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Latest Political News & Analysis / Re: UK sees huge growth potential in Pakistan
« Last post by diya_MJ on March 23, 2018, 05:40:40 PM »
Very informative, Thanks for sharing 
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Very informative, Thanks for sharing 
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Very informative, Thanks for sharing 
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Automaker Honda Atlas Cars Pakistan has sought assistance of experts from Japanese vehicle manufacturing associations and has asked for their input for placing a cap on the use of quality-boosting chemicals in petrol.

Honda approached the experts after a committee, constituted to curb the mixing of chemicals in domestically produced and imported petrol, sought recommendations of the carmaker, said a senior government official while talking to The Express Tribune. The carmaker has asked the experts to suggest safe operating limits of metal content – manganese – in motor gasoline.

However, oil industry players argued that some vested interests were behind the hype surrounding the use of octane boosters in motor gasoline. They were of the view that the Petroleum Division was being pressurised to take action which would badly hurt the national economy.

Automakers around the world introduce new engine technologies based on available fuels and their specifications in the relevant country. Except for Honda, no other automaker has complained against the gasoline quality in Pakistan, the industry officials said.

According to them, Honda introduced its Euro-IV Turbo model without ascertaining suitability of the locally available gasoline which has Euro-II specifications. They emphasised that methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT) was being used across the world in countries that had octane deficiency. However, it is not used in countries that have modern refineries and higher octane levels.

In November 2016, Pakistan decided to upgrade the quality of motor gasoline by introducing three grades namely Research Octane Number (RON) 92, 95 and 97 by replacing RON 87. Local refineries were also asked to produce RON 90 gasoline.

Petroleum Division Director General Jibar Memon confirmed that no other automaker had complained about the use of chemicals to boost the octane quality of petrol.

Many car models of different companies including imported cars were consuming that fuel, but they did not make any complaint, he said, adding it appeared to be a technical fault in the Honda variant. Industry sources argued that domestic refineries could not be upgraded in a short span of time, adding it could only be done in phases over a period of four to five years with an investment of $2.5 billion.

Restrictions on the use of octane booster would bring down gasoline production by more than 30% in the country, they said while pointing out that the shortfall would have to be met through imports that would cost more than $100 million per month.

According to them, the quantity of manganese-based octane booster used in Pakistan does not pose any health risk. Of the consumption of 500 tons per year, manganese is approximately 120 tons constituting 24.4% of the total. Of this, only 25-30%, or less than 40 tons, is released from the tailpipe.

Gasoline consumption in Pakistan is only six million tons compared to 340 million tons in the US and 30 million tons in India.
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Pakistan is all set to become a member of the elite hybrid rice seed exporting club next month, after executing the pioneering trade deal with the Philippines. Following various national regulatory procedures, the first high yielding hybrid rice seed consignment of 100 tons is expected to be exported in April.

This seed will be sufficient to cultivate about 15,000 acres of land. As this hybrid seed is produced in harsh weather conditions of Sindh’s coastal areas, it is suitable for plantation in the changing climate of China and other far eastern countries of Asia, offering tremendous export market.
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Latest Political News & Analysis / UK sees huge growth potential in Pakistan
« Last post by Admin on March 23, 2018, 05:36:30 PM »
The United Kingdom has praised Pakistan for having shown remarkable progress in skills development over the last 70 years, saying the country still has a huge potential to grow.

“Pakistan has made incredible strides over its 70 years and we are proud to have played our part. We all know that Pakistan has immense potential and we are committed to helping young people gain the skills, opportunities and knowledge to build a thriving, prosperous country,” said British Council Director Pakistan Rosemary Hilhorst.

She said this after ringing the opening bell for the commencement of trade at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) to commemorate the British Council’s 70th anniversary in Pakistan on Wednesday.

Throughout 2017, the British Council along with the British High Commission in Pakistan and the Pakistan High Commission in the UK celebrated the strong ties between people of the UK and Pakistan through diverse activities and programmes ranging from cultural festivals to research reports to alumni events.

