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Telenor Pakistan scoops two international architectural accolades

The state-of-the-art Telenor Pakistan headquarters ’345’ is making headlines in the global architectural community as it bags two prestigious awards: the 2A Continental Architectural Award 2018 in the ‘Commercial – Office & Business – Asia’ category, and the World Architecture Community Award 2018 in the ’Realised’ category. These two awards are on top of the building being shortlisted in ‘completed office building’ category at the World Architecture Festival held in Amsterdam this year where it competed with 17 other global architectural marvels.

The 2A Continental Architectural Awards were held in Barcelona, Spain where Telenor Pakistan’s Headquarter, 345, secured the first place & won the coveted award. The second award, The World Architecture Community Award, recognizes the best projects & buildings across the globe. 345 is a true architectural landmark setting new standards for the construction industry in Pakistan.

Standard Chartered Karachi United Youth League Concludes with Impressive Finale

Agha Khan, Khara Dar won the Girls and Lyari Kakri won the U-14 Boys Standard Chartered Karachi United Youth League Final which was recently held in Karachi. Earlier, Baldia Centre and KU Academy had won the U-10 and U-12 boys editions respectively. This league was sponsored by Standard Chartered, as part of its community service mandate to promote sports amongst children.

The final tournament was held at the Karachi United Stadium and was attended by more than 400 spectators hailing from different areas of Karachi.

The objective of the “Standard Chartered Karachi United Youth League” was to provide a platform for Youth football teams from across Karachi who came together, broke barriers and inculcated the spirit of competition. A total of 720 boys’ and 80 girls’ teams participated in the league which kicked off at Karachi United Stadium on 14th September 2018.

A total of 800 boys and girls from across Karachi participated in this tournament. 128 matches were played in different locations including Old Golimar, Clifton, Malir, Baldia, Liyari, Korangi and Mauripur. Through this tournament 12 community centres were engaged.

Commenting on the sponsorship, Ms. Khadija Hashimi, Head of Corporate Affairs and Brand & Marketing said, “This was a tremendous opportunity for us to further enhance our commitment to the communities in which we operate. The SC-KU league has enabled us to create opportunities, build healthy competition and inculcate respect in the local communities through sport. Standard Chartered has a long association with football. We are proud to support Goal, a global Standard Chartered community initiative, which enables financial education through sport for adolescent girls, in Pakistan. We hope that through Football we can bring a positive social benefit that is a unifying force across our communities in Karachi.”

Commenting on the league Mr. Imran Ali, Director Youth and Community at Karachi United said “This is the second season of the SC KU Youth League and we have seen some excellent competition, friendships and stories develop as a result of this. This kind of competition is necessary for our youth as through sport so many have embraced skills such as discipline, respect, team work which will help them in their lives. I would also like to specifically call out and thank the mentoring sessions by SC staff as many participants have been inspired through these. We value our partnership with SC and look forward to a good future.”

PCB hits a six on HBL PSL broadcast and live-streaming rights

Rights sold to Blitz Advertising and Techfront until 2021 at an unprecedented 358 per cent more than the previous three years of one of the most attractive cricket leagues on the planet

The Pakistan Cricket Board today announced the consortium of Blitz Advertising (Pvt.) Ltd. and Techfront as its broadcast and live-streaming partner for the star-studded HBL Pakistan Super League from 2019 to 2021 for Pakistan & globally, respectively.

The new agreement is 358 per cent more than the previous three years of one of the most competitive and well-organised tournaments on the planet.

The new rights cycle renews a time-tested partnership between Pakistan Cricket Board, Blitz Advertising (Pvt.) Ltd. and Techfront.

Blitz Advertising is part of Pakistan’s largest full service communications group with nationwide presence and represents Publicis Media, the world’s premier media management group in Pakistan.

Techfront, a UAE-based affiliate of Global Sports Commerce (GSC), is one of the largest sports technology and management companies providing dynamic solutions and commercial management to leading sports stakeholders.

“I would like to congratulate and thank Blitz Advertising and Techfront for partnering with us once again. This is a time-tested partnership and our joint objective, for the next three years, is to ensure that HBL PSL continues to grow in terms of fan engagement.” Mr Ehsan Mani, Chairman of the PCB, said.

