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Rana Afzal Khan visits Pakistan stock exchange

Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan, Minister of State for Finance visited Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) last week to meet members of the Board of Directors of PSX, market participants and senior stakeholders. Mr. Muneer Kamal, Chairman PSX Board welcomed the Hon’ble guest and thanked him for taking own initiative to visit PSX. Mr. Kamal congratulated Mr. Khan for his appointment as Minister of State for Finance at the time when the budget for the fiscal year 2018-19 is to be presented in the National Assembly in couple of months and the relevant strategy has to be discussed by the cabinet prior to that. Mr. Muneer Kamal made a brief presentation on various stages PSX passed through since 2012 when it was demutualized, integrated with other two stock exchanges in early 2016 and finally divestment of equity to Chinese Consortium followed by self-listing in 2017. The Chairman PSX Board enumerated various issues which are contributing to decline of capital market and expressed his confidence that Government would be able to resolve these issues, with the assistance of persons in the Ministry of Finance, having extensive exposure to finance and capital market. He emphasized that capital market improvement is in the interest of Government as well as other stakeholders to boost economic activity as it is face to the outside world and perception indicator of Pakistan.

On this occasion, Mr. Arif Habib, a senior market participant, while giving an overview of past and present performance of PSX, stated that KSE-100 Index fell by nearly 20% in 2017 and negative performance is primarily attributed to increased taxes alongside political and economic woes, thus resulting into a directionless market, foreigners’ outflows instead of inflows despite MSCI upgradation. Mr. Habib presented various recommendations for market development, which were recently submitted to Prime Minister as well as Ministry of Finance. These included providing tax incentives for 5 years to companies to be listed, Removal of tax on Bonus shares or at least to impose such tax on face value rather than market value, Reduction in Advance Tax on Brokerage Commission, Reduction in corporate tax rate and removal of Super Tax, Reinstating the holding company tax treatment, Foreign Currency investments by attracting non-resident Pakistanis, listing of Government Projects of significant value particularly from CPEC, rationalization of tax on REIT and cutting down the rate of tax on Capital Gains along with the related holding period.

The other stakeholders present in the meeting also expressed their views on various matters concerning the market and suggested various measures to bring improvement in capital market. The Hon’ble Minister while listening to these suggestions, stated that after the extensive discussions, he is able to know a number of facts. He assured to extend full support for taking them to right forum for possible implementing the same. He added that growth of Capital Market will be a success both for its stakeholders and the Government. The Chairman PSX Board thanked the Minister for his visit to PSX and meeting with the Board members as well as market participants.—PR

PSO donates funds for child patients to receive treatment at the Aga Khan University hospital

Pakistan State Oil, the largest oil marketing company of the country, has donated Rs. 20 million to The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) for treatment of at least 40 children from humble background who are born with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). The announcement came during an official signing ceremony held at the University Hospital premises in Karachi.

Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is a birth defect in the structure of the heart. Over 60,000 children are born each year with this life-threatening condition in Pakistan.

The donations by PSO CSR Trust has been made through the Patients Behbud Society for AKUH (PBS), a charitable society responsible for collecting and disbursing zakat, in order to help mustehiq patients receive high quality medical treatment at The Aga Khan University Hospital, its clinics and medical centers.

Sheikh Imranul Haque, MD & CEO, PSO, presented the cheque of support on behalf of the PSO CSR Trust to Mr. Nadeem Mustafa Khan, Chairman, Patients Behbud Society for AKUH. Mr. Imran Rana, Deputy General Manager – Corporate Communications, PSO, signed and exchanged the Memorandum of Understanding with Mr. Nadeem Mustafa Khan. Mr. Hans Kedzierski, CEO, AKUH Pakistan, Mr. Babar H Chaudhry, Trustee from the PSO CSR Trust and other senior officials from both sides were also present to witness the ceremony.

Speaking at the ceremony, Sheikh Imranul Haque, MD & CEO, PSO said:

“This is unfortunate that 50,000 to 60,000 children are born with congenital heart diseases (CHD) every year in Pakistan out of which many die in neonatal life due to lack of proper medical treatment. We at PSO believe that children are the future of the nation. It is therefore our social responsibility to help provide quality healthcare facilities to them regardless of their background.”

