PSO management reviews company’s performance

KARACHI (Staff Reporter): The Board of Management (BoM) of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) convened at the PSO head office to review the company’s performance for the year ended June 30, 2013.  For the period ended June 30, 2013, PSO posted its highest ever turnover of Rs 1,295 billion as compared to Rs 1,200 billion in FY12 representing a growth of 8pc. Similarly the Company’s bottom line improved significantly as after tax earnings rose to Rs. 12.56 billion as compared to Rs. 9.06 billion in the previous financial year.

Substantial growth was also displayed as earnings per share grew by 38.64pc to Rs. 50.84 as compared to Rs. 36.67 (diluted) during the corresponding period last year.

In the period under review, PSO continued to dominate the market with its share in the Black Oil and White Oil segments standing at 75.5pc and 55.7pc respectively, thereby contributing to an overall market share of 64.3pc. During the stated period, the Company’s liquid fuel sales grew from 12.3 Million Metric Tons to 12.5 Million Metric Tons during the current year.

Based on this performance, the PSO BoM announced a final cash dividend of Rs. 2.5 per share in addition to the earlier interim cash dividends of Rs. 2.5 per share (equivalent to 25pc) and issuance of bonus stock at the rate of 20pc. Combined with the earlier interim cash dividends the total cash dividend for the year stands at Rs.5 per share.

During the meeting the Board Members appreciated the comprehensive debt resolution plans introduced by the Government of Pakistan (GoP) over the past fiscal year which have resulted in significant clearance of circular debt from the energy sector. These settlements significantly eased the pressure on PSO’s liquidity position, reduced financial costs while increasing profitability for the current period.

State Bank delegation visits PMAS-AAUR

RAWALPINDI (Staff Reporter): A delegation of the SBP headed by Mazhar-ul-Haq visited Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi Thursday with an aim to establish linkages between technical/educational institutions and the banking industry. The delegation met with the VC Prof Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad and faculty members to explore possibilities of utilising PMAS-AAUR’s strength for conduct of seminars/workshops/awareness programs on development finance for the benefit of majority of potential stakeholders.

In the meeting participants also focus on exploring commercially viable proposals on area/region specific projects which could be financed under existing bank credit schemes.

They agreed to initiate development finance courses/specialisation/majors to cater to the growing demand for the development finance and inviting participants from banks/financial institutions in the programs conducted by PMAS-AAUR having some commercial interest for the banks.

It was also decided in the meeting that both parties will conduct, arrange, sponsor regional surveys, empirical studies on key and burning issues relating to expansion, growth and impact of development finance.

On the occasion, Professor Dr Rai Niaz Ahmad gave a presentation on the educational, research and extension programmes of the university and its future plans. He hailed the financial support from the delegation for different projects like raising nurseries, community center for quallity foods, olive plantation and ladies hostel. He also stressed for group work and to make viable projects.

In the meeting, it was decided that a joint conference will be organized to create awareness about Development Finance Support Program by SBP, other commercial banks and PMAS-AAUR by inviting the general public, graduates, alumni and business/industry owners in the 1st week of November. A committee was also constituted from both sides to make arrangements.

On the occasion, Masood Asghar, Junior Joint Director Rawalpindi Zone SBP,Atiqa Tanveer, Development Finance Officer Rawalpindi Zone SBP, PMAS-AAUR, Registrar Shahid Ali Khan, Director ORIC, Dr. Ghulam Jillani, Academic Deans and administrative officers of the University were also present.

Oil slides on profit-taking after Syria fears

SINGAPORE (AFP): Oil prices slipped in Asian trade Thursday as investors took profits after concerns over a possible US-led military strike on Syria pushed prices to multi-month highs. New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in October, fell 71 cents to $109.39 in afternoon trade after rising to its highest level since May 2011 the day before. Brent North Sea crude for October delivery shed 83 cents to $115.78 after hitting its highest price in six months on Wednesday.

"Traders are taking a breather," Kenny Kan, market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, told AFP.

Markets are "keenly watching" developments leading up to any strike against Syria to punish the government for its alleged use of chemical weapons.

"Even though Syria is not a key oil producer, the violence in Syria could potentially disrupt other Middle Eastern oil exporters and cause the driving up of oil prices," said Lee Chen Hoay, investment analyst at Phillip Futures in Singapore.