Mr Ahsen Idris, CEO of Blitz Advertising, said: “Blitz Advertising has had three wonderful years with HBL PSL and this new three-year partnership is a win achieved with a six.

Mr M.S Muralidharan, Managing Director of Techfront, said: “We have been involved with HBL PSL since its very first season in various capacities. We are glad to have procured the global broadcast and live-streaming rights for HBL PSL rom 2019-2021.

HBL PSL returns to action with a glittering opening ceremony in Dubai followed by the opening game between Islamabad United and Lahore Qalandars on February 14, 2019. For the first time in the short history of this tournament, eight matches at the backend of the tournament with Lahore staging three and Karachi hosting five, including the March 17, 2019 final.

NBP grabs FPCCI’s Prime Minister Award

The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of commerce and Industry (FPCCI) conferred Prime Minister of Pakistan Award to National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) for outstanding Services in banking and Financial Sector on the occasion of 42nd FPCCI Export Awards 2017-2018 at Islamabad.

Mr. Tariq Jamali, the President and Chief Executive Officer of NBP was presented with an Award by the Prime Minister Imran Khan, for the recognition of services of organizations in different sectors contributing towards the progress and prosperity of Pakistan.

The award was conferred to appreciate NBP’s role and service to the nation and playing an important role in promoting the cause of financial inclusion, besides providing financing to business community, industrial sector and for different commercial activities.

Mr. Tariq Jamali President NBP in a personal message to the media expressed his gratitude and is determined to resolve structural reforms in the bank to further improve quality of services and introduce technology based products and services. He said that this award has motivated NBP employees to perform better and to continue to enhance trust and confidence of our valued customers. Our aim is to provide basic banking facilities to every citizen across Pakistan with maximum comfort and facilitation to our customers.

NBP’s corporate banking, SME funding and agricultural lending remained fundamental drivers of growth in Pakistan’s economy. The bank remains committed to social corporate responsibility and regularly collaborates with civil society organizations for the welfare and economic uplift of the less privileged segments of the society through sponsorships and donations.

National Bank of Pakistan won the “Leading Partner Bank in Pakistan Award for 2018” for the highest number of transactions with Trade Finance Program (TFP) in Pakistan under the issuing bank agreement during the period 01st July 2017 to June 30th, 2018. This award was presented to National Bank of Pakistan in the Asian Development Bank’s annual Trade Finance Program (TFP) Awards.

The highly acclaimed domestic and international awards and recognitions that the NBP has achieved in recent years include the certificate of membership of “FTSE index”, Pakistan Domestic Project Finance, Bank of the Year 2017 Award, and the “Trade Deal of the Year” award. Other awards given to NBP in recognition of its contributions in social activities include the CSR Award for best CSR services, award for contributing best services in health and education, advocacy awareness campaign; The NFEH’s Corporate Social Responsibility Awards for Sports and Recreational Activities and award in acknowledgment of services in community development.

NBP is the largest public sector bank of Pakistan that operates a vast network of over 1500 branches and ATMs in Pakistan and 25 branches overseas. NBP team is firmly committed to serve the Nation and work hard for the economic betterment and prosperity of Pakistan.

Minister for petroleum, visits PSO house, overviews company’s performance

The Federal Minister for Petroleum, Mr. Ghulam Sarwar Khan, visited the Headquarters of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) on Saturday, 15 December 2018. Mr. Jehangir Ali Shah, Managing Director & CEO, Pakistan State Oil (PSO), along with the senior management of the company, welcomed the Honorable Federal Minister.

The Management of PSO gave the Minister an overview of the company’s performance and operations. The Minister also had a briefing on key challenges being faced by the company.

PSO, in its role as the market leader and the largest public sector company in Pakistan, is committed to maximizing the shareholders value, supporting the government’s energy sector initiatives, fulfilling corporate social responsibilities and taking the nation forward.

