LCCI delegation leaves for Iran

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): A 24-member LCCI delegation has left for 7-day visit to Iran to explore trade & investment opportunities and possibilities of joint ventures between the private sectors of the two countries. LCCI Senior Vice President Almas Hyder is leading the delegation while other members are Kamal Mahmood Amjad Mian, Tariq Mahmood, Muhammad Ibrahim, Hasnain Reza Mirza, Ariful Islam, Khurram Hussain, Mushtaq Ali Khan, Shahid Mahmood, Fazal-ur-Rehman, Tanveer Karamat, Muhammad Usman Sheikh, Shafiq Ahmad Abbasi, Muhammad Tahir Iqbal, Mohammed Idrees, Moazzam Rasheed, Muhammad Akram Sheikh, Mujahid Ali Sheikh, Ahsan Tariq, Jahanzeb Aziz Khan Sherwani, Naveed Hussain, Rana Muhammad Shakil, Ghulam Nabi and Hassan Raza.

The delegation will visit Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines and will have meeting with Director General of Asia & Oceania, Iran Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ali Asghar Farshchi.

WCCI trade fair in Peshawar from March 4

PESHAWAR (Staff Reporter): Women Chamber of Commerce is going to inaugurate Women Entrepreneurship Trade Fair (WEF) in collaboration with TDAP from March 4 to 6, 2016 in Peshawar. The event has been organised to exploit the business potential of women in Pakistan and encourage women entrepreneurship development from the grassroots level via organizing seminars, workshops and product exhibitions at national and international level, said a release. Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pervez Khattakk will inaugurate the event. Women exhibitors from Peshawar, Mardan, Swat, Haripur , Abbottabad, Mansehra, Chitral, Gilgit, Bannu and other cities of Pakistan will display their products at the fair.

RCCI president meets Thai

ambassador

RAWALPINDI (Staff Reporter): Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Mian Humayun Parvez visited Royal Thai Embassy on Friday and held a meeting with Thai Ambassador Suchart Liengsaengthong. Giving details of his meeting with Thai Ambassador, RCCI president said that there was a tremendous opportunity for Pakistani businessmen to explore new markets in the region, especially in Thailand. He said that we must enhance ties between the business communities of both countries. He said that exchange of business delegations could be a better option for exploring areas of common interest along with sharing knowledge and expertise.

He said that investment cooperation was another area in which both countries could collaborate for mutual benefits. “Information technology, telecommunication, construction, automobile parts, food processing, fisheries, agriculture, tourism, hotel industry and real estate offer tremendous opportunities and potential for cooperation”, he added. President RCCI invited Thai envoy Suchart Liengsaengthong to visit Rawalpindi Chamber, which he accepted.

SECP corporate governance

framework for insurers

ISLAMABAD (INP): The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has approved the promulgation of the Code of Corporate Governance for Insurers, 2016, after consulting stakeholders vide S.R.O.1096(I)/2015 dated November 9, 2015. On February 24, 2016, the SECP approved the promulgation of the code. Its draft was published on November 9, 2015 for the information of all persons likely to be affected by it. They were given 30 days to file objections, suggestions and comments. The purpose of formulation of a comprehensive corporate governance framework is to improve the governance of the insurance companies keeping in view the best international practices in the insurance sector.

This would also help maximize protection of the interests of the insurance policyholders and enhance confidence of the public in insurance companies. The framework has been devised in such a manner so as to cater to both the general governance aspects as well as insurance specific ones. The insurance specific provisions have been taken from the Insurance Core Principles laid down by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).

In the existing form, the corporate governance framework shall require all insurers to form balanced and diversified boards, including the presence of independent directors on their boards. The insurers shall also be required to have a dedicated grievance function to address the policyholders’ complaints and grievances within 30 days.

Additionally, risk management and investment have been one of the main areas addressed in the framework. The insurers shall be required to constitute committees for all of its core functions. Moreover, certain restrictions have also been laid down concerning key management personnel to ensure independence of the decisions they may take by virtue of the positions they hold.

It is believed that with the promulgation of the final Code of Corporate Governance for Insurers, the confidence of the investors as well as the public at large will increase, which shall contribute to better insurance penetration levels in Pakistan.

Oil prices rebound sharply

LONDON (AFP): World oil prices rebounded sharply this week on signs producers may still agree to limit output to tackle a supply glut that has sent crude tumbling for more than 18 months. By Friday, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in April stood at $34.24 a barrel compared with $29.96 for the expired March contract one week earlier. In London, benchmark Brent North Sea crude for April delivery jumped to $36.66 a barrel from $33.53 a week earlier. "Crude oil prices have stormed back this week," said Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at City Index trading group. "Both contracts have been supported first and foremost by a general improvement in risk sentiment, with equities also bouncing back buoyantly in recent days.

"More specific to oil, signs of a noticeable crude output decline in the US and on-going talks about an oil production freeze between some OPEC and non-OPEC countries are both helping to provide support, at least for the time being," he added.

Oil prices saved their best for Friday, with Brent reaching a near two-month high at $36.84 a barrel.

New York crude hit a month high at $34.35 a barrel.

Crude futures won a late lift from official data showing that the US economy grew at an annual rate of 1.0 percent in the fourth quarter, far stronger than expected.

Oil prices had already risen strongly on Thursday after Venezuelan oil minister Eulogio Del Pino said his country was preparing to meet other producers in March to discuss ways to stabilise the market.

Prices were higher "due to speculation that there would be some kind of agreement between the major oil producers to freeze production", IG market strategist Bernard Aw told AFP, adding that he doubted anything would materialise.

Prices have been extremely volatile in recent weeks on uncertainty over whether the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will stop pumping at a pace that is outstripping demand.

Aw said Venezuela had been working hard to seal an agreement with fellow OPEC producers to trim their output, with the South American country's economy having been badly hurt by sliding prices.

OPEC heavyweight Saudi Arabia, along with Venezuela, Qatar and non-OPEC producer Russia, last week announced a preliminary deal to freeze output at January levels, but only if other major producers followed suit.

But Iran has reacted coldly to the plan and is ramping up production after nuclear-linked Western economic sanctions were recently lifted.

After beginning the week lower, oil prices stabilised on Wednesday as traders looked past an increase in US crude inventories to a welcome drop in gasoline supplies.

"It's the first time the gasoline storage has been down in 15 weeks," said Bob Yawger of Mizuho Securities.

"It does look like you have a pretty good demand number at this time of year," Yawger said, reflecting the low gasoline prices at the pump in the US, the world's biggest consumer of crude.