Last update: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 01am

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With positives encircling cement players, the sector has started regaining its lost charm on local bourse. While investors have been tied up in tweaking their earnings’ estimates, trading in cement stocks has been in full swing.
The imposition of moratorium on KASB Bank has shaken the confidence of depositors in the regulator as a lender of last resort and has disturbed the equilibrium of financial system. There were incidences in the past (post-privatization and deregulated regime) when a couple of banks had worse circumstances than what KASB had. But the regulator came to rescue, instead of asking them to pack their bags.
Yes, you heard it right. Pakistan has been exporting crude oil for some months now. And while there is nothing wrong with that, it sure sounds interesting especially considering that the country is energy deficient and meets a bulk of its need through imports. Starting in July 2014, crude oil exports seem to have a significant share in the total exports of the petroleum group that includes naphtha and other petroleum product exports. In 4MFY15, crude oil exports stood at 156,513 metric tons, which is equivalent to 1.32 million barrels of crude oil. In dollar terms, these exports have generated a foreign exchange of around $120 million in the first four months of FY15.
With petroleum imports tapering off one would have thought that the import bill would also follow suit. But that has not been the case. According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), imports were in fact up about 16 percent in the four months ending October 2014 as huge increases in imports under food group, machinery group and agri & other chemicals group offset the impact of tamed fuel imports.
The latest export numbers provide a sigh of relief. During October 2014, aggregate textile exports registered a growth of 6.51 percent on year-on-year basis. Here, the growth in value added segment deserves some brownie points.
The value of exports that passed through customs last month stood at $1.9 billion, a gain of 5 percent year-on-year. But that nominal increase wasn able to offset the decline in preceding months, owing to which the four month export numbers were still down about 6.8 percent.
While the independent power producers might be facing tough times in servicing its loans owing to liquidity crunch caused by rising circular debt, the profitability of the power companies soared in the first three months of FY15.