Cement sales during last seven months have grown
by 23 percent to over 9 million tonnes as opposed to 7.349 million
tonnes over the last corresponding period. According to estimates,
cement sales are likely to witness an overall increase of 17 percent
during the current financial year, to nearly 16 million tonnes. This
includes 14.5 million tonnes of domestic sales and 1.4 million
tonnes of exports. Capacity utilization level for the industry
during this period was at 85 percent as compared to 74 percent
during the corresponding period of last year. Northern region has
been a dominant contributor to the increase in sales as the
utilization levels for the North Region was higher than that of
According to some reports, Dawood Group has
confirmed its intention to raise its shareholding in Engro Chemicals
to 51 percent from the existing 42 percent stake in the company
after the purchase of 19 percent shares of Engro last month. The
group intends to buy the target number of shares from the market in
order to takeover management control of the company.
According to the lead manager to the offer of
Attock Petroleum, provisional figures show that over 200,000
applications have been received till Wednesday and the number is
expected to touch 220,000 by the end of the week. Based on the
provisional figure, the number comes to above 10 times of the offer.
Initially balloting was scheduled to take place on February 8, 2005.
However, due to difficulties faced by some banks in processing the
applications, balloting could be delayed.
Reportedly, the Privatization Commission has
received 12 Expression of Interest (EOIs) for the sale of 70.442mn
shares (98.4%) of the company along with management control. The
list includes almost all the existing fertilizer companies and some
leading brokerage houses. The government is expected to realize
about Rs 12 billion (based on the reference price of Rs 157 per
share). Some analysts say that interested investor may submit even
higher bid, as high as Rs 170 per share. In case Fauji Fertilizer
Company acquires Pak Arab, it is likely to have positive impact in
terms of increasing FFC's product range. This will eventually
support the marketing of the existing fertilizer products.
PAKISTAN TELECOMMUNICATION COMPANY
The Privatization Commission has received 14
Expressions of Interest in response to its offer for 26 percent shares
of the Pakistan Telecommunication Company with transfer of management
control. The parties, which submitted the EoIs, included Emirates
Telecommunications Corporation of UAE, Singapore Telecommunications,
Mobile Telecommunications Company of Kuwait, MTN International of
South Africa, Saudi Oger, China Mobile Communication Company, Millicom
International, Saudi Telecom, Telecom Malaysia and other regional
giants of the telecom sector. However, the Commission has not
finalized the offer price as yet.
PPL has announced its 1HFY05 results, posting after
tax profits of Rs 4,056 million (EPS: Rs 5.91/share). The bottom line
has shown an improvement of 47 percent over the same period last year.
A 39 percent increase in net sales revenue of the company has flowed
down to the bottom line. A massive increase in other income by Rs 144
million, which mainly represents interest income of the company, has
also supported the growth in bottom line. The growth in the top line
has mainly resulted due to a price increase as opposed to any major
volumetric gains. The revised pricing agreements allow semi annual
increase in wellhead prices of Sui and Kandhkot gas field up till
financial year 2007.
FFCL has announced its full year results posting
after tax earnings of Rs 4,004 million (EPS: Rs 13.57) as opposed to
Rs 3,145 million (EPS: Rs 10.66) for last year, an almost 27 percent
YoY increase. The company also declared Rs 3.00 per share cash and 15
percent bonus dividend along with the annual results. A 30 percent
cash and a 15 percent bonus dividend is something that surprised
everybody. Overall, 2004 has been a year of positive surprises by the
company in terms of highest dividend payout and two bonuses in a year.
However, analysts advise investors not to get confused with the
management objectives and re-start the old merger story between FFC
and Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim. A 107 percent payout ratio gives clear
indication about the investment plans of Fauji Foundation, which is
becoming more aggressive in the upcoming privatization process. Beside
this, all the group companies together have to invest Rs 2,800 million
in the Moroccan joint venture in early 2005. The results came in lower
than expectations, which can be attributed to higher than expected
sales of imported fertilizer (DAP), which although has improved the
top line, but has reduced the overall margins for the company. A 27
percent growth in the bottom line is still a healthy sign and a higher
DAP sales also justify company's objective to support its urea sales.