Briefing on the dynamics of Pakistan’s capital markets, PSX Chairman Muneer Kamal said the role of foreign institutional investors had increased in Pakistan as they held over 30% of the free float of shares of listed companies at present.

He outlined the ecosystem of capital markets and the central role of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) in regulation of the capital and securities market.
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President Donald Trump is poised to unveil sanctions against China Thursday for the “theft” of US intellectual property, a White House official said, teeing up a second potential confrontation in as many months.

Spokesperson Raj Shah told AFP that Trump will announce actions following an “investigation into China’s state-led, market-distorting efforts to force, pressure, and steal US technologies and intellectual property.”

According to his schedule, released by the White House on Wednesday evening, he will sign “a Presidential Memorandum targeting China’s economic aggression.”

Beijing has already warned the Trump administration against the move, urging him not act “emotionally.”

It is just weeks since Trump short-circuited White House deliberations and announced a raft of sanctions on foreign-produced steel and aluminum off the cuff.

That move prompted the resignation of top economic advisor Gary Cohn, a global stock market selloff, legal disputes and threats of retaliatory measures.

On Wednesday Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that the prospect of a trade war was a growing threat to the world’s largest economy.

But the impulsive president is showing no sign of backing down.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer recently put a separate proposed package of $30 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports on Trump’s desk.

And Trump appears to have agreed to at least that amount, as he tries to fulfil campaign promises to get tough on “cheating” by US trade partners, which he says have destroyed American jobs.

The US trade deficit with China ran to a record $375 billion last year – but US exports to the country were also at a record.

Washington has long accused Beijing of forcing US companies to turn over proprietary commercial information and intellectual property as a condition of operating in China.

Trump claims to have built up a generally good relationship with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping whom he has praised for his role in pressuring North Korea over its nuclear program.

However, the trade dispute threatens to cast a pall over those relations, especially given the recent warnings from Beijing.

A senior official in Lighthizer’s office said Wednesday that the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations had attempted over the decades to coax China into respecting market economics and trade liberalisation, but had all failed.

The Trump administration opened an investigation last August, acting on a series of allegations against China including that as a condition of doing business, China forces US companies to enter joint ventures and transfer technology and trade secrets to domestic partners and that US companies are not able to license intellectual property in China as freely as Chinese companies.

US officials also allege China has hacked US networks and conducted industrial espionage to steal US intellectual property.

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent his top economics advisor Liu He to Washington this month to discuss the tensions of trade, but the US official said that at no point had the Chinese made a constructive proposal.

“Certainly by November, the background was such that officials in China had reason to know about the concerns we’ve raised … At least, as of today the administration has not been satisfied with the types of responses we’ve been getting from China,” the senior official in Lighthizer’s office said, speaking on condition of anonymity in a briefing to reporters.

“Obviously the president will have the final say in terms of what we end up doing here.”

“As a general matter, we do have very strong evidence that China uses foreign ownership restrictions such as joint venture requirements and foreign equity limitations to require or pressure technology transfer from US companies to Chinese entities,” he added.

Along with the announcement of that offensive, Washington also held out the possibility of a detente with regards to the EU, which reacted furiously to the news of steel and aluminum tariffs.

In a joint statement, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said they agreed to immediately begin “a process of discussion” on the tariffs and other matters “with a view to identifying mutually acceptable outcomes as rapidly as possible.”

Malmstrom had called for Europe to be exempted as a whole. Speaking to reporters in Brussels on Wednesday, European Council President Donald Tusk said he harbored “cautious optimism” on the prospects for a resolution.

