If the year 2016 was good to anyone, it was the Pakistani economy. Several positives emerged from Pakistan and The Express Tribune takes a look at some of the major events that either “turned around” or shaped the economy.
• All exchanges merged into one Pakistan Stock Exchange
The integration of the three exchanges, on January 11, into a single exchange meant a centralised network to ensure efficiency and greater regulation. Most developed economies like US and UK have a single exchange. This move eventually led to the divestment of 40% stake of the PSX before the year ended.
• YouTube ban lifted
No more proxy servers or hotspot shields required. Much to the delight of the public and the social media the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority finally lifted the three-year ban on the video-sharing site in January.
• Auto policy announced
Despite the grumbling and resenting stance of the three carmakers, the government, on March 18, approved a new automobile policy in the hopes of attracting European carmakers. The new policy offers tax incentives to new entrants and paved way for foreign carmakers to consider Pakistan as a potential market
• MSCI decides to reclassify PSX as an emerging market
It was a particularly good year for the stock market. In June, the MSCI announced that Pakistan Index will be reclassified to its emerging market status. The decision to announce the reclassification resulted in a massive rally that lasted the entire year.
• IMF programme completed
Yes, we did it! For the first time since December 2001, Pakistan successfully completed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme in September. Many were not expecting the country to conclude the three-year $6.2 billion bailout package, but there you go.
• IMF MD visits Pakistan
Following the completion of the IMF programme, its MD, Christine Lagarde, visited Pakistan for the first time in 10 years, in October. Rodrigo de Rato was the last IMF MD to visit in October 2005. Lagarde lauded the government’s efforts of steering the economy towards stability.
• CPEC shipment launched
The ‘game changing’ project, China Pakistan Economic Corridor, saw its first shipment arrive on November 13, from Gwadar, officially initiating trade activity at the harbour.
• Chinese consortium wins stake in PSX
A Chinese consortium won the bid for a 40% stake in the Pakistan Stock Exchange, on December 22. This brings the management control of the exchange’s core operation under the strategic investors.
courtesy : Express Tribune