Mobilink to enhance operations in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): Global Chief Executive Officer of Vimpelcom Ltd, Jean-Yves Charlier yesterday announced that his company Mobilink has decided to enhance its operations in Pakistan. Charlier, while meeting with Minister for IT and Telecom Anusha Rehman at her office said that his company has decided to enhance its business in Pakistan beyond connectivity for its more meaningful participation for sectoral development . He briefed the minister about their future investment and business plans in Pakistan including investment in infrastructure and other areas. Head of emerging markets Mr.Jon Eddy and CEO/President Mobilink in Pakistan Mr.jeffrey Hedberg were also part of the delegation.

The top boss of the Mobilink, has announced to enhance its presence in Pakistan, after merging with Warid telecom, in November, last year.

The merged entity, which will serve over 45 million mobile customers, will make Mobilink the leading high-speed mobile network in Pakistan.

As per Company announcement Mobilink is in the process of acquiring 100 per cent of Warid’s shares in consideration for the Dhabi Group (Warid’s parent company).

During the meeting Minister invited the delegation to invest in ongoing projects.

“We are rigorously pursuing the vision of “Digital Pakistan” by connecting people of Un-served /Under-served areas who are still unconnected. Through USFCo, We have recently approved lots of to provide broadband and rural telephony services to remotest and far flung areas of the country, and Mobilink should consider proactively participating in such projects”, she said.

Rehman further said that her ministry is establishing 500 tele-centers for people of these areas through USFCo, which will not only create employability for the local people but also provide them basic e-services including e-health, e-education and e- agriculture .

She said that partnership with Mobilink will be a best model of public-private partnership for the welfare of the people .

The Minister informed the delegates that training and development was also focus of her office and Ministry was initiating National Incubation Centre,an incubation project for the practical training of young entrepreneurs and start ups.

CEO Vimpelcom, Jean-Yves Charlier appreciated the Telecom Policy being pursued by the present government which is a forward looking policy that has spurred healthy competition among the leading cellular companies and said that Pakistan telecom sector has great potential and Mobilink(Vimpelcom Subsidiary) intended to expand its network and operations in Pakistan.

Charlier said that we have a common agenda and Mobilink is ready to partner with the GOP even beyond connectivity and plans to establish in Pakistan a resource hub to supports vimpelcom’s  operations in other markets. He thanked the Minister for meeting and reiterated his company’s commitment towards facilitating the people of Pakistan with modern ICT solutions.


Engro Fertilizer announces

earnings of Rs5.3b

Lahore (Staff Reporter): Engro Fertilizer has announced 4Q2015 earnings of Rs5.3b against Rs2.7b in the same quarter last year. This result was in-line with market consensus estimates. The company also declared final cash dividend of Rs3.0/share taking total dividend to Rs6.0/share for 2015, which was higher than anticipated. In 4Q2015, revenue of the company increased by 102 percent YoY to Rs35.8bn, owing to 17 percent YoY uptick in urea sales volumes and 6.5x YoY surge in DAP sales. Experts attribute DAP sales increase to inclusion of DAP trading business after the acquisition of Engro Eximp. Further, DAP volumes improved due to subsidy of Rs500/bag announced by the Govt.

Gross margins of company declined to 32 percent in 4Q2015 versus 38 percent in the same quarter last year. Experts attribute this decline in margins to inability of the company to pass-on fuel gas price hike effective from Sep 1, 2015 (EFERT is partially affected for any gas / cess hikes for its new plant EnVen) due to falling international urea prices. To recall, local urea manufacturers offered Rs120/bag discount to offload their huge inventories. Distribution cost increased by 64 percent YoY to Rs2.3bn during 4Q2015. Financial charges declined by 36 percent YoY to Rs1.0bn during 4Q2015 owing to aggressive balance sheet deleveraging by the company and lower interest rates.

Other income in 4Q2015 dropped by 55 percent YoY. We believe this is due to decline in EFERT’s cash and short term investment owing to the repayment of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) backlog during the period.

On QoQ basis, EFERT’s revenue posted a growth of 156 percent to Rs35.8bn, owing to 62 percent/18 percent increase in urea/DAP off-take. Gross margins, on the other hand, eroded by 15 percent QoQ. We attribute this erosion in margins to deteriorating pricing power of local fertilizer companies due to falling international urea prices.

During 2015, EFERT earnings stood at Rs14.8bn (EPS Rs11.1) vs Rs8.2bn (EPS Rs6.2) in the same period last year. We attribute this increase in earnings to flow of concessionary gas to the company’s new plant effective from Mar 15, 2015.

