Sunday, July 24, 2016

Pakistan Sees Robust Growth in Demand For Energy, Autos, Cement & Steel

Pakistan's energy consumption grew by 5.7% in 2015, faster than the 5.2% increase in neighboring India that claims significantly faster GDP growth. Primary energy consumption growth in a country is often seen as a strong indicator of its GDP growth. Ever since the advent of the industrial age, energy has become increasingly important as a driver of farms, factories, communication, transportation, construction, retail and other sectors of the economy.   In addition to energy, other important economic indicators include cement and steel consumption, auto sales and air travel which are also growing significantly faster in Pakistan than in India.

Pakistan Primary Energy Consumption Trend (Source: British Petroleum)

Primary Energy Consumption:

According to British Petroleum Statistical Review of World Energy released in June 2016,  the primary energy consumption in Pakistan rose to 78.2 million ton oil equivalent (MTOE) in 2015, compared with 73.2 MTOE in 2014 confirming greater economic activity. It was the third fastest growth in energy consumption in Asia. Only the Philippines (9.7%), Vietnam (9.6%) and Bangladesh (8.7%) saw faster growth than Pakistan's.

Domestic Cement Demand:

All-Pakistan Cement Manufacturers’ Association reported cement industry sold 33 million tons in domestic market in fiscal year 2015-16, posting a robust growth of 17.01 per cent compared to the 28.2 million tons sales during the same period in 2015.

Local Auto Production:

Domestic auto production in Pakistan jumped by 21.57 percent (vs 2.58% growth in India) in fiscal 2016 compared to fiscal 2015, according to data from Pakistan Automobile Manufacturers Association. The data collected by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) noted that as many as 168,363 jeeps and cars were manufactured during July-May (2015-16) while 138,490 units were produced last year(July-May 2014-15).

Rising Steel Demand:

Pakistan is experiencing 30% growth in steel imports, according to the State Bank of Pakistan. Local steel production is about 6 million tons. In addition, Pakistani imports of steel this year could surpass $2 billion as China-Pakistan Economic Corridor CPEC-related projects ramp up.

Air Travel Growth:

Pakistan air travel market is among the fastest growing in the world.  IATA (International Air Transport Association) forecasts Pakistan domestic air travel will grow at least 9.5% per year, more than 2X faster than the world average annual growth rate of 4.1% over the next 20 years. The Indian and Brazilian domestic markets will grow at 6.9% and 5.4% respectively.

Pakistan saw 23% growth in airline passengers in 2015, according to Anna Aero publication. Several new airports began operations or expanded and each saw double digit growth in passengers. However,  Gwadar Airport growth of 73% was the fastest of all airports in Pakistan.

The top 12 airports all saw large double digit increases. Multan  grew 64%, Quetta 62% and Faisalabad +61% all climbing one place as a result of all of them seeing a growth of over 60%. Turbat Airport in Balochistan is the newest airport to reach the top 12 in terms of traffic.

Mobile Broadband Uptake:

Mobile broadband subscriptions have rocketed from zero to over 30 million in just two years since 3G/4G service rollout in Pakistan. Rapid growth is continuing with over 1 million new subscribers are signing up for 3G and 4G services every month. An equal or larger number of smartphones are are being sold.


A whole series of indicators from auto and steel to manufacturing and construction and telecom services are confirming that economic growth is accelerating in Pakistan. Among the reasons for this growth are significantly improved security situation, political stability and soaring Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in CPEC related energy and infrastructure projects.  These indicators are attracting investors who have already made Pakistan Stock Exchange the hottest shares market in Asia.  KSE-100, Pakistan's main shares index, is up 18% year-to-date compared to 6% increase in India's BSE-30 index. The challenge for Pakistan is to continue to improve security and political stability to reassure investors of superior returns from their investments in the country.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Politcal Stability Returns to Pakistan

Auto and Cement Demand Growth in Pakistan

Pakistan's Red Hot Air Travel Market

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor FDI

Mobile Broadband Subscriptions and Smartphone Sales

Pakistan in MSCI Emerging Market Index


Majumdar said...

Wonderful news, sir. Wish all the best to my Pakistani friends.


19640909rk said...

Haq sab, India's per-capita power consumption per capita is more than twice that of Pakistan. Also India's power grids are much better than Pakistan's. The usage of energy will be much more efficient.

Riaz Haq said...

19640909rk: "India's per-capita power consumption per capita is more than twice that of Pakistan"

Not true. The BP report I referred to shows India's primary energy consumption of 700.5 millions of tons of oil equivalent (mtoe) vs Pakistan's 78.2 mtoe...

19640909rk: "Also India's power grids are much better than Pakistan's. The usage of energy will be much more efficient"

India does not even have a national grid; Pakistan does. India is among the most energy deprived country in the world, according to a World Bank report.

The detailed World Bank report identified India as the most deprived country in terms of access to energy: as many as 306.2 million of its people are still without this basic utility. The remaining 19 nations lacking access to energy, with the number of deprived people is as follows: Nigeria (82.4 million), Bangladesh (66.4 million), Ethiopia (63.9 million), Congo (55.9 million), Tanzania (38.2 million), Kenya (31.2 million), Sudan (30.9 million), Uganda (28.5 million), Myanmar (24.6 million), Mozambique (19.9 million), Afghanistan (18.5 million), North Korea (18 million), Madagascar (17.8 million), the Philippines (15.6 million), Pakistan (15 million), Burkina Faso (14.3 million), Niger (14.1 million), Indonesia (14 million) and Malawi 13.6 million).

Ramesh said...

If we go by this blog, Pakistan is superior to India in every aspect. Pity that none of the investors agree with you.

Riaz Haq said...

Ramesh: "If we go by this blog, Pakistan is superior to India in every aspect. Pity that none of the investors agree with you."

Read: Move over, India. Pakistan is the hottest equity market in South Asia

The BRICS grouping is passe and the top emerging markets are losing sheen. Brexit has battered stocks world over and currencies across economies are weakening.
In times like these, guess what’s working for the global equity markets? Pakistan.
The south Asian nation, mostly in the news for terrorism and political violence, has beaten major Asian economies this year in stock market performance. In 2016, Pakistan’s benchmark equity index, the KSE 100, has been one of Asia’s best performing. In fact, it is the fifth-best performing stock index globally. Bloomberg even referred to Pakistan as an Asian “tiger,” in a report.
In June, the American stock index firm MSCI included the KSE 100 in its emerging markets index, which represents 10% of the world’s market capitalisation.

Ramesh said...

Pls post the FDI into Pak and compare it with India.

I give it to Pakis. When it comes to delusional, no one can match them. A country which is practically non existent in anyone's mind when it comes to investment is now projected as a asian tiger.

Jonathan CBE said...

I don't know or have heard any individual make a pure play in KSE! If the blogger has done that please share the details blackening out personal info.

Sonjal said...

With all these positive or better than India statistics in energy, education and inequality of women that you so often mention, why is that Pakistan has slipped to Low Human Development from Medium Human Development? Other S. Asian countries are moving past Pakistan, Why?

Riaz Haq said...

Sonjal: "why is that Pakistan has slipped to Low Human Development from Medium Human Development?"

Let me turn the question around and ask you: So why does "Shining India" does so poorly on multi-dimensional poverty index (MPI)?

"India is home to over 340 million destitute people and is the second poorest country in South Asia after war-torn Afghanistan...In South Asia, Afghanistan has the highest level of destitution at 38%. This is followed by India at 28.5%. Bangladesh (17.2%) and Pakistan (20.7%) have much lower levels" Colin Hunter, Center for Research on Globalization

Another question: Why does "Shining" India lead the world in open defecation?

India's rivers have been turned into open sewers by 638 million Indians without access to toilets, according to rural development minister Jairam Ramesh. He was reacting a UNICEF report that says Indians make up 58% of the world population which still practices open defection, and the sense of public hygiene in India is the worst in South Asia and the world.

Riaz Haq said...

Ramesh: " Pls post the FDI into Pak and compare it with India. "

Pakistan is seeing soaring foreign direct investment (FDI) with improving security and the start of several major energy and infrastructure projects as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), according to the UK's Financial Times business newspaper.

The year 2015 was a bumper year for foreign investment pouring into Pakistan, says the Financial Times. The country saw 39 greenfield investments adding up to an estimated $18.9 billion last year, according to fDi Markets, an FT data service. This is a big jump from 28 projects for $7.6 billion started in 2014, and marks a new high for greenfield capital investment into the country since fDi began collecting data in 2003.

Riaz Haq said...

Jonathan: "I don't know or have heard any individual make a pure play in KSE!"

I wouldn't suggest to anyone to try any single emerging market pure play.

However, emerging markets like India, Pakistan and China should be a part of a balanced portfolio.

For retail investors, PAK ETF is pure play. Other index and mutual funds have various weights in Pakistani stocks.


the iShares MSCI Frontier Market ETF (FM) and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM)

There are also mutual funds like Franklin Templeton Asia Growth Fund

Sonjal said...

Yes, poverty, sanitation are fully acknowledged and discussed in the parliament. In case you miss the point it is the direction in which the country has moved. Human Development is an aggregate of many factors and yes India is lacking in one factor or two but, Pakistan overall has fallen behind!
Shining India is a political party slogan from 15 years ago and even then no one is claiming that India has become a Japan or the US.
Pakistan was a medium human development country and now it is low human development country. Why, that is the objective question?

