Kohat Cement earnings rise to Rs2.1 billion

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Kohat Cement (KOHC) reported earnings of Rs2.1 billion (EPS: Rs13.6) in 1HFY16 against Rs1.4b (EPS: PRK8.8) reported in 1HFY15, representing a growth of 54%YoY. The growth in earnings was primarily led by 9.4pps margin expansion following significant reduction in fuel and power costs. Furthermore, increased local dispatches in sales mix also supported margins. The QoQ growth in earnings was led by 18% growth in sales revenue attributable to higher dispatches, 49% QoQ growth in other income and 280bps decrease in effective tax rate. Against its history of paying an annual divided, KOHC announced an interim dividend of Rs5.0/sh in 2QFY16.

At target price of Rs352/sh, we have a ‘BUY’ stance on the scrip offering a total return of 46%, as of last close.

Traders demand implementation of ban on protests at Mall Road

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The LCCI has took a strong exception to continuous violation of ban on protests, sit-ins & rallies at Mall Road and urged the Punjab district govt to take stringent measures to control the issues. “There is a fear that anti-social elements could take benefit in the guise of protesters therefore strict action should be taken against violation of ban on protests, sit-ins and rallies at Mall Road.” In a statement issued here, the LCCI President Sheikh M Arshad, SVP Almas Hyder and Vice President Nasir Saeed that Mall Road is not only a major hub of business activities and linked the major areas of the city but most important buildings like provincial assembly and WAPDA House are also situated here.

The LCCI office-bearers said that violation of section 144 not only hampers business activities at Mall Road but also causes worst traffic jam across the city but concerned departments are seem to be failed to implement the rules and regulations.

Byco completes 10m safe man hours without any LTI

ISLAMABAD (Staff reporter): Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited has completed 10 million safe man hours without any Loss Time Injury (LTI) at its refining complex in Mouza Kund, Lasbella, Balochistan. According to company’s spokesman, there has not been any LTI amongst employees and contractors since November 2004. This great achievement includes an extensive revamp and expansion in 2007 and continuous operation of the refinery, tanks and loading facility. Headquartered in Karachi, Byco is an energy company engaged in the business of oil refining, petroleum marketing, chemicals manufacturing and petroleum infrastructure and logistics.

Good Safety Management is the primary goal of all oil refineries and the LTI figure is the primary measure of success, a spokesman of Byco said. Byco is committed to the safety and wellbeing of its employees and monitors all incidents carefully to help manage safety, the spokesman added. These are benchmarked as the Total Recordable Incident rate and Byco is currently below a remarkable 0.5 mark.

SECP forms three small dispute resolution committees

ISLAMABAD (Staff Reporter): The SECP has constituted three small dispute resolution committees (SDRCs) in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi to resolve disputes between insurers and policyholders. Each committee consists of three members, i.e. a chartered accountant or a management accountant, a lawyer and a representative of the insurance industry. The idea behind the constitution of these committees is to provide expeditious resolution to the insurance policyholders or their legal heirs in case any dispute arises between them and insurance companies. In addition, two other grievance resolution forums, i.e. the federal insurance ombudsman and the insurance tribunals are also available to policyholders.

During last month, the SDRCs resolved seven complaints. The complaints were examined by the SDRC members and as per procedure hearings were conducted. Both parties, i.e. policyholder and insurance companies were given opportunity to give their point of view. In four cases, the insurance companies refunded the amount claimed and in three cases orders were passed under Rule 14 of the 2015 Small Disputes Resolution Committee (Constitution and Procedure) Rules, thereby directing Insurance Companies to pay the claim/refund the amount of premium. All complaints were decided in favour of policyholders.

Oil prices higher as volatility grips crude market

LONDON (AFP): Oil prices were higher Thursday after yet more volatile trading, as dealers reacted to further evidence of a supply glut and hints at possible action to reverse the market slide. At about 1200 GMT, US benchmark WTI for delivery in March was up 11 cents at $32.41 a barrel. Brent North Sea crude for March grew 36 cents compared with Wednesday's close to stand at $33.46. Prices slid in earlier Asian trading hours, a day after official data revealed that US commercial crude stockpiles had climbed to a record level, further stoking worries about global oversupplies. But in what has been an extremely volatile week's trading, oil futures have enjoyed strong gains on hopes of stimulus measures in the eurozone and Japan.

Additional support for prices has come from market talk of a possible meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers, notably Saudi Arabia and Russia, aimed at limiting supplies of crude to help support a price recovery.

The economy minister of recession-hit Russia on Thursday pledged nearly $10 billion to tackle the country's financial crisis, as the low oil price weighs heavily on growth.

Alexei Ulyukayev earmarked 750 billion rubles ($9.8 billion, 9.0 billion euros) in anti-crisis measures.

The world remains awash with oil supplies, a situation that has been fuelled by OPEC's refusal to curb crude output as the cartel's Gulf-state members look to squeeze out US shale producers.

The Saudi-backed strategy is aimed also at pressuring Russia -- the biggest global oil producer -- and forcing fellow OPEC member Iran to trim output as Tehran looks to hike its own production after the lifting of Western sanctions.

Oil markets have been extremely volatile in recent days, soaring late last week from 12-year lows.

However, continuing worries about a supply glut, weak demand and the slowing global economy have returned to the fore.

The US Department of Energy on Wednesday reported that the country's commercial crude inventories last week jumped 8.4 million barrels to 494.9 million -- the highest amount on record.

Rising inventories typically signal weak demand in the world's top oil consuming nation and puts further downward pressure on prices in a saturated market.

"We remain slightly sceptical of further (price) increases," Phillip Futures analyst Daniel Ang said in a market commentary.

Ang said a slight weakening of the dollar after the US Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged Wednesday could have limited the decline, but added the oil price support "should not last for long".

Higher US interest rates are a boost to the US currency, making dollar-priced oil more expensive to holders of weaker units, dampening demand.