June 23 - 29, 2008

With six Islamic Banks already operating in Pakistan, the Qatar Islamic Bank is all set to start its operations in Pakistan soon with an investment of US $100 million.

Qatar Islamic Bank has already moved application for necessary approval of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the bank will start its operation after getting approval from the central bank. The Qatar Islamic Bank will be the seventh Islamic Bank in Pakistan, as six Islamic banks are already operating in the country, sources told PAGE.

According to them, Pakistan is the potential market for Islamic banking and they are seeing huge growth in this area in the country. The annual international growth rate of Islamic banking is around 15 percent to 20 percent, as the Islamic banking system is getting more popularity globally and now it has become an industry of over one trillion dollar.

Moreover, the Pak-Qatar Family Takaful Limited, the pioneer of family takaful in Pakistan, has launched its first individual family takaful products in the country, starting with their "Share & Care - Saving Takaful" and "ABC - Education Takaful" plans.

The sources said, 'Share & Care - Saving Takaful' is an ideal plan for families, who would like to save smaller amounts of money and accumulate them into large investments for particular future needs like buying a house or providing financial support in old age. Together with the benefit of saving, this plan also offers a financial protection to the family, if their breadwinner should be unable to provide for them in the future due to unfortunate events.

The ABC - Education Takaful Plan was particularly designed for families, who want to ensure the continuity of the child's ongoing education even if the sponsor parent would not be around. It helps to multiply savings for the ever increasing educational expenses in future. On completion of the membership-term the investment value of the plan will be paid either as a lump sum or in regular installments to be utilised for the payment of collage or university fee, the sources adds.

It may be mentioned that Pak-Qatar Family Takaful Limited manages the investments on behalf of all takaful participants based on the principles of Wakalah. Initially Pak-Qatar Family Takaful Limited has established its head office in Karachi and branches in Islamabad, Lahore, Kotli, Peshawar, Gujrat and Faisalabad. "By the end of 2008, it plans 16 more branches, including in cities such as Sialkot, Multan, Hyderabad, Sukkur, and Quetta.

The sources further said that Pak-Qatar Family Takaful's main sponsor are some of the most prominent and leading financial institutions from the State of Qatar, including the Qatar Islamic Insurance Company, Qatar Islamic Bank & Qatar National Bank and Munich based FWU AG. The initial paid-up capital for Pak-Qatar Family Takaful was Rs 525 million.