Riaz Haq said...

Sonjal: "Yes, poverty, sanitation are fully acknowledged and discussed in the parliament. In case you miss the point it is the direction in which the country has moved. "

MPI refers to more than just income poverty. It has several dimensions: schooling, health, nutrition, clean water, access to electricity, cooking fuel, household assets, etc etc.

On this index, India does the worst in South Asia. It's only slightly better than Afghanistan.

Riaz Haq said...

#Canada Will Set Up 1 GW Of #Solar Power Plants In #Balochistan, #Pakistan #renewableenergy … via @CleanTechnica

Pakistan received a major boost in its endeavor to expand renewable energy infrastructure as Canada agreed to set up large-scale solar power projects in one of the country’s provinces.

According to media reports, the Canadian government recently signed an agreement with the government of Balochistan to set up 1 GW of solar capacity in the province.

The agreement was signed by the Baloch government itself, under special powers received through the Pakistan constitution.

As per the agreement, a Canadian company will set up 20 solar power projects of 50 MW capacity each. The projects are expected to be distributed across the province. A Canadian delegation is expected to visit Pakistan soon to finalize the various project locations.

Pakistan has seen a sharp increase in foreign investment in its renewable energy sector. Led by China, Pakistan’s renewable energy sector has seen increased interest from European governments and companies.

Foreign investors poured $3 billion over the last year into the renewable energy sector in Pakistan, officials from the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) have said. The largely untapped resource potential and a feed-in tariff regime has made renewable energy an attractive investment avenue.

Earlier this year, the AEDB reported that as many as 35 solar PV projects are currently at various stages of development. These projects will have a cumulative installed capacity of 1,111 MW.

Anonymous said...

In 1940s Dalit leader Dr. Ambedkar wrote a book “Pakistan or division of India”. In this book he states that every time Hindus are told that India is not a nation, they feel like someone has taken their cloth’s off in public. Had Dr. Ambedkar lived today, he would have added praising Pakistan to that list. Every time you post something positive about Pakistan, the western neighbors feel like someone has taken their cloth’s off.

G. Ali

Riaz Haq said...

A year ago, carmakers in India were readying to go full throttle, helped by falling fuel prices, easing inflation and softening interest rates. India seemed well on the road to becoming the world's third-largest passenger car market by 2020.

But the pace of growth has slowed in recent months, with sales increasing at a meagre 6-7 per cent (most carmakers have had far worse depressing sales growth). As if that wasn't worrying enough, a couple of setbacks have further dampened industr ..

Read more at:

Riaz Haq said...

How #Technology is Reaching #Pakistan’s Children with the #Polio Vaccine. #smartphones #apps #digital via @NatGeo

Rotary conducts trainings for Lady Health Workers (LHWs) on cell phone reporting at its Rotary Resource Center in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “I was the only female at the time the program started, and I’ve been involved for the past eight years,” says health worker Malkabalees. Today, Rotary has trained more than 500 LHWs.

Specific codes are assigned to various maternal, newborn and child health indicators (pregnancies, deliveries, newborn deaths, maternal deaths, etc) and immunization indicators (immunizations administered, refusals, missed children, etc).

Community midwives and female health workers collect the data, and send it using specific codes to a server through SMS. Government and polio eradication leaders use the data to assess trends and gaps in the program.

Lady Health Worker Malkabalees teaches a fellow health worker to report a refusal, and enter the reason (e.g. religious, fear, lack of understanding). Rotary and its partners use this data to create strategies to combat refusals, such as involving religious leaders to educate their communities about the importance and safety of the vaccine.

Riaz Haq said...

Dailytimes | #China keen to invest in #Pakistan's steel, energy sectors. #CPEC - via @Shareaholic

Islamabad: The Chinese investors have showed keen interest in the Pakistan's steel, energy, cement and other sectors for investment and
joint ventures.

A delegation of Chinese investors representing various companies including Zonergy Company Limited and Hebei Weilang Import and Export Group Co., Limited visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said a press release issued on Tuesday.

The delegation said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has generated lot of interest in Chinese investors and purpose of their visit was to study the potential of Pakistani market for investment and business collaboration.

Zonergy Company Limited (ZONERGY) was China's national high-tech enterprise which was providing resource integration services for customers in new energy and energy-saving, environmental protection industries, while it was now looking at Pakistan as a prospective country for investment and JVs.

Hebei Weilang Import and Export Group was a large-scale professional enterprise engaged in manufacturing of bicycles and offering 100 kinds of products in 10 classes including BMXs, frames, forks, BB axles, front and rear axles, brake cables and baskets to clients in Europe, the US, Australia, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia and other areas. The Group was interested to explore Pakistani market for setting up bicycle plant.

While speaking, Acting President ICCI Sheikh Pervez said CPEC was a game changer for Pakistan and stressed that more Chinese investors should come to Pakistan to participate in this flagship project of historic cooperation between the two countries.

He said there was huge potential of investment in many sectors of Pakistan's economy including energy, construction, steel, marble, infrastructure development, mining, oil & gas exploration, engineering, IT and others areas while CPEC was poised to open new horizons of investment opportunities between China and Pakistan. He said China has good expertise and advanced technology while Pakistan offered attractive incentives to foreign investors. He urged that Chinese investors should harvest the investment friendly policies of the current regime by enhancing investment and joint ventures in Pakistan.

Munir said...

Yeh sab corrupted information. Berrozgadi is very high but Sharif party ka sab propaganda chal raha hai

Altaf said...

since about 1990s why did Pakistan started falling behind India. Pakistan was 50% better than India in 1970s because there were more industries like Pakistan Steel Mills which was one of the largest in the world. What are the reasons?

Riaz Haq said...

Altaf: "since about 1990s why did Pakistan started falling behind India."

Not true. It's all Indian hype aided by India's post Col War western friends.

You need to compare manufacturing value added per capita in India ($193) and Pakistan ($167) for 2012, the most recent data available from the World Bank. These are fairly close. India is ranked 142 and Pakistan 146.

From United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO):

Pakistan Manufacturing Value Added (MVA):

MVA per capita at constant 2005 prices increased from US$135.03 in 2005 to $143.84 in 2014

MVA as percentage of GDP at constant 2005 prices in US$ decreased from 18.05% in 2005 to 17.41% in 2014

India Manufacturing Value Added (MVA):

MVA per capita at constant 2005 prices increased from US$155.73 in 2005 to $168.42 in 2014

MVA as percentage of GDP at constant 2005 prices in US$ decreased from 15.10% in 2005 to 13.85% in 2014

China tops the list of world's 10 largest industrial producers. It is followed by the US, Japan, Germany and South Korea, according to United Nations Industrial Organization (UNIDO).

India ranks 6th in the world in terms of total manufacturing output in 2013, up from 9th place in 2008,

India's manufacturing value added (MVA) per capita of 161.7 in 2013 is among the lowest in the world. It's up from 131.9 in 2008.

In fact India's 2008 MVA per capita of 131.9 was lower than Pakistan's 141.1. Since 2008, Pakistan's MVA per capita has slipped to 139.1 in 2013 while India's has increased to 161.7 in this period.

Bangladesh's MVA per capita has jumped from 82.2 in 2008 to 118.3 in 2013.

On UNIDO’s industrial competitiveness index, most industrialized countries lost ground in the last three years. Among the five most competitive are four high-income countries (Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States), along with China ranking fifth. The four are among the world’s most industrialized countries and, with China, account for 59 percent of world MVA.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s #energy sector forging alliances for(university, industry) research and #technology via @Shareaholic

The launch of US-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Energy at National University of Sciences and Technology (USPCAS-E) by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Arizona State University (ASU) is an effort to fulfill this pressing national need. This partnership builds on existing talent in Pakistan by providing university faculty with exposure to new technology and an opportunity to collaborate with other experts in their fields.

Akif Zia Khan, faculty member at USPCAS-E, NUST, who is specialised in smart grids technology, visited Arizona State University (ASU) this year to attend a series of meetings on curriculum, lab equipment, and applied research projects with peer faculty and fellow researchers at the Power Systems Research Centre (PSERC). His collaborative work with Dr George Karaday of PSERC during his stay at ASU is now playing an instrumental role in developing new curriculum and availability of modern power hardware in the loop smart grids laboratory for Electrical Energy Engineering Programme at USPCAS-E at NUST.

He said the facilities available in smart grids laboratory would help the researchers to model, simulate and validate different domains of electric power grid adding that the power quality analysis and energy auditing can also be performed with the equipment available with this laboratory. The various entities under the umbrella of Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) as well as industries, which can utilise the available facilities in the laboratory for development and validation of their prototypes, Khan said.

Akif Zia Khan said the opportunity for him to participate in different technical workshops and events hosted by the IEEE Power and Engineering Society chapter at ASU resulted in an extraordinary capacity building of the faculty under this exchange programme and Khan is committed to replicate the same teaching and experimental facilities at NUST campus that he observed at ASU.

Dr Naseem Iqbal, assistant professor at USPCAS-E, NUST, who specialises in fuel cells technology, visited ASU under the same exchange programme. Dr Iqbal worked with a research group at the Polytechnic School, ASU, led by Prof A M Kannan, a renowned expert in fuel cell technology.


The US-Pakistan Centre for Advanced Studies in Energy initiative is part of USAID's larger US $127 million investment in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC) that will harness applied research to find innovative and practical solution for Pakistan's energy, water, agriculture, and food security challenges.