JS Bank tackles climate change at COP24

JS Bank in its continued efforts to promote youth development and tackle climate change, sponsored two delegates to the Conference of the Parties (COP24) a meeting of the governing body on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The two individuals, Safee ul Haque from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) and Sonia Madad from Federal Medical and Dental College Islamabad travelled to Kotawice, Poland for this meeting. Under this platform, countries from around the world meet to advance the aims of the Paris Agreement on climate change and achieve progress on its implementation guidelines. The United Nations Climate Change Conferences are yearly conferences held in the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Speaking on the occasion Sonia Madad said “Being a part of COP24, I have realized that each one of us has a part to play in dealing with one of the biggest challenges that humanity faces today. I would like to thank and appreciate JS Bank and the Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation (MJSF) for their continued efforts in encouraging climate activism among youth in Pakistan.”

JS Bank has always strived to benefit the country and its citizens through various green initiatives leading to an environmentally sustainable planet from converting more than 100 of its branches to solar energy to supporting tree plantations. These and many more environmental and social activities are undertaken by the Bank under its sustainable finance platform.

Jazz and Eva Zu Beck to showcase Pakistan’s true colors

Globally renowned travel vlogger, Eva Zu Beck, has put Pakistan on the travel map for young people the world over. She has now partnered with the country’s leading digital communications company, Jazz, for an enthralling digital travel show called – ’Eva Travels Pakistan with Jazz’. For this reason, a grand launch event was held to not only showcase the show’s pilot, but also discuss how such endeavors create Pakistan’s soft image internationally and boost travel diplomacy and people-to-people connections.

The idea behind this digital series is to help the world understand Pakistan’s cultural exuberance and hospitality. The Polish national, Eva Zu Beck – began her journey as a travel vlogger in 2018 – and Jazz will highlight various aspects of Pakistan that remain hidden to the world.

“Coming to Pakistan has been such a great experience for me. When I first came here, I never expected to become so popular amongst the Pakistani people. I feel grateful that Jazz chose me to be part of such a great initiative. Getting to see and portray the true colours of Pakistan through this series is going to be a great experience, both for me and my digital followers,” said Eva.

Kazim Mujtaba, Head of Marketing at Jazz, discussed the mobile operator’s involvement in the series, “At Jazz, our tagline is, “Dunya ko Bataa Do” which aligns perfectly with the need for such a show. Even before this partnership, Eva had been promoting a more positive image of Pakistan which was one of the reasons why we chose her to be the face of the show. Jazz, with this series, will be enabling Eva in her travels as it does for millions across Pakistan”.

He continued, “We here at Jazz are working towards a more digitized Pakistan and have always supported young and emerging talent in efforts to promote the country.”

The show that will be broadcasted on several mediums will have the first season will comprise of eight episodes in total, with a new episode available for viewing every week on Eva’s YouTube Channel. The first season will showcase the beauty and magnificence of Sindh and Balochistan where the local traditions, cultures, customs and cuisine will be highlighted along with various sights and historical places located in the Southern parts of the country. Viewers will be kept engaged on Jazz’s and Eva’s official platforms to share feedback and recommendations on the places she should visit in upcoming episodes.

The launch event concluded with a panel discussion and a Q&A which included various vloggers, where everyone discussed the importance of promoting a softer image of Pakistan through digital media.

edotco committed to Pakistan’s digital growth

edotco Group (“edotco”), an integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company has reinforced its commitment in Pakistan, now considered a country with the potential to create one of the largest digital audiences in the world.

At a recent meeting with Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Datuk Azzat Kamaludin, Chairman of edotco Group and Suresh Sidhu, CEO of edotco Group shared their optimism of Pakistan’s connectivity developments and reiterated edotco’s continuing commitment to invest in the country’s digital growth through improved telecommunications infrastructure.

“Over the years, we have seen excellent opportunity in Pakistan. With a mobile SIM penetration rate at 73% and the strong performance of 3 and 4G services, digital growth in the country has been exponential. edotco Pakistan has a long-term service agreement with all major operators with a broad portfolio of infrastructure offerings including build to suit, O&M services and energy management solutions. Pakistan is a key market for us and we hope to continue introducing innovative infrastructure solutions to further advance Pakistan’s telecommunications sector” said Datuk Azzat.

At the meeting, the High Commissioner of Pakistan, H.E Mohammad Nafees Zakaria expressed his enthusiasm to intensify engagements between both nations. “Pakistan and Malaysia have shared a healthy bilateral relationship and Malaysian investment in Pakistan reaffirms Malaysia’s commitment to strengthening these ties. edotco’s interest to invest in Pakistan’s telecom related infrastructure development is appreciated and will be in line with the drive towards a digital Pakistan,” he said.

