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Loads Ltd to issue right shares for meeting its...

February 28, 2020 (MLN): The Board of Directors of Loads Limited, in its meeting held on February 28, 2020, has resolved to carry out a right issue of ordinary shares at par value, in the near future.

In a notification sent out to PSX on Friday, the company stated that the aggregate amount of the potential right issue would be up to Rs. 750,000,000, which shall primarily be utilized to meet its working capital requirements and repayment of loans.

The purpose of the same is to enable shareholders, particularly associated concerns of the company to obtain corporate approvals, including shareholders’’ approval, to invest in the potential right issue of the company and provide confirmations to the Company.

In addition to the announcement made above, the Board also discussed and presented the financial results for the six months ended December 31, 2019, wherein the company incurred losses of Rs. 23.2 million (LPS: Rs. 0.15), as opposed to the profits of Rs. 43.1 million earned in the same period of last year.

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Asian markets bomb as virus fears fuel global turmoil

Asian markets spiralled downwards Friday, extending a collapse in New York and Europe that has wiped trillions of dollars off valuations as the coronavirus spread rapidly around the world with the WHO warning the deadly epidemic was now at a "decisive point".

Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Singapore and Seoul were among the bourses that fell more than three percent while Jakarta was hammered more than four percent. The casualties have put equities around the world on course to record their worst week since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago as investors run to the hills on fears the virus will smash the global economy.

And while the panic has already caused a bloodbath on trading floors, there are warnings there could be worse to come.

The Dow suffered its worst points loss on record, shedding almost 1,200 points, while its 4.4 percent drop marked the worst performance in two years. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also tanked more than four percent, with London, Frankfurt and Paris all posting losses of more than three percent.

The VIX "fear" index is now at its highest level since 2011 during the European debt crisis.

President Donald Trump blamed the market plunge on the media coverage of the coronavirus and worries about Democrats winning the White House race.

The heavy selling came as authorities in California said they were monitoring some 8,400 people for COVID-19 after officials confirmed a woman had contracted it without travelling to any of the outbreak-hit regions.

"Even though the market is pricing in the fear of economic issues and disease hitting the US, we haven't actually seen the emergence of clusters" in the US, Steve Englander of Standard Chartered told Bloomberg TV. "Once that happens we will see another sell-off."

After Thursday's battering, Asia picked up the baton. Tokyo tanked 3.7 percent, Shanghai dived 3.7 percent, Seoul gave up 3.3 percent and Sydney dropped 3.3 percent.

Hong Kong retreated 2.9 percent, while Singapore sank 3.1 percent, Jakarta dived 4.1 percent and Bangkok lost 3.4 percent.

Mumbai was 3.1 percent down and Manila eased 2.5 percent, with Wellington 1.5 percent in the red.

The losses have seen many markets lose around a tenth of their value in just a week.

- 'Decisive point' -

The rush to safety has also seen the dollar surge against most higher-yielding, riskier currencies, with the New Zealand dollar, the South African rand and the Russian ruble all more than one percent lower.

Australia's dollar, the Indonesian rupiah and the Indian rupee were also sharply down. But the dollar was well off against the safe-haven yen.

The virus has now killed 2,856 people and infected more than 83,000 worldwide, with an increasing number of new cases being reported each day.

Lithuania, New Zealand and Nigeria on Friday reported their first cases, as officials around the world move to contain the outbreak in their countries as fears of a global pandemic grow.The operator of Tokyo's Disneyland and DisneySea closed the parks for around two weeks, while Saudi Arabia banned pilgrims from visiting Islam's holiest sites as the number of deaths jumped in neighbouring Iran. Japan and Iraq have also ordered the closure of schools.

"We're at a decisive point," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference in Geneva. "If you act aggressively now, you can contain this virus, you can prevent people getting sick, you can save lives."

The rate of increase in China continues to fall and there are signs the country is slowly creaking back to life with shops reopening, including Starbucks, which has resumed operations at all its outlets.

But Moody's Analytics said the regional economy faced severe repercussions.

"With economic activity in China severely depleted by the virus, the repercussions will flow through to the rest of the region," it said in a commentary.

Crude prices were again hit, with both main contracts losing more than two percent, on expectations the crisis will put a massive dent in demand. Oil has now fallen more than 20 percent since the start of the year.

Investors are keeping an eye on central banks, particularly the US Federal Reserve, hoping for monetary easing measures, while governments are also facing pressure to provide support.

