Category Archives: General Business News

LCCI inks Memorandum of Understanding with Institute of Business and Management to make joint efforts for the cause of trade, industry and academia

Lahore, October 16, 2018 (PPI-OT): The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Institute of Business and Management (IB and M), UET to make joint efforts for the cause of trade, industry and academia. The LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir and Dean/Director of IB and M, UET Dr. Ghulam Abbas Anjum signed the MOU on behalf of their respective organizations.

The LCCI Vice President Fahim ur Rehman Sehgal and Executive Committee Members were also present on the occasion. This agreement is continuity of the LCCI endeavours aimed at filling the communication gap between the industry and academia. The MOU will enable both the institutions to share their knowledge and experience for mutual benefits. It was also agreed that both the sides will conduct joint seminars and workshops on common issues.

According to MOU, LCCI and IB and M will exchange information on reciprocal basis regarding activities. The LCCI will establish regular interface with IB and M to share information of mutual interest. Both organizations will collaborate and undertake joint research/industrial projects with mutual consent. The LCCI will engage different faculty members of IB and M at different times, as the need be, for the expert opinion and advice from time to time.

The LCCI Senior Vice President Khawaja Shahzad Nasir said that linking academia with the business needs is a crucial step which should remain at the forefront to motivate both the sides and enhance their skills. He said that the MOU with Institute of Business and Management (IB and M) UET will pave way for the progress and prosperity of the country. He said that the LCCI would make best use of this facility as a number of economic challenges have direct link with the unavailability of correct data. He said that it would not only further strengthen University-Industry collaboration but it would also help researchers to have access to the real challenges being encountered by the trade and Industry.

Khawaja Shahzad Nasir said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry has already signed a number of MOUs with the educational institutions and this agreement will also go a long way for the promotion of regional trade that is buzz word in today’s global village. Dr. Ghulam Abbas Anjum thanked the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and assured of his full support for the cause of promotion of research and development culture in the country.

For more information, contact:
Information Department
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore -54000, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-111-222-499
Fax: +92-42-36368854
Website: www.lcci.org.pk

Pakistan Stock Exchange holds Awareness Session at Gilgit

Karachi, October 16, 2018 (PPI-OT): In order to create awareness amongst the general public about stock investments, Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) conducted an awareness session at Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Minister for Works, Government of GB, was the chief guest at the occasion. The event was coordinated by Gilgit-Baltistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry along with two brokerage firms of PSX (TRE Certificate holders), namely JS Global Capital Limited and Zahid Latif Khan Securities (Pvt.) Limited.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Imran Ali, President Gilgit-Baltistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that it was encouraging that PSX was taking keen interest to educate the public on stock investments by holding this event for the second time in the region. He said there were many potential investors in Gilgit-Baltistan but; however, no brokerage firm or branch thereof exists in the entire region. He expressed the hope to see some brokerage houses set up their branch offices to cater to the demand in the region.

The participants were given a detailed overview on PSX and stock investments including the history of the PSX, investment avenues, risk/return parameters, long term investments, and considerations while investing. The participants were briefed on structural, strategic and regulatory developments. They were explained how the stock market was comparatively a good avenue for long term investments.

At the end, Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Minister for Works, Gilgit-Baltistan, addressed the participants. He said that the event conducted by PSX to educate masses at GB was a commendable step. He lauded the efforts of PSX for giving priority to GB in this case. He assured all out support and cooperation to PSX for its future plans and programs in GB.

For more information, contact:
Public Relations,
Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited (PSX)
Cell: +92-332-3289727
Tel: +92-21-111-001122
Tel: +92-21-32428954, 35274576
Fax: +92-21-32419146
Email: nadeem.khanani@psx.com.pk
Website: www.psx.com.pk

JCR-VIS Assigns Initial Ratings to Sheikhoo Sugar Mills Limited

Karachi, October 16, 2018 (PPI-OT): JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (JCR-VIS) has assigned initial entity ratings of ‘A-/A-2’ (Single A-Minus/A-Two) to Sheikhoo Sugar Mills Limited (SSML). The medium to long-term rating of ‘A-’ denotes good credit quality coupled with adequate protection factors. Moreover, risk factors may vary with possible changes in the economy. The short-term rating of ‘A-2’ denotes good certainty of timely payments. Liquidity factors and company fundamentals are considered sound. Outlook on the assigned ratings is ‘Stable’.

SSML is a sugar manufacturing company located in the South-western Punjab. Shareholding of the company is vested with the sponsoring family, which owned Baksh Group of Companies in the early 1950s. The assigned ratings take into account moderate business profile of the company, largely underpinned by ample experience of sponsors led management in the sugar sector, sizeable crushing operations, and strong business relationships with institutional customers. Planned steel billets manufacturing plant is expected to provide a cushion against cyclicality risk of sugar sector.

The ratings also derive strength from sound financial risk profile as depicted by sustained profit margins, low gearing and leverage indicators, and adequate debt coverage. However, the ratings are constrained by vulnerability in sugar prices and increased susceptibility of business performance to oversupply in the market, thereby propelling the company to carry over considerable inventory into the next financial year. Material delays and cost overruns in steel project and loss of major institutional clients may negatively impact the ratings.

The business model of SSML is considered relatively medium-risk as its customer base largely comprises institutional customers, which on average account for around 80% of total volumetric sales. Meanwhile, the credit risk is deemed low owing to the company’s policy of making sales on advance payment terms to the corporate clients. However, the business performance remained susceptible to depressed selling prices, driven largely by oversupply in the market which emanated from the bumper crop during the previous crushing season. Thereby, gross margins were recorded slightly lower while inventory levels remained on the higher side during 9MFY18.