“Recent indicators by the Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) revealed that out of 152 million cellular subscribers in the country, 60 million use either 3G or 4G whereas 62 million are broadband subscribers. To support these growing mobile penetration rates, edotco is committed to advancing connectivity in the country by helping to reduce barriers to internet access through improved network coverage and capacity. Our focus is on growing our operations there, both organically and inorganically” Datuk Azzat added.

To date, edotco Group’s business in Pakistan comprises of approximately 700 fully operational towers nationwide with a workforce of 130 telecom professionals. Through its local operations, the company has invested over USD 110 million in growing their local operations through 2018 and already have further investment plans for 2019. Edotco is already pursuing large-scale acquisition opportunities in the Pakistan market.

edotco currently owns and manages over 28,500 towers across the six countries in which they have a presence. Over the past five years the company has been committed to ensuring the right sharable infrastructure is constructed and efficiently managed to assist mobile operators in delivering cost effective and seamless connectivity.

FPCCI Election 2019; Sahiwal Chamber unconditionally supports Businessmen Panel.

Sahiwal chamber of commerce and industry has announced unconditional support the Businessmen Panel Pakistan in the forthcoming elections term 2019 of the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI). The decision has been made in the meeting of Sahiwal Chamber of commerce, attended by various leaders of the chamber and business community including Shaikh Basharat Nadeem, former senior vice president Aitizaz Reham, former member of the executive committee Chaudhry Muhammad Akram and others and endorses the decision of supporting BMP in FPCCI elections 2019.

Leaders of Sahiwal chamber while thanking the BMP delegation under leadership of former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain, Zakaria Usman, Shoukat Ahmed, Saquib Fayyaz Maggon and others said that nomination of former chief minister Balochistan Allauddin Marri for president and Chaudhry Muhammad Hussain Zahid for senior vice president is highly appreciative. We endorse the nominations and hope that both candidates will play their role for the betterment of trade, industry and economy of Pakistan.

The occupant group on FPCCI has done nothing except speeches for the business community; the role of the current ruling group of the FPCCI very disappointing. Given to the current economic environment Businessmen Panel will take practical measures in accordance to the recommendations of the business community from across country.

Leaders of the BMP thanked the leaders of the Sahiwal chamber on the occasion and said that the purpose of Businessmen Panel is to serve the business community across country. We have nominated the best candidates on merit who will play pivotal role for the betterment of trade, industry and economy in accordance to the recommendations of the business community from across Pakistan. The effective proposed leadership of BMP will attract investors to invest in Pakistan, particularly in Sahiwal especially in the fields of automobile, fiber glass, export oriented industries, bakery and dairy in addition to the domestic industries which have a lot of growth potential.

Gas supply on full capacity is vital to the industrial sector. TAPI will help in curbing gas scarcity: Mian Zahid Hussain
Regional projects like TAPI are of high importance for regional peace and prosperity: Allauddin Marri

Businessmen Panel Pakistan’s senior vice chairman and former provincial minister Sindh, Mian Zahid Hussain and Presidential candidate of BMP, former chief minister Balochistan Allauddin Marri while talking to the business community said that the decision of initiating work of 1813 KMs Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan India (TAPI) gas pipeline in March 2019 is appreciative. The project will create 10 thousand new jobs in the Country. The leadership of all four countries are proposed to participate in the occasion, which again is very encouraging for the growth of terms between the leadership of the regional countries and will help in increased regional trade.

Leaders of the Businessmen Panel said that regional projects like TAPI not only partake in regional peace and prosperity but also promote newer ways of regional trade and increased ties between the participating countries. TAPI will create new employment opportunities in all four countries and energy crisis will be curbed in all countries, which will help industrial growth, industrial production and exports.

