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EFU General wins 13th consumers choice award 2018

EFU General has been awarded the 13th Consumers Choice Award 2018 in the Category of Best General Insurance Company of Pakistan. Mr. Altaf Qamruddin Gokal, Chief Financial Officer received this award.

The Consumers Association of Pakistan (CAP) organized this magnificent event at Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi. Mr. Sardar Masood Khan, President, Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Mr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Federal Minister, IT & Telecom distributed the awards. The ceremony was graced by high profile personalities from the government, public and private sectors.

These awards are especially gratifying as the winners are selected from a wide cross-section of Pakistani consumers through different surveys conducted by the Consumers Association of Pakistan (CAP).

EFU General has received this award in recognition of its outstanding performance in the field of non-life insurance Industry of Pakistan. EFU offers a variety of products that caters to the needs of its clients and protecting their diversified interests. EFU brand has become synonymous to progressiveness and promptness in settlement of claims. EFU’s greatest achievement continues to be consumers’ trust for more than 80 years.

ACCA and The Pakistan Business Council join forces to shine light on ethics

ACCA (The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) has teamed up globally with Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and CFA Institute to celebrate this year’s Global Ethics Day.

In Karachi, ACCA partnered with The Pakistan Business Council (PBC) and hosted a breakfast round table to explore how businesses in the country are preparing for an ethical future in the face of threats and challenges presented by globalisation and technology. ACCA’s partnership with these organisations emphasises its commitment to ethics and professionalism.

The roundtable discussion explored the role of ethics in business and business leaders spoke about what ethics means to them. Some of the distinguished attendees included Muhammad Shoaib, CEO and Council Member, Al Meezan Investment Company Limited and CFA Society Pakistan, Irfan Siddiqui, President & CEO, Meezan Bank Limited, Shoaib Ghazi, Managing Partner, Deloitte Yousuf Adil Chartered Accountants, Asim Siddiqui, Chairman & CEO, EY Ford Rhodes Chartered Accountants and Ms.Mehwish Iqbal, Head of Internal Audit, Unilever Pakistan Limited.

The ‘welcome address’ was delivered by Ehsan Malik – Chief Executive Officer, The Pakistan Business Council who shared PBC’s views on ethics and its impact on businesses, ” Professional ethics should underpin all corporate activity, as the foundation stone of trust and exchange. It is a big challenge for businesses to integrate ethics in the extended value chain”.

Sajjeed Aslam – Head of ACCA Pakistan, shared with the audience ACCA’s initiatives on Global Ethics Day and the discussions taking place globally and said, “By supporting an event such as Global Ethics Day we are debating about what matters, and being proactive rather than ignoring the issues.”

The event was concluded with remarks from Fuad Hashimi, Executive Director CERB, “Ethical behaviour comes from within and cannot be regulated, it can be disciplined though. It builds up trust and long term value for the shareholders and stakeholders alike. Integrity, transparency and accountability are ethical practices that impact and build trust, brand value and reputation.”

The key takeaways of the round table are there is no right way to do something wrong. Ethics has to be integrated from an end to end value chain. Highlighting the impact of social media and ethics in digital age, companies highlighted that they have come up with social media policies that have put control on employees as to what they can post on their social media that does not harm the image of an organization. Ethics is to be viewed from both aspects, internally and externally.

National Foods Limited Creating a Hassle Free Shopping Experience

True to its culture of being pioneers in the industry, National Foods Limited has taken the initiative of bringing the concept of the Perfect Store to Pakistan. The concept is a widely accepted concept throughout the international market.

The concept calls for FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) companies to facilitate its consumers in making an informed purchase decision during their shopping trips. In their initiative, National Foods Limited mobilized multiple groups of their employees to local supermarkets, where they went about arranging the store according to the Perfect Store guidelines.

Multiple groups of employees, led by the CEOMr. Abrar Hasan and MANCOM members, from different management levels visited these stores, which included, Salma Supermarket, Hyderi Super Mart, Bin Hashim (FB area, Safoora & Gulshan-e-Johar) and Chase (Jail Chowrangi, North Nazimabad & North Karachi). Each member of the group was assigned to place products in such a manner that the store converts into a Perfect Store as per international practices.

Talking about this initiative, Abrar Hasansaid, “National Foods Ltd. continuously looks for ways to make the shopping experience of their consumers extremely easy and efficient. We appreciate that the majority of our consumers are homemakers, and time bound to manage and run their households. In this day and age of globalization, where everyone is looking for work-life balance, time management becomes a high priority. National Foods Limited respects this change in the consumer behavior and wants to make the shopping experience as easy as possible. We thank the respective stores in supporting us in our initiative across the city.”

