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OUTLOOK OF ISLAMIC BANKING AND FINANCE

Due to sharply declined trends in Oil prices, slow economic pace & Arab spring, the trend of the Islamic Banking & Finance had been slow paced in 2016 in Middle East and Arab region, while a sufficient development was recorded in Africa, Central Asia & Far East. especially in African market. For the broader understanding of Islamic Finance Industry, we can divide Islamic Finance industry into five major components e.g. Islamic Banking, Sukuk, Islamic Fund/Asset Management, Takaful & Islamic Microfinance. Islamic Banking is the greatest contributor in Islamic Finance Industry, which contributes 80% to the total $ 2.3 trillion Islamic finance industry, while Sukuk contributing 14% volume in Islamic Finance industry and ranked as second largest contributor, Islamic Fund/Asset management Industry with 3% is ranked as 3rd while Takaful Industry is contributing 2% with slow pace and Islamic Microfinance contributing 1% stands as last. By 2017, the total volume of Islamic Finance Industry is expected to be USD 2.7 trillion.

Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Pakistan, U.A.E, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait & Bahrain are prominent where the contribution of their total assets of Islamic Banking is 82% to the Global Islamic Banking market. According to the increment in assets of Islamic Banking, Kingdom Saudi Arabia stands first, but as per new Islamic Banking market entrance, Morocco, Uganda, China & Russia are expected to have a good start in Islamic banking by 2017.

According to a research by Mr. Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer – AlHuda Center Of Islamic Banking & Economics (CIBE); There will be a steady growth of Approx 13% – 15% will be shown in Islamic Finance market during 2017 and the total volume of Islamic Finance will crossed 3 trillion USD figure by 2020, which will be accompanied by a definite addition of Sukuk alongwith Islamic banking. While the Sukuk market in Malaysia, Pakistan, U.A.E, Turkey, Central Asian countries and Africa seem determined in 2017. According to the prospects, Sukuk worth 78 billion dollars approximately are expected to be issued which can define the total volume of outstanding Sukuk up to 350 billion dollars. It should be clear that ICD will be rendering its contribution in flourishing Sukuk at global landscape especially in african countries.

It should be clear that Takaful Industry, unfortunately, has lacked far behind in 2016. While Takaful companies are found default in Pakistan, South Africa and some other countries due to lack of regulations, performance Issue & various Models etc. In spite of all these reasons, it is expected that the total volume of Takaful industry will reach up to 25 billion dollar till the end of 2017. As far as Islamic Microfinance is concerned, certain positive changes have been seen in 2016, new microfinance models were introduced with the amalgamation of Micro-Takaful, Fintech, and social finance along with various Islamic microfinance products. It is hope that the volume of Islamic Microfinance could reach up to $2 billion dollars globally by the end of 2017 while the total number of Islamic Microfinance Institutions will reach up to 400 Institutions/Bank.

In 2017, many new Islamic Finance markets are seen to be emerging on the horizon in the world. If we see on the regional basis, in East Africa, we find that Uganda has recently passed an Islamic Financial bill through Parliament, Islamic banking & Finance in Kenya and Tanzania is already flourishing very well. Morocco & Tunisia are emerging markets in North Africa while Nigeria, Senegal, Mauritania, Ivory Cost in West Africa has an organized system of Islamic Finance while Sukuk is also strengthening its roots in these regions.

As far as Central Asia is concerned, 2017 will prove to be a better year with respect to the previous year. Its main reason is the increasing tendency of Russia towards Islamic Banking & Finance, the countries in central Asia are closer to Russia in Banking & Finance despite its having been separated from USSR, while Donald Trump as a businessman entity is perceived positive for the development of Banking& Finance industry in USA, definitely, Islamic Banking and Finance will be benefited from his agenda, In USA where more than 25 Islamic Finance institutions are already working. After Brexit, David Cameron’s dream to make London as a hub of Islamic Finance seem to get shattered and UK Islamic Financial market will remain subjected to pressure & slow pace in 2017. Although Modi reign in India has exhibited a soft attitude regarding Islamic banking & Finance in 2016, But still there are no prospects of establishment of Islamic Banking in India in 2017. It seems that in India with having 2nd biggest Muslim population in the world, Islamic banking is being treated as religious product instead of Banking product, and a lot of bad politics and lack of religious harmony have been shown on this subject. While in 2017, China will be enter properly in Islamic Finance. China’s CPEC’s project with Pakistan and increasing tendency in Muslim world register the basic reasons to it.

