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Standard Chartered Saadiq holds stet Art Exhibition, ’Rhythms of Recurrence’, to raise funds for Futuremakers

Building on our brand promise Here for good, Standard Chartered Saadiq organised ’Rhythms of Recurrence’ – an exclusive exhibition of contemporary works of art and selected artifacts based on the underlying grid in Islamic geometry, historically used in art, architecture and design. Standard Chartered Saadiq is the Islamic Banking proposition of Standard Chartered offering Shariah compliant financial products and services to meet client needs.

Consistent with the Bank’s philosophy of understanding and celebrating local culture, Standard Chartered is committed to community based programmes and to supporting and showcasing the works of Pakistan’s artistic talent. Standard Chartered recognises that Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage deserves to be celebrated.

The aim of this event was not only to provide the clients with a memorable experience of contributing towards the celebration of Pakistani Art, but also to bring people together for a noble cause.

A portion of the sales’ proceeds will go to Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, empowering the next generation to learn, earn and grow.

Commenting on the event, Syed Mujtaba Abbas, Head of Retail Banking, Standard Chartered Pakistan, said, “To preserve, promote and encourage Pakistan’s art and culture, Standard Chartered Saadiq brings you a one of a kind art exhibition. We at Standard Chartered recognise the significance of Pakistan’s rich and diverse cultural traditions and our values, and utilise them to celebrate with our clients, our partners and the community as a whole.”

The exhibition features the works of several award-winning artists. It was held at Koel Gallery from 26-28 April and was attended by the Bank’s partners and clients.

Session on Entrepreneurial Success stories held

Success lies incorrect visualization of tomorrow’s event and crafting skillful strategies to overcome the challenges and achieve desired ends. Sharing stories of success is one of the most important things we can do to motivate and inspire governments, partners, and individuals to support investing in effective development aid so in order to achieve the said objective Ms. Urooj Aijaz, Ms. Madiha Kamal, Ms. Hamna Khalid & Ms. Sania Jawaid under the supervision of HOD of Department of H&SS Prof. Dr. Faooq-e-Azam Cheema (Bahria University Karachi) has organized a session on Entreprenerial Success Stories with the collaboration of KCCI on 29-4-19 at Bahria university campus. Mr. Junaid Esmail Makda president KCCI is the chief guest of the session while Mr. Shamim Ahmed Jumlana (CEO Osaka Lighting), Mr. Ehsan Saya (MD Daraz.Pk), Mr. Faraz Ali (Head of Operations Careem Karachi) and Mr. Talha Bin Shuja (CEO Kebabistan) share the success stories of their organizations.

OLX Launches Xsellerate – Startup Acceleration Program with Momentum Tech Conference

OLX Pakistan’s number one marketplace launched ’OLX Xsellerate’, a digital acceleration program and also joined hands with Momentum Tech Conference as the official marketplace partner of the event.

Xsellerate is an initiative by OLX which provides an opportunity for founders from all around Pakistan to pitch their startup ideas and get valuable insights from the OLX team.

Bilal Bajwa, CEO OLX Pakistan during his keynote shared his insights on the building blocks of a technology business and how startups can build great businesses by leveraging existing platforms like OLX.

“It’s time for us to give back to the community which made OLX a success in Pakistan and what better way than to launch OLX Xsellerate to play our part in developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Pakistan. We are looking for startups who can leverage the existing OLX platform and use the wide user base we have to their advantage,” said Bajwa.

In the first step of the program, fifteen startups presented their two minutes of pitches at OLX Pakistan’s booth. The selected startups will be given $20,000 worth of advertisement free of cost on the OLX platform along with 3 months mentorship and one-year branding consultancy.

OLX is the world’s largest online buying and selling platform powered by a team of 5,000 people, working on 17 brands, from 35 offices across five continents and 40 countries. In Pakistan, OLX is the No.1 Marketplace across 14 different categories.

