Conversion rates of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special United States Dollar Bonds and profit thereon February 27, 2015

Karachi, February 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): The following rates will be applicable for conversion into rupees of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special U.S Dollar Bonds and profit thereon by all banks and for providing Forward Cover on Foreign Currency Deposits (excluding F.E-25 deposits) by the State Bank on March 2, …

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Karachi, February 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): The following rates will be applicable for conversion into rupees of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special U.S Dollar Bonds and profit thereon by all banks and for providing Forward Cover on Foreign Currency Deposits (excluding F.E-25 deposits) by the State Bank on March 2, 2015.

Currency         Rate in Pak Rupee

U.S. Dollar         101.8434

Japanese Yen          0.8532

Pound Sterling      156.8897

Euro                114.2988

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Tel: +9221 3921 2562
Fax: +9221 3921 2563
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk

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Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry signs Memoranda of Understanding with Ankara Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Kayseri Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Lahore, February 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with Ankara Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Kayseri Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the presence of Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu and Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif. The LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz, …

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Lahore, February 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with Ankara Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Kayseri Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the presence of Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu and Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif.

The LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz, President of Kaysery Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mahmut HICYILMAZ and Vice President of Ankara Chamber of Commerce and Industry Koray Gungor Sanal inked the Memoranda of Understanding on behalf of their respective organizations.

The MOUs are aimed at providing a general framework to guide the continuous communication and mutual exchange process between both countries and Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Turkish Chambers would extend their best cooperation for exchanging of trade delegation and would arrange meetings and assemblies for the businessmen of Pakistan and Turkey.

They would also exchange information about trade fairs and exhibitions that might help in the matchmaking process in the both countries and would also exchange research work, studies, documents related to commercial and economic aspects.

The LCCI, Ankra CCI and Kayseri CCI would cooperate in developing small and medium sized enterprises by making mutual projects and exchanging expertise in educational and training fields. The Chambers would organize the training developed program and trade missions, would develop mutual plans, research and evaluation studies.

According the MOUs all disputes, discrepancies or claim arising from or in connection with Protol hereby, would be settled amicably by the three chambers through mediation. Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that Memoranda of Understanding between the LCCI and Turkish Chambers would give a new twist to the economic ties between the two countries.

He said that presence of the Prime Ministers of Turkey and Pakistan shows that they wanted to make mutual relations more meaningful. He said that LCCI and Turkish Chambers would stimulate the businessmen of both countries to initiate joint ventures.

Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that Turkey for being second fastest growing economy of the world after China and first in the European Union has a lot to offer to the Pakistani businessmen. He said the time has come that the businessmen of both the countries should enhance their bilateral relations which will be beneficial for the people of both the countries.

LCCI president said that Pakistani economy could get strength by adopting the development and progress of Turkey as role model. He commended the efforts made by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif whose vision has contributed to a great deal in accelerating the two way interaction among the business community of Turkey and Pakistan.

He said that textiles sector of Pakistan has traditionally been the biggest sector of the economy. Studies and surveys confirm that its contribution in total exports are almost 60% and it engages almost 38% of manufacturing labour force to acquire more than 46% share in overall manufacturing.

The LCCI President said that Pakistan technology improvement and capacity building in textile sector of Pakistan is necessary. It does attract foreign investment and no other country can become better partner with Pakistan than Turkey. So any initiative from Turkish business community related to Textiles would always be welcomed.

Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that Turkey is well positioned to take advantage of Pakistan’s economic potential and its geo-strategic location. “Let us make trade and investment, the central pillar of this cooperation.”
He said that with regard to solid waste management, it is proposed that waste-to-energy solutions are gaining a lot of success in modern world.

He said that Pakistan is facing severe crisis in energy sector and it is the best way that we go far all possible options of alternative energy. He said that practical steps like MOUs between the LCCI and Turkish Chambers will surely go a long way in enhancing the current level of two-way trade between Pakistan and Turkey. He said that some analysts presume that the trade volume between Turkey and Pakistan can be increased as high as US$ 2 billion with some joint efforts made by public and private sectors of both the countries.

