Pakistan's financial sector is going through a major transition period.


Byline: Khalil Ahmed 1 week ago Interviews 487 Views

PAGE: Tell me something about yourself and your career, please?

Saima Zaidi: I did MA in Economics in the year 2000 since then I have been teaching Economy of Pakistan in different institutes. I also did MBA so that I can extend my area of research. I think the blend of Economics with Business and Management gives a complete overview about an organization and particularly about economy of a country.

PAGE: Could you give your views on the financial services in Pakistan?

Saima Zaidi: Unfortunately Pakistan has been ruled most of the time with incompetent finance ministers which has made GDP of Pakistan not more than three hundred billion dollars and the poor index of human development. Pakistan has potential to become an Asian Tiger. The banks have increased their loans to the government and the private sector credit has decreased in last few years. Though the banks' investments in government securities are not as productive as lending to businesses and households, it has provided an avenue for banks for risk-free earnings and enabled them to post profits even in weak economic environment.

The banking sector earnings continue to accumulate on the back of healthy returns on growing stocks of risk free government securities. In addition, the lower provisions also contribute towards build-up of profits. The financial sector in Pakistan is going through a major transition period. New groups are buying out Pakistan operations of foreign banks and the number of listed banks is also increasing. While the income from core banking activity is increasing due to higher business volume, earnings are also expected to further improve due to greater trends toward consumer finance, housing finance and enhanced lending to the agriculture sector.

PAGE: What benefit has the industry has got from the financial services offered in Pakistan?

Saima Zaidi: Pakistan's economy has got benefits from the financial services in terms of business activities particularly over the period of last two decades. The enactment of six regulatory reforms has landed Pakistan among the world's top 10 business climate improvers, according to the World Bank Group's Doing Business 2020 study. Due to a concerted improvement in business regulation, Pakistan climbed 28 places and rose to a rank of 108 in the global ease of Doing Business rankings this year from 136 the previous year. This rise is significant and made possible by...

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