USPCAS-E is designed to support Pakistan's economic development by strengthening the relevance and responsiveness of universities products, including applied and policy research along with skilled graduates, in accordance with the needs of the public and private sector.

USPCAS-E, in collaboration with academic research, emphasising on practical, solution-based, industry-specific research and development, both for the training and development of students, and for providing support to the Pakistani university.

Riaz Haq said...

In a report titled "From Wealth to Well Being, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has used SEDA (sustainable economic development assessment) scores to measure how countries have translated GDP growth into their citizens' well-being.

One particular measure BCG uses is growth-to-well-being coefficient on which Pakistan scores 0.87, higher than India's 0.77 and China's 0.75.

A high-profile report prepared by the Boston Consulting Group, US, has suggested that India may have progressed well in the economic indicator (which consists of income, economic stability and employment), and investment (instructure, health and education), but its progress in sustainability (income equality, civil society, governance and environment) remains below world average.
Rating 162 countries across the world, though without ranking them, the report finds that in the overall economic progress, India's score is 45.6 (on a scale of 100), higher than the world average of 43.2; in progress in investment, the score is 54.6, with the world average being 40.1; but in progress in sustainability, its score is 50.4, below the world average of 54.4 per cent.
The report, which seeks to analyze data up to 2014-end, finds that, among BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), in all three indicators of progress -- economics, investment and sustainability -- China performs better than India, at 60.1, 69.1 and 52.3 respectively.
Brazil performs better in economic progress (52.7) and sustainability (54.7), but in investment it doesn't do so well (46.4). Russia does worse than India in economic and investment progress (43.6 and 39.9 respectively), but better in sustainability (53.1).
Among India's neighbours Sri Lanka does better than India in economic progress and investment, but it fails to do as well in sustainability (51.2, 53.6 and 49.6 respecively). Pakistan is way behind India in economic progress and investment, yet it is a little ahead in sustainability (37.1 34.4 and 51.3 respectively).
Nepal may be behind India in economic progress (41.8 per cent), it is way ahead of India two other indicators, investment and sustainability (61.0 and 55.4). And Bangladesh is ahead of India in economic progress (47.7), but it is behind India in investment and sustainability (51.9 and 43.8 respectively).

Riaz Haq said...

From Express Tribune:

The brightest spotlight belongs to the two-day Asia Pacific Regulators Roundtable which took place in Islamabad. More than 45 participants from the regulatory and other ICT authorities of over 20 countries took part. These countries represent nearly 50% of the world’s population.

The significance of the event lies in the fact that it was after a long gap of around eight years that such a gathering of ICT luminaries took place in Pakistan. These dignitaries have been avoiding coming to Pakistan, not only due to security reasons, but also because for quite a few years nothing really significant happened in the sector.

The roundtable was inaugurated by no less a person than Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, the UN body responsible for ICTs in the member states.

He emphasised the incredible potential of ICTs to improve development outcomes in the developing world, in particular through small and medium-size entrepreneurs in the IT sector – something very valid in the Pakistani context.


In her address to the regional telecom regulators, IT Minister Anusha Rahman gave some upbeat pieces of news, saying Pakistan would soon come up with an effective OTT policy framework and would introduce 5G technology by 2020.

The latter news got a supporting shout from Zong which is reportedly asking for trial of 5G spectrum.

Right after the Asia-Pacific Regulators Roundtable, the three-day ITU-PTA International Training Programme commenced. In this programme, the PTA arranged training of experts from regional countries.

At the inauguration, the ITU secretary general shared that the ITU was looking to sponsor more professional training programmes in Pakistan.

The programme included a session on the ICTs for persons with disabilities, where such persons were actually invited to come on stage and participate so that IT professionals could better understand and try to meet their needs through IT applications. As the training was coming to an end, the ITU secretary general was performing the ground-breaking of the National Incubation Centre. It is funded by the National ICT R&D Fund, which has also risen from a long hibernation of sorts.

The incubation centre will be run by the largest mobile operator of the country, Mobilink, together with its service delivery partner Team Up, which has industry veterans like Zouhair Khaliq and Parvez Abbasi working for it. Further collaboration will be coming from VimpelCom’s ‘Make Your Mark’ programme and Lums Centre for Entrepreneurship.

IT exports

The Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) has more good news to share. Not only IT exports have jumped two-fold in the last three years – from $1.4 billion to $2.8 billion – but also the number of companies registered with the PSEB has grown from around 300 to 1,100.

The IT minister claimed that the government is striving to touch the $6 billion IT export mark by 2020.

During this time period, the regulatory approvals for Mobilink-Warid merger also got out of the way.

According to a statement of the CEO of VimpelCom, the owner of Mobilink, the company now plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years which will also create 5,000 jobs in the country. As luck would have it, during the same time period, Telenor, the second largest mobile operator, finally got the 10 MHz spectrum in the 850 band, after winning the latest mobile broadband spectrum auction. There are so many relatively smaller developments that it is difficult to recount all of them. Personally for me, the best news was what the IT minister revealed on PTV.

Riaz Haq said...

#BMI Research puts #Pakistan in top "10 emerging markets". Key Growth Drivers: #Auto & #Textiles #Manufacturing Hub

"Pakistan will develop as manufacturing hub over the coming years, with the textile and automotive sectors posting the fastest growth at the beginning of our forecast period. Domestic manufacturing investment will be boosted by the windfall from lower energy prices compared to the last decade, and improved domestic energy supply."

A new report from BMI Research has identified the "10 emerging markets of the future" — the countries that are set to become new drivers of economic growth over the next 10 years.

BMI estimates that these countries will cumulatively add $4.3 trillion to global GDP by 2025 — roughly the equivalent of Japan's current economy.

In general, manufacturing and construction are the sectors that will drive the economies. BMI reports that new manufacturing hubs are set to emerge in Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Pakistan, and that these countries will see particularly strong growth in exporting manufacturing industries. And construction growth is going to be widespread throughout all the countries — partly to facilitate increases in urban populations and partly to help develop the manufacturing sector.

On the other hand, extractive industries — like mining, oil, and gas — are going to play a far smaller role in driving growth than they have the past 15 years.

While it might provide bright spots for some countries, the report states, "the ubiquitous commodity-driven growth model that was derailed by the 2012-2015 collapse in commodity prices is not coming back."

Riaz Haq said...

Spotlight: Construction of great corridor catapults #Pakistan into fast track - Xinhua | #China #CPEC …

With an investment of 46 billion U.S. dollars and scores of infrastructure projects, the ongoing construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is undoubtedly one of the largest endeavors now taking place on the planet.

Roads, energy projects, industrial parks and the Gwadar port are all included in the basket, satisfying Pakistan's immediate needs as well as helping the south Asian country get back on its feet after years of anti-terror campaigns wrecked its economy.

Three years after the initiative on the construction of CPEC was jointly announced by China and Pakistan, Xinhua has learned that the project is yielding its early fruits as new roads and power plants have put Pakistan's growth in the first gear.


Located 20 km east of Pakistan's largest city of Karachi, the Bin Qasim power plant is one of the pioneer and flagship projects of CPEC planned to begin operating at the end of next year.

For the coal-fired plant built by PowerChina, the Chinese construction company commissioned to undertake the construction of the project, two 660-megawatt generator units will be installed, which would generate 1,320 megawatts of electricity per year, more than a quarter of the 4,500-5,000 megawatts of power shortage estimated for the year 2012.

"With three more plants like this one, Pakistan would have no more energy woes," said Chen Enping, a manager at PowerChina.


For Sher Afzart, a shop owner in northern Pakistan's Hunza Valley, the Karakorum Highway is what he owes his livelihood to.

The two-lane highway, originally built by the Chinese in the 1970s and recently renovated by China Road and Bridge Corporation, connects Kashgar, a commercial hub in northwest China's Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region, and Pakistan.

Afzart can save days on trips to Kashgar to buy goods as the road cuts through the Karakorum mountains. There is a steady flow of business as thousands of Chinese workers labor around Hunza.

Following the completion of the Karakorum Highway renovation project, more business opportunities are created, Afzart said.

"With the convenience of road traffic, I'm thinking of opening branches in Islamabad and even in cities farther south," he said.

The Karakorum Highway is just one of the roads that falls under CPEC. The M-4 National Motorway, a strategic artery in central Pakistan, is also being paved by the Chinese.


The Gwadar port, located in the southern coast of Pakistan, is where CPEC meets the Indian ocean. From here resources can commence their journey onto the hinterlands of Pakistan and western China, and Chinese and Pakistani products can be shipped out to every corner of the world.

Viewed from above, the port is like an anchor protruding into the emerald waters, forming two natural bays that are as deep as 14.5 m, making them perfect harbors.

After the CPEC cooperation program was launched in 2013, a plan was developed in the following years to comprehensively transform the fishing town into a modern metropolis complete with industrial zones, a harbor and recreational zones.

Gwadar Port Authority Chairman Dostain Jamaldini has big ambitions for the port, eyeing Dubai, which is just across the Arabian Sea, as a model.

Near future plans for the port area include the construction of a Free Trade Zone, a Special Economic Zone, a coastal expressway, an international airport and a pipeline linking Iran, which are all part of the CPEC plan remodelling the town which will be the hinge of the corridor.