For more information, contact:
Shahid Khalil
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-6368854

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Asian Development Bank to help Fund Pakistan’s First Liquefied Natural Gas Regasification Terminal

Manila, February 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $30 million project loan to Engro Elengy Terminal Private Limited, a special purpose company which will build Pakistan’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal. “Pakistan urgently needs to utilize its existing power generation capacity fully, while reducing its reliance on costly …

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Manila, February 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $30 million project loan to Engro Elengy Terminal Private Limited, a special purpose company which will build Pakistan’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification terminal.

“Pakistan urgently needs to utilize its existing power generation capacity fully, while reducing its reliance on costly imported diesel fuel for electricity generation,” said Mohammed Azim Hashimi, an investment specialist in ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department. “Regasification of LNG will allow generation facilities to reach their maximum potential, using a cleaner and more efficient fuel, and will support the country’s push for greater energy security and diversification.”

The loan, to the special purpose unit of listed Pakistani company, Engro Corporation Ltd, will be used to build and operate the regasification facility at Port Qasim, Karachi. The plant will have the capacity for regasification of up to 3 million tons of LNG per annum from March 2015 onwards. The fuel, suitable for use at most of the country’s combined cycle power plants, will be supplied to the state-owned Sui Southern Gas Company’s gas distribution network via a new high pressure pipeline.

The converted fuel will help the government make an estimated savings of about $1 billion per annum on its current fuel import bill of nearly $15 billion. Since 2008, Pakistan has been suffering from crippling power shortages, caused by a lack of fuel, which has resulted in unscheduled industry shutdowns, power interruptions in cities, and public unrest. The country’s natural gas resources are also under severe strain with a recent survey showing that the rate of gas extraction is declining by over 2% a year, even as demand accelerates.

Regasification converts LNG into natural gas, making it easier to store and distribute through pipelines to end users including power generators. The project will help avoid up to 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year.

ADB works closely with the government to attract private sector capital into Pakistan’s energy sector, and has helped finance the country’s first two private hydropower projects and first three private wind power projects. ADB also offers long term commercial financing which is not readily available in Pakistan. The regasification project is expected to set legal and financial benchmarks for similar projects in future.

Along with ADB’s loan, International Finance Corporation is expected to provide $20 million and local banks another $50 million. The rest of the project financing will come from equity proceeds of $33.3 million, for a total cost of $133.3 million, including contingencies. ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.

For more information, contact:
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Level 8, North Wing, Serena Office Complex
Khayaban-e-Suhrawardy, G-5
GPO Box 1863, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-2600351-69, +92-51-2087300
Fax: +92-51-2600365-66, +92-51-2087397-98

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Warid Subscriber Identity Module verification by SMS and IVR

Karachi, February 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): With the current efforts of biometric verification of SIMs nationwide, the telecom industry is facing many challenges to complete the process in time. The main focus of all the mobile operators is to verify the maximum number of their subscribers in the limited allocated time and have initiated innovative ways …

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Karachi, February 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): With the current efforts of biometric verification of SIMs nationwide, the telecom industry is facing many challenges to complete the process in time. The main focus of all the mobile operators is to verify the maximum number of their subscribers in the limited allocated time and have initiated innovative ways to facilitate their customers.

Mr Nauman Fakhar, Director of Customer Services at Warid, said: “Keeping in mind the tradition of innovation, Warid Telecom has taken it a step further by offering a simple yet innovative way to identify the verification status of any number by calling its IVR numbers 100 or 321.”

Upon dialling 321 or 100 IVR, the callers will not only be informed on the verification status of their numbers but system will also check the status of any other number registered on their CNIC and will guide the callers on any further procedures required, if any, to complete the verification process.

In addition, Warid Telecom has also introduced SMS based service for its customers to check the status by sending the CNIC number to 789 and receiving the status against the said CNIC immediately. These services, offered by Warid, are designed to provide convenience to the customer without having to leave the comfort of their home.

