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CEO VIPER TECHNOLOGY CHAIRS FPCCI COMMITTEE FOR IT

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry earlier last week has announced members of the FPCCI Standing Committees for the year 2017.

Naseer Akhtar, Founding President & CEO Infotech, who’s also the Chairman P@SHA for the year, has been elected as the Chairman for the Standing Committee for IT, Business Processing and Outsourcing.

Senior Vice Chairmanship has been awarded to Khushnood Aftab, member Pakistan Computer Association, P@SHA, and CEO of Viper Technology, whereas Shahzad Shahid, CEO TPS Pvt. Ltd. has been elected the Vice Chairman for the same.

Speaking about the opportunity, Khushnood Aftab, CEO of Viper Technology said,

“I am deeply humbled by this honour, and would like to congratulate my fellows and thank FPCCI for giving me the opportunity to be a part of IT committee for the year.”

Speaking about key areas that he would like to address during the year-long term, Aftab identified four main areas, including the exploration and identification of opportunities for local players in IT business, opportunities for fresh graduates as entrepreneurs or their own IT business avenues. Along with this, working closely with the government regarding taxation issues is a key area of work that needs to be addressed this year.

SHELL UNVEILS ITS REVOLUTIONARY RETAIL ECOSYSTEM

Shell Pakistan Limited has extended its reimagined retail offerings at two filling stations in Lahore & Islamabad – thus marking a significant milestone in the company’s bid to revolutionise the forecourt experience for customers all over Pakistan. The revamped offerings were inaugurated by Royal Dutch Shell’s Executive Vice President for Retail István Kapitány accompanied by the British High Commissioner Mr. Thomas Drew along with the Dutch Ambassador Ms. Jeannette Seppen and the Managing Director of Shell Pakistan, Jawwad Cheema.

In Lahore, the Golf View Filling Station now offers Shell’s new generation format Select Store with Kitchen Cuisine’s on-the-go bakery along with HBL & UBL ATMs in a secure environment. The site has also been upgraded with 3 Helix Lane – a state-of-the-art oil dispensing facility that services your car in 12-15 minutes, while you relax in the free Wi-Fi-enabled customer lounges. An iPad lets you track your car’s oil change in real time. The filling station is all set to serve more than 500 customers per day from Zaffar Ali Road and adjoining areas from Mall Road and GOR 1.

People from the twin cities can enjoy these amazing facilities at Popular Gas Filling Station in Islamabad. The new generation Select Store offers Toasted, a bakery to curb your hunger, while 2 Helix Lane gives the most advanced oil changing experience for your car. The innovative oil dispensing unit dispenses the amount one needs for their cars thereby resulting in remarkable cost savings.

The sites also offer Shell’s new premium fuel Shell V-Power giving people both a choice in fuels and convenience retailing.

Triumphing on the launch of such an incredible retail experience, István Kapitány, Executive Vice President at Shell (Retail) said: “Royal Dutch Shell remains committed to growing its presence in Pakistan and to continue playing a bigger role in the energy landscape of the country. I am a great believer in the talent and potential of Pakistan and the eco-system we see here today is a great example of this. It is our belief that in order to create forecourts of the future that serve Pakistani customer needs, we must continue to provide fuelling options and non-fuels retailing needs”.

The British High Commissioner Thomas Drew also shared his thoughts and stated: “I am delighted to welcome this further upgrading of Shell’s investment in Pakistan. This announcement – at a time when we are celebrating 70 years of friendship between our countries – is a clear recognition of Pakistan’s potential for growth. It is a lead, I hope other British companies will follow”.

The company is pursuing an ambitious roadmap to bring a redefined retail experience to a number of cities nationwide. With an eye on the future, offering a stimulating customer experience at the forecourt is at the core of Kapitány’s attempts to future-proof Shell’s retail business in Pakistan.

PAKISTAN’S LIQUID FOREIGN RESERVES POSITION

The total liquid foreign reserves held by the country stood at US$21,929.8 million on 17 February 2017.