OLX generates more than 20 Million page views in a day having 5 million App downloads. Over 50,000 conversations take place daily on OLX with an ad being posted every 2 seconds.

A research study by Nielsen stamps this fact by indicating 87% awareness and preference level of OLX in comparison with any other tech company operating in Classifieds and Shopping category of Pakistan. According to SimilarWeb, OLX is Pakistan’s No.1 web platform (local domain/Engagement/Traffic).

METRO Signs MOU with Food Fortification Programme

METRO, the leading international wholesale company with food and non-food assortments, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Food Fortification Programme to help eradicate malnutrition in Pakistan. The MoU was inked between Mr. Stuart King, FFP Team Leader and Mr. Pervaiz Akhtar, Director Corporate Affairs METRO Pakistan, representing their respective organizations, in presence of Mr. Suhail Khawaja Additional Commissioner Lahore, Parliamentarians, and other dignitaries.

Hunger and Nutrition is a major issue all over the world especially in Pakistan. According to the UN World Food Program (WFP), with a population of more than 200 million, approximately 60 percent of the population is still facing food insecurity in spite the fact that Pakistan has made gains becoming a food surplus country, and a major producer of wheat.

METRO globally, and in Pakistan, is actively contributing towards Sustainable Development Goals particularly SDG #2, that is about, End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Keeping this in mind METRO Pakistan is collaborating with Food Fortification Program (FFP) to provide support in the eradication of malnutrition through its wholesale networks.

Expressing his views; Mr. Stuart King, Team Leader FFP, said; “The continuous market availability of fortified wheat flour and oil is very important for the success of food fortification programmes and also a key factor to ensure access of fortified wheat flour and edible oil for the general public. By this collaboration with METRO we will get the right mileage”.

Commenting on the participation, Mr. Pervaiz Akhtar, Director Corporate Affairs METRO Pakistan, said “METRO Pakistan centres are widely recognized in terms of quality and affordability, and are catering to over 50,000 customers visiting daily at 9 wholesale/retail centers across Pakistan. Thus, METRO can play an important role by providing support with the point of sale, marketing, and procurement of fortified wheat flour, maida, fine flour. Edible oil, and ghee through its stores in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, and Faisalabad.”

Presenting his views, Muhammad Suhail Khawaja, the Additional Commissioner Lahore, said “Realistically, we as a nation should realize micronutrient malnutrition a challenge, for tackling this challenge, Pakistan as a wheat growing country can easily tackle micronutrient malnutrition through mandatory wheat flour fortification. I would like to say a big thank to METRO Pakistan, Food Fortification Programme team, and the National Fortification Alliance for their efforts in eradication of malnutrition.”

The overall objective of this arrangement is to improve public health through eradication of malnutrition from Pakistan that will have long term effect on the future population.

MCB Bank partners with WorldRemit for digital money transfers to Pakistan

WorldRemit customers living in over 50 countries can now send money instantly from their phones to over 1,400 MCB branches in Pakistan

Leading digital money transfer service WorldRemit has joined forces with MCB Bank (MCB) for digital money transfers to Pakistan.

Using the WorldRemit app or website, Pakistanis living in over 50 countries including the UK, the United States and Canada, can now send money home instantly to over 1,400 MCB branches across urban and rural areas of the country.

Transactions to Pakistan via WorldRemit grew by 75% in 2018, driven by the company’s low fees and the expansion of its partner network. The company is now connected to over 6,000 cash pickup points in the country.

MCB is one of the leading banks in Pakistan, serving more than 6 million customers at more than 1,400 branches and over 1300 ATMs across the country. It was recently recognized as Pakistan’s Best Bank by Asiamoney.

Pakistan has the sixth largest diaspora population in the world, with approximately 7.6 million Pakistanis living abroad. According to the World Bank, Pakistan received over $20 billion in remittances in 2018, representing almost 7% of the country’s GDP.