For more information, contact:
Shahzad Ahmad
Public Relations Officer
Warid Telecom (Pvt.) Limited
Phone: +92-321-4444855
Email: shahzad.ahmad@waridtel.com
URL: www.waridtel.com

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Tajikistan to export sizeable quantity of electricity to Pakistan to lessen intensity of energy crisis: Ambassador

Islamabad, February 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): Ambassador of Tajikistan Sher Ali Jononov on Friday said his country is preparing to export sizeable quantity of electricity to Pakistan to lessen the intensity of energy crisis which has compromised economic growth. He said that his country wants to enhance bilateral trade with Pakistan and invited business community to …

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Islamabad, February 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): Ambassador of Tajikistan Sher Ali Jononov on Friday said his country is preparing to export sizeable quantity of electricity to Pakistan to lessen the intensity of energy crisis which has compromised economic growth. He said that his country wants to enhance bilateral trade with Pakistan and invited business community to visit his country to explore investment opportunities and organise trade exhibitions.

Sher Ali Jononov said this in a meeting with Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President of Pakistan Economy Watch. The Ambassador said that Pakistanis are hardworking and highly gifted people and future of this brotherly country is very bright. The energy sector of Tajikistan had been showing sustainable growth for the last 15 years transforming his country into world’s third largest producer of hydroelectric power after the US and Russia, he added.

Hydroelectric generation accounts for 76 percent of the total energy output in of the country and that the total estimated cost of the project which will lighten Pakistan through Tajik electricity has been estimated at $1.160 billion which will be financed by World Bank, ADB, Islamic Development Bank and other donors.

Sher Ali Jononov said that this project will not only alleviate electricity shortages in Pakistan but will also replace fuel-based electricity generation for Afghanistan and Pakistan. It will also establish Afghanistan as a viable transit country and offer transmission capacity for other countries during the off-peak season.

He said that it will also create a viable governance mechanism to build confidence among neighbours as major share of the export will be used by Pakistan, and approximately 300 MW will be utilised by Afghanistan. He said that Pakistan’s economic indicators are improving and expressed keen interest in importing sports and surgical goods from Pakistan.

At the occasion, Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that Pakistan is gateway to Central Asia for trade and commerce and the Central Asian states could be a very strong market for Pakistan with immense opportunities. The KASA 1000 project is the major electricity transfer projects which will transfer 1,300 megawatts to Afghanistan and Pakistan and any change of plans may delay the project, he said.

He stressed frequent exchange of trade delegations, joint ventures and strong business-to-business links to explore the mutual trade potential between the two countries. Both countries can cooperate in field of explorations, extraction and processing of gas and oil products, said Dr. Mughal.

For more information, contact:
Dr. Murtaza Mughal
President
Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW)
402, 4th Floor, Gulistan Khan House, Fazal-e-Haq Road,
82-East, Blue Area, Islamabad
Tel: +92-51-2510375
Fax: +92-51-2802449
Cell: +92-321-5157671
Email: president@pakistaneconomywatch.com
Web: www.pakistaneconomywatch.com

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Agro industries vital for development and growth of our economy: Sikandar Bosan

Islamabad, February 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan has said that the Agro industries are vital for development and growth of […]

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Islamabad, February 27, 2015 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan has said that the Agro industries are vital for development and growth of our economy. The prime focus of the government is on high value agriculture including horticulture, livestock and fisheries. Concerted efforts are being made to improve farm level practices and developing linkages of farmers with markets and industry.

Federal Minister was addressing “Pakistan Agriculture Conference and Exhibition 2015, and at this occasion Sikandar Bosan said that this will also be an opportunity to discuss and share new technologies, ideas and future pathways for sustainable growth of agro industry. Federal Minister has said that under the existing situation, Pakistan has to make investment for setting up processing industries for commodities like potatoes, chilies and tomatoes to create opportunities for fair returns to farm sector.

Federal Minister has stated that agriculture sector has traditionally sustained a satisfactory growth to ensure food security of our growing population however; the major challenge faced has been low returns to farmers for their commodities because of higher costs of production.

This calls for well-thought interventions to improve agri. products value addition at the farm levels and industrial linkages. Especially under the existing situation, when the agricultural commodities returns do not commensurate the increasing cost of production, a vibrant industrial sector understanding of these challenges may come forward to support the farm sector.

Bosan has stated that government is currently focusing to develop mechanisms for minimizing cost of production to increase farmers’ interest in agriculture and livestock. As a policy, the Government is committed to provide required infrastructure support to agro-processors with the aim to enhance value addition and job opportunities for growing young population.

