PAKISTAN: Lotte Chemical CEO steps down

"Asif Saad will be stepping down as Chief Executive and Director of Lotte Chemical Pakistan Limited... with effect from close of business on 30 April 2014,” the company said in a notice to the stock exchange.

"Under his leadership, the company has set new standards of performance and he has played a major role in making the business self-sufficient in all aspects of operation,” it said.

Saad joined the company in 2002 and was promoted to the CEO's office in 2006. A graduate of LUMS, he joined ICI in 1988. ICI's PTA business was later acquired by Lotte.

"I opted for early retirement because I have some other plans. I want to do own thing now. The market has been going through a tough time but this has nothing to do with it,” he told The Express Tribune. "Now, I am taking a vacation.”

Purified terephthalic acid (PTA), which Lotte makes, is the key ingredient used to make polyester staple fibre. The staple fibre industry in Pakistan is facing stiff competition from the dumping of cheaper products in the market.

Lotte Pakistan posted a loss of Rs512 million in the January-March 2014 quarter compared with a loss of Rs124 million incurred in the same period of previous year. The company has been booking losses for the past two years.

Source: Daily "The Express Tribune", Karachi; 7 May 2014
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)