If we have look at worldwide Islamic Banking & Finance regulatory level, 36 countries maintain an organized legal and regulatory framework. According to careful estimates, 42 countries will establish a proper legal & regulatory system in 2017 where organizations like IFSB, AAOIFI & IDB will play a pivotal role. In 2016, the governments of various countries has played a important role in flourishing Islamic banking & Finance which include Pakistan, U.A.E, Morocco, Kenya, Tunis, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Oman & Russia, which will exhibit a tremendous growth in the industry in coming future.

As far as the global Hub of Islamic banking & Finance is concerned, UK on the account of Brexit has been excluded in this race while the ties lie between Dubai & Kuala Lumpur. But it should be clear on the account of growth in Islamic banking financial assets, Saudi Arabia stands first but due to lack of quality HR, lack of educational and training Institution, existing regional conflict and for many other reasons, is unable to compete in the race of “Hub of Islamic Finance”

PSO OUTLET STAFF AVERTS MAJOR DISASTER

Pakistan State Oil commends the efforts of its outlet’s staff whose prompt response helped extinguish a huge blaze that caught a passenger coach en route up-country from Karachi on Super Highway on Wednesday, December 28, 2016.

In a desperate attempt to secure precious human lives, the coach-driver resorted to moving the burning coach to a nearby PSO outlet for rescue but the vigilant and HSE-trained outlet staff prevented its entry into the outlet to avert further disaster. They immediately smothered the fire through firefighting gear available at the outlet and rescued the passengers. The quality emergency preparedness at the outlet in consistence with PSO’s policy averted a major calamity and saved dozens of precious lives.

Further, the PSO outlet is completely safe and operational. Our Divisional Engineers reached at the outlet immediately to take a stock of things. They have advised the vendor to refill fire extinguishers immediately. PSO is committed to making unprecedented efforts for high standard emergency preparedness at all of its outlets nationwide in order to deal with any untoward situation.

 

OMD WINS ‘PAKISTAN MEDIA AGENCY OF THE YEAR’ TITLE

OMD Pakistan, a part of the Omnicom Media Group, on 30th November, 2016 won the title of ‘Pakistan Media Agency of the Year’ at the Campaign Asia-Pacific Agency of the Year Awards 2016.

This is OMD Pakistan’s third consecutive award at Campaign Asia’s Agency of the Year Awards, but the first time as a winner of the Gold.

OMD Pakistan achieved the accolade by demonstrating a strong business performance in 2016 – obtaining numerous top tier clients, whilst retaining 100% of its existing client base. The team takes pride in their creativity, innovation, service, transparency and commitment to its clients.

Omnicom Media Group’s Asia Pacific CEO, Cheuk Chiang, said, “OMD Pakistan is a very strong force in our region and we couldn’t be prouder of their performance and growth this year”.

OMD Asia Pacific CEO, Stephen Li, said, “OMD Pakistan has done it again and this time bagged the top, enviable title. We couldn’t be happier to raise the bar for ourselves every year. The award not only is a reflection on the agency’s performance but also mirrors the strong support of all their clients allowing them to indulge beyond the regular and deliver fearless creativity”.

CEO OMD Pakistan, Dara Bashir Khan, commented, “Winning the Gold this time goes to show the trust and confidence our clients have in our abilities. It couldn’t have been possible without their support and our commitment towards unparalleled potential – the sky is definitely not the limit for us!”

Campaign Asia-Pacific’s Agency of the Year Awards honor ‘inspired leadership, management excellence, outstanding business performance and overall achievements’, in Asia Pacific’s advertising and communications industries.

NAFA STOCK FUND – THE TOP EQUITY FUND IN CY 2016

NAFA Stock Fund was ranked No. 1 in the country in the year 2016, providing a phenomenal return of 51.5% to its investors. During the same time period, the peer group average return posted by other stock funds was 38.7%, while the KSE-100 Index rose by 45.7%. The fund size of NAFA Stock Fund grew from Rs. 6 billion to Rs. 15 billion during the year.

JAZZCASH MOBILE ACCOUNT RECORDS OVER 100 MILLION

JazzCash has announced that during the year 2016 a record high 100 million plus financial transactions were performed through its Mobile Accounts – almost four-times increase compared to 2015. In addition, with more than 1.5 million monthly active Mobile Accounts, JazzCash is now the leading mobile financial services provider in the Mobile Accounts category.

