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SSGC launches winter safety campaign; stresses on safe and ethical gas use

Careless use of gas-fired appliances during winters are a cause of unnecessary deaths and injuries especially in the bitterly cold regions. Every year, the Company launches ’Winter Safety Campaign’ in Balochistan to create awareness about this hazard, through a blend of Below the Line and Above the Line activities.

SSGC’s Corporate Communication Department, in conjunction with Regional Office, Quetta organized an Ulemas Conference at the Quetta Press Club as part of its Social Contact Drive to create awareness about safe and judicious use of natural gas during winters. The Conference featured the province’s clerics who as influential opinion leaders emphasized on safe use of natural gas in their speeches. The eminent clerics stressed on the customers to avoid gas theft since it was against the very tenets of Islamic beliefs and education.

The clerics appreciated SSGC’s role in stemming the declining trend of the number of deaths and injuries due to gas leakages, through its safety awareness programs.

In his speech, SSGC’s SGM-Distribution Saeed Ahmed Larik said that Balochistan has seen a marked improvement in gas pressure issues this year since the province has been provided with 20 MMCFD additional gas, considering the need for this fuel during this season. He said that while gas is a blessing it can be dangerous for human lives if used callously.

In his speech, SSGC’s GM (Distribution-Balochistan) Madni Arafat Siddiqui emphasized that gas theft was a main drain on SSGC’s resources besides being a serious crime. He called on local clerics and other opinion makers in Balochistan to continue to discourage it in every forum. He reiterated that SSGC is a customer-centric organization that is committed towards responding swiftly to customers’ complaints.

Later in the evening, the organizers held a dinner for the media fraternity of Balochistan at a local hotel. SSGC’s management represented by Saeed Larik, SGM (Distribution), Madni Arafat Siddiqui, GM (Distribution-Balochistan) and Shahbaz Islam, GM (Corporate Communications) welcomed the media persons. The media fraternity appreciated the fact that due to the winter safety drive, the number of causalities from neglectful use of gas appliances has shrunk during the last couple of years. The SSGC team thanked the media for regularly propagating SSGC’s messages about precautionary measures and gas theft and leakages to the customers.

The next day, the Winter Safety Campaign was formally launched from SSGC’s Regional Office Quetta. The senior management, executives and staff cut the ribbon to launch the Campaign. The launch featured a roll out of twenty newly branded 1199 Emergency vehicles that carried relevant messages related to gas theft, natural gas conservation and winter safety.

Karachi knights prevail in cliffhanger final of red bull campus cricket

A hush fell over the crowd as anticipation peaked. Two deliveries left, four runs required, and two wickets in hand.

Months of hard work came down to this point and both sides were firm in the belief that theirs was the truer claim to glory.

Yet, there could only be one winner and it was Karachi Knights’ Abdur Rehman who came out on top in the battle of nerves, dispatching the second-last delivery of the penultimate over by Peshawar Markhors’ Nazim Hussain to the boundary.

The thrilling finish marked the end of yet another highly successful edition of Red Bull Campus Cricket in Pakistan and secured Karachi’s spot at the world finals to be held later this month in Dubai.

As the revelry commenced for Karachi, though, no one present at the Moin Khan Academy Stadium was in any doubt that it could have easily been Peshawar’s day too.

Both sides overcame stiff competition in the Super Six and semi-finals stages, knocking out Lahore Lethals, Multan Infernos, Islamabad Shaheens, and Quetta Thunders to book a spot in the national final.

As has almost become a tradition, this year’s Red Bull Campus Cricket national final was also a low-scoring affair but it was never short on action or suspense.

The two contenders were worlds apart in their approach – Peshawar cut a more focused and strategising figure, while Karachi exuded confidence and a certain degree of nonchalance stemming from past triumphs and unwavering self-belief.

It was Peshawar’s first-ever appearance in the Red Bull Campus Cricket national final and the team from Islamia University was off to a stumbling start after winning the toss and electing to bat first.

Barring their one-down batsman Nawees Muhammad, Peshawar’s top order failed to click and they were soon in deep trouble – first reduced to 13 for 3 and then 34 for 5.

At that point, the writing seemed to be on the wall for the Markhors as the dominant Knights’ bowling line ratcheted up the pressure with a disciplined display focusing on line and length.

However, the top-scorer Nawees found support down the order in the form of the hard-hitting Awais Ali Shah, and the duo notched up a 40-run partnership to guide the Markhors towards a three-figure total.