The company intends to carry over about one fourth inventory to the next year in anticipation of some improvement in sugar prices. Moreover, the government’s recent initiative of allowing export of 1.0m tons of sugar is expected to help in reducing surplus stock and to have positive connotation for the overall industry. The establishment of steel billets manufacturing plant having production capacity of 150,000 M.T. is expected provide a cushion against the cyclicality risk of sugar sector. Electricity generated from internally produced bagasse will power the steel plant that is projected to come online by June 2019.

Equity base has augmented with the continued retention of profits, whereas the utilization of debt financing has increased in the past two years. During 9MFY18, SSML raised new long-term debt to fund the import of new crushing machines, falling film evaporators, and commence civil work on steel project. The utilization of short-term borrowings also increased due to elevated working capital requirements. The gearing and debt leverage indicators increased but are considered manageable. The ratings will remain dependent on the maintenance of healthy relations with the major corporate customers, relatively low leverage and adequate debt service coverage.

For more information, contact:
CFA
JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited
VIS House, 128/C,
25th Lane off Khayaban-e-Ittehad,
Phase VII, DHA, Karachi
Tel: +92-21-35311861-72
Fax: +92-21-35311873
Email: sobia@jcrvis.com.pk

K-Electric defeats Pakistan Navy FC and remains Top of the Pakistan Premier League

Multan, October 16, 2018 (PPI-OT): K-Electric Football Club (KEFC) remains top of the Pakistan Premier League (PPL) standings after a hard-fought win against Pak Navy football club. KEFC defeated Pak Navy FC 2-1 after coming from behind in a match that was played at the Qila Qasim Bagh ground in Multan.

Pakistan Navy took the lead in the 55th minute after forward Abdul Rehman netted the ball in but KEFC recovered in the second half and a quick brace from KEFC forward and team captain Mohammad Rasool gave the current premier league champions their third win of the league. With three wins and no losses so far, KE is ahead of PAF FC on goal difference.

Team captain Mohammad Rasool after the game accredited the team performance and said, “It was a hard-fought win and it’s never easy coming from behind against a tough side such as Pak Navy FC. We hope to maintain this undefeated run and retain the title by the end of the season.”

KEFC striker Mohammad Rasool remains KE’s top scorer with 5 goals and the team will now play their next match against KRL on the 21st of October, in Lahore. The Pakistan Premier League is Pakistan’s professional league for men’s association of football clubs. This tournament is at the top of the Pakistan football league system and it is the country’s primary football competition. KE FC is the current premier league champion defending its title in this year’s league.

For more information, contact:
DGM-Media Cell
K-Electric
Formerly known as Karachi Electric Supply Company Limited (KESC)
2nd Floor, State Life Building No 11,
Abdullah Haroon Road, Saddar, Karachi
Tel: +92-21-99207163
Cell: +92-301-8286193
Email: ahmed.faraz@ke.com.pk

World Bank offers Indonesia $1 billion in loans after earthquake, tsunami

The World Bank announced Sunday funding of up to $1 billion for Indonesia after it was rocked by a string of recent disasters, including a deadly earthquake-tsunami that killed thousands of people.

World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva unveiled the funds at Indonesian Bali Holiday Island, where the Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been holding their annual meetings.

A 7.5-magnitude quake and a resulting tsunami tore through Palu city on Sulawesi island on September 28, killing more than 2,000 people and leaving thousands more missing, presumed dead.

Georgieva said the funds being made available by the Bank in the form of loans could be used for reconstruction but were also intended to help Indonesia build “resilience”, so it would be better prepared in the face of future disasters.

Nearly 90,000 people were displaced by the quake in Palu, forcing them into evacuation centers across the rubble-strewn city.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

PIAF wants probe into massive slide of rupee vs dollar

Lahore, October 11, 2018 (PPI-OT): Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) newly-elected chairman Mian Nauman Kabir has demanded a high-level probe into massive devaluation of local currency by over Rs10 in a single day. He also demanded the State Bank to identify the reasons and share the findings with the business community. He said that Pak rupee has weakened by around Rs22 against the dollar from June 1, 2018. The rupee slide has resulted in around Rs 2,200 billion increase in the country’s debt.

The PIAF Chairman while issuing a statement along with senior vice chairman Nasir Hameed and vice chairman Javed Iqbal Siddiqui, was of the view that the sharp downfall in the rupee value had not only disturbed almost all sectors of the economy but also brought a new wave of price spiral that would not die down despite dollar’s retreat.

Mian Nauman Kabir said that the illegal international transactions in dollar-denominations via Dubai are creating shortage of dollars in the Pakistani open market. The PIAF office bearers appealed the government to direct the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA), Intelligence Bureau, Customs Intelligence and the State Bank of Pakistan to keep strict vigilance to control currency and bullion smuggling. They urged the SBP to immediately take notice of the situation which is causing panic in the currency market.

“10 rupees increase in dollar price in a single day was an unusual phenomenon for a country like Pakistan as the mafia involved in this affair made billions of rupees in a single day while on the other hand those who bought the greenback to fulfill their foreign commitments suffered a great loss.” Chairman PIAF urged the government to take action against shortage of dollar in local market, besides controlling surge of dollar against rupee. PIAF Chairman said the local currency depreciation has inflicted heavy losses on the national economy.

Chairman PIAF said that depreciation valuation of one rupee against the dollar increases external debt by Rs100 billion. He added the implications of depreciation are very serious on the budget deficit, inflation and on cost of doing business. He stated that it is too early to estimate the positive impact of rupee devaluation on exports as export orders will take longer time to materialize.

For more information, contact:
Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF)
110/s Kot Lakhpat Industrial Estate, Lahore, Pakistan
Tel: +92-42-5123522
Fax: +92-42-5123522
Email: Info@piaf.pk