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Zong 4G partners with PTCL for Network Expansion in Remote areas of Pakistan

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and Zong 4G have entered into a strategic partnership for network expansion in remote and far-flung areas of Pakistan. The collaboration will ensure provision of VSAT services by PTCL to further support and expand the network coverage across the country.

The agreement was signed by Saad Muzaffar Waraich, Chief Technology & Information Officer, PTCL, and Li Wenyu, Chief Financial Officer, ZONG 4G, during the ceremony held at Zong 4G Headquarters in the presence of the senior management and officials of respective companies.

The collaboration will ensure state-of-the-art VSAT satellite services to further enhance the network coverage and enabling customers from remote areas to enjoy increased speed through Zong 4G’s widest coverage. Being the most experienced in the domain of satellite communication, PTCL also has extensive ground support, operation and implementation infrastructure to serve a variety of satellite communication applications. The company will offer a complete spectrum of end-to-end connectivity to Zong 4G designated sites.

Speaking on the occasion, Saad Muzaffar Waraich, Chief Technology & Information Officer, PTCL, said, “We are pleased to sign the agreement with ZONG 4G. PTCL has been serving as the communication backbone of the country since inception of Pakistan and this partnership will help them to expand their high-quality voice and data services to the underserved markets of Pakistan. We are at the forefront of leading the digitization across Pakistan through such partnerships. PTCL continues to play its role in the development of telecom infrastructure, contributing to the overall economic growth of the country.”

Commenting on the partnership, Mannan Shabbir, Executive Director, Corporate Affairs Division & Company Spokesperson, said, “Being the first and the only operator with more than 10,000 4G sites across the country, Zong 4Gis providing the widest 4G coverage to the largest 4G subscriber base in the Pakistan at an unprecedented scale. Our partnership with PTCL is a testament to our customer-centric approach by providing our customers with the best possible services and solutions through our ever-expanding data network. Leading digitalization efforts across Pakistan, we continue to thrive, not only in the mainstream cities, but also in far-flung and remote areas of Pakistan providing reliable and seamless connectivity.”

As the winner of ’Best in 4G services’ award by the Consumers Association of Pakistan and with more than 11 Million 4G customers, Zong 4G is the leading 4G operator of the country. Through its continued investment in the network and infrastructure, the company is enabling its customers in every nook and corner of the country to experience world-class 4G services. The collaboration will further enhance the digital agenda of Zong 4G and PTCL in empowering millions to remain connected anywhere and everywhere.

Shell Tameer shaping the future of youth entrepreneurship in Pakistan

The Institute of Business Administration-(IBA) Center for Entrepreneurial Development held a business start-up competition, ’Invent -2019’ at IBA Main Campus, Karachi. The objective of the event was to foster a start-up friendly ecosystem for young innovators from across Pakistan.

The event attracted over 100 young innovators from eight cities that submitted their ideas under the event’s thematic areas of Health & Agriculture, Technological and information, System Health & Agriculture, Shell Tameer Social and STEM Education and General & Traditional.

For the 35 finalists selected, a series of mentoring sessions and workshops were delivered by industry experts, professionals and seasoned entrepreneurs to prepare the best entrepreneurial potential for the final round.

The final pitch was before a panel of judges comprising subject matter experts from industry, academia and SME sectors.

At the closing ceremony Mr. Habib Haider – Country Head of External Relation, Shell Pakistan Limited said “My heartiest congratulations to our country’s young talent. It is heartening to see events like these bringing like-minded entrepreneurs together from across the country for greater exchange of innovative ideas and thinking. Shell Tameer has always been at forefront to collaborate with key stakeholders to encourage an enterprise-friendly ecosystem and provide opportunities for young entrepreneurs to contribute towards a brighter and prosperous future for Pakistan.”

Following Mr. Habib, Dr. Farrukh Iqbal-Executive Director Institute of Business Administration Karachi said “Entrepreneurship is the need of the moment for this country and is taken very seriously at IBA, this is the reason we have a dedicated Center for Entrepreneurial Development at IBA where different initiatives are underway to promote the entrepreneurial culture among our youth including certificate courses, summer schools and engaging competitions.”