“PSO thorough its CSR Trust is very pleased to partner with The Aga Khan University Hospital and its Patients Behbud Society. We have been regularly donating funds to save precious lives of children and will continue to play our role in making their lives safe and better.”

Mr. Nadeem Mustafa Khan, Chairman, Patients` Behbud Society for AKUH, appreciated PSO’s support and reinforced the fact:

“AKUH is a very transparent hospital and the money which we will use on the needy patients we report back to the donors as the standard procedure. He further said that in 2016, AKUH has provided PKR 2.3 billion by benefitting more than 700,000 needy patients under its Patients Welfare and Patients’ Behbud Society programmes and we are expecting more than 20% increase in 2017.î

Dr. Babar Hasan, Service Line Chief of the Children’s Hospital, AKUH, said:

“AKUH is committed to providing quality health care facilities to the children of this country and is playing a very crucial role in providing access to not only paying patients but a large majority of needy patients who need financial support.”

Mr. Hans Kedzierski, CEO, AKUH, said:

“AKUH is a leading tertiary care hospital in the country that provides safe and high quality care to patients. Our quality is accessed by international accreditation bodies comprising JCIA (Joint Commission International) QIC (Quality Improvement Collaborative), CAP (College of American Pathologists) etc.”

Nigaah Tauqeer Muhajir Scholarship Program begins at Indus Valley School

Pakistan’s biggest art awards, Nigaah Art Awards that took place at Mohatta Palace in 2017 had numerous segments executed that night. Out of those many segments, one which was very close to everyone’s heart was to raise funds for deserving students. It comprised of an art auction to raise funds for a scholarship program and some of Pakistan’s very talented and well known painters namely: Khusro Subzwari, Dr. Wasif, Chitra Pritam, Shahzad Zar, Hanif Shahzad, Hussain Chandio, S.M Fawad and Farrukh Shahab donated their work for this noble cause. An art collector Shabkhez Mahmood also donated two paintings for this auction.

The vision behind this auction segment was to generate as much money as possible so that scholarships are offered to deserving candidates. We are pleased to announce that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between Nigaah magazine and Indus Valley School to initiate the Nigaah Tauqeer Muhajir scholarship program where Nigaah will raise funds and donate Rupees Two Million on an annual basis. This Scholarship will be provided to the deserving students studying in any discipline and / or at any level of education at Indus Valley School. The first tranche of Rupees One Million raised from the auction has already been given to Indus Valley School.

This MoU was signed between Tauqeer Muhajir Editor, Nigaah Magazine and Samina Raees Khan, Executive Director, IVS, in 2018 for a tenure of 4 years i.e. 2018-2022.

 

Systems Limited co-hosts Information Management Summit with IBM

Systems Limited partnered with IBM to organize the Information Management Summit at the Karachi Marriott to explore global best practices in the marketplace that are leading the disruption curve while delivering high return on investment and optimal total cost of ownership.

CIOs, Product Chiefs, VPs and Heads of IT, Marketing, Digital, and E-Commerce from organizations in the Retail, Manufacturing, Consumer Goods, Finance, Insurance, Media, and Oil & Gas industries attended the event. After opening remarks from CEOs, summit participants gained insights into emerging technologies during keynote sessions from IBM and Systems Limited.

The three keynote sessions discussed the benefits of robotic process automation (RPA), IBM API Connect, and IBM Aspera. RPA is a rapid-deploying, configurable, low-cost technology capable of automating any well-defined and repetitive digital tasks like processing bank loans and vendor payments. With low licensing and re-training costs combined with quicker and more affordable implementation, RPA offers much better value than traditional process automation techniques. IBM API Connect is a cloud-enabled API lifecycle management solution that digitally transforms and extends access to your integration services to create a high-ROI business model. Create, customize, and manage APIs that grant internal and external stakeholders access to valuable back-end data, creating opportunities for new revenue streams. IBM Aspera is a suite of high-speed digital content delivery solutions that BBC, CNN, Netflix, and others are using to gain competitive advantage. With support for large file sizes and automatic synchronization, Aspera facilitates global collaboration and high availability that scales as your organization grows.

