HBL'S PROFIT REACHES RS3.3BILLION
President Habib Limited, Zakir Mahmood, has stated
that the HBL has earned after-tax profit of Rs3.3 billion during the
first half of the current year (2005) which was double that of the
corresponding period in the previous year.
He was speaking at a special ceremony hosted in his
honour by the Jang Group and Geo Television to award him the title of
Kamyab Pakistan. This is the third such title that has been awarded.
The first was awarded to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and the second to
the Chairperson of Unilever Pakistan, Ms. Musharraf Hai.
The award was given to Zakir Mahmood in recognition
of his services as a banker in turning around a loss making bank into
one that is both vibrant and profitable today. Habib Bank is
Pakistan's largest private sector bank.
The HBL President started the proceedings by giving
an account of the history of Habib Bank and how it has fared over the
years. He said that Habib Bank was the oldest bank in Pakistan which
was started in 1941 in Bombay (now Mumbai). On the request of the
Quaid-e-Azim, who also had an account with HBL, the Habib family
shifted operations to Karachi following the creation of Pakistan to
support trade and commerce in the new state.
SBP GOVERNOR VISITS MEEZAN BANK HEAD OFFICE
Islamic Banking in Pakistan has a very bright
future as the systems developed by the State Bank of Pakistan through
its Shariah Board and Islamic Banking Division (IBD) will fully
support this important area of banking. This was stated by Dr. Ishrat
Hussain, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, while addressing the
management team of Meezan Bank Limited headed by its President Irfan
Siddiqui. The meeting was held at the head office of the bank where a
detailed presentation on the activities of the Bank was given by
Ariful Islam, Chief Operating Officer of Meezan Bank.
Besides, Dr. Imran Usmani, Shariah Advisor of
Meezan Bank, also explained the working of the Product Development and
Shariah Compliance Department and highlighted the extensive range of
products developed by the Bank under the guidance of the Shariah
Supervisory Board of the Bank. Istaqbal Mehdi, Managing Director of
Pak Kuwait, who is also a Director on the board of Meezan Bank, was
also present on the occasion.
ARIF HABIB INVESTMENT
Pakistan International Element Islamic Fund (PIEIF),
the proposed Shariah Compliant Fund to be launched by Arif Habib
Investments, is the first mutual fund to receive a specific permission
for investing overseas. According to a SBP Circular dated August 12,
2005, locally established mutual funds will be allowed to invest
abroad, subject to prior approval by the Central Bank. As per the
circular the Shariah Compliant Fund will be allowed to invest a
maximum of 30% of the fund's size but upto $15 million (about Rs. 900
million) in overseas assets. The proposed fund is awaiting final
approval from the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).
The proposed fund is expected to be the third
Shariah compliant mutual fund in Pakistan after Meezan Islamic Fund
and UTP Islamic Fund. Arif Habib Investments sought permission to
invest overseas to create new opportunities and the capability to
diversify and improve the risk profile for the fund's investors. The
new fund will provide investors of all sizes an opportunity to invest
in a much needed Shariah compliant savings product. The permission may
also provide investors access to new types of Shariah compliant
products which are not available in Pakistan. The fixed income Sukuk
Bonds being one example. The company foreseeing limited supply of
Shariah compliant assets had waited for permission for overseas
PAKTEL GSM LAUNCHES MOBILE MANNERS CAMPAIGN
Responding to the growing need in society for
inculcating good anners in the use of cellular phones, Paktel GSM has
launched a unique and creative media campaign to raise awareness of
this issue. The multimedia campaign launched by Pakistan's most
innovative cellular service provider focuses on every day situations
and delivers effective community interest messages regarding mobile
phone usage in public.
Explaining the idea behind the campaign, Akbar
Khan, National Manager Marketing , Paktel GSM, said that mobile phone
usage is relatively a new social phenomena altogether and therefore
there are no established customs or niceties in the use of mobile
phones in public. As such we now commonly see situations every day
where someone's mobile phone usage is an inconvenience or even a
nuisance for others. "Paktel is very sensitive to its business
environment and as Pakistan's pioneering cellular company we felt it
was up to us to run this public service campaign for the benefit of
all," he added,
Speaking on the occasion, Anas Ali Khan, Brand
Manager of Paktel GSM, remarked: "As a socially responslble
company, we want to give something back to the community through this
campaign. It is for everyone, irrespective of which network a person
is on. In addition this campaign is our way of giving back something
to our industry too," he added.
