Indian TV Channel Disciplined for Terror Coverage

NEW DELHI � Prominent Indian editors and journalists have criticized the government for ordering a leading television news channel to go off the air for one day as a penalty for its coverage of a terror attack earlier this year.

The Editors Guild of India called the ban � the first on a media broadcaster for reporting terrorist attacks � “harsh censorship” reminiscent of emergency rule imposed in 1975, when fundamental rights were suspended in the world’s largest democracy.

An Information and Broadcasting Ministry panel said the NDTV Hindi channel allegedly revealed “strategically sensitive” information that could have been picked up by terrorist handlers and potentially harmed national security during operations to take out militants who attacked the Pathankot air base in northern India in January. Seven Indian soldiers were killed in the attack.

The panel said the TV channel put out information on weapons and on the location of fighter planes and tanks at the air base.

Denying the charges, NDTV said in a statement that it is shocking that it has been singled out. Every channel and newspaper had similar coverage. In fact, NDTV’s coverage was particularly balanced. The statement added that “after the dark days of the emergency when the press was fettered, it is extraordinary that NDTV is being proceeded against in this manner.”

The emergency rule it referred to was a 21-month period from 1975 to 1977, when India’s media was subjected to strict censorship.

Punishment protested

Calling the government’s order a direct violation of media freedom, Editors Guild of India President Raj Chengappa told VOA “this is very, very harsh punishment meted out.” The government could have taken legal recourse, he said, adding, “We think the ban is an extreme step.”

The Editors Guild has called on the government to withdraw the order.

The government has given itself the right to impose punishment on media, Chengappa said. “Today it could be a national security issue. Tomorrow the government could turn around and say, we did not particularly like the coverage of another program. What then?”

A prominent news anchor with the rival India Today media group, Rajdeep Sardesai, tweeted, “One of India’s most sober and responsible channels, NDTV India, to be banned for a day by I and B Ministry. NDTV today, who tomorrow?”

NDTV is reputed to be one of India’s most balanced channels.

Guidelines for coverage of terror attacks were communicated to the stations last year after reporting of the devastating 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai came under scrutiny. Fears were voiced that information put out by some broadcasters on the whereabouts of security forces and civilians could have helped the terrorists, who were holding hostages inside a five-star hotel. The attack claimed 170 lives.

That criticism prompted guidelines directing TV channels to avoid live broadcasts of security operations and to restrict giving out details, such as the number of hostages during an ongoing attack.

Last year, the government took Qatar-based international news channel al-Jazeera English off the air for five days for showing maps with parts of Indian territory inside Pakistan.

Source: Voice of America

Elixir Securities Limited – Analyst Briefing Takeaways

Karachi, November 01, 2016 (PPI-OT): ENGRO 3Q2016 Analyst Briefing Takeaways

Engro Corp held its analyst briefing today to discuss 3Q2016 financial results and key developments. Elixir Securities Limited presents key takeaways below:

Financial Performance:

The company reported 9M2016 bottom line of PKR8.58bn (EPS of 16.39/sh; ↓3.3%YoY) whereas 3Q PAT reported at PKR3.06bn (EPS PKR5.85, up2.5xYoY). The significant improvement in quarterly profitability is primarily attributed to one-off impairment charge booked last year on its subsidiary’s (Eximp Agri products) rice processing plant amounting to PKR2.14bn.

Apart from one-off, improvement in quarterly profitability is attributed to i) recovery in fert business in wake of higher fertilizer offtake with commencement of GoP subsidy, ii) increase in PVC volumes, iii) LNG operation at higher utilization levels.

Company’s payout ratio has also significantly improved as depicted from higher cash payout of PKR8/sh during 3Q and PKR20/sh during 9M2016.

The long term debt of the company has increased to PKR74.59bn at Sept’16 end from PKR59.58bn at Dec’15 end primarily on account of i) debt draw down for Thar Power Project and ii) conversion of LNG business’s short-term loan into Long term.

Key Developments:

As mentioned in EFERT’s briefing, the management highlighted that the Sindh High Court has declared the GIDC Act 2015 as null and void and as a result, the levy of GIDC since its inception has been declared as void ab initio. The court has further declared that all amount that has been collected to date are liable to be refunded/adjusted in future bills. Elixir Securities Limited believes that the decision would most likely be challenged by GoP in Supreme Court. Where as company would continue to provide for GIDC until further clarity.

