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Dubai Islamic Bank and Codebase Technologies Launches Pakistan’s First Roshan Digital Account App

KARACHI, PAKISTAN: Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan Limited (DIBPL), World’s First Islamic Bank, announced the launch of its Roshan Digital Account platform, built in collaboration with leading Global Open API Banking Solution provider Codebase Technologies, to drive frictionless digital onboarding and seamless overseas banking and investing for non-resident Pakistanis.

In view of the difficulties faced by Non- Resident Pakistanis, Roshan Digital Accounts (RDA) was introduced to assist millions of overseas Pakistanis in undertaking fund transfers, bill payments, and investment opportunities in Pakistan. As an emerging market for Fintechs, customers in Pakistan are increasingly receptive to digital and innovative technologies for seamless banking processes.

DIB Roshan Digital Account is built using Codebase Technologies’ award-winning Digibanc™ suite and sets the benchmark for RDA offerings as the only mobile app proposition that enables customers to rapidly create an account and begin banking and investing in minutes. The platform can be accessed anywhere, at any time, and simplifies the onboarding process using a customer-centric user interface, intelligent customer workflows, and cutting-edge eKYC components.

Codebase Technologies and Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan synergies were a driving force throughout the project, enabling market-differentiating workflows which were precisely tailored to ensure all possible scenarios were accounted for.

The platform will make it simpler, faster, and more enjoyable for overseas Pakistanis to open accounts and start investing in the country.

Junaid Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan said “Technologies that customers use on daily basis continue to improve over the years, so do their expectations for banking and financial services. This achievement will meet the rising demand for engaging user experiences and a streamlined experience, transforming how non-resident Pakistanis can invest and bank from overseas, and elevating customer expectations in the banking and financial services industry. We are thrilled to offer our customers the enhanced banking and financial services through our partnership with Codebase Technologies.”

Commenting on the new offering, Raheel Iqbal, Managing Partner & Global Product Head at Codebase Technologies, said, “We are very excited to partner with Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan for this groundbreaking implementation. Our platform is a pioneering fintech offering set to transform the way banks engage with customers in today’s digital landscape. Codebase Technologies brings in extensive experience of operating in international markets. Our key strengths include unparalleled expertise, broad accessibility and an in-depth regulatory understanding across multiple geographies.”

About Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan

Dubai Islamic Bank has a unique distinction of being the world first Islamic bank, a pioneering institution that has combined the best of traditional Islamic values with the technology and innovation that characterize the best of modern banking.

Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan Limited (DIBPL), commenced operations in 2006. Since then, DIBPL has undertaken major initiatives to expand its branch network across the country.

The Bank is offering state-of-the-art Shari’a compliant products that effectively compete with those being offered in the market by conventional banks. DIBPL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dubai Islamic Bank UAE, the world’s first Islamic Bank. The Bank is one of the fastest growing Islamic Banks in Pakistan continues to reaffirm its long-term commitment by aggressively expanding its footprint nationwide in its endeavor of providing the better way to bank.

About Codebase Technologies

Codebase Technologies is a leading Global Open API Banking solution provider, at the forefront of enabling banks and financial institutions (both Conventional and Islamic), as well as, the emerging Fintech ecosystem to Demystify Digital Financial Services. We help organizations create and deliver Innovative and Intuitive experiences across customer lifecycle.

With presence and customers across 4 continents, Codebase Technologies with its award-winning suite of products, including the innovative Digibanc™, a comprehensive one-stop ‘Bank in box’, helps its customers unlock the true potential of the next generation of the digital financial eco-system.

Habibmetro Bank Joins Roshan Digital Account
  • Non-Residents Pakistanis and Residents can now repatriate their funds freely and bank digitally anytime, anywhere

Habib Metropolitan Bank Limited (HABIBMETRO) has joined the Roshan Digital Account (RDA) initiative of the State Bank of Pakistan.

Roshan Digital Accounts provide innovative banking solutions to millions of Non-Resident Pakistanis (NRPs) and Resident Pakistanis (RPs) with declared offshore assets, who need a secure and convenient facility, to undertake banking-payments, fund-transfers and investment activities in Pakistan, remotely, from abroad. The RDA program is available for both Conventional and Islamic Banking customers around the world. NRPs can open the Roshan Digital Account, digitally, anytime and from anywhere, while RPs can visit a designated HABIBMETRO Bank near them.