BMP Leaders said that initially 27 MMCFD gas will be supplied through this pipeline which will be increased to 33 MMCFD after one year; 3 MMCFD gas would be supplied on daily basis. Pakistan and India will have share of 42 percent each in the gas supplied from Turkmenistan while Afghanistan’s share would be 16 percent. The gas tariff received through TAPI will be lower than the LPG and beneficiaries will be able to provide gas to the industrial sector on competitive price thus the cost of doing business will be reduced increasing the profitability of the industrial sector. Currently, Pakistan’s daily demand supply gap is 2 MMCFD which will widen to 4 MMCFD by 2025. TAPI to be completed with investment of $ 9 billion will help Pakistan in curbing the demand supply gap and the declining industries will get on their feet again.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the project is equally beneficial to all countries. Turkmenistan’s economy is largely dependent on gas supply and its major buyers were Russia and Iran; both countries stopped buying gas in 2016 and 2017 respectively on conflicts of price and payment, this project will restore and even increase Turkmenistan gas exports. Afghanistan will get 5 MMCFD of gas in addition to $ 400 million transit revenue on yearly basis.

Allauddin Marri said that gas scarcity will be curbed in Pakistan and India and gas proportion will be increased in the energy mix of both countries, reducing cost of doing business and increased industrial production. To get maximum out of the project, it is vital to make fool proof security system for the project, he added.

BMP Leaders said that gas supply to the industrial sector across Country, specifically in Karachi on full capacity is vital for sustained industrial production in order to avoid dependency on imports; concrete and instant measure should be taken by the government. With reduction in gas supply to industrial units, production capacity will be left unutilized causing higher cost, lower profits and above all the labourers will left helpless with reduced employment and wages, which is not acceptable at all.

BankIslami extends Strategic Alliance with Premier Systems

BankIslami Pakistan Limited, one of the leading Islamic banks of Pakistan, has extended its agreement for the year 2018, with Premier System (Pvt) Ltd. (Audi Pakistan) Pakistan’s No. 1 luxury premium automobile brand. With the successful completion of two years of Alliance, both BankIslami and Audi Pakistan have reaffirmed to mutually serve the Automobile Industry of Pakistan and offer customized financing packages to Audi customers across the country through the flagship product of Islami Auto Finance.

Mr. Bilal Fiaz – Head of Consumer Banking, BankIslami and Mr. Muhammad Yasin Khan – Chief Financial Officer (CFO)- Premier Systems (Pvt) Ltd. (Audi Pakistan), laid the cornerstone of this partnership by signing the agreement in a meeting held in Karachi.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Bilal Fiaz, said “With the success of our initial agreement executed in May 2016, this extension of Alliance is a milestone, not only for both the organizations but also for the customers who will greatly benefit from our uniquely structured auto financing solutions.

Mr. Muhammad Yasin Khan, added: “This initiative has created an ideal scenario for both, BankIslami and Audi Pakistan as it will enable us to offer best value proposition to our valued customers.”

Bank Alfalah and Engro Polymer form Strategic SCF partnership!

Bank Alfalah Limited (BAFL) and Engro Polymer & Chemicals Limited (EPCL) have signed a MOU to design and implement customized Supply Chain Finance solution, exclusively for EPCL’s buyers.

This unique initiative is a part of Bank Alfalah’s continued commitment towards financial inclusion and introducing global Supply Chain Finance (SCF) best practices in Pakistan by leveraging IFC’s international and local knowledge. The program introduces strategic value for corporate partners in strengthening supply chain networks, to EPCL buyers for meeting their working capital needs and enhancing their bottom lines besides generating consistent product ordering for EPCL.

The SME segment holds critical position in Pakistan’s economic landscape through contributing over 30% of GDP and employing 90% of non-agricultural workforce. Bank Alfalah strongly believes in developing structured initiatives such as SCF programs to support SME businesses and is uniquely positioned through its wide spread branch footprint across the country.

Mr. Bilal Asghar – Group Head Corporate, Investment Banking & International Business from Bank Alfalah Limited and Mr. Syed Abbas Raza – CFO from Engro Polymer & Chemicals Limited signed this strategic partnership during a ceremony held in Karachi. Mr. Shehzad Ilyas – Head, Transaction Banking, Mr. Farrukh Aslam Chughtai – Regional Corporate Head South, Mr. Abdul Qayoom Shaikh – Head of Marketing, Mr. Muhammad Bilal Ahmed – Head of Treasury and Mr. Akber Zaman Khan, IFC were also present at the event.

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