The winner of the category ’Shell Tameer Social and STEM education’ was Green Energy Revolution Now, a social entrepreneur creating biogas for rural areas in Sindh to address the reduction of CO2 emissions caused by the burning of wood for cooking and saving more land from deforestation. The Runner-up was a female entrepreneur running a local Air B&B “Lets Home” for the residents of Hunza and Gilgit to earn additional income during the few months of tourism in the country. The third winner “Walk way School” works with students belonging to lower social-economic backgrounds to bridge the gap in the private and public education system and providing a better chance of enrollment in universities.

All three winners of each category will receive token seed money to invest in their hard build enterprises.

Engro Foods opens its doors to Punjab Parliamentarians to win trust through transparency

Engro Foods believes in winning trust through transparency and they opened the doors of their Sahiwal Plant and their supplier dairy farm in Sahiwal to the parliamentarians of Punjab Assembly. The delegation of parliamentarians who visited Engro Foods were Sadia Sohail Rana, Rafya Kamal, Nabila Hakim Ali from PTI, Rahila Khadim Hussain & Shameela Aslam from PML (N), Faiza Malik from PPP and Syed Hamid Falki, Director Parliamentary Affairs -Punjab Youth Council.

The purpose of this visit was to win trust through transparency by showing the entire process from grass to glass. Starting right from the animal welfare and best dairy farming practices employed at the farms supplying milk to Engro Foods, to milk quality checks at the milk collection centre and plant for processing of raw milk into finished products. The parliamentarians were introduced to the entire process that ensure a smooth running of Engro Foods operations. The delegation was briefed and familiarized to the milk procurement channels employed by EFL and their efforts to revolutionize the dairy sector of Pakistan by empowering the farmers with best dairy farming practices. During the field visit, the parliamentarians experienced first-hand the ways and practices employed at Engro Foods supply value chain. From visiting commercial dairy farm to milk collection center and processing plant the entire process was regarded very informative as the parliamentarians showed deep interest.

On this occasion, Syed Saud Ahmed Pasha, Director for Agriculture Business of Engro Foods Limited stated, “EFL continuously works towards improvement of the dairy sector in Pakistan. With this visit we display complete transparency of our entire process. Having parliamentarians visit our dairy farm and plant, gives us a great platform to show how our products are processed and the practices we employ to provide safe and better nutrition to Pakistan. We have shared the initiatives we are working on to create sustainable livelihoods for farmers and more employment opportunities for the people of Pakistan through milk collection centers, distributors and allied services. All products of Engro foods are processed by employing best global practices of food safety & nutrition”

The field visit was highly appreciated by all the parliamentarians. On the occasion some of them expressed their pride in being part of the plant visit:

“Seeing is believing. The visit to Engro Foods Limited plant in Sahiwal, made it evident that EFL ensures a clean environment at its factories using the best formulation practices for its products. EFL works towards providing better nutrition for the world by producing the best quality food products.”

– Nabila Hatim Ali Khan (PTI)

“I already trusted Engro Foods Ltd. with their manufacturing processes and after the visit to their Sahiwal plant, I have been assured that EFL uses safe and healthy process to provide the best quality products and hence, better nutrition to the country.”

– Raheela Khadim Hussain (PML-N)

“After visiting the Engro Foods plant in Sahiwal today, we got a closer look at Engro’s commitment to milk safety, aimed to improve living standards in Pakistan. We are delighted to have well-established companies like these in Pakistan and especially thrilled because Engro started of locally and has now become a multi-national company.”

– Sania Rana (PTI)

“Our visit to the Engro Foods plant in Sahiwal was innovative and enlightening. The hygienic manufacturing practices adopted by EFL make it easier for us, as consumers to trust the company’s products.”

– Faiza Ahmed Malik (PPP)

“As part of my profession, I work on Sustainability and Environment Planning. After visiting the EFL plant and observing their manufacturing practices, I am thoroughly proud of the company’s growth over the years and can ensure that Engro Foods offers products that meet international quality standards.”

