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Business & Economy

IMF deal; An opportunity and a risk

by Shiraz Nizami Nawaz government has struck a deal with International Monetary Fund for $5.3 billion extended loan facility, intended to rebuild foreign exchange reserves, pull the plug on energy crisis and a sliding currency in Pakistan. Though, it was a contradiction of PML (N)’s election manifesto, but the government’s finance minister says there was no way out to retire from past liabilities. The country had long been discussing a fresh bailout package from the IMF after abandoning $11.3 billion loan program in 2011 after the PPP led government refused to carry out strict financial reforms. The program, which is worth $5.3 billion, will carry a floating interest rate of 3% and would be payable over a longer period than conventi...

August 30, 2013 at 11:31 am | News Desk

NO WATER, NO FOOD

By Vaqar Ahmed With the power shortage taking the front stage in the media and in the new government’s pronouncements, an even more important issue has been relegated to the back burner. This serious issue is the future availability of water to support food production in Pakistan. To put it simply, while we can survive with power shortages, we cannot survive without food. Thus, the criticality of water required for agriculture is even greater than that for power. While lack of water for domestic use gets attention due to the immediate impact it has on daily life, availability of water for agriculture is brushed under the rug and deferred as there is still enough food to feed the population. This assumption – that sufficient food will...

August 30, 2013 at 11:02 am | News Desk

The National Energy Policy 2013-18: A Critical Review

by Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan In the wake of continued power breaks, protests and processions, the new government at the center has succeeded to formulate the much awaited and debated national energy policy 2013-18. The same has already been approved by the Council of Common Interest (CCI). The policy accentuates the diversified but integrated efforts of the government to overcome the energy deficit in the country. It pinpoints the existing socio-economic ills closely associated with the ongoing saga of power crisis throughout the country. A widening supply-demand gap where the demand for electricity far outstrips the current generation capacity (up to 4500-5000mw), highly expensive generation of electricity (Rs12/unit) due to an increased de...

August 30, 2013 at 10:39 am | News Desk

Islamic Banking in Pakistan – going great guns or languishing?

Islamic Banking is spreading its wings in Pakistan and is positioning for growth but it is also drawn against challenges owing to the actuality that conventional banking in the country is more penetrative and holds a larger share in the economy. Islamic deposits – held by fully-fledged Islamic banks and Islamic windows of conventional banks – at present stand at 9.7% of total bank deposits in the country; meaning that every 10th rupee is now being deposited in an Islamic bank account. Correspondingly, assets managed by banks offering Islamic financial services are 8.6% of total banking assets in the country. Net Islamic savings and investments are 8.19% of the total savings and investment in the banking sector of Pakistan. There a...

August 30, 2013 at 10:28 am | News Desk

Iran’s oil industry: Dreaming of a new golden age

IRAN, like Mexico, has a new and more reform-minded president who wants to loosen the national oil company’s grip on his country’s massive reserves, and bring in private investment to boost output. One big difference is that Iran’s ability to do so is severely curtailed by international sanctions on the country over its nuclear programme. Nevertheless, the president, Hassan Rohani, has brought back a former oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, who in his previous stint, in 1997-2005, ushered in what some Iranians remember as a golden age of oil investment.Back then, Mr Zanganeh signed deals with many foreign oil majors, bringing billions of petrodollars to Iran. He decentralised the powerful National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) ...

August 30, 2013 at 3:15 am | News Desk

Microsoft and the PC industry: Defenestrated

UNTIL August 23rd few people would have described Steve Ballmer as “retiring”. Microsoft’s chief executive has played both tiger and Tigger: snarling (toothlessly, as it turned out) at Apple’s gadgets; and bouncing, with a whoop, onto conference stages to extol his company’s wares. But retiring he is, within a year.Mr Ballmer’s departure is a surprise. He had announced a reorganisation of the company only in July and had hoped to oversee much of the change. Some celebrated his going: Microsoft’s share price went up by 7.3% on the day the news broke. Mr Ballmer has plenty of critics, although Microsoft’s revenues have trebled on his 13-year watch, to $77.8 billion in the year to June, and pro...

August 30, 2013 at 3:15 am | News Desk

European carmakers: A heated row over coolants

Cool air, hot heads THE European Union loves its acronyms and initials. So officials in Brussels must be relishing the battle between R134a and R1234yf. These two refrigerants for cars’ air-conditioning systems are at the centre of an industrial and environmental row between the French government and Daimler, the German maker of Mercedes cars. This week a French court awarded the latest round in the dispute to Mercedes.In 2006 the EU recognised that the fluid in air-conditioners was a powerful greenhouse gas. R134a, the most commonly used compound, has about 1,400 times the effect, per kilogram, as carbon dioxide. So the EU passed a law saying that coolants used in new models of vehicle after January 2011 should have a “globa...

August 30, 2013 at 3:15 am | News Desk

Why Is Vladimir Putin Acting So Crazy?

Rising energy production in the U.S. is testing Russia's economic model. Will Putin survive the challenge? Click here for more information Businessweek.com -- Most Popular

August 30, 2013 at 3:15 am | News Desk

The Brazilian Billionaire Who Controls Your Beer, Your Condiments, and Your Whopper

How Jorge Paulo Lemann won control of Heinz, Burger King, and Budweiser Click here for more information Businessweek.com -- Most Popular

August 30, 2013 at 3:15 am | News Desk

Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin Splits With Wife Anne Wojcicki

Brin and Wojcicki are living separately. The split, after six years of marriage, is described as "amicable" Click here for more information Businessweek.com -- Most Popular

August 30, 2013 at 3:15 am | News Desk

Why It's a Mistake to Ignore Russia

U.S.-Russia relations are in a deep freeze, but there are still opportunities to work together Click here for more information Businessweek.com -- Most Popular

August 29, 2013 at 3:31 am | News Desk

Why It's a Mistake to Ignore Russia

U.S.-Russia relations are in a deep freeze, but there are still opportunities to work together Click here for more information Businessweek.com -- Most Popular

August 29, 2013 at 3:19 am | News Desk

Five Reasons the Debt Ceiling Fight Is Scarier This Time

From complacency to Obamacare, here are some factors complicating negotiations to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a U.S. default Click here for more information Businessweek.com -- Most Popular

August 28, 2013 at 3:08 am | News Desk

J.D. Salinger Will Publish Five More Goddamn Books

A documentary about the author's life claims that Salinger left behind instructions to publish five books beginning in 2015 Click here for more information Businessweek.com -- Most Popular

August 28, 2013 at 3:08 am | News Desk

Patrick Dempsey Says Goodbye to the Coffee Chain He Rescued

After resolving a lawsuit against business partner Michael Avenatti, Dempsey backs out as the face of Tully’s Click here for more information Businessweek.com -- Most Popular

August 28, 2013 at 3:08 am | News Desk

The Real Reason Big Tobacco Loves E-Cigs

The nicotine delivery devices aren't subject to tobacco excise taxes—yet Click here for more information Businessweek.com -- Most Popular

August 27, 2013 at 3:06 am | News Desk

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