The activity also increased cross-functional awareness amongst the employees with the aim to win the battle of the brands in big and small stores across the board.

NBP’s Growth maintained; After-tax Profit up by 10% in Nine months

Meeting of the Board of Directors (BoD) of National Bank of Pakistan (Bank) was held on October 23, 2018 at Bank’s Head Office in Karachi in which the BoD approved the financial statements of the Bank for the nine months period ended September 30, 2018.

The Bank recorded a pre-tax profit of Rs. 23.12 billion which is slightly lower than Rs. 23.22 earned during the corresponding nine months period of 2017. The after-tax profit for the period amounted to Rs. 16.18 billion i.e. 10%higher than Rs. 14.70 billion earned for the corresponding period of 2017. This translates into earnings per share of Rs 7.60 as against Rs. 6.91 for the corresponding period last year.

Bank’s net interest / mark-up income increased by 13.70% to Rs. 43.55 billion against Rs. 38.31 billion for the corresponding period of 2017. This was achieved through maintaining an efficient asset-mix of high-yield loans and investments. The Bank has recently introduced changes in its operating structure for better service quality in order to enhance customer loyalty. Income from dividend and capital gains however recorded a drop due to the lacklustre performance of the stock market. Overall non mark-up / interest income for the period amounted to Rs. 22.49 billion which is marginally lower by 2.15% as compared to Rs. 22.99 billion for the corresponding period of last year.

With a 4.19% growth by reference to December 31, 2017, the balance sheet size of the Bank has increased to Rs. 2.47 trillion. As of September 30, 2018, Bank’s deposits amounted to Rs. 1,799.79 billion being 4.21% higher as compared to that of December 31, 2017. The net advances also increased to Rs. 828.46 billion showing an increase of 12% as compared to December, 2017.

PMEX Posts Highest Ever Profit for the FY17-18

Pakistan Mercantile Exchange Limited (PMEX), the country’s only multi-commodity futures exchange, has posted the highest profit after tax in FY17-18, since commencement of operations in 2007.

The Exchange earned profit after tax of PKR41 million for theFY17-18. The operating income of the Exchange grew to PKR264.6 million for FY17-18 from PKR202.9 for FY16-17, posting an increase of over 30 percent whereas administrative and operating expenses registered an increase of 1.72 percent. The trading volume for FY17-18 was recorded at PKR 1.442 trillion as compared to PKR 1.303 trillion for FY16-17. Resultantly, the average daily trading volume increased by 11 percent to PKR 5.591 billion from PKR 5.051 billion.

This outstanding performance of the Exchange is the outcome of several initiatives undertaken during FY17-18. These included expansion of product suite, induction of new members and liquidity providers, introduction of world renowned trading terminal -MetaTrader 5 and creation of awareness about the benefits of futures trading at a regulated exchange.

Commenting on the financial performance, Ejaz Ali Shah, Managing Director, PMEX, said, “We are delighted to share the financial results for FY17-18. We would like to thank Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Board of Directors of PMEX for their continued guidance and support.”

Talking about the future outlook of the Exchange, he said, “We have embarked upon an ambitious but achievable multifarious plan that includes, extending outreach, diversifying product suite and providing state-of-the-art technology platform. Our special focus is onlinking the Exchange with the local economy of the country by bringing trading of indigenously produced agricultural commodities at the Exchange. The Exchange is confident that these initiatives would go a long way in achieving the desired goal of creating a robust, transparent and efficient trading platform for international as well as local agricultural commodities of the country.”

Nestlé Pakistan Records Increase in Company Revenue Q3 FY18

Nestlé Pakistan recorded an increase in revenue of 1.8% for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 despite increasingly difficult economic conditions and competitive pressures. The total revenue of the Company increased by PKR 1.7 billion and stood at PKR 94.1 billion. The results were announced upon the conclusion of the meeting of Nestlé Pakistan’s Board of Directors on October 23, 2018.

The Company reported profit after tax of PKR 8.6 billion for the nine months ended on September 30, 2018, lower by 23.9% compared to the corresponding period of last year. The decline in profit is resulting from higher input and energy costs due to forex devaluation and increase in the prices of commodities. Earnings per share stands at PKR 190.3 vs 249.9 same period of last year.

