Tuesday, January 12, 2010

KSE-100 index lost 19 points

KARACHI: Intense selling pressure kept the local bourse in red zone on Tuesday as KSE-100 index fell below 9,800 psychological level.
The benchmark-100 slipped 19 points to close the day at 9,778 points.
Market began on an optimistic note, led by expected $1.8bn funds from FoDP, sustained foreign inflows in equities and improvement on macro economic (surge in remittances and decline in core inflation YoY basis figures) but momentum changed later in the day as oil sector witnessed selling pressure that led market into negative territory.
Turnover remained on the lower side at 112mn shares, down by 37.5 percent as compared to last trading session whilst second tier stocks BAFL, PAKRI, AHSL and JSCL contributed most of the volume in Tuesday’s session.
Bank Al-Falah was crowned as the volume leader, down by Rs0.08/share to close at Rs14.22.
Experts said financial results may lead to positive activity at the local bourse.

London stocks hit 16-month peak above 5,600 points

LONDON: London's main stock market index on Monday hit its highest level since September 2008, when the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers signalled the start of a global economic crisis.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index reached 5,600.48 points -- the highest level for 16 months in the wake of robust Chinese economic data, analysts said.

Dollar remains up against rupee

KARACHI: The dollar remained up against the rupee in the interbank market, dealers said on Tuesday.

The dollar is trading at Rs 84.90. Forex market dealers said rupee could be weaken further due to buying of dollars by importers. The rupee was down by six pasia during today’s trading that helped dollar to reached at record Rs.84.90 level. The dealers said rupee likely gain strength after selling of cash received from importers.

Ex-chairman Pakistan Steel Moin Aftab arrested

KARACHI: A team of FIA Crime Circle has rounded up the former chairman Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM) Moin Aftab from the home of his daughter on four charges of corruption – worth of billions of rupees, here in Defense locality late on Tuesday night, reported.

According to FIA team, he was hiding in his daughter home for fear of detention when the crackdown was launched in view of his arrest warrants issued in four corruption cases being under trial in courts and he sought bail before arrest.

He was an absconder from Rawalpindi, sources said.

Five kids dead in Mian Channu accident

MIAN CHANNU: As many as five children died when their van was hit by a train at Musa Virk Railway gate in Mian Channu, reported Wednesday, January 13, 2010.

According to News, the school van carrying schoolchildren was completely damaged and most of the children are seriously injured.

The Jafferabad Express coming from Quetta hit the school van standing at the Railway Crossing Gate near Musa Virk at 815am.

According to an eyewitness, the injured have been rushed to nearby hospital. The hospital sources told that most of the children are in dire condition.

According to Railway sources, there was no gate at the Railways crossing. Some other source said the fog also was the cause of the accident.

The bodies of five children were taken to Tehsil Headquarter. The deceased included Safdar, Tanveer, Shahbaz and Faisal.

Surgical actions, not operation, carried out in Lyari: Malik

KARACHI: Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Tuesday that surgical actions, not operation, was carried out in Lyari on reports of unrest.

He was speaking to media after attending the meeting of Lyari-based MNAs and MPAs with President Asif Ali Zardari here on Tuesday.

If any unrest was reported in Lyari, talks would be held with the local officer bearer for the solution, he said.

PPP’s MNA Qadir Patel said that President Zardari has given order for stopping the operation and withdrawal of rangers from Lyari.

Patel said that operation would be taken against all criminal elements present in the city without any discrimination.

“Lyari is the fort of PPP and peaceful people and it will last forever,” said the MNA.

Zardari chairs high-level law, order sitting

KARACHI: The obtaining law and order situation with particular reference to ongoing target killings in Karachi came under review at a high level meeting chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari here Tuesday.

The meeting was attended by Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad Khan and Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah besides PPP and MQM members of the Core Committee.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Sindh Senior Minister Pir Mazharul Huq (PPP) and IT Minister Raza Haroon (MQM) informed that in the meeting a Peace Committee, headed by the Sindh Chief Minister, was formed which would have 2-4 members each from PPP and MQM and would meet fortnightly.

Pir Mazharul Huq said various issues were resolved amicably. He said the committee would pre-empt the situation, take necessary remedial steps and share information with each other.

He said the President asked both the parties to sit together and work out a strategy in advance as nothing was achieved once an incident occurred. He hoped that in future there would be no possibility of occurrence of such incidents.

Regretting the recent incidents, the Senior Minister said the President and the Governor described the martyrs as children of Karachi and that they were all grieved. He said it would be wrong to label the deceased as being Baloch, Sindhi or from MQM or any other party.

He said the President described it the murder of humanity and no one should play political game on it. Pir Mazhar said it was decided to resolve all issues amicably to ensure peace, progress and prosperity.

He said that as per vision of President Asif Ali Zardari and MQM chief Altaf Hussain, an action would be taken to pre-empt an incident.