The break-up of the foreign reserves position is as under:-

i) Foreign reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan: US$17,027.8 million
ii) Net foreign reserves held by commercial banks: S$4,902.0 million
iii) Total liquid foreign reserves: US$  21,929.8  million

During the week ending 17 February 2017, SBP’s reserves increased by US$35 million to US$17,028 million.

NBP POSTS HIGHEST PROFIT IN ITS HISTORY

Meeting of the Board of Directors (BoD) of National Bank of Pakistan (Bank) was held on February 22, 2017 at the Bank’s Head Office in Karachi. The BoD approved the financial statements of the Bank for the year ended December 31, 2016. The Board recommended cash dividend of Rs. 7.5 per share for the year which translates into payout ratio of 78 % (after statutory reserve allocation).

For year 2016, the Bank reported highest ever performance numbers in its history, maintaining its leading position amongst the peers. Outstanding growth during the year was achieved both in financial performance and financial position of the Bank. After-tax profit for the year 2016 amounted Rs. 22.8 billion i.e. 18% up against Rs. 19.2 billion of 2015. This translates into earnings per share of Rs. 10.69 compared to Rs. 9.03 of 2015.

Despite a generally difficult year with downward trends for the banking industry on account of reduction in discount rate and lower exchange arbitrage opportunities, the Bank recorded a growth of Rs. 3.9 billion i.e. 12% in pre-tax profit which amounted to Rs. 37.1 billion in 2016. Pre-tax and after-tax return on equity were 31.5% and 19.3% (2015: 29.3% and 17%) respectively.

The bank made significant progress in improving its loan book quality as non-performing loans recorded a net reduction of Rs. 7.9 billion during the year. During the year, healthy balance sheet growth has also been recorded reaching to Rs. 1,975 billion, making. This depicts a 16 % YoY growth against Rs. 1,706 billion at the end of year 2015. During the year, gross advances of the bank increased by 13% to Rs. 782 billion compared to Rs. 692 billion as of December 2015. Similarly, the bank achieved a 16% growth in its deposits as the same reached Rs. 1,657 billion.

With “AAA” credit rating, the Bank is a driving force in retail banking, given its large distribution network. Bank’s ATM and Islamic branch network closed at the highest level in the Bank’s history, with 118 Islamic branches and over 1,300 ATMs.

MCB BANK LTD PARTICIPATES IN THE ORANGE TREE CARNIVAL

MCB Bank Ltd, Pakistan’s leading private sector bank, participated in the one-day fund raising initiative The Orange Tree Carnival by acclaimed NGO the Orange Tree Foundation. In addition to event sponsorship, MCB Bank placed its mobile ATM at the Carnival to facilitate participants at the venue. The ticketed event was organized by the NGO to raise funds for the education and healthcare of Karachi’s underprivileged children.

The Carnival featured a full day of fun activities including play rides, games, a Grand Ladies Bazaar, the Savari Express and a multitude of food stalls. Students from prominent academic institutions including Karachi Grammar School, Bay View Academy and Reflections attended the Carnival with enthusiasm and zeal.

MCB Bank Limited strongly believes in its corporate social responsibility and has undertaken numerous CSR initiatives in the areas of education, health, environment and social awareness in the past. The Bank has made significant contributions to the welfare of charitable institutes and NGOs, including Edhi Foundation, SKMCH and Pink Ribbon amongst others. The Pakistan Centre of Philanthropy awarded MCB Bank the PCP Corporate Philanthropy Award in 2012 for its far-reaching CSR efforts.

Orange Tree Foundation is a Karachi based not-for-profit educational society that works to support education of deserving kids in mainstream schools. The program targets Karachi-based working families who are financially challenged yet at the same time, eager to provide the best available education standard to their children. The Foundation supports the expenses related to the sponsored kid’s education and health, also ensuring that the child completes his/her education and is taken to a professional level in the respective career of his/her choice.

 

QEC-IBA KARACHI HOSTS AWARENESS SEMINAR

Quality Enhancement Cell-IBA-Karachi organized an “Awareness Seminar on ISO 9001-2015 and Processes Improvement for Quality Assurance” on 21st February, 2017 at IBA main campus Karachi.