Enter SohniDharti Digital Competition Now and Win Cash Prizes of up to Rs. 50,000

SohniDharti, a Climate Change Campaign, is holding a nationwide digital competition to promote climate action amongst young people, teachers, faculty members and professionals.

Climate change constitutes the gravest threat our world faces today. Pakistan is no exception—in fact, it is seventh on the list of most vulnerable nations to the effects of climate change. In the last few years, we have seen the effects of extreme weather events caused by Climate Change in Pakistan—floods, temperature rise, water crisis, loss of marine life and vegetation, decreased crop yields and more. The world over, citizens, especially young people, are taking initiative and working on innovative ideas to counter this pervasive threat.

SohniDharti has therefore launched a Digital Competition for schools, colleges, universities and organizations to digitally present their actions aimed at mitigating risk and adapting to climate change. Actions may be in the form of municipal waste management, cleaning drives, tree plantations, water conservation, energy conservation, renewable energy solutions, video logs, blogposts, articles or other digital awareness campaigns and more.

According to Samar Hasan, Co-Founder of Epiphany and one of the Team Leads for SohniDharti,

“We believe that each one of us at an individual level can help counter the impact of climate change by acting responsibly. We also believe that collective action can help us create change at an accelerated rate. Hence, this competition is an attempt to bring all of us together to come up with creative and doable ideas, and demonstrate through our actions that change is indeed possible.”

How to Enter the Competition

  • Constitute a team comprising at least one faculty member/teacher and a minimum of two students
  • Register your team and submit your idea at bit.ly/sohnidhartidigitalcompetitionby 11:59 pm on October 26, 2018
  • Implement and capture your initiative in the form of a 60 second video
  • Submit your video through www.wetransfer.com at samar@epiphany.com.pk by 11:59 pm on November 2, 2018

Evaluation criteria

  • Creativity (30%): How creative is the initiative in its execution and presentation (video)
  • Engagement (20%): How many people were engaged in the execution of the idea
  • Impact (30%): What is the potential for the idea and/or its execution for replication/expansion
  • Community vote (20%): Get more likes on your video submissions showcased on SohniDharti’s social media platforms and get closer to winning.

Top videos will be screened and prize money awarded to the winning teams at Fatima Jinnah Women University in Islamabad on November 6, 2018.All participants of the competition will be awarded certificates while the winning ideas will also be awarded mementos and cash prizes of up to 50,000 PKR.

About SohniDharti

SohniDharti is an awareness and community engagement campaign for environmental protection supported by an Australia Awards Alumni Grant made possible through the Regional Alumni Workshop 2018: Australia Awards Alumni as Champions for the Environment and Climate Action.The digital competition is sponsored by Independent Power Producers Association (IPPA), Solar Sigma, Stimulus, EcoChange and AlishVerish.

Stay connected with us and learn how you can take small steps to make big changes. Let’s unite for our “SohniDharti”! Like, follow and share our page with your family, friends and colleagues

‘AAA’ (Triple A) and ‘A-1+’ (A-One Plus) ratings reflect PTCL’s leading market position

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has been assigned initial long term entity rating of ‘AAA’ (Triple A) and short term rating of ‘A-1+’ (A-One Plus) by JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (JCR-VIS). The assigned ratings reflect PTCL’s leading market position, extensive network infrastructure, strong financial risk profile and adequate business risk profile.

Long term rating of AAA signifies highest credit quality with negligible risk factors being only slightly more than those for risk-free GoP’s debt. Short term rating of A-1+ signifies highest certainty of timely payment, healthy short term liquidity including internal operating factors and/or access to alternative sources of funds, and is below risk free GoP’s short term obligations. Outlook on the assigned ratings is ‘Stable’.

PTCL continues to enjoy market leadership position in most business segments that it operates. PTCL has a market share of 80% in the documented broadband segment, around 90% in the fixed line voice segment and around 30% in the wireless data segment. PTCL’s share in the IP Bandwidth market stands at around 60%. Despite risk of product substitution from CMOs (for fixed line voice segment) and competition from OTT apps (for international business), business risk profile is supported by healthy growth outlook for broadband and corporate services segment. The ratings incorporate PTCL’s debt free balance sheet and abundant liquidity, important elements that provide the company with financial flexibility and support its rating.

