Stories about business

Pakistan’s Stock Market: A lost investment opportunity?

The phrase ‘stock market’ has a charm around it, which grabs the attention of almost any listener anywhere in the world. In Pakistan, however, it portrays a picture of an exclusive club for the aristocrats who bet their easily earned fortunes in the corporate bazaar. However, perceptions are often incorrect and the same is the case with the Pakistan’s stock markets, where the consequences usually involve lost opportunities to rake in money. A recently published report in The Economist concluded that the proportion of capital to labour is rising in developing economies. Simply put, to employ your human capital, as an entrepreneur, provides more financial ...

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PCB’s secret selection formula: Keep your average low and age high!

Dear Young Cricketers (YCs), you thought that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) would not reveal its selection criteria and you will be forced to start some other business? Please reconsider your decision, as I have found the secret selection formula of the PCB. Let me start by saying that, in cricket, statistics cannot be overlooked easily. However that is not the case with the PCB. What the PCB sees in its players while selection is beyond me. Today, even a ten-year-old can open espncricinfo.com to analyse the recent or overall performances of a player. I am not sure if the PCB selectors ...

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How the corporate sector turned me into a hypocrite

To become a part of the corporate world had always been my dream, and ever since my graduation, it had become my vision to enter this grand realm and use my knowledge to cater to its needs. However, it did not take me long to understand that my vision was better as a dream than as a reality, and these are the reasons why. As planned, a month after my graduation, I joined a renowned multinational to kick-start my career. Everything was looking glorious to me, as if it could not possibly get any better than this – the office, the environment, ...

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HEC University rankings: Why not Indus Valley, IBA or NCA?

The headlines are in, folks; scholars can stop holding their breath now. The HEC, or the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, has declared irrevocably who is the best in the business. The HEC has provided us with some very serious looking numbers that tell us which university is ‘fit’ according to its standards. It includes the analysis of how many HEC research and travel grants and HEC approved PhDs were included in the universities. It all seems kind of circular, but anyway. The problem with singular, all-powerful bodies such as the HEC is that there is no check and balance on their judgment. If institutions are ...

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Federal Budget 2013-14: More business friendly than people friendly

I still remember my Economics professor’s words, “The political cost of economic decisions is the worst nightmare for the policy-making circles particularly political parties and this is what plays the most significant role in budgetary allocations.” The federal budget 2013-14 has proved this statement correct. With the new political administration at the helm of affairs, the situation is surely somehow different than the past five years, though not an ideal one. A short glimpse of the budget document clearly shows that the budget is more business friendly than people friendly. We find that the government has focused on fiscal discipline, development, power generation, political ...

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We have no jobs because the state has no money

‘Pakistan is in economic dire straits!’ I hear this statement all the time. All sorts of conversations, political and otherwise, agree that the economic condition of Pakistan has become worse, but here we are still surviving and still managing. So, how messed up is our economy exactly? Read below to find out! 1. Our budget deficit Our budget deficit – that is the difference between what we have and what we spend – stands at 8.5%, when it should be close to about 4%. Simply put, we are spending way more than we are earning and because of this, we end up borrowing. When the government borrows money, it is ...

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Pretension in the making

Business dinners were once relatively private affairs organised with little fuss. Today, however, the word ‘corporate dinner’ immediately brings to mind extravagant dining halls, elaborate menus and seating arrangements, interminable guest lists and the presence of expensive entertainment as a finishing touch to the evening. Clearly, the expansion of the corporate sector, over the past century, has led to a simultaneous expansion in the extravagance with which the corporate sector receives and likes to be received. Today, when Aunty Zulaikha and Major Jamshed hold a corporate dinner, it has to be the social highlight of the season. Everyone who is anyone ...

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Investing in underdeveloped sector

Usual jokes about private equity resurfaced on social media as soon as the news of former governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, joining Solamere Capital — a private equity firm his son set up in 2008 — emerged on March 6. Romney’s unsuccessful bid for the White House last year is attributed, in large part, to the Democrats’ ‘propaganda’ against private equity as well as Bain Capital, which the former presidential hopeful co-founded and led as CEO until 1999. So what is it that makes private equity professionals so bad in the eyes of American liberals? A simple answer would be that they ...

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Which political party is closest to the business lobby?

With general elections ahead, every leading political party claims to have the solution for the country’s chronic economic problems in their ‘economic agenda’. While some parties have revealed their economic agendas in the last few months, many have not bothered to fulfill this basic formality. There is not a single political party in the country that can claim to have the confidence of the business community. The failure of the Pakistan Peoples Party government in handling the economic affairs of Pakistan has compelled a large number of businessmen to look at the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz or the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). Sensing ...

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In Karachi, let them drink juice

Fresh juice, no preservatives, not bottled, made right there in front of you, only for you. The horror. I grew up on bottled water from questionable sources and my system will react in unimaginable ways to any form of juice that is not chemical laden. Its primarily because I grew up in Karachi – I can’t deal with wholesome and nutritious, just like the city. So today – a typically atypical Karachi day with the promise of violence and death in the air – I wanted to buy my usual supply of unhealthy provisions that will lead to an early death, ...

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