Consumers Sustaining Pakistan Economy

First 9 months of fiscal 2010-2011 saw production of television sets jump 28.6% and automobile production increase by 14.6%, according to Economic Survey of Pakistan 2010-2011. From July 2010 to March 2011, production of cars, light commercial vehicles and two and three wheelers grew by 16.4%, 20.5% and 12.6% respectively. These figures confirm the return of Pakistanis' appetite for consumer durables after a significant drop from 2007-2008 to 2008-2009.

Automobile:

146,271 vehicles were produced in Pakistan in 8 months from July 2010 to February 2011, representing an increase of 9.2% y-o-y on the 133,918 units produced over the same period of FY09/10, according to figures from the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA). This consists of 85,924 units for passenger car production, 1,807 units truck production, 308 units bus production, 580 units jeep production, 12,000 units pick-up production and 45,652 units farm tractor production. Sales largely mirror production in Pakistan's auto market: the first eight months of FY10/11 saw a total of 143,785 new vehicles sold in the country, an increase of 7.1% y-o-y. Extrapolating the eight-month data across 12 months, total vehicle production would amount to 219,407 units, while total vehicle sales would register 215,678 units. This compares to the BMI forecast for the full fiscal year of just over 221,500 and just over 224,000 for production and sales respectively. However, these figures for FY10/11 aggregate sales and production are still considerably below the high watermark reached for both variables in FY07/08.



Although FY10/11 and FY09/10 have seen reasonably strong growth in y-o-y terms for both sales and production volumes, the industry is still recovering from a disastrous year in FY08/09, which was hit by a combination of the global economic downturn and severe internal political instability.

Consumer Electronics:

The media revolution of 24X7 news, entertainment and sports centered around rising number of television channels drove tv set sales up by 28.6% in 2010-2011.



Pakistan's consumer electronics market, including personal computers, mobile handsets and audio-video products, is now estimated at about $1.8 billion. BMI forecasts that this market will grow to $3 billion by 2015.

Computers accounted for about 20% of Pakistan's consumer electronics spending in 2010. BMI forecasts Pakistan's domestic market computer hardware sales (including notebooks and accessories) of $312 million in 2011, up from $292 million in 2010. Computer hardware CAGR for the 2011- 2015 period will be about 8%.

Mobile Handsets Pakistan's market handset sales are expected to grow at a CAGR of 16% to 29.5 million units in 2015, as mobile subscriber penetration reaches 70%. Revenues growth will be slower due to lower average selling prices (ASPs) of mobile handsets, with most handsets sold at less than $40. Another issue is the declining growth rate of mobile subscriber penetration, which is now more than 60%. 3G licenses are still expected to be awarded in 2011, but Pakistan's telecoms regulator has yet to confirm this.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods:

Fast moving consumer goods (GMCG) sector, including food, beverage and tobacco, grew by 9.3%, according to Economic Survey of Pakistan 2010-11. Adverting revenue from this sector has continued to drive proliferation of electronic mass media in Pakistan.

Conclusion:

The continuing growth in consumer spending is a testament to Pakistanis' resilience in the midst of multiple and very serious crises of energy shortages, continuing militancy and political violence and instability. The question is how long can this extraordinary resilience last if the corrupt and incompetent Pakistani politicians continue to persist in their mismanagement of the country and its economy.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Resilient Pakistan

Pakistan's Rural Economy Showing Strength

Pakistan's Exports and Remittances Rise to New Highs

Incompetence Worse Than Corruption

Sugar Crisis in Pakistan

Agricultural Growth in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh

Pakistan's Rural Economic Survey

Pakistan's KSE Outperforms BRIC Exchanges in 2010

High Cost of Failure to Aid Flood Victims

Karachi Tops Mumbai in Stock Performance

India and Pakistan Contrasted in 2010

Pakistan's Decade 1999-2009

Musharraf's Economic Legacy

World Bank Report on Rural Poverty in Pakistan

Copper, Gold Deposits Worth $500 Billion at Reko Diq, Pakistan

China's Trade and Investment in South Asia

India's Twin Deficits

Pakistan's Economy 2008-2010

Auto Industry in India, Pakistan and China

Media Revolution in Pakistan

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Here's a News International report on impact of US downgrade on Pakistan:

The ongoing economic crisis across the world after downgrade of the United States credit rating would have a positive impact on Pakistan’s economy as analysts said that the current account balance would stay in surplus and the electricity subsidy will automatically be contained.

The United States credit rating downgrade after enhancement of debt ceiling rattled the stock markets around the globe and majority of the equity markets have touched their lower locks. While major commodities, except gold, have also witnessed sharp decline in their prices after 2008.

“With the decline in oil prices globally, Pakistan’s current account balance is likely to stay in surplus and the electricity subsidy will automatically be contained,” according to a JS research report on Tuesday.

The report said that the growth is expected to rebound due to the bumper agriculture crops and inflation would tame further, whereas equity market will remain resilient compared to its regional peers due to lower foreign exposure.

“However, political instability and deteriorating law and order situation are the key risks to the economy,” it added.

Analysts said that the present global crisis is different to 2008. The crisis of 2007/08 was driven by excessive overheating of the global economy and resultantly commodity and real estate markets touched their peak levels.

In that crisis, Pakistan suffered as a result of higher global commodity prices and the government flawed domestic prices of providing huge subsidy.

“As a result, the twin deficits hit 16.3 percent of the GDP,” the JS report revealed, adding that this difficult scenario led to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme in order to bailout the economy from the brink of collapse.

However, the report said that in 2011/12 crisis Pakistan’s macros will be resilient and will benefit from the decline in the global commodity prices.

“Unlike 2008, Pakistan’s real interest rates are positive, real effective exchange rate is not overvalued and subsidies are largely contained,” it added.

About the United States austerity plan and its impact on Pakistan, experts believed that the United States is unlikely to reduce its spending towards the war on terror.

The American economy is going through its worst period in history, where Obama’s administration is left with very little fiscal space to finance its ballooning fiscal deficit that is around nine percent of the GDP.

The stimulus package of post-Lehman crisis has left the Federal Reserve Bank of America literally with no option either. To smooth the functions of the US Treasury, the lawmakers have agreed to provide additional $2.4 trillion to the debt ceiling, subject to deficit saving of approximately $1 trillion over the next decade.

This year the Americans are unlikely to reduce their spending as the austerity measures decided will be implemented from 2013 onwards, experts said.

The JS report said that the United States will continue to pay for counterinsurgency programme in Afghanistan even if it plans to pullout from Afghanistan by 2014.

On Pakistan’s front, the United States will definitely play the role of the devil’s advocate and delay the due payments or reduce the grant size, according to the report.

