy, which offers tax incentives to new entrants to help them establish manufacturing units and compete effectively with the three well-entrenched assemblers.

After a hiatus of almost two and a half years, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet gave the go-ahead to the Automotive Development Policy 2016-21, according to an announcement made by the Ministry of Finance.
However, the government did not change its policy for used car imports, leaving consumers with a narrow range of choice until new brands of good quality are produced in the domestic market.

The Federal Board of Revenue had proposed that import of up to five-year-old used cars should be allowed compared to the current three-year ceiling. It also called for opening imports for commercial purposes.

The automotive policy will be formally launched on Monday. Industries and Production Minister Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi did not attend the ECC meeting.

“The existing three car manufacturers will not be entitled to the benefits that are being offered to the new investors,” said Miftah Ismail, Chairman of the Board of Investment, while talking to The Express Tribune.

The policy was aimed at enhancing consumer welfare and boosting competition besides attracting new players, he added.

Ismail said greater localisation of auto parts had been ensured in the policy and in case the new entrants were unable to achieve the targets, they would be penalised.

The government has allowed one-off duty-free import of plant and machinery for setting up an assembly and manufacturing facility. It has also permitted import of 100 vehicles of the same variants in the form of completely built units (CBUs) at 50% of the prevailing duty for test marketing after the groundbreaking of the project.

A major incentive for the new investors is the reduced 10% customs duty on non-localised parts for five years against the prevailing 32.5%. For existing investors, the duty will be slashed by 2.5% to 30% from the new fiscal year 2016-17.

Similarly, localised parts can be imported by the new entrants at 25% duty compared to the current 50% for five years. For existing players, the duty on import of localised parts will be brought down to 45% from the new fiscal year, beginning July.

In the CBU category, customs duty on cars up to 1,800cc engine capacity has been reduced by 10% for two years – 2017-18 and 2018-19. This will be applicable to the existing players as well and will encourage reduction in car prices.

A single duty rate will be applied to the localised and non-localised parts after five years of the new policy. The present duty structure will continue for seven years for the new investors.

The Board of Investment will provide a single point of contact for all new investors. They will be required to submit a detailed business plan and relevant documents to the Engineering Development Board (EDB) for assessment.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan PPP GDP has increased 4.5X since 1990 in terms of current international dollar, according to the World Bank:

1990 GDP $212 billion

2016 GDP $952 billion (IMF puts it at $982 billion)

The Geary–Khamis dollar, more commonly known as the international dollar (Int'l. dollar or Intl. dollar, abbreviation: Int'l.$ or Intl.$), is a hypothetical unit of currency that has the same purchasing power parity that the U.S. dollar had in the United States at a given point in time. It is widely used in economics.