– Raafia Kamal (PTI)

The delegation appreciated EFL’s commitment to milk safety and quality standards and the revolutionary commitment of Engro Foods to strengthen Pakistan’s dairy sector. EFL’s continuous efforts for improving the standards of living in Pakistan were highly commended by the Parliamentarians.

 

MCB Bank reports exceptional growth of 24pc in Profit Before Tax – Announces highest quarterly dividend of Rs. 4 / share

The Board of Directors of MCB Bank Limited met under the Chairmanship of Mian Mohammad Mansha, on April 24, 2019 to review the performance of the Bank and approve the condensed interim financial statements for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019. The Bank has declared first interim cash dividend of Rs. 4 per share for the quarter ended March 31, 2019, continuing with its highest dividend payout trend.

Standalone Profit Before Tax (PBT) of the Bank for the three months period ended March 31, 2019 increased by 24% to Rs. 9.08 billion. The effective tax rate for the quarter increased to 44% primarily on account of super tax @ 4% recorded for the tax year 2018, as enacted through the Second Supplementary Act, 2019.

Based on the interest rate calls, the shorter term maturity profiling of the asset base enabled the Bank to leverage the significant interest rate hike. Resultantly, the net interest income increased by an impressive 22% over corresponding period last year. The non-markup income block of the Bank was reported at Rs 3.5 billion with major contributions coming in from fee line under credit, guarantees and remittance segments.

On the operating expenses side excluding pension fund, despite the surge in inflationary pressures, the Bank was able to contain the growth percentage to 12%. The increase includes the deposit protection premium cost amounting to Rs. 288 million, which was made applicable from July 01, 2018. Excluding the impact of deposit protection premium, the increase in operating cost was only 8.31%. The bank continued with its recovery trajectory of classified portfolio and reversed provision amounting to Rs. 405 million on advances whereas reversal of Rs. 26 million was recorded on equity portfolio in first quarter of 2019.

The Bank remained ahead of the industry on the domestic deposits front, increasing its share to 7.66% from 7.57% as of December 2018. Based on the weekly averages, the domestic deposit base of MCB has grown by 1% as opposed to decline of 2% reported by the industry. Focusing on its low cost deposit base, the Bank was able to add 150,000 new accounts during the first quarter of 2019, which reflects the customer confidence and the inherent value of a strong brand name.

The Bank on a consolidated basis is operating the 2nd largest network of 1,550 branches in Pakistan. This includes 176 Islamic Banking branches of its wholly owned Islamic Banking subsidiary. The Bank remains one of the prime stocks traded in the Pakistani equity markets with highest market capitalization in the industry. The profitability and payout returns of the Bank are one of the highest in the industry.

The Bank remains well capitalized as the Capital Adequacy Ratio is 17.82% against the requirement of 11.90% (including capital conservation buffer of 1.90%). Quality of the capital is evident from Bank’s Common Equity Tier-1 (CET1) to total risk weighted assets ratio which comes to 15.72% against the requirement of 6.00%. Bank’s capitalization also resulted in a leverage ratio of 7.28% which is well above the regulatory limit of 3.0%. The Bank reported Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) of 195.96% and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) of 132.20% against requirement of 100%.

The Bank enjoys highest local credit ratings of AAA / A1+ categories for long term and short term respectively, based on PACRA notification dated June 27, 2018. Moreover, PACRA has maintained TFC rating of MCB Bank Limited at AAA, through its notification dated June 27, 2018.

IBA-CICT and Total Communications, Pakistan ink MoU

Center for Information and Communication Technology (CICT), IBA Karachi and Total Communications Pakistan, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish IBA-CICT’s participation as an Academic Strategic Partner in the 11th International Information Security Conference (InfoSec) 2019 to be held on July 11, 2019 at the IBA, city campus. The MoU was signed by Director ICT & CICT, IBA Karachi, Mr. Imran Batada, and CEO Total Communications Pakistan, Mr. Faisal Rahim.