Overall, the presence of the United States in Afghanistan will keep the dollar flows continued into Pakistan directly or indirectly, the report said, adding that the United States rationalisation of budgets will have a bare minimum impact on Afghanistan and Pakistan.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=61883&Cat=3
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistani car sales rose 61% in July, according to The Nation:

LAHORE - The new fiscal year has kicked-off on a positive note for the car manufacturers. As per the latest data released by Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA), country’s auto sales surged by a significant 61 per cent to 17,563 units in July 2011 against 10,942 units in the same period of last year. On monthly basis, the volumetric sales improved by 134 per cent compared to 7,517 units sold in June 2011.
This significant improvement is primarily attributable to deferred sales from June to July as buyers opted to take advantage of 2-3 percent cut in prices on account of reduction in sales tax by 1 percent and other measures announced in Federal Budget FY12
Company wise breakup shows that, PSMC led the increase with 116 percent rise to 11,997 units compared to mere 4,503 seen in same period last year, while sales for INDU declined by 9 percent to 4,551 units compared to 4,999 units in July 2010.
An auto expert Furqan Punjani observes that July sales are not an actual depiction of the sector’s fundamental and they are expected to ease down going forward. Furthermore, amid absence of aggressive consumer financing due to higher markup rates and nominal growth in agriculture economy the volumetric sales for FY12 will only show an improvement of 5-10 percent.
Despite improved volumetric sales, he maintained ‘Market-weight’ stance on the sector on account of strained margins amid continuous appreciation of Japanese yen and high regulatory risk.


http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Business/12-Aug-2011/Car-sales-jump-by-61pc-to-17563-units-in-July
Riaz Haq said…
Car sales in Pakistan rose 61% and fell by 16% in India in July 2011.

Car sales in India, the world's second-fastest growing major auto market after China, fell 16 percent in July, their first drop in two-and-half years, after rising a breakneck 30 percent in 2010, according to Reuters:

NEW DELHI, Aug 12 (Reuters) - India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki expects to post single-digit sales growth this fiscal year, a far cry from its 25-percent rise last year, as rising interest rates and prices in Asia's third largest economy force consumers to tighten their purse strings.

Car sales in India, the world's second-fastest growing major auto market after China, fell 16 percent in July, their first drop in two-and-half years, after rising a breakneck 30 percent in 2010.

The Indian car market is now expected to grow by just 10 to 12 percent this fiscal year, down from an earlier forecast of 16 to 18 percent, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers said last month.

"If you ask me, we will not reach a double-digit," Chairman R.C. Bhargava told reporters, referring to both Maruti and the India car sector.

Maruti, which sells nearly half of all passenger cars in India, posted a record 25-percent slump in July sales.

The company, 54.2 percent owned by Japan's Suzuki Motor , has cut production of most models in August, including its best-selling model Alto, as inventories were rising and there was no place to store cars, marketing and sales chief Mayank Pareek said.

Maruti is facing intensifying competition from the likes of South Korea's Hyundai Motors , the second-largest car maker in India, as well as domestic rivals.

SECTOR TO REV UP

Bhargava said he expected the Indian car market to pick up speed in two to three months as the festive season kicks in.

The Indian festive season peaks in November, during the Hindu festival of Diwali, when it is considered auspicious to buy big-ticket items and when most employees get their annual bonuses. But sales are also driven by discounts at that time of year.

India's population of 1.2 billion and the common sight of families of four riding motorcylces creates potential for massive demand, but the pressure is sure to remain in an industry spurred by a burgeoning and aspirational middle class that relies mainly on loans to buy cars.

India's central bank has raised interest rates 11 times since March last year in an effort to battle stubbornly high inflation, a move that has hurt car purchases, most of which are financed through loans.

Still, Bharghava was optimistic. "Fundamentals here are very strong. There is still a huge domestic potential demand," he said.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/12/maruti-india-idUSL3E7JC2FR20110812
Riaz Haq said…
Here's Bloomberg on Pakistan's rising food and beverage sector sales:

Nestle SA (NESN), the world’s biggest food company, plans to double dairy output in Pakistan by spending 300 million Swiss francs ($413 million) over the next three to four years as it looks to fend off local rival Engro Foods Ltd.

The investment will be used to build new milk factories, Ian Donald, managing director at Nestle Pakistan Ltd. (NESTLE), said in an interview in Lahore. The money will also help boost the juice, yogurt and noodle businesses of Nestle Pakistan, whose market value doubled in the past year.

The spending is part of Nestle’s push to expand its packaged-milk business in Pakistan as the Swiss company’s sales in Asia outpaced overall revenue growth last quarter. Consumer food companies are benefiting as marketing campaigns and rising incomes spur demand for packaged food in the South Asian nation.

“A lot of companies are coming up to tap Pakistan’s” food market where 95 percent of the products are sold unpackaged, said Misbah Iqbal, an analyst at AKD Securities Ltd. in Karachi. “That is certainly creating some challenges for established names. But I don’t see a big threat for Nestle in the next two years as the size of the cake is still big enough.”

Nestle’s sales in the South Asian country grew 25 percent in 2010 to 51.5 billion rupees ($597 million). Nestle Pakistan is the best performer on the Karachi Stock Exchange 100 Index this year. The stock fell 3 percent to 3,862.05 rupees as of 11:07 a.m. in Karachi, while the benchmark slid 1.2 percent.
Coca-Cola, Pepsi

The maker of Kit Kat chocolate and Nido powdered milk is facing growing competition from Karachi-based Engro Foods in the dairy segment and Coca-Cola Co. (KO) and PepsiCo Inc. in the bottled water and fruit juices businesses, according to data provided by London-based Euromonitor International. Engro Foods, established in 2005, was the second-largest seller of drinking-milk products in Pakistan in 2010, according to Euromonitor.

Nestle is pushing products for lower-income consumers into more rural regions of Asia as it aims to sell the items in a million stores by next year. Nestle’s planned investment in Pakistan will prepare the company to meet growing demand at its juice, yogurt and noodles businesses, which are likely to double in size in the next five to six years, Donald said.
‘Still Enormous’

“The opportunity to grow in Pakistan is still enormous,” Donald said. “We’ve a very bullish view on Pakistan, and will invest quite aggressively in production capabilities in the next three to four years.”

Nestle yesterday said revenue growth is likely to be at the top end of its forecast range this year after reporting the biggest sales increase since the first half of 2008. Sales excluding acquisitions, disposals and currency shifts rose 7.5 percent in the six months ended June 30, the Vevey, Switzerland- based company said. Nestle, which targets a 5 percent to 6 percent annual gain, also predicted higher margins.

The growth in so-called organic sales beat the 6.5 percent average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, led by a 12 percent gain in Asia.

“The market is relatively underdeveloped,” Donald said. “So the fact that Engro and other names are entering the market is actually a very good thing. The fact is that they all together are stimulating growth in the packaged food segment.”

Engro Foods last week reported net income of 99 million rupees in the three months ended June 30, compared with a loss of 165 million rupees a year earlier. Sales climbed 46 percent to 7 billion rupees in the quarter. Nestle Pakistan on Aug. 3 reported net income rose to 1 billion rupees in the three months ended June 30, from 978 million rupees a year earlier
Riaz Haq said…
Here's Part 2 of Bloomberg on Pakistan's rising food and beverage sector sales:

“It’s a common perception that China and India are much bigger in terms of growth than Pakistan,” Donald said. “But for Nestle, the per capita consumption of our products in Pakistan is twice as much as we have in China and India.”
‘Dairy Farms’

The company expects future growth will come from milk, baby-food, water and noodles. It is also expanding into new categories including spices and coffee, Donald said.

“We see more and more dairy farms of bigger scale coming up and farmers are getting better knowledge,” he said. “This is slowly beginning to close that gap on demand.”

Nestle Pakistan, established in 1988, has five factories spread across the country, according to the company’s website, and employs more than 2,700 workers.

