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FIA nabs Hascol’s founder in Rs54bn scam

January 24, 2022 (MLN): The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested Mumtaz Hasan, founder of the Hascol Petroleum Limited (HPL), in Rs54 billion scam.

According to the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA)’s document available with MG, a total of 30 suspects including present and former top officials of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), HPL and other organizations have been involved in a scam and efforts are being made to arrest them.

As per the document, during 2015 to 2020, funded and non-funded financial facilities were granted in the shape of bank loans to HPL by the NBP in violation of prudent banking laws and practices, which amounts to criminal breach of trust causing wrongful loss to the NBP/National Exchequer and wrongful gain to HPL.

HPL's first significant borrowing relationship was initiated with Summit Bank in 2009, which remained its main Banker until the entry of NBP.

The Enquiry revealed that NBP granted its first facility of Rs2.0 billion to HPL on June 16, 2014, in response to HPL's request addressed to Ms Rima Ather, who had moved from Pak Iran Investment Company (PAIR Investment) to NBP as SVP Corporate Banking Group (CBG).

It is also noted that Syed Iqbal Ahmed Ashraf, a former Group Chief at NBP and President of Pak Iran Investment Company Limited (PAIR; an existing lender of HPL) was appointed by NBP as President in January 2014. Mr Ashraf had brought Ms Rima Athar with him.

This LC Facility could not be availed due to non-perfection of security arrangement (achieved on May 15, 2015, after which, NBP opened its first LC on behalf of July 03, 2015). During Mr Ashraf's tenure as President, HPL's facilities were initiated and peaked at Rs5 billion in a short span of 18 months.

Mr Saeed Ahmed joined NBP as President on Mar 24, 2017, and within 18 months (from May 2017 to November 2018), NBP increased its exposure by 313% to Rs15.65 billion plus another Rs4.0 billion to Hascol Terminal Limited (HTL) guaranteed by HPL.

During this tenure, Ms Rima Ather was replaced by Syed Irtizakazmi, SVP CIBG. As if these rapid enhancements were not enough, NBP somehow further enhanced its LC Facility on October 08, 2018, by another Rs6 billion to Rs18 billion increasing NBP's total Sanctioned Limits to Rs21.65 billion, well before joining Mr Arif Usmani as President NBP on February 12, 2019.

Both these Presidents, Syed Iqbal Ahmed Ashraf and Saeed Ahmed have prima facie abused their official position as public servants while sanctioning through their Credit Committees, the above huge financial facilities to HPL.

Moreover, the NBP opened fake letters of credit (LCs) to the tune of Rs95bn for Hascol in favour of Byco Petroleum (now named Cnergyico). This will be investigated as a separate criminal inquiry, the document said.

Apart from the NBP, several other banks opened non-product LCs to the tune of Rs54bn for Hascol. Hascol and another company Vitol (exclusive supplier of POL products to HPL) through over-invoicing transferred $42 million illegally outside Pakistan.

This investigation has determined that mere incompetence and institutional failure alone were not the sole cause of these reckless lending decisions. Evidence has been recovered which proves that HPL used to siphon off funds through middlemen for bribing their Bankers. In just one such instance, cheques for Rs117 million were issued by HPL to Mr Tahir Ali and his several companies without any underlying contract. These middlemen are yet to be investigated in detail and their roles will be defined in the Detailed Investigation Report, the document added.

In addition, to possible money laundering, the FIA is also looking into the possibility of tax evasion by Hascol of up to Rs5bn, the document said.

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SPWL announces 50% cash dividend

January 24, 2022 (MLN): The Board of Directors (BoD) of Saif Power Limited (PSX: SPWL) announced the 2nd interim cash dividend of Rs5 per share (50 %) for the year ended December 31, 2021, the company filing on PSX showed today.

This is in addition to the 1st interim dividend of Rs2 per share i.e. 20% already paid.

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Petition withdrawal likely to revive Globe Textile

January 24, 2022 (MLN): Globe Textile Mills Limited (GLOT) has informed through a notice to exchange that the company has been actively following up with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) for withdrawal of the winding-up petition to revive the company.

As soon as the winding-up petition is withdrawn by SECP, the company would be able to finalize discussions with potential investors for a revival plan within a short span of time.

On the financial front, the company had incurred net losses of Rs0.112 million during the first quarter ended September 30, 2021, due to the charge of depreciation and payment of fixed overheads.

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Parker Russel appointed to investigate Hascol’s fraud

January 24, 2022 (MLN): The management of Hascol Petroleum Limited (PSX: HASCOL) has informed the exchange on Monday that the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has appointed Parker Russel AJS, Chartered Accountants as investigators for carrying out serious fraud investigation / forensic audit of the company.

As per the news reports, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested Mumtaz Hasan, founder of the Hascol Petroleum Limited (HPL), in an Rs54 billion scam.
A total of 30 suspects including present and former top officials of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), HPL and other organizations have been involved in a scam and efforts are being made to arrest them, the FIA's document said. 

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MARI: Profitability intacts

January 24, 2022 (MLN): Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL) has announced its financial results for 6MFY22 ended on December 31, 2021, wherein the bottom-line of the company saw a meagre increase of 1.03% YoY, to Rs16.57 billion, translating into an EPS of Rs 124.21 when compared with the same period last year in which net profits were recorded at Rs16.40bn (EPS: Rs122.94).

The profitability is attributed to higher gas flows particularly from MARI HRL and higher Arab Light prices used for gas pricing, as noted by Foundation Securities. 

As per the financial statement issued by the company to PSX, the company’s revenue went up by 8.18% YoY to Rs42.41bn while the exploration cost plummeted by 12.64% YoY, clocking in at Rs2.64bn in 6MFY22.

More notably, the financial income of the company moved up by 6.64% YoY to Rs1.87bn. Meanwhile, the finance cost inched up by 8.83% YoY to Rs490 million during 6MFY22.

Alongside financial results, the Board of Directors (BoD) of the company announced a first interim cash dividend at Rs62 per share i.e., 620%.

To note, MARI has expanded its portfolio internationally and participated as a part of a consortium comprising of OGDC, PPL and Government Holdings (Private) Limited (GHPL) in a recent Abu Dhabi offshore block auction. The consortium in which the company was a part has been awarded the contract of Offshore Block 5 in Abu Dhabi.

To highlight, Offshore Block 5 covers an area of 6,223 square kilometers and is located 100 kilometers northeast of Abu Dhabi city.

Financial Results for the six months ended on December 31, 2021 ('000 Rupees)




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