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Difficulties remain for Engro Foods Limited (KSE: EFOODS). Company financials disseminated to the KSE yesterday showed an all-round deterioration in profit margins for the half-year ended June 30, 2014.
The meal was there for the taking and it appears Allied Bank Limited (ABL) made a good feast of it. Its half-yearly profits were driven by the top line, a deviation from the recent trend. Governments never-ending borrowing appetite was fed well by the banks and ABL must not have shied away from it. The 21 percent year-on-year top line growth shows just that.
Call it superstitious, but yesterday's 666-point slide at Karachi Stock Exchange doesn't seem too well for the market. The 2.2 percent fall yesterday-the biggest single-day fall since September 30, 2013, probably hurt a lot of sentiments or egos or both. Thankfully though, those who followed this column on July 18th probably avoided getting their fingers burnt.
A 10-month low inflation could not have come at a better time for the politically-embattled government. The latest numbers reveal CPI for July 2014 at 7.88 percent, despite the Ramazan factor. Yes, some of it is a result of active price administration and softening commodity prices, but the government wouldn't mind as long as the good news keep coming in times of dire need.
To give credit where its due, FY14 saw the PML-N government giving credit where it was long overdue: the private sector. With government borrowing from the central bank and from commercial banks screeching to their lowest levels in recent memory, private sector credit off-take took off last year.
Pakistani SMEs may have multiple business issues, but finding buyers and sellers online shouldn be a big deal for them. After all internet is now available in all major cities and more and more people are taking to online communication. But a latest EIU-eBay report shows that SMEs need more than internet access and entrepreneurial flair to thrive in conducting cross-border online trade.
The news of Lafarge’s acquisition, which has made Bestway Cement the largest cement manufacturer in the country, has now given way to news of further expansion by competitors. Reportedly, DGKC, which was among the two short-listed parties for the acquisition, might reconsider expansion plans, this time in the Southern region.


Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 17,098.45 0.11
Arrow Nasdaq 4,580.27 0.50
Arrow S&P 2,003.37 0.33
Arrow FTSE 6,819.75 0.20
Arrow DAX 9,470.17 0.08
Arrow CAC-40 4,381.04 0.34
Arrow Nikkei 15,424.59 0.23
Arrow H.Seng 24,742.06 0.01
Arrow Sensex 26,638.11 0.29

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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.311 bln
Exports $2.027 bln
Imports $4.338 bln
WeeklyAugust 28, 2014
Reserves $13.582 bln