Nestle’s growth in Pakistan has been slowed by poor security in the country’s biggest cities and power blackouts of up to 12 hours each day. The company lost nine days of business in Karachi last month when retail trade remained virtually closed in the country’s commercial hub because of ethnic and sectarian violence, Donald said.

“What we are getting is a strong double-digit growth,” he said. “Imagine what it could have been if we didn’t have huge unrest in Karachi, security issues in Quetta and Peshawar.”
Riaz Haq said…
Remittances from by overseas Pakistanis rose to $1,096.31 million in July, 2011-12,a 38.57% jump over $791.18 million during the same period of last fiscal year, according to a report in Daily Times:

This was the fifth consecutive month when Pakistani workers remitted over $1 billion. They had remitted an amount of $1,052.90 million, $1,030.43 million, $1,049.80 million and $1,104.56 million in March, April, May and June 2011 respectively.

The inflow of remittances in July, 2011 from Saudi Arabia, UAE, USA, UK, other GCC countries (including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman), and EU countries amounted to $291.83 million, $257.65 million, $194.87 million, $118.55 million, $116.45 million and $32.59 million respectively as compared with the inflow of $194.94 million, $177.03 million, $143.86 million, $85.57 million, $101.25 million and $23.85 million respectively in July, 2010. Remittances received from Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Japan and other countries during the first month of current fiscal year (July FY12) amounted to $ 84.37 million as against $ 64.68 million received in the first month of last fiscal year (July FY11).

Earlier Pakistani workers had remitted a record amount of over $11.2 billion during the last fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2011.

It may be recalled that the State Bank of Pakistan, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis had undertaken a joint initiative called ‘Pakistan Remittance Initiative (PRI)’ with a view to facilitating the flow of remittances in the country through formal channels. This initiative has shown remarkable progress as the remittances through formal channels have beaten all previous records.


http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\11\story_11-8-2011_pg5_1
Riaz Haq said…
Reduction in taxes announced by the government helped car sales sprint 35% in the first two months of financial year 2011-12, according to a report in The Express Tribune:

Sales stood at 29,537 units from July to August 2011 against 21,833 units sold in the preceding year, according to data released by Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association on Monday.

The incentive given by the government in terms of removal of 2.5% special excise duty on imported and locally manufactured vehicles coupled with reduction in general sales tax to 16% from 17% were the core reasons for the growth, said Summit Capital analyst Sarfraz Abbasi.

Growth was primarily led by Pak Suzuki Motor Company as its sales rose by 67% to 18,301 units followed by Indus Motor by 6% to 8,829 units.

The biggest leap forward was seen in Suzuki Swift sales that tripled to 1,274 units against 421 units in the same period last year. Liana, under the domain of 1,300cc engine capacity and above, recorded 149% jump in its sales to 127 units in comparison with just 51 units sold in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, tractor sales dropped by a hefty 78% to 1,993 units on the back of higher input taxes and plant shutdowns during the period. Al-Ghazi Tractors’ production operation remained completely shut during August.

Moreover, car sales declined by 31% in August alone amid less working days due to Eid holidays and lower production on account of Ramazan.

Company-wise breakup shows that this time Indus Motor took the front seat to lead sales with an increase of 27% to 4,728 units compared with 3,360 units sold in the same period last year.

New variants launched by the company in 1,600cc segment and CNG vehicles introduced in the already established market acted as a catalyst in this growth.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/250984/car-sales-rise-35-per-cent/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Dawn report on Pakistan auto sales July-Sept 2011:

KARACHI: While sale of cars, two and three wheelers and light commercial vehicles remained brisk from July-September 2011, production by a leading tractor assembler remained suspended between second week of July 2011 and September 2011.
---------
Buying spree was witnessed for locally assembled cars thanks to huge arrival of home remittances, surging farm income, slight increase in car sales through bank financing, etc.

Even rising prices of locally produced cars and high cost of fuel (petroleum products and CNG) did not make any adverse impact on vehicle sales.

Pak-Suzuki Motor Company Limited (PSMCL) raised the prices by Rs14,000-30,000 followed by two to four per cent by Indus Motor Company (IMC).

Honda City also became costlier by Rs25,000 while Civic price was raised by Rs38,000.

Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) claimed rise in overall car sales to 38,065 units in July-September 2011 as compared to 30,030 units in the same month of last year.

Overall sale of costly cars (1,300cc and above) rose to 16,936 units as compared to 14,949 units.

Sale of Honda Civic, Honda City and Toyota Corolla stood higher at 1,710, 2,562 and 10,682 units as compared to 1,558, 2,274 and 10,371 units respectively. Suzuki Swift sales also surged to 1,826 units from 673 units.

In 1,000cc segment, overall car sales jumped to 7,343 in July-September 2011 from 5,679 units in the same period of last year in which sales of Suzuki Cultus and Suzuki Alto swelled to 3,710 and 3,633 units from 2,860 and 2,819 units respectively.

Increase in Suzuki Mehran sales to 8,415 units from 5,356 units made a positive impact on overall sales of 800cc and below 1,000cc cars which rose to 13,786 units from 9,402 units.

Sale of Daihatsu Cuore and Suzuki Mehran went up to 1,282 and 4,089 units as compared to 1,136 and 2,910 units.

A leading car assembler said he checked with many banks who intend to cut interest rates from Nov 1 after Central Bank`s decision to lower interest rates.

He said car financing by banks now enjoys 20 per cent share in overall car sales and this share may go up slightly after cut in interest rates.

From July onwards, the buyers especially on cash basis had resumed purchases and it was evident from sales trend in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

Rising farm income also encouraged farmers and growers to purchase more new bikes, thus pushing up Honda bikes sales to 152,605 units in July-September 2011 from 126,701 units in the corresponding period of 2010.

Sale of Suzuki bikes also increased to 5,506 from 4,588 units while sale of Ravi and Habib bikes (Chinese two-wheelers) improved to 6,680 and 7,707 units from 5,971 and 4,053 units.

Qingqi and Sazgar three-wheeler sales reached 5,193 and 3,901 units from 2,787 and 2,976 units.

In pick-ups, a total of 4,586 units of Suzuki Ravi and 856 units of Toyota Hilux were sold in July-September 2011 as compared to 3,129 of Ravi and 285 units of Hilux in the same months during 2010.

In heavy vehicles, sales of only Master trucks rose to 110 units from 82 units while sales of Hino, Nissan and Isuzu trucks plunged to 231, 33 and 36 units from 422, 102 and 119 units.

In buses, Hino bus sales dropped to 56 units from 110 units and Isuzu bus sales also came down to 12 units from 23 units........


http://www.dawn.com/2011/10/11/tractor-heavy-vehicles-sale-dip.html
Riaz Haq said…
South Korea's Posco (PKX, 005490.SE) is looking to invest in steelmaking projects in Africa and Pakistan to capture the growing demand in those parts of the world, an executive told MarketWatch:

Posco Executive Vice President Sung-Kwan Baek told Dow Jones Newswires on the sidelines of a business conference in Bali Friday the company hasn't decided on the location of the planned project in Africa, but he mentioned some possible countries such as Ghana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe because those countries hold abundant iron ore reserves, the basic steel raw material.

Baek said that the African plant will also serve the Middle Eastern market.

"At the same time we are thinking about Pakistan and India because of their big population," Baek added.

