SME Leasing Ltd Maintains Steady Share Price

Karachi, Shares of SME Leasing Ltd (SLL) remained stable at a closing price of PKR 2.00 in trading on Wednesday, according to data from the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE). The company's stock did not exhibit any volatility, maintaining its opening price throughout the trading session. A total of 500 shares were traded.

Towellers Limited Stock Surges in Recent Trading

Karachi, Towellers Limited experienced a significant surge in its stock price on March 21, as detailed by the Pakistan Stock Exchange. The stock, opening at 155.02, closed at 159.7, demonstrating substantial growth. Throughout the trading day, the share price varied between 153.1 and 154.77, with 13,200 shares traded. The closing price was recorded at 157.68.

Exchange Rate Fluctuations Reflect Currency Market Dynamics in PakistanEasypaisa and Knorr Partner to Enhance Digital Payments in Pakistan

Islamabad, Recent data released by the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan illustrates subtle yet noteworthy shifts in the currency exchange rates within the nation. The details encompass various major currencies' buying and selling rates over two consecutive days, providing insights into the market's behavior and potential economic implications.

According to Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan, the US dollar experienced a slight decrease in both buying and selling rates from March 20 to March 21, 2024, indicating a marginal appreciation of the Pakistani rupee against the dollar. Similarly, the Euro and the British Pound also showed fluctuations, with both currencies witnessing a rise in their value against the rupee on the following day.

In contrast, the Japanese Yen and the currencies of the United Arab Emirates (AED) and Saudi Arabia (SR) demonstrated smaller changes. The interbank rates for the US dollar remained notably stable, suggesting a steady market undercurrent despite the minor alterations in the open market.

These exchange rate movements are crucial indicators for various stakeholders, including businesses, investors, and policymakers, reflecting the underlying economic forces and external influences impacting the country's financial stability. The data serves as a barometer for economic sentiment, foreign trade dynamics, and potential policy adjustments in response to global and domestic financial trends.

Islamabad, In a groundbreaking move, Easypaisa, Pakistan's premier digital financial services platform, has partnered with Unilever's renowned food brand, Knorr, to enhance the digital payments landscape across the country. This collaboration aims to modernize the value chain for product sampling, integrating technology to improve the convenience, accessibility, and affordability of digital transactions.

According to Easypaisa, the partnership is set to be executed in 20 marketplaces across 14 cities, including major hubs like Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Faisalabad. It introduces an innovative Wheel of Fortune game for customers buying Knorr products, integrating a digital twist to product sampling. Participants can win instant rewards through easypaisa's 'peel and win' vouchers, further entwining digital engagement with retail experiences.

Customers can redeem these vouchers by scanning a QR code, which directs them to the easypaisa app to enter their unique code. Successful redemption adds Rs. 50 to the user's easypaisa account, underscoring the initiative's blend of promotional marketing and financial technology.

The collaboration also includes a digital feedback mechanism within the easypaisa app, allowing the companies to capture real-time consumer insights, reflecting their commitment to customer-centric innovation.

Leaders from both companies have expressed enthusiasm for the partnership. Hani Haider, Head of Growth and Analytics at easypaisa and TMB, highlighted the venture's potential to set industry benchmarks and foster a more inclusive digital ecosystem. Similarly, Javed Jafri, Head of Media, Digital, and Data at Unilever Pakistan, emphasized the strategic fit for Knorr, aiming to broaden consumer engagement and build lasting relationships.

Easypaisa's achievement of surpassing 10 million active app users marks a significant milestone in Pakistan's fintech industry, illustrating the company's pivotal role in promoting financial inclusion and digital transformation.

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Suraj Cotton Holds Firm in Trading

Karachi, Suraj Cotton (SURC) maintained a steady position in the market, with its share price unchanged at PKR 125.00. The company's stock did not experience any price fluctuation during the session, and only 200 shares were traded.

Mari Petroleum Announces Significant Dividend and Earnings Increase

Islamabad, Mari Petroleum Co. Ltd. (MARI) has disclosed an impressive annual performance for the period ending January-February 2024, showcasing a substantial increase in both dividends and earnings per share (EPS). The company's EPS surged to 420.75 from the previous year, highlighting a robust growth trajectory.

Mari Petroleum, a prominent player in Pakistan's oil and gas exploration sector, declared a final cash dividend of 1470% for the fiscal year 2022-2023, up from 1240% in the prior period. This increment reflects the company's strong financial health and commitment to delivering value to its shareholders. The interim dividend also saw a noteworthy rise, reaching 980%(I), compared to the previous book closure year.

Operating since 1994, Mari Petroleum has consistently played a vital role in meeting the country's energy needs. With a paid-up capital of 1,334.03 million Rs., the company continues to invest in exploration activities to further enhance its contribution to Pakistan's energy sector. The financial announcements underscore Mari Petroleum's solid market position and optimistic outlook for the future.

PACRA Revises Ratings for KTM Leather Amid Industry Challenges

Islamabad, The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited (PACRA) has updated its entity ratings for KTM Leather Pvt. Limited, reflecting the company's enduring presence in the challenging tannery sector and its affiliation with the Mahmood Group. The rating adjustment comes amid a broader downturn in Pakistan's leather industry, influenced by global market dynamics and internal industry factors.

According to The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited, KTM Leather, previously known as Khawaja Tanneries Pvt. Limited, is a key player in the production of various leather stages, contributing to a sector that spans gloves, apparel, footwear, and other leather goods. Despite a notable decline in tanned leather exports from Pakistan — dropping significantly over five years — segments like apparel and footwear have seen some growth. Nevertheless, the overall export figures for the sector have diminished, attributed to reduced global demand, economic pressures, and geopolitical strains.

KTM Leather's operational focus includes navigating these industry headwinds, capitalizing on opportunities in value-added product offerings, and adapting to the fast-evolving fashion trends and market demands. While the company benefits from factors like a growing population and favorable currency rates for exports, challenges such as technology adoption, skilled workforce availability, and competitive pressures remain pertinent.

Financially, KTM Leather has shown resilience, managing to uphold its revenue through strategic responses to currency fluctuations, although its profit margins have seen a compression. The company's capital structure and financial health are areas of focus, with an emphasis on managing leverage and enhancing liquidity.

The ratings provided by PACRA will hinge on KTM's ability to maintain its market position, navigate the conservative leather industry landscape, and execute strategies effectively, especially in producing high-fashion, finished leather products. The commitment to financial prudence and sustaining a robust liquidity profile are deemed crucial for KTM's ongoing stability and growth.

KTM Leather, a legacy of the pre-independence era, has diversified its operations under the Mahmood Group's umbrella, recently venturing into leather footwear alongside its traditional leather production, marking significant steps in its evolution and adaptation to market trends.

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