"Pakistan is ready to offer the most generous terms for companies investing in the port," Jamaldini said, "We believe the favorable policies and the superb location of the port will soon attract the interest of investors worldwide."

Riaz Haq said...

What lies behind the gates of #Pakistan's growing elite gated communities? #construction #housing #Cement #Steel

Inside the gates, the never-ending sectors and undulating roads, the scarce traffic and abundant space can be extremely disorienting. If you are a first-time visitor, you can be forgiven for thinking this expansively designed neighbourhood is Islamabad’s actual twin city, and Rawalpindi just an unplanned appendage.

Driving on Bahria Town’s carpeted tarmac is a fairly docile affair after negotiating the violent potholes and sadistically narrow roads that pervade most of Pakistan. The sculptures of farm animals dotting the roundabouts stay mercifully in place, unlike the free roaming cattle outside. These are merely the fringe benefits of buying an accommodation in what could easily be called Pakistan’s most self-sufficient and luxurious gated community.

There is a riding range for those who have always felt congested city streets do not offer enough galloping room for horses. There is a golf course for those who have never been particularly fond of stirrups and there is a cinema with reclining sofas for those who don’t even like walking. There are health clubs, hospitals, playgrounds and even a cricket stadium in Phase 8, a phase bigger than the first six phases combined. So large, in fact, that it’s possible to take a wrong turn while traversing it and end up in New York somehow. For, beyond an avenue lined with palm trees, there is a Statue of Liberty looking just as confused about being there as you might be about seeing her. There is also an imitation Eiffel Tower on the other end of the same phase. Because, well, why not?----

While Bahria Town has expanded to other cities (the one in Lahore has been functional for a while and construction has started in Karachi and Nawabshah, and is expected to start soon in Hyderabad and Peshawar), the one next to Rawalpindi/Islamabad is still the oldest and most densely populated. It claims to be housing 100,000 people as of now.

Early residents remember it largely being a jungle even 10 years back. The visual trajectory from green to grey has been rapid; one week there would be four-legged creatures running around and the next week four-wheeled vehicles.

Realtors say they primarily deal with business people or retired civil and military officials. The former because they don’t need to hit a nine-to-five job in city centres — which can be a very long commute from Bahria Town; the latter because they get service benefits which they can use or sell to buy a house in this enclave. Selling a service allotment in Islamabad, for instance, will comfortably pay for a house in Bahria Town. Property is cheaper this far away from a city — which is the entire point.

Property dealers also say they run offices abroad; Bahria Town, too, has its corporate offices in the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. Expatriate Pakistanis who have accumulated a certain amount of wealth, have gotten used to a certain standard of living and now wish to keep a house in their country of origin, are inevitably attracted to Bahria Town’s lavish infrastructure and the uninterrupted supply of electricity.

Riaz Haq said...

Hunt for returns reaches emerging #Pakistan with KSE-100 new highs with 20% return YTD in US$ terms #CPEC via @WSJ

Ross Teverson, head of emerging-market strategy at $49 billion money manager Jupiter Asset Management, has a new star pick: Pakistan.

The country wasn’t even considered an emerging market when he decided to invest. Until earlier this summer, it was a rung lower—a “frontier” market, where stocks are notoriously hard to trade and the political climate is tumultuous. And yet, the benchmark KSE-100 stock index is up 20% in dollar terms this year, Exhibit A in how far global investors are willing to go for returns these days.

Sluggish growth in developed economies has prompted central banks to push interest rates down to zero and beyond, wiping out yields on government debt and sending investors into all sorts of fringe or previously unloved markets such as Pakistan’s.

By estimates, since March more than $67 billion has poured into a group of 30 emerging markets tracked by the Institute of International Finance. That number doesn’t include money heading to markets such as China and Russia, where information on foreign buying is limited.


“Emerging markets have been broadly out of favor with global investors for the better part of four years,” said Mr. Teverson, whose investment in Pakistan helped his fund gain 17% this year through June. “When you have seen an asset class out of favor for so long and you see valuations so low, that inflow can be sustained for a long period.”

Anonymous said...

I was reading World Wealth Report from Credit Suisse and while India has higher (compared to Pakistan) GDP per capita and similar wealth per adult, her median wealth per adult is dismal. Somewhere on the lines of 850 USD or so per adult while Pakistan has north of USD 2100 per adult. Now this is huge. This mean around half of Indian adults don't have more than 850 USD in assets while half of Pakistani adults have more than USD 2100. It highlights the huge inequality in India and relative equality in Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "This mean around half of Indian adults don't have more than 850 USD in assets while half of Pakistani adults have more than USD 2100. It highlights the huge inequality in India and relative equality in Pakistan."

I have read the Cedit Suisse report and blogged about it. Here's an except of my post:

Average ($4,459) and median ($2,216) wealth figures for Pakistani middle class adults are higher than average ($4,352) and median ($868) wealth figures for their Indian middle class counterparts. It's a consequence of lower income wealth inequality in Pakistan compared to its neighbor. For comparison, only 1.1% of Bangladesh adult population qualify as middle class. Their average wealth is $2,201 and median wealth $1,102 per adult.

Riaz Haq said...

Bank credit rises on uptick in #Pakistan economy as interest rates hit 42-year low of 5.25%

Commercial bank credit and bank investments are on the rise in Pakistan on the back of a significant uptick in the economy.

The new monetary policy and the benchmark discount rate, expected to be announced later this week, are likely to strengthen this trend.

International financial organisations, the ministry of finance and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the central bank, report that the economy is in an expansionary mode and will continue to be so in the next two years.

"We expect gross domestic product [GDP] growth to rise further in fiscal year 2017. The actual GDP growth in fiscal year 2016 was 4.7 per cent - a record high for the last 12 years despite international challenges," say economists.

According to the SBP, the government envisages a higher GDP growth of 5.7 per cent in fy-17. The banking system will gain further strength and earn larger profits as economic growth increases.

The SBP issued a review of the country's macroeconomic performance, with a specific reference to the recent monetary policy which ensured a rapidly declining benchmark discount rate and the lowest interest rate of 5.25 per cent charged by commercial banks, a 42-year low.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said: "All stakeholders are satisfied with the country's macroeconomic stability, but they should continue the reform process and pursue policies that will enhance and fast-track growth and include all sections of society, business and the economy."

Saeed Ahmed, acting governor of SBP, said: "The monetary performance remained satisfactory during the quarter ended June 2016. Forex reserves reached the highest level of $23 billion." It will expand exports and imports, which, in turn, will benefit banks, the financial, economic and industrial sectors.

All these stakeholders are upbeat on the economy's growth after positive reports from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and Manila-based Asian Development Bank.

The IMF said: "Pakistan's economy is growing at its quickest rate in eight years. Investor confidence has slowly returned to a country that was battered by the global financial crisis."

Bank investments are rising but deposits are not growing that much, reported the SBP. Credit and investments provided by banks rose in the first half of 2016 compared to the like period of 2015, it said.

"This was despite the fact that deposits saw a fall in growth in the same period. The banks provided additional funds for credit and investment from money they borrowed from SBP."

Liquidity crunch
The central bank injected Rs1.79 trillion on July 11 and Rs1.13 trillion on July 15 into banks to help overcome their liquidity crunch and expand credit to the private sector. One of the key causes of the commercial banks' liquidity crunch was "the borrowing by the government to cover its budgetary gap."

"Banks' deposit growth fell by almost 50 per cent in the first nine months from July to March of the previous fiscal year," the SBP reported.

In a report for the third quarter of fiscal year 2016, the SBP said private sector deposits increased by Rs149.4 billion during July-March, less than half the rise in deposits recorded in the like period of fy-15.

But the plus point is that banks' advances rose at an eight-year high of seven per cent in the first half of 2016 on the back of growing credit demand.

The banking sector advances-to-deposits ratio increased by 51 per cent in June 2016, up from 50 per cent in June 2015. At the same time, the investment-to-deposit ratio increased to 75 per cent in June 2016, up from 64 per cent in June 2015.

Riaz Haq said...

The ministry of planning, development and reforms would launch an economic long march on August 11 on the occasion of the second anniversary of the government's Vision 2025 programme.

A scorecard of government's achievements during the last two years as well as targets set for next 10 years would be presented.

The slogan of the economic long march would be "Lets work harder, better and smarter", a senior official said here on Friday.

The Vision 2025 was announced two years ago after complete consultation with all the stakeholders while provinces were also taken on board to make the country a model economy.

Pakistan, he pointed out, was being termed as an emerging economy and all the leading and credible international organizations were viewing us a turned-around economy.

He gave statistics regarding GDP growth which has increased from 3.7% to 4.7%, remittances have doubled to $ 20 billion, Foreign reserves have swelled from $10 billion to record $23 billion while Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) index has rocketed from 12,000 to nearly 40,000.

Out of US$ 46 billion under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), projects worth more than US$ 10 billion had already hit the ground while remaining schemes were in advanced stages of the pipeline.

Giving details of power production in next few years, he said, 3600 MW electricity would be produced through LNG, Under CPEC, 1320 MW by Port Qasim and 1320 mw by Sahiwal will also come in production next year, Chashma Nuclear Plants are also expected to add 600 mw. Jamshoro Power Project being completed by Asian Development Bank, would start producing 1320 MW by year 2018.

Work was under progress on 2000 MW Thar project and 1320 MW HUBCO project which would be completed by the year 2018-19, he added.