In India, the company has started to build downstream production facilities such as coating lines, cold-rolling mills and silicon-steel lines in the Maharashtra state, he said.

Meanwhile, for the upstream projects, Posco is planning three projects, one of which is expected to come through next year. The projects will be located in Karnataka state with six-million tons of annual production capacity, in Orissa, which will have eight million tons capacity. The other one will be developed with India's state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd., which will have three million tons in production capacity.

The company's offshore investment is part of the plan to boost its total production capacity to 70 million tons by 2020, with 40 million will be produced by its plants in South Korea.

Posco is currently also developing a plant in Indonesia, which will have a six-million-ton annual capacity and a similar project in Brazil.

"Outside the two countries, we need 20 million tons in production capacity. Our goal is in 2020, we have 30 million tons [in production capacities] in foreign countries," the official said.

He added that the company will try to finance future projects with its own cash, but it doesn't rule out any fundraising activities if necessary.

Baek said that the company will closely watch how the global economy will affect China in determining its offshore investment for next year.

"If China survives, we will still have room to invest in foreign countries," Baek said.

China currently produces half of the global steel supply. Baek said that if China's economy slows down the country will likely boost its steel exports, making competition tougher.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/posco-looks-to-enter-africa-mideast-pakistan-2011-11-19
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an Express Tribune report on Carrefour hyper stores expansion in Karachi:

KARACHI: Hyperstar – a Dubai-based chain of hypermarkets – is starting its Karachi operations at Dolmen Mall, Clifton from today (Monday), a much anticipated development that came two years after its first Pakistaani store opened in Lahore.

Owned by Majid Al-Futtaim Group, Hyperstar is retail franchise of Carrefour, the world’s second largest retailer after Walmart. The company will kick off its opening ceremony at 2pm on Monday, a company official said, it will be the first hypermarket in Karachi. A retail hypermarket is different from wholesalers such as Makro.

Hyperstar Karachi will be spread over 100,000 plus square feet and display 30,000 products, said Mubashir Jalili, who is the vice president of development at Hyperstar Pakistan.

The store’s selling area is spread over 65,000 square feet while its warehouse is spread over 20,000 square feet. The mall can accommodate 3,000 cars, Jalili said, and a higher number of motorcycles.

In 2009, the company launched its first store in Lahore where it achieved remarkable results – achieving Rs1 billion in revenues in its first year and set to cross Rs3 billion ($35 million) this year, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The company – whose Lahore store alone attracts more than one million customers every month – has already identified four more locations for Karachi and three for Lahore, Jalili said. Hyperstar wants to expand its chain of stores first in Karachi and Lahore then in Islamabad and other metropolitan cities of the country, he added.

MAF group’s second hypermarket in Karachi is under construction at Lucky One Mall near UBL Sports Complex, the site which previously housed the now defunct Fazal Mill.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/291394/whats-in-store-citys-first-hypermarket-opens-today/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an Express Tribune report tiled "Nokia Sees Pakistan Becoming a High-Growth Market":

KARACHI: Foreign delegates and local entrepreneurs discussed challenges facing businesses, sought greater industry-academia collaboration and highlighted business models to succeed in an emerging market at the 12th Management Association of Pakistan (MAP) Convention on Leadership Challenges for Business Success here on Wednesday.

Emerging markets will account for 80% of the world’s growth the next decade and Pakistan will be an important emerging market in future, Senior Vice President of Nokia India, Middle East and Africa Shivakumar said in a speech titled “Winning in emerging markets”.

Speaking to a conference packed with businessmen, Shivakumar – who is also the senior vice president of All India Management Association (AIMA) – said growth in developed economies has slowed down dramatically and the world is now looking at emerging markets, which account for 42% of population and 13% of income.

Pakistan is listed in four categories of emerging markets including Dow Jones 35 and emerging and growth level economies (EAGLES), he said. “Pakistan will be an important high-growth emerging market.”

In order to succeed in an emerging economy, he said, it is important to understand its segments and consumers. The emerging market consumers – most of whom live under $2 a day – are value-sensitive and not price-sensitive, he said and added entrepreneurs have to work on their business models to accommodate that segment of consumers who believe in the doctrine of “pay more, get more” and “pay less, get less”.

Sharing his experiences, he said, there are three things that he applied and succeeded. “Always put the country’s interest first, keep fixed costs very low and turn as many cost variables as possible,” he said.

“Never cut the features and offer your product at half the price. Consumers don’t want an incomplete product.”

Speaking to the participants earlier on, event’s chief guest and State Bank of Pakistan Governor Yaseen Anwar said it is time for all business leaders and managers to take the lead. Leaders must be more aware of the challenges facing the country – inflation, unemployment and power crisis.

There are no shortcuts to sustained economic development, Anwar said. “We need to develop the right strategies and then translate these strategies into action.”

AIMA President Rajiv Vastupal also addressed the event, saying IMF has lowered growth projection for both 2011 and 2012. “Today’s corporate leaders must focus on innovation to counter the global economic challenges,” he said. He elaborated the successful example of Apple’s iPad, which was launched during recession and earned a great success.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/306766/nokia-sees-pakistan-becoming-a-high-growth-market/
Riaz Haq said…
Here are some excerpts from an interesting Friday Times Op Ed on Pakistan's undocumented (informal & illegal) economy:

The economy is in the doldrums, but that is not news any more. What is more interesting, and more difficult to investigate, is what is happening in the world beyond the survey operator and tax collector's ambit. Papers published by the Social Policy Development Center (SPDC) in Karachi and the State Bank place the informal economy in a range of 20 to 30 percent of GDP. But most of this undocumented economy does not include strictly illegal, or shall we say criminal, practice.
-------
that militant groups are running their own businesses (during the TNSM's movement in Swat, emerald mines were reputed to be in the hands of Maulana Fazlullah's men); that militants and terrorists are even coming up with new ways to generate funds (kidnapping for ransom being a case in point).
-------------
According to data from the UN, Afghanistan produced about 90% of the global output of opium in 2007. This fell to just over 62% by 2010 (with Myanmar accounting for most of the rest). Three quarters of the poppy production was in the provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, which border Pakistan. Domestic consumption of opium in Afghanistan is next to nil. Also, the country does not legally import the chemicals needed to process opium into heroin, although these are imported in Pakistan for legitimate uses. Almost 7,000 metric tons of opium, both raw and processed, in the form of morphine and heroin, leaves Afghanistan and finds its way to the lucrative markets of Western Europe.
-------------
Given that the global trade in opiates is estimated to have a value of some $70 billion, even a small proportion of the proceeds can make life comfortable for a lot of people in Pakistan.
--------
With close to 80 suicide attacks in 2010, about 400 rocket attacks, and about 350 bomb blasts in addition to target killings, use of improvised explosive devices etc, its not hard to deduce that there is a significant trade in arms and ammunition in Pakistan. The ISAF container scam case led to some interesting findings. There were the obvious conclusions - including that the abuse of the Afghan Transit Trade facility is massive. More tellingly, the Supreme Court's suo moto case found that 7,922 ISAF containers simply went missing. In addition to the packed meals, the alcohol and the camp supplies stamped with ISAF logos that appear in border markets, the possibility of pilferage of more dangerous items cannot be ruled out.