The honorable Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Reza Baqir, lauded the swift efforts of HABIBMETRO in joining the group of banks who are offering the Roshan Digital Account and hoped that more banks would follow suit and become part of the fast evolving digital financial ecosystem of the country. Extoling the contribution of Overseas Pakistanis, he said that NRPs are continually increasing remittances through RDA. He went on to add that SBP, together with the Government of Pakistan, is working on innovative initiatives to provide attractive avenues of investment and saving for Overseas Pakistanis. He said RDA provides a full range of banking services and exciting investment opportunities to the Pakistani diaspora, including Naya Pakistan Certificates (NPCs) issued by the government, as well as the stock market and real estate.

The Governor SBP elaborated that initiatives of RDA and NPCs will help the country not only in attracting investment by NRPs but will also become a more consistent, reliable and long-term source of foreign exchange flows in the country. He disclosed that RDA has so far received more than USD 480 million from around 97 countries around the globe and over USD300 million have been invested in NPCs. Governor SBP said that the outcome of the RDA initiative so far has been very promising, with the number of accounts and amounts remitted and investment growing every day.

Speaking at the launch event, HABIBMETRO’s President & Chief Executive Officer Mr. Mohsin Ali Nathani stated: “HABIBMETRO and Habib Bank AG Zurich are committed to serving our customers regardless of where they are in the world. With the Roshan Digital Account, HABIBMETRO aims to facilitate Non- Resident Pakistanis, and Resident Pakistanis with declared assets abroad, in banking with us anytime and from anywhere in the world, conveniently and remotely. They can use the RDA program to invest in attractive opportunities while contributing to the progress and development of their homeland. We believe that the RDA will prove to be a game-changer for Pakistan, as it will give tremendous impetus to the national economy.’

HABIBMETRO has also engaged Mr. Jahangir Khan – the longest-reigning world-champion of Squash, as the ambassador for its RDA program who said that he decided to become one of the founding account-holders and ambassador of the HABIBMETRO Roshan Digital Account, simply because he thoroughly enjoyed his 40 years’ banking relationship with HABIBMETRO and Habib Bank AG Zurich.

The HABIBMETRO Roshan Digital Account offers digital account opening and banking to its customers, along with a wide range of investment opportunities with various tenors and attractive returns. NRPs and RPs can repatriate funds freely, while investing in Pakistan (in PKR & USD) through the Naya Pakistan/Islamic Naya Pakistan Investment Certificates and the Stock Exchange.

More details about the HABIBMETRO Roshan Digital Account are available on HABIBMETRO Bank’s website.

Sehat Kahani with who launches first-ever telemedicine clinic in Loralai

Sehat Kahani is a telemedicine organization that connects female doctors from their homes to patients in underserved segments of the country using a telemedicine-based solution of e-health clinics and a mobile application that serves masses. Sehat Kahani has served 340,000 patients till date through the network of its 33 e-health clinics across Pakistan, and the mobile application.

Sehat Kahani has launched its 34th e-health clinic in Loralai, Balochistan in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO). The occasion was graced by the presence of Honorable Divisional Director Health Department Zhob Division, Dr. Shah Jahan Panezai.

Dr. Babar Alam (Head of Sub Office Balochistan – World Health Organization), Dr. Isfandyar Shirani (The National Population Officer), Dr. Shabir (DHO Loralai), Syed Atif Ali (Lead Sales & Technical – Sehat Kahani), and Mr. Amir Ahmed (Regional Manager Clinical Operations – Sehat Kahani) were amongst the other key participants of the event.

Honorable Dr. Shah Jahan Panezai expressed: “The government of Balochistan appreciates the effort of Sehat Kahani in bringing this much needed innovation to our region; this will help many patients from underserved areas to be able to access quality healthcare. We extend our full support to Sehat Kahani and WHO and all their future endeavors.”

Dr. Babar Alam said: “WHO is very excited for this opportunity of providing access to quality healthcare in the province of Balochistan.”

Dr. Isfandyar Shirani said: “For a province like Balochistan where healthcare has vast areas of improvement; the ability to be able to connect to an online doctor anytime anywhere would be a game changer.”

Dr. Shabir said: “We are happy that Sehat Kahani has chosen Loralai for the launch of its first clinic in Balochistan and we are optimistic that this shall greatly help in improving the healthcare scenario of the area.”

