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European stock markets sink at open after Fed meeting

January 27, 2022: Europe's main stock markets sank in opening deals on Thursday after the US Federal Reserve signalled the end of pandemic-era cheap cash and flagged a rate hike in March.

In initial trade, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 1.0 percent while Frankfurt's DAX and the Paris CAC each shed about 1.5 percent in value.


IBA, Topline Securities sign MoU to promote entrepreneurship programs

January 27, 2022: IBA Centre for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) and Topline Securities have signed...

VIS maintains HTL’s entity ratings

January 27, 2022 (MLN): VIS Credit Rating Company (VIS) has maintained the entity ratings of Hi-Tech Lubricants Limited (HTL) at “A” for the long term and “A-2” for the short term, the company filing on PSX showed today.

While the outlook on the assigned rating has been revised from “Stable” to “Positive”, the notification added.

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Pakistan to have less fiscal headroom in the wake...

January 27, 2022 (MLN): The new waves of infection would expose the relative fragility of Pakistan’s health systems and in the event of further lockdowns or shocks to external demand, the economy would have comparatively less fiscal headroom to support domestic economic activity, said a report issued by Moody's on Wednesday.

Since the outlook for new spikes in infections and economic disruption remains highly uncertain, it would pose serious risks to the informal workforce and the operation of key labour-intensive economic sectors such as textile and garment manufacturing, it added.

In South Asia, pandemic control had improved significantly in recent months. However, economies with relatively weak fiscal profiles, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan, will be compelled to balance fiscal consolidation objectives with rising social demands to ameliorate structural problems such as weak governance, unequal access to healthcare or income inequality.

These governments will face constraints on their ability to stimulate domestic demand or support companies as new pandemic-related disruptions to economic activity emerge, the report noted.

With regard to debt burden of APEC countries rating, the report foresees the region’s outlook across sectors stable for 2022, reflecting generally improved economic conditions for most issuers, although weaker entities remain exposed to downside pressures from higher dollar-borrowing costs.

Median debt burdens and growth rates of APAC sovereigns are gradually settling at levels that are weaker than they were before the pandemic, but the region is still better positioned than many others because of comparatively higher growth rates and, in some countries including Pakistan, lower debt burdens.

About half of APAC governments will record a decline in their debt burdens in 2022, as revenue and economic output start to recover and some stimulus measures are gradually unwound. Debt burdens and interest costs will nevertheless remain above pre-pandemic levels for most governments in the region.

The unwinding of pandemic-era policies may prove difficult in economies where rising social pressures will drive government policy, or where the financial and corporate sectors require ongoing forbearance measures as they adjust to uneven growth recoveries across sectors.

Fiscal policy space varies across the region. Fiscal constraints are considerable for a cluster of economies, including India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

The report further noted that economies that are growing at a slower rate than the interest rate on their debt will encounter larger fiscal challenges because of less-favourable debt dynamics. The increase in debt levels during the pandemic will further compound this challenge.

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ICI Pakistan reports over twofold profit growth to Rs6bn

January 27, 2022 (MLN): ICI Pakistan reported net profits of Rs 6 billion during 1HFY22, which was 2.4 times higher than the profits of Rs2.46 billion in the corresponding period last year.

This translates into an Earning Per Share (EPS) of Rs62.69, up by 2.2x YoY as compared to the SPLY.

In conjunction with financial results, the Board of Directors has recommended the final cash dividend in respect of the financial year ending June 30, 2022, at the rate of 200% (i.e., Rs20 per share of Rs10 each).

The improved performance was achieved on account of enhanced efficiencies delivered by the businesses, recovering consumer demand, consolidation of results of NutriCo Pakistan (Private) Limited, and a one-off net positive impact of Rs1.847bn resulting from the re-measurement of the previously held equity interest of NutriCo Pakistan (Private) Limited.

Adjusting for the one-off gain of Rs1.847bn due to the remeasurement of previously held equity interest, as explained above, profit after for the period under review would have been Rs4.198bn, 70% higher versus the SPLY and EPS attributable to the owners of the holding company would have been Rs42.69, higher by 49% as compared to the SPLY.

On a consolidated basis, including the results of the company's subsidiaries: ICI Pakistan PowerGen Limited and NutriCo Morinaga (Private) Limited, net turnover for the period under review was Rs46.62bn, up by 53.4% YoY, resulting in an increase in gross margins from 22% to 23%.

According to the financial statement issued to PSX, the operating result stood at Rs6.76bn which was 78.6%YoY higher in comparison to SPLY.

Among other major heads, the company’s distribution cost jumped by 15.7% YoY, admin expenses increased by 32.6% YoY and other income witnessed a growth of 28.4% YoY.

The company booked an effective tax rate of 27% against 32% in the corresponding period last year.

Alongside financial results, the Board of Directors of the company have authorized the execution of a Term Sheet with Tariq Glass Industries Limited (TGIL) to explore the possibility of a joint venture (JV) with TGIL to set up a greenfield state-of-the-art float-glass manufacturing facility, having production capacity of up to 1,000 metric tons per day.

The implementation of the Proposed Joint Venture is subject to, including, finalization and execution of definitive agreements and receipt of necessary corporate and regulatory approval, the company said.

Consolidated Statement of Profit and Loss Account for the six months ended December 31, 2021 (Rs'000)




% Change





Cost of sales




Gross profit




Selling and distribution expenses




Administrative and general expenses




Operating result




Finance costs




Exchange gain/(loss)




Workers' profit participation fund




Workers' welfare fund




other charges




Other income




Gain on remeasurement of existing interest in NutriCo Pak




Share of Profit from associate




Profit before taxation








Profit after taxation








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