Cement sector attracts over 80 million dollar foreign investment in Pakistan


Updated Mon, 28 Jan 2008 00:00:00 GMT

Cement sector has attracted above 80 million dollars foreign investment, depicting an upsurge of 577 percent during the first half of current fiscal year, industry sources said. Presently, cement industry is rapidly growing, driven by growing construction demand at home and abroad, as presently South East Asia region is facing huge shortage of cement. However, Pakistan's cement sector is fully enjoying this supply and demand gap, by getting tremendous export orders from Gulf countries and India, they added. Therefore, local cement sector has also attracted huge foreign investment, which is expected to further rise in the upcoming months.

They said that improved infrastructure, cheapest labour and easy availability of raw material for cement making are some chief reason behind this increasing foreign investment.

Central bank statistics depict that overall foreign investment have registered a jump of 577.4 percent in the cement sector during the first half of current fiscal year. After this upsurge it has reached at 80.4 million dollars during July-December of the current fiscal year as compared to 11.9 million dollars during the same period of the last fiscal year, depicting an increase of 68.5 million dollars during first half.

"The rising cement demand in the region has pushed the local and foreign investors to invest in this sector to earn more and more profit," a leading cement manufacturer said. Presently, Pakistani cement manufacturers need huge investment under their expansion plans, therefore, for the further development they are contacting with international investors, he added.

He said that foreign investment has put positive impact on the performance of cement sector and added that listed cement companies' share are also most attractive and required in the stock markets due to huge profits.

"A leading cement manufacturer has also planned to offload its GDR in the next few months", he informed. To meet international and local demand, cement companies are already using maximum capacity utilisation, however still they require further investment to enhance their capacity aimed to meet international soaring demand, he added. He said that regional cement shortages is also playing a key role in rising investment, as India, UAE, Iraq, Abu Dhabi and other regional countries required cement in tremendous quantity for their new real estate projects.

Due to the huge demand by the neighbouring countries, country's cement export has gone up by 110 percent during the first half of current fiscal year as compared to same period of last fiscal. During the first half of current fiscal year 2008 cement exports stood at 135.67 million dollars as against 64.36 million dollars during first half of fiscal year 2007.