However, experts estimate that a significant portion of remittances sent to Pakistan go through informal channels, such as friends, relatives or other non-recorded sources such as hawala. Transferring money through unregistered third parties can put senders at risk of fraud and delays.

Hamza Islam, Country Director for Pakistan at WorldRemit, comments: “We are delighted to partner with MCB Bank, a leading bank in Pakistan, to enable Pakistanis living abroad to send money instantly to over 1,400 new cash pickup locations across urban and rural areas of the country.

“Transfers to Pakistan via WorldRemit grew by 75% last year as more customers discovered the benefits of our safe, fast and convenient online money transfer service. To encourage even more Pakistanis to try our service for themselves, we are pleased to offer zero fees on transfers to Pakistan of over $210 or equivalent.”*

Ziad Aftab Ejaz, Department Head – Home Remittances at MCB Bank, said: “Remittances are an important source of income for many in Pakistan whose family members immigrate abroad for gainful employment. These remittances not only sustain the livelihoods of households in Pakistan but they also contribute to the economic development and uplift of our society. We are pleased to partner with WorldRemit to enable even more customers to access swift and secure money transfer services. With this partnership, we look forward to further strengthening our innovative product portfolio through superior services and solutions.”

Visit the WorldRemit website for more information on how to send money to Pakistan.

JBS inks MoU with EFU for IT Infrastructure Transformation

Jaffer Business Systems (JBS) and EFU Life Assurance recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). According to the MoU, JBS has partnered with EFU Life for providing Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Server Solutions.

Whilst, addressing the MoU ceremony, Veqar ul Islam, Director and CEO of JBS, said, “In this tech-driven and highly competitive environment, it is very important for organizations to always strive for staying relevant tomorrow. This partnership is our step ahead towards a transformation initiative. Our corporate culture philosophy for excellence revolves around beating customer’s expectation by being ’a bit earlier’. This is the mantra that we follow at JBS and because of this we have come a long way in playing a key role in helping organizations succeed. Through this collaboration we aim to provide EFU Life with improved productivity and transform their business. We will be pleased to carry on this relationship and take it to new levels.”

Zain Ibrahim, Director and Chief Operating Officer, EFU Life, while expressing his views on the occasion added, “We share the same ideology as JBS, as we keep upgrading ourselves in order to stay ahead of the competition. IT structure within organizations need to be improvised in order to have more potential and fulfill that potential as well. As an insurance company, we feel that we have to make sure that the abundance of data that we have is utilized completely to provide better propositions to customers. I’m glad to be partnering with JBS as it fulfills our aim. JBS is not only providing us with IT solutions, but in fact we look at them as partners because they are helping us grow.”

Ashfaque Ahmed, GM Technology, EFU Life, said “We are committed to fostering a culture of technical innovation and building a resilient and accessible platform. Partnership like this will create a new ecosystem that is open and cooperative to help companies become customer driven and enable them to tackle the challenges of digital transformation”


Jazz seeks court’s interpretation on its license renewal terms

In view of imminent renewal of its license, Jazz (the VEON Operating Company in Pakistan) has approached the Islamabad High Court to decide on the terms of license renewal in an equitable, fair and transparent way. This measure is taken to provide uninterrupted telecom, broadband, and mobile financial services to its 58 million customers, and to ensure continuity of investments in digital infrastructure sector. Jazz is working within the country’s telecom policy framework to protect the interests of foreign investors.

Jazz seeks to have the license renewed as per the terms of its license and the telecom policy of 2015. The license was issued at PKR 16.8 billion in 2004 (USD 291 million equivalent) and is now worth PKR 41.4 billion (USD 291 million). While this is almost 250% of the original value, the company has nonetheless, shown its willingness to pay this amount.

The telecom industry in Pakistan has amongst the world’s lowest call rates and Jazz is one of the highest taxpayers in the country. The digital backbone for Pakistan is dependent on the telecom industry’s ability to expand its services, which requires a predictable investment environment. Jazz remains firm in its commitment to lead the digital revolution in Pakistan.

