Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
The NT board last month has proposed 35 per cent cash dividends to the shareholders.
The company has, last fiscal year, registered Rs 10.18 billion net profit -- an increase by 31 per cent over last year's turnover, said the company. "The per share income has also incresaed to Rs 67.85 that is also an increase of 28 per cent," said the NT, which has been listed under the Class-A companies at the Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse).
"NT's teledensity has increased to 17.84 telephone lines per 100 persons," Sushil Ghimire, NT chairman said, addressing the shareholders. "We have extended our PSTN (land line) services in all the 75 districts headquarters," he said, adding that GSM and CDMA service of NT is also available across the country.
Registered on 2060-10-22 under Company Act, 2053, the then Nepal Telecommunications Corporation (NTC) was dissolved and all assets and liabilities were transferred to Nepal Telecom (NT) with effect from April 13, 2004. The company had floated its shares under the disvestment programme of the government and called the bid for its shares quoting Rs 600 minimum after adding Rs 500 premium to the face value of Rs 100 for each unit. However, investors have quoted a maximum of Rs 2,550 to the lowest of Rs 600 for a unit of share.
As part of the disvestment and privatisation plan, the government had sold NT's 10 per cent shares -- five per cent to the public and five per cent to the staff. The staff were offered the shares at a subsidised rate of Rs 90 per unit.
The NT, according to the Ministry of Finance's divestment plan, floated 75,00,000-unit of shares -- that is five per cent of the total -- in the first phase to the public. However, due to various reasons, it was under-subscribed to only above 53,00,000-unit shares.
Last year, in the first ever AGM, it had distributed 25 per cent cash dividends. But with increasing profits, NT has decided to distribute 35 per cent cash dividends from last year's profits.
NT's share listing was the largest ever share listing worth Rs 15 billion in the domestic secondary market.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
"Petrol will now cost Rs 80 per litre -- dearer by Rs 2.50 -- and diesel and kerosene will now cost Rs 61 per litre -- Rs 2 dearer -- in Kathmandu Valley," said the NOC.
However, consumers have to pay a little more as Nepal Petroleum Dealers' Association (NPDA) that distributes petroleum products throughout the country always sells petroleum products after adding costs. It raised the price to stop the back flow of the petroleum products to India as there has been price difference in between Indian and Nepali markets.
The state oil monopoly has not changed the price of cooking gas, that according to the corporation, is making loss. LPG -- popularly known as cooking gas -- costs Rs 1250 per cylinder.
NOC has also not changed the Aviation Turbine Fuel (duty paid) that it is selling at Rs 75 per litre and ATF (bonded) that it is selling at $805 per 1,000 litre.
Earlier, on February 18, NOC increased the price of kerosene and diesel each by a rupee per litre making them Rs 59 per litre in the Valley. But the price in Tarai districts was increased to Rs 57.70 per litre only.
NOC had then also decided to increase the price as, according to it, the sole supplier of petroleum products had been incurring losses in both diesel and kerosene that is the poor men's fuel.
The state-owned petroleum importer had been -- after the price hike -- raking in a profit of Rs 20 million a month against its loss of Rs 37.5 million per month
NOC has been adjusting prices of petroleum products every month as since last year prices started fluctuating, pushing the state-owned corporation into the red.
Earlier, it had increased the price of kerosene and diesel by Rs 3 per litre on November 17. Then, both kerosene and diesel prices were hiked to Rs 58 per litre. NOC used to make a profit of Rs 4 on a litre of kerosene after the hike, while it incurred a loss of Rs 2.50 on a litre of diesel.
NOC had started making profit when the downward revision of prices started in October 2008, which continued till March. But the rise in prices of petroleum products in the international market again brought it to its knees.
Every month -- on 16th as per the Roman calendar -- NOC receives a new price list for petrol, diesel from the IOC -- its sole supplier. However, on the first of every month, it receives a new price list for petrol, diesel, kerosene, Air Turbine Fuel (ATF) and cooking gas.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- apart from painting a bleak picture of the economy and lowering the real GDP growth to three per cent -- has cautiously warned against the rising risks in the domestic financial sector.
Though, the mission welcomed the central bank's recent directives on credit-to-deposit ratios, loan to value ratios, curb on real estate exposure, and reintroduction of Statutory Liquidity ratio (SLR), it also warned that risks in the financial sector have been building up and need to be addressed urgently.
"The financial system needs to adapt to an environment of slower growth and is likely to see deteriorating asset quality," suggested the mission concluding its Article IV Consultation discussion visit here today. "Appointing a new governor, who can provide strong and stable leadership for the central bank is urgent," said Laura Papi, the team leader of the IMF mission that blamed the accomodative monetary policy, weak supervision, and proliferation of financial institutions for rapidly increase in asset prices and overextension of banks.
"The macro-economic outlook is challenging," the mission said adding that after expanding by 4.7 per cent in the fiscal year 2008-09, the real GDP growth is expected to decelerate to three per cent in the current fiscal year due to poor monsoon, slowdown in remittance inflows and tighter monetary conditions.
Macroeconomic stability has been maintained in past years but the global crisis is having delayed impact on domestic economy and exposing its structural weakness, according to the mission. "However, Nepal wil recover from 2010-11," she added.
"High remittance has resulted in rising forex reserves despite lacklustre export performances, but the slowdown in the remittance inflow and rising imports have hit the forex reserve significantly in the recent months. Though the reserve has stabilised in recent weeks, the situation still remains fragile," the Fund warned.
It has also projected the current account deficit to about two per cent of GDP due to slowdown in remittance inflow and exports contraction.
"Revenue collection has been impressive in the past few years but expenditure should be oriented more towards investement that requires enhancing implementation capacity," it hsa suggested.
