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Construction, safety equipment, pharmaceuticals and gas sectors likely to bolster economy

Construction, safety equipment, pharmaceuticals and gas sectors likely to bolster economy

Interview with Mr Hamad Rasool Bhullar — an analyst

Investment in gold is fear driven buying trend

PAGE: Tell me something about yourself, please:

Hamad Rasool Bhullar: I am a freelance consultant/trainer and financial advisor with special reference to ethical and Islamic Financial system, for almost 20 years, both in public and private sectors in addition to being a passionate trainer on management and motivation to change the lives of the youth. I have a strong belief that we can shape our Pakistani community into a very efficient and productive community just through the right mix of training and motivation, while preserving the natural ethics and morality in our society.

I did my graduation from Hailey College of Commerce in 1990, after that I completed six post-graduations in Finance, Accounting, Economics, IT and Corporate Law. After graduation, I worked for an accountancy firm for almost 12 years, before joining a public sector organization.

Have also over 27 years of experience in training the banking courses (both conventional and Islamic finance) in addition to being on the board of an Investment Bank for almost 4 years (2005-2008),

PAGE: Could you tell us about investment in the industry of Pakistan?

Hamad Rasool Bhullar: As you know that the entire world is under the grip of Covid-19, and facing job losses so it is really going to be difficult to attract investment. However, it is quite heartening that a reasonable amount of investment is going to be made specially in the construction industry. However, in Pakistan, the latest news are quite encouraging in this regard. As the textile sector is getting more export orders, it has been confirmed a few days ago that, the sale of new motorcycles is at a record high during the first quarter of the current financial year, and the construction industry is getting momentum. In addition, we are expecting new investment in safety equipment, pharmaceuticals and gas sector in Pakistan.

PAGE:Your views on the gold prices and investment in gold by the masses?

Hamad Rasool Bhullar: The gold prices all over the world have touched new highest level over the last few weeks and that was again during the Covid-19 sessions. As you know the general demand for gold remains low during such days, however, it seems otherwise a special trend. Fundamentally during this pandemic inflation is spreading all around the world, the growth is declining, which is causing panic for the savers to store their value in gold to hedge against this expected inflation. So, it is for the storage of value in terms of economics. However, in some parts of the world, the economic planners thought of banning the private trade of gold as well in order to control its price. Gold prices may also have increased due to the fact that interest rates have been reduced, so people are not inclined towards deposits. We can say that it is fear driven buying trend.

PAGE: Your views on the performance of industry over the period of last two years:

Hamad Rasool Bhullar: I see a great trend in cement, housing and allied sectors in Pakistan. Naturally the pharmaceutical and IT sectors are on growth already. Further, due to the expansion in e-commerce the industry is not getting any serious dents, unless any serious health hazards occur due to Covid-19, which is generally expected to be softer in the coming winter as compared to the last year, because of the fact that the communities have learned to live with this new lifestyle. Hope for the better days to come, as luckily Pakistan is one of the safest destinations in this regard, and the industry is coming up to the capacity and growth.

PAGE:Your views on the strength of the local currency today and five years down the road?

Hamad Rasool Bhullar: As a matter of fact, the size of our imports has remained high. Most of the items being imported are also manufactured in Pakistan but we do not produce that upto the qualitative standards. If we realize that the quality is the key, we can become stronger economy, with special support for our import substitution leading the currency to become stronger. We have noted the Pakistan has got a current account surplus of almost $800 million as compared to $1,492 million of deficit last year but it is due to 2 percent rise in exports and the 9 percent rise in remittances, which has shown a spark and may lead to better situation. We cannot say about remittances but import substitution and exports can bring even better trends. The rise in power generation mix will also lead to reduction in electricity pricing thereby bring the cost to operations and businesses to become more competitive in the local as well as global markets.

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