Commenting on this milestone, Aniqa Afzal Sandhu, VP Digital & Financial Services – Jazz, said, “This is a very special moment for all of us. Back in 2013, when we were still in the initial stages of setting up this division, we had an ambition to become the market leader by 2016. With great team work and trust of our customers, we have achieved this milestone. Now more money transfer transactions are performed through Mobile Accounts than Over-the-Counter services, which shows how successful we have been in not just acquiring, but also educating customers.”

“I also want to take this opportunity to welcome our Warid customers to JazzCash. We will continue to strive hard in providing the best possible financial solutions to all our customers,” she further added.

JazzCash Mobile Account can now also be accessed by Warid’s 10 million plus subscribers, who can register free of cost by dialing *786#. Warid subscribers will be able to take advantage of all Mobile Account services through a USSD interface as well, in addition to the Mobile App.

JazzCash Mobile Account is increasingly becoming popular in providing digital financial services to Pakistanis from all walks of life. With a newly redesigned simplified USSD interface and an Android Mobile App, the account can be accessed anytime, anywhere by customers across the country who can deposit and withdraw cash from over 65,000 JazzCash Agents. The product fulfills all basic financial services needs of customers including deposits, money transfer, bill payments, mobile top-ups, savings, insurance, ATM cards and payments for a variety of services.

‘GO LOOTLO WALLETS’ PAKISTAN’S FIRST-EVER DISCOUNT DEBIT CARDS UNVEILEDS

Pakistan’s premier banking institution Bank Alfalah has entered into partnership with Lootlo.pk – a prominent e-commerce website – for issuance of Pakistan’s first ever discount debit card ‘Go Lootlo Wallet’.

The agreement was signed by Amaar Naveed Ikhlas of Bank Alfalah and Fahad Mehmood of Lootlo.pk here at a local hotel in the presence of high officials from both the organizations and other dignitaries. Under the agreement, Bank Alfalah will enable Lootlo.pk to offer real-time offline discounts through the ‘Go Lootlo’ discount debit cards, a first-of-its-kind initiative in Pakistan.

Lootlo.pk is one of Pakistan’s oldest discount deals website providing discounted online shopping since July 2013. Lootlo.pk offers a wide range of discounted merchandise and services including restaurants, salons, hospitals, car services and products like clothing, footwear etc.

On ‘Go Lootlo’ debit cards, customers can avail discounts at over 500 retailers with over 2,000 outlets all over Pakistan. With Union Pay International being the exclusive Payment Gateway Partner, ‘Go Lootlo’ debit cards will be accepted all over Pakistan and internationally, including over 30 special discounts available in Dubai alone.

Another great advantage of the ‘Go Lootlo Wallet’ is it offers free Personal Accident Insurance to all cardholders with no minimum deposit condition, a service for which conventional banks require customers to have a minimum deposit or balance maintenance conditions.

Moreover, the ‘Go Lootlo’ cardholders enjoy the additional benefits of Free Personal Accident Insurance including Accidental Death of Rs. 200,000, Permanent Disability/Temporary Disability of Rs. 200,000 and Accidental Hospitalization benefits of Rs. 30,000.

Providing added ease and convenience to the customers, the cards can be topped-up at any of the Bank Alfalah branches or agents spread across the country or ‘Go Lootlo’ branches or agents nationwide.

Commenting on the development, Amaar Naveed Ikhlas of Bank Alfalah said: “We are glad to partner up with Lootlo.pk which is a prominent e-commerce site, striving to promote e-commerce in the country. It is something closer to our hearts too as it can prove pivotal in increasing financial inclusion in the country besides promoting online retail. Bank Alfalah has rolled-out multiple initiatives to promote e-commerce in the country which we see as a ripe opportunity to strengthen Pakistan’s economic growth. Bank Alfalah and Lootlo.pk’s partnership will set higher precedent through innovative and value-added products and services for e-commerce customers.”

Sharing his thoughts on this, Fahad Mehmood of Lootlo.pk said: “We are excited to enter into this significant partnership with the country’s leading banking institution, Bank Alfalah for issuance of Go Lootlo debit cards. With Bank Alfalah’s weight behind us, I believe this partnership will go long way in ushering ease and access to our mutual customers besides inspiring customer loyalty and credibility towards financial inclusion and e-commerce in Pakistan.”

Bank Alfalah manages a leading-edge digital ecosystem of a host of digital products and services to promote digital technology in Pakistan. It lends its products and services to various banking and financial players to cater to the needs of Pakistani customers.

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