According to JCR-VIS, revenues of the telecom sector in Pakistan have grown at a CAGR of 2.4% over the last 5 years. Moreover, with increase in number of subscribers, tele density has increased to 73% while broadband penetration stood at 29% leaving room for significant demand growth.

Furthermore, JCR-VIS recent findings conclude that four Cellular mobile operators (CMOs) currently continue to dominate the market in Pakistan and generate around four-fifth of the total revenues. Data business remained the main driver of growth after voice business stagnation. CMOs continue to face pricing challenges in a competitive market as reflected by low average revenue per user (ARPU) vis-à-vis regional peers. The remaining one-fifth of the revenues is generated through Local Loop, Long Distance International and Wireless Local Loop segment.

JCR-VIS further validates that the Wire line broadband segment has significant room for growth given that only 5% of the household having access to Wire line broadband vis-à-vis 48.1% average in Asia and 18% in Africa. Given the focus on improving service quality and strengthening in network infrastructure through the network transformation project (NTP), PTCL is well positioned to benefit from growth potential in the broadband segment.

PTCL organizes breast cancer awareness drive for its employees

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) organized a Breast Cancer Awareness drive under The Pink Club, whereby an exclusive session for all female staff and female family members of male staff was held.

The session featured the real life story of a Breast Cancer survivor, Mrs. Khanum Mumtaz Mirza, who is mother of a PTCL staff member. Mrs. Mirza talked about her journey of how she conquered the disease by undergoing the difficult process of diagnosis, treatment, surgery and post-operative care, along with the psychological repercussions of the disease.

The session also included a talk on the importance of early detection through self-examination in order to overcome the disease at an early stage, where chances of survival are relatively high. PTCL’s Senior Medical Officer, Dr. Asma Mahfooz explained the self-examination procedure and also answered questions from the audience. The session was appreciated by all audience members.

Showing solidarity to the cause, PTCL official logo was changed to pink on all social media forums, which will remain for the month of October. Besides, PTCL Headquarters in Islamabad was illuminated pink and staff members adorned the signature pink badge to pledge their support for this cause.

Hina Tasleem, GM HR Strategy and founder of The Pink Club at PTCL, stated, “Our main objective of starting ‘The Pink Club’ was to take initiatives and create awareness on the issues related to working women including health, welfare and safety at PTCL. By organizing such sessions, we ensure that our female employees remain updated and aware of pertinent health issues and measures to counter possible risks. It is our endeavor to create a healthy environment that is conducive to physical and mental well-being of our employees.”

Breast Cancer is amongst the most commonly occurring cancers for women, one in every eight women are likely to suffer from the disease in their lifetime. However, early detection can reduce the risk of fatality and provide a chance to lead a normal life.

Hosted by PTCL regional medical staff, similar awareness sessions were held at different regional offices, where female staff attended the Breast Cancer awareness events.


Pakistan’s NAFL and Turkey’s SUTAS sign joint venture agreement

NAFL, one of the affiliated companies of Nishat Group, has entered into a joint venture agreement with SÜTAŞ, one of the largest producers of milk and dairy products in Turkey, for the manufacturing, marketing and sale of premium dairy products in Pakistan and development of Pakistan’s dairy sector.

The agreement was signed at a ceremony held at Nishat Hotel, Emporium Mall, by Ms. Sadia Mansha, Executive Director NAFL on behalf of NAFL, and jointly by Mr. Muharrem Yilmaz, Chairman SUTAS and Ms. Aynur  , Board Member SÜTAŞ on behalf of SÜTAŞ. Mian Mohammad Mansha, Chairman Nishat Group, Mr. M. Izzet Karaca Board Member SÜTAŞ, Ms.  , Marketing Consultant SÜTAŞ, Ms. Naz Mansha, Chairperson DG Khan Cement Company Limited, Mian Hassan Mansha, Chairman, Lalpir Power Limited., Ms. Iqraa Hassan Mansha, Director Nishat Hotels and Properties Limited (Emporium Mall), and other dignitaries also attended the ceremony.

NAFL and SÜTAŞ will be setting up a manufacturing facility in Pakistan to produce a variety of premium dairy products, keeping in mind the dynamics of Pakistan’s Dairy sector and the current gaps in consumer demand. They have agreed to establish a Joint Venture Company with equal shareholding ratio, with the objective to produce, market, distribute and sell premium dairy products within the country. The Joint Venture Company shall be a public limited company incorporated under the laws of Pakistan with its registered office in Lahore, Pakistan.