The purpose of the seminar was to create awareness on ISO 9001-2015 standards; Six Sigma Methodology; its significance and implementation in universities. The seminar was also aimed at providing consultancy to universities -both public and private sectors-on how universities can setup their strategic directions to improve teaching-learning and administrative processes including HR, Finance, ICT-IT etc. in order to attain academic excellence in Higher Education Institutions.

The Resource Persons of the seminar included Dr. Shahid Raza Mir (Director, Quality Enhancement Cell, IBA & Certified Lead Auditor ISO 9000-2015), Dr. Rameez Khalid (Academic Director, PGD-SCM, IBA & Certified Lead Auditor ISO 9000-2015), Mr. Moeid Sultan (Director Finance-IBA), Mr. Fahad Rehman (Head of Internal Audit Dept.-IBA), Mr. Imran Batada (Director ICT, IBA) and Mr. Ameer Rizvi (Faculty-IBA).

Each Resource Person discussed his area skillfully sharing the best practices of academia and the IBA and possible improvement opportunities to the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) of Pakistan. The seminar covered 360 dimensions of improvement in HEIs including implementation of quality management tools, certification for ISO 9001-2015 for quality improvement of processes, accessibility to information technology, importance of financial management, various tools and techniques for financial control mechanism and significance of internal audit. The last session was an interactive group discussion in which groups were assigned to identify problems in the areas discussed in their own universities and suggest solutions or remedial plans using the strategies they learned in the seminar.

The seminar was attended by a large number of universities across Pakistan in house and via Video Conference. These included QEC representatives, faculty members, head of departments, Deans and HEC representatives across Pakistan and were highly willing to participate in the future seminars and conferences at IBA Karachi. The participants showed their positive feedback towards Resource Persons and IBA-QEC Staff.

The compendium of the seminar was interesting as participants showed great willingness to initiate various operational and strategic programs to improve quality of education through process improvement, quality controls and environment. The seminar proved to be an essential effort to improve processes of HEIs that would eventually lead to enhance the quality of education and establish new standards and pathway to successful and prosperous future generation.

Dr. Farrukh Iqbal, Dean and Director of IBA Karachi, in his closing remarks, appreciated the efforts of the QEC for organizing such an enlightening seminar. He emphasized the role of QECs for providing such insightful learning opportunities much needed for the educational reforms and for the up gradation of the educational standards across the country. In the end, he distributed souvenirs to Resource Persons and certificates to the seminar participants and organizers.

We are looking forward to your kind support for coverage of the news.

CXO VERVE CONGRESS GATHERS PAKISTAN TOP CIO’S FOR ENTERPRISE

The First Annual CXO Verve Congress 2017 concluded in Karachi, with a gathering of over 150 people from senior corporate technology management and business leaders from the vendor side.

This enterprise technology event was the first of its kind congress that discussed the changing roles of the CXO and how CIOs have to rise out of technology roles and into executive responsibilities.

The session that wrapped up promptly in three hours, gave a chance to “talk the talk” with key stakeholders, C-suite members, and executives in large-scale organizations. From what a CIO has to say, to the view a CISO has and where a CFO or COO stands, the event had something in store for everyone, including technology vendors.

The aim was to kick start the year with an event that actually assists in developing a stronger business foundation by the knowledge sharing made available to the ultimate holistic understanding of the business principles that drive enterprises.

In attendance were top CIOs, CISOs, CFOs and CXOs from cross industry verticals including FSI, Manufacturing, FMCG, Pharma and Textile. Along with this, technology vendors including Lenovo, Oracle, IBM, Cisco, Hitachi, and local players including RapidCompute, Trillium Information Security Systems, ArcPoint, PTCL, Wavetec attended the event.

Technology Sessions

In addition to two Case Files by those representing the ‘new-age’ designations in large corporations, Mr. Atyab Tahir (Head of Digital, HBL) and Mr. Faizan Laghari (Chief Disruption Officer, TCS), four back-to-back sessions of about 20 minutes each were carried out.

