Showing posts from November, 2016

CS Wealth Report 2016: Pakistanis 20% Richer Than Indians

Average Pakistani adult is 20% richer than an average Indian adult and the median wealth of a Pakistani adult is 120% higher than that of his or her Indian counterpart, according to Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2016. Average household  wealth in Pakistan  has grown 2.1% while it has declined 0.8% in India since the end of last year. Source: Credit Suisse Wealth Report 2016 Here are the key statistics reported by  Credit Suisse : Total Household Wealth Mid-2016 : India $3,099 billion Pakistan $524 billion Wealth per adult: India Year End 2000 Average $2,036 Median $498.00 Pakistan Year End 2000 Average $2,399 Median $1,025 India Mid-2016 Average $3,835 Median $608 Pakistan Mid-2016 Average $4,595 Median $1,788 Average wealth per adult in Pakistan is $760 more than in India or about 20% higher. Median wealth per adult in Pakistan is $1,180 more than in India or about 120% higher Inequality:  Median wealth data indicates that 50% of Pakistanis own more than $1,

Internet Data Usage Soars in Pakistan

Soaring broadband subscriptions in Pakistan have helped drive a whopping 35X increase in Internet data usage since January 2014. Rapid Rise in Broadband Subscription in Pakistan As the number of broadband subscriptions in Pakistan crossed 38 million in October 2016,  the internet data usage jumped from 1,243 terabytes in January 2014 to 45,672 terabytes in September, 2016, according to  Pakistan Telecommunication Authority . A lot of new data traffic is being driven by 3G/4G equipped smartphones running a variety of applications ranging from social media to consumer and business apps. Mobile Broadband: Mobile broadband (3G/4G) subscriptions have jumped from almost zero in 2014 to 34 million as of September, 2016.  It has been accompanied by corresponding increase in the number of  smartphones  which is expected to cross 40 million mark this year. Applications: Growth of 3G/4G networks and smartphones has spawned a variety of applications from social media apps to bu

Pakistan's Choice of Regional Economic Blocs: CAREC or SAARC or Both?

Pakistan sits between two economically very dynamic regions: Central Asia (and Western China) and South Asia. Which region is better suited for its economic connectivity and integration? Should Islamabad focus on CAREC (Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation) rather than SAARC (South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation)? Ideally, Pakistan should be a major player in both vibrant regions. However, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's policy of attempting to isolate Pakistan has essentially forced it to choose. First, Mr. Modi decided to boycott this year's SAARC summit that was scheduled to take place in Islamabad, Pakistan. Then, he unsuccessfully attempted to hijack the BRICS economic summit in India to use it as a political platform to attack and isolate Pakistan .  The signal to Pakistan was unmistakable: Forget about SAARC. Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC): CAREC is a growing group of nations that is currently made up of 11 members, inc

World Bank Reports Big Jump in Living Standards of Poor Pakistanis

A November 2016 World Bank report says that Pakistan has successfully translated economic growth into the  well-being  of its poorest citizens. It says "Pakistan’s recent growth has been accompanied by a staggering fall in poverty". Rising incomes of the poorest 20% in Pakistan since 2002 have enabled them to enhance their living standards by improving their diets and acquiring television sets, refrigerators, motorcycles, flush toilets, and better housing. Another recent report titled  "From Wealth to Well Being"  by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) also found that Pakistan does better than India and China in translating GDP growth to citizens' well-being. One particular metric BCG report uses is growth-to-well-being coefficient on which Pakistan scores 0.87, higher than  India's 0.77  and China's 0.75. Big Poverty Decline Since 2002: Using the old national poverty line of $1.90 ( ICP 2011 PPP ) , set in 2001, the percentage of people living in po

Pakistani Banks Strong Performance

Pakistan's banks are showing strong performance with significant growth in deposits, assets and private sector credit.  All areas of banking, including commercial, mobile and Islamic banking, are contributing to it. Karachi Financial District Commercial Banking: Pakistan's  commercial banking industry  grew by 16.1 percent during fiscal year 2015/16. Strong aggregate demand and improving business sentiments were seen in private sector credit growth of 12 percent, expanding by Rs. 461 billion in FY16 from Rs. 224 billion in the prior year, according to a  World Bank report in the media . Mobile Banking: Mobile banking  transactions in Pakistan grew to Rs. 1.5 trillion during 2015-16. The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has recorded Rs. 543.6 billion in branchless banking transactions in the latest quarter,  sequential growth of 6.8% over the previous quarter. It's a good sign of growing  financial inclusion  in the country. Islamic Banking: Islamic banking indus

Pakistan Army's Behind-the-Scenes Role in CPEC Success

In July 2016, British newspaper  Financial Times  report headlined "China urges Pakistan to give army lead role in  Silk Road project (CPEC) :  Squabbles in Islamabad highlight obstacles to Beijing’s plans for transport and energy corridor" said as follows: "Frustrated with the slow progress on a sprawling, $46bn infrastructure project stretching from China to south Asia, Beijing is seeking to give Pakistan’s army a lead role.... progress has stalled as the two sides work out how to turn the proposals into concrete projects, said Victor Gao, a former Chinese foreign ministry official, with some blaming Pakistan’s competing ministries"..... “Pakistani politicians have squabbled over the route for the CPEC and this may have made people nervous in Beijing,” said a Pakistan government official. “Pakistan is a noisy place politically while the Chinese are not used to harsh disagreements, especially over such a vital project.” Chinese Container Ship "Cosco Well