UNION BANK DECLARES HALF-YEARLY RESULTS
Union Bank Limited has announced its six-monthly
results for the period ending June 30, 2005. Union Bank's spreads have
kept a healthy trend as a result of high yielding consumer assets.
Profit before tax aggregated Rs. 1,282 million, a
healthy increase of 120 percent over the same period last year.
Profit after tax amounted to Rs. 800 million, as
compared to Rs. 358 million, over the corresponding period.
Focus on the core banking business of interest
income has resulted in an increase of 60 percent on gross revenue at
Rs. 4,356 million, compared to Rs. 2,718 last year.
When compared to June 30, 2004, deposits grew by 17
percent whereas advances recorded a growth of 24 percent.
Equity has registered an increase of 49 percent,
crossing Rs. 4,118 million, as against Rs. 2,758 million last year.
Total assets stand at Rs. 87,939 million, as
compared to Rs. 78,368 million last year, registering a growth of 12
percent. Half-yearly earnings per share is Rs. 3.30 as against Rs.
1.49, with a growth rate of 121 percent.
Union Bank has firmly established itself as one of
the premier financial institutions in Pakistan, offering a wide array
of financial products under one roof. These products range from
saving/current accounts such as Mahana Izaafa and Business Account, to
financing facilities, such as Business Power, UniCar, My Home and
Ready Cash, to the world's most respected American Express credit and
charge cards. Union Bank has also a separate SME Banking Group,
serving the specific needs of the SME segment.
The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) upgraded
Union Bank's long term rating to AA- (Double A Minus) and short term
rating to A1+ (A One Plus).
RECYCLING CAMPAIGN GATHERS SPEED
The only countrywide recycling campaign, Proud
Pakistanis Recycle, entered a new phase last week as it offers gold
coins through the collection of empty beverage cartons in DHA,
Karachi. The campaign which aims to create recycling awareness among
the public was recently launched in Karachi by Tetra Pak in
association with DHA and NJC Waste Management Systems. The public can
deposit those empty beverage cartons at any of the three Redemption
Centres in DHA Karachi market areas. Anybody who brings 10 empty Tetra
Pak cartons to the Redemption Centre will be given a lucky draw
coupon. A draw will be held at the end of each month for the next
three months, with the lucky winners being awarded gold coins.
Aptly entitled 'Turn your Cartons into Gold', this
redemption scheme aims to involve the public by giving them an
opportunity to win gold coins for empty beverage cartons. All the
cartons collected during the three-month long scheme will be sent to
Packages Ltd for recycling. The Redemption Centres have been set up in
very prominent locations in Phase 2 market, 'Khadda' market in Phase 5
and in Tauheed Commercial Market, off 26th Street.
A JOURNEY TO WONDERLAND
"It was an amazing and out of this world
experience to learn about other cultures and to get close to nature.
It was the best experience of our lives and we will cherish those
moments for as long as we live. Thanks to Cathay Pacific, our dreams
came true." These were the words of Shahfar and Faizan, two
students like any one of us, whose dreams started with an ambition and
an essay, which turned into a reality and the adventure of a lifetime.
Shahfar and Faizan, students of South Shore and
Karachi Grammar schools respectively, were chosen from the competition
of hundreds of students to participate in International Wilderness
Program which is held in South Africa annually. This program is
organized to create cultural affinity among people and letting people
of several nations express and share their cultures with the rest of
the world on one platform and to create wilderness among youngster
This program has been whole heartedly supported by
Cathay Pacific, ranked best airline of the year for 2005, has helped
to let this tradition grow which started way back in 1998.