Mr. Atif Ali said, we are ecstatic to have had the opportunity to launch first of our many to come e-health clinics in Balochistan and we will make sure that this brings about a very positive change in the overall healthcare scenario of the province.

Sehat Kahani and World Health Organization have partnered to expand the use of telemedicine services for essential sexual andreproductive (SRH) healthcare during and after COVID-19 situation in Pakistan.

Shan Foods wins ‘Community Impact Award’ at the 10th Annual CSR Summit
  • After championing as a globally-trusted food brand, Shan Foods makes its mark as an active advocate of empowerment and sustainability

Karachi, 07 March 2021: Shan Foods Private Limited (SFPL), a leader in the spice industry, has been awarded with the “Community Impact Award” at the ‘10th Annual Corporate Social Responsibility Summit & Awards 2021’ during a ceremony held at a local hotel in Karachi.

Organized every year by The Professionals Network (TPN) since 2011, the Annual CSR Summit and Awards is the only nationally-recognized CSR awards of Pakistan, registered with IPO, Government of Pakistan, that recognizes leading corporations from across the country for their outstanding efforts for the betterment of communities and society at large.

As a brand that places ultimate value upon its customers and understands the role it plays in the community, Shan Foods has always believed in giving back to the society. Acknowledging the trying times the pandemic brought with it last year, Shan Foods made rigorous efforts for COVID-19 relief work, assisting vulnerable groups during the time of crisis. As a global brand, these efforts were not only limited to a local level but were also extended on an international level where it partnered with multiple food banks in North America and the Middle East, reallocating its resources to wider communities. In addition, Shan Foods’ CSR efforts are also aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals– supporting livelihoods, ensuring food security, and empowering marginalized segments of society – with sustainability at the core of everything it does.It is in recognition of these contributions that Shan Foods has been conferred with one of the most prestigious CSR awards in the country.

Sharing his views on the achievement,Mr. Sikandar Tiwana, CEO Shan Foods said, “While Shan Foods is renowned for its authentic taste and quality, it is also equally committed to the wellbeing of communities, thriving to enhance the quality of life of all of its stakeholders. It is through our comprehensive business model that all of us at Shan Foods are obliged to fulfill our corporate social responsibilities and undertake initiatives that bring value to the communities and environment in which we operate. This CSR Award is a reward for our Shan family and we will continue to remain committed to what is important for our people and for the world we live in.”

Roche Diabetes care collaborates with doctHERs for project Kaarvaan

Due to the staggering growth of diabetic patients coupled with the comparatively low scale of awareness among the masses, Roche Diabetes Care has taken a groundbreaking initiative in collaboration with DoctHERs, titled Project Kaarvaan. As part of this initiative, Roche Diabetes Care aims to propagate the preventive as well as treatment education amongst PwDs (People with Diabetes). As per studies, if enough cognizance is not made available to the general public regarding diabetes, the disease burden is expected to increase by 67% by the year 2030.

More than 415 million people in the world are suffering from diabetes. Pakistan is ranked fourth all over the world for having the highest number of diabetic patients with the recent count having climbed as high as 19.1 million — making up around 17% of the country’s total population. As per studies, about 45% of diabetic patients in Pakistan are undiagnosed.

Project Kaarvaan is a concept based on collaborative education.

“This collaboration with DoctHERs is another part of our mass awareness initiatives around diabetes. As part of this initiative, we will train doctors, nurses, and lady health workers around this disease, its management and the use of a glucometer, to enable them to equip the patients with the knowledge they need to monitor this disease”, Head of Roche Diabetes Care, Sohail Malik, mentioned while speaking about the need and significance of this project. Under this collaboration, Roche Diabetes Care will be formally onboarding about 150 doctors, 12 nurses, and 150 LHVs. These professionals will be working as the ambassadors of the program and will be educating groups of masses about preventive diabetes management, its treatment, symptoms, early diagnosis, insulin advocacy, usage of glucometers, and busting myths. These professional ambassadors would be connecting with a network of PwDs to promote collective consciousness about the disease.

“This awareness takes place at two levels, patient level, but before that at the healthcare worker’s level. So with this initiative, we are endeavoring to increase the capacity of these healthcare practitioners regarding Diabetes, so they can educate the patients they interact with on a daily basis,” Khaqan Sikander, CEO DoctHers elaborated.