IBA HOLDS Distinguished Lecture Series on ’The Economy of Modern Sindh’ by Dr. Ishrat Husain

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi organized a distinguished lecture series by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity, Dr. Ishrat Husain, on his recently co-authored book, The Economy of Modern Sindh at the IBA city campus. The session was moderated by Executive Director IBA Karachi, Dr. Farrukh Iqbal and attended by the IBA faculty, alumni, students, media and members of the public.

The lecture aimed at discussing the socioeconomic problems that have plagued Sindh, by looking over an objective assessment of the various policies implemented by the Sindh government over the years, as captured in the recently published book by Dr. Ishrat Husain.

The event proceeded with Dr. Iqbal introducing Dr. Husain and the book to the audience, elaborating why Dr. Husain was the best person to author this book considering his connection to Sindh, and his vast experience in the field. Dr. Husain started the proceedings by giving a special mention to his co-authors, Mr. Nadeem Hussain and Professor Aijaz A. Qureshi, as well as the Planning and Development Department, Government of Sindh for providing funds towards the book’s research.

The book targets three main audiences including, students of Economics that need to view the economy at a disaggregated level, policy makers, and young researchers such as Ph.D. students that require access to consistent data sources.

The conversation shed light on four main ideas discussed in the book: Sindh’s relative income position in Pakistan and how it has declined over the past few decades; the rural economy of the province and the impact of an increase in their purchasing power; the declining urban economy; and how an increase in health and education expenditure has not been reflected in output growth. The book analyzes multiple aspects of Sindh’s economy from geography, topography, climate, and administrative history, to the political landscape, education, health, labor force and employment etc. It also attempts to pinpoint issues that require reforms at the sectoral and micro level within the province.

Towards the end of the lecture, the audience asked questions on Sindh’s economy and education. The event culminated with a book signing by Dr. Husain.

BankIslami posts Profit After Tax of Rs.251 million in First Quarter of the Year 2019

The Board of Directors of BankIslami has approved the Bank’s First Quarter Financial Statements for the period ended March 31, 2019 in their meeting held in Karachi on April 24, 2019.

The Bank has witnessed a promising start of the year 2019 and posted impressive results during first quarter of the current year. The Bank recorded operating profit before provisions of Rs. 866.973 million which is 9 times higher than numbers reported for the same period last year. Adopting a prudent approach, the Bank recorded accelerated provisions against its delinquent portfolio and closed the pre-tax profit of Rs. 408.237 million; 6 times higher than numbers reported for corresponding period last year. Post-tax profit was recorded as Rs. 251.303 million.

Despite economic slowdown, the Bank was able to grow its deposit base by 3.6% and closed at Rs. 191 billion; while its asset base grew by 5.2%. One of the major highlights of the financial results was the infection ratio which has reduced massively to 10.03% from 11.88% as at Dec 31, 2018. Further, the coverage ratio i.e. provision against non-performing portfolio has increased to 88.3% from 70.97% as at Dec 31, 2018 which is higher than the industry average of 83.2% as reported in SBP’s Islamic Banking Bulletin for Dec 2018.

The Bank has also announced on bourses that, to provide impetus to its growth plan, the Board of the Bank has in principle agreed to consider the issuance of right shares by Rs. 1 billion during the year. Further, it has also approved the issuance of Additional Tier-1 Capital to the tune of Rs. 2 billion (inclusive of green-shoe option of Rs. 500 million). This would stage the Bank to take various growth initiatives which would ultimately contribute towards the growth of overall Islamic banking industry.

Airlink Communication and Huawei to open cloud Data centre in Pakistan

Airlink Communication and Huawei Technologies join hands for the Cloud Data Center in Pakistan. The landmark agreement was reached at “Pak China Trade and Investment Forum” currently being held in Beijing. The Cloud will be named as Huawei Airlink Cloud and this collaboration will be first of its kind in Pakistan. The main focus of this agreement will be to bring a revolution in Media and Finance Industries of Pakistan by introducing world class IT Solutions and infrastructure.