About infrastructure development, he said, Motorway from Havalian to Thakot and Multan-Sukkur of Lahore-Karachi Motorway was being completed at a fast pace.

On the Western route of the CPEC, he said, Gawadar port would be linked with Quetta by end of this year opening enormous opportunities for Balochistan.

The road from Burhan to DI Khan would be completed by June 2018, he said and added, the Gilgit-Baltistan would be developed as a model of environmental economy.

He mentioned about the work on Dasu and Diamir-Bhasha dams and the generation of wind and renewable energy as well.

He said, Pakistan Railways was being modernized with Rs.117 billion investment while the number of PIA aircraft had been doubled.

He said, unemployment was decreased from 6.24 percent in 2013 to present 5.94 percent, adding, while the country has witnessed reduction in poverty. However, due to energy crisis it couldn't be faster. As energy situation improves, there will be more investment and jobs, which will help in fighting unemployment.

He said, government has more than doubled allocation for Higher Education from Rs 100 billion to Rs 215 billion. Pakistan is becoming hotspot for IT entrepreneurship and start ups.

He said, Rs.173 billion were allocated for improvement in the existing transmission and distribution systems to bear burden of increased electricity production in the next two years.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s #3G #4G users doubled to 29.53 million in FY16. #mobile #Smartphones

The number of users on mobile-phone internet networks – 3G/4G – has doubled to 29.53 million in the fiscal year ended June 30 as the country moves ahead on adopting broadband technology after the spectrum auction.

The Pakistan Telecommuni­cation Authority (PTA) reported Friday that the number of 3G/4G subscribers has reached 29.53 million in June 2016, up from 14.6 million in July 2015.

3G/4G users up 3.74%, but growth slowing

“The availability of low-cost smartphones and aggressive roll-out of apps has made this possible,” said Parvez Iftikhar, an expert on information and communication technology.

The availability of social networking apps like Whatsapp and Facebook has played a significant role in attracting huge traffic on mobile internet.

Iftikhar added that introduction of 3G/4G internet services in Pakistan in 2014 has apparently helped boost the economy at length. “But to measure the real impact of 3G/4G on the economy, we need to conduct independent studies,” he said.

He said that the establishment of a number of technology incubators in the country was one example of boost to the economy through such cellular networks. Incubators have produced a number of startups, while many of them kept growing their businesses to larger scale.

Beware Pakistani mobile internet users

According to Iftikhar, the launch of online shopping portals, internet banking and roll-out of mobile money transfer by almost all cellular companies have also helped attract higher traffic on 3G/4G networks.

Besides, federal and provincial governments were also utilising mobile broadband for uplift of health, education and agriculture sectors.

PTA said that total broadband subscribers grew 92% to 32.41 million in fiscal year 2016 from 16.88 million in the previous fiscal year 2015.

The authority added that total teledensity recovered to 70.94% in FY16 from 62.9% in FY15. It peaked at 78.89% in FY14. The suspension of millions of mobile phone SIMs in the aftermath of biometric verification had reversed the growth in FY15.

Teledensity alone for cellular mobile regained to 69.12% in FY16 from 60.7% in FY15, PTA added.

The number of total mobile phone users, including non 3G/4G users, grew by 16% to 133.24 million in FY16 from 114.65 million in FY15, it added.

Sagheer Wattoo, a spokesperson at the federal ministry of information technology, credited the rapid growth in 3G/4G subscribers to the introduction of Telecommunications Policy 2015 last year.

High-speed internet: Broadband subscriptions near 30 million mark

“The policy note has made possible the sharing {cross use of} infrastructure and spectrum by telcos,” he said, adding this has resulted into attracting more subscribers.

“The growth in 3G/4G subscriber base was less than 3% before the current government in the centre came in power in 2013. This rate has accelerated to over 19% now,” he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Via @NPR: #India's Lagging #Manufacturing Sector Slows Job Creation. #Modi #Achhedin #BJP

India needs an uptick in manufacturing to employ millions who enter the labor force every year. The slow expansion is imperiling India's ability to create jobs and lift millions out of poverty.

And you often hear about India having the world's fastest-growing economy. And it is growing at 7.6 percent. But beneath that headline is another reality. Manufacturing in the country is lagging, and that's hurting India's ability to create jobs and lift millions of people out of poverty. Let's go to New Delhi and NPR's Julie McCarthy.

JULIE MCCARTHY, BYLINE: Manish Dhariwal, chief financial officer of PPAP Automotive Limited, steps onto the factory floor as a downsized second shift punches in.

MANISH DHARIWAL: Each part has a different design.

MCCARTHY: He sweeps his hand across a display case of strips that seal car doors and windows, components he sells to the largest Japanese car manufacturers. PPAP enjoys a 90 percent market share, but Dhariwal says sales are flat, and his operation is running at just 65 to 70 percent capacity.

DHARIWAL: There's a big problem because facilities are already there, and they are not, then, getting fully utilized. And the cost of manpower increases on an annual basis. So how do I find the money for that if there's no sales growth?

MCCARTHY: Dhariwal's company is hiring no new workers. That undercuts Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project, to make manufacturing the engine of employment. Ten million Indians enter the workforce every year. But according to the Labour Bureau, eight labor-intensive sectors, including automobiles, created only 135,000 jobs last year, the lowest in seven years...

RAJIV KUMAR: It's a ticking time bomb.

MCCARTHY: ...Meaning social instability. Rajiv Kumar adds, if you have no new jobs...

KUMAR: You don't, therefore, address poverty in any real sense. And you exaggerate inequalities in our country.

MCCARTHY: Kumar is former head of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce. He says India's nearly 8 percent growth rate reflects a jump in the service sector but disguises sluggishness in manufacturing. Kumar urges the government to stop boasting about the GDP and focus on the number of jobs created.

KUMAR: Because that's what is the key. And if you have that as the key macroeconomic target, then growth will follow.

MCCARTHY: But Mihir Sharma, author of "Restart: The Last Chance For The Indian Economy," says India can unleash growth only if it becomes easier to do business. He says roads here are so bad, the bureaucracy so hidebound, it's often cheaper to fly raw materials in from overseas than to clear the hurdles within India. That includes, he says, India's labor laws, which make it hard to fire workers in shops with more than 100 employees.

MIHIR SHARMA: It might take months. It could take years. And that's to fire one person. We are not competitive because we just can't get the scale and get the flexibility that every other country in the world has.

MCCARTHY: Flexibility in the workforce is useful in the lean periods, says Vishal Lalani, whose factory churns out dashboards for commercial vehicles, a sector that tumbled. A recovery has kicked in. But Lalani says 6 to 8 percent inflation is eating at his bottom line. And Lalani echoes other entrepreneurs who say Prime Minister Modi's campaign, Make in India, is more slogan than substance.

VISHAL LALANI: That's the way I see it. And it's probably boosting India's image and giving people a feel-good factor. But there's not that much happening on the ground.

MCCARTHY: Demand in India's auto sector is picking up, but the number of new jobs created is negligible. Even in aspirational India, demand can only go so far without gainful employment. Julie McCarthy, NPR News, New Delhi.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan's Storm Fiber Offers 30Mbps #FTTH Broadband for Just Rs. 3,999 in #Karachi, #Lahore … via @ProPakistaniPK

While 3G/4G mobile internet has catered to the nation’s demand for high-speed internet, it is just not viable for everyone; especially for businesses and power users who need to consume high volumes of data at very high speeds.

There’s a reason the west has resorted to FTTH and that’s mainly due to its reliability, consistency and capacity to control higher data speeds.

While FTTH in Pakistan is comparatively a new phenomenon, mainly due to its limited coverage, things have started to change now.

Storm Fiber, a Cybernet company, is offering its FTTH services in Lahore and Karachi at unbelievable prices.

For example, you can enjoy 30Mbps for just Rs. 3,999. This price includes cable TV and fixed line as well as a value addition.

Not to mention, this speed of 30Mbps is valid for both uploads as well as for downloads.

Storm Fiber said that these prices are excluding taxes, but there’s no limit on download/upload and customers can enjoy true unlimited data connections throughout the month.

Riaz Haq said...

From Wall Street Journal:

Up until a year ago, the shipping industry was ordering ships in droves. This year, orders of new vessels have fallen to a record low and companies can’t get rid of ships fast enough.

About 1,000 ships that have the combined capacity to haul 52 million metric tons of cargo will be dragged onto beaches, cut into pieces and sold for scrap metal this year. That is second only to the record amount of capacity of 61 million so-called dead weight tons that were scrapped and recycled in 2012.

The global economic slowdown is putting shipping through its most bruising period since the 2008 financial crisis. Companies including Maersk Line, a unit of Danish conglomerate A.P. Møller Maersk A/S, Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd AG and China Cosco Bulk Shipping Co. have 30% more capacity in the water than cargo. As the companies, mostly based in Europe and Asia, fight for bigger shares of the global market, freight rates have dropped so low they barely cover fuel costs.

In the five years through 2015, owners ordered an average of 1,450 ships annually. This year orders through July fell to 293 vessels, or 11.6 million tons, according to U.K. marine data provider Vessels Value.

“Given the tremendous overcapacity, it will take much more recycling and at least two to three years of no growth in capacity to see some balance between supply and demand,” said Basil Karatzas, chief executive of New York-based Karatzas Marine Advisors Co.