The growth in earnings is primarily attributable to i) award of concessionary gas pricing at the Enven plant in 1QCY15, ii) 43 percentYoY higher revenue courtesy inclusion of DAP trading business in EFERT and iii) 29 percentYoY decline in finance cost due to lower DR and deleveraging. Sequentially, 4QCY15 earnings clocked in at PKR5.1bn (EPS3.9) representing 83 percentQoQ growth owing to 2.6xQoQ higher revenue amid sharp increase in offtake of both Urea and DAP. The result also accompanied a final cash dividend of PKR3.0/sh, taking full year CY15 payout to PKR6.0/sh. While the scrip currently trades at an impressive CY16F P/E of 8.0x, potential continuity of discounts on urea price post 1QCY16 may lead to a downward revision in our estimates. On the flip side, continued gas supply to the base plant may be an upside.

UBL Funds launches Al-Ameen

Islamic Active Allocation Plan IV

Lahore (Staff Reporter): UBL Fund Managers Limited (UBL Funds) announced the launch of the Al-Ameen Islamic Active Allocation Plan–IV, under the Al-Ameen Islamic Financial Planning Fund. This Plan is now open for subscription. The investment policy of Al-Ameen Islamic Active Allocation Plan-IV (AIActAP-IV) is approved by Shariah Advisors Mufti Muhammad Hassaan and Mufti Muhammad Najeeb Khan. The plan actively allocates investments between Islamic equity and Islamic income/money market classes with an aim to achieve potentially high returns.  The Plan has a term of two years and is ideal for investors who wish to benefit from the equity market and desire active management of their investment portfolios.

Mir Muhammad Ali, Chief Executive at UBL Funds, said “The Al-Ameen Islamic Active Allocation Plan series has been well received by investors with initial investments of Al-Ameen Islamic Active Allocation Plans I, II and III totaling more than Rs. 6.3bn.  Al-Ameen Islamic Active Allocation Plan–IV is the fourth tranche in the series and is an ideal investment avenue for those who wish to take up to 100 percent exposure to equities.”

He further added “The equity market in Pakistan seems risky to most investors even though the returns have proven to be higher as compared to other investment avenues. This is an ideal investment opportunity for those who wish to take exposure to equities, but are unaware in which stocks to invest. The PSX faced some volatility at the start of 2016 amidst turmoil in regional markets. Al-Ameen Islamic Active Allocation Plan–IV will smartly invest and disinvest between Islamic Equities and Islamic Income / Money Market based mutual funds, depending on the Fund Manager’s outlook on asset classes.”

AI Act AP-IV will be investing in Al-Ameen Islamic Dedicated Equity Fund to take exposure to Equities, while investing in Al-Ameen Islamic Sovereign Fund (AISF) and/or Al-Ameen Islamic Cash Fund (AICF) to take exposure to the Income/Money Markets.

Integrated energy management model critical for Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter):  Federal Minister Planning, Development & Reform Ahsan Iqbal yesterday said that integrated energy management model is critical for Pakistan and would closely work with USA for development of this model to ensure efficiency and management in energy sector. He stated this while talking to a delegation of USA Energy Department, headed by Jonathan Elkind, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, Department of Energy, which called on him at Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform. Ahsan Iqbal stated, “Pakistan can benefit from the expertise of USA to enhance capacity and improve efficiency in power sector. 

Pakistan would welcome USA’s assistance in energy sector of the country as part of its efforts to cope with the acute energy shortage. Ahsan Iqbal said that Pakistan not only faces the energy shortage but also needs to upgrade the electricity transmission and distribution system in order to sustain the additional power. Apart from that Pakistan faces line losses problem, thereby needs to introduce structural reforms in energy sector. 

Minister said that present government is working on all these areas on priority basis with a holistic approach to overcome the crisis shortly. Ahsan Iqbal also highlighted the policy of the government to diversify the energy mix to ensure affordable and clean energy in the country. He said that new power projects would be operationalize in next three to five years, adding additional power in the national grid. The Planning minister said that joint declaration during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to USA includes the cooperation in energy sector, which manifests broader spectrum of cooperation between the two countries.

USA Delegation head Jonathan Elkind appreciated the efforts of the present government to overcome the energy shortage in the country and said that Pakistan benefit from the expertise of USA in energy efficiency, renewable energy, grid modernization etc. End

PIAF greets LEJA new


LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Pakistan Industrial and Traders Associations Front (PIAF) Chairman Irfan Iqbal Sheikh has greeted the newly-elected office-bearers of Lahore Economic Journalists Association (LEJA). In a press statement, the PIAF Chairman extended his pleasure to Muhammad Sudhir Ch being elected as the president of LEJA, Pervaiz-ul-Islam as Vice President, Ishtiaq Hussain as Secretary General, Shahzad Khan as Finance Secretary and Javed Iqbal, Asad Iqbal and Ahsan Siddique as executive committee members of the economic journalists’ body. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that LEJA is playing an important role to highlight the issues of business community in general and revival of the Pakistan economy in particular.

LEJA newly elected members have vast experience of financial journalism, playing pivotal role of bridging the gap between government and businessmen community.

Irfan Sheikh hoped that the members journalists would continue this liaison with trade and industry and highlight their issues in a better way.