February 27, 2017
By Web Desk

As next month’s deadline approaches for the UK to start its formal withdrawal from the EU, polling tends to show that not many voters are feeling “Bregret” for having backed Leave in last year’s referendum. No doubt the solid performance of the UK economy has encouraged that confidence. Defying widespread predictions of a shock from a Leave vote, the economy has continued to grow steadily. Official data released yesterday only slightly spoilt the Brexiters’ talking point that the UK was the fastest- growing of the world’s large economies last year. A downward revision put growth for the whole of 2016 at...


By Web Desk

There is a grim predictability about the way the world responds to impending famines. First there are warnings that travel from barren fields in far-off conflict zones to the headquarters of humanitarian agencies. Even when these warnings are shrill, they tend to go unheeded - as they have been to varying degrees in Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen and north-east Nigeria in recent months and years. In these countries, 1.4m children are at risk of starving, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund. Only when dying children appear on television, as they are now, does a sense of urgency arise. Emergencies bring out the best...


By John Authers

A re-emergence is under way. The US election thwarted a promising recovery for emerging market equities, after a long bear market. They sold off sharply, giving up almost all their gains from the preceding nine months. This was one of the most dramatic responses to the Trump victory - money poured out of the emerging world and into the US. A pro-growth US president should be good for emerging markets, but flows of money are critical, and they were directed towards the US. Exacerbating the problem was the stronger dollar that followed the election. That spurred worries about emerging market currencies, and the risk of crises in Mexico...


By Ken Fisher

We are just over a month into the Trump Era, and many are reeling. “Look what he did! Immigration chaos. Insulting federal judges. Bullying Mexico. Leaving TPP. Trashing Nafta. “Alternative facts”. And the tweets! He was probably wearing a bathrobe when he wrote the one about Sweden. Isn’t it awful for stocks?” My crazy answer: No. I’ve studied all this carefully - for markets, this is just noise. It heightens anxiety, but it is essentially sociology, which stocks ignore. Next year it will be forgotten, uncertainty will be down, and stocks up. So my central message remains - buy now. Trump’s...


By Ihtasham Ul Haque

INSIGHT TThe central bank is considering a number of alternatives to stabilise the existing exchange rate policy aimed at increasing exports and preventing unnecessary imports that are causing $1 billion current account deficit every month. The issue got compounded due to $2 billion sharp decline in foreign exchange reserves witnessed just in three months. While the exporters’ community is relentlessly calling for depreciating the rupee against the dollar to increase falling exports, the ministry of finance and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) remain focused on leaving the issue on market forces to avoid any unnecessary...


By Shahzada Irfan Ahmed

PHILANTHROPY Despite the economic pressures faced by people in Pakistan, the encouraging fact is that there is a tendency among them to contribute to the well-being of others. This can be in the form of financial help, in kind or in shape the time spent to help out someone. People do it as their moral obligation to share a part of their wealth with the destitute and in most case due to religious reasons. This gives them contentment and a feeling of winning the blessings of God. It comes as a pleasant surprise to one that total estimated magnitude of household level giving in Pakistan was Rs239.7 billion in the year 2014. This amount is...


By Jawwad Rizvi

INTERVIEW Jehanzeb Khan, the CEO of AkzoNobel Pakistan, has led the company towards greater growth and success. In an exclusive interview he shared the potential of Pakistan’s paint industry with Money Matters.   Q. What is the current status of Pakistan’s paint industry? A. Although there are no formal figures, by most rough estimates, the present size of the decorative paints, surface coatings and special chemicals market in Pakistan is assessed to be approximately Rs30 billion. This market size will be growing by 5-10 percent annually, depending on expansion in the economy and investment in industry. In recent...


By Zeeshan Haider

FOCUS The hearing into the Panama Papers petitions seeking disqualification of prime minister has completed and now the nation is impassionedly waiting for the verdict. Irrespective of who wins or who loses the case, the marathon proceedings spanned over four months have exposed the inherent weaknesses and ineffectiveness of the state institutions which are meant to check corruption in the country. The heads of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) were grilled for hours by the five-member bench seeking their help in probing the matters relating to the case that could help the court in...


By Sirajuddin Aziz

MANAGEMENT All of us build boats and call it ‘hope’. We then set it upon the ocean of life. We then set its sails and hope that breeze will fill it and then guide it to a journey. Hope, akin to dreaming, whilst awake, at times bears fruits and sometimes goes awry. Hope is a necessary virtue all managers must possess. Hope must remain within reason for if it exceeds, it tends to be more a desire than issues of judgement, hope is aiming. The bulls eye is the quest.  If there is no hope, there is never an endeavour. We must have aims. It is the root of all toil, effort and progress. Aim nothing, you achieve nothing. There is...