Two years ago, in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were paying about $460 a ton of steel. Last year it was $300 and it is now roughly $250, shipowners say. Officials at the Alang scrapyard—one of the world’s biggest, on India’s West Coast—said prices were likely to stay low through the rest of the year, as China is flooding the market with recycled steel.

Braemar ACM expects about 550 dry-bulk ships to be recycled this year, 29% more than last year and 48% more than in 2014. About 170 container ships are likely to be scrapped this year, compared with 85 last year and 164 in 2014. The scrapping of other ship types, such tankers, car carriers, general cargo ships and fishing boats, bring the year’s total to about 1,000 vessels.

South Asian scrapyards recycle about three-quarters of all ships every year. The remainder goes to yards in China and Turkey.

Riaz Haq said...

Does China see CPEC absorbing excess industrial capacity?

The CPEC provides an additional incentive for Chinese companies to extend further afield and expand their business models. Then there is the utilisation of its excess industrial capacity, which China stands to gain from considerably; “Putting idle machinery to use in another country helps to alleviate the domestic burden of idle productive capacity”, Polk explains, “which is currently one of the major constraints on China’s growth, so removing that excess capacity by building infrastructure in other countries may help to accelerate a stabilisation in China’s industrial sector”. Given such advantages for China, it would seem that the benefactor is gaining from the project as much as the recipient, and some may argue, even more so.

Riaz Haq said...

Over 60% of #Pakistan’s #mobile users have access to #3G #4G services. #broadband

Despite making a late entry into the 3G and 4G markets, 2014 to be exact, more than half of all mobile phone users in the country are now using these services.

OpenSignal, a company that specialises in wireless coverage mapping released a report that calculates Pakistan’s 3G networks at 63.47 per cent, that is almost two-thirds of all connections.

The site calculates the availability metric by measuring how often users can see a 3G or 4G signal on their device.

South Korea topped the chart with 98.54 per cent of users having 3G or better connection. Meanwhile, India only had a 56.10 per cent availability score which is surprising given the county launched 3G in 2008.

The report by OpenSingnal also included the overall speeds for each country with Pakistan averaging at 3.33 Mbps which is lower than India’s 5.30 Mbps. South Korea topped this category as well clocking in at 41.34 Mbps.

Overall speeds also take into account the availability of the services offered in each country which is why a country with fast LTE speeds but low 4G availability might have a much lower overall speed than a country with moderate LTE speeds but a very high level of 4G availability.

Another category included in the report is Time on WiFi. The metric shows the percentage of time that users in each country were connected to WiFi networks rather than cellular networks.

Pakistan’s score here came in a 34.12 percent suggesting that one third of the time users were connected to the internet using their WiFi in favour of mobile internet. Netherlands topped this list with a score on 70%.

OpenSignal gathers its data for the study using millions of devices that have downloaded their app as opposed to test-drive data that use same devices in a small number of locations which are not representative of the whole population. This results in data that is not biased and reports that are a lot more accurate and reliable.

Riaz Haq said... China's steel industry faces increasing trade frictions

China exported a total of 112.4 million tons of steel in 2015, the first time it reached 100 million tons, but it came with an increasing number of trade frictions. Forty-six trade remedy investigations were targeted at China's steel industry last year, an increase of 19 from the year earlier and accounting for 46.9% of all the trade remedy probes in China in 2015. Worse still, China's steel industry has been accused by some of being responsible for the steel overcapacity that has gripped the world.

Chinese industry insiders, however, have cited rapidly rising exports and the surge of trade protectionism as the real cause of the simmering trade frictions.

In late May, the United States issued hefty anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on corrosion-resistant steel not only from China, but also from India, Italy and South Korea. Moreover, Japan is also the target of a number of anti-dumping cases, demonstrating worldwide surging frictions in the steel industry.

"The international steel market has become a buyer's market with the steel glut worldwide. International buyers choose to buy China's steel, thus contributing to the growth of China' steel exports," said Li Xinchuang, the head of the China Metallurgical Industry Planning Association, recently. The surge in China's steel export is a result of the increasing competitiveness of China's steel products, he added.

Experts have proposed several ways of tackling the steel overcapacity and trade frictions. Lu Feng, a professor with the National School of Development of Peking University, said that expanding China's steel exports can move forward with the cooperation with developing countries.

He took the example of China and Pakistan. China's steel exports to Pakistan increased from 370,000 tons in 2011 to 2.56 million tons last year, a nearly six-fold increase in 4 years.

"The steel trade between China and Pakistan in recent years is mainly carried out in new projects under the Belt and Road initiative, thus it will not jeopardize the existing interest of other countries, but will help Pakistan better develop its economy," he said.

As a matter of fact, China's steel exports in recent years have increased significantly in countries involved in the Belt and Road initiative and developing countries. Data shows that the value of China's steel exports to Belt and Road countries has jumped from US$10 billion in 2009 to more than US$30 billion last year.

Lu Feng also said that digging deeper into China's domestic market and encouraging mergers of steel companies will also help the country's steel industry.

Riaz Haq said...

#China's #Shanghai untility bids for $1.5 billion stake in #Karachi's #KElectric, #Pakistan. #CPEC via @Reuters

Chinese state-backed firms are frontrunners to buy a $1.5 billion controlling stake in Pakistani utility K-Electric, sources said, as they bet the benefits of a Beijing-led economic corridor will trump the risks of investing in Pakistan.

State-backed Shanghai Electric Power (600021.SS) and China Southern Power Grid are among Chinese firms leading the pack of about half a dozen bidders in K-Electric KELA.KA, one person familiar with the matter said.

Shanghai-headquartered Golden Concord Holdings is also among the bidders, as are some local Pakistani and other companies, according to people who know about the process.

Chinese companies' interest comes after China last year announced energy and infrastructure projects worth $46 billion in the South Asian nation, with a view to opening a trade corridor linking western China with the Arabian Sea.

"The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the main driver, with a lot of Chinese funding flowing into Pakistan," said one person aware of the K-Electric deal.

That demand underpins President Xi Jinping's ambitious "One Belt, One Road" initiative, under which Beijing is seeking to open new trade routes and markets as the domestic economy slows.

Under the program, Chinese companies invested nearly $15 billion in participating countries last year, up one fifth from 2014.

If successful, the K-Electric deal would be the biggest M&A agreement in Pakistan in a decade. Large tracts of Pakistan's economy remain nationalized or held by private businessmen with little interest in selling to new investors.

Chinese firms are eyeing new Pakistan power projects, roads and some engineering contracts but investing in a large private company that deals directly with consumers would be a first, a senior Karachi-based financial adviser said.


Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Group, whose 66-percent stake in K-Electric has a market value of about $1.5 billion, is seeking final bids for its stake by the end of August.

Sources cautioned that although talks between the parties are advanced, there is no certainty of a deal being clinched.

The Pakistani government owns about 24 percent, but a spokesman for the water and power ministry said it was not in talks to sell.

CPEC envisages the construction of roads, pipelines and power plants across Pakistan that run south to Gwadar port and should mean more business for distribution companies like K-Electric that sell the electricity to users.

China and Pakistan call each other "all-weather friends" and their ties have been underpinned by long-standing wariness of their common neighbor, India, and a desire to hedge against U.S. influence in the region.

Islamabad wants Chinese funding to reinvigorate an economy hurt by militant violence and weak productivity, to provide new jobs and to ease chronic power shortages.

For China, markets like Pakistan and Malaysia are opening up new frontiers, just as it faces hurdles in countries including Australia.


"We are getting a lot more enquiries from Chinese investors about Pakistan in the last couple of years," said Muhammad Sohail, CEO at Karachi-based brokerage Topline Securities.

"Before it was always U.S. and Europe. The Chinese are coming," Sohail added.

Still, foreign investment in Pakistan remains relatively muted as it struggles to shake off a reputation for violence, corruption and instability, and despite the $250 billion economy growing at its fastest pace in eight years.

Inbound M&A into Pakistan has risen more than six times in the past five years, totaling $516 million so far this year, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s 1st ever National Data Centre for E-Governance inaugurated in #Islamabad. 1st in SAARC via @techjuicepk

National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) has inaugurated Pakistan’s first ever National Data Centre in Islamabad. The inauguration ceremony held in the capital was attended by Minister of IT Ms Anusha Rahman Khan, Chairman PTA Dr. Ismail Shah and various professionals from the IT industry of Pakistan.

Pakistan is the first ever SAARC country to implement the e-governance model. After successfully converting over 6,000 files to e-government by the Ministry of Information Technology, the government last year decided to replicate this model in all ministries/divisions and attached departments.

So, in that respect, the main aim behind the newly inaugurated data centre would be to help the government implement its e-governance agenda. This National Data Centre will comply with the Tier-3 standards and other than e-governance also assist in e-commerce and e-health.

Speaking at the event, Chairman NTC Viqar Rasheed Khan said that the Data Centre will be added with the latest IT features and it will be highly technical. “The Data Centre will provide the facilities to the government bodies with different services in data communication as various other private service providers are offering to their clients.”

IT Minister Anusha Rahman also stated that the National Data Centre for e-governance is the top priority right now.

National Telecommunication Corporation signed a contract with Inbox Business Technologies and Huawei earlier this year in March. The entire process of the data centre’s establishment took place within a time span of 5 months and it is expected that it will be up and running quite soon owing to close working ties between the government and the private sector.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan adds 2.2 million new #3G/4G users in July. #Mobile broadband subscribers up to 32m - The Express Tribune

In Pakistan, the number of users on mobile-phone internet networks – 3G/4G – has increased to almost 32 million.