Mian Zahid lauds efforts of PM, COAS to tackle power crisis

Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said power sector is marching towards unresolvable problems while the Prime Minister Imran Khan and COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa are trying their best to tackle the issue which is highly laudable.

The power sector may crumble under the burden of defective planning and wrong contracts and people as well as the business community hope that China will bail out Pakistan from this mess, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government has completed talks with IPPs which will result in saving of Rs42 billion per annum and now it has initiated talks with Chinese companies to reduce tariff, capacity charges and interest rates etc. which is according to the national interests.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that power plants with capacity of 16,000 megawatts were planned under CPEC and projects with 6,500 megawatts are expected to come online soon.

This will result in the burden of hundreds of billions of rupees as the country is already producing surplus electricity and completion of projects will push surplus power to 50 percent of the required electricity.

Due to the sensitivity and importance of the issue the PM and COAS are personally handling the issue and trying to extend repayment duration from 10 to 20 years.

In case of success, Pakistan will save $500 million per annum which will be a big relief while it may reduce the tariff of electricity which is very high as compared to competing nations, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that costly energy is not in the national interests as it can reverse all the policy actions and gains therefore the business community is thankful to the government for its initiatives.

UBL posts strong profits of over Rs34 billion in 2020

UBL reported Profit After Tax of Rs. 20.9 billion for the financial year ended 2020, which was 9% higher than 2019. These results were delivered by the highly dedicated UBL team which has worked with the utmost discipline and perseverance despite the challenges from COVID-19. The Bank maintained strong payouts to shareholders, declaring dividends of Rs.14.7 billion for the year 2020 (Rs. 12.0 per share).The Bank’s capital position remains strong and provides a solid foundation to support future business expansion. The Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) was measured at 24.4% as at December 31, 2020., an excess of 11.9% over the applicable minimum regulatory requirements.

UBL maintains one of the largest networks in Pakistan. The bank serves over 10 million customers nationwide, through its footprint of 1,356 branches, including 100 Islamic branches, 1,442 ATMs and over 35,000 ‘UBL Omni’ dukaans. The network is well supported by our innovative and transformative UBL Digital app serving over 1.5 million customers today.

Overall gross revenues stood at Rs. 92.1 billion for 2020, growing by 10% over 2019. The bank recorded a strong year on year growth of 21% in net markup income which stood at Rs. 75.0 billion for 2020. Non-markup income stood at Rs. 17.1 billion for 2020, down 21% compared with last year, lower mainly due to the COVID led slowdown in fee earnings. However non-mark up income picked up during the last quarter of the year, as business momentum is now returning to pre-COVID levels.

UBL’s asset base stood at over Rs. 2.0 trillion at Dec’20, growing by 8% over Dec’19. The domestic franchise remains the core of the UBL brand. Branch banking continued its strong momentum, with 17% growth in deposits which stood at Rs. 1.4 trillion. The bank added over 571,000 new to bank customers within current accounts, which enabled the domestic bank to record a 13% growth in average current deposits, which stood at Rs. 538 billion in 2020. The savings portfolio stood at Rs. 544 billion in 2020with 15% growth in averages. The Bank maintained strong CASA ratio of over 85%throughout 2020.The bank’s net advances stood at Rs. 530 billion as at December 31, 2020, down 17% over the previous year. UBL’s government securities holdings grew to over Rs. 1.0 trillion with Rs. 576 billion invested in fixed and floating rate Pakistan Investment Bonds and Rs. 345 billion deployed within Treasury Bills. This enabled the bank to maintain healthy mark-up income in 2020.

UBL maintained its leadership in the home remittance space, with an average market share of over 23% in 2020, maintaining its status as the preferred partner of the Pakistani diaspora for home remittances. As part of State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP)efforts to provide non-resident Pakistanis (NRPs)with basic banking and investment opportunities within Pakistan, UBL has been playing a leading role in supporting the Roshan Digital Account initiative. For its efforts, UBL has been recognized for the highest number of Roshan Digital accounts opened in 2020 by the Government of Pakistan.

UBL is the pioneer in the local banking industry in providing state of the art digital banking services. The bank’s digital strategy is centered around making banking easier and accessible to the mass public in an easy and convenient manner. For its role in spearheading innovation in the Pakistani banking space, UBL was declared Pakistan’s Best Digital Bank for 2020 by Asiamoney, an associate of Euromoney.