- Key figures around 0710 GMT -

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 3.7 percent at 21,142.96 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 2.9 percent at 26,012.10
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 3.7 percent at 2,880.30 (close)
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 108.90 from 109.69 at 2200 GMT
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1000 from $1.0998
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2879 from $1.2886
Euro/pound: UP at 85.42 pence from 85.34 pence
Brent Crude: DOWN 2.7 percent at $50.79 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 3.3 percent at $45.55
New York - Dow: DOWN 4.4 percent at 25,766.64 (close)
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 3.5 percent at 6,796.30 (close)


HMB’s profits edge higher by 8% YoY during CY19

February 28, 2020(MLN): Habib Metropolitan Bank Limited (HMB) has unveiled its financial results for CY19, as per which, the bank has reported an increase of 8.4% YoY in its profits to stand at Rs 6.96 billion against Rs 6.42 billion of the same period last year.

The slender increase in profitability was due to a rise in net interest income (NII), up by 8% YoY.

The bank’s interest income rose by 69%YoY at Rs 72 billion in CY19 but a greater percentage increase in interest expense by 2.1 times YoY restricted the growth in bank’s net interest income (NII) to 8% YoY during CY19.

During the period under review, non-funded income (NFI) of the bank jumped up by 21.5% YoY mainly on account of higher fee and commission income ( up by 28% YoY) and FX income (up by 2 times YoY) despite huge capital losses.

However, non-interest expenses of the bank surged by 10.8% YoY, limiting the favourable impact of increased NII and NFI on the bank’s net earnings. In CY19, the bank paid taxes worth Rs 4.66 billion, up by 19% YoY.

HMB’s basic and diluted earnings per share have been reported at Rs 6.34 per share while those recorded last year were Rs 5.90 per share.

Alongside financial results, the board of directors has announced a final cash dividend for the year ended Dec 31, 2019, at Rs 2.50per share i.e. 25%.

Consolidated Profit and Loss Account for the year ended on December 31, 2019 (Rupees in '000)




% Change

Mark-up/return/interest earned




Mark-up/return/interest expensed




Net mark-up/interest income








Fee and commission income




Dividend income




Foreign exchange income




Income/(loss) from derivatives




Gain /(loss) on securities




Other income




Total non-mark-up/interest income




Total income








Operating expenses




Workers Welfare Fund




Other charges




Total non-mark-up/interest expenses




Profit before provisions




(Provisions)/reversal and write offs - net




Extra-ordinary / unusual items




Profit before taxation








Profit after taxation




Earnings per share - Basic and Diluted (in Rupees)





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Flight operation b/w Pakistan, Saudi Arabia continuing as per...

February 28, 2020: The Aviation Division has said that flight operation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia is continuing as per schedule.

A press release issued by the Aviation Division said that in line with instructions of Saudi Arabia, Umrah pilgrims and tourist visa holders from Pakistan would not be able to travel to the holy land.

However, the people holding work permit and permanent resident cards of Saudi Arabia would be allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Pakistan has suspended direct flight operation to Iran for an indefinite period.

According to a press release of the Aviation Division, the flights coming from Iran have also been suspended.

Radio Pakistan

Hyundai Motor halts operations at plant following coronavirus case

February 28, 2020: Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's biggest carmaker by sales, said Friday it has halted operations at one of its domestic plants after an employee there was diagnosed with the new coronavirus.

Hyundai Motor immediately brought work at the No. 2 plant in the southeastern port city of Ulsan to a halt, and it is in an emergency meeting with its union to discuss follow-up measures, according to the company and the union.

"The infected worker belongs to the 300-member paint shop of the No. 2 plant. The company is checking with whom the worker has come in contact with in the plant," a union spokesman said over the phone.

The confirmation of COVID-19 case is expected to deal a further blow to the carmaker, which is already suffering from a shortage of parts from China due to the outbreak there.

Hyundai Motor plunged 5.4 percent to 114,500 won on the news, underperforming the broader KOSPI's 2.9 percent loss, as of 12:25 p.m.

At the No. 2 plant, which hires 4,000 workers, Hyundai produces the Palisade SUV and the GV80 SUV under its independent Genesis brand.

Hyundai has seven domestic plants -- five in Ulsan, one in Asan and one in Jeonju -- and 10 overseas plants -- four in China and one each in the United States, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Russia, India and Brazil. Their combined capacity reaches 5.5 million vehicles.

Hyundai halted all of its local plants on Feb. 7 and kept them suspended through Feb. 10 as their parts suppliers in China stopped production during an extended Lunar New Year holiday from Jan. 24 to Feb. 9.

It was the first time that Hyundai had suspended all domestic plants since 1997, when the Asian financial crisis affected local manufacturers and Mando Corp. stopped supplying parts to the carmaker.


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