Their resistance was ended by Karachi’s eventual Man of the Match, Sheraz Hussain, who picked up Shah’s wicket and effectively blocked the flow of runs. Sheraz followed up the vital breakthrough with two more wickets as Karachi bowled out Peshawar for a meagre total of 104.

With opener SM Tahami leading the charge, the team from University of Karachi got off to a decent start and at 50 for 2 seemed well on course for a comfortable victory. The Markhors, though, refused to give up without a fight and they had Karachi down on the mat at 81 for 7 after nicking five wickets in quick succession.

From that point onwards, it was anyone’s game. While Peshawar’s bowlers went in for the kill, Karachi’s lower order batsmen, Abdur Rehman and Mahmood Ali, held the fort as the chase steadily drew towards a nail-biting finish.

That was precisely what an enthralled audience got to witness. Karachi’s composure and confidence never wavered despite the loss of their eighth wicket in the penultimate over.

Buoyed by the breakthrough, Peshawar could dare to dream but their hopes for a first-ever appearance at the Red Bull Campus Cricket world finals were shattered as the resolute Abdur Rehman guided Karachi to a hard-earned victory with a ball to spare.

A fitting finish

The captivating finale once again proved the significance of Red Bull Campus Cricket in Pakistan.

The competition has secured its status as the country’s premier varsity-level T20 tournament and that fact was evident by the plethora of current and former international players who lent their support to the teams from Karachi and Peshawar.

From Pakistan, two legends of the game – T20 World Cup-winning captain Younis Khan and another former captain Moin Khan – were a source of inspiration for the youngsters competing for glory in Red Bull Campus Cricket.

Along with theirs, video messages from current national side players Fakhar Zaman and Shadab Khan, as well as Sri Lanka’s captain and Red Bull athlete Lahiru Thirimanne, were also played before the final to give Peshawar and Karachi an extra lift for the all-important clash.

The fight put up by the two finalists was certainly worthy of support from such big names of the game and it will only continue to grow with such fine displays of cricketing skills.

For now, Karachi once again shoulders the responsibility of representing Pakistan in the international arena.

Cricket fans across the country will be in high hopes following Karachi’s strong showing in the 2018 world finals, where they managed a third-place finish while also defeating the eventual champions, Sri Lanka, in the group stages.

With the finals – starting October 26 – just weeks away, an opportunity has come for Team Pakistan to give the world a glimpse of the young talent that has helped the country remain a powerhouse in international T20 cricket.

Here’s wishing Karachi Knights – now Team Pakistan – the best for the world finals of Red Bull Campus Cricket 2019. May the most deserving team win!

Imran khan welcomes $240mn foreign investment from Utchison Port holdings

A delegation of Hutchison Port Holdings led by their Group Managing Director Mr. Eric Ip called on Prime Minister Imran Khan last week. Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Advisor to PM on Commerce Abdul Razzaq Dawood, Special Assistant to PM Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Ambassador at Large for Foreign Investment Mr. Ali Jehangir Siddiqui, Chairman Board of Investment Zubair Haider Gilani and senior officials were present during the meeting. The delegation from Hutchison Ports also included Mr. Andy Tsoi, Managing Director Middle East & Africa, Mr. Eric Ng, Business Director Middle East & Africa and the leadership of their Pakistan management team.

Group Managing Director Mr. Eric Ip apprised the Prime Minister of Hutchison Port Holdings’ fresh investment into Pakistan approximating US$240 million that will make available a significant amount of new container terminal capacity at the Karachi Port, and increase Hutchison Ports’ total investment in Pakistan to US$1 billion. The Prime Minister was informed that this investment will also grow Hutchison employees to 3,000 people.

The Prime Minister was also briefed about the development of Hutchison Port Holdings, its parent company CK Hutchison Holdings, and the group’s commitment to play a pivotal role in facilitating the economic growth of Pakistan, as well as supporting the development of Karachi Port into a major hub for trade in Asia.

Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed the investment from Hutchison Port Holdings and their commitment to the Pakistan’s economic prosperity. The Prime Minister reiterated the commitment and focus of the Government to facilitate investment and ease-of-doing-business that would ultimately result in economic growth and employment generation.

Ambassador Ali Jehangir Siddiqui stated that as a result of a fairly priced currency, unit volumes of exports were increasing and there was a great need for additional container terminal capacity. As a result, this investment would support our export competitiveness and also result in greater revenue for both the federal exchequer and the Karachi Port Trust.

Hutchison Port Holdings is one of the world’s largest port companies, with over 30,000 employees, operating 52 ports and terminals in 27 countries spanning Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australia.

