05042016Wed
Last update: Wed, 04 May 2016 12pm

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Compared to last year, Pakistan's telecom giant has started off this calendar year on an upbeat note. As per first quarter results (ending March 31, 2016) announced to the KSE by Pakistan Telecommunications Co. Limited (KSE: PTC), the PTCL Group had accumulated net profits nearly 2.5 times the level seen in 1QCY15. All thanks to visible decline in core costs and operating expenditures, besides some friendly non-operating elements!
If one looks at the global map the South Asian region without a doubt has a unique position. The eight countries in the region reflect a highly diverse landscape, multiple languages but also at the same time show immense similarities. On the other hand, this part of Asia is the least economically integrated region and also faces numerous challenges on the climate front, and terrorism. It is also a part of world which undergoing significant changes and in some cases turbulence.
While we celebrate another spectacular month of auto sales in FY16 (Read "Marching auto sales," published April 13, 2016) lets not forget to mourn the tractor industry; for the nine months ended FY16, tractor sales have plummeted by a third year-on-year, while production is down 39 percent. This is in spite of a four-decade low policy rate, increased credit to the agriculture sector, and lower fuel prices.
About the same time last month this column argued that remittance slowdown from Saudi Arabia was a myth (See: The myth of Saudi remittance slowdown published Mar, 14, 2016). Recent evidence shared by the central bank points to the same direction, although of course an overall remittance slowdown cannot be disputed.
Pakistan Oilfields Limited (PSX: POL) along with the other oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) companies has undoubtedly been a victim of low crude oil price, which has affected the firms profitability since FY15.
Lower oil prices have helped to scale up the petroleum product spread due to higher demand of the end product. Gross refining margins for the refinery segment have witnessed improvements in recent months.
Attock Petroleum Limiteds (PSX: APL) financial position seems positive at a first glance; earnings for 9MFY16 jumped up by 22 percent year-on-year - a growth rate much higher than what the market was anticipating. And this one reason steals away the spotlight from other core factors that are visible while digging deeper.