The Indian Prime Minister has been signalling an urge to improving economic ties in South Asia, first with the invitation to leaders from neighbouring countries at his oath-taking ceremony and now with the news to set up a South Asia Development Bank. While efforts towards regional integration are indeed commendable, particularly when they stem from Track-1 initiatives, their fate often meets discouraging ends.
Its not looking pretty for the ruling party at the center. The Islamabad-based free-market think tank, Prime, has just released its 3rd tracking report of the PML-Ns economic agenda, which reflects only modest economic achievements relative to the great promises made in the party's manifesto.
Growing top line was considered a guarantee for a growing bottom line, not very long ago, for the local fertiliser market leader Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC). The top line growth has now confined to single digits, as flattish prices and static volumes have left little room. The bottom line, though, continues double-digits shift, but sadly on the wrong side for the urea giant.
In a recent development, the Board of Investment (BoI) has prepared a business improvement plan with the objective of ensuring a more conducive business environment. Going by the news, the governments commitment to improving the business climate is related to the IMFs EFF. Subsequently, BoI was asked to lead the formulation of a plan, with a technical committee constituted to work on Ease of Doing Business (DB).
Pundits at the stock market and Ministry of Finance are triumphant over the Moody's revised outlook on Pakistan's foreign currency government bond as well as on the outlook of big five banks ratings. In both cases, the ratings remained same with the outlook changing from negative to stable.
Life comes full circle for the fertilizer companies. Once the blue eyed sector, it has been under some stress of late for one reason or another. The sole DAP fertilizer producer Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim (FBBL) is the first one to make public the woes of first half. The company has still made profits, and the 1H CY14 performance is by no means its lowest ebb, it has seen worse.