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Cooking oil brand Soya Supreme plans IPO



Soya Supreme, one of the largest cooking oil manufacturers in Pakistan, is planning an initial public offering, officials said on Friday, as the company looks to expand its business to the Middle East and North Africa.

It would be the second IPO during a turbulent year for the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) due to economic and political uncertainty ahead of a general election due by the end of November, with interest rates at an all time high.

In 2022, there were only three public listings, raising Rs1.3 billion rupees — the lowest in nine years.

Soya Supreme, set up in 1991, will determine the IPO’s timing based on market conditions, Ahmad Ghulam Hussain, CEO of Agro Processors and Atmospheric Gases (APAG), the parent company of the brand Soya Supreme, told Reuters.

The board has authorised the management to appoint Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and KTrade, a brokerage, to initiate the process of an IPO, Hussain told Reuters.

He did not disclose how much the company is looking to raise, nor the valuation, saying they were subject to board approval, but added that there would be no sale of existing shares.

Manufacturers use imported raw material and in 2022, $3.7bn worth of soyabean and palm oil was imported.

The Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturer’s Association says 3.7 million to 4 million tonnes of oils and fats were produced in 2022.

Soya Supreme recently expanded into specialised industrial fats to cater to demand from local food companies in the face of import restrictions in the country.

It is also exporting specialised fats to the Middle East and North Africa region, Hussain said.

In addition to cooking oil, the brand has a line of sauces.

This year, Dalda, the country’s biggest consumer staple, announced plans for an IPO to raise between Rs3.3bn to Rs4.6bn. At Rs4.6bn, it would be the largest IPO by a consumer staple company. Dates for Dalda’s IPO are yet to be announced.


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Police ramp up Adiala jail security for Imran



RAWALPINDI: In light of recommendations by the Special Branch and relevant departments following a survey of Adiala Jail where former prime minister Imran Khan is incarcerated, the police have ramped up security in the vicinity of the jail by deploying elite commandos and setting up additional security pickets to ensure foolproof measures.

After the survey, the officials concerned recommended an increase in security and search operations targeting shops located in front of the jail and residential areas in the surroundings of the central prison.

Sources said police pickets were established on Adiala Road and on both sides of the jail premises to ensure foolproof security, whereas two contingents of Elite Force would also patrol the area around the jail in two shifts. The officials also recommended keeping a record of CNICs and other details of the visitors.

The SSP operations and the chief traffic officer accompanied by other senior police officials visited the jail and held a meeting with the superintendent to take stock of security measures.

During the meeting, it was decided that the jail administration would ensure the security of the premises, while the police would be responsible for the security outside the jail.

PTI Chairman Imran Khan was shifted to Central Jail Adiala from District Jail Attock following the orders of the Islamabad High Court on September 26 amid tight security.

The high court had made this decision while hearing a plea moved by the PTI chief seeking transfer from Attock Jail to Adiala.

The former prime minister was shifted to Attock jail on August 5, 2023, after a court sentenced him to three years in prison in the Toshakhana case for concealing details of gifts he received as the prime minister of Pakistan.

After his sentence in the Toshakhana case was suspended by the high court, the government detained the ex-premier in the cipher case.

The cipher case pertains to a diplomatic document which reportedly went missing from Imran’s possession. The PTI alleged that it contained a threat from the United States to oust Imran Khan from power.

In the same case, a special court had sent the PTI chairman on judicial remand till Oct 10. It may be noted that an IHC bench is also hearing a plea moved by the PTI chairman seeking post-arrest bail in the cipher case.

Last month, the court had rejected a request by the Federal Investigation Agency seeking in-camera proceedings of the bail plea filed by Mr Khan. Proceedings against former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in the same case are also underway.

Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2023


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PSX gains more than 390 points over reduced fuel prices, strengthening PKR



The Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) benchmark KSE-100 index gained over 394 points during trade on Monday, which analysts attributed to what seemed like an improved outlook in the economy.

The optimism in the market came as the government announced a reduction in fuel prices, slashing the prices of petrol and high-speed diesel by Rs8 per litre and Rs11 per litre, respectively, for the next fortnight.

