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Standard Chartered study reveals social mobility is booming in Pakistan

Emerging affluent consumers enjoying impressive earnings growth, and higher levels of education, employment and home ownership than their parents

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of emerging affluent consumers in Pakistan are experiencing upward social mobility, a new Standard Chartered study shows. Of these, 11% are enjoying ’supercharged’* social mobility, not just relative to the previous generation, but compared to the rest of the socially mobile.

The Emerging Affluent Study 2018 – Climbing the Prosperity Ladder – examines the views of 11,000 emerging affluent consumers – individuals who are earning enough to save and invest – from 11 markets across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The average figure for social mobility among the emerging affluent across the markets in the study is 59%, and of these 7% are experiencing supercharged social mobility.

Pakistan’s socially mobile, as identified by the study, have had impressive earnings growth, with almost half (44%) enjoying a salary increase of 10% or more in the past year, and more than a third (34%) seeing their earnings jump by 50% or more in the past five years.

In Pakistan the socially mobile in the study are also better educated and achieving higher levels of employment and home ownership than their parents. 89% went to university, compared to 66% of their fathers and less than half (49%) of their mothers; and 83% are in management positions or running their own businesses compared to 65% of their fathers and 28% of their mothers. 88% of the socially mobile own their own home, compared to 81% of their parents at the same age.

Levels of optimism among the emerging affluent in Pakistan are even higher than the reality, with 79% believing they are in a better financial position than their parents compared to the 64% in the study that are actually socially mobile.

Social status of the emerging affluent
AverageChinaHong KongIndia IndonesiaKenya MalaysiaNigeria Pakistan SingaporeSouth KoreaUAE
’Super charged’ Socially Mobile*7%7%6%11%4%7%6%6%11%4%4%7%
Socially Mobile*52%60%53%56%50%54%49%50%53%51%45%50%
Not Socially Mobile42%33%41%33%46%39%45%44%37%46%51%43%
*mobile in an upward direction

The study also reveals that 71% of the emerging affluent in Pakistan believe effective wealth management holds the key to greater social mobility. Investing in financial products is helping them to keep moving up the ladder, with 58% of the emerging affluent saying that this is their strategy for meeting their financial goals and increasing their wealth.

Other findings from the study, now in its fourth year, include:

Digital dividends: technology holds the key to financial success

More than two-thirds (70%) of the emerging affluent in Pakistan say their familiarity with digital tools has been vital to their personal success. 73% say online banking makes them feel that they have more control over their money and investments, and 67% say digital money management has helped them get closer to achieving their financial goals.

On-demand advisers alleviate risk aversion

Pakistan’s emerging affluent are comfortable going online for financial advice, with the majority (60%) saying they would invest in financial products online if an on-demand adviser was available. Risk is not a problem for the emerging affluent if strong rewards are possible: 58% would accept a high level of risk for a high level of return when investing their money in online financial products.

Commenting on the study Syed Mujtaba Abbas, Head of Retail Banking, said: “These ambitious consumers are on an upward social trajectory: they are surpassing their parents’ success in education, careers and home ownership. As their ambitions and aspirations grow, they’re demanding convenient financial services and digital technology to broaden their access to money management and advance their financial wellbeing. It’s an exciting journey where they are not only improving their own lives, but they are also fuelling growth in some of the world’s most exciting markets.”

PTCL & STARZPLAY by Cinepax collaborate on svod service at an affordable price

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) collaborates with Starzplay by Cinepax, a leading Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) service, to provide quality international & local entertainment content to its valuable customers.

PTCL subscribers can now watch some of the latest blockbuster Hollywood movies, TV shows, documentaries, kids’ entertainment, Pakistani and Bollywood Movies. The monthly subscription cost is only Rs. 300/-. PTCL Smart TV App enables subscribers to watch this vast library of entertaining content on-the-go from their smart devices, anywhere, anytime.

On the occasion, Moqeem ul Haque, Chief Commercial Officer, PTCL, said “We are pleased to announce our collaboration with Starzplay by Cinepax to provide easy access to quality & entertainment content for our Smart TV & Smart TV App subscribers. We are committed to provide digital lifestyle to our customers and continue to bring latest entertainment platforms and avenues.”

