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European stocks slip as healthcare, real estate sectors weigh

October 21, 2020:  European shares slipped on Wednesday as losses in defensive sectors outweighed optimism over encouraging quarterly results from consumer giant Nestle and telecoms equipment maker Ericsson.

The pan-European STOXX 600 slipped 0.3% by 0711 GMT, with the healthcare and real estate sectors falling more than 0.5%.

However, economically sensitive cyclical sectors such as banks and automakers rose as U.S. lawmakers moved closer to deal on a new coronavirus relief package.

Nestle gained 0.6% as it raised its guidance for 2020 organic sales growth, while strong demand for pet food and health products helped quarterly results.

Shares in Sweden's Ericsson jumped 7.2% as higher margins and China's 5G rollout helped the company beat quarterly core earnings estimates.


Sitara Chemicals to expand its existing Coal-Fired Power Plant...

October 21, 2020 (MLN): The Board of Directors of the Sitara Chemical Industries Limited, in its meeting held on October 20, 2020, has approved the expansion of its existing Coal-Fired Power Plant by a further 40MW to meet its existing and future requirements.

As per notification to Pakistan Stock Exchange, the estimated project cost is Rs 5.5 billion.

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Aisha Steel Mills posts net profits of Rs 660...

October 21, 2020 (MLN): Aisha Steels Limited (ASL) has posted net profits of Rs 660.2 million for the quarter ended on September 30th, 2020 against the net loss of Rs 203.9 million incurred in the same quarter last year.

This caused the earnings per share (basic) to clock in at Rs 0.82 against the loss per share of Rs 0.29.

The profitability of the company can be attributed to increase in demand after resumption of economic activity.

The net revenues of the company jumped by 82% YoY from Rs 6 billion to Rs 11.2 billion. The rise in revenues can be due to higher demand from 2/3-wheeler autos segment (2/3-wheeler sales up 22.1%YoY and 1.38x QoQ), said the report from Taurus Securities.

In addition to this, owing to the increase in prices during the quarter, the gross margins of the company rose to 13% from 18.9% in the corresponding quarter last year.

Furthermore, since the company’s books are highly leveraged and with the fall in interest rates gave a breather to ASL’s net profitability as its finance cost declined notably by 38% YoY..


Profit and Loss Account for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2020 (Rupees '000)




% Change

Revenue from contracts with customers




Cost of sales




Gross Profit




Selling and distribution cost




Administrative expenses




Other expenses




Other income




Profit from operations




Finance cost




(Loss) before income tax








(Loss)/ profit after taxation




Earnings/(loss) per share - Basic




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MEBL approves “Meezan Bank Employees Share Option Scheme” for...

October 21, 2020 (MLN): The Board of Directors of Meezan Bank Limited has approved to initiate "Meezan Bank Employees Share Option Scheme" for employees of the Bank, subject to all regulatory approvals including Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, shareholders' approval through special resolution etc.

The Scheme will be structured in accordance with all applicable laws including Companies Act, 2017, Companies (Further Issue of Shares) Regulations, 2020 etc.

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Pakistan’s trade deficit in services drops by 54% YoY...

October 21, 2020 (MLN): Pakistan’s trade deficit in services stood at $77 million during the month of September, signifying an increase of 6% as compared to the previous month and 20% as compared to the same period of last year.

Likewise, the deficit during the quarter Jul-Sep of the ongoing Fiscal Year was recorded at $539 million, which is around 6% lower than the same quarter of previous year.

According to the latest figures published by the State Bank of Pakistan, the exports of services during the month amounted to $463 million, showing an increase of 30% MoM and 13% YoY. Amongst the total exports, Telecommunications, Computer and Information Services made the largest contribution with an amount of $158 million, followed by Government Goods and Services at $115 million.

On the contrary, the imports of services during the month amounted to $540 million, depicting an increase of 18% MoM and 6% YoY. Amongst the total imports, the largest expenditure was incurred on Transport group for an amount of $194 million, followed by the Travel Group at $74 million.

Other major items imported during the month include Telecommunications, Computer, and Information Services ($37 million), Insurance and Pension Services ($20 million) and Government Goods and Services ($17 million).

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