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Thursday, 19 April 2012



Karachi Stocks Down 28.68 Points:
KARACHI, Apr 19: At close of trading, the KSE-100 index was at 13909.27, down 28.68 points.

April 19, 2012

Rafhan Maize

Rs 127.38

Nestle Pakistan

Rs (61.40)

UniLever Pak Ltd

Rs 96.40

Attock Petroleum

Rs (13.30)

Unilever Food

Rs 27.28

Millat Tractors

Rs (5.06)

Shezan Inter

Rs 6.16

Engro Corp

Rs (2.83)

National Foods

Rs 5.29


Rs (2.55)

Karachi Stocks end down; rupee, o/n rates flat

KARACHI: Pakistani stocks ended slightly lower on Thursday because of selling in the energy sector, but investors bought mid-tier shares on hopes of healthy corporate profits, dealers said, containing losses.
The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-share index closed 0.06 per cent, or 8.48 points, lower at 13,929.47.
Volume was 182.59 million shares, compared with 261.5 million shares traded on Wednesday.
“Selling in E&P (Exploration and Production) stocks led the market to fall marginally,” said Samar Iqbal, a dealer at Topline Securities.
Pakistan Oilfield shares ended 0.65 per cent lower at 377.20 Pakistani rupees, while Oil and Gas Development Company stocks fell 0.76 per cent to end at 165.02 rupees.
In currency market, the rupee ended almost flat at 90.71/76 to the dollar, compared with Wednesday’s close of 90.71/74.
The rupee has been supported by remittances, which rose 21.45 per cent to $9.73 billion in the first nine months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $8.02 billion in the same period last year.
In March, remittances totaled $1.14 billion.
In its monetary policy statement last Friday, the State Bank of Pakistan said the external sector was likely to remain under pressure because of both external debt payments and a lack of foreign aid.
Pakistan’s current account deficit widened to a provisional $3.089 billion in the first nine months of the 2011/12 fiscal year, compared with $10 million over the same period in the previous year, the central bank said on Wednesday.
Overnight rates in the money market ended flat at 11.90 per cent, unchanged from the previous day’s close amid tight liquidity in the interbank market.