The smuggling masked by the Afghan Transit Trade is another story altogether, and according to some stakeholders extends to the illegal trade in timber, antiquities and gemstones stemming from that unfortunate nation. Being a neighbor to a land-locked, war-ravaged country with no semblance of law and order was never going to be easy. But Pakistan's governance failures have made a bad situation worse.

There's much more to Pakistan's economy than meets the eye, and many of the more interesting activities are practically impossible to investigate unless someone is prepared to take considerable personal risks. The few pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that are available from public data and information paint a tantalizing picture. If the downslide of the formal economy continues, things could get even more interesting.


http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20120113&page=7
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an Express Tribune story on the opening of British Dept store Debenhams:

When Pizza Hut opened its first franchise in Pakistan in 1993, few were familiar with the concept of franchising. Soon it became a household name, and was followed by other fast food franchises. Many observers viewed these import-oriented luxuries in an underdeveloped country like Pakistan, with scepticism and considered it a waste of our precious foreign exchange. However, the trend of foreign retail outlets continues to expand into other products, services, and brands.

The press launching of the 200 years old British department store, Debenhams’ branch in Karachi earlier this month on 27,000 square feet space, at the upbeat Dolmen City Mall, was attended by important personalities, like, UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Stephen Green and UK Cabinet Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi. It appears to have pushed the retail franchising business to another level. The skeptics are turning into fans.

This will be the first international department store in Pakistan offering a complete range of product categories synonymous with Debenhams, including a full range of women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, as well as, home, beauty and accessories. It is promised to be a truly world class shopping experience.

“I am very bullish on retail, not just for local but also foreign brands,” said Yasin Paracha, Managing Director, Team-A Ventures (Pvt) Ltd, which is the franchisee in Pakistan for Debenhams. “Foreign brands will perhaps give Pakistan that softer image we need; that we are normal people, with normal tastes and preferences and actually do drive in cars and wear western clothes! Furthermore, foreign brands will give the local brands the required positioning on the brand scene and will give customers the choice to decide where they want to spend their money.”

It is worth noting that before the fast food franchises, auxiliary industries like the home-delivery service and suppliers of quality poultry, meat etc, according to modern quality standards, hardly existed.

Paracha is very upbeat about the employment possibilities this presents. “This creates immense number of jobs; the average requirement per 1,000 square foot, of retail space is around six, which means Dolmen City, with a leasable area of 650,000 square feet will provide jobs to around 4,000 people! These will be mostly undergrads who might struggle to find good jobs in offices. Here they have the chance to work in a comfortable environment, look nice, and develop the discipline to deal professionally with customers. It also provides students the opportunity to work. Almost every teenager in the UK has worked in a retail environment.”

About government revenue and taxation, Mr. Paracha says, “This adds immense revenue, as most brands will progress towards declaring and paying taxes, they are too much ‘in your face’ to avoid it. Furthermore, instead of considering this as an outflow of foreign exchange, it actually saves it, as most people spend on shopping when they travel, they will convert to shopping within the country if they have the option and the right environment.”...


http://tribune.com.pk/story/325554/the-fast-track-growth-of-foreign-retail-franchises-in-pakistan/
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan car sales up 20.5% July-Dec 2011, reports Dawn:

Car sales in the first half of current fiscal year went up by 20.5 per cent amid negative developments including the government’s decision to impose a ban on CNG kits and cylinders, suspension in production of Honda Civic and City and increase in prices of all vehicles.

According to figures shared by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers (PAMA), consumers purchased 12,240 more cars in July-December 2011 to 71,886 units as compared to 59,646 units in the same period of 2010.

Increase in production of Suzuki Mehran and Suzuki Bolan for onward supply to Punjab government’s Yellow Cab Scheme was the main reason that averted the negative impact of ban on CNG kits and cylinders and production halt of Honda cars on the overall production figures.

However, local assemblers are still perturbed over the government’s decision of imposing ban on CNG kits and cylinders. In this regard, Pak Suzuki Motor Company Limited (PSMCL), which holds over 50 per cent market share, may suffer more as it used to roll out 80 per cent CNG fitted vehicles out of its total production. Assemblers added that six months sales had risen due to previous orders and the impact of government’s decision would be visible in coming months. It must be noted that Toyota Corolla, which also launched CNG fitted vehicles few months ago, might also be affected by this decision.

Sarfaraz Abbasi, an analyst at Summit Capital, linked the growth in auto sales to removal of 2.5 per cent special excise duty and cut in the rate of General Sales Tax (GST) from 17 to 16 per cent.

Car sales in December 2011 plunged due to 92 per cent decline in sales of Honda Cars and flat sales of Indus Motor Company.

Honda Atlas Cars has suspended Civic and City production for December 2011 to January 2012 owing to non supply of parts from Thailand. Civic and City sales in December 2011 were recorded only 49 and 22 units as compared to 369 and 528 units in November 2011 respectively.

Nauman Khan of Top Line Securities said December 2011 sales declined as buyers preferred to defer orders due to year end phenomenon.

“Despite launch of new variants by the company in 1600cc segment and CNG vehicles (Eco), Toyota Corolla sales showed a decline on account of reduced farm income amid falling cotton prices,” he added.

Mehran leads: According to PAMA figures, production and sales of Mehran stood at 15,343 and 17,014 units as compared to 11,995 and 11,591 units in July-December 2010. Production and sales of Bolan rose to 8,052 and 8,848 units as compared to 6,978 and 6,483 units.

While other manufacturers suffered production and sales in December 2011 as compared to November 2011, production and sales of Mehran in December 2011 surged to 2,697 and 2,880 units as compared to 2,262 and 2,720 units in November 2011.

The production and sale of Bolan in December 2011 recorded at 1,603 and 1,968 units as compared to 1,380 and 1,369 units in November 2011.

Daihatsu Cuore continued to suffer as its production and sales plunged to 2,060 and 1,884 units in July-December 2011 as compared to 3,051 and 2,959 units in the corresponding period of 2010 due to reports of closure of its production in Pakistan from March this year.

Sale of Suzuki Cultus and Alto rose to 7,034 units in the last six months as compared to 5,599 while sale of Alto increased to 6,779 as compared to 5,762 units.

In 1,300cc and above, a total of 2,664 units of Honda Civic and 4,197 units of Honda City were sold in the last six months as compared to 2,918 and 3,957 units in the same period of 2010.

Suzuki Liana sales slightly stood at 199 units as compared to 188 units while Swift sales improved to 3,247 from 1,472 units.

Toyota Corolla sales grew to 20,020 units from 18,717 units.


http://www.dawn.com/2012/01/12/car-sales-surge-by-205-per-cent.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here are excerpts of Express Tribune story on Nestle Pakistan's record revenue and profits:

Even as the economy continues to grow sluggishly, Nestle Pakistan announced another year of record breaking profits, which grew by 13.5% to reach Rs4.7 billion – or about Rs102.94 per share – on the back of a 26% increase in revenues, which reached Rs64.8 billion.
----------
Managing Director Ian Donald – a South African national who has been with the global parent company for 40 years – believes the key for Nestle to grow in Pakistan is primarily by growing the packaged foods market.

“Take the example of yoghurt. We are 80% of the market when it comes to packaged yoghurt. But that packaged segment is only 2% of the total market,” he said in an interview with The Express Tribune. “So it doesn’t really matter what our market share is. We need to grow the whole packaged segment.”