The White House already said Canada and Mexico, which are major producers of the metals, will temporarily be exempt from the tariffs during talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.
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Inital Public Offers (IPO) / Matco Foods Limited (MFL) - 1st IPO of 2018
« Last post by Admin on March 23, 2018, 12:11:10 PM »
Matco Foods Limited (MFL) - 1st IPO of 2018
One of the largest rice exporter of the Pakistan, Matco Foods Limited (MFL), is all set to be listed
at the Pakistan Stock Exchange. The Company is issuing 29.14 million ordinary shares (25% of
post issue paid-up-capital) at a floor price of Rs 26/share. The first phase of 75% of the total offering
(21.85 million shares) will be offered to Institutional Investors and High Net Worth Individuals
through book-building that would be taken place from January 23 to 24, 2018. Whereas in second
phase, remaining 25% (7.28 million shares) will be offered to the general public at the Strike
Price which will be determined through the Book Building Process from January 29 to 30 2018.

About the Company
Matco is leading agri business in South Asia with over 50 years of experience in the rice industry
and a global portfolio of more than 150 customers. The Company is one of the largest rice
exporter from Pakistan and its flagship brand "Falak Basmati Rice" is available in more than 40
countries worldwide and its private label brands being exported to over 60 countries worldwide.
The company is standing at an annual processing capacity of 134,700 metric ton. This includes
five rice milling and processing plants in total at Karachi and Sadhoke that constitutes paddy drying,
storage, husking, processing and packaging facilities. The company had also established rice
paddy drying and husking plant in 2010 at Sadhoke district to reduce wastage and paddy drying
losses. In 2012, the company successfully sold its 20% stake to International Finance
Corporation, which is a World Bank Group Company.

Purpose of the IPO
The purpose of this IPO offering is to generate Rs 757.72 million, which will be utilized in the
expansion of the company's rice glucose/syrup and rice protein plant. In case of excess amount
generation, the company is intended to pay-off its currently existing loans. According to the
prospectus, the IPO will facilitate in expansion of the plant's production capacity of Rice Glucose
/ Syrup production capacity from 10,000 metric ton per annum to 30,000 metric ton per annum.

Earnings grew at CAGR of 15% during FY14-17
Company earnings surge at a 4 year CAGR of 15% during FY14 -17 to Rs 269 million (EPS: Rs 2.31)
in FY17 against Rs 177 million (EPS: Rs 1.52) in FY14 due to growth in revenue and better margin
on account of market development, extensive distribution reach and expanding product
portfolio. We expect company to post growth of 31% in FY18 as profit after taxation to clock at
Rs 353 million (EPS: Rs 3.03) in FY18 mainly driven by better revenue and exchange gains expected
on account of recent devaluation of currency. Furthermore we expect Rice Glucose / Syrup
production would enhance earnings in FY19 on account of high margin of around 20% in this segment.

Recommendation
Although company is expanding in higher margin product but still company has involved in high
risk commodity product business, as Matco exports representing more than 90% of the total
sales volume which has relatively low pricing power. To recall, we have already witnessed earning
per share of Rs 0.03 during FY16 due to lower rice prices internationally. Thus, we suggest
cautious stance to investors with subscription on floor price. As no listed peer available, we have
used market PE of 9.8x on FY18 earnings of Rs 3.03/share with indicative fair value of Rs
41/share, offering upside potential of 24% from floor price.
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Market and Economy / GDP growth to touch 6% this year
« Last post by Admin on March 23, 2018, 11:47:24 AM »
Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Miftah Ismail has said that the country will achieve 6% economic growth rate within the current fiscal year, hoping that the pace will translate into increased job opportunities.

While speaking at the two-day World Islamic Finance Forum 2018 that began in Karachi on Monday, he said the government will soon create a post at the Ministry of Finance that would solely deal with the Islamic finance industry, a press release quoted Ismail as saying.

The event’s theme is ‘Expanding the Footprint of Islamic Finance: Innovation, Fintech & Regulations’. He also assured the Islamic finance industry of soon convening a meeting of the Committee for Implementation of the recommendations of the Steering Committee for Promotion of Islamic Banking in Pakistan.

Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) Shariah Board Chairperson Shaikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani said that despite the country’s humble beginnings in Islamic finance, Pakistanis now hold key positions in Islamic banking in different countries.

