ICI Pakistan posts 35 percent

increase in profit

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): ICI Pakistan Limited recorded a substantial growth in profit after tax in the first quarter of 2015-16. At Rs 475 million, the profit after taxis 35pc higher than the same period last year. The Company has prospered on the back of higher operating profit from its core Businesses, dividend income from Associate and reduced finance costs. The operating result for the quarter was higher than the same period last year, propelled by growth in the Soda Ash and Chemicals Businesses. Net turnover for the quarter at Rs 8,502 million is 9pc below the corresponding period in 2014-15, primarily due to lower revenues in the Polyester Business, in line with the downward correction of prices across the petrochemical chain.

Earnings per share at Rs 5.14 are 35pc higher than the first quarter of 2014-15.

The Company remains focused on reinforcing its existing portfolio, exploring opportunities for organic and inorganic growth, bringing in cost efficiencies, further improving its energy mix and strengthening relationships with customers and suppliers.

National ICT R&D Fund Company holds BoD meeting

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): The 39th Board of Directors meeting of National ICT R&D Fund Company was held on Tuesday under the chair of State Minister, Information Technology Anusha Rahman. The Board was apprised by the CEO ICT R&D Fund Co. Asif Roomi regarding latest status of the “Tech-City incubation project. The Board was informed that 16 companies have submitted their Expression of Interest (EoI) in the pursuance of the advertisement circulated through national newspapers. The Board directed the CEO to complete the process expeditiously by keeping in views the given timelines as approved by the Board. Recommendation of PAC regarding re-evaluation of 12 projects which were declared unsatisfactory earlier.

by auditors were also discussed in detail.

PAC recommended continuation of 9 projects subject to certain conditions, 2 with some prerequisites and one project was recommended for termination. The Board approved PAC recommendations.

The CEO ICT R&D fund assured the Board that in view of the Audit report, necessary processes have been adopted in the company to ensure transparency & professionalism whilst awarding Research & Development projects.

Federal Secretary IT Azmat Ali Ranjha, CEO National ICT R&D Fund Company Asif Roomi, Member (Telecom) Mudassar Hussain, MD, PSEB Asim Shehryar, Member (HR) Tahir Mushtaq and other Members of the Board, were also present in the meeting.

Scottish importers show keen

interest in sports goods

SIALKOT (APP): A delegation of Scotish importers importers visited several leading sports goods manufacturing industrial units here on Tuesay and showed keen interest in sports goods. They took round of the manufacturing units and were impressed by the craftsmanship of artisans. They also showed keen interest in the direct import of Sialkot made sports goods instead of purchasing the same from other countries on higher prices. The delegation lead by Ms. Annie Howie also visited Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). Ms Howie also discussed in detail the matters of mutual interest with SCCI President Maj (Rtd) Mansur Ahmed and appreciated the unique export culture of Sialkot.

Farmers getting free seed of high yielding wheat varieties

MULTAN (APP): Parliamentary secretary on agriculture Rana Ijaz Ahmad Noon said on Tuesday that farmers were being provided seed of high yielding wheat varieties at every village across Punjab through a process of draw to ensure that other farmers can get healthy and registered seed for sowing in the next season. Talking to farmers delegations here, he said the Punjab government was taking many steps to achieve self-autarky in wheat production and availability of certified seed at village level was one such initiative. He explained that one farmer from each village in Punjab would get free seed, sufficient for sowing at four acre area, through a draw.

This farmer would multiply the seed and this would mean availability of healthy seed at the same village for other farmers for sowing in the coming seasons, says a release issued by media liaison unit of Punjab agriculture department.

Noon said that instructions have been issued to agriculture officials (extension) to organize refresher courses at district and tahsil level where experts would give useful information to farmers.

Farmers would be informed of the new high yielding and disease free varieties besides the modern agronomic practices.

Officials have also been instructed to display guidelines on walls, banners for easy access of farmers to modern techniques.

Moreover, demonstration wheat fields would be developed as per the lay out plan in accordance with the target.

Rana Ijaz Noon also ordered officials to keep an eye on availability of agriculture inputs like fertilizers, weedicides, pesticides and seeds.

He disclosed that seed graders have been made available at Markaz level to enable farmers get their seed cleaned and graded for better production results. He said that availability of this facility be advertised so that majority of farmers can avail the free service.

Oil prices retreat in Asia on

supply bets

SINGAPORE (AFP): Oil prices extended losses in Asia Tuesday on expectations of a rise in US crude inventories and following forecasts that a global supply glut will persist into next year. The US EIA will release Wednesday its weekly report on the country’s commercial crude inventories for the week ending October 23, which is seen as a gauge for demand in the world’s top oil consuming nation. Analysts expect another build-up. “Oil prices remain near two-month lows as oversupply issues stay in the forefront... Fundamentals re-exerted themselves,” Bernard Aw, market strategist to IG Markets in Singapore, told AFP. “There is a belief that US inventories are on the rise, which would prolong the global glut,” he said.

“The EIA on Wednesday will provide colour to the view.” In Asia, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for December delivery was trading 51 cents lower at $43.47 and Brent eased 33 cents at $47.21 a barrel at around 0710 GMT.

Both contracts were down on Monday after stretching losses into a second week on Friday.

The falls came after Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, said at an energy conference in Singapore on Monday that it saw “ample supply in the market” until mid-2016.

Prices fell to six-year lows in August but bounced back earlier this month to trade above $50, lifted by upbeat comments on the demand outlook from the head of the OPEC cartel of crude producers.

The rally, however, was not sustained as oversupply concerns resurfaced.

Current price levels are more than 50 percent below peaks of more than $100 reached in June last year.