According to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), in July, over 2.2 million new 3G/4G users were added by the telcos, taking the total number users in the country from 29,530,254 (2.9m) to 31,779,549 (almost 3.2m).

Pakistan’s 3G/4G users doubled to 29.53 million in FY16

The userbase increased by over seven per cent.

Leading the pack was Mobilink, which added over 1.2 million new 3G users to its network, whereas Zong attracted half a million new 3G users in addition to 109,000 4G users.

Mobilink is also leading in terms of total number of 3G/4G users with over 10.2 million 3G users – almost one-third of the total 3G/4G users in the country. It was followed by Ufone with around 8.6 million 3G users.

Beware Pakistani mobile internet users

According to the PTA, the total number of broadband subscribers have increased from over 32 million at the end of fiscal year 2016 to 34.5 million by the end of July.

Commenting on the growth of 3G/4G services in the country, Parvez Iftikhar, an expert on information and communication technology, said “The availability of low-cost smartphones and aggressive roll-out of apps has made this possible.”

The availability of social networking apps such as Whatsapp and Facebook, has played a significant role in attracting huge traffic on mobile internet, he added.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s #3G/4G penetration doubles to 24% in 12 months - #Mobile #Broadband

Pakistan’s mobile broadband (3G/4G) subscriber base more than doubled over the past year to 31.8 million at the end of July.

According to the Pakistan Telecoms Authority (PTA), 3G/4G penetration has jumped from 11 per cent to 23.8 per cent over the past 12 months. Operators added an average of 1.43 million 3G/4G subs a month, but the pace picked up in July with the five key mobile players adding 2.3 million in a single month.

Pakistan has just 1.17 million 4G users. China Mobile’s Zong has nearly 800,000, while Warid has about 370,000. A year ago they each had just over 100,000 4G subs.

Mobilink is the 3G market leader with 10.2 million subs — up from just under four million a year ago. Telenor Pakistan was second with 8.6 million, a net gain of nearly four million, while Zong was third with 6.5 million (up from 3.1 million a year ago). Number four Ufone doubled its 3G subs during the period to 5.3 million.

The country has 133.3 million mobile subscribers, giving it a mobile teledensity of 69 per cent, which has been stable over the past year. Mobilink is the largest operator with 39.5 million total mobile subscribers, followed closely by Telenor (38.1 million). Zong again was third with 25.6 million, and Ufone fourth with 19.5 million.

Riaz Haq said...

#Smartphones flourishing amid #mobile broadband expansion in #Pakistan. 40 million by yearend … via @Pakistan Observer

The evolution of electronic media has been fast and swift with smartphones playing a major role as its growth is still alive, unlike in developed world. Millions of people are coming online for the first time in the South Asian region each month, it remains a lucrative market. According to a report, the number of smartphone users in Pakistan is increasing rapidly. With the introduction of the fastest 3G and 4G-LTE services in Pakistan, the use of mobile broadband is growing.
By the end of 2016, there will be more than 40 million smartphone users in the country. Currently, there are 31.77 million Internet users who are enjoying the third-generation (3G) and fourth-generation (4G) mobile communication services in Pakistan. This number is increasing. Moreover, the mobile subscribers are now 133 million, data issued by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) revealed. Based on current trends in e-commerce sector and as per market estimates, more than two million users a month visit the online shopping stores to purchase a cell phone.
To gain the advantage from this ever-increasing demand, the major industry players from telecom operators to mobile phone manufacturers and an e-commerce platform have joined hands with the internet giant Google to promote online trade by giving exclusive discounts on phone purchases just ahead of the event of Eid. The publicly available data shows mobile phone imports regarding the value and not in units making it tough to figure out category wise imports.
According to the market experts, less than 20 per cent of the mobile phones imported in Pakistan are the smartphones. But, in the next couple of years, this figure is likely to change. In almost all the online shopping stores in Pakistan, the category of the smartphone is on the top. Grappetite, a mobile app development firm had released an infographics that details the usage patterns of smartphones in Pakistan. The infographics reveals that 35 per cent of the smartphone users in Pakistan carries a low cost phone on them for safety reasons while 68 per cent of the smartphone users in Pakistan are on Android.
Similarly, 77 per cent of smartphone users are just 21 to 30 years old and 60 per cent of the Pakistani’s use more than one cell phone. Around 16 per cent smartphone users regularly buy paid apps while remaining 84 % contents with free apps. Mobile is the primary access platform, and report foresees that over time more expensive devices will see sales grow as those new internet users seek to upgrade their smartphone.—APP

Riaz Haq said...

Why #Pakistan's Stock Market Beats #China's And #India's via @forbes

Pakistan’s equity market has been outperforming China’s and India’s markets by a big margin in recent years. In the last twelve months, Global X MSCI MSCI +% Pakistan ETF was up 20%, beating India’s and China’s comparable ETF’s by almost two to one – see table.

That may come as a big surprise to some. Pakistan has been suffering all sorts of terrorist attacks, which makes it a very unstable country to put your money in. And it has been lagging behind both India and China in key macroeconomic metrics like GDP growth rates and unemployment—see table.

Index/Fund 12-month Performance 5-year Performance
Global X MSCI Pakistan (NYSE:PAK) 20% 400%*
IShares China (NYSE:FXI) 9.80% 16.00%
iShares S&P India 50 (NASDAQ:INDY) 12.77 % 33.0%
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (NYSE:EEM) 5.38% 1.52%
*In local currency.

Source: Yahoo YHOO +0.98%. Finance and Karachi Exchange 9/5/2016

Pakistan’s, India’s and China’s Key Metrics

Country China India Pakistan
GDP $10866 billion 2074 billion $270 billion
GDP Growth yoy 6.7% 7.1% 4.24%
Unemployment 4.05% 4.9% 5.9%
Inflation Rate 1.3% 5.05% 3.56%
Capital flows -594 HML -$300 million -$1882 million
Government Debt to GDP 43.9% 67.2% 64.8%
What does the collective wisdom of markets see in Pakistan’s markets that others are missing?

A few things. First, terrorist attacks don’t usually affect financial markets, unless they are disruptive to trade, which hasn’t been the case in Pakistan. Second, Pakistan is a frontier rather than an emerging market, and therefore, favored by the numbers game. Third, its market reform efforts have been getting a couple of votes of confidence from overseas like $1 billion in support from the World Bank – and a couple of domestic acquisitions from foreign suitors like the acquisition of Karachi’s K-Karachi by Shanghai Electric Power Co. This has all been music to the ears of foreign investors.

Riaz Haq said...

#Kuwait wins approval for setting up #oil refinery in #Balochistan #Pakistan #FDI

Economic managers of Pakistan have given the go-ahead to Kuwait Petroleum Corporation for setting up an oil refinery in the coastal area of Balochistan – a welcome investment initiative for the largely under-developed province, which will reduce the need for import of refined petroleum products in the country.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC), the highest economic decision-making body, took the decision in a meeting held on September 7 in response to Kuwait Petroleum’s interest in pouring capital into setting up a refinery in Balochistan, said an official aware of developments.

Chinese company keen to set up oil refinery

The ECC also decided to seek an extension in the timeframe for oil import credit facility from three to four months in an effort to ease pressure on the country’s foreign currency reserves. It directed Pakistan State Oil (PSO), the state oil marketing giant, to try and persuade Kuwait Petroleum to extend the existing credit facility from 90 to 120 days or even more.

In another decision, the ECC permitted import of furnace oil and jet fuel from Kuwait without resorting to competitive bidding. At present, PSO imports diesel from the Gulf Arab state on 90-day deferred payment.

A representative of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, who was present in the ECC huddle, said before the year 2000, Pakistan purchased diesel from Kuwait under a long-term contract with the Gulf state’s government.

However, in the wake of market deregulation, Pakistan government in 2001-02 asked PSO to enter into a fuel supply contract with Kuwait Petroleum. Immediately after that, the two sides inked an agreement for the sale and purchase of high-speed diesel only with payment guarantees from the government of Pakistan. Now, this agreement has been in place for the last around 15 years.

Earlier, Kuwait Petroleum had expressed interest in exporting furnace oil and jet fuel as part of the existing arrangement and was looking to install an oil refinery in the coastal area of Balochistan with storage facilities.

‘Pakistan has received Rs1.6tr as investment in oil and gas sector’

“Pakistan and Kuwait have an old bilateral relationship in terms of oil trade and Kuwait Petroleum is a time-tested supplier, well-reputed for the most economical supplies, product quality and supply security,” an official told the ECC meeting.

The Ministry of Petroleum and PSO suggested that furnace oil and jet fuel could be included in the existing sale and purchase contract by making an addition to it.

This could be done by invoking rule-5 of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) Rules 2004, which provides for waiving mandatory public procurement procedures in case of an international or inter-governmental commitment of the federal government.

The ministry took up the matter with the PPRA and Law and Justice Division for legal advice.

Later, the PPRA endorsed the proposal. The Law Division, on its part, pointed out that the contract was linked with the agreement between Pakistan government and Kuwait Petroleum and new products could be added. Therefore, it would be treated and read as an integral part of the existing contract.

After examining the proposal from legal point of view, the Law Division cleared it subject to meeting all formalities.

Riaz Haq said...