While demanding concrete steps to rid the country of ‘Riba’, or usury, he urged the government to immediately establish a section or division at the Ministry of Finance to be headed by an Additional or Joint Secretary level official to resolve problems of the Islamic finance sector.

“Islamic financial institutions have excess liquidity and the government should work on creating avenues for the deployment of these excess funds,” Usmani stated.

AAOIFI Board of Trustees Chairperson Shaikh Ebrahim Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said that it is heartening to note that Pakistan is striving hard to become another hub of Islamic finance.

“Pakistan has all the basic ingredients [for becoming a hub of Islamic finance] including a massive population of 200 million people,  robust banking and finance sector and vibrant agriculture, industrial and services sectors,” Al Kahlifa said.

Meezan Bank President Irfan Siddiqui requested the government to set a target of acquiring at least 25% of the local funding through Islamic banking as Islamic financial institutions have excess liquidity and limited avenues for investment.
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Market and Economy / Growth in Pakistan expected to pick up in 2018, 2019
« Last post by Admin on March 23, 2018, 11:43:18 AM »
Growth in Pakistan is expected to pick up in 2018 and 2019, but it will be subdued, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) noted on Monday in its update of the World Economic Outlook. The report was launched on the opening day of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Pakistan achieved a growth rate of 5.3% during fiscal year 2016-17, the highest in a decade, but it was short of the government’s targeted 5.7%. Despite being held back by subdued growth in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors, Pakistan’s economy has been showing an upward trend in the first six months of the ongoing fiscal year.

With the target for 2017-18 set at 6%, most believe the economy would be able to continue its growth, if not meet the goal. The IMF also revised up its forecast for world economic growth, saying sweeping tax cuts in the US were likely to boost investment in the world’s largest economy and help its main trading partners. The report noted that growth in Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan region is also expected to pick up in 2018 and 2019, but it will remain subdued.

The IMF underlined the need for economic efficiency, inclusiveness of growth and the urgency to take measures that will counter next global downturn. This is the first time that the World Economic Outlook Update has been launched in Davos. Global growth has been accelerating since mid-2016, and all signs point to a further strengthening both this year and the next, said Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the IMF. While this is welcoming news, she cautioned that any kind of complacency would be a mistake. “We certainly should feel encouraged, yet we should not feel satisfied,” she added. The IMF said that the current economic position might appear to be a sweet spot for the global economy, but prudent policymakers must look beyond the near term. It encouraged global leaders to build policy buffers, reinforce defence against financial instability and invest in structural reforms. The IMF managing director said that there are still far too many people left out from the recovery. In fact, about one fifth of the emerging markets and developing countries saw their per capita incomes decline in 2017

At the same time, while growth is higher, it is mostly cyclical. Absent reforms, the fundamental forces that had us worried about the “new mediocre” – and future growth potential – will remain in place, she added. The IMF official said that there is also significant uncertainty in the year ahead. The long period of low interest rates has led to a build-up of potentially serious financial sector vulnerabilities. This week is a perfect opportunity for world leaders to focus on those repairs. The theme of this year’s WEF annual meeting is: ‘Creating a shared future in a fractured world.

She said that the shared future will depend upon shared growth. “The policymakers should use this moment to make the difficult structural and fiscal reforms that might not happen otherwise. “This means taking steps to boost long-term growth, paying down debt in places where it is too high, and in other places, investing back into the economy through infrastructure and effective social spending. “The growth needs to be more inclusive, not only across countries but also within them. Some areas of focus include training for workers displaced by automation, new opportunities for young people, and bringing more women into the labor force.”

She said that there should also be shared global responsibility. “We need robust international cooperation if we are going to tackle shared problems – including fighting corruption, improving the international trading system, tackling tax evasion, and addressing climate change.” The IMF said that in advanced economies where output is close to potential, still muted wage and price pressures call for a cautious and data dependent monetary policy normalisation path.
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