Friday, February 10, 2012

SECP holds seminar on online incorporation, eServices

The SECP held a seminar on online incorporation, eServices and measures to increase corporatization at the Rawalpindi- Islamabad Tax Bar Association, Rawalpindi.

Mr. Muhammad Siddique, Registrar of Companies, highlighted various measures of the SECP to facilitate the corporate entities and consultants.  He also explained that fast-track services would be launched shortly.

Mr. Shaukat Hussain, Additional Registrar, CRO, Islamabad, answered participants’ questions and sought their suggestions for further improvement.

A detailed presentation was made by Mr. Muhammad Akram Qureshi, Deputy Registrar, covering the relevant provisions of the Company Laws especially highlighting different aspects of incorporation of companies and post incorporation statutory compliance.

Mr. Muhammad Jamil Aamir, Assistant Registrar, explained various steps of online filing, creation of eServices accounts for availability of name and further steps/procedure for online incorporation and efiling of various statutory returns.

The participants included practicing chartered accountants, cost and management accountants, lawyers and corporate practitioners.

Mr Shaukat Baluch, President, Rawalpindi-Islamabad Bar Association, appreciated the efforts of the SECP and suggested that such seminars may be held on a regular basis for the benefits of the corporate sector and professionals.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Engro Foods announces profit of Rs 891 million

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
 The Board of Directors of Engro Foods Limited has announced a profit after tax of Rs. 891 million for the year ended, December 31, 2011 as compared to Rs 176 million in 2010.
 Engro Foods’ revenue for 2011 recorded an increase of 43% and stood at Rs. 30 billion as compared to Rs. 21 billion in the 2010. The Company also announced an EPS of Rs. 1.22 (basic & diluted) for the year 2011 as compared to EPS of Rs 0.31 in the year 2010.
 Engro Foods continued to consolidate its growth through the year and during the first half of the year, in May 2011, the foods business raised Rs. 1.2 billion by issuing 48 million shares to the institutional investors – mainly the US & UK mutual funds – at a share price of Rs. 25 per share. The Company’s vision to enhance its footprint and pursue a focused growth strategy led to the first-ever public offering of 27 million shares of the business to the general public at a price of Rs. 25 per share, inclusive of a premium of Rs. 15 per share.
 The Company has continued its aggressive business strategy of growth and diversification and achieved volume growth of 22% in 2011. Building on its promise of elevating consumer delight, the business diversified into popularly priced, high quality product category with the launch of Dairy Omung – a nutritious and affordable dairy product for lower income consumers. Innovation remained at the core of the business’s product expansion strategies this year and we also introduced Olper’s variants of Badam Zafran and Rose flavors which were well received by the market.
 The year 2011 also marked the relaunch of the refreshing Olfrute brand which continues to reflect strong consistent growth in its volume base. With six invigorating flavors Olfrute registered a volume growth of 236% in 2011.
 Omore’s volume increased by 43% in 2011 and the company continued to investment in its brands, product development & diversification and cold chain infrastructure.
 The Company’s Nara Dairy Farm continued to remain a rich and nutritious source of raw material for its dairy segment. The Nara Farm produced over 5.8 million liters of milk in 2011 with a total herd size of over 3,000 animals.
 Mirroring its success in the local market, Engro Corp – the parent company – made its foray within the international arena with acquisition of Al-Safa – a leading halal meat brand in North America – at a total cost of US $6.3 million in April 2011. The business is owned by Engro Corp, but managed by Engro Foods.  During the first 8 months of operations (since the acquisition) till December 31, 2011, Al-Safa brand sales were US $5.3 million and the operational loss was US $ 1.2 million including the pre-commencement cost of US $0.33 million.
 Since Engro Corporation currently owns the equity stake in Engro Foods Canada these losses are not included in the Company’s financial performance. Engro Foods will buy the equity shares from the holding Company at the actual cost post-approval of the Regulator.
 The Board expressed confidence in the strategic vision and direction of the management and indicated a clear signal to pursue a long-term growth strategy by building an inherent cost-consciousness and product positioning for the business.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


The Central Board of Directors of the State Bank of Pakistan at its meeting held under the Chairmanship of SBP Governor, Mr. Yaseen Anwar in Karachi today has decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at 12 percent after thoroughly considering the need to revive growth and emerging risks to macroeconomic stability.

‘To promote competition in the banking system and to offer alternative sources of savings to the population, SBP has been encouraging depositors to invest in government securities through Investor’s Portfolio Securities (IPS) accounts,’ the State Bank of Pakistan said in its Monetary Policy Decision.

It said the option of maintaining saving deposits or investments in IPS accounts could provide stiff  competition  to  banks  forcing  them  to  offer  better  returns  on  deposits.  ‘This  in  turn  would incentivize savings and help lower the currency in circulation,’ it added.

Moreover, it will improve the transmission of monetary policy changes to market interest rates, SBP’s  Monetary Policy  Decision said,  adding  that  over  time  this  strategy  would  also  diversify  the government’s funding source, deepen the secondary market of government securities, and facilitate the issuance of corporate debt.

Following is the complete text of the Monetary Policy Decision:

The SBP reduced its policy rate by 200 bps, to 12 percent, in FY12 so far. The objective of adopting this stance is to support revival of private investment in the economy despite a constraining domestic and global economic environment.   The primary factors in support of this stance were the expectation  of  average  CPI  inflation  remaining  within  the  announced  target  in  FY12  and  a  small projected external current account deficit. In pursuing this stance SBP did acknowledge the risks to macroeconomic stability emanating from fiscal weaknesses and falling foreign financial inflows. These include resurgence of medium term inflationary pressures and challenges SBP is facing in managing market liquidity and preserving foreign exchange reserves.