Speaking at the event, Ms. Sadia Mansha, Executive Director NAFL said “We are pleased to be entering into this partnership with SÜTAŞ, one of Turkey’s premier business groups and a market leader in Turkey’s dairy sector. NAFL and SÜTAŞ share the common vision of providing high quality dairy products to consumers and are committed to manufacturing these products through sustainable, transparent and technologically innovative dairy farm practices. We strongly believe that this partnership will be beneficial for Pakistan’s dairy sector and will provide consumers with healthy, high quality and nutritious dairy products.”

SÜTAŞ is a leading brand of the Turkish dairy sector and is the preferred brand in three households out of four in Turkey. It processes 900 million liters of milk annually in its four production facilities located in Turkey, Macedonia and Romania and offers 77 different products to its consumers. SÜTAŞ employs 5,000 people with an annual revenue of TL 2.6 billion.

NAFL is a part of the Nishat Group of companies, one of the region’s leading and most diversified business groups with its presence in textile, banking, insurance, cement, paper, power generation, dairy, agriculture, real estate, hotel business, and aviation sectors. Each Group company also has a committed and seasoned history of philanthropy and social responsibility to Pakistan.

Excellent potential of E-Commerce with huge opportunity for small investors present in Pakistan: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said that e-commerce is being promoted in Pakistan, given to increased use of internet, smart phone and broadband. The state bank’s report disclosed that the e-commerce stood at Rs. 21 billion in 2017 which has increased by 94 percent to Rs. 40 billion in 2018, economically very encouraging and appreciative. It is pertinent to state that the amount did not include the e-commerce transactions carried through cash on delivery mode.

The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said that currently the retail business has been benefited through e-commerce but keeping the inclined trend of online business in mind, it is expected that the business-to-business online activities will be promoted accordingly. The e-commerce is further expected to grow by 25 percent in the coming years of 2019 and 2020 respectively.

The former minister said that unlike to traditional business, the e-commerce provides a unique platform that widely benefits customers at their doorstep with several attractions including saving of time, fuel & travelling cost. On the other hand, the business can easily communicate to customers online in addition to save the utilities and various expenses unavoidable in traditional setup, saves the cost of doing business.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that huge potential of e-commerce lies in Pakistan indicated by the 150 million mobile phone subscribers in the country with 56 million broadband users, 18 million smart phone users and 21 percent internet users. Logistics’ support to e-commerce is being provided by worthy names including Pakistan Post, TCS, Leopard courier, etc that provide delivery services to the online buyers. Legislative support is also there to protect e-commerce users and secure platforms are available to ensure safety of the sensitive and financial data of online buyers. However, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are far ahead from Pakistan in ecommerce standing at $ 35 billion, $ 3.5 billion and $ 1 billion respectively.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that various goods and services can be bought / availed online in Pakistan including vehicles, property, food products, electronics appliances, job search and cab service, etc. The small investors especially women entrepreneurs can grab the opportunity of making handsome profits through e-commerce’ platform. Skilled women can sale the handmade products and make handsome earnings. To benefit the entrepreneurs associated with e-commerce the state bank should take measures to introduce PayPal services in Pakistan.

PSO supports LUMS’ National Outreach Programme

As part of its efforts towards ensuring the social development of Pakistan through quality education, PSO CSR Trust entered into an agreement with the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) for the sponsorship of six deserving scholars currently inducted at LUMS via their National Outreach Programme (NOP).

An agreement was signed between the two organizations at a ceremony held at the Rausing Executive Development Centre (REDC) of LUMS. PSO CSR Trust also presented a cheque of approximately Rs 5.1 million as part of the support to LUMS. Those in attendance included Dr. Arshad Ahmad – Vice Chancellor of LUMS, who was accompanied by the LUMS Development Team as well as Mr. Shahzad Safdar – General Manager HR, PSO, who was accompanied by Ms. Aisha Rashid and Ms. Rabbia Anwaar representing the PSO CSR Trust.

Numerous financially disadvantaged but intellectually bright scholars are inducted into LUMS programs through the NOP stream. Many scholars deemed eligible for the university’s programs hail from underprivileged areas. According to the agreement, the selected six NOP scholars will directly benefit from a one-year financial assistance provided on behalf of PSO.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shahzad Safdar – General Manager HR, PSO, said:

“At PSO, our core values related to corporate social responsibility are central to the Company’s business operations. Therefore, we continue to undertake opportunities that stand to benefit our community and society. We are very pleased to partner with the LUMS for their National Outreach Programme which has already begun to bring about immense change not only in the lives of individuals but also entire families and communities.”