Arif Baig Mohamed, Chairman, Cinepax Group, also said, “STARZ PLAY by Cinepax is a compelling business opportunity to provide high-quality service for both the mass and premium market segments. We are glad to partner with PTCL to offer our high quality service to its customers at an affordable price and look forward to mutual opportunities for customer engagement and satisfaction.”

This collaboration is in line with PTCL’s commitment to provide latest offerings and entertainment content to its subscribers.

PSO posts Profit after Tax (PAT) of Rs 4.2 billion in Q1FY2019

Pakistan State Oil, the country’s flagship oil marketing company, has announced it Q1FY19 financial results. The Company has reported a Profit after Tax (PAT) of Rs. 4.2 billion. The announcement was made during a Board of Management (BoM) meeting at PSO Headquarters in Karachi convened to review the Company’s performance for the quarter ended September 30, 2018.

Despite numerous challenges, PSO’s gross profit grew by 19% while it maintained its leadership position in the liquid fuels market with an overall share of 40% during the period under review. During the Q1FY19, PSO imported 48% of total industry imports and uplifted 34% of total country refinery production in the country.

The Company has shown a healthy bottom line in spite of a mix of external and internal factors that have negatively affected the local industry growth. These factors include influx of smuggled products, increasing international price trends, adulteration, heavy discounts offered by new entrants, and exploitation of the IFEM mechanism.

The BoM also discussed key challenges the company has been facing in recent months including the reduction in other income consequential to lower interest income, higher exchange loss on account of PKR devaluation, and increase in finance cost due to higher markup rates and borrowing levels. These have resulted in a decline in the Company’s PAT.

As of September 30th, 2018, PSO’s total outstanding receivables (inclusive of LPS) from the Power Sector, PIA, and SNGPL stood at Rs. 310 billion vs Rs. 316 billion as of June 30, 2018. This is in addition of Rs. 21 billion recoverable from the Ministry of Finance on account of exchange rate differential on foreign currency loans and price differential claims. The management is continuously pursuing the Ministries of Energy and Finance for re-payment of PSO’s receivables.

The management expressed sincere gratitude to all stakeholders including Government of Pakistan, especially Ministry of Energy and shareholders of the Company for their continued support. The Management also thanked PSO team for their resolute and commitment as the company gears up to meet the upcoming challenges.

Work on Chakdara-Chitral & Chitral-Gilgit Baltistan Projects to start in One Year: Murad Saeed

State Minister for Communications Mr. Murad Saeed has said, present government is determined to undertake road building schemes to accelerate pace of economic development in the country. Work on Chakdara-Chitral road and Chitral-Gilgit Baltistan road will be started within one year. He was talking to Mehboob Shah MNA from Malakand Division at Ministry of Communications here today. Mr. Murad Saeed said, road infrastructure plays vital role in socio economic development of the country, and construction of roads in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province stands among priorities of the government. Recalling beauty of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, he said, access to tourist resorts will surely pave the way to promote tourism industry there. He said, improvement of Chakdara-Chitral road and construction of Chitral-Gilgit Baltistan road will open up new avenues of development. In the past only slogans were raised for national development projects he said, but the present government is taking practical steps to realize projects of national importance. Work on Chakdara-Chitral-Gilgit-Baltistan schemes will be undertaken in one year, he added.

Mr. Mehboob Shah, MNA expressed gratitude to State Minister for Communications Mr. Murad Saeed for taking interest in road building projects in developing regions.

Excellent potential of E-Commerce with huge opportunity for small investors present in Pakistan: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said that e-commerce is being promoted in Pakistan, given to increased use of internet, smart phone and broadband. The state bank’s report disclosed that the e-commerce stood at Rs. 21 billion in 2017 which has increased by 94 percent to Rs. 40 billion in 2018, economically very encouraging and appreciative. It is pertinent to state that the amount did not include the e-commerce transactions carried through cash on delivery mode.

The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said that currently the retail business has been benefited through e-commerce but keeping the inclined trend of online business in mind, it is expected that the business-to-business online activities will be promoted accordingly. The e-commerce is further expected to grow by 25 percent in the coming years of 2019 and 2020 respectively.