A reassessment of latest developments and projections indicate that macroeconomic risks have somewhat increased during the last two months. For instance, although the year‐on‐year CPI inflation stands at 11 percent in October 2011, the month‐on‐month inflation trends, averaging at around 1.3 percent per month during the first four months of FY12, show existence of inflationary pressures. The sifting of commodity level CPI data reveal that the number of CPI items exhibiting year‐on‐year inflation of more than 10 percent is consistently increasing and almost all of these items belong to the non‐food category. The government has also increased its wheat support price by Rs100 to Rs1050 per 40kg for the next wheat procurement season.

Thus, while the average inflation may settle around the targeted 12 percent for FY12, it is uncertain that inflation will come down to a single digit level in FY13. The main determinants of this inflation behaviour are government borrowing from the banking system and inertial effects of high

inflation on its expected path. The severe energy shortages are also holding back the effective utilization of productive capacity and adding to the high inflation‐weak growth problem.

On the external front, the earlier comfortable external current account position for FY12, which helped SBP in lowering its policy rate, has become less benign. The actual external current account deficit of $1.6 billion for the first four months of FY12 is now higher than the earlier projected deficit for the year. The main reason for this larger than expected deterioration is the rising trade deficit. In particular, the windfall gains to export receipts due to abnormally high cotton prices in FY11 have dissipated faster than anticipated. This is indicated by slightly less than $2 billion per month export receipts in September and October 2011. At the same time, international oil prices of around $110 per barrel and strong growth in non‐oil imports have kept the total import growth at an elevated level of close to $3.4 billion per month. Adding to the challenges faced by the external sector is the precarious global economic outlook.

A relatively larger external current account deficit in FY12 would require higher financial inflows to maintain foreign exchange reserves. However, during JulyOctober, FY12, the total net direct and portfolio inflows were only $207 million while there was a net outflow of $113 million in official loans. As a consequence, SBP’s liquid foreign exchange reserves have declined to $13.3 billion at end‐October
2011 compared to $14.8 billion at end‐June 2011. Given the scheduled increase in repayments of
outstanding  loans  in  H2FY12,  realization  of  substantial  foreign  flows,  especially  the  proceeds  of assumed privatization receipts, euro bond, Coalition Support Funds, and 3G licence fees, becomes important for strengthening the external position.

A reflection of widening external current account deficit and declining financial inflows can be seen in the reduction of Rs115 billion in the Net Foreign Assets (NFA) of SBP’s balance sheet during 1
July 18 November, 2011. This implies that to meet the economy’s prevailing demand for money, SBP has to provide substantial liquidity in the system, at least to the extent of compensating for the declining NFA of SBP. As of 28 November 2011, the outstanding amount of liquidity injected by SBP through its Open Market Operations (OMOs) is Rs340 billion. This is significantly higher than normal SBP operations and appears to have developed characteristics of a permanent nature at this point in time.

A dominant source of demand for money and thus liquidity injections by SBP is government borrowings for budgetary support from the banking system. Excluding the issuance of government securities  of  Rs391  billion  to  settle  the  circular  debt  and  commodity  loans,  the  government  has borrowed Rs255 billion from scheduled banks and Rs62 billion from SBP during 1 July 18 November,
2011 to finance its current year’s budget deficit. The growth in private sector credit has remained muted so far but may pick up in coming months as the desired effects of a cumulative decrease of 200 bps in the policy rate and reduction in financial constraints of the energy sector gather momentum.

In this context where government is the main user of the system’s liquidity and banks remain hesitant to extend credit to the private sector, SBP faces a dilemma. Efforts to scale down liquidity injections could have implications for settlement of payments in the interbank market, which is an important consideration given SBP’s mandate of maintaining financial stability. Even if these considerations are addressed, the government may end up settling its obligations by borrowing from SBP. This does not bode well for government’s own commitment of keeping such borrowings at zero on quarterly basis. The marginally increasing trend of these injections, on the other hand, also carries inflationary risk, which is not consistent with the objective of achieving and maintaining price stability.

There are three solutions to this predicament of reconciling price and financial stability considerations and supporting private investment in the economy. First, the government needs to ensure that all or major parts of budgeted foreign inflows materialize as soon as possible. This will alleviate pressure on the balance of payments and help inject fresh rupee liquidity in the system. Second,  sooner  than  later  the  government  will  have  to  initiate  comprehensive  tax  reforms  that broadens the tax base of the economy. This is of paramount importance to reduce the government’s borrowing requirements from the scheduled banks that are currently not consistent with the objective of promoting private sector and economic growth. Third, efforts need to be stepped up to improve financial deepening and increase competition in the banking system.

The last of these solutions is something that SBP has been actively working on. For instance, to promote  competition  in  the  banking  system  and  to  offer  alternative  sources  of  savings  to  the population, SBP has been encouraging depositors to invest in government securities through Investor’s Portfolio Securities (IPS) accounts. The option of maintaining saving deposits or investments in IPS accounts could provide stiff competition to banks forcing them to offer better returns on deposits. This in turn would incentivize savings and help lower the currency in circulation. Moreover, it will improve the transmission of monetary policy changes to market interest rates. Over time this strategy would also diversify the government’s funding source, deepen the secondary market of government securities, and facilitate the issuance of corporate debt.

Finally, it must be understood that there are uncertainties involved in realizing the full benefits of these measures. These uncertainties can potentially have adverse effects on SBP’s recent efforts to support private sector credit and investment in the economy. Therefore, after giving due consideration to the need to revive growth and emerging risks to macroeconomic stability, the Central Board of Directors of SBP has decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at 12 percent.”