Also sharing his thoughts, Dr. Arshad Ahmad – Vice Chancellor of LUMS, quoted H.G. Wells that:

“Humanity is a race between education and catastrophe”, and LUMS firmly believes, as PSO does, that we are going to win the race through education. We are very proud of LUMS to be able to participate, giving and doing our part. Acknowledging support by PSO, Dr. Arshad said, “without the support and generous donations and the understanding that we have with our partners, especially PSO, this would not be possible. It is understatement to say ‘Thank you’, there is a lot behind this and we are also very excited about this initiative because lives are going to change.”

Possible avenues of future collaboration between PSO and LUMS were also discussed during the meeting between two sides. These included the development of customized training programmes for PSO employees, the development of a case study on the progressive business model of PSO, the creation of synergy in chemistry and engineering-related research, the establishment of a chair/professorship etc. as well as the possibility of investment in the infrastructure of LUMS.

Beneficiaries of the PSO financial assistance also joined the agreement signing ceremony. The students used the opportunity to share their educational and family backgrounds, discussed their future aspirations and sought guidance regarding their career goals. The ceremony concluded with the students thanking PSO for supporting their education at LUMS and with Dr. Ahmad presenting the LUMS History Book to Mr. Shahzad as a souvenir.

IMC’S initiates ‘1 million tree plantation’ drive

In line with the government’s ‘Clean and Green Pakistan’ programme, Indus Motor Company (IMC) has launched the ‘1 Million Tree Plantation’ – a drive aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of the company. It was initiated as part of IMC’s commitment to the protection of the environment and of the community in which it operates.

An active signatory of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and winner of UNGC Pakistan Network’s “Business Sustainability Award 2017, IMC strives to advance UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As part of this commitment, IMC has adopted Goal 11: Sustainable Cities as a guiding principle for its environmental initiatives.

Under the campaign’s first drive, about 2,000 trees were planted in September in the vicinity of the IMC assembly plant at Port Qasim in Karachi. The plantation drive includes preparing adequate land at the plantation site by loosening the soil, removing weeds, surrounding bushes and hedges and then seeding and planting new trees. Maintenance of the trees is also highlighted as the key to the sustainable future that IMC envisions for the city.

In the long-term, the 1 Million Tree Plantation’ project aims to protect the land against erosion, turn the barren landscape into forests, enhance rainfall prospects and help mitigate the effects of climate change on ecosystems and biodiversity of the country.

Standards prescribed by FATF are vital to achieve: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) does not provide any financial services itself but World’s leading financial institution consider its recommendations while extending financial support to any country, therefore, its report about any country can cause fame or shame worldwide. According to Basel University’s anti money laundering index Pakistan’s ranking is 46. Other countries including Tajikistan, Mali, Kenya and Panama despite weaker ranking are not included in the grey list which indicates that Pakistan’s inclusion in the grey list are more of political nature than economic and the reason behind is improving Pak-China friendship.

The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said that the FATF team has recently visited Pakistan for 12 days to review the status of implementation of its 27 recommendations to curb money-laundering and terror financing. The team met with all relevant departments and the Finance Minister Asad Umer and will compile its report this week. The FATF team is supposed to meet Pakistani departments again in April 2019 and will present its final report in its annual meeting to be held in July 2019, where Pakistan’s grey listing / black listing would be confirmed.

The former minister said that to get excluded from the grey list, meeting FATF’s standards are highly important. Though Pakistan will need to take strict measures but they will ultimately help us resolve our financial issues including money-laundering and terror financing.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that US and the western World should realize Pakistan’s sacrifices against terrorism being the frontline ally of the United States. According to World’s terrorism index Pakistan is top 5th Country, most affected from the terrorism where 80 thousand innocent people laid their lives, suffered with economic losses of $ 100 billion and faced displacement of millions of people. The brave Pakistani nation and Armed forces have collectively curbed the terrorism in the Country, which has got worldwide acknowledgement. On the other hand, US has used the FATF to get Pakistan included in grey list to put more pressure on the Country and compel it to do more, given to the ongoing CPEC project in the Country which after completion will get Pakistan on new tracks of economic stability and development, he added.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that if Pakistan’s failure to achieve the set standards of FATF may lead to inclusion in the blacklist like Iran and North Korea which is a threat to Pakistan’s weaker economy and will adversely affect the Banking channel of the Country in addition to exports, imports and foreign borrowings. Though Pakistan has successfully compete with more worsen situation than that might faced after blacklisting back in 1998 after the atomic explosions but the Government should take every possible and appropriate measure to avoid FATF’s blacklisting.

