Turk delegation visits LCCI

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Pakistani entrepreneurs should step in joint ventures with their Turkish counterparts in the fields of construction, textile, information technology, carpet and plastic. JVs would provide Pakistani businessmen an ample opportunity to avail benefit from the expertise of Turkey in these particular sectors. This was stated by the head of 4-member strong Turkish business delegation Engine Oskaloglu while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Head of the Turkish delegation said that Turkey for being one of the fastest growing countries, has a lot to offer to the Pakistani entrepreneurs, therefore they should avail this opportunities through joint ventures with the Turkish counterparts.

He said that both countries could have firs hand knowledge of the trade & investment opportunities through exchange of trade delegation on regular basis.

He said that Turkey and Pakistan have marvelous untapped business potential that needs to be realized by maximizing the involvement of private sectors of the two countries.

Lucky records Rs9.3b profit

karachi (Staff Reporter): Lucky Cement Limited continued to lead the cement industry with a significant rise in its nine months’ net profit for the year 2014-15. The Company recorded net profit for the nine months ended 31st March 2015 of Rs9.30 billion which is 13.7pc higher than the net profit of the corresponding period last year. The earnings per share (EPS) for the period increased to Rs28.77 against Rs25.31 for the corresponding period last year. The Company’s gross profit increased by 7.2pc during the nine months as its net sales revenue improved by 5.38pc to Rs33.15 billion against Rs31.45 billion for the corresponding period last year. The increase in net sales revenue was contributed by 4.03pc increase in volume and 1.35pc increase in net retention.

The local sales volume for the Company during the nine months registered a growth of 6.85pc with 3.18 million tons compared to 2.97 million tons of same period last year, whereas export sales volume registered a decline of 0.48pc with 1.85 million tons as compared to 1.86 million tons for the same period last year.

Lucky Cement also reported successful completion of Installation of Vertical Grinding Mills and Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) Plant at its Karachi Plant and also reported progress on other key foreign investments and local projects i.e., fully integrated cement manufacturing plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo, grinding unit in Iraq, 1 X 660 MW, supercritical, coal based power project, 50 MW wind Farm, electricity supply to PESCO and WHR Plant at PEZU.

ABL announces financial results

LAHORE (Staff Reporter):  ABL has announced financial results wherein the bank reported earnings of Rs4.2b (EPS: Rs3.68) for 1QCY15, posting an increase of 30.0pc YoY from Rs3.2b (EPS: Rs2.83) in 1QCY14. The result was higher than experts estimated earnings of Rs3.7b (EPS: Rs3.25) primarily due to higher than expected non-interest income. Along with the results, the board has also declared an interim cash dividend of Rs1.75/sh. During 1QCY15, the bank’s net interest income after provision (NII) reported an increase of 33.7%YoY to Rs7.7b compared to Rs5.8b in 1QCY14. The increase in the NII can be attributed to higher interest income due to long duration securities. However, higher provision of Rs728.4m vs. a reversal of Rs37.1m has further restricted NII growth.

The bank’s non-interest income registered an increase of 9.4%YoY to Rs3.0b on the back of higher fee income (up 18.3%) and dividend income (up 16.3%YoY).

Al Huda-FAAIF training workshop

Lahore (Staff Reporter): Al Huda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics and FAAIF plan to conduct a joint Islamic finance training event on June 19-20, 2015 in Milan, Italy. FAAIF and Al Huda, realizing the immense need for training on Islamic banking and finance in Europe, plan to organize a two-day training workshop on Islamic banking and finance to meet the demand for training in the Italian and EU market. The workshop fits in well with the theme of the Milan Expo 2015 currently taking place in Milan, Italy. Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer of Al Huda CIBE, said that due to the recent financial crises, Islamic financing is emerging as an alternative source of financial sustainability in Europe and the world.

In fact, Mughal states that many European countries are becoming interested in this type of finance and have issued sukuk or Islamic bonds such as the UK, Luxembourg, and Germany. Many other European nations are exploring Islamic finance as an option such as Spain, Malta, Italy, and others.

PCDMA for rationalising CD rate

karachi (Staff Reporter): For the budget 2015-16, PCDMA proposed that Customs duty rate should be rationalised i.e. 10pc for locally manufactured raw materials and 5pc for all imported raw material. To broaden the tax net PCDMA suggested to announce the comprehensive income tax package to include all middle class business community instead of increasing the burden of tax on existing tax payers only. PCDMA Members Firm are Commercial Importers of Industrial Chemicals, Dyes & Raw Materials particularly for export-oriented industries including five zero rated sectors. Hence, discrimination between Commercial Importer of chapter 25 – 39 and Industry should be abolished.

Problems being faced by the commercial importers of Chemicals & Dyes, due to withdrawal of Clause 58E(2) from the Sales Tax Special Procedure Rules 2006 vide Finance Act 2012 and consequently subjecting them to audit, although they pay Sales Tax @ 3pc in advance at import stage. This created an ambiguity as on the one hand they are required to pay value added Sales Tax @ 3pc whereas on the other hand they have been subjected to audit. This is against the basic principle and spirit of the value added Sales Tax Scheme initiated after an in-depth consultation with the commercial importers who agreed to pay advance Sales Tax at a higher rate only to get immunity from audit.

Hence, it is suggested to reinstate the clause 58E(2) of the Sales Tax special procedure Rules 2006 providing Audit immunity to commercial importers who pay 3pc value added Sales Tax in advance at import stage.

Moreover, in the meantime all audit notices issued to such commercial importers after July 2012 be withdrawn and only those commercial importers be audited who opt out of the scheme.