It also follows a weeks-long rally of the Pakistani rupee. It appreciated by Rs0.98 to reach 286.76 against the dollar by day’s end, according to the State Bank of Pakistan.

The index reached 46,627.08, up 0.85pc, when the trading closed. It had reached a high of 46,704.63 points at 11:15am, 472.04 points from the previous close of 46,232.59 points.

—Photo courtesy: PSX’s website

Major activity was reported in stocks such as WorldCall Telecom Limited, Cnergyico PK Limited, Oil and Gas Development Company Limited, Pakistan Petroleum Limited, First Prudential Modaraba and BankIslami Pakistan Limited.

The top advancers included First Punjab Modaraba, Pak-Gulf Leasing Company Limited, Hala Enterprises Limited, and First Prudential Modaraba.

The top losers included PICIC Insurance Limited, SME Leasing Limited, Ashfaq Textile Mills Limited and Habib Insurance Company Limited.

IMF review meetings this month for the next tranche release and an “upbeat growth outlook”.

He added: “Upbeat data on crop output, cotton production, power generation, fertiliser, autos, POL and cement sales in September ’23, the rupee recovery and government deliberations on privatisation of SOEs [state-owned enterprises] played a catalyst role in the bullish activity.”

More to follow


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Two militants killed as gun attack on Mianwali post repelled



LAHORE: In a gun battle that lasted all night, police thwarted an ambush by more than a dozen militants on a police post in Mianwali killing two of the attackers, officials said.

The ambush comes on the heels of back-to-back terrorist attacks in Balochis­tan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that claimed scores of lives since Friday.

A police constable embraced martyrdom during the latest attack initiated by the militants belonging to an offshoot of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Guns fell silent on Sunday morning and the operation ended at 7:45am, according to senior police officials.

This was the second strike by the TTP’s same Tipu Group, repulsed by the Punjab police, in Mianwali this year, as the Makkarwal police station in the district earlier came under attack in February, said Punjab IGP Dr Usman Anwar.

The target this time was the Kundal police patrolling post in Isakhel Tehsil. In the ensuing gunfight, the Punjab Highway Patrol (PHP), a third-tier force of the police, swiftly engaged the militants, preventing their attempt to seize the checkpoint and harm officers.

Additional pol­ice force and corporals from the Counter-Terr­orism Department (CTD) soon arrived at the scene and contributed to the operation, resulting in the elimination of two militants.

Sources in police said the militants had entered Mianwali from KP’s Lakki Marwat district.

“The terrorists used latest weapons and upon firm retaliation escaped into the surrounding hilly area towards KP,” sources told Dawn.

Soon after receiving information of the attack, Punjab police chief reached Mianwali and held meetings with the CTD. He was told that there were four police personnel at the PHP who had retaliated and fought against the 12 to 15 militants, armed with latest equipment and weapons.

Talking to Dawn, he said Makkarwal police station came under attack by armed militants. The police personnel, however, survived due to the timely response.

Giving details, AIG Wasim Sial of Punjab CTD told Dawn that 12 to 15 terrorists attacked the Kundal PHP patrolling post on Saturday at around 23:45pm.

He said the PHP police assisted by the CTD thwarted the attack successfully. During the operation, he added that head constable Haroon embraced martyrdom while displaying exceptional bravery.

“Several terrorists sustained injuries and following a thorough search police recovered bodies of two terrorists,” he said. “The operation concluded at 7:45am this morning.”

The CTD Punjab chief said that one of the terrorists had been identified as Zubair Nawaz, brother of Arshad Nawaz, emir of Tipu Group of Lakki Marwat, with the aid of database and local intelligence.

He said Zubair was wanted by both Punjab and KP authorities for his involvement in the murder of police officers, members of the Shia community, as well as his involvement in robberies and extortion activities.

“The other terrorist, identified as Mohammad Khan, was a dedicated member of the group who proved to be even more dangerous than Zubair,” Mr Sial said.

He was identified with the help of Nadra record, intellige­nce agencies, and advanced software utilised by the CTD Punjab.

The IG police Punjab, the RPO Sargodha, the DPO Mianwali and other senior police officers attended the funeral prayers of the martyred police constable.

Khursheed Anwar Khan in Mianwali also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2023


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