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Govt aiming to increase Pakistan ICT industry to $...

Feb 19, 2020: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that his government has launched "Digital Pakistan" initiative with the aim to provide a platform to Pakistani youth become independent and drivers of economic growth.

Under the Digital Policy the government was aiming to increase the size of Pakistani Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry to US $ 20 billion in the next few years, he added.

The Prime Minister was talking to Mr Sergi Herrero, Group Chief Operating Officer of VEON (parent company of Jazz Pakistan) who called on him here.

Chief Executive Officer of Jazz Pakistan Aamir Ibrahim, Chief Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Syed Fakhar Ahmed and Head of Digital Financial Services of Jazz Elias Yazbeck accompanied the Group CEO of VEON.

Chairman Board of Investment Syed Zubair Haider Gilani, Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Maj. Gen. (R) Aamir Azeem Bajwa, Prime Minister's Focal Person for Digital Pakistan Ms. Tania Aidrus and senior officials were also present during the meeting.

The Prime Minister appreciated the long association of VEON with Pakistan having US$ 9 billion investment and serving 60 million subscribers with multitude of services.

He highlighted that with Pakistan having great investment potential in communication and energy sector, the government was focused on providing ease-of-doing-business with liberal investment policy which had been acknowledged by international financial institutions.

The Prime Minister emphasized that a digital ecosystem with infrastructure and institutional frameworks for rapid delivery of innovative digital services, applications and content was being provided to the IT proficient youth.

He highlighted the key role of Telecom sector in the economic growth of the country being one of the highest tax paying sector and major foreign investment.

Sergi Herrero thanked the Prime Minister and the government for providing competitive and transparent working environment for the telecom companies.

He informed that Jazz Pakistan has launched "Internet for all" campaign that includes affordable mobile phones with internet connectivity for social media, Jazz Cash and the Prime Minister's Citizens Portal.

The provision of this service will help enable citizens to undertake economic activity at small and medium scale and will promote good governance, he added.

Mr Sergi also appreciated the steps taken by the government to curb dissemination of 'Fake News" and stated that fake news by creating uncertainty and fear were detrimental to investments.


Challenging time for Millat Tractors continues

February 19, 2020 (MLN): The Six months of the current fiscal year (FY20) remained challenging for Millat Tractors Limited (MTL) as the company observed 59% drop in its net profits after tax to Rs 748 million compared to Rs 1.8 billion reported in the corresponding period last year.

This translated in to company's Earning per share (EPS) which shrank signinficantly from Rs36.54 per share to Rs 15 per share.

During the period, overall revenues of the company declined from Rs 15.4 billion to Rs 10.4 billion on account of decline in sales volume.

As the business of the company is closely linked with the agriculture sector, therefore, any adverse effect on this sector impacts company’s performance. Slowdown in economic activity coupled with higher interest rate and shift in weather during the period kept agriculture output subdued.

Furthermore, despite company realized 29% YoY decline in cost of sales, the margins of the company reported a decline of 3 ppts from 23% to 19%.

On the cost side, the company witnessed a decline in its major expense heads, as its admin cost weakened by 6%, distribution expenses fall by 6.6% but a notable decline in its other operating expenses by 74% and tax expenses by 58% provided a cushion to company’s profitability.

Consolidated profit and loss account for the Six months ended December 31, 2019 ('000 Rupees)




% Change

Revenue from contracts with customers




Cost of sales




Gross profit




Distribution and marketing expenses




Administrative expenses




Other operating expenses




Other income




Finance costs




Profit before tax








Profit for the year




Basic and diluted earnings per share (Rupees)





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Ghandara Industries undergoes losses worth Rs 105 million in...

February 19, 2020 (MLN): Ghandara Industries Limited (GHNI) has announced its financial results for the half-year ended on December 31, 2019. As per the results, the company has incurred losses worth Rs 105 million (LPS: Rs 2.47) compared to last year net profits of Rs 383 million (EPS: Rs 8.99).

During the period, the cost of sales decreased by 21.27% YoY but more than a proportionate decrease in revenue (down by 22.29% YoY) caused gross profits to decrease by around 29% YoY to Rs 752 million.

The company’s distribution and administrative expenses went up by 1.20% YoY and 3% YoY respectively. However, other expenses plunged by 80% YoY to Rs 4.3 million.

More notably, the colossal increase in finance cost by 91.45% YoY, from Rs 254 million to Rs 488 million dented the company’s performance owing to higher interest rate and running finance requirement.

Financial Results for the half-year ended December 31, 2019 ('000 Rupees)




% Change





Cost of Sales




Gross profit




Distribution cost




Administrative expenses




Other expenses




Other income




Profit (loss) from operations




Finance cost




(Loss)/profit before taxation








(Loss)/Profit after taxation




basic and diluted (loss)/earning per share(Rupees)





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UK inflation surges, weakening case for rate cut

Feb 19, 2020: British annual inflation surged to 1.8 percent in January from 1.3 percent one month earlier, official data showed Wednesday, boosting the pound.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate jumped more than expected on higher energy bills, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

Analysts' consensus forecast had been for an increase in the rate to 1.6 percent from a three-year low 1.3 percent in December.

"While CPI inflation rose for the first time in six months, the inflation figures were in line with the Bank of England's expectations, so they are unlikely to move the dial on the outlook for interest rates," said Ruth Gregory, senior UK economist at Capital Economics.

The Bank of England last month voted to keep its main interest rate at 0.75 percent, deciding against a cut despite slashing its estimates for UK economic growth this year and next, as the country tackles tough trade negotiations with the European Union following Brexit.

Wednesday's inflation data "vindicates the Bank of England's decision to keep interest rates on hold in January", said Debapratim De, senior economist at Deloitte.

"Further rises would significantly reduce the chances of a rate cut in the near future."

Nevertheless, January's inflation surge helped push the pound above $1.30.


Surge in value-added exports lifts Textile Exports in 7MFY20

February 19, 2020 (MLN): The overall exports of the textile group, during the month of January 2020 stood at $ 1.19 billion i.e. around 4.59 % higher as compared to the previous month and an increase of 2.25% as compared to the same period last year.

According to the research note by BIPL securities, the meagre YoY increase was attributed to a 3% YoY increase in the value-added exports on the back of an increase of 5% YoY in readymade garments when compared with the same period last year. Also, the non-value added export slightly went up by 1% YoY due to cotton yarn exports, registering an increase of 10.4% YoY.

On a sequential basis, a 4.59% increase in textile exports was accredited to a growth of 20% MoM in non-value added textile exports. Conversely, the value-added part showed a negligible growth of 1% MoM as per BIPL research.

During 7MFY20, the overall exports of textile group witnessed an increase of 3.68% YoY to stand at $8.09 billion against $7.8 billion, as per the latest data issued by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics on export receipts by commodities.

The segment-wise analysis revealed that value-added reported growth of 6% while non-value added depicted the decline of 2% on a cumulative basis, the research added.

The report highlighted that cotton production stood at 8.6 bales, down by 20% YoY as opposed to 10.7 bales in the same period last year. The key reasons for the low productivity of cotton crop were heatwave, heavy rainfall and pest attacks.

Going forward, it is expected that textile exports might suffer in the medium term on account of ongoing Coronavirus in China which might hamper Pakistan’s exports with China, the report added.

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