The former minister said that unlike to traditional business, the e-commerce provides a unique platform that widely benefits customers at their doorstep with several attractions including saving of time, fuel & travelling cost. On the other hand, the business can easily communicate to customers online in addition to save the utilities and various expenses unavoidable in traditional setup, saves the cost of doing business.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that huge potential of e-commerce lies in Pakistan indicated by the 150 million mobile phone subscribers in the country with 56 million broadband users, 18 million smart phone users and 21 percent internet users. Logistics’ support to e-commerce is being provided by worthy names including Pakistan Post, TCS, Leopard courier, etc that provide delivery services to the online buyers. Legislative support is also there to protect e-commerce users and secure platforms are available to ensure safety of the sensitive and financial data of online buyers. However, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are far ahead from Pakistan in ecommerce standing at $ 35 billion, $ 3.5 billion and $ 1 billion respectively.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that various goods and services can be bought / availed online in Pakistan including vehicles, property, food products, electronics appliances, job search and cab service, etc. The small investors especially women entrepreneurs can grab the opportunity of making handsome profits through e-commerce’ platform. Skilled women can sale the handmade products and make handsome earnings. To benefit the entrepreneurs associated with e-commerce the state bank should take measures to introduce PayPal services in Pakistan.

JS Bank Supports Entrepreneurs Through Szabist Partnership

JS Bank has joined hands with Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science & Technology (SZABIST), a leading educational institution to support graduating students in their quest for becoming potential entrepreneurs by availing the JS Prime Minister Youth Business Loan (PMYBL) scheme.

This partnership will enable aspiring students of SZABIST to avail financing for start-ups or an established business, at a highly subsidized mark-up rate of 6% per annum. Students or Alumni aging between 21 & 45 years, with entrepreneurship and business management skills imparted through SZABIST, are eligible to apply for the scheme.

Reflecting on this alliance, Babbar Wajid, Head of Product Development & Business Management at JS Bank, stated, “Through this partnership, we aim to open doors to entrepreneurship for young individuals. I am positive that this is just the start to something much bigger and that we can bring about a change in the social & economic sectors of Pakistan.”

Emphasizing on the significance of entrepreneurship in promoting SMEs, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, President SZABIST, highlighted that in addition to teaching courses pertaining to Entrepreneurship, and a robust Student Society that is actively working to inspire and create entrepreneurs of tomorrow, SZABIST has launched a four-year BS Entrepreneurship degree program in 2017. This collaboration with JS Bank for the PMYBL Scheme will largely boost the entrepreneurial spirit among students through much-needed financial support.

JS Bank, one of Pakistan’s leading and fastest growing financial institutions is continually undertaking efforts to drive economic growth and development in Pakistan.

Jaffer business systems provides value added services program

Jaffer Business Systems (JBS), one of the leading IT companies in Pakistan, is offering innovative Value Added Services (VAS) programme that is aimed at providing the customers something more than they pay for in terms of complimentary service. The VAS programme is an embodiment of JBS values and corporate philosophy.

Last financial year, over 50 business customers ranging from financial institutions, manufacturing and services sectors benefitted from this programme. The list of offerings of the VAS programme includes but not limited to; preventive maintenance and health check of the IT systems, expert advisory services (in areas where JBS operates), extended customer support hours and end-user trainings.

The Director and CEO of Jaffer Business Systems, Veqar ul Islam, who is a keen believer of providing added value to every product and service the company offers, stated: “The customers are always the first priority of any business; therefore, in pursuit of becoming the most appreciated IT firm in Pakistan, we aim to offer something which gives us an edge over others – value addition.”

JBS is known for conducting such initiatives in the past. Other than the VAS programme, JBS is also keen on a concept called ’a bit earlier’, where they aim to meet all their deliverables before the committed time.

Executive Director, IBA Dr. Farrukh Iqbal selected as the Chairman NBEAC

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has appointed the Executive Director, Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Dr. Farrukh Iqbal as the Chairman National Business Education Accreditation Council (NBEAC) for the next four years.

