Call to restore gas supply to

Pakistan Steel Mills

LAHORE (APP): LCCI Executive Committee member Raja Adeel Ashfaq on Monday demanded immediate gas supply restoration to Pakistan Steel Mills. Raja Adeel said that it was a matter of concern that PSM was completely closed because of non-availability of gas, therefore, relevant govt functionaries in general and the ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources in particular should play their effective role in this regard. He said that Pakistan Steel Mills was not only a major source of steel products supply to various domestic industries but also had importance for defence industry. He said that due to closure of PSM, domestic industry was relying on imported hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanized steel etc and huge foreign exchange was being spent on this.

Raja Adeel Ashfaq also urged the Punjab Chief Minister to consider the idea of establishing Punjab Steel Mills as it would strengthen the national economy.

Ist LPG international conference on 17th of the month

ISLAMABAD (APP): Liquified Petroleum Gas Distributors Association Pakistan will hold the first LPG international conference on March 17, its chairman Irfan Khokhar said Monday. “The association is going to hold a mega conference in Lahore, which will be the first of its kind in the country’s history,” he told APP here. He said the conference would be attended by delegates from across the country and abroad, besides experts from LPG marketing companies, manufacturers of cylinders, kits etc. The chairman said basic theme of the conference would be the safety of LPG consumers and staff associated with the industry, adding that production of sub-standard cylinders was a major threat for citizens nowadays.

According to Irfan Khokhar, use of sub-standard cylinders was claiming approximately five precious lives daily. He said hundreds of LPG cylinder manufacturers were operating in district Gujranwala of Punjab province where the local administration had launched an effective drive against counterfeiters. Khokhar said the association would extend full cooperation to the district administration in purging the LPG industry of the elements involved in making sub-standard cylinders and related equipment.

IGI Insurance announces

earnings of Rs205m

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): IGIIL has announced earnings of Rs205 million for 4Q2015 against Rs283m in the same period last year. IGIIL also announced final cash dividend of Rs4/share, taking total full year dividend to Rs6/share. The results were in line with expectations. Underwriting income of IGIIL was down 32% YoY in 4Q2015 to Rs141m mainly driven by lower investment income under statutory fund. Investment income under the statutory fund declined to Rs334m in 4Q2015 vs Rs580m in the corresponding period last year. Net premiums of the company grew by 61% to Rs1.4b owing to improved premium generated from motor and life insurance business.

Net claims increased by 12% to Rs825m in 4Q2015 as claim ratio improved to 58% as against 82% in 4Q2015, attributed to lower claims witnessed against life insurance. Similarly, total expense was up 11% to Rs191m in the stated period.

Silkbank declares 2015

financial results

KARACHI (PR): The Board of Directors of Silkbank Limited has announced the annual results for the year ended December 31, 2015. Amongst the key achievements of 2015 was the successful raising of Rs10 billion in capital through a rights Issue, making the bank compliant on the capital adequacy ratio (CAR) and the minimum capital requirement (MCR) of the SBP. Silkbank’s overall deposits reflected a significant growth of 18% in 2015 over the previous year, taking the bank’s total deposits to Rs81 billion. CASA deposits were at Rs54 billion at year end 2015, a 14.8% increase over the previous year. Silkbank’s balance sheet grew by 30% at the year end 2015, taking the balance sheet footing to Rs. 133 billion.

Given the bank’s overall capital position, the management deemed it prudent to be aggressive in its provisioning, even in cases where settlement had reached final stages and the reversal of the said provision was imminent. The Bank therefore declared an after-tax loss of Rs. 1.71 billion. It is expected, that the bulk of the provisions recognized this year will be reversed in the first half of 2016. With capital compliance achieved in 2015, the Bank is expected to record strong profitability in 2016.

Oil prices rebound on China stimulus move

LONDON (AFP): World oil prices rebounded Monday after China's latest stimulus move boosted hopes of strengthening demand in the key energy consumer. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in April rose 78 cents at $33.56 per barrel. In London, Brent North Sea crude for April advanced 96 cents to $36.06 compared with Friday's close. China's central bank on Monday cut the proportion of funds banks must set aside as reserves, in Beijing's latest attempt to tackle slowing growth in the world's second largest economy. The People's Bank of China said it would trim the so-called "reserve requirement ratio" (RRR) for financial institutions by 0.50 percentage points, freeing up more funds for them to lend.

"The price of oil reversed early losses to gain as much as 2.0 percent after China announced a cut to bank reserve ratio requirements," said CMC Markets analyst Jasper Lawler.

"Credit expansion in China has been ramping up in recent months so the cut to the RRR would suggest that authorities are comfortable with it expanding even further.

"Credit expansion is not a long term solution to China's growth slowdown but would likely support growth this year -- and remove some of the concern that has been driving oil prices lower."

Beijing's move came immediately after a G20 finance ministers' meeting in Shanghai, which stressed the use of all available policy tools to boost global growth, and with Chinese and world stock markets assailed by worries over the economy.

Crude futures had risen in earlier Asian trading on Monday, boosted also by hopes that strengthening growth in top oil consumer the United States will soak up some of the chronic supply glut.

However, oil prices have slumped by about 70 percent from a mid-2014 high over concerns of a lasting surplus of supplies, at a time when global economic growth is faltering.

Oil had rallied sharply last week on hopes that top producers will cut output.

Saudi Arabia, as well as Qatar and Russia, recently announced a preliminary deal to freeze output at January levels, should other major producers followed suit.

But Saudi Arabia, OPEC's largest oil producer, has since ruled out a production cut and Iran has dismissed joining a freeze.