MCB Bank announces financial results for the nine months period ended September 30, 2018

The Board of Directors of MCB Bank Limited met under the Chairmanship of Mian Mohammad Mansha on October 24, 2018, to review the performance of the Bank and approve the financial statements for the nine months period ended September 30, 2018.

During the nine months period ended September 30, 2018, MCB Bank Limited reported Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 23.32 billion (-10.32%) and Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs. 14.31 billion (-25.22%). The significant decrease in PAT was on account of a tax provision reversal amounting to Rs. 3.59 billion recorded in 2017.

Strategic management of the earning asset mix resulted in 7.70% increase in net interest income over corresponding period last year. Analysis of the interest earning assets highlights that income on advances increased by Rs 6.8 billion, primarily on account of significant increase in average advances volume of Rs. 99 billion with improved yield of 49bps. On the investment side, the average volume dropped by Rs. 79 billion with increase in yield of 5bps, resulting in overall decrease of Rs. 4.0 billion in investments income. The interest expense of the Bank increased by Rs. 1.1 billion with growth in average deposits by Rs. 138 billion when compared with corresponding period last year. Current accounts registered an average increase of Rs. 51.3 billion improving the concentration level to 38% of total deposit base as at September 30, 2018. The Bank continued to enjoy one of the highest CASA base in the industry of 92.46%.

The non-markup income block of the bank was reported at Rs 11.76 billion reflecting a decrease of 15% when compared with corresponding period last year, primarily on account of capital market performance. The Bank continued with its focus on core non-fund based income stream which was reflected in 9% growth in the fee, commission and brokerage line.Income from dealing in foreign currencies reflected an increase of Rs. 196 million(+18%) when compared with corresponding period last year.

On the administrative expenses side, the bank reported an increase of 12.47% (excluding pension fund) over corresponding period last year with major increase in personnel cost, rent, depreciation and repairs, mainly associated with Ex-NIB operational activity. Administrative expenses include one-off expense of Rs. 1.90 billion on account of past service cost based on actuarial valuation of pension cost payable as per Honourable Supreme Court’s order.On the provision against advances front, the Bank continued with its recovery trajectory and posted a reversal of Rs. 1.92 billion, with Rs. 220 million reversals in provision against investments.

The total asset base of the Bank on a standalone basis was reported at Rs. 1.296 trillion reflecting a decrease of 2.4% over December 31, 2017. Analysis of the assets mix highlights that net investments have decreased by Rs. 203 billion (-30.87%) with Lending to Financial Institutions increased by Rs. 138 billion to leverage the interest rate volatility as at September 30, 2018 . The coverage and infection ratios of the Bank were reported at 93.26% (Dec 2017: 93.74%) and 8.86% (Dec 2017: 9.47%) respectively.

On the liabilities side, the deposit base of the Bank registered a significant increase of Rs. 64.17 billion (+6.63%) over December 2017 which resulted in the Bank crossing One Trillion Deposit benchmark. The increase of Rs. 64.17 billion is net of the deposits transferred to MCB’ wholly owned subsidiary MCB Islamic Bank Limited to the tune Rs. 21.92 billion. Earning per share (EPS) for the nine months period ended September 30, 2018 was Rs. 12.08 as compared to Rs. 16.86 during the same period last year. Return on Assets and Return on Equity were reported at 1.45% and 13.98% respectively, whereas book value per share was reported at Rs. 115.24.

While complying with the regulatory capital requirements, the Bank has the highest cash dividend per share in the industry with regular interim dividends and remains one of the prime stocks traded in the Pakistani equity markets.Bank’s total Capital Adequacy Ratio is 15.52% against the requirement of 11.275% (including capital conservation buffer of 1.275%). Quality of the capital is evident from Bank’s Common Equity Tier-1 (CET1) to total risk weighted assets ratio which comes to 14.06% against the requirement of 6.00%. Bank’s capitalization also resulted in a leverage ratio of 7.51% which is well above the regulatory limit of 3.0%. The Bank reported Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) of 177.31% and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) of 129.85% against requirement of 90% and 100% respectively.

The Bank enjoys highest local credit ratings of AAA / A1+ 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.