Sanjeev Gupta, head of Asia-Pacific oil and gas practice at Ernst & Young, added: "Crude prices will be volatile till a clearer picture about the impact of any attack by Western powers on Syria emerges, and sharp spikes in prices are possible in the short term."

Women have great potential to spark economic growth

ISLAMABAD (Online): Women’s economic empowerment has a crucial role in the socio-economic development of Pakistan therefore we have decided to cooperate with the IWCCI to meet the noble objective.  This was the crux of the speeches delivered by the spouses of Ambassador of Australia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka at a function organised by Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Ms Susan Heyward, Herry Listyawati, and Kumari Weerakkody said that we will jointly take steps.

 to ensure capacity building and empowerment of women so that they can play their due role in the national development.

They said that supporting entrepreneurship is the best way to empower women which helps them realise their potential and fulfil their aspirations.

“We will enrich the women with practical skills for future livelihood endeavours,” they said adding that we will look into introducing some unique income-generating projects for local women.

Advancing women’s participation in all walks of life has become imperative without which a country cannot develop, they observed.

Speaking at the occasion, founder president and incumbent President of the IWCCI Samina Fazil and Farida Rashid said that Pakistani women needs improved access to education, health care and economic resources so that culture of discrimination can be successfully eliminated.

They called upon the developed countries to help business chambers enhance their technical capacity and organisational capability so that businesswomen may not face serious hardships in future.

The leaders of women entrepreneurs said that we are committed to increasing the opportunities and well-being of women and consider gender equality as an integral part of sustainable development.

We will continue to raise public awareness, try to gain influence with decision makers, support and promote women’s leadership agenda and advocate for a change, said Samina Fazil and Farida Rashid.

Women comprise more than 50 per cent of total population but they have been forced into a systemic gender subordination which has pushed Pakistan at the bottom of Global Gender Gap Report.

OGDCL convenes annual meeting on September 25

ISLAMABAD (APP): The annual meeting of Oil and Gas Development Authority (OGDCL) would be held on September 25 in the federal capital. The meeting would confirm the minutes of 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on October 4, 2012, says a press release. The AGM would approve the final cash dividend @ 27.5 percent, i.e. Rs . 2.75/- per share (having face value of Rs 10/- each) for the year ended June 30, 2013 as recommended by the Board of Directors.

This is an addition to three interim cash dividends totaling 55 percent, i.e. 5.5/- per share already paid during the year.

The annual General Meeting will appoint auditors for the year 2013-14 and fix their remunerations. The present auditors M/s KPMG Taseer Hadi & Co Chartered Accountants and M/s M Yousuf Adil Saleem & Co stand retired on the conclusion of the meeting.

Understanding policy implications of NTMs crucial

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Understanding the policy implications of non-tariff measures is crucial for policy-makers and researchers to defend the trade interests of Pakistan, said Sajid Hussain, Director General PITAD, while addressing the inaugural session of the two days training course on “Economics and Policy of Non-Tariff Measures” organized at Punjab Civil Officers Mess Lahore under the European Union funded TRTA II programme. The TRTA II programme is funded by the European Union.

 and aims at enhancing export competitiveness of Pakistan.

The programme has three main components where Component 1 is about trade policy capacity building and is implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC). The training course is jointly conducted by ITC and PITAD in association with the Department of Industries, Commerce and Investment Lahore. The training is delivered by master trainer from PITAD Muhammad Shafiq Haider.

Mohammad Owais Khan, Programme Officer ITC, stressed the need to develop expertise on NTMs as these measures have assumed greater importance after the establishment of WTO and conclusion of hundreds of bilateral and regional trade agreements. He provided background of the TRTA II programme and ITC involvement in the programme to develop trade related expertise of the stakeholders.

The purpose of the training course is to build the capacity of the officers working in various ministries and government departments regarding the economics and policy of non-tariff measures. The training will focus on the difference between NTMs and NTBs and how the NTMs become barriers to trade. It will also focus on the government motives for using the NTMs. The welfare effects of NTMs will be particularly analyzed during the training. The training will take an in-depth look at non-tariff measures (NTMs) which appear in many guises and serve many purposes. Such issues are the core topic of the modern trade experts and negotiators.

Seventy government officers and researchers from federal government ministries, implementing agencies, provincial departments and research organizations are participating in the training to strengthen their capacity regarding NTMs. The training will equip the participants with a sound understanding of the issues and how to contribute to government policies in their professional endeavors.