Bosan has said that present Government is fully cognizant of the role of rural youth in developing services sector and entrepreneurship for value added growth of agriculture sector and its relevance to improvement in incomes. The rural youth will be supported in acquiring the new skills for setting agro-based businesses for improving household livelihood.

Minister has stated that it is expected that under the Prime Minister’s Youth Loan Programme, the areas like livestock, horticulture and fisheries as well as non farm sector would benefit and this would result in overall economic betterment of rural masses and generate raw material for our growing food industries.

Bosan has remarked that I would also like to emphasize that there is little direct linkages of various agricultural industries with small scale farmers. This situation demands a paradigm shift in approach of the industrial sector with respect to their relationship with farming community who produce raw material for them.

He further emphasized that the agro-based industries should be set up in major agricultural producing areas. There is also need that the businesses and industry have to set up formalized contractual arrangements with the farmers for purchase of their commodities and products.

He said that the industrial sector should also develop linkages with the agricultural research and development and play a role in transfer of technology and knowledge to the farming community. Bosan has expressed that Pakistan Agriculture Conference and Exhibition 2015 would be an opportunity for our visiting farmers to expand their knowledge about new innovations and value addition technologies.

For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +92-51-9252323 and +92-51-9252324
Fax: +92-51-9252325 and +92-51-9252326
Email: piopid@gmail.com

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Syrian Mazen Darwish named IPI World Press Freedom Hero

 Lawyer, human rights defender detained since 2012  VIENNA, Feb 26, 2015 – The International Press Institute (IPI) today named as its 67thWorld Press Freedom Hero prominent Syrian lawyer and human rights defender Mazen Darwish, who has advocated for media freedom in his country for more than 10 years, and for the last three from behind […]

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 Lawyer, human rights defender detained since 2012

 VIENNA, Feb 26, 2015 – The International Press Institute (IPI) today named as its 67thWorld Press Freedom Hero prominent Syrian lawyer and human rights defender Mazen Darwish, who has advocated for media freedom in his country for more than 10 years, and for the last three from behind bars.

IPI also announced Mexican journalists’ network Periodistas de a Pie (Journalists on Foot) as the recipient of its 2015 Free Media Pioneer Award, pointing to the group’s groundbreaking efforts in working to protect and improve journalists’ safety.

Both awards will be presented during a special ceremony on March 28 in Yangon, Myanmar during IPI’s annual World Congress and General Assembly.

IPI’s World Press Freedom Hero Award honours journalists who have made significant contributions to the promotion of press freedom, particularly in the face of great personal risk. IPI Interim Executive Director Barbara Trionfi said Darwish was chosen based on the “remarkable bravery” he has displayed in supporting media freedom in Syria, currently one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.

“Mazen Darwish’s courage is reflected in his work with the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM) over the past decade, in his efforts to ensure that the truth of what was happening in his country after conflict erupted in 2011 was known beyond its borders, and in his willingness to continue speaking out in support of free media from prison, despite the obvious danger to him in doing so,” Trionfi said. “We hope this award serves to focus a spotlight not only on his continued, unjust imprisonment, but on the plight that all journalists in Syria and the region face as they strive to keep their communities and the world informed.”

Darwish echoed those comments this week in a message from prison conveyed to IPI by his wife, Yara Badr.

“I was honoured and moved to hear about the award,” he said. “I thank all those who participated in bestowing this honour to me and I feel that this citation belongs to all those journalists in the Arab world who have worked hard and sacrificed to make journalism a more professional and more independent profession.”

Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression

Darwish is the founding president of the SCM, formed in 2004 to protect media freedom and support journalists’ rights. Under his direction, the group regularly reported on free speech violations and journalists’ working conditions, collected and publicised the disappearances of bloggers and media figures, and advocated for legal reform. Darwish also served as editor of Mashed al-Suri (syriaview.net), an independent news website that SCM operated until it was blocked by Syrian authorities in 2006.

In 2007, authorities revoked Darwish’s passport and in early 2008 he was sentenced to spend 10 days in jail after being arrested while covering riots in Damascus’ suburbs. Following the outbreak of the current Syrian conflict in 2011, he was a major source of information for foreign media until February 2012, when Syrian Air Force Intelligence raided SCM’s office and detained Darwish and 15 others.