The Board of Directors declared 3rd interim cash dividend of Rs.4.0 per share for the nine months period ended September 30, 2018, which is in addition to Rs. 8.0 per share interim dividend already paid to shareholders.

DFID-funded Karandaaz launches second round of Women Entrepreneurship Challenge 2018

Karandaaz Pakistan has launched the second round of its flagship Women Entrepreneurship Challenge with 19 women-led businesses from across the country. The annual challenge, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), is a leading business support programme that promotes a culture of entrepreneurship amongst women.

Karandaaz will invest up to PKR 20 million (per business) in enterprises that have potential for growth after a competitive pitching round to a panel of judges.It will also provide customized business development support to the businesses that have qualified for the programme.

Women-led businessesfrom sectors as diverse as clothing and manufacturing, education, beauty and care, food and food processing, IT and digital media, and gems and jewelry make up this year’s cohort, as announced by Karandaaz at a ceremonyheld in Islamabad, today.

Speaking at the event, CEO Karandaaz Mr. Ali Sarfraz explained: “We are very excited about this year’s round of Karandaaz Women Entrepreneurship Challenge as the businesses thistime are much more diverse with a significant potential for revenue generation and job creation. Our programme is helping these dynamic entrepreneurs compete at par with other mainstream businesses in their domains and tackle impediments such as access to finance, market linkages, and lack of knowledge about industry certifications and standards that traditionally hamper women-led businesses’ growth.”

Speaking about the programme, Senior Development Adviser, Waqas ul-Hassan from DFID said: “Creating jobs and supporting economic growth is a top priority for the UK in Pakistan. We know through our experience that investing in women-led businesses not only empowers women but also lead towards economic growth in target communities.

These businesses participating in the women entrepreneurship challenge will serve as role models to inspire other women entrepreneurs who can be drivers for growth and prosperity in Pakistan.”

Last year, through the Karandaaz Women Entrepreneurship Challenge, 36 women-led small and medium businesses from across Pakistan received incubation services and 15 were selected to receive support from Karandaaz. This year the programme targeted high-potential, established women-led businesses that have an operational history of at least three years and are looking to achieve growth. Karandaaz will undertake an assessment for each of the 19 businesses and work with the women entrepreneurs to develop a growth plan.

BMP leaders admire DGTO’s decision and wish. Nazli Abid Nisar on taking charge of woman vice president of FPCCI.

Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Anjum Nisar, Senior Vice Chairman and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain, Secretary General Senator Haji Ghulam Ali, Chairman Sindh Zakaria Usman, Shoukat Ahmed and Saquib Fayyaz Magoon while talking to the business community said that Businessmen Panel and Pakistan Business Group joint candidate for Vice President Nazli Abid Nisar had been defeated illegally in the FPCCI election 2018. We congratulate her on her victory in the case filed against this illegality in DGTO and appointment as Vice President in FPCCI.

They said that Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce has accepted nomination papers of Syeda Saeeda Bano from an undetermined chamber, the Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, East, and allowed her to participate in the election 2018 as contestant for the position of woman vice president, which was illegal.

The BMP leaders in joint statement said that the Election Commission of the FPCCI had passed wrong decision on the appeal of Nazli Abid Nisar on this illegal action and allowed Syeda Saeeda Bano to compete in the election who did not even had the right to vote which was exploitation of the voting right of women traders across country. Permission to contest election was granted to illegal candidate on the basis of favouritism in the Federation which has caused huge suffering to women entrepreneurs.

Nazli Abid Nisar had filed case in DGTO which she won and the decision declared the election of Syed Saeeda Bano as null and void. DGTO has decided the case put in January 2018 on the instructions of Sindh High Court on October 23, 2018 and the written decision stated that acceptance of nomination paper from a chamber with inactive status in DGTO by FPCCI as they supported one particular group. The election of woman vice president stood null and void in the decision and FPCCI has directed to remove Syeda Saeeda Bano and notify Nazli Abid Nisar as returned candidate for remaining tenure of the office.

BMP leaders said that we appreciate the righteous decision of DGTO and hope that Nazli Abid Nisar being the legal representative of business women across country will play her role to promote women’s representation in country’s economy and will take measures to resolve challenges faced by women entrepreneurs of Pakistan. Mian Anjum Nisar and Mian Zahid Hussain said that federation needs to ensure acceptance of legally valid candidates belong to active trade bodies according to DGTO and stop selection of favourite candidates through rigging in the electoral process.

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