1. Major Companies Declare Results:By our correspondentFFC reports profit of Rs3.87 billionKARACHI: Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC) announced a profit-after-tax of Rs3.87 billion in the quarter ended on March 31, which was six percent lower than Rs4.10 billion earned in the same quarter last year, according to a statement on Thursday.This translated into an earning per share of Rs3.05 against Rs3.23 in 2011, according to the profit and loss accounts of the company available with the Karachi Stock Exchange.“Decline in the earnings is primarily attributable to lower urea sale volumes in the wake of increased share of imported urea in the domestic market and significant price differential during the quarter.The result announcement is accompanied with a cash dividend of Rs3 per share, the statement said.Revenues of the company increased by three percent to Rs11.43 billion against Rs11.10 billion, owing to higher urea prices during the quarter, it said, adding, however, gross profit decline by three percent to Rs5.75 billion from Rs5.91 billion.POL posts Rs9.33 billion profitPakistan Oilfields Limited (POL) posted a net profit of Rs9.33 billion in the nine months ended on March 31, which was 19 percent higher than Rs7.83 billion earned in the same period last year.The profit translated into an earning per share (EPS) of Rs39.44 against Rs33.14 in 2011, according to the profit and loss accounts of the company available with Karachi Stock Exchange.APL profit improves by 14 percentThe profit-after-tax of Attock Petroleum Limited (APL) improved by 14 percent to Rs3.14 billion in the nine months ended on March 31 from Rs2.75 billion earned in the corresponding period last year.Accordingly, the profit translated into an earning per share (EPS) of Rs45.53 from Rs39.83 in 2011, according to the profit and loss accounts of the company available with the Karachi Stock Exchange on Thursday.“Increase in earnings primarily stems from improved volumetric sales by 21 percent on yearly basis,” said Nauman Khan, an analyst at the Topline Securities.Overall, the company’s gross margin declined by 75 basis points to 3.3 percent on account of reduction and fixation of oil marketing companies’ margin on regulated product by the government.FWBL posts Rs400 million profitThe First Women Bank Limited (FWBL) has posted profit-before-tax of Rs400 million for 2011, a statement said on Thursday.Total deposits of the bank increased to Rs13.815 billion from Rs10.195 billion, while advances portfolio reached the peak of Rs7.9 billion, it said.Rupee remains unchangedBy our correspondentKARACHI: The rupee remained unchanged at 90.71 against the dollar on Thursday in sluggish trading activity, said dealers.“No major deals were reported during the day against import payments,” said a dealer.The interbank forex market started the day in the range of 90.74 and 90.77. Most of the trades were seen at different levels with the dollar witnessed a high of 90.76 and a low of 90.71.Currency experts said that the strong inflows of remittances and expected external inflows helped the domestic unit end stable. The exchange rate in the open market ended slightly down at 90.90/91.30 against the previous day’s closing of 90.95/91.35.Business digestBrazil’s central bank cuts interest rate to 9pcBRASILIA: Brazil’s central bank on Wednesday again cut its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points to 9.75 percent — the sixth rate cut in the past eight months in an effort to boost the sluggish economy.The bank’s monetary policy committee justified the new cut — which mirrored last month’s cut of 75 basis points — by citing the “limited risk” to further inflation.“This cut could mark the end of the cycle of rate reductions that began in August, when the rate stood at 12.5 percent. The rate could remain unchanged for some time,” said Carlos Kawall, chief economist at private Banco J. Safra.The government, markets and analysts had expected the central bank would opt for a rate cut, given that inflation is on the wane in Latin America’s largest economy and the need to help rein in the cost of credit for Brazilians.Last August, the central bank reversed course following a series of rate hikes to clamp down on inflation and it has since brought down its base interest rate from 12.5 percent then to the current nine percent.But the rate is still among the highest in the world, sparking a massive influx of capital which is in turn causing an appreciation of the real and a loss of competitiveness for domestic industries.China to boost liquidity as economy slowsSHANGHAI: China will ease monetary policy and boost liquidity in the financial system with a series of measures, state media cited a central bank official as saying, in a bid to avoid a sharp economic slowdown.According to the official Xinhua news agency, the unnamed official at the People’s Bank of China said it planned to “steadily” introduce the measures, including cutting the amount of cash lenders must keep in reserve.The report, published late Wednesday, comes as the world’s number two economy eases, with data last week showing it grew at its slowest pace for almost three years in the January-March quarter, while manufacturing stutters.As well as easing reserve requirements, the report said the central bank will also boost liquidity through its open market operations — referring to its sale or purchase of securities, which influences the volume of money and credit in the economy.“The central bank will continue to implement a prudent monetary policy... and maintain a reasonable level of interbank liquidity to facilitate a stable and relatively rapid development of the national economy,” the official said.China will “fine-tune” its monetary policy to allow more growth in bank lending, the official added, reiterating remarks by other officials about the need to adjust money policy.Barroso values total EU aid for Greece at 380bn eurosSTRASBOURG: European Commission boss Jose Manuel Barroso has said that the total value of aid to financially-stricken Greece will total 380 billion euros, or half a trillion dollars.“We have put together a very ambitious programme of support, unprecedented support, for Greece,” Barroso told lawmakers during a debate on the economy at the European Parliament sitting in France.All elements taken together, Barroso said the value of the bailout would be “380 billion euros.”This sum would comprise some 40 billion euros of routine EU finance from 2007-2013, 100 billion euros by way of private-sector debt written off by investors and 240 billion euros in special bailout loans and aid from Eurozone or EU partners as well as the International Monetary Fund.That would equate to 33,600 euros for every one of the some 11 million Greek population and 177 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.“You are not alone,” Barroso said of EU solidarity towards Greece.“We believe Greece can have a good result,” he added, “If everybody commits.”Barroso’s EU civil service has a team on the ground in Athens and is trying to re-direct funds Greece is entitled to claim from the EU budget for development aid towards job creation and economic growth.New Zealand inflation up in MarchWELLINGTON: New Zealand’s inflation rose 0.5 percent in the March quarter, official data showed on Thursday, analysts said meant interest rates were likely to remain on hold in coming months.Statistics New Zealand said the rise in the cost of living, which was in line with market expectations, was largely due to a 13.5 percent increase in tobacco and cigarette prices after a government tax hike.“Prices were also higher for petrol, rentals for housing and insurance,” it said. “These rises were partly countered by price falls for international air fares and overseas package holidays.”The result puts the annual inflation rate for the 12 months to March at 1.6 percent, comfortably within the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s 1.0-3.0 percent target band. Deutsche Bank economist Darren Gibbs said the figures were unlikely to prompt the central bank board to lift interest rates when it meets to consider monetary policy next week.“It was very much in line with expectations,” he told Radio New Zealand.“So together with relatively weak GDP figures in the last quarter and weakness in commodity prices of late, we’re looking at another pretty dove-ish Reserve Bank statement next week.”The central bank has held rates at a record low 2.5 percent since March last year amid sluggish growth in the farm-reliant economy.IMF welcomes $34bn in new pledgesWASHINGTON: IMF director Christine Lagarde has welcomed pledges from Switzerland, Poland and other countries to provide some $34 billion in additional funding for the world lender.Lagarde, in separate statements late Wednesday, singled out Switzerland and Poland for increasing their contributions, hailing their “enduring support for the spirit of multilateralism.”“Ensuring the Fund has sufficient resources to tackle crises and to promote global economic stability is in the interests of all our members,” she said.The IMF statement said “Switzerland and other countries” had pledged $26 billion of increased funding while Poland had agreed to provide $8 billion.“This brings to about $320 billion the commitments received so far. I am, (of) course, very encouraged by this strong demonstration of support for the Fund, and I look forward to further commitments from our broader membership.”In a Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung interview published this week, Lagarde revealed that the International Monetary Fund is seeking some $400 billion for expanding its crisis intervention “firepower.”That was sharply lower than the original target of $500 billion. Last week Lagarde said the Fund was lowering its target, citing a slight easing of financial tensions, both globally and in the Eurozone. The largest contributions thus far have come from the Eurozone, which has pledged some $200 billion, and Japan, which pledged $60 billion.The IMF is hoping to firm up more commitments, especially from the big emerging economies like China, Russia, Brazil and India, at the Fund’s spring meetings held at the end of this week in Washington.Brent above $118SINGAPORE: Brent crude futures held above $118 on Thursday as investors remained cautious ahead of a key Spanish bond auction.Gold subduedSINGAPORE: Gold edged lower on Thursday, as investors stood on the sidelines and awaited a key Spanish debt auction later in the day amid worries the Eurozone debt crisis could flare up again. Spot gold inched down 0.1 percent to $1,639.46 an ounce by 0627 GMT. US gold was nearly flat at $1,640.50.


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