This was the first time Pakistan became a part of
this auspicious event which is another feather in the cap for a nation
of more than 14 crore people. Shahfar and Faizan stayed at Kwa Nyathi
Tented Camp, part of Entabeni Nature Reserve, a big five wildlife
haven in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Thereafter it was time
to really get to know one another with a series of interactive
activities and ice-breakers. Incredibly, cultural boundaries seemed to
diminish as the day progressed, as all realized that we were a group
of like-minded individuals with a common goal, preserving our planet
for future generations.
On a lighter, more humorous note, we even realized
that we had more in common than initially perceived, like the ability
to split our fingers, the procrastination of homework (which seems to
be a global tendency), and the fact that seemingly every child in
every country has read Harry Potter books!!
For many, strangest thing was the stargazing after
dinner. Every single individual was in awe about the vastness of the
African sky, the complete lack of light interference, and how
different yet similar the stars appeared on the gloomy yet so vibrant
After some problem solving activities, where Edward
de Bono's model was discussed, Shahfar and Faizan took part in the
stretcher's race. Stretchers were constructed with materials ranging
from wood to wire to articles of clothing, and the race was nothing
short of hilarious (and rather scary too!). During the Splash Saver
Activity delegates were astonished to see just how much water we waste
in everyday life, and they all made a renewed commitment to do our
part in water conservation.
Shafar and Faizan were then involved in a series of
activities which involved cultural mapping which fascinated each and
every delegate to its fullest as it gave them the opportunity to
explain their cultures and traditions prevailing in their society and
it played a significant role especially in Pakistan's case as it gave
Shahfar and Faizan the golden opportunity to rectify negative feelings
about the country and thus they showed the world the true colors of
Pakistan and made Pakistan proud on a global level.
Shahfar and Faizan enacted the most celebrated
event in the culture of Pakistan i.e. wedding ceremonies. Delegates
were astonished to see the amount of effort people of Pakistan usually
put into a marriage and both of the students danced at the rhythmic
tunes which make our marriage ceremonies so precious and timeless.
Water auditing was the ecological based study on
water to decipher how polluted the water is. They studied both the
stagnant and flowing water and spotted various organisms like frog,
tadpole for their study. Students also studied plants and animals and
tried to figure out their adoption patterns. This study was really
intriguing as it helped them to understand the living patterns of
every plant and animal.
The interest of the event does not last there as
students were also involved in numerous physical activities like
arching, trekking, abseiling and canoeing which tested the students at
all levels so that they can live their lives to the fullest.
Shahfar and Faizan were most interested in the
Safari where they can see wild animals roaming around everywhere and
they felt as if they are in the household of wild animals which scared
them to eternity. Cheetah conservation was also a part of the deal
where students came face to face with a living cheetah and were told
the ways and means to conserve them.
This was the experience of the lifetime for the
students of Karachi and admitted that these times will be impossible
to forget and will remain with them forever.
Shahfar very beautifully signified the importance
of the event in these words:
Coming form a busy metropolitan city, one doesn't
appreciate the little sounds that make life so special. Although tired
after a long journey, I couldn't help but stop, shut my eyes and block
out all the extra noise; just hear the wind blowing through the
trees... Its like time has stopped just for you to appreciate what you
have been too ignorant to notice....You feel lifted, refreshed, small
and humbled. I am but a tiny speck in this grand universe, but somehow
that realization does not scare me, it makes me appreciate life even
This trip was the landmark in Pakistan's history
and Shahfar and Faizan are the pioneers by taking Pakistan in the
global awareness programs such as the International Wilderness
Program. Cathay Pacific took a momentous step in bridging the gap
between cultures and should be appreciated and valued immensely for
their devotion and dedication to the cause.
A LITTLE ABOUT CATHAY PACIFIC
Cathay Pacific Airways is an international airline
registered and based in Hong Kong, offering scheduled cargo and
passenger services to over 90 destinations worldwide. Cathay Pacific
served 7.4 millions passengers worldwide and earned "Airline of
the Year 2005" award in the passenger's poll conducted by UK-
based Skytrax Research. Cathay Pacific is also a part of "oneworld",
alliance of five airlines, which excels in providing the best service
possible for customer satisfaction.