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UBER CELEBRATES A MILESTONE OF 5 BILLION TRIPS MADE WORLDWIDE!

Uber has much reason to celebrate – as it announces crossing the 5 billion worldwide trips mark on Saturday 20th May. To make this happen, 156 trips started simultaneously at 7:29:06am GMT, in 24 countries across six continents, in cities including Dubai, Moscow and the capital city of Pakistan – Islamabad.

Uber started in 2010 to solve a simple problem: how do you get a ride at the push of a button? In late 2015, Uber made headlines for crossing the 1 billion trips mark. Six months later, the company reached 2 billion rides, and over the last 11 months Uber has witnessed incredible growth to reach an impressive combined 5 billion rides.

In Pakistan, two partner-drivers helped Uber reach the milestone. In Islamabad, Umer Ejaz Malik completed a trip to Jinnah Avenue. While in Karachi, Muhammad Kashif completed one to Shahrah e Usman.

Uber wouldn’t have reached this milestone without the dedicated service of partner-drivers. As a token of appreciation, Uber will be giving each of the 156 drivers who were part of this milestone $500, including both partner-drivers from Pakistan.

“At Uber we are proud of our partner-drivers who have made it possible for us to achieve this milestone. It’s amazing that out of the 156 simultaneous trips taken worldwide, two were in Pakistan, one being in one of our newest market; Islamabad. This is evidence that the Uber app and technology is giving people in cities across the world, including Islamabad, access to safe, reliable and affordable transportation at the tap of a button” says Safee Shah, GM of Uber Pakistan.

Muhammad Kashif, who completed one of 156 trips that started simultaneously, and which took place on Uber AUTO, said: “I am feeling very happy, and there is no way I can express it with words. Thank you Uber!”

Umar from Islamabad expressed how he felt about the occasion and said “A special thanks to Uber for giving us this award, and it is great to use the Uber app. Thanks a lot Uber!”

Uber is committed to growing its network, providing safe, reliable, and affordable transportation and improving the mobility and transport infrastructure of the cities in which it operates, while also focusing on building new and innovative features for riders and drivers.

For more information on this story, please visit: https://newsroom.uber.com/5billion/

NDC ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH THOMSON REUTERS

National Data Consultant (Pvt) Ltd (NDC), an award-winning IT Services Provider to Banks and Financial Institutions in MEA, announced a partnership with Thomson Reuters to promote risk products in Pakistan.

Nadim Najjar, Managing Director, Middle East and North Africa, Thomson Reuters, said: Pakistan has a great economic potential to offer. The impact of globalization has made compliance and regulation topics of increasing importance throughout the country. Thomson Reuters provides leading regulatory and risk management solutions and we look forward to helping more customers in Pakistan to anticipate and manage risk and compliance.

Ammara Masood, CEO and President, NDC, pointed out that Thomson Reuters will provide customer support to NDC in order to ensure a seamless customer experience. NDC has facilitated the sale and implementation of Core Banking and other products at 11 Banks in Pakistan so far. The relationship that has evolved with these Banks puts NDC in a favorable position to sell complementary products to help the Banks meet market and regulatory requirements.

The partnership encompasses Thomson Reuters financial and risk portfolio primarily representing World Check; Enhanced Due Diligence; Compliance Learning and Market Data Feeds.

ALI RIAZ CHAUDHRY, CEO & PRESIDENT OF TELENOR MICROFINANCE BANK, TAKES UP A NEW ROLE

Telenor Microfinance Bank has announced that the CEO and President, Ali Riaz Chaudhry, has decided to pursue his career outside of Telenor and has resigned from the bank. Ali will be joining a Digital Financial Services business in the U.K. as its CEO and will be based in London.

“I am extremely thankful to Telenor and to the Board for providing me the opportunity to serve the company and the cause of financial inclusion. Working with a winning team, to establish the bank as the leading Digital Financial Services Provider, has been a privilege. I wish Telenor Microfinance Bank the very best in continuing as a strong leader in digital financial services,” Ali said.

Roar Bjaerum, Head of Telenor Financial Services, expressed, “Ali has been the key architect and driving force of the bank’s transformation journey: he and his team merged the Easypaisa and branch banking business, created an operationally efficient microfinance model and introduced digital lending. Ali is leaving behind a strong footprint, a solid strategy and a capable team. I would like to thank him for his vision and unconditional commitment to Telenor Microfinance Bank and the cause of financial inclusion. We wish him all the best for this next endeavor.”