Moderated by Zaeem Arshad from Rapidcompute, the first to kick off was the CIO Tablet that included Yousuf Nasir (CIO HBFCL), Khawaja Tanveer (CIO Engro Corp) and the two case files speakers who joined in.

The next segment; CSO Tablet, was moderated by Mahir Mohsin Sheikh, CEO Trillium – where the conversation was led by Faiq Sadiq (Head of Internal Audit HBL), Hussein Hasanali Haji (CISO Bank Al Habib) and Syed Fahd Azam (CISO Meezan Bank).

The final session was a CXO Tablet, where a variety of industry verticals and C-suite members including those from finance, operations, administration and operations sat down to discuss the role of the C-suite and CXOs of the modern enterprise. Sohaib Irfan, Lenovo, moderated this session.

The closing note was delivered by senior thought leaders; Senior Vice Chairman P@SHA & CEO TPS Mr. Shahzad Shahid, Kashif ul Haque (CGM Cisco Pakistan), Asim Khusro (MD Oracle Pakistan) and Shariq Rehman (Software Head – IBM Pakistan), who spoke of the evolving, and very promising technology enterprise landscape for Pakistan.

The sessions also explored how organizations are managing digital disruption or what new designations that are quickly evolving and their roles to play, and ended with a networking dinner for all attendees.

BANK ALFALAH IMPROVES PROFIT

Bank Alfalah has announced its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2016, with the Bank registering Profit after tax of Rs. 7.9 Billion in December 2016 as against Rs. 7.5 Billion in December 2015, improving by 5 percent.

Earnings per Share were reported at Rs. 4.96 as compared to Rs. 4.73 reported in December 2015.

“Bank Alfalah’s performance in 2016 reflects yet another year of sound financial results amidst a challenging business environment. During the year, we continued to create value for our shareholders and customers. We have strived to promote financial and digital inclusion in the country through various initiatives, and remain committed to expand our impact further, and to touch the lives of as many people as possible” said Atif Bajwa, President & CEO, Bank Alfalah.

The Bank’s total revenue remained at Rs. 37.6 Billion against 37.5 Billion last year. While we continued investing in innovation, the management of the Bank placed further controls over expenses. Resultantly, growth of non-markup expenses was restricted to 3.7 percent.

The Bank’s total assets at December 2016 stand at Rs. 917 Billion as against Rs. 903 Billion last year, Deposits remained at Rs. 640 Billion with CASA mix improving to 83.3 percent. The Bank’s lending activity remained healthy with Gross Advances improving by 13 percent to Rs. 396 Billion in December 2016.

The Bank has a gross ADR at 62 percent at year end 2016, one of the highest amongst peers. The Board of Directors of the Bank, cognizant of the fact that capital strengthening would be the key driver behind sustainable long term growth, has recommended retention of profits for the outgoing year.

As at 31 December 2016, the Bank’s Non-performing loans (NPLs) ratio stands at 4.8 percent, which is better than the industry average. This denotes very high quality of Bank’s lending portfolio with a significantly improved NPL coverage of 86 percent.

JCR-VIS Credit Rating Co. Ltd. has recently assigned the Bank a long term credit rating of ‘AA+’ (Double A Plus) and a short term rating of ‘A-1+’ (A-One Plus) with a stable outlook. The Bank is also rated ‘AA/A-1+’ (Double A/A-One Plus) with a positive outlook by PACRA. These ratings reflect Bank’s healthy financial risk profile, strong sponsors and strong capacity for timely payment of financial commitments.

40th FPCCI EXPORT TROPHY AWARDED TO PAKISTAN CABLES LIMITED FOR THE CATEGORY OF “MERIT AWARD 2015-2016”

Pakistan Cables Limited marks a new beginning in 2017, by reaching new heights yet again, and winning the 40th FPCCI EXPORT TROPHY, awarded by the Federation of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry for the year 2015-2016.

The Award Ceremony was held at PAK CHINA Friendship Center Islamabad, on 15th December 2016. The Trophy was presented by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Pakistan Cables is a premier and renowned Cable Manufacturer that stands by its promise of being ” Trusted Not to Compromise.”

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