On 5th Oct 2016, Friesland Campina Pakistan holding B.V. has made a mandatory tender offer (MTO) to acquire to 49,828,746 shares or 50% of free float at an offer price of PKR151.85/sh.

EFOODS sales, particularly for tea whitener remained under pressure on account of i) changes in tax regime and ii) rising competition. Despite falling volumetric sales and market share, profitability remained flat on YoY basis during 9M2016 at PKR2.59bn owing to i) lower milk procurement prices, ii) lower fuel and energy cost and iii) saving from lower financial charges.

During the quarter under review, management has also concluded its pilot project for Rice and Flour business on Aug’16 and decided to discontinue flour business while continue “Onaaj” rice business in wholesale level.

Petrochemical business performance has also improved during 3Q on back of i) higher PVC Ethylene core delta prices of USD304/MT during 3Q vs. USD253MT during 2Q and ii) increase in demand by 20%YoY. Resultantly, company achieved its highest ever PVC sales and production, posting 12% growth in volumes and securing 80% domestic PVC market.

Progress has been made on Thar project whereby Chinese contractor for both mining and power projects has been fully mobilized. At mine side, round the clock over-burden removal is also slightly ahead of schedule.

Management is considering investable avenues for deployment of cash generated by EFERT and EFOODS sale wherein possible investment in building second LNG terminal is also on the cards.

JS Securities Limited – Result Review Banking

Karachi, October 28, 2016 (PPI-OT): MEBL: 3Q2016 EPS posts 12% YoY growth, clocks in at Rs1.42

Meezan Bank Ltd (MEBL) announced its 3Q2016 result today posting PAT of Rs1.43bn (EPS: Rs1.42), registering 12% YoY growth and taking 9M2016 EPS to Rs4.10 (+4% YoY). The bank announced no cash dividend with the result, keeping 9M2016 dividend at Rs1.75/share.

MEBL’s 3Q2016 Net Interest Income (NII) grew by 6% YoY to Rs4.56bn while Non-Interest Income posted an impressive growth of 21% YoY on 7% YoY growth in Fee Income and higher realized capital gains. The bank also posted 12% YoY growth in Operating Expenses, marking a slor pace than historic average growth of 20%. In-line with the industry trend and its own trend during 2016, MEBL booked reversals under provisioning expenses during 3Q2016.JS Securities Limited maintains our ‘Buy’ ra JS Securities Limited’s ting on the stock with a TP of Rs59.

UN Resolution Calls for Ban on Nuclear Weapons

U.N. member states have voted overwhelmingly on a measure that could lead to a ban on nuclear weapons.

On Thursday, the U.N. Disarmament and International Security Committee voted to approve a resolution that calls for negotiations on a new treaty outlawing nuclear weapons, despite opposition from nuclear-armed nations.

“This treaty won’t eliminate nuclear weapons overnight. But it will establish a powerful, new international legal standard, stigmatizing nuclear weapons and compelling nations to take urgent action on disarmament, Beatriz Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, said.

Fihn said the vote was a “historic moment” even though convincing countries to eliminate their nuclear weapons will be very difficult.

The non-binding resolution, presented by Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Nigeria, Mexico and South Africa was approved by a vote of 123 to 38, with 16 abstentions. Nuclear powers had lobbied for “no” votes.

Who voted against it

The United States, Israel, France, Russia and Britain were among the nations voting against the measure. China, India and Pakistan abstained.

U.N. members will meet in December to vote on the resolution during a full general assembly.

The resolution also aims to set up a conference next March to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading toward their total elimination.

Humanitarian consequences

Countries in favor of the resolution cited deep concerns about the “catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.”

Nations against the measure say nuclear disarmament should be discussed during negotiations on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

This resolution came after three international conferences that took place in 2013 and discussions by a working group on nuclear disarmament in 2016 that recognized the humanitarian effects of nuclear weapons.