The interest rates needs to be maintained above those prevalling in India and the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) liquidity management needs to be be strenghtened, the Fund said. "When a general liquidity injection is not needed for the system, liquidity provision to sound individual banks with liquidity shortages should take place at present rates or at the bank rate under heightened supervision."
The team has, however, also suggested the government to tackle structural problems to achieve higher growth. "While Nepal's potential is high, progress is required in addressing the poor business climate, power shortage, infrastructural needs, weak governance and difficult labour relations apart from political stability and improved security."
Sunday, March 7, 2010
The visiting International Monetary Fund (IMF) team has suggested adaptations in the economy as remittance rate is going to slow down.
Though remittance has buoyed the Nepali economy and reduced poverty, led to high credit growth, financed high imports while boosting forex reserves and played a major overall role in the economy, the current slowdown may give the government an opportunity to think about fixing the structural impediments, according to IMF's study on 'Remittance in Nepal and South Asia'.
The remittance inflow has seen a dramatic rise during the past couple of years. However, it has started slowing down since the begining of the current fiscal year. "Gross outflow of workers has helped remittance inflow to surge dramatically," said the report.
But the crisis in host countries like Malaysia and the Gulf -- where there is a major concentration of Nepali migrant workers -- has pulled down the number of migrant workers' outflow hitting remittance that has become an intregal part of Nepali economy.
"The remittance growth will continue but at a slower pace of around 10 per cent," said the study. "The slowdown of remittance will have an impact on the economy and it might also hit the financial system as it is more dependent on remittance."
Yet, it could be an opportunity to fix the domestic economic problems. "It may help focus minds on economy," said Laura Papi, IMF's Asia-Pacific region deputy director.
The drop in remittance growth will certainly have impact on consumption, imports and the financial system, according to the IMF study. "It will also have an indirect impact like drop in tax revenue due to low import," it said.
But, the drop in remittance inflow has helped push long overdue interest rates up, according to Papi -- the team leader of IMF Article IV Consultation team that is in Nepal since last week as part of its regular visits.
The successive IMF Article IV Consultation team has been suggesting the interest rates be raised to match the rates in India. However, financial institutions have never lent them an ear. They have started offering high interest rates in recent months due to liquidity crunch, partly fuelled by the drop in remittance.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Investors based in Biratnagar, rejoice!
Nepal Stock Exchange Ltd (Nepse) has started share trading from Biratnagar from today. Nepal Investment and Securities traded 350 units of shares for Rs 7,73,000 today -- the first day -- in four transactions from Biratnagar through Remote Work Station (RWS), said Nepse.
After Pokhara, Biratnagar has become the second city outside the valley to have started share trading, breaking away from the centralised system.
The Kathmandu-based secondary market has started diversifying its trading from different districts after it was automated. Investors outside Kathmandu Valley have long been asking Nepse to create a mechanism so that they could take part in share trading from their cities.
Nepal Stock House of Pokhara, that registered four transactions of three companies' 140 units of shares worth Rs 1,92,360 on March 1, today registered 23 transactions of 2,863 units of shares for Rs 1.52 million. "The expansion of the secondary market will help expand the capital market too as it will increase the number of investors and market capitalisation," said Nepse.
In the first phase, Nepse will start transactions in districts where there is optical fiber connection.
Premier Securities from Pokhara and Nepal Investment and Securities and Pragyan Securities from Biratnagar have got licences to start transactions from their respective districts.
Nepse -- in coordination with the securities brokers' association -- has planned to start share trading through remote work stations (RWS) in Birgunj, Narayangarh, Butwal and Nepalgunj.
Three brokers from Nepalgunj and four brokers each from Biratnagar, Birgunj, Narayangadh are ready to start share trading from their cities.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
The commerce secretaries of Bangladesh and Nepal will hold a two-day meeting in Dhaka on March 30 to facilitate bilateral trade and establish connectivity between the two countries under a proposed transit deal.
The meeting will focus on further integration in sub-regional perspectives and mutual recognition of each other's testing and standardisation certificates, according to experts.
Officials at Bangladesh's Ministry of Commerce (MoC) said the commerce secretaries of the two countries are expected to devise a strategy for the implementation of relevant clauses of the joint communiqué, signed by the premiers of India and Bangladesh at New Delhi in January.
A joint communiqué, co-signed by Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina has assured of giving Nepal and Bhutan access to Mongla and Chittagong ports.
The prime ministers -- in the joint communiqué -- also agreed that Rohanpur-Singabad broad gauge railway link would be available for transit to Nepal.
"The upcoming secretary level meeting between Dhaka and Kathmandu will pave the way for implementation of commitments made by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her recent visit to New Delhi to boost the sub-regional integration on both trade and connectivity fronts," the Bangladesh Ministry of Commerce said.
Besides, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries on mutual recognition of standardisation is likely to be inked at the meeting. The trade talks to be held between the countries will also focus on problems relating to loading and unloading of goods at zero point of the border.
At present, Nepali trucks cannot enter Bangladesh and they need to load/unload at zero point of the border. Most of the traded goods of Nepal are carried via Banglabandha land port.
Similarly, due to absence of such agreement, Nepali trucks cannot reach the warehouses of the land port and they need to wait on no man's land for Bangladeshi trucks to come for re-loading, which increases the cost of business.
The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries is very low, less than $60 million a year. Bangladesh exported goods worth $6.70 million to Nepal in 2008-2009, its imports figured $53 million. Major exports from Bangladesh to Nepal include pharmaceuticals, woven garments, plastic goods, furnace oil, zippers, duck down, dry cell battery, ceramic table ware and handicrafts. Pulses, lentils, rice and wheat make up Bangladesh's import basket from Nepal.