Wednesday, 20 August 2014

National Bank of Pakistan posts 28 per increase in net profit

On Tuesday the Board of Directors of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) approved financial results of the Bank for the six months period ended June 30, 2014, posting 42 percent increase in net earnings.

On a consolidated basis, NBP has posted profit after tax of PkR7.67 billion (EPS: PkR3.60) for 1HCY14 against restated net profit of PkR6.01 billion (EPS: PkR2.83) for 1HCY13, translating into 28%YoY growth.

Had last year’s accounts not been restated (changes to share of associates’ profit and admin expenses), growth would have tapered to 11%YoY. The result was above expectations with the deviation due to higher than expected Net Interest Income (NII) and exceptionally high capital gains.
Key 1HCY14 result highlights include: 1) a 2%YoY reduction in NII, 2) a 66%YoY reduction in total provisions, 3) a 13%YoY non-interest income growth largely due to capital gains and 4) a 12%YoY increase in non-interest expenses.

For 2QCY14 alone, NBP posted net profit of PkR4.44 billion (EPS: PkR2.09), up 79%YoY/38%QoQ making this the best quarter since 1QCY12. Capital gains for the quarter rose to PkR3.83 billion, one of the highest on record which together with a sequential spike in NII, enabled total income to register at record high levels. Despite the high capital gains, deferred tax pushed the overall tax rate for 2QCY14 to 39.3%.
The Bank is strongly capitalized with capital and reserves of PKR 160 billion, which translates into break- up value per share of over PKR 75 per share. The bank’s rating was re-affirmed at “AAA” by JCR VIS Credit Rating Agency in June 2014.

At current levels, the target price of PkR65/share implies an accumulate stance. That said, investors must revisit detailed accounts where asset quality position would be critical.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Pakistan: POL earnings up by 19 percent

Pakistan Oilfields Limited (POL) announced its FY14 result posting profit after tax of PKR12.9 billion (EPS: PKR54.5), a growth of 19%YoY. The result was below market expectations due to higher than estimated amortization charges, primarily due to Manzalai reserve downgrade write-off. The result announcement was also accompanied by a final cash dividend of PKR32.5/share taking full year payout to PKR52.5/share. The notable surge in earnings during FY14 can be attributed to a 23% increase in the topline to Rs35.5 billion on account of 1) a 25%YoY increase in oil production to 6,000bpd and 2) a 6.3%YoY depreciation in average Pak Rupee value against the US Dollar. Analysts maintain BUY stance on POL with a target price of PKR655/share, offering a total return of 29%.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Attock Petroleum posts full year results, EPS up 11 percent

Attock Petroleum Limited (APL) posted profit after tax of PKR4.3 billion (EPS: PKR52.2) for FY14 (financial year ended June 30, 2014) as compared to PKR3.9 billion (EPS: PKR47.1) for the corresponding period last year, depicting a growth of 11 percent YoY.
The result was below expectations due to higher than estimated inventory losses in 4QFY14.
The increase in earnings can be attributed to a) 18% higher volumetric sales of major petroleum products, b) increased margins on HSD and motor gasoline and c) lower late payment charges.
The announcement was also accompanied by final dividend of PKR30/share, taking full year FY14 payout to PKR47.5/share.
At current levels, analysts maintain ‘accumulate’ stance on APL with a trade price of PKR625/share, offering a total return of 15 percent.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

OGDC discovers gas near Karachi

Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) has discovered hydrocarbon reserves in exploratory well Pasakhi deep well-4 in Hyderabad district, some 200 kilometers from mega city Karachi. The oil and gas giant has 100 per cent working interest in Pasakhi lease.
“The structure of Pasakhi deep well-4 was delineated, drilled and tested using OGDC’s in-house expertise. The well was drilled down to the depth of 3,460 meters, targeting to test the hydrocarbon potential of massive sands of lower Goru formation where the Company hit on the hydrocarbon reserves.
According to the information made public by OGDC the zone had been tested with 14.015 mmscfd of gas and 125bpd of condensate at 36/64inch choke size.
“This discovery of hydrocarbon in Pasakhi deep well No 4 will add to the total hydrocarbon reserves base of OGDC.
Analyst Mohammad Affan Ismail at a local brokerage house, BMA Capital commented that the discovery, which stands at 14.02mmcfd of gas and 125bpd of oil would slightly impact the Company’s annualised earnings.
According to Pakistan Petroleum Information Service (PPIS), the E&P giant ‑ OGDC ‑ is further pursuing exploratory drilling of seven more wells (four wells were near completion) mainly in gas rich Sindh and Balochistan regions.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Pakistan Stock Market Rocked by Politics

One of the leading brokerage houses of Pakistan, AKD Securities has once again reiterated that country’s equities market is still under pressure due to volatile political situation.

On Monday the benchmark KSE-100 Index lost more than 1,300 points or 5 percent during first half of the day. Nearly 100 stocks (18 percent of total companies listed at Karachi Stock Exchange) hit their lower circuits. The Index has shed about 8 percent from its CYTD high.

The most recent decline is due to further increase in political noise over the weekend, with the PAT announcing its own long march on Independence Day (August 14) and the Army calling a corps commanders' meeting on Monday.

In the absence of a resolution, these developments could continue to drag the market lower in the immediate-term where the market's regional discount (40 percent at present) is likely to expand.

The brokerage house continue to advocate a cautious stance in the immediate-term but flag that Pakistan Equities are beginning to look very attractive from a bottom-up vantage as company level fundamentals remain intact.