A key constraint to growing that segment, however, seems to be the limited purchasing power of the ordinary Pakistani consumer. “Our single biggest challenge is how to get the right quality product to the consumer at a price that they can afford,” said Donald.

Over the past year, inflation has not helped matters. While Nestle’s global food portfolio is highly diversified, in Pakistan it focuses heavily on milk and dairy products. As milk prices continue to rise by more than 20% a year, the company has not been able to pass on the entirety of that effect to its customers. This is at least partially reflected in its gross profit margins, which shrank by 1.2% to 25.8% in 2011. Energy costs have continued to go up as well. Nonetheless, the company was able to grow the volume of products sold by a healthy 12%.
-----------
“We have a lean mindset,” said Giuseppe Bonanno, the company’s head of finance and control in Pakistan. The company’s operating costs are certainly lower than most of its competitors. For instance, Nestle’s logistics costs are about 12% of revenues, compared to between 18% and 19% for both Unilever Pakistan and Engro Foods, two of its biggest competitors. Part of the advantage is economies of scale: Nestle about as big as both of its rivals combined. But part of it, said Donald, is that the company invests heavily in its infrastructure. In 2011, the company invested about Rs8.9 billion in building up its capacity.

Nestle already has a gigantic infrastructure in Pakistan. The company collects milk from over 190,000 farmers spread out over an area of about 145,000 square kilometers.

Another part of its growth strategy seems to be augmenting and developing its existing brands rather than adding newer brands to its line-up in Pakistan. “We cannot afford to invest in too many brands because we cannot grow all of them,” said Donald.

However, the company has introduced brands such as Nido Bunyad, which is a powdered milk product targeted to the rural consumer at a price that is competitive with non-packaged milk.

The rural economy seems to be a key market for Nestle. “It seems to us that the rural economy is growing faster than the urban economy. However, we are also consciously driving growth in the rural markets,” said Donald.

The company identifies its fastest growing markets as Peshawar, Multan and areas that it describes as “peri-urban”, areas that lie on the outskirts of most large cities and form a part of its metropolitan area.

Nestle’s growth in Pakistan has been a mixture of both organic as well as through acquisitions. When asked about whether Nestle might pursue acquisitions in the future, Donald replied: “We are always open to considering opportunities.”

As part of its plan over the next three years, the company will spend about 320 million Swiss Francs in growing its presence in Pakistan.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/333671/despite-stellar-earnings-nestle-pakistan-aspires-for-better-results/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Businessweek story on Pakistan's informal economy:

It’s early morning in Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city, and Muhammad Nasir is outside his makeshift shelter of palm leaves, rags, and bamboo, washing up after breakfast. He uses water stolen from a nearby supply pipe that belongs to the local water utility. The 17-year-old bids farewell to his mother, an unlicensed midwife, and walks to his tire-repair shop, an open-air stand in a residential area with a table of tools and a wooden bench. He checks to make sure the electricity he’s drawing illegally from the overhead power line is on so he can run his tire pump. Then he sends 10-year-old Abid, one of his two employees, along with 12-year-old Irfan, to get tea from a nearby shop.

Nasir’s business, his home, his power and water supply, and even the cup of tea Abid brings him don’t exist in Pakistan’s official figures. They’re part of another economy that doesn’t pay taxes or heed regulations. It probably employs more than three quarters of the nation’s 54 million workers and is worth as much as 50 percent of Pakistan’s 18 trillion rupee ($200 billion) official gross domestic product. And while the documented economy had its smallest expansion in a decade at 2.4 percent in the year ended June 2011, soaring demand for cars, cement for houses, and other goods shows the underground market is thriving.
----------
the nation’s purchasing power is more than estimated, says Nadeem Naqvi, managing director of the Karachi Stock Exchange. Rising crop prices have pumped an extra 1 trillion rupees into the rural economy in the past four years, most of it undocumented, Naqvi says. He estimates agriculture may account for as much as 35 percent of GDP, instead of the 21 percent reported.

Evidence of consumer demand is everywhere as new shopping malls and restaurants in Karachi are filled to capacity. Car sales rose 14 percent in February from a year earlier, as more people could afford a Toyota Corolla or Suzuki Mehran (a small hatchback), according to the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association. More than half a million motorbikes hit the road in the eight months ended February, a 5 percent increase, perhaps a sign that Nasir’s tire business has a bright future. ..


http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-05/the-secret-strength-of-pakistans-economy#p2
Riaz Haq said…
Here's 2012 BMI research report on consumer electronics market in Pakistan:

BMI expects the Pakistan consumer electronics market will grow by around 9% in 2012, with strongdemand for smartphones, flat screen TV sets, and tablets providing growth, despite an expectedslowdown in private consumption. The Pakistani consumer electronics market has considerable potential,but this is constrained by a large grey market, poor IP protection, an unstable economic and securitysituation, and weak distribution channels. Reforming high national and provincial taxes and tariffs onproducts ranging from computers to prepaid mobile cards would boost the market. The long-term marketdrivers include a rising population and growing affordability and demand for consumer electronics goodsis also influenced by trends from Middle Eastern markets.

Headline Expenditure Projections Computer sales: US$309mn in 2011 to US$331mn in 2012, +7% inUS dollar terms. Forecast in US dollar terms upwardly revised, despite a high level of illegal imports.AV sales: US$645mn in 2011 to US$710mn in 2012, +10% in US dollar terms. Forecast in US dollarterms upwardly revised, with the main driver being demand for flat-screen TV sets.

Handset sales: US$750mn in 2011 to US$816mn in 2012, +12% in US dollar terms. Forecast in USdollar terms upwardly revised, but despite the popularity of smartphones, most handsets are sold at lessthan US$50.

Risk/Reward Rating: Pakistan’s score was 28 out of 100.0, with low CE market and Country Structureratings dragging down high Potential Returns. Pakistan took thirteenth place in our latest RRR table, buthas potential to rise over time due to the size of the market.

Key Trends & Developments

The TV sets segment is forecast to grow at a CAGR of about 12% as consumers replace blackand white, and analogue sets with colour and LCD models. About 49% of TV sets sold each yearare still black and white. If the government is unable to crack down on smuggled goods, growthcould be slower than this.

PC vendors must contend with a significant segment of demand being met by imports of usedcomputers from countries such as China. The government has denied reports it plans ban importsof used computers, which is a measure strongly opposed by local retailers. The price differentialbetween an imported second-hand computer and a new one is considerable, according to localimporters.

In 2012, established brands will hope to regain some market share as a result of thegovernment’s recent ban on imported handsets without IMEI numbers. Low-cost Chinesephones are understood to account for around 30% of the local handset market. According toretailer reports, although the ban hit sales of low-cost Chinese handsets, Chinese reacted quicklyto the new circumstances. Meanwhile, established vendors are targeting the low-price tier withproducts offering dual-SIM support and other features that have proved popular for the low-costbrands.


http://www.marketresearch.com/Business-Monitor-International-v304/Pakistan-Consumer-Electronics-Q4-7165551/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's link to an interesting thread on Made in Pakistan products:

http://www.defence.pk/forums/military-photos-multimedia/156408-made-pakistan.html

LCD TV by TCL Nobel Flat Screens

http://www.tclnobel.com/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's bloomberg on fast food craze in Pakistan:

...Local and overseas business groups are queuing up to buy franchise rights in Pakistan for an array of popular food sold from Los Angeles to Kuala Lumpur, driven by rising demand from a booming middle class in South Asia’s second-biggest economy after India. Pakistanis increasingly flock to American food outlets even as ties between the two nations are strained by U.S. drone missile strikes in the northwest of the country.