UBL was also declared the ‘Best Digital Bank’ at the 2020 Pakistan Banking Awards. The year has seen UBL work on innovative ventures to bring about many customer centric technological offerings. The award recognizes UBL’s position as Pakistan’s leading progressive and innovative Bank.

Furthermore, UBL was recognized as the “Bank of the Year 2020 – Pakistan” at the Banker Awards. The Banker, is an affiliate of the Financial Times UK and is the world’s leading financial publication. The award recognizes UBL’s excellence in performance, adding customer value, innovation and leadership in society, particularly during extraordinary times due to the current pandemic. UBL has won this award for the fourth time this decade which is a testament to the bank’s efforts in expanding the scope of financial services in Pakistan as a core strategy and spearheading innovation.

Mr. Shazad G. Dada, President & CEO of UBL said, “Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, UBL delivered solid results. Our strong balance sheet gives us the foundations for future growth. We will build on our award-winning digital proposition, introducing innovative banking solutions. Our focus is on enhancing performance across our core businesses and building greater operational efficiencies and agility across the organization. I am proud of the way our people have shown great resilience to maintain the highest level of customer service during the pandemic. They are our greatest asset and we will continue to invest in their development and wellbeing. Customer centricity is at the heart of everything we do, and we are committed to providing market leading services to our ever-growing customer base.”

Faysal Bank sponsors 6th SOP unified Marathon 2021

Promoting its mission of inclusivity, Faysal Islami, one of the leading Islamic banks in Pakistan, was the platinum sponsor for the 6th Special Olympics Pakistan Unified Marathon 2021, held at Emaar Pakistan on 28th February, 2021.

Identified as one of the big-scale social initiatives in Karachi, the event is held every year in advocacy of inclusivity and empowerment and promoting awareness around the need to encourage and understand the importance of equal participation of people with disabilities. This year, the event was inaugurated by Mr. Yousaf Hussain, President & CEO, Faysal Bank Limited, hosting a total of 2000 participants from all walks of life, including 300 specially-abled children and adults.

Keeping up with its commitment to promote an equal and just social system, Faysal Islami always strives to instill acceptance of differently-abled people within the society. It is in furtherance of this endeavor that Faysal Islami has always demonstrated an unrelenting support for such causes, including its active participation in last year’s SOP Unified Marathon and the 5th National Road Cycling Championship where it created a separate championship segment for Special Olympics athletes.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Yousaf Hussain said, “We are very proud and honored to be partnering with Special Olympics Pakistan and supporting them in their cause. The values of Inclusivity and Diversity are the cornerstones of Faysal Bank’s social responsibility mission as they also align with the Islamic teachings of equality. I am thankful to all the participants who came out and showed their support today, and I also congratulate all the winners of our Special Olympics who proved how truly specially-abled they are.”

About Faysal Bank Limited

Faysal Bank Limited was incorporated in Pakistan on October 3rd, 1994 as a public Limited company under the Companies Ordinance, 1984. The Bank’s shares are listed on Pakistan Stock Exchange. Faysal Bank is engaged in Commercial, Retail, Corporate and Islamic banking activities.

Faysal Bank’s footprint now spreads over 200 cities with 576(including 500 Islamic) branches. With total assets of PKR 601 billion, placing it amongst the significant players in Pakistan’s banking industry. Faysal Bank’s ambition is to provide par excellence service to its customers while meeting their financial needs.

Burden of inflation increasing on masses: Mian Zahid Hussain

Chairman of National Business Group of FPCCI, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said masses are facing the increased burden of inflation which has made their life difficult.

Almost all the sectors save export and remittances are showing negative signs which has raised concerns among the business community, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that masses faced a hike of 8.7 percent in the cost of necessities and services due to the hike in power tariff and other associated issues.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that power tariff hike since decades has not served any purpose except for hitting masses and increasing the cost of doing business.

He noted that inflation in the month of December was 5.7 percent which heartened the masses and related departments but the optimism was short-lived.

The recently released statistics show a 78 percent fall in the portfolio and foreign direct investment while imports are swelling at a high rate as compared to exports.

The trade deficit for the first six months of this fiscal was 2.5 percent as compared to 2.3 percent during the last fiscal however tax collection has improved due to the efforts of Chairman FBR and his team.

The business leader noted that domestic loans which were Rs.16.5 trillion in 2018 have jumped to Rs.23.7 trillion while $93 billion have increased to $115 billion.