MCB Bank Limited posts highest 9 month profit of all private sector banks

Maintains industry’s highest quarterly payout of Rs4/share

The Board of Directors of MCB Bank Limited met under the Chairmanship of Mian Mohammad Mansha, on October 17, 2019 to review the performance of the Bank and approve the condensed interim financial statements for the nine months ended September 30, 2019. The Board of Directors has declared 3rd interim cash dividend of Rs. 4.0 per share i.e. 40% bringing the total cash dividend for the year ending 2019 to 120%, continuing with its highest in the industry dividend payout trend.

MCB reported profit before tax of Rs. 27.51 billion which is 18% higher than the corresponding last period and translated into earnings per share of Rs. 13.74 (2018: Rs. 12.08). The key highlights of the performance were impressive increase in net interest margins through gradual shift in the maturity profiling of investment base along with an efficient cost base. Profit after tax (PAT) of the Bank increased by 14% to Rs. 16.29 billion as the bank recorded additional super tax @ 4% for the tax year 2018, as enacted through the Second Supplementary Finance Act, 2019. Effective tax rate for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 came to 41% which is 2% higher than the corresponding last period.

Net interest income increased to Rs. 42.99 billion, 27% higher than corresponding last period. Volumetric growth in average earning assets, particularly investments, along with effective mix of shorter maturity earning assets in a rising interest rate scenario enabled the Bank to post growth in gross mark-up income of Rs. 39.52 billion, up 67% over corresponding last period. The Bank has been riding the yield curve over the last few years, taking the benefit of the significant interest rate hike despite the fact that interests on deposits are repriced earlier than the earning assets.

The non-markup income block of the Bank was reported at Rs. 11.45 billion with major contributions coming in from fee commission and foreign exchange income. Fees and commissions generated from core banking businesses increased by 5% to Rs. 8.32 billion. Foreign exchange income increased by 26% to Rs. 2.19 billion as a result of better leveraging of market opportunities.

 

Despite the inflationary surge during the period, (September-19 YoY CPI of 12.5%) and growth in the operational network and infrastructure, operating expenses recorded an insignificant increase of 6% over corresponding last period excluding pension fund cost.

The coverage and gross NPLs to advances ratios are 83.65% and 9.66% respectively.

Total asset base of the Bank on unconsolidated basis was reported at Rs. 1.58 trillion showing an increase of 6% over December 2018. Analysis of the assets mix highlights that net investments have increased by Rs. 115.1 billion (+15%) whereas net advances have decreased by Rs. 13.3 billion over December 31, 2018.

The deposit base of the Bank has registered a healthy increase of Rs. 96.1 billion and stood at Rs. 1,145.14 billion, a growth of 9% over December 2018. Focusing on its low cost deposit base, the Bank was able to increase current deposits at the rate of 4% over December 2018, with overall CASA base of approximately 91% 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 1,560 branches in Pakistan. The Bank remains one of the prime stocks traded in the Pakistani equity market 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 with the Capital Adequacy Ratio at 18.15% 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 16.17% against the requirement of 6.00%. Bank’s capitalization also resulted in a leverage ratio of 6.72% which is well above the regulatory limit of 3.0%. The Bank reported Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) of 195.68% and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) of 145.45% 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, 2019.

IBA Karachi and gear sign scholarship accord

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Generating Employment Alternatives for Self-Reliance (GEAR) to sponsor up to 5 students for the duration of their studies.

The objective of the scholarship is to cultivate and foster the education of promising young leaders attending the institute. The eligibility of the scholarship is based on academic excellence and financial need.

The IBA, Karachi was represented by Dr. Farrukh Iqbal, Executive Director, and Mrs. Malahat Awan, Head of Corporate Relations and Communications, while GEAR was represented by Mr. Ekhlaque Ahmed, CEO and Board of Trustees, Mr. Javed Batla and Mr. Farooq Hyder Shaikh.

GEAR has been operational since 2010 with the core purpose to help the deprived section of the society stand on its own feet through self-employment. In the past 9 years, they have helped 2223 families.

The IBA Resource Mobilization department is striving to create new avenues for helping the financially constrained students at the IBA. Every year 4000 students get enrolled in the IBA in undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programs. More than one fourth of the student population is provided with some form of financial assistance from the institute with generous contribution from philanthropists, corporate entities and governmental bodies.