Johnny Rockets Group Inc., another American fast-food group based in Aliso Viejo, California, that operates or franchises 68 hamburger restaurants in 16 countries, Second Cup Ltd., a coffee shop chain based in Missisauga, Canada, with over 360 cafes and Malaysia’s MammaRoti and PappaRoti are set to open their first stores in Pakistan this year.

----

Fatburger joins Hardee’s Food Systems Inc., headquartered in St. Louis, Atlanta-based cinnamon roll maker Cinnabon International Inc., The Noodle House of the United Arab Emirates, and five foreign frozen yoghurt chains that opened their first outlets in the world’s sixth-most populous nation since 2011. Consumer spending in Pakistan has increased at a 26 percent average pace the past three years, compared with 7.7 percent for Asia, according to data compiled by Euromonitor International, a consumer research firm.

...Pakistan’s middle class has doubled to 70 million people in the past decade as booms in agriculture and residential property, as well as jobs in telecom and media have helped people prosper, according to Sakib Sherani, chief executive officer at Macroeconomic Insights in Islamabad.

---
Franchising is also booming as businesses battling Pakistan’s record energy outages seek alternatives to factories that can’t run without adequate power, said Samiullah Mohabbat, chief executive officer of Fatburger Pakistan and the country representative for the World Franchise Association. Mohabbat received over 100 queries this year from entrepreneurs wanting to buy franchise rights for international food chains.
---

The number of foreign food franchises in Pakistan will “easily double” in the next two years as more coffee houses and casual dining outlets enter the country, Mohabbat said. About two dozen foreign food franchises operate in Pakistan since Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum! Brands Inc.’s Pizza Hut opened two decades ago, followed by the same company’s KFC in 1997 and Oak Brook, Illinois-based McDonald’s Corp., the world’s largest restaurant chain, the following year.

KFC plans to open 40 more stores in Pakistan over the next five years to expand its network of 64 outlets in 18 cities, said Rafiq Rangoonwala, chief executive officer of Cupola, the company with the franchise rights for KFC, the biggest fast-food chain by outlets in Pakistan.
--
Salt Lake City-based Mrs Field’s Original Cookies Inc., that opened an outlet in Lahore in 2011, plans to start 15 more this year, said Rashed Siddiqui, franchise owner.

---
Second Cup will open its first outlet in Islamabad within the next six months and Red Mango Inc., a Dallas-based frozen yoghurt retailer, will enter Pakistan this year, Mohabbat said.

Fullerton, California-based Tutti Frutti Frozen Yoghurt, that has 20 outlets in Pakistan since opening in late 2011, plans to start 100 more this year, said Naeem Niazi, director for international business development at Wellspring Industry Inc., owner of Tutti Frutti.

Pakistanis spend 90 billion rupees ($924 million) a year on eating out at the 20,000 restaurants nationwide because of a paucity of other entertainment facilities, said Nauman Mirza, founder and chief executive officer of Food Connection Pakistan, an online restaurant guide.


http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-07/pakistan-loving-fatburger-as-fast-food-boom-ignores-u-s-drones.html
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a News story on rising obesity in Pakistan:

KARACHI: The obesity is an emerging challenge to human well-being like other parts of the world, it was also on the increase in Pakistan.



The overweight and obesity are the fifth leading risk for global deaths.



The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates suggest that 26 percent of women and 19 percent of men in Pakistan are obese. Women are 2-3 times more likely to be obese.Childhood obesity is increasing with an estimated value of 10 percent.



This was stated by Prof Dr Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, Director International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University.



He was delivering a lecture on Wednesday at the 4th International Symposium-Cum-Training Course on Molecular Medicine and Drug Research being held at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS).



Over 350 scientists, including 35 scientists from 24 countries, are attending the international event, organised by Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), University of Karachi.



Dr. Iqbal said that obesity had become a serious health problem worldwide, which is a result of an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure; the molecular cascade involves in obesity and associated disorders are not fully understood.



Proliferation of adipocytes plays an important role in the onset and progression of obesity, he added.



`Obesity has been linked to several serious health ailments like heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer.



Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer; once considered a problem only in high income countries, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low and middle-income countries.



Overweight and obesity are largely preventable; the intake of healthier foods, and regular physical activity are easiest ways to prevent obesity, he said.



There is an urgent need to have R&D programme in the field of anti-obesity drug discovery and development, he urged, saying that the fundamental causes of obesity are an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat, salt and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients; and a decrease in physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation and increasing urbanization.



Talking about the multi-drug-resistant pathogens, he said that a rapid decline in research and development on new antibiotics coincides with increasing frequency of infections caused by multi-drug-resistant pathogens.



The key reason of bacterial resistance is the indiscriminate of suboptimal use of antibiotics. During the last three days of the symposium, various lectures of the national and international scientists were held on different scientific issues.


http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-83095-Obesity-on-the-increase-in-Pakistan
Riaz Haq said…
New shopping mall to open in Islamabad, reports The Nation:



ISLAMABAD (PR) - The Centaurus Mall, Pakistan’s mega shopping and entertainment destination, is all-set to open its doors by the middle of next month, says a press release.

“We are all set to make a soft launch. Quite a few brands have confirmed their readiness by the date we have communicated to them, and others are working day in and day out to make sure they don’t miss out on this opportunity,” the release stated.

The Centaurus Mall, located at the heart of federal capital, is a multi-facility complex featuring a deluxe mega shopping mall (covering 400,000 sq. ft), 5-screen Cineplex, a state-of-the-art kids entertainment area, and food court offering a variety of cuisines.

“The word is out now, and we are mulling the date of 17th February to make this luxurious dream become a reality. Dozens of top-of-the-line brands are going to be there and the rest of the mall features like Cineplex, and kids play area, health club etc will be up and ready within 20 days of the launch, ShahbazRana, Head Business Development of The Centaurus confirmed.

The multi-billion project is a joint venture of Al-Tamimi Group of Saudi Arabia and Sardar Builders of Pakistan.


http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/business/18-Jan-2013/centaurus-mall-to-open-next-month
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an ET story on Samsung's marketing push in Pakistan:

Samsung, a global leader in consumer electronics, is aiming to secure a larger share of the Pakistani market by the end of this year. Its action plan includes advertising heavily on all platforms available, with a special focus on brand shops, providing brand awareness, and introducing a range of products under one roof.

“In the televisions market, Samsung in Pakistan currently enjoys a 38% share, which we are aiming to increase up to 50% by the end of 2013,” Amir Shahzad, Samsung Pakistan’s Retail and Channel Management head (Consumer Electronics) recently told The Express Tribune.

Though Samsung offers a wide range of products, including smartphones, personal computers, printers, cameras, home appliances, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions, the company’s Pakistani management is focusing specifically on the television segment by introducing the latest plasma TVs, LED TVs, home theatres and other home appliances.

The management says the company is benefitting from the rise of the Pakistani middle class. The global economic downturn – which forced many other electronic brands like Sony, Sharp and JVC to minimise operations in Pakistan – is another factor that has provided Samsung the opportunity to step in and capture the large domestic market.