Takaful Pakistan Limited is now Salaam Takaful Limited

Takaful Pakistan Limited, the largest dedicated general Takaful operator in the country, unveiled its new brand image of “Salaam Takaful Limited”. To commemorate the commencement of this new name, a grand launch event took place in Karachi on Friday, February 26, 2021. With the top brass of financial industry and leading corporations, Shariah scholars and media personnel, the company’s stakeholders were also in attendance.

Dr. Ishrat Husain, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Institutional Reforms and Austerity of Pakistan, was the chief guest and in his speech, he gave an insight on the current national economic landscape. Dr. Ishrat Husain further continued by applauding the progress that Islamic financial sector has made over the years. He further congratulated Salaam Takaful Limited on their achievements and extended his best wishes for the company. He was of the view that Salaam Takaful Limited has the potential and opportunity to become a global player in Islamic insurance segment and will play its role for the propagation of Islamic insurance products both nationally and globally.

During the event Mr. Rizwan Hussain, CEO & Managing Director, Salaam Takaful Limited (formerly Takaful Pakistan Limited), elaborated on the journey of the company post its acquisition by the new management in 2018. He showcased the company’s achievements and growth and explained his vision with regards to the new identity of Salaam Takaful Limited. While addressing the audience he stated: “Salaam Takaful Limited is the result of our evolution into a better enterprise with strong resolve to be the leading Takaful solutions provider in the global arena, a shining star of Pakistan. With our unprecedented growth, strides towards digitization, innovative solutions and customer centricity, we will become an exemplary entity for future generations, In’sha’Allah.

Respectable Mr. Anwar Maqsood, delighted the audience with a small skit that made the event memorable for the participants. He shared a few words on the event and congratulated Salaam Takaful Limited on their ascent as the largest dedicated Takaful operator in Pakistan.

Zia Ul Mustafa Awan re-elected as the president of ICMA Pakistan

Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMA Pakistan) is pleased to announce re-election of Zia ul Mustafa Awan, FCMA as the President for the period of 2021-2023.

Zia has extensive leadership experience of national and international professional accountancy organisations and forums as he remained the President of South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) for the year 2020. He is currently the Chairman of Governmental and Public Sector Accounting Enterprises Committee of South Asian Federation of Accountants and a member of Public Sector Financial Management Committee (PSFMC) of Confederation of Asia and Pacific Accountants. He has a clear vision about accountants’ role in the national economic growth. He has over 25 years of experience in the corporate sector and public sectors. He also has experience and exposure of being a Member of Board of Directors of Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited, Ignite National Technology Fund and Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance. He is well known in the community for the initiatives taken for the betterment and growth of the accounting profession.

Under the leadership of Zia ul Mustafa, the Institute achieved sustainable growth, internationalization, developed and conducted Online Exams with remote access, enhanced legal benefits and recognition of its Members, up gradation of curriculum and examination systems in accordance with international education standards, compliance at highest level with IFAC SMOs, digital transformation of processes, better recognition with international professional accountancy organisations, enhanced employability of its Members and strengthened governance.

During his tenure ICMA Pakistan twice won FPCCI’s Excellence Award for outstanding services in Education, Training & Development. He believes that in the term 2021-2023, the progress shall continue and the Institute will achieve new heights of success.

The Institute is also pleased to announce the appointment of Shehzad Ahmed Malik as the Vice President, Shaham Ahmed as the Honorary Secretary and Ather Saleem as the Honorary Treasurer of the Institute. Other Members of the National Council for the years 2021-2023 include Anis-Ur-Rehman, FCMA, Khawaja Ehrar Ul Hassan, FCMA, Khalid Mehmood, FCMA and Awais Yasin, FCMA. In addition, the Government of Pakistan has nominated following on National Council for the years 2021-2023: Muhammad Anwar Shaikh, Additional Secretary Corporate Finance, Finance Division, Government of Pakistan, Jameel Ahmad, FCMA, Deputy Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, Sumaira K. Aslam, Chief Financial Analyst, Finance Division Government of Pakistan, Muhammad Kamran Shahzad, Deputy Chief Cost Accounts Officer, Finance Division Government of Pakistan.

UBL selects PTCL for primary tier-3 data center hosting

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and United Bank Limited (UBL) signed an agreement, for the hosting of UBL’s primary site at PTCL’s purpose-built Tier -3 certified Data Center facility in Karachi.

