PRGMEA demands to abolish duties on yarn import

SIALKOT (APP): Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA) Chief Coordinator Ijaz A Khokhar said that apparel industry is suffering with low productivity due to shortage of cotton yarn, high energy cost and heavy import duties on raw material. Talking to media he appealed the government to abolish duties on yarn imports for encourage value addition, reduce cost of doing business and bridging gap between production and consumption. Government should allow the industry to import cotton from other countries to fulfilling the demands of foreign buyers, he said. Ijaz said that garments sector had great potential and ability to enhance 50 per cent export and this sector widen the scope of generating employment in the country. He said that government should make necessary arrangements for reviewing export activities on quarterly basis adding that this process would help government to monitor pace of exports of the country.

Ijaz said that while preparing trade policy 2018-23, formulation of sector and regional wise policies should be consider adding that concerned high ups should consult stakeholders for formulating regional and sector wise policy.

The formulation of sector wise policies particularly regional based policies would not only help in increasing exports but also supportive in minimizing the problems confronted by the business community, he added.

Ijaz said that due to non availability of latest fabric locally garments sector currently have a limited product line for export market adding that foreign buyers were demanding new garments on G3, G4 and technical fabric raw material which were not available and produced by Pakistani weavers so far.

He said that there was a great need of setting up "Sector Specific Export Promotion Councils" for all export sectors to enhance exports of the country.

The PRGMEA chief coordinator said that there was a great need of setting up "Garment Export Promotion" for monitoring production and export performance and formulating appropriate policy for textile apparel sector.

First Horizon wraps up 2017 with strong momentum

MEMPHIS, Tenn (AFP): Fundamentals remained strong in 2017 at First Horizon National Corp., driven by solid growth trends in loans and deposits at First Tennessee Bank, as well as the closing of the Capital Bank transaction.  Reported earnings per share were $0.65 in 2017, compared to $0.94 in 2016. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share in 2017 were $1.111, excluding the impact from tax reform, other tax adjustments and acquisition expense, as well as other notable items. Reflected in the fourth quarter results are the previously announced $1,000 bonuses to approximately 70 percent of First Horizon employees, and a contribution of $16.5 million to the company’s Foundation. During the fourth quarter, First Horizon completed the merger with Capital Bank that had been announced in May, 2017, resulting in a $41 billion asset organization with more than 350 branches serving the Southeast. While the Capital Bank merger closed late in the quarter, significant progress has been made on integration planning.

Further, our expectations of revenue and cost synergies have increased over the past six months.

“The fourth quarter caps an outstanding and transformative 2017. Our adjusted core results were strong with continued robust customer activity,” said Bryan Jordan, First Horizon’s chairman and CEO. “We closed our merger with Capital Bank, the largest in our company’s history, significantly expanding our balance sheet, customers, markets and opportunities, all as we identified greater cost savings and revenue opportunities than originally announced. We begin 2018 with momentum and confidence in our abilities to create value for our communities, customers and shareholders.”

Prosperity Bancshares announces stock repurchase programme

HOUSTON (AFP): Prosperity Bancshares, Inc.®, the parent company of Prosperity Bank®, announced that its Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program. The Company may repurchase up to 5%, or approximately 3.47m shares, of its outstanding common stock over a two-year period expiring on Jan 16, 2020, at the discretion of management. Repurchases under this program may be made from time to time in open market transactions, and pursuant to any trading plan that may be adopted in accordance with Rule 10b5-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The timing and actual number of shares repurchased will depend on a variety of factors including price, corporate and regulatory requirements, market conditions, and other corporate liquidity requirements and priorities. Any repurchased shares will be held by the Company as authorized but unissued shares. The repurchase program does not obligate the Company to purchase any particular number of shares.

Pakistan to host Saarc CCI meetings on Feb 6

ISLAMABAD (APP): Pakistan will host top level 73rd Executive Committee and 22nd General Assembly meetings of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) in Islamabad on February 6. VP SAARC Chamber Pakistan chapter, Iftikhar Ali Malik in a statement here said SAARC Chamber President Suraj Vadiya will chair the both meetings separately and all vice presidents from member countries including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Maldive, Bhutan and Pakistan along with their delegations will attend the meetings. About agenda of meetings, he said SAARC Chamber's proposed initiatives to be taken during the current year will be discussed and finalized with consensus. He said arrangements in connection with forthcoming 3-day SAARC Business Leaders Conclave scheduled to be held in Kathmandu from March 16, will be reviewed. Chamber General Secretary Hina Saeed and Deputy Secretary General Zulfiqar Ali Butt will brief the participants to hold the conclave in befitting manners.

He said strategy will also be evolved for formation of SAARC Chamber and China Business Council and after threadbare discussion it will be approved unanimously and all stakeholders will be taken into confidence prior to its formal approval.

He said new applications from SAARC member countries for membership of SAARC Chamber will also be considered for approval.

Iftikhar Ali Malik said it has also been decided by the SAARC Chamber to celebrate its silver jubilee in all member countries to send a message of goodwill, strengthening the  bonds of brotherhood and promotion of intra-trade besides fully exploiting all indigenous resources in the region in addition to exchange of mutual visits.