The ceremony was attended by C-level Executives including CEO Digital Arrays Private Limited, Mr. Asif Riaz, Chief Information Security Officer of Bank Al Falah, Mr. Mehzad Sehar, and COO Kenwood, Adnan A. Khan.

This is the second time that IBA Karachi is collaborating with Total Communications for the InfoSec Conference.

Mr. Batada in his welcome note appreciated the efforts of the InfoSec Conference team. He told the audience that despite the importance of Information Security in today’s Information Age, Information Security has been neglected. He also highlighted the diploma program of Information Security offered by IBA- CICT.

Mr. Rahim said in his address that the collaboration between IBA-CICT and Total Communications will turn this year’s conference a good learning experience for the participants.

InfoSec Conferences are held annually in Pakistan. The conference focuses on different aspects of Information Security. Executives the financial sector, telecom industry, armed forces, intelligence agencies, ministries, foreign missions, academia, and technology companies attend the conference.

HITIT opens Liaison Office in Karachi

Hitit has set strong roots in Asia by opening a liaison office in Karachi (Pakistan) yesterday. The office opening ceremony took place exactly one year after Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Hitit signed their agreement to provide PIA with Hitit’s new generation Passenger Service System (PSS). Today Hitit is the leading provider of airline software in Pakistan with its two airline partners PIA and K2 Airways. Marking 25 years world over with its presence ?n 17 countries, Hitit Karachi office declares its intention to strengthen its presence in Pakistan and Southern Asia.

One year ago PIA and Hitit signed their partner agreement. After only five months the migration of PIA was completed and all the airlines reservations, inventory control, ticketing and check-in procedures, flight operations, scheduling, revenue management and accounting were processed by Hitit’s Crane solution suite.

Attendees included Hitit Chief Delivery Officer Mr. Mert Gulcur, Consul General of Turkey Mr. Tolga Ucak, Consul General of Germany Mr. Eugen Wollfarth, Hitit CEO Ms. Nur Gokman, Chief Product Strategy Officer Ms. Semra Kandemir, Ms. Yasmin Hyder, Hitit Consultant Mr. Atilla Lise, Hitit Chief Marketing & Sales Officer Ms. Nevra Onursal Karaagac, Hitit Chief Finance Officer Ms. Sezer Ozmutlu, Mr. Amir Ali PIA Chief Technical Officer, PIA AVM Soban Nazir Syed, AVM Noor Abbas, Sohail Sajid, Mashood Tajwat – GM PR, Samir Nizami Senior PR Representative to name a few. The event also included a LIVE Turkish Classical Music Performance.

“The close relationship between Pakistan and Turkey gains its strength from history”, said Nevra Onursal Karaagac, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Hitit. “We have strong ties due to shared history, common faith, mutual trust and cultural similarities”, Mrs Onursal Karaagac added in front of board members and employees from both companies and travel agents.

Rumaisa Reem, CEO, Drape Events and official event managers of the Inaugural Gala said, “Hitit’s inaugural in Pakistan is a milestone event displaying the ever strengthening international relations between Pakistan and Turkey.’

Hitit Computer Services, which was named one of the Top 5 PSS providers in the field of aviation and travel IT systems, provides services to a wide range of carriers from start-up airlines to hybrid and network airlines like FlyArystan, Pegasus Airlines, PIA and many more.

FWBL and SRSO in PARTNERSHIP

First Women Bank Ltd. (FWBL) and Sindh Rural Support Organization (SRSO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Karachi today. The MoU was inked by Ms. Nusrat Mangi Regional Business Head South – C and Mr. Muhammad Dittal Kalhoro CEO, SRSO.

Ms. Naushaba Shahzad President & CEO (A) FWBL said this partnership will help to strengthen, promote and create new value with an aim to provide financial services to unbanked women. Mr. Muhammad Dittal Kalhoro CEO SRSO said that with the support of FWBL SRSO will achieve its objective to truly serve the women of Sindh.

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