Source: Voice Of America

JS Securities Limited – Pakistan Market: JS Research Beep

Karachi, October 26, 2016 (PPI-OT): GIDC Act ruled null and void by Sindh High Court

As per JS Securities Limited ‘s channel checks, Sindh High Court has passed a ruling in favour of fertilizer manufacturers with respect to the applicability of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC). As per JS Securities Limited’s understanding, GIDC should not be applicable on fertilizer manufactures from here onwards. Please see below earnings sensitivity table on fertilizer companies if it is not passed on to the consumers. JS Securities Limited believes most of it is likely to be passed on to the consumer, which in turn should help pick up docile fertilizer demand in the country. JS Securities Limited flags Fauji Fertilizer Company (FFC) as the biggest beneficiary, while JS Securities Limited also highlight overhang of GIDC on Engro Fertilizer’s (EFERT) new plant should disappear. However, JS Securities Limited waits for further clarity, including whether it will be applicable retrospectively

JS Securities Limited believes the judgment will be used by other industries (Cements, Textiles, Steel, and Chemicals etc.) to make GIDC void for them as well. It will be interesting to see if the government challenges the judgment in the Supreme Court given the importance of GIDC receipts for the government to contain fiscal deficit. However, with 2018 General Elections in mind and Pakistan not part of the IMF program anymore, government may just accept the High Court’s decision.

Elixir Securities Limited – Weekly Technical

Karachi, October 24, 2016 (PPI-OT): KSE100 – Correction Ahead

The benchmark Index is contained within the boundaries of rising wedge with gap contracting at the top now which makes advances shorter and shorter from the reaction lows (lower support line) and as a result unconvincing rallies. Similar activity was witnessed during the outgoing week where the KSE 100 Index rebounded sharply after stalling at the 50% Fibonacci retracement level (50% retracement of 39,866 and 41,631 remains at 40,750) which also lines up with the wedge support but soon diminished near the previous high of 41,600.

This indicates weakness of the underlying trend in short term. At this point, Elixir Securities Limited remains cautious as upside seems limited to 41,600/ 41,800 while on downside a break past wedge support at 40,900 would bring lengthier consolidations.

Elixir Securities Limited – Insight

Karachi, October 21, 2016 (PPI-OT): Earnings Preview NPL and FFBL

NPL is scheduled to announce its 1QFY17 financial result on 24th October 2016. Elixir Securities Limited expects the company to report an earnings of PKR684mn (EPS: PKR1.93) down 26%YoY. Elixir Securities Limited maintains Elixir Securities Limited’s underweight stance on the stock with rolled forward Jun-17 TP of PKR47/sh.

Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Limited (FFBL) is schedule to announce its 3Q2016 financial result on 24th Oct’16. Elixir Securities Limited expects the company to post a profit of PKR520mn (EPS: PKR0.56). Elixir Securities Limited maintains Elixir Securities Limited’s hold stance on the stock with Jun-17 PT of PKR56/sh.

NPL: EPS at PKR1.93, down 26%YoY:

NPL is scheduled to announce its 1QFY17 financial result on 24th October 2016. Elixir Securities Limited expects the company’s profitability to go down by 26%YoY to PKR684mn (EPS: PKR1.93). Moreover, company is also expected to payout cash dividend of PKR1.5/sh. Decline in earnings on YoY basis is primarily attributable to 1) lower fuel savings of PKR64mn or PKR0.18/sh (↓31.8%YoY) on account of lower generation 315GWH (↓5%YoY) amidst lower oil prices of PKR33,891/ton(↓27%YoY) and 2)
Normalization of O and M savings, which are expected to clock in at PKR156mn or PKR0.66/sh (↓38%YoY). Elixir Securities Limited maintains Elixir Securities Limited’s underweight stance on the stock with rolled forward Jun-17 TP of PKR47/sh.

FFBL: EPS at PKR0.56, up 1.8xYoY:

Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Limited (FFBL) is schedule to announce its 3Q2016 financial result on 24th Oct’16. Elixir Securities Limited expects the company to post a profit of PKR520mn (EPS: PKR0.56), up 1.8x% YoY during 3Q2016 on account of higher DAP and Urea offtake of 141ktons (↑88%YoY) and 155ktons (↑1.08YoY) respectively. Moreover lower phosphoric acid prices USD610/ton, down 25%/6% on YoY/QoQ basis are also expected to further bolster the bottomline. However increasing distribution cost and financial charges are expected to limit earnings accretion. Selling expense is estimated at PKR1.427bn (↑22%YoY) on account of higher dispatches while financial charges are expected to inflate to PKR640mn (↑10%YoY) on account of higher working capital requirement. Elixir Securities Limited maintains Elixir Securities Limited’s hold stance on the stock with Jun-17 PT of PKR56/sh.