Samsung operates through 550 dealerships in Pakistan, spread over the length and breadth of the country, through which a complete range of products is available to consumers. More recently, the rising trend of multinational retail outlets in large cities has forced the management to introduce brand shops in the country which showcase the latest Samsung products. The 30 “strategically-located” brand shops offer genuine Samsung warranties for 3D Smart TVs, LED and LCD TVs, monitors, plasma display panels, IT products, cameras and home appliances.

“Our latest appliances are relatively higher-end, but we are also targeting the rising middle class. These retail outlets are providing us a wonderful platform to promote our brand,” Shahzad said.

The staff in each shop guides consumers in buying the right products according to their demands and budgets, Shahzad explained. “Such shops also provide technical assistance and after-sales guarantee and maintenance facilities to the customer,” he added.

“The Samsung Brand Shop is a revolutionary business model for the Samsung retail brand, from where all retailers can learn and emulate building a consistent branding approach,” Shahzad claimed.

However, like other multinationals, Samsung is reluctant to invest directly in Pakistan. At this stage, it is not even considering starting a proper assembling or manufacturing plant for its products in the country. It does assemble a handful of its products in country, but that is a tiny operation compared to its global operations, and Shahzad says the sole purpose of this business is to circumvent import duties and enable Samsung to compete in the local market at better rates.

That leaves Samsung’s sole focus on heavy advertisement in order to register itself in the minds of the masses. “We want every Pakistani to use Samsung products, for which we are using every possible advertising channel, whether electronic and print media, road shows, brand shops, social media, promotion schemes, online advertisements,” Shahzad said.

“We believe that advertising heavily is a strategy which will help us achieve our targets and make Samsung the country leader in all the different products offered by the company,” he added.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/514943/samsung-looks-to-capture-pakistan-through-heavy-advertisement/
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Washington Post piece on popularity of camel milk in Pakistan:

During the evening rush hour in central Karachi, Nadeem Mutloob can barely keep up with demand at his curbside Marhaba milk bar, a popular stop for workers on their way home.

Customers line up for cool bottles of what Mutloob and some medical researchers tout as an unbeatable health supplement: camel milk, or as the label says, “the world’s next super food.”

“It’s useful; that’s why they buy it,” Mutloob said.

He and others think camel milk can treat a range of ailments, including liver problems, hepatitis and diabetes.

“I use it for ‘man power,’ ” said Mohammad Ashfaq, a 36-year-old gas station employee, referring to virility.

As he bellied up to the shop’s counter, Ashfaq said his wife drinks the milk and gives it to their children, too.

And there might be something to the hype surrounding the age-old nostrum. The milk, indeed, is often used by diabetics and hepatitis patients. It has three times more vitamin C than cow’s milk and is a rich source of iron.

Nomadic Bedouins have relied on camel milk as a staple for eons; today Somalia and Saudi Arabia are the biggest producers. Processors are also developing markets in countries such as Kenya, Australia and the United States.

Karachi is at the center of the trend imported from Africa and the Middle East. Several camel-milk vendors have set up shop in the past year or so.

They range from small stalls like the Marhaba shop to a family operation called Wondermilk that offers flavors such as chocolate, banana and strawberry and takes Internet orders.

The white frothy liquid’s resemblance to its bovine equivalent does not extend to its flavor or its price.

“Tastes salty,” said Syed Sanaullah, proprietor of a shop called al-Habib, when asked to describe the beverage. The shopkeeper, 36, sells single-serve plastic bottles of milk at a roadside stand next to his small convenience store.

He said camel milk costs nearly five times more than regular milk because of shortages in supply — about $3.60 for about 35 ounces, while regular milk fetches only 80 cents. But customers who can afford it continue to purchase the milk because they are convinced of its efficacy.
--------
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has noted the commercial value of camel dairy products, saying they could provide nomadic herders “a rich source of income.” The organization estimates a potential world market of $10 billion for the product.

The FAO notes that doctors are prescribing camel milk to patients in Russia, Kazakhstan and India and might be recommending it for people living with AIDS in Africa.

London’s Guardian newspaper recently reported that in Kenya, camel milkshakes and “camelcinos” (camel cappuccinos) are selling in cafes. It said camel-milk production is on par with the country’s coffee industry.

In addition to cosmopolitan Karachi, camel-milk consumption is catching on elsewhere in Pakistan, in cities such as the far less hip capital, Islamabad. There, individual sellers have been seen parking camels at the side of the road near bustling shopping centers.

While the bottled product is often boiled or pasteurized, these dairy entrepreneurs sell the milk in plastic baggies — or even offer “it-doesn’t-get-any-fresher” squirts directly from the source.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/after-a-tough-day-at-the-office-in-pakistan-a-cool-bottle-of-camel-milk/2013/03/17/ca8c03b8-89bb-11e2-8d72-dc76641cb8d4_story.html


Riaz Haq said…
KARACHI: Car sales are expected to reach their highest level in three years by the end of June 2015, analysts have predicted, stressing that the growth is depended on the sustained success of new models.

With a 24% improvement during the first nine months (Jul-Mar) of fiscal year 2015 (FY15), sales of new and used vehicles picked up in March and are now expected to reach their highest in three years by the end of the current fiscal year.

“Auto sales are expected to grow in double-digits but they are highly dependent on automaker’s new models,” Global Research analyst Asad Raza Nayani told The Express Tribune.

“The sales depend on the new make of Toyota Corolla and Punjab government’s Apna Rozgar Scheme,” Nayani added.

The growth of automobiles in FY15 is expected to touch 165,000 units, 23% compared to last year, he said. But, that will still be low compared to 175,000 units sold in FY12.

Looking at March 2015 sales alone, one can be a little more bullish in the remaining three months (April-June) of FY15.

According to latest figures posted by the Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association, local auto sales, including light commercial vehicles, shot up by an impressive 72% to 21,147 units compared to 12,269 units during the same month last year.

According to Sherman Securities, car sales in March are possibly the highest-ever sales posted by the Pakistan auto industry in a single month.

If monthly car sales grow at the same rate as they did in March 2015, which it possibly can, cumulative car sales may touch a six-year high.

However, analysts are not yet entirely optimistic as the auto industry is still facing considerable challenges despite many positives including growing margins of auto companies, declining interest rates and double-digit growth in sales.

“The interests rates have come down considerably in the last four months, but banks are still cautious when it comes to auto financing which is not helping car sales considering its potential,” Nayani added.

Industry officials and analysts estimate that car financing still stands at a mere 30-35% of the total car sales in the country, which is considerably low, compared to other countries.

Banks are reluctant when it comes to car financing due to its bad experiences during the last few years when Non-Performing Loans (NPL) ballooned and considerably hurt the financial health of banks.

The cumulative sales during the first nine months (Jul-Mar) of FY15 stood at 124,000 units, up 24% compared to 100,000 units in the same period of previous year. However, sales growth drops to 19% if car sales under the Punjab taxi scheme that was launched in February 2015 is excluded.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/868357/ongoing-fiscal-year-auto-sales-expected-to-post-3-year-high-analysts-predict/

Popular posts from this blog

China Sees Opportunity Where Others See Risk

Smartphones For Digital & Financial Inclusion in Pakistan

Economic Comparison Between Bangladesh & Pakistan