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2015 was supposed to be a tough-ish year for banks. Many out there thought banks would not be able to repeat the 2014 heroics. Half the year gone, and the pundits seem to be proven wrong. Banking is profitable, more so if you are a bigger bank. And MCB undoubtedly is a big bank, with healthy profits. Low interest rates, a vigilant SBP, falling yields and all that - the pre-tax profits still grew by a handsome 34percent, year-on-year.
What do sugar and wheat have in common? The answer is a rising support price and low exports amid excess production. The numbers for the year ended FY15 reveal that exports for sugar declined by 8 percent compared to last year to $282 million, while wheat exports declined more than 93 percent year-on-year to almost nothing.
Recent actions of Punjab Food Authority have been a welcome addition. The good performance of PFA has rightfully been appreciated and PFA has become an example for the food authorities in other provinces also. The official figures of Punjab Food Authority state that so far 5,500 eating places have been raided, out of which 250 have been sealed, and 2,500 served notices.
Petroleum volumes have been steadily trotting up the growth ladder largely defined by consumption of major petroleum products. Fall in international crude oil prices have also played their role in pushing up petroleum demand in the country. The ever-increasing demand for power generation has kept furnace oil consumption propped up, while the motor gasoline, commonly known as petrol has been up and roaring due to CNG curtailment and shrinking CNG and petrol prices differential.
International prices of gold have taken a battering in recent months. At present, the shiny metal trades close to a five-year low, as investors across the globe appear disinterested in hoarding gold, even after the recent price plunge.
Engro Fertilizer Limited (ENGRO) amassed more profits in the 2QCY15 alone than it managed in the whole of 1HCY14. Such has been the turnaround, driven by the strong top line that the after-tax profits doubled on year-on-year basis, both for the half year ended and the 2QCY15. For starters, it sold more urea at better prices. More importantly, the primary margins also improved. The deleveraging drive continues to improve the bottom line too.
Last week, a Japanese envoy met with Ishaq Dar to raise matters related to taxation and the hurdles being faced by Japanese companies operating in Pakistan. The finance minister appreciated the contribution of these companies to Pakistan’s economy, saying that they were an “important facet of Pak-Japan economic linkages.” Let’s have a look at these linkages.

 



 
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Banking Review 2014


Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $62.649bn
Per Cap Income $1,512
GDP Growth 4.24%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyJune
Trade Balance $-2.378 bln
Exports $2.016 bln
Imports $4.394 bln
WeeklyAugust 27, 2015
Reserves $18.509 bln