The NBEAC is an accreditation authority which facilitates to increase the quality of business education across Pakistan. The systems, procedures, networks and programs laid out by the NBEAC help to gauge the standards of the educational institutes. It also advises on how public and private institutions can improve their academic programs.

Dr. Iqbal has been associated with the IBA, Karachi as the Executive Director from August 2016. He implemented his vast knowledge of economics in analysis and policy dialogue related to economic policy issues while serving on both technical and senior managerial positions at the World Bank for 33 years. His area of expertise and research includes: fiscal and monetary management, trade and competitiveness, small and medium enterprises, local government development, human development, and poverty analysis and strategy. His work focuses primarily on East Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. He has worked as the World Bank’s Country Director for the Gulf Cooperation Council countries during 2010 to 2013 (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates).

Dr. Iqbal has authored and co-edited books including: Sustaining Gains in Poverty Reduction and Human Development in the Middle East and North Africa, World Bank, 2006; Small Firm Dynamics in East Asia, Kluwer Press, 2002 (co-edited with Shujiro Urata); Deregulation and Development in Indonesia, Praeger Press, 2002 (co-edited with William James); Local Government Development in Japan, Oxford University Press, 2001 (co-edited with Michio Muramatsu); Democracy, Market Economics and Development: An Asian Perspective, World Bank, 2001 (co-edited with Jong-Il Yoo). He has also published many research articles and presented conference papers in both national and international conferences.

Dr. Iqbal holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University and completed his B.A. in Economics from Harvard University.

EFU General wins 13th consumers choice award 2018

EFU General has been awarded the 13th Consumers Choice Award 2018 in the Category of Best General Insurance Company of Pakistan. Mr. Altaf Qamruddin Gokal, Chief Financial Officer received this award.

The Consumers Association of Pakistan (CAP) organized this magnificent event at Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi. Mr. Sardar Masood Khan, President, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Mr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Federal Minister, IT & Telecom distributed the awards. The ceremony was graced by high profile personalities from the government, public and private sectors.

These awards are especially gratifying as the winners are selected from a wide cross-section of Pakistani consumers through different surveys conducted by the Consumers Association of Pakistan (CAP).

EFU General has received this award in recognition of its outstanding performance in the field of non-life insurance Industry of Pakistan. EFU offers a variety of products that caters to the needs of its clients and protecting their diversified interests. EFU brand has become synonymous to progressiveness and promptness in settlement of claims. EFU’s greatest achievement continues to be consumers’ trust for more than 80 years.

Byco not responsible for oil spill near Mubarak village

After a thorough investigation, the Balochistan Environmental Protection Agency (BEPA) has confirmed that Byco Petroleum Pakistan Ltd. (BPPL) had absolutely no leakage or loss of containment from any of its facilities. This has been further confirmed also by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA). BEPA and PMSA had conducted their investigation starting October 25, including conducting aerial survey to determine the source of the leakage that washed up on the shores of Mubarak Village. Their findings showed no evidence of leakage at Byco’s facilities.

As part of its own investigation, Byco tested a sample of the oil found at the site and found it to be bunker oil, which is not produced at Bycoís refinery, nor at any other refinery in Pakistan. Bunker oil is used by ships as fuel and it is most likely that in this case the bunker oil was dumped by a ship being taken to Gadani for shipbreaking.

Byco has taken strong notice of some unscrupulous elements spreading malicious disinformation that the oil spillage emanated from Byco and has already initiated legal action against these for defamation. It is to be noted that Bycoís Single Point Mooring (SPM) and undersea pipeline are fully in accordance with applicable national and international specifications and safety standards, and there are stringent regular safety inspection procedures in place at all Byco’s facilities.

“Byco categorically confirms there has been no loss of containment of any product from its facilities. Certain unscrupulous elements have been conducting a defamation campaign against Byco through traditional and social media platforms against whom we are pressing charges. We would also urge all stakeholders to pay urgent attention to this ever present danger of maritime pollution caused by oil spills from passing ships, to prevent such accidents in the future which greatly threaten our marine environment,” – said Shehryar Ahmad, GM Communications, Byco Petroleum Pakistan Limited.

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