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Textile and clothing exports likely to increase to $15...

LAHORE: The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (APTMA) Chairman Syed Ali Ahsan has said the export enablers ensured by the government are likely to increase textile and clothing exports to $15 billion during remaining period of the current fiscal year.

Addressing a press conference at the APTMA Punjab office on Friday, he appreciated the government for recognizing the importance of exporting Industry and providing regionally competitive energy to 5 zero rated sectors.

He said the government should ensure supply of energy on regionally competitive price in order to ensure stability.

Speaking on the occasion, Patron-in-Chief APTMA Gohar Ejaz said the availability of energy at regionally competitive price has increased textile exports by 8.5 percent in the month of January 2019 against the corresponding period.

“The textile industry exports is likely cross $15 billion mark in case it continues to grow by 10 percent on an average for the remaining period of current fiscal,” he said and added that it would likely be a record achievement of textile exports in such a short span of time.

According to him, the exports of $3.5 billion yarn and fabric annually may boost textile exports to $14 billion in case closed capacity worth $3 billion exports is revived through the enablers ensured by the government.

He proposed to constitute a task force on cotton production to achieve 15 million bales and to ensure implementation of the vertical & horizontal growth of cotton, acquisition of high yield cotton technology, broad basing of sustainable cotton production, provision of agricultural extension services and provision of direct support to farmers to reduce their input cost.

He said the government should liquidate all textile Industry refunds of sale tax, income tax, policy & package initiatives.

To promote investment, he urged the government to allow LTFF to indirect exports and enhance credit limit for investment under LTFF to Rs. 3 billion per project.

Also, he demanded a fast track establishment of Integrated Textile & Apparel Parks enabling plug and play facilities for local and foreign investors.

He said a special task force on revival of closed mills is an urgent need of the hour.

Regarding trade with India, Gohar said India was exporting products worth $2.5 billion against merely $500 million exports from Pakistan. He proposed the government to reciprocate India in the same coin that has imposed 200 percent duty on Pakistani products. He said the domestic industry is capable to produce the products imported from India.

He has also urged the government to revisit agreements with the Independent Power Producers, as the energy mix is becoming cheaper world over. He said both the availability and affordability of energy has been a big problem for the exporting industry and unrealistic terms and margins on returns should be revised in line with the regional compatibility.

Trump says China trade deal likely as talks extended

Washington, Feb 23: US President Donald Trump said on Friday a trade summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping was likely next month, and hailed two days of "very good talks" by negotiators.

The negotiations were extended through Sunday as officials race to reach a deal ahead of a deadline next week when US duty rates are due to rise sharply.

But Trump again said he was considering pushing back the deadline for raising tariffs on more than $200 billion in Chinese exports.

"We expect to have a meeting sometime in a not too distant future," he said of the meeting with Xi. "Probably fairly soon in the month of March."

Xi also sounded a positive note in a letter delivered to Trump by China's lead negotiator Liu He.

The Chinese president expressed hope that the talks maintain "a mutually respectful, cooperative and win-win attitude" and lead to a "mutually beneficial" agreement.

"I am ready to maintain close contact with the President through various means," state-run China Central Television quoted Xi's letter saying.

Details remained scant about any concrete progress in the seven-month-old trade war, which has rattled global markets and prompted stark warnings about the risks to the world economy.

"I think there is a very, very good chance that a deal can be made," Trump told reporters at the White House on a second day of trade negotiations with Chinese officials.

"If we are doing well, I could see extending that" deadline for the end of the three month tariff truce.

And Trump said an agreement on currency manipulation will be included in the trade pact. Officials from Beijing also expressed optimism about a positive outcome.

"From China, we believe that it is very likely that it will happen," Liu said, speaking through an interpreter.

 

(AFP/APP)

Global equities climb on hopeful trade talk vibes

London, Feb 22: World stock markets advanced Friday as investors awaited what they hoped will be encouraging news from US-China trade talks in Washington, dealers said.

Europe's key equity markets were modestly higher at the close, building on earlier Asian gains.

Wall Street was also higher in the late New York morning as US economic concerns appeared to be eclipsed by hopes that high-level talks between the United States and China will seal a trade war truce.

"Global equities saw some modest gains... as investors await results from the Sino-US trade talks," said Oanda analyst Dean Popplewell.

"Will we get some concrete news or perhaps an announcement of an extension of the March 1 deadline for implementing further US tariffs?"

And with the March deadline approaching, US President Donald Trump will meet with China's top negotiator and Xi Jinping's top economics envoy, Liu He, on Friday.

"The market will continue to look for a memorandum of understanding between the two nations, a date and place of a potential summit between President Trump and China's President Xi, and an announcement if the March 1 deadline will be delayed," Briefing.com analysts wrote.

- No 'meaningful' deal? -

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) meanwhile forecast that the two sides would make "some progress" -- but were unlikely to clinch any "meaningful" deal.