Now there is a big question, will political noise rise further? While the market shed 3.1% last week, strong buying was witnessed throughout the week from foreign institutions, with net FPI inflow of US$21.6 million increasing CYTD inflow to US$359.6 million.

In addition, local participation was also witnessed at the tail end of the week with news flow pointing towards a potential breakthrough in the political impasse through talks.

However, the weekend added to the quagmire with PTI remaining firm about long march plan and fresh clashes taking place between the police and PAT activists, leading to the PAT announcing its own long march in the capital on the same day.

Within this backdrop, the Pakistan Army has also called in a corps commanders' meeting to discuss the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb as well as the domestic political situation. While a military takeover still appears unlikely, it cannot be ruled out completely, particularly if street protests turn violent.

The Pakistan market has seen its fair share of political crises over the last 10 years; prominent ones being PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto's assassination and resignation of President Musharraf.

In such scenarios the market has at an average shed 5 percent during political crises with the highest fall of 16.3 percent in the week after President Musharraf's resignation and before the imposition of the price floor.

To date the KSE-100 Index has shed 8 percent from its CYTD high. Extending this analysis to the 1990s shows a similar picture (average market decline of 5 percent), with the greatest loss in market cap of over 10 percent following President Musharraf's coup. Based on Monday's intraday low, the KSE-100 Index trades at a forward P/E of 7.9x which is at a 40% discount to the MSCI Asia Pacific (excluding Japan Index).

Although the economic indicators are showing a positive trend but political uncertainty is negatively impacting the market. Analysts recommend investors to follow 'wait and see strategy' policy till stabilization of the political situation. Local equities are now trading at a discount. Although, numbers like these have not been seen for quite some time in recent past. In fact, there are many stocks which have the potential to provide above-average return going forward.





Friday, 1 August 2014

From Colonialism to Corporate Imperialism

At the age of 61 and having written over 2.5 words, this morning I sat down to review my work. Just the other day in one of my blogs I termed Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the new Lawrence of Arabia. I spent a few hours in searching what the world is saying about him, his vision and mission and modus operandi. This search further consolidated my perception. Therefore I sat down to pen what I have witnessed over the years, especially during the last four decades.
I joined Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi in 1973. This is the premier Business School established in Pakistan with the financial assistance and curriculum guidelines provided by one of the leading Business Schools of United States. My first employment was with a corporate having majority stake from United States also. My second job was with a group that was one of the top 25 richest families as described by the then Prime Minister Zufikar Ali Bhutto. Subsequently, I set up my own business but faced virtual bankruptcy due to the worst linguistic riots in Karachi during 1986-92. During this turmoil period I started contributing articles in local media as economic analyst.  Since then I have graduated from economic/financial analyst to commentator on political economy and geopolitics. During this quarter of a century, the key sectors in focus have been textiles and clothing, energy, commercial banks, fertilizer and country’s economy, its relationship with multilateral lenders, global mergers and acquisitions and their impact on local corporate sector. Another key area of interest has been ongoing privatization in the country that began in early nineties.
In my life I have witnessed three wars between Pakistan and India and conversion of eastern part of the country into Bangladesh. In Middle East expansion of Israel through occupation of parts of Arab countries and Arabs realizing power of crude oil. Islamic revolution in Iran and since then the country faced economic sanctions. Iraq’s attack on Iran and a decade long war financed by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Iraq’s attack on Kuwait, 9/11 incidenent, US attack on Iraq and Afghanistan, toppling of regimes in Iraq and Libya and proliferation of Islamic militant groups. If Taliban were accused for buying arms from drug money ISIL is also alleged for acquiring arms in exchange for stolen oil from Iraqi fields and selling it in the global markets.
As regards the corporate sector, there has been a shift in paradigm, slogan changing to optimizing profit from maximizing profit. Mergers and acquisitions are creating ever stronger conglomerates classified under Fortune-500 and Fortune-50 companies. It is often alleged that these companies own 90 percent of global wealth directly or indirectly. These entities are also alleged for playing a major role in installing and toppling of governments in least developed and even developing countries.
People living in South Asia, particularly areas now comprising, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are familiar with East India Company becoming a monster, end of more than 700 years rule of Mughals, 1957 massacre of Muslims and Indian subcontinent becoming part of British Raj. It may also be kept in mind that Britain was not alone; other countries establishing their colonies included France, Portugal and Holland. The two World Wars were also for attaining supremacy and the alliance of big powers created UNO, to protect their vested interest by retaining the veto power with them. They also created World Bank and IMF to control economic policies of the developing countries and keep them perennially dependent on them.
Developed world after having achieved food security also started working on achieving control on energy products. This point had become obvious in mid sixties after a war in the Middle East that only those countries will enjoy power that have control on fossil oil and gas reserves. Multinational exploration and production companies now have virtual control on these reserves, not the countries where these reserves are located. Crude oil prices are driven by hedge funds and not demand and supply. The worst victims of ‘ongoing energy war’ are Iraq, Iran, Libya and Nigeria. If economic sanctions were imposed on Iran to curb its oil export, Libyan and stolen Iraqi oil is being sold in the global markets by groups enjoying support of Zionists.
Ironically Muslim countries are the worst victim of ‘divide and rule’ legacy of colonial era. They have been divided into sects and sub-sects. Though, there is interfaith harmony to a large extent, Western media, under the control of Zionists, is constantly talking about Shia-Sunni war. The simultaneous emergence of ISIL and Israeli attack on Gaza are part of the grand agenda to render Muslims powerless, through financial assassination. Muslims don’t need leaders propagating killing but reformist talking about interfaith harmony. They must learn to distinguish between friend and foe or get ready for their elimination because only the hypocrite will perpetuate.