EFU Life bags two prestigious awards at ‘dragons of Asia’

EFU Life Assurance Limited, the leading life insurance provider in the country, has been conferred two awards at the ‘Dragons of Asia’ ceremony that was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

‘Dragons of Asia’ is a marketing communications industry award programme that recognizes the result-driven marketing strategies of various countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The company won in the categories of ‘Best Campaigns by Country’ and ‘Best Use of Media’ for Pakistan’s first Life Insurance webseries — Humrahi.

EFU Life won the prestigious Blue Dragon for ‘Best Campaign in Pakistan’ across all categories and industries. Whereas for the ‘Best Use of Media’, in all countries participating EFU Life was presented with the Gold Dragon.

The web series was successful in changing the perception of insurance in the minds of millennial, encouraging them to plan for their future.

EFU Life collaborated with media agency, Mediavest Pakistan to successfully execute the campaign thus humanizing the brand across digital media.

ACCA holds global ethics day event in Islamabad

Leaders see ethics and trust as key enablers for exponential business growth in the digital age

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), the British Deputy High Commission Karachi, Pakistan Business Council’s Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business (CERB) and CFA Society Pakistan jointly convened a high profile event to mark the Global Ethics Day 2019 on Wednesday here in Islamabad.

Attended by leading policy makers and prominent business & thought leaders, the conference was aimed at discussing new ethical complexities resulted by digital advances, tightening regulations and changing consumer behaviours. The conversation leaders also examined the ways in which climate risk, natural capital, business model innovation and social impact measurement and evaluation can be addressed by the business community in Pakistan. And the critical relationship between professional ethics and sustained business success was emphasised.

At the conference, Syed Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi, Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) delivered an insightful keynote on the topic ‘Importance of Leadership Role in Driving Ethical Culture’. Dr Ishrat Hussain, Advisor to Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms & Austerity, was the Chief Guest and in his address, Dr Hussain explained how ethics is closely linked to Pakistan’s global competitiveness and ease of doing business in the country.

Mr. Shauzab Ali, Commissioner (Securities Market Division), Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) also delivered a keynote speech which focused on the importance of ethics and trust for a thriving investment industry.

The event also featured a thought-provoking panel conversation ‘Ethics & Professionalism in the Workplace – A View from the Industry’ with contributions from Arif Masud Mirza, Regional Head of Policy, ACCA, Aamir Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer, JAZZ Pakistan, Fuad Hashimi, Executive Director, the Pakistan Business Council’s Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business (CERB), Jahanara Sajjad Ahmad, Executive Director Corporate Governance & Group Financial Advisor, Bibojee Services (Pvt.) Limited, Syed Asmatullah, Executive Director Audit & Assurance, Deloitte Yousuf Adil, Usman Hayat, Chief Executive Officer, Audit Oversight Board (AOB) & Chair Islamabad Chapter, CFA Society Pakistan, and Yusuf Hussain, Chief Executive Officer, Ignite – National Technology Fund.

Other important speakers included, the British Deputy High Commissioner Karachi & Director Trade for Pakistan, Mike Nithavrianakis, Head of ACCA Pakistan, Sajjeed Aslam, and the President of CFA Society Pakistan, Muhammad Asim.

The event was followed by a practitioner workshop in which business professionals were trained in ethics and corporate governance.

Previously, ACCA held a successful corporate conference in Karachi last week featuring contributions from Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner Karachi, Dr Inayat Hussain, Executive Director, State Bank of Pakistan, Mohammad Shoaib, CEO, Al Meezan Investment Management Limited, Abdul Aleem, Secretary General, Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Ehsan Malik, CEO, Pakistan Business Council, Naved Hashmi, Acting CFO, Unilever Pakistan Limited, Sadia Khan, CEO, Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance, Sulaiman S. Mehdi, Chairman, Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited, Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan, Fuad Hashmi, Executive Director, CERB, and Muhammad Asim, President, CFA Society Pakistan.

“Today, we’re marking Global Ethics Day with a series of inspiring initiatives across the world. Ethics is an integral part of our identity. It is a necessary attribute of being a professional accountant, a driver for sustainable organisational performance, and it will always be at the heart of the ACCA Qualification.” – Sajjeed Aslam, head of ACCA Pakistan.

Global Ethics Day is an annual, international day dedicated to exploring the role of ethics in today’s world. Founded by the Carnegie Council, organisations are encouraged to hold programmes focusing on ethics, such as lectures, film screenings, debates, panel discussions, or activities to protect the environment.

For a long time, ACCA has placed ethics and professionalism central to its qualification. They have an ethics and professional skills module, introduced in 2007 and updated in 2017, which students have to take in order to become an ACCA member.

ACCA will host another event celebrating the Global Ethics Day 2019 in Lahore later this month.

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