Airlink Communication has remained preferred partner of Huawei in Pakistan since 2012. This agreement is in continuation of sustained business relations between the two companies. The CEO of Airlink Communication, Mr. Muzzaffar Hayat Piracha, lauded this historical engagement between the two companies and said that Airlink Communication believes in bringing the best IT solutions to Pakistan and it will continue to play its role in the growth and development of Pakistan’s economy. Mr. Piracha also shared that Airlink Communication will further strengthen its relationship with Huawei Technologies to reach other sectors in near future. Huawei CEO, Mr. Chinlinchun said in this regard “With Airlink’s contribution Huawei will offer solutions for media and finance industry, work will facilitate into global content sharing, high cloud platform like OTT etc, where commitment will come in content sharing. Adding important content, milestone in finance industry Huawei will provide Agility service, business investment, service intelligence etc to make Pakistan more and more advanced in the field of technology”

Survey Shows Gaps in Understanding the Importance of Ethical

ACCA and the Pakistan Business Council’s Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business (CERB) released their joint survey ’Ethical Mindset: From Vision to Practice’ at a high-profile event featuring corporate leaders here in Karachi. The survey gives a holistic view of current dynamics of ethics and governance practices in Pakistan’s corporate sector.

The launch event in Karachi featured a thought-provoking panel discussion including contributions from leading figures in the corporate sector and accountancy profession, including Dr. Zeelaf Munir, Managing Director & CEO, English Biscuit Manufacturers (Pvt.) Limited, Mr. Aamir Niazi, CEO – People and Business Advisory – HRSG, Ms. Raeda Latif, Head of Marketing & Business Development, PSX, Mr. Khalid Awan, Chairman, TCS Holdings (Pvt.) Limited, Shabbar Zaidi, Senior Territory Partner, A. F. Ferguson & Co. and Ms. Hena Sadiq, Partner, Audit and Assurance, Deloitte.

Keynote speakers at the event included Ms. Hedd Megchild, Head of Business Integrity Initiative the Department for International Development (DFID) and Mr. Arif Masud Mirza, Regional Head of Policy – MESA, ACCA.

In a written message, Helen Brand OBE, Chief Executive, ACCA said:

“While ACCA’s main responsibility is ensuring our members operate to the highest standards of ethics and professionalism, we also take leading role in seeking to drive an appreciation of, and an adherence to, ethical conduct and practice across the business world. The ethical landscape is a complex ecosystem and one which requires everyone and everything within it to be operating in concert, with shared values and a common understanding.”

In the opening remarks, Dr Zeelaf Munir, CEO EBM and board member PBC, highlighted:

“CERB is the first of PBC’s outreach initiatives to build capacity and capability of small and medium-sized businesses in Pakistan. CERB’s mission and vision greatly aligns with the PBC Members as PBC has also adopted the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Compact for Responsive & Responsible Leadership.”

Speaking at the conference Mr. Sajjeed Aslam, Head of ACCA Pakistan said:

“All businesses in Pakistan operate in the triple context of the economy, society and the environment and ACCA believes that the good corporate governance is about being mindful of the impact that a business model has on its surrounding and the way a business can contribute to the long-term health of the company. Hopefully this report will help businesses to examine their vision and strategic direction in a broader context, which will in turn allow their organisations to achieve sustainable growth.”

Whilst addressing the audience, Mr. Khalid Awan, Chairman, TCS Holdings (Pvt.) Limited in his keynote stressed:

“The real valuation of businesses is no longer the balance sheet. The greatest value driver of the enterprise is the first goodwill that you have generated’.

The survey and event both highlighted that companies do place emphasis on an ethical culture and there is a need for greater employee engagement on the topic of ethics to do justice to the company values.

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