December saw a phenomenal month-on-month growth of 18.51 percent in large scale manufacturing (LSM) index. Then again, December is a month of seasonal spike for LSM. So there shouldn't be any hurrahs there.
The country's largest exporter of cement saw a drop in sales abroad; particularly due to softer demand from Afghanistan. However local sales were beefed up, thanks to firm domestic prices. Growth in domestic dispatches was sketchy, however the top line ticked up by a reasonable 9.8 percent during 1HFY15 compared to similar period of the previous fiscal.
Like its peers, Bank Alfalah posted high double digit growth both in the revenues and in bottom line. No doubt 2014 was a high profitable year for Pakistan's banking industry, which has benefited from the government's conscious efforts of re-profiling its domestic banking debts maturity.
Faysal Bank treaded cautiously in 2014; keeping costs in check to boost profitability. Its mark-up earning increased by 16 percent while the interest bearing expense was up by just nine percent to make the net mark-up income growth 28 percent for CY14. There was no significant change in provisioning as the core income after provisioning jumped by 31 percent.
CY14 was a festive year for most banks. All thanks to the hefty yields on risk-free government securities, banks feasted on their heavy investments in PIBs. Like many other banks, Habib Metropolitan Bank (HMB) was also on easy street this year where its bottom line boasted a healthy rise of 40 percent year-on-year.
From top to bottom, Sindh Bank has plenty of reasons to flatter its stakeholders and its healthy bottom line growth of 62 percent year-on-year in CY14 would definitely not go amiss. Despite being a relatively new lender, its deposits are constantly growing and that too with the general public contributing the major share to banks deposit growth. No wonder then, the provincial lender has won over depositors confidence in a short time span.
Latest data by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority show that Warid Telecom had acquired over 44,075 LTE subscribers as of January 2015. Now in a market of 136 million 2G subscriptions, this is an insignificant number. But context is very important here.