Darwish was held separately from his colleagues and is believed to have endured ill-treatment and possibly torture. In August 2012, it was reported that he was to be tried in secret by a military court, and the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists expressed concern that he could face the death penalty without any right to defence, appeal or review. Despite the Syrian government’s June 2014 announcement that political prisoners would be granted amnesty, Darwish, who reportedly has been convicted of no charge, remains in prison.

Free Media Pioneer

In related news, Periodistas de a Pie representative Marcela Turati told IPI today that the group was “very honoured” to receive the 2015 Free Media Pioneer Award “and very happy that our efforts since late 2006 are seen with affection and admired by others”.

The Award, which is supported by Copenhagen-based International Media Support (IMS), recognises news or media organisations that have made innovations that have promoted news access or quality, or benefitted journalists and the media community.

Turati welcomed the Award as an encouragement for Periodistas de a Pie to continue its work amid the bleak press freedom situation that Mexico has seen in recent years.

“It is a little respite to many years of collective work in which we sometimes had to bury colleagues and are always in a constant search for new strategies so that not a single journalist more is threatened, killed or physically attacked, and so that crimes against the press are not seen as normal,” she said.

Founded as the level of violence against Mexican journalists was skyrocketing, Periodistas de a Pie initially focused on training journalists in covering poverty and other social issues.

Today it also assists journalists in dangerous locations and provides workshops on a host of issues, including how to report on violence and drug trafficking; ensuring digital security; and precautions to take in order to protect emotional health. The group also seeks to confront impunity for violence against journalists and has participated with international organisations in a number of studies and fact-finding missions.

“Media in Mexico not only remains at risk from violence by non-government entities, but also from the blatant lack of protection offered by authorities,” Trionfi commented. “Periodistas de a Pie has earned this award for its work to support journalists and to protect them and equip them with the tools necessary to survive in such an environment.”

IPI is a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists dedicated to furthering and safeguarding press freedom, promoting the free flow of news and information, and improving the practices of journalism. Formed in 1950 at Columbia University by 34 leading editors from 15 countries on the belief that a free press would contribute to the creation of a better world, IPI today includes members in more than 120 countries and holds consultative status with the U.N. and the Council of Europe.

 For more information, contact IPI Senior Press Freedom Adviser Steven M. Ellis by email or at +43 (1) 512 90 11.

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Islamabad Stock Exchange Market Statistics Report Thursday February 26, 2015

Islamabad, February 26, 2015 (PPI-OT): MARKET TREND: Bullish COMPANIES TRADED: TOTAL PLUS MINUS EQUAL 152 68 -84 0 INDEX POSITION: INDEX Opening Closing Change ISE- 10 Index: 3946.94 3945.42 (1.52) IMI- 25 Index: INDEX Opening Closing Change 2047.59 2045.36 (2.23) TOTAL VOLUME: Previous Current Change 47,800 12,600 (35,200) VOLUME LEADERS: Company VOLUME of Shares P.I.A …

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Islamabad, February 26, 2015 (PPI-OT):

MARKET TREND:                  Bullish

COMPANIES TRADED:               TOTAL           PLUS                MINUS             EQUAL
                                 152             68                  -84                0

INDEX POSITION:                 INDEX          Opening             Closing            Change

ISE- 10 Index:                                 3946.94             3945.42            (1.52)


IMI- 25 Index:                  INDEX          Opening             Closing            Change

                                               2047.59             2045.36            (2.23)

TOTAL VOLUME:                                  Previous            Current            Change

                                                47,800              12,600          (35,200)
VOLUME LEADERS:

Company                                     VOLUME of Shares

P.I.A                                            10,000
Pakistan Oilfield                                   600
Bank of Punjab.                                   2,000

Top Gainer Indus Motors Rs. 1094.52 with an increase of Rs.+ 52.12.

Top Loser Akzo Noble Pakistan Rs. 372.36 with a decrease of Rs. -13.00.

For more information, contact:
Islamabad Stock Exchange
ISE Towers
55-B, Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92(51)111-473-473
Fax: +92(51)111-473-329
Email: info@ise.com.pk

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