“The IT industry is moving into an era that emphasizes intelligence, and with powerful new technologies from industry leaders like IBM, Systems Limited is bringing the advantages of these smart solutions to its clients,” said Asif Peer, CEO, Systems Limited. “RPA has begun to revolutionize multiple industries by disrupting traditional automation models, and has brought the efficiency-enhancing benefits of artificial intelligence within the reach of small and medium-sized organizations. By combining the power of RPA with IBM’s content delivery and API integration solutions, businesses of all sizes will discover new ways to work, both internally as well as with their external partners and customers.”

IBA Karachi advances to Finals of 8th Annual Hult Prize

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi, advances to Regional Finals of 8th Annual Hult Prize in response to the United Nation’s Challenge of “Harnessing the Power of Energy”.

The Grand Finale of the first edition of Hult Prize presented by Market Link Pvt. Ltd and organized by Campus Director, Mehreen Mansoor with her team comprising of Daim Ashraf, Hibbah Irfan, Abdul Rehman Ijaz, Sarmad Naeem and Shaharyar Mallick was successfully held on December 12, 2017 at the IBA Main Campus.

The Chief Guest, Mr. Imran Jattala, National Director Hult Prize announced the Winning Team “SOS” (a 4-member team of MBA students).

The Hult Prize at IBA Finals had the honour of having the most experienced judges. The panel comprised of Mr. Humayun Bashir, Former IBM Country General Manager and current Chairman National Clearing Company, Mr. Saif Akhtar, Co-founder and CEO of 10Xc and Ms. Maha Abdullah, Senior Program Officer at WWF.

The event was graced by Mr. Inshan Ali an IBA Alumnus and the Executive Director of Market Link Pvt. Ltd. Lead Sponsor of the event. Market Link (Private) Ltd is a complete digital value chain for farmers in Pakistan, it is a quality inputs and private sector enterprise, which designs Inclusion Strategy, to support Pakistan’s policy agenda.

Over the course of the past month, the Hult Prize at the IBA held numerous informative, pitching and mentor sessions for interested students and participants with the support of IBA IRC and IBA CED. They provided advice, training and tips to the participants so that they could start, form and subsequently deliver their ideas effectively.

The winning team “SOS” will now move on to compete at the Hult Prize Regional Finals in March 2018, which are being hosted in 15 cities around the world. The team will be a part of the legacy as the first team to represent the IBA in the world’s largest competition, ’The Nobel Prize for Students’.

Ahmad Ashkar, CEO and Founder of The Hult Prize attributes the success of the competition to the Global Youth revolution. He said, “We continue to be moved by the large number of students from around the world who are capitalizing on the opportunity to develop business models that target those who are in most need. We wish every team the best of luck and thank the IBA Karachi for supporting the initiative.

“The Hult Prize is a wonderful example of the creative cooperation needed to build a world with shared opportunity, shared responsibility and shared prosperity, and each year I look forward to seeing the many outstanding ideas the competition produces” – President Bill Clinton, 42nd President of United States.

Daraz website records 151 million visits in 2017

“In 2017, you visited us 151 million times. You searched through our million plus products, 55 million times. You came, you searched, we delivered. The year saw us launch D-Mart, making Daraz your go-to place for daily essentials. We introduced you to new brands like Xiaomi and Elephone, all the while giving you five record breaking sales.

We wanted you to enjoy not just the products, but the experience. We introduced a Seller University for our base of 6,000 sellers, training them to put your needs first. We acquired new warehousing space of 150,000 sq. ft with a four times bigger fleet, reducing delivery time by half. Every time you called, we answered, replying to over two million calls.

We launched EMI and bank transfers so your wish lists could be fulfilled on your terms. We were there for all of you, reaching you wherever you are, travelling 25 million kilometers this year, delivering to 731 cities, from Hala to Hunza.

As we grew, so did our community. We brought in promising graduates for the ‘Daraz Future Leaders Programme.’ We doubled employment opportunities, and helped thousands of Pakistanis with our ‘Asaan Zakat’ campaign.

We couldn’t have achieved any of this without your support. Pakistan’s first three billion rupee sale is yours, as much ours. Here’s to you, and a bigger and better 2018!

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