The Board of Directors of the bank has appointed Shahid Mustafa as the new CEO of Telenor Microfinance Bank. His appointment is subject to approval from the State Bank of Pakistan. Further announcement will be made in due course.

PSO DISPLAYS ITS ROBUST SUPPLY RELIABILITY IN QUETTA

The country’s leading OMC, Pakistan State Oil has sufficient stock of petroleum products available to meet the demand and there is no shortage of fuel at PSO outlets in Quetta city. This was stated in reference to reports in the media regarding petrol shortage in Quetta and adjoining areas. PSO’s outlets in Quetta experienced a sudden surge in the influx of customers these past 3 days due to unavailability of fuel in the city and sales rose by nearly 100%. Being the country’s foremost OMC, PSO yet again displayed its reliability and ensured a seamless supply of petroleum products across Quetta even on Sunday for managing the customers’ needs. Customers in Quetta are encouraged to visit PSO outlets for all their fueling requirements. The country’s flagship OMC as always is carrying out its operations in a responsible manner to serve the nation’s fuel demand.

PACRA MAINTAINS LONG TERM AAA AND SHORT TERM A1+ ENTITY RATINGS OF MCB BANK

PACRA has maintained the Long term AAA and Short term A1+ entity ratings of MCB Bank Limited.

The ratings take note of MCB’s sustained financial profile, reflected in very strong capitalization, sound liquidity and diverse deposit base. This has been enabled by the bank’s able parentage, wherein a diverse mix of sponsors – mainly led by Nishat Group – has been providing an effective oversight. The ratings factor in MCB Bank’s strong market positioning, supported by its well established brand name and substantial out reach.

MCB Bank has the highest CASA in the industry, with lowest cost of funds amongst all players. The bank lately has added sizeable chunk to its deposit base, slightly inching it up. The bank continues with its current strategy of lending to premier corporates with sustained focus on government exposure.

At the same time, beefing up of the consumer and SME book is also anticipated amidst improving macro fundamentals. The prevailing interest rate environment is a challenge especially with the drying stream of PIBs. The bank has established an Islamic Banking subsidiary, thereby, becoming the first conventional bank to do so. The bank is in the process of merging NIB Bank with and into itself.

In its statement, PACRA states that the ratings are dependent on the bank’s ability to hold its existing position in the banking sector. Any deterioration in the perceived strength of the bank or ownership with consequent impact upon its governance efficacy would have negative implication. Further strengthening of human resource would be vital.

 

NOKIA SMARTPHONES TO FEATURE ZEISS OPTICS

Espoo, Finland/ Oberkochen, Germany, 6 July 2017 – HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, and ZEISS jointly announced the signing of an exclusive partnership that aims to set new imaging standards within the smartphone industry. This long-term agreement builds on the shared history and expertise between ZEISS and Nokia smartphones.

With a joint ambition to advance the quality of the total imaging experience on smartphones spanning the entire ecosystem from software, services, through to screen quality, and optic design, the partnership will see ZEISS and HMD Global co-develop standard-defining imaging capabilities and will bring the ZEISS brand back to Nokia smartphones. This pledge to constantly improve consumers’ imaging experience is a reflection of the shared values between both businesses – a single minded commitment to quality, true craftsmanship and a desire to improve real life experience.

The relationship between ZEISS and Nokia phones began more than a decade ago, and is founded on a shared passion for innovation and always delivering the best for the consumer. The past collaboration saw ZEISS and Nokia phones driving technology innovations such as the world’s first multi-megapixel mobile phone and many more standard-setting devices, from the Nokia Nseries to those featuring Nokia PureView technologies. This renewed relationship is a long-term commitment to build on that technology innovation over the years to come.

Arto Nummela, CEO, HMD Global:

“Collaborating with ZEISS is an important part of our commitment to always deliver the very best experience for our customers. Our fans want more than a great smartphone camera, they want a complete imaging experience that doesn’t just set the standard but redefines it. Our fans expect it and, together with ZEISS, we’re delivering it – co-developed imaging excellence for all.”

Dr. Matthias Metz, Member of the Executive Board of ZEISS Group:

“The collaboration of HMD Global with ZEISS for Nokia smartphones will again enhance consumers’ holistic imaging experience based on excellence and innovation. Our partnership is built on a solid foundation. Together, we look forward to an exciting journey into the future of sophisticated smartphone imaging.”

