ICCI signs MoU with Ankara

Chamber to promote bilateral trade

ISLAMABAD (INP): ICCI has signed a protocol of cooperation with Ankara Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Turkey to further improve commercial ties and promote bilateral trade between Pakistan and Turkey. Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, President, ICCI and President, Ankara Chamber of Commerce & Industry signed the MoU. The signing ceremony was held at the Prime Minister House in the presence of Mian Nawaz Sharif PM of Pakistan and Ahmet Davutoglu Prime Minister of Turkey. By signing the MoU of cooperation, Islamabad and Ankara Chambers have agreed to work for further developing and strengthening trade and commercial relations between the two brotherly countries.

Both Chambers would extend all possible help to each other in enhancing exchange of trade delegations to explore matchmakings and collaborations in areas of mutual interest. They would also exchange information about trade fairs and exhibitions as well as share researches, market study reports, statistics and documents related to commercial and economic aspects for mutual benefit.

SBP extends FICF proposal

submission deadline to March 5

KARACHI (NNI): State Bank of Pakistan has extended the deadline for submission of proposals under Financial Innovation Challenge Fund (FICF) 3rd round on “Promoting Excellence in Islamic Finance,” the SBP said Wednesday. The 3rd challenge round was unveiled on January 9, in Islamabad. FICF is a component of the larger financial inclusion programme being implemented by State Bank under the funding assistance of UK-Aid. The objective of this round is to develop education and research infrastructure for promoting Islamic Finance in partnership with leading higher education institutions.

The initiative will develop the industry’s human capital base in the form of Islamic finance professionals, specialists including Shariah scholars, economists and researchers to realise/ meet the growing demands for Shariah compliant products and services in Pakistan.

Maldives seeks Pakistan’s help

for tax reforms

ISLAMABAD (Online):  Maldives has sought technical help from Pakistan to overhaul its tax infrastructure regime. According to sources, Maldives Deputy President is arriving here on a two-day visit on February 25 to discuss a range of issues including banking, finance, trade, transportation and tax reforms regime. The sources said that Pakistan would offer help to Maldives to improve its tax infrastructure on a modern line through information technology.  The sources said that Maldives wanted to bring about drastic changes in its tax infrastructure system to bring it at par with the international standard.

Oil prices fall in Asian trade

SINGAPORE (AFP): Oil prices fell in Asia Wednesday ahead of the release of a report on US crude inventories and as traders kept an eye on the crisis in crude exporter Libya, analysts said.  US benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell 14 cents to $53.39 while Brent fell 13 cents to $62.40 in late-morning trade. “Traders are book-squaring in the likely case that the US stockpiles report shows deficiencies,” said Ric Spooner, market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. The US Department of Energy will release its weekly stockpiles report on Thursday, a day later than usual because of a US holiday on Monday, with analysts expecting an increase. Last week’s report showed that US crude inventories already reached their highest levels on record for this time of the year.

Rising crude stockpiles indicate softer demand in the world’s biggest economy and top oil consuming nation and is a dampener on prices amid a supply glut.

Spooner also said that traders are keeping an eye on developments in North African crude oil producer Libya.

Analysts said that infighting and sabotage in Libya has reduced output to 150,000 barrels a day, down from a high of almost 1.5 million barrels per day.

Egypt on Tuesday called for UN-backed international intervention in Libya after launching air strikes on Islamic State targets there in retaliation to the jihadist group’s beheading of Egyptian Christians.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said “there is no choice” but to create a global coalition to confront the extremists in Libya.

Engro revenue increases by 13pc

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): Engro Corporation Limited (Engro) has announced 2014 earnings of Rs7.0b (EPS Rs13.4), down 10pc, compared to Rs7.8b (EPS Rs14.9) last year. However, the company posted profits of Rs2.6b (EPS Rs4.9) in 4Q2014, up 17pc, compared to Rs2.2b (EPS Rs4.2) in the same quarter last year. The result is accompanied with a final cash dividend of Rs4.0/share, taking total payout to Rs6.0/share in 2014. Revenues of the company increased by 13pc to Rs175.9b in 2014 as compared to Rs155.4b in the same period last year. However, cost of sales surged significantly by 22pc to Rs139.7b as compared to Rs114.8b last year mainly due to higher gas prices.

During 2014, Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) was increased on feed and fuel stock.

Gross margins of the company dropped by 556bps to 20.6pc in 2014 compared to 26.1pc in 2013.

In 4Q2014, sales of the company increased by 13pc to Rs53.6b as compared to Rs47.6b mainly due to Efoods and EFERT whereas cost of sales increased by 22pc to Rs43.7b. Gross margins of the company dropped by 643bps to 18.3pc in 4Q2014. Earnings of the company increased by 17pc to Rs2.3b (EPS Rs4.9) in 4Q2014.