8 miners killed in Balochistan twin mine blasts

QUETTA: At least 8 miners were killed while another 3 injured in two separate incidents of explosions in Spin Carez and Marwar mines located in Balochistan on Wednesday, news reported.
The chief inspector mines said, the explosion occurred in a Muree Coal Company due to gas leakage which killed five miners whose corpses have been obtained from debris while some miners are still stranded under the rubble.
He said freezing winter weather has also contributed to undermine rescue efforts meanwhile, in another incident of explosion, the coal mine located in Spin Carez had explosion due to gas spill and trapped five miners under the debris.
Subsequently, local people on their own, rescued all of them from destroyed mines but 3 among them died of suffocation while 3 injured miners have been admitted to hospital, sources said.
Dead bodies of deceased miners have been dispatched to their native places, sources added.

China again warns against arms sales to Taiwan

BEIJING: China again expressed its opposition to arms sales to Taiwan on Wednesday, the latest in a series of warnings over recent U.S. government contracts with Raytheon Company and LockheedMartin Corp. for Taiwan-bound weapons.

``The stand we take in opposing any country selling arms to Taiwan has been consistent and clear,'' the spokesman for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, Yang Yi, told a news conference. Officials from the defense and foreign ministries have already publicly opposed the U.S. contracts, warning they could hurt China-U.S. relations.

World gears up to help quake-stricken Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE: The United States, France, Canada and governments across Latin America were gearing up Tuesday to help Haiti, after a massive 7.0 earthquake leveled buildings and caused an unknown number of casualties.

US President Barack Obama said his government stood "ready to assist the people of Haiti," as the State Department, USAID and United States Southern Command mobilized, the White House said, "to coordinate an assessment and any such assistance."

In Paris, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said France "expresses its complete solidarity" with Haiti, adding that his ministry's crisis center had begun working "to mobilize and dispatch without delay urgent aid to Port-au-Prince."

Canada, which hosts an 80,000-strong Haitian community, said it was "deeply concerned" with events unfolding in Haiti. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Canadian officials "are making contact with trusted humanitarian partners with a presence in the region to identify humanitarian needs resulting from this earthquake."

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he was "very concerned" with the situation in Haiti, including the fate of some 1,200 Brazilian members of the 7,000-strong UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH, which Brazil leads.

In Bogota, the president's office said Colombia was "under alert and ready to respond to the Haitian authorities' call for help," adding that the defense ministry and emergency management services were coordinating upcoming assistance efforts.

Venezuela said it would send a 50-member "humanitarian assistance team" to Haiti in the next few hours. In Panama, the country's Vice President Juan Carlos Varela pledged that his government would provide assistance to the United Nations's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

U.S. never gave Afghans "blank check": Karzai

WASHINGTON: Afghan President Hamid Karzai denied on Tuesday the United States had ever given his country a "blank check" but said he was grateful for the "little money" sent by Washington to Afghanistan.

In an interview with US media, Karzai was asked how he felt when he heard U.S. President Barack Obama criticize his government last month for being corrupt and vow there would no longer be a "blank check" for U.S. assistance.

"We really never had a blank check," Karzai said. "But we're grateful even for the little money that's come to Afghanistan, even for the little help that's come to Afghanistan."

"We have no right over the American people to pay for us or to help us. This is our country. We must protect it ourselves and provide for it ourselves," Karzai said.

"So help from America is welcome. And even a penny is worth billions for us. In terms of gratitude, we are grateful for the help that we have received."

In a speech last month announcing that he would send 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, Obama put pressure on Karzai to root out corruption in his administration.

Since the United States led an invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 to topple the Taliban movement after the September 11 attacks, Washington has spent about $171.4 billion to keep the Taliban at bay. About 900 U.S. soldiers have died fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

In his troop increase announcement last month, Obama vowed to begin bringing U.S. soldiers home in 18 months and start handing off responsibilities to Afghan forces.

Clinton gets no commitment from Japan on air base row

HONOLULU: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed her Japanese counterpart here Tuesday to stick by a deal on moving a controversial US air base, but got no commitment from Tokyo during the meeting. At hastily-arranged talks with Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada in Honolulu, Clinton said she had stressed the need to resolve the fate of the Futenma base on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.But she also expressed confidence the row would be resolved, saying Tokyo understands that the 50-year-old alliance with Washington is "fundamental to the future" of both Japan and the region. The meeting with Okada was added to the beginning of an Asia tour by Clinton amid growing concerns of a rift between Washington and the new center-left coalition government in Tokyo, which includes elements opposed to the presence of the US base on Okinawa. "I have stressed again today... that it is important to move on Futenma," Clinton said at a press conference with Okada in the garden of a luxury hotel on the Pacific Ocean. She reiterated the US view that a 2006 base deal known as the "realignment road map" is "the way forward".