"The likelihood that the US and China will make some progress in the ongoing trade talks has increased as a result of mounting domestic pressure in both economies," noted EIU global economist Cailin Birch in a report.

"Nonetheless, we do not expect a meaningful agreement, as the US and China enter into a strategic competition for economic -- and particularly technological -- dominance."

The EIU added that any deal would therefore only provide "temporary relief" from trade tensions.

Investors later Friday will be digesting remarks from several top Federal Reserve officials and a semi-annual Fed report on monetary policy.

- Key figures around 1640 GMT -

  • London - FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,178.60 points (close)
  • Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.3 percent at 11,457.70 (close)
  • Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.4 percent at 5,215.85 (close)
  • EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 3,270.55
  • New York - Dow: UP 0.7 percent at 26,036.74
  • Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.2 percent at 21,425.51 (close)
  • Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.7 percent at 28,816.30 (close)
  • Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.9 percent at 2,804.23 (close)
  • Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1337 from $1.1336 at 2200 GMT
  • Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3058 from $1.3043
  • Euro/pound: DOWN at 86.84 pence from 86.92 pence
  • Dollar/yen: UP at 110.75 yen from 110.70
  • Oil - Brent Crude: UP 18 cents at $67.25 per barrel
  • Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 53 cents at $57.49

 

(AFP/APP)

Target of 55,000MW energy generation set by govt: minister

LAHORE, Feb 22: Federal Minister for Energy (Power Division) Omar Ayub Khan Friday said the government has set target of 55,000MW power generation by 2030 out of which 18,000MW power generation will be generated from renewable resources.

He was speaking on the occasion of inauguration of TSG training Simulator at Technical Services Group (TSG) of National Transmission and Despatch Company Limited, here on Friday.

Deputy Chief of Mission Yusuke SHINDO of Japan jointly inaugurated TSG training Simulator.

The project has been completed with the cooperation of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) with the cost of Rs one billion. Secretary Power Division Irfan Ali, MD NTDC and JICA representatives were also present.

The minister thanked the government of Japan and JICA for extending assistance for installation of Training Simulator. 

He said that time spent in simulator was never wasted and will benefit and enhance the vision of young engineers of NTDC and DISCOs. However, he said that, he along with the team of power division, including the secretary power, MD NTDC, CEOs DISCOs, working day and night to eliminate constrains of the power sector with improvement in transmission, distribution and generation system.

Transmission and distribution system needed to be corrected, he added.

The minister said that he and the secretary power were making surprise visits to various distribution companies in  Sindh, KPK and Punjab for improvement of the power sector.

He said the government believed in transparency, hence, receiving foreign direct investment (FDI) from various countries and Saudi Arabia, which had shown keenness to invest in the power sector during its recent visit of the KSA Crown Prince to Pakistan.

The minister said that security lines of energy would be controlled and Pakistan would not be dependent on other countries after the establishment of Simulator.

He said that the power infrastructure, transmission lines and distribution system would be upgraded which needed investment of 55 billion dollars.

While comparing the power theft and losses of distribution system during the month of JanJanuary  2018 and January 2019, he said that power theft losses had been reduced to 5.6 per cent and managed to save Rs 10 billion.

He also sought transfer of technology from Japan.

Omar Ayub appreciated the efforts of CEOs of DISCOs for elimination of power theft and improvement in recoveries.

Deputy Chief of Mission  Yusuke SHINDO of Japan applauded the hospitalities extended by the Ministry of Energy (Power Division) and NTDC. He vowed to extend financial assistance to Pakistan in coming years.

 

(APP)

SBP launches cheaper liquidity facilities for the development of...

February 22, 2019 (MLN): State Bank of Pakistan has issued three Shariah Compliant Refinance Schemes that are expected to provide level playing field to the Islamic banking industry. Currently, SBP offers various subsidized refinance facilities to the banks / DFIs to channelise the funds into priority sectors.

Shariah compliant Islamic Export Refinance facility and Islamic long term financing facility for the exporters are available to the Islamic banking industry. However, addition of Shariah compliant financing facility for Renewable Energy, financing facility for storage of agricultural produce and Refinance facility for modernization of SMEs will meet the long awaited demand of the industry, especially for the Agriculture and SME sectors.

Mudarabah based facilities would provide long term cheaper liquidity to the end users. The financing under Islamic financing facility for Renewable Energy will be available in two categories. These are (i)prospective sponsors desirous of setting up renewable energy power projects with capacity ranging between 1 – 50 MW and (ii) consumers willing to install facility using renewable energy source for generation of electricity ranging between 4 KW – 1 MW for own use and/or for supplying to the distribution company.

 Islamic Financing facility for storage of agricultural produce will be available for setting up silos, warehouses and cold storages. Refinance facility for modernization of SMEs will be available for purchase of new imported/ local plant & machinery for SMEs.

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