Byco oil refining capacity goes up to 155,000 barrels per day

Byco is now ahead of all refineries in Pakistan following the completion of its second unit, as its crude oil refining capacity has gone up to 155,000 barrels per day from 35,000 barrels per day.

Asad Siddiqui, Byco Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the complex, talking to a select group of journalists here on Monday said the second unit of the refinery has completed, enhancing its refining capacity by 120,000 barrels per day, making it the country's largest refinery. He said that Byco has crossed Pak Arab Refining Company (PARCO) which has the refining capacity of 90,000 barrels per day, followed by 68,000 barrels of National Refinery, 48,000 barrels of Pakistan Refinery Limited and 45,000 barrels of Attock Refinery.

Replying to a question regarding expected removal of international sanctions against Iran, he said that if the sanctions are lifted Byco Refinery is all set to take the advantage of expected crude oil imports from Iran at discounted rates.

Byco CFO said that his company was well placed to benefit from removal of international sanctions against Tehran unlike the country's other refineries which had long term crude supply contracts.

"It is comparatively difficult for other refineries to switch over because of their long term agreements" but Byco has the potential to quickly take advantage of the emerging opportunity.

He said perhaps Iran would also offer discount on crude oil to open up its market and it would be a good omen for Pakistan.

He said Byco had completed one of the two new projects for isomerization and desulphurization and it had relatively short term crude supply agreements that provide flexibility for Iranian crude.

He said the Byco also had past experience of refining Iranian crude before its supply had suspended due to international sanctions.

He said because of consolidated business model, the company would be declaring profit for the first time for the quarter ending June 30, 2015 that would set the direction for its improved financial position in future.

He said the Byco management had decided to consolidate its refining business before going into expansion of retail outlets, adding that so far Byco was operating 250 petrol pumps across the country.

"The focus of our marketing has been on furnace oil sales and we have been able to secure furnace oil business from Nishat Chunia, K-Electric, Tapal, Liberty and Hub Power Company", he maintained.

He said Byco was facing problems because of the issue of turn over tax, but the authorities had not only understood the tax anomaly but was committed to issue an enabling clarification. He explained that refinery was set up under tax-holiday for seven years when there was no turn over tax which was imposed subsequently and the government had agreed to do away with it. He said about 95 per cent of the oil pricing was based on crude price which meant that turn over tax could simply eat away the entire profit.

He said that due to the completion of isomerization and desulphurization of within plants into a couple of months it would convert its entire Naphtha production into motor spirit that would almost double its production from 12,500 barrels per day to cut costs.

He said the government had appreciated the co-operation extended by the Byco in controlling petrol crisis early this year and now looked forward to take benefit of its location and infrastructure.

He said the company could directly provide furnace oil to Hubco next door while Pakistan State Oil was also taking full advantage of Byco's strength of its own port facility in the shape of single point mooring.

Siddiqui said all major oil marketing companies including PSO, Hescol, Caltex and Shell in that order and other smaller companies were lifting products from Byco refinery.

Riaz Haq said...

At present, the annual demand for petroleum products stands at around 23 million tons in the country and it is expected to touch 27 million tons by 2020.

Of the total volume, the demand for 10 million tons, or 44%, is met by domestic refineries whereas 13 million tons (56%) are imported.

More than two-thirds of the crude processed by local refineries is brought through imports. In financial year 2015, the refineries processed around 3.9 million tons (32%) of crude oil produced in the country and 8.2 million tons (68%) of imported oil.

PSO – the largest oil marketing company – meets energy needs of the country through a wide network of depots with a storage capacity of around one million tons, which constitutes around two-thirds of the storage capacity of all oil marketing companies.

The demand for premier motor gasoline (PMG) has shown unprecedented growth over the past many years in the country, which has increased five times from 1.15 million tons in financial year 2007 to 5.8 million tons in 2016.

Of the total PMG demand, only 1.6 million tons (28%) is produced in the country whereas 4.2 million tons (72%) are imported and handled at terminals at Karachi Port.

Piling debt: PSO receives Rs293b by power sector companies

However, according to the official, it has become extremely difficult for PSO to smoothly meet the demand and swiftly offload PMG from vessels carrying 50,000 tons or more because of lack of storages at the port. The current storage capacity is only 40,000 tons at Keamari, Karachi Port.

Moreover, due to jetty constraints at Port Qasim, the transport of PMG from Keamari to Port Qasim is also difficult.

In this scenario, he said, the supply chain of PMG and other fuels was increasingly at risk due to delay and crowding of vessels.

In an effort to tackle storage constraints which also led to the petrol crisis in January 2015, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources had asked PSO to enhance the PMG storage capacity to 150,000 tons – 100,000 tons in Karachi and 50,000 tons in the upcountry.

In response, PSO prepared a plan in July 2015 for enhancing the storage capacity to about 125,000 tons.

It asked the Ministry of Industries and Production to allow conversion of all non-dangerous product/heavy product storage tanks at Keamari Terminal-C (40,000 tons) into dangerous product tanks for storing PMG. Its approval has been received in two cases and another two are being reviewed.

Riaz Haq said...

At present, the annual demand for petroleum products stands at around 23 million tons in the country and it is expected to touch 27 million tons by 2020.

Of the total volume, the demand for 10 million tons, or 44%, is met by domestic refineries whereas 13 million tons (56%) are imported.

More than two-thirds of the crude processed by local refineries is brought through imports. In financial year 2015, the refineries processed around 3.9 million tons (32%) of crude oil produced in the country and 8.2 million tons (68%) of imported oil.

PSO – the largest oil marketing company – meets energy needs of the country through a wide network of depots with a storage capacity of around one million tons, which constitutes around two-thirds of the storage capacity of all oil marketing companies.

The demand for premier motor gasoline (PMG) has shown unprecedented growth over the past many years in the country, which has increased five times from 1.15 million tons in financial year 2007 to 5.8 million tons in 2016.

Of the total PMG demand, only 1.6 million tons (28%) is produced in the country whereas 4.2 million tons (72%) are imported and handled at terminals at Karachi Port.

Piling debt: PSO receives Rs293b by power sector companies

However, according to the official, it has become extremely difficult for PSO to smoothly meet the demand and swiftly offload PMG from vessels carrying 50,000 tons or more because of lack of storages at the port. The current storage capacity is only 40,000 tons at Keamari, Karachi Port.

Moreover, due to jetty constraints at Port Qasim, the transport of PMG from Keamari to Port Qasim is also difficult.

In this scenario, he said, the supply chain of PMG and other fuels was increasingly at risk due to delay and crowding of vessels.

In an effort to tackle storage constraints which also led to the petrol crisis in January 2015, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources had asked PSO to enhance the PMG storage capacity to 150,000 tons – 100,000 tons in Karachi and 50,000 tons in the upcountry.

In response, PSO prepared a plan in July 2015 for enhancing the storage capacity to about 125,000 tons.

It asked the Ministry of Industries and Production to allow conversion of all non-dangerous product/heavy product storage tanks at Keamari Terminal-C (40,000 tons) into dangerous product tanks for storing PMG. Its approval has been received in two cases and another two are being reviewed.

Riaz Haq said...

Middle East’s Largest Air #Cargo Handler to Invest $18M to Double Capacity in #Pakistan By Dec 2017 - via @PKKHTweet

Gerry’s dnata, a 50/50 joint venture between Gerry’s and dnata, has announced its plans to invest $18 million in Pakistan.

The joint-venture, created in 1993, operates in as many as seven airports in Pakistan. Its main domain is handling cargo and luggage of 12 international airlines at Pakistan’s airports.

The company is aiming to double its working capacity by December 2017. For that purpose, they have invested $18 million. The amount will be utilized in buying ground service equipment as well as increasing storage capacity.

“We have placed Pakistan’s biggest order for ground service equipment worth $7 million and are investing another $11 million to double storage capacity of our warehouse at Karachi airport,” said Syed Haris Raza, Gerry’s dnata vice president.

Haris Raza estimates the cargo traded by air in Pakistan to about 10 percent of the total cargo. He also said that around 500,000 tons of cargo is transported by air freight in and out of the country, every year.

The Saudi Arabian Airlines, which operates over 40 flights a week to and from Pakistan, recently decided to outsource its ground handling services to Gerry’s dnata. The investment was made after taking that into consideration.

Riaz Haq said...

September 2016 gasoline (petrol) sales reach 563,000 tons in #Pakistan with rising car & motorcycle sales

KARACHI: Sales of petrol during September 2016 were recorded at 563,000 tonnes below the highest ever sales of 566,274 tonnes recorded in May 2016.

Out of 563,000 tonnes, the share of imported petrol was 422,000 tonnes while local refineries supplied 145,000 tonnes, Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC) CEO M Ilyas Fazil said.

He attributed brisk sales of petrol to rising sales of cars — including imported ones which are mostly below 880cc — and other petrol driven vehicles.

He said a number of car owners had switched over to petrol from CNG due to gas load shedding. Higher generator imports are also putting pressure on the higher usage of petrol.

Mr Fazil said country’s stocks of petrol now stand at 220,000 tonnes which are enough to meet the demand for next 12 days. A Pakistan State Oil tanker is currently discharging petrol at Keamari, he added.

Mr Fazil said stock movement of petrol from Karachi to upcountry supply areas continues unabated and “the country remains well supplied.”

Pakistan has achieved highest ever import of 484,207 tonnes of motor gasoline in July 2016.