08302016Tue
Last update: Tue, 30 Aug 2016 06pm

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For the first quarter of the calendar year 2016, the misery from the previous two quarters continued; Al-Ghazis sales dropped by 18 percent year-on-year while the bottom line fell by 24 percent. However, lean management and rigorous cost discipline, as per the companys Directors Report, kept the cost of sales low and gross margins ended up expanding by 100 bps.
MCB continued where it left 1QCY16 - another interim dividend of Rs4/share was announced yesterday, taking the year-to-date dividend to Rs8/share. Mind you, the consolidated after-tax profits still went down by 18 percent year-on-year - expectedly though.
The robustness of petroleum product sales has continued its fervour in FY17; with OCACs latest volumes for oil marketing companies, sales of key petroleum products have increased by around 22 percent year-on-year in the first month of F17, driven primarily by growth in motor spirit (petrol) and furnace oil. July 2016 data shows that while the growth of furnace oil increased by 28 percent year-on-year, and motor spirit volumes jumped by 31 percent year-on-year; high speed diesel (HSD) volumes were dreary with just over five percent year-on-year growth, and a decline of 19 percent in month-on-month comparison.
Allied Bank Limited (ABL) is in mighty good shape. Even in times of low spreads, low interest rates, declining yields, super tax and all that - it continues to churn year-on-year profit growth, quarter after quarter. The bank posted its 1HCY16 financial results yesterday, declaring interim cash divined of Rs1.75/share - to go along with a 17 percent year-on-year hike in after-tax profits.
Unfortunate as it is, the lingering hostility between Pakistan and India is often viewed as normal in South Asia. What's more unfortunate is limited room to manoeuvre to start the process of normalization of relations between the estranged neighbours. Yet, even with such low bar, the mutual sparring in the last week or so has come as a surprise.
That it has taken Thomas Piketty and the UNDP/Oxfam to kick-start the discourse on inequality in Pakistan speaks volumes about the country's economic intelligentsia, or lack thereof.
All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others; what George Orwell said in his timeless allegorical fable novel Animal Farm diabolically, but within reason, still holds true. The world is unequal and though it has managed to tackle poverty or reduce it; as poverty alleviation policies have brought people out of destitution, inequality has increased.