Weekly News Roundup

August 23, 2020 (MLN): The highlight of the departed week was the Cabinet Committee on Privatization’s decision regarding privatization transactions of state-owned enterprises, wherein it approved the sale of 7% shares of OGDCL, 10% shares of PPL, and 20% shares of Pakistan Reinsurance Company.

Apart from this, the other important economic and business events that took place during the last week are in order so as to become acquainted with the recent developments in Pakistan’s economic and public policy.

Events of Importance through the Week:

On Friday, Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet allowed the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to place an order for the import of 200,000 tonnes of wheat in the public sector following the import of 500,000 tonnes of wheat by the private sector in the country.

In addition to this, the Federal government exempted the whole of sales tax on the import of 300,000 metric tons of white sugar by the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP).

The same day, Minister for Industries and Production announced on his twitter handle that Samsung Pakistan is now actively considering setting up a smartphone assembly plan in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Pakistan received the lowest bid for first cargo for the period September 12-13 at 7.9673% of Brent, i.e. three months average.

On Thursday, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh held an introductory meeting with the newly appointed Country Director of the World Bank in Pakistan, Mr. Najy Benhassine in which both sides reaffirmed to strengthen the relationship and remove bottlenecks in executing the development projects funded by the World Bank.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Ali Zaidi via his official twitter handle informed that Port Qasim Authority handled highest ever cargo tonnage in July’20.

Furthermore, Standard and Poor’s affirmed 'B-' long-term and 'B' short-term sovereign credit ratings on Pakistan. The outlook for the long-term rating is stable.

Correspondingly, Fitch Ratings also affirmed Pakistan's Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B-' with a Stable Outlook.

Continuing with the commitment to support the industry amid COVID-19 pandemic, SBP further facilitated the exporters and importers by allowing extension up to 180 days in settlement of their export and import loans under FE-25 Scheme.

Moreover, in order to further facilitate the exporters, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) enhanced the limit of refinancing provided to the banks under Exports Finance Scheme (EFS) by Rs100 billion.

On Wednesday, PSO announced to become the first OMC to upgrade Pakistan’s fuel standard from Euro 2 to Euro 5.

On Tuesday, the Asian Development Bank stressed promotion of multiple modes of transport for freight in Pakistan including Railways and inland waterways to reduce time and cost of trade along Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) member countries.

On equity front, Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL), the Operator of Mari Development & Production Lease (Mari D&PL) with 100% working interest, made a gas discovery at its exploratory well Iqbal-1, drilled in Mari D&PL Area, located in Daharki, District Ghotki, Sindh.

The Board of Directors of TPL Properties, after giving due consideration,  approved the sale of the company’s flagship project “Centrepoint” located off Shaheed-e-Millat Expressway Near KPT Interchange, Karachi.  Following the announcement, BAHL announced to purchase TPL Properties’ flagship project.

In addition to this, EPQL, EFERT approved the terms of MoU signed between IPPs and GoP, moreover, HUBC’s subsidiary, Narowal Energy and Dawood Lawrencepur’s subsidiary also became a part of MoU signed b/w IPPs and GoP.

Furthermore, ICI Pakistan announced to commence capacity expansion of Light Soda Ash at Khewra Plant by 125,000 TPA.

Financial Results:

Apart from this, several listed companies announced their financial results last week amid ongoing earnings season. Some of the important ones are:

Bank Al Habib Limited recorded profits of Rs. 7.24 billion (EPS: 6.52) for the half year ended June 30, 2020, showing a growth of 63% as compared to the same period of last year.

Pak Electron Limited (PAEL) suffered losses of Rs 425 million against net profits of Rs 275 million of the corresponding period last year.

Meezan Bank registered healthy growth of 65% YoY in net profits during 1HCY20.

Habib Metropolitan Bank (HMB) recorded profits of Rs. 4.29 billion (EPS: Rs 3.97), showing a growth of 27.71% against net profits of Rs 3.35 billion of the corresponding period last year.

Jubilee Life Insurance Company Limited (JLICL)’s net profits jumped by 44% from Rs 979.75 million to Rs 1.4 billion.

Hub Power Company Limited (HUBC) posted more than two-fold rise in net profits to Rs 26 billion (EPS: Rs 19.31) against net profits of Rs 11.93 billion of the corresponding period last year.

PSMC recorded a 61% YoY increase in net losses during 1HCY20.

Engro Corp’s net profits jumped by 36% YoY to Rs 15.52 billion from Rs 11.36 period earned in the corresponding period last year.

MCB posted 29% YoY rise in net profits despite fall in non-interest income and soaring provisions.

Allied Bank Limited posted net profits of Rs 8.47 billion (EPS: Rs 7.40), i.e. around 36% higher than the net profits of Rs 6.24 billion (EPS: Rs 5.45) of the corresponding period last year.

ICI Pakistan’s earnings observed a decline of 7% YoY to Rs. 2.36 billion (EPS: 27.37) in FY20.

Faysal Bank reported 26% YoY rise in half-yearly profits to Rs 3.79 billion (EPS: Rs 2.50) from Rs 3 billion (EPS: Rs 1.98).

Lotte Chemical Pakistan (LOTCHEM) posted a colossal decline of 96% YoY in profitability to Rs 113 million (EPS: Rs 0.07) against net profits of Rs 3 billion of the corresponding period last year.

FrieslandCampina Engro Pakistan Limited (FCEPL) reported net profits of Rs 292 million during 1HCY20.

Shell Pakistan Limited observed 5.4x increase in net losses after tax from Rs 1.44 billion to Rs 7.87 billion.

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Posted on: 2020-08-23T16:05:00+05:00