This exclusive partnership with ZEISS is further proof of how HMD Global is collaborating with the best and most respected in the industry to drive perfection throughout every aspect of the phone design and build, and is a commitment to consumers to deliver the ultimate imaging experience possible on a smartphone.

MICROSOFT OFFERS PAKISTAN PARTNERS ECOSYSTEM CSR OUTREACH

Microsoft Pakistan, has recently organized its CSR campaign named ’Microsoft Pakistan Partners Ecosystem CSR Outreach’ with the commitment of facilitating the needs of people in all communities.

The motive behind Microsoft Philanthropies is to invest the strongest assets to drive greater inclusion and empowerment of people not having access to technology and the opportunities it offers and enables.

Mr. Shahzad Khan – Country Head the employment forums are robust platforms which can enable revolutionary enrichments in the society, by empowering the youth, to find effective solutions for the various challenges faced by the society. Microsoft also aims to connect the Microsoft Solution partners with the NGOs/INGO’s, Private Academia and Donors, ultimately benefiting all segments by aligning each other efforts. In this wonderful initiative, around About 40 NGOs, 40+ Partners and 10 Private Academia gathered to explore the future possibilities.

Rozgar.work is a pioneering ‘Employability and Entrepreneurship Portal’ by Microsoft, launched in collaboration with ’World Vision’, aimed at providing Pakistani job-seekers with end-to-end career guidance, up skilling, job-matching and mentorship, Mr. Rizwan Ulhaq from Worldvision International Pakistan expressed his opinion about Microsoft Solutions and Worldvision’s collaboration on employability portal and enabling youth for national development and next steps.

Ms. Laura Sheridan – at United Nations Developmental Program (UNDP) participated in the event and stated: “We are really excited to be a part of this wonderful and pioneering initiative with Microsoft. UNDP is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life”.

Ms. Rohma Labeeb – Grants Coordinator at Human Development Foundation said: “This is a great initiative taken by Microsoft which is directly in correlation with the mission of HDF, The area’s targeted by this initiative will be; Social Mobilization, Education & Literacy, Primary Health Care, Economic Development, and Sustainable Environment.” She also mentioned how Microsoft Pakistan supported Human Development Foundation through donation of cloud technologies and how it helped them in enhancing productivity and efficiency.

JAZZ AWARDED 4G SPECTRUM FOR $295 MILLION

Jazz, Pakistan’s number one digital company, has been awarded the 4G spectrum by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). The company has paid 100% as the base price for the spectrum fee, which amounts to USD 295 million and an additional 10% in taxes to start its work on expanding the existing 4G coverage in Pakistan.

“This development is truly very exciting for us at Jazz because it allows us to provide Pakistan with a far reaching and enhanced mobile broadband experience,” Aamir Ibrahim, CEO – Jazz said. “Acquisition of the additional spectrum demonstrates Jazz’s investment in the country’s digital future – in line with our vision of becoming a true digital entity.”

This reflects Jazz’s commitment and support for the Government and its digital Pakistan’s agenda. Jazz was the only operator to have participated in the 4G spectrum auction and hence qualified as the winner without any bidding.

By expanding its 4G network, Jazz looks to bring in new digital experiences designed to not only provide exceptional communications services, but also convenient financial, business and entertainment solutions.

LCCI CHIEF CONGRATULATES MIAN KASHIF FOR WINNING BEST CEO AWARD

President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Abdul Basit congratulated Mian Kashif Ashfaq, Chief Executive Officer Pakistan Furniture Council and ChenOne for getting the best CEO award.

In a statement issued last Sunday, LCCI Chief said Punjab Governor Muhammad Rafique Rajwana gave away this award to Mian Kashif which reflected the best qualities of the recipient. He said business community was proud of him for setting good examples for future business generation, adding that the way Pakistan furniture sector was being promoted and projected globally and nationwide was unprecedented to introduce the handmade best quality wood furniture. He even praised him for setting an historic work of nature for the sake of Pakistan economic and business promotion. He appreciated that under his leadership Pakistan Furniture Council with any government support hold a three-day exhibition through throughout the country, in which foreign people related to furniture trade and related organization participated.

Abdul Basit said that Pakistan Furniture Council under his leadership had so far successfully organized seven mega three-day exhibitions.

Abdul Basit hoped that in the coming month, mega event of three-day “Pakistan Interiors” from July 7 at Expo Centre Karachi will provide another ample opportunities to local and foreign exhibitors to display their products and exchange trade.

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