Last update: Sat, 06 Feb 2016 11pm

BR Research: All


The quaint little town of Kunri, deep in the heartland of Sindh has been the source of some of the best chillies to be grown in all of Asia. The region which provides up to 85 percent of the countrys total chilli produce has been dubbed as the Chilli Capital of Asia. Yet its farmers have remained disconnected from the markets and the lucrative returns from the trade of their produce have been bagged by middlemen for as long as they have tilled the land.
Investing in stocks isn for the fainthearted, at least in the market conditions of late. Negativity has gripped global exchanges for a few months with many equity-tracking indexes finishing deep in the red last year. PSX (previously KSE) finished flat in 2015, coming off considerably from its August peak. In January, the benchmark index shed another five percent amid downward volatility.
Engro Powergen Qadirpur Limited (PSX: EPQL) announced its financial performance for 2015 yesterday, presenting a fall in its year-end earnings. EPQL is a listed public limited company with 217MW gas-based thermal power project near Qadirpur, District Ghotki, Sindh. The plant with Chinese origin is the only power plant in the country that converts low-BTU, high sulphur content permeate gas into much needed electricity.
Comfortably past its mid-term now, the PML-N looks comfortably numb on reforms. Through its latest manifesto tracker report for the Jul-Dec 2015 period released yesterday, the Islamabad-based think-tank Prime has put a number on that fairly obvious observation. The government barely passed, as it reached a 54.5 percent achievement level, a marginal improvement over last report, on its electoral pledges.
The federal finance ministry under the immense pressure of the IMF and also for meeting its individual targets keeps on encroaching provincial tax domains and is not discriminating the tax collection under various heads based on respective purposes. Thats absurd, instead of exhibiting role of the big brother and adopting holistic approach, the sole objective appears to be thinning the consolidated fiscal deficit no matter what it takes. The problem becomes compounded when the government is eyeing to run an expansionary fiscal policy in FY17 and FY18 to prepare grounds for 2018 elections.
There is little doubt that the PIA workers have been going over board by wrecking havoc on passengers, and creating a mayhem kind of environment. But if the PIA mess spilling out on the streets has really taken the government by surprise, then they should quit political careers and do something else. Nor should anyone be appalled by it; when the mob could burn a car right in front of KESCs (now K.E) office then anything and everything wrong could happen.
Pakistan's total rice exports for the month of December are down by just 3 percent year-on-year in terms of volume, but a monumental 24 percent lower in terms of dollars earned. As BR Research has reported earlier, this has largely to do with lower Basmati exports owing to stiff competition from India and a lack of innovation and R&D in newer Basmati varieties (Read: "Rice exports down on Basmati slump," Published November 30, 2015).