Pakistan to launch Islamic Bond, says Ishaq Dar

LONDON/ISLAMABAD: Federal Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Saturday vowed Pakistan was issuing an Islamic Bond denominated in dollars for Islamic banking institutions and funds in near future.
In a meeting with a delegation led by Xavier Rolet Chief Executive Officer of the London Stock Exchange in London highlighting the success of Pakistan’s Euro Bond issued in the international market, he said the response of the international investors was overwhelming and the subscription was 14 times of the amount originally intended.
Dar mentioned with the launch of the Euro Bond Pakistan has returned to the international bond market after seven years absence. Pakistan’s recent dollar bond received bids totaling $7 billion, reflecting strong demand for Pakistan’s sovereign paper.
He informed the group after initiating home grown economic reforms with successful implementation, Pakistan’s standing in the international markets has improved considerably.
Over energy crisis he told the delegation the government was launching various energy projects and taking necessary steps to add around 10,000 megawatt generations to the national grid which would eliminate the energy shortfall in the next four years.
Elaborating further he maintained, the government has already managed to clear circular debt of Rs 500 billion within 45 days after in office.
World Bank has approved two concessionary loans to Pakistan after a period of five years and will provide $1 billion for energy and development reforms.
The government has secured the necessary financing for the construction of Dasu Hydropower Project. Financing of Diamer-Bhasha Dam was in progress and the government has already started acquisition of land from its own resources for this project.
He emphasised opportunities in the telecommunication sector and informed of recent auction of 3G and 4G licences which has fetched over $1.1 billion in a transparent manner.
To the privatisation agenda of the government, Dar informed the delegation financial advisers have already been appointed through due process for the dis-investment of shares of United Bank Limited, Oil and Gas Development Company Limited and Pakistan Petroleum Limited through London as well as Pakistan’s stock exchanges.
Xavier Rolet appreciated the positive steps taken by the government to put the economy back on track.
Rolet informed about institutional appetite of British companies towards Pakistan after phenomenal growth in its capital market. While praising the reform initiatives of the present government, he said Pakistan’s economic success story was gaining momentum and now needed to be told in a right way to the right people.
He mentioned the ongoing collaboration between the London and Karachi stock exchanges with praise-worthy results. London Stock Exchange is looking at ways to maximise partnership opportunities with Pakistan’s corporate sector.
He apprised the investors about country’s macro-economic indicators that have shown steady improvement as a result of stabilisation and structural reforms undertaken by the government.
Forex reserves have increased to $12 billion and will reach $15 billion by September 30, 2014. He informed the delegation the capital market in Pakistan grew by over 40 percent since the government has taken over. He said the country was open to business and offered attractive investment opportunities with high returns. 

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