The signing ceremony was attended by Mr. Nadeem Khan, Acting CEO & Group Chief Financial Officer, PTCL Group and Mr. Shazad G Dada, President & CEO, UBL, along with senior officials from both companies, at the UBL Head Office in Karachi.

PTCL is providing UBL a state-of-the-art purpose built data center with precise and control environment, which is equipped with latest technology of networks and IT fabric architecture. With this partnership, PTCL will enable UBL to have the highest levels of security, resilience and flexibility for its infrastructure.

On the occasion, Mr. Nadeem Khan, Acting CEO & Group Chief Financial Officer, PTCL Group, said, “We are glad to be a trusted partner of choice for UBL in providing them with a modern, safe and reliable facility to meet their business and IT needs. PTCL endeavours to provide innovative solutions to its corporate customers that enables them to be agile and dependable for their customers. Being a national carrier, our focus is to empower our customers for meeting their objectives and further support them in their business growth.”

Mr. Shazad G. Dada, President & CEO UBL added, “As the ‘Best Digital Bank’ of Pakistan, UBL has always pioneered the use of state-of-the-art technologies. We continue to provide our customers the best in class solutions, in a secure and reliable environment. This partnership will go a long way in implementing our strategic priorities, which include operational efficiency and customer centricity.”

PTCL continues to provide robust IT solutions and services to its enterprise customers that enables them to work with efficiency while their data remains safe and secure.

Haleeb Foods partners with Bank of Punjab for financial assistance to its dairy farmers

Haleeb Foods Limited (HFL) the pioneer dairy processing company in Pakistan and Bank of Punjab (BOP) have entered into a far reaching collaboration to deliver easily accessible financing to dairy farmers associated with HFL. This initiative will enable the dairy farmers to avail affordable financing from BOP, on soft terms and lowest markup rates. Such loans shall exclusively be utilized to expand and modernize their existing dairy-farming businesses.

The agreement signing ceremony was held at HFL Head Office, Lahore. Mr. Zafar Masud, President & CEO, Bank of Punjab and Mr. Syed Mazher Iqbal, CEO, Haleeb Foods signed the agreement in the presence of Senior Management from both the organizations, Dairy Farmers from across Punjab and notable Media Persons.

Talking on the occasion Syed Mazher Iqbal, CEO, HFL said, “Haleeb Foods has always been committed towards the economic growth of the country and community at large. We are happy to be a part of this initiative of greater public interest, which shall definitely help the otherwise unstructured/small-scale Dairy Farming Community. BOP taking an extension of PM Kamyab Jawan Scheme and Punjab Rozgar Scheme shall facilitate the small scale dairy farmers associated with HFL. We strongly believe that this initiative has the ability to positively contribute to the landscape of the Agri Sector of Pakistan.”

Expressing his views Mr. Zafar Masud, President & CEO, BOP, said, “We are excited to be partner on this initiative that has the potential to transform the agricultural landscape of Pakistan by promoting organized financial inclusion of Dairy farmers and improving dairy farming practice. Prioritizing the financial inclusion and well-being of small farmers is key to develop the agricultural sector, which in return contributes towards economic growth of Pakistan. BOP will also offer financial assistance under Federal Govt.’s Prime Minister Kamyab Jawan Scheme and Provincial Govt’s Punjab Rozgar Scheme (PRS) which will further strengthen Govt. initiative to empower the youth to undertake their own businesses”

Haleeb Foods encourages its traditional dairy farmers to avail the financing facility from BOP to transform and upgrade their dairy-Infrastructure. At present HFL milk collection network is operational in 11 districts of Punjab with 5 main locations in Ellahabad, Arifwala, Chishtian, Jhang and Layyah.

Shell Pakistan announces financial results for 2020

The Board of Directors of Shell Pakistan Limited (SPL) announced financial results for the year ended December 31st, 2020. The company posted a loss after tax of PKR 4,821 million for 2020compared to the loss of PKR1,485 million in 2019.

The second half of 2020 saw significant recovery with a profit after tax in comparison to a very tough first half of the year primarily affected by the global pandemic resulting in declining fuels market and volatility in the international oil prices.

Shell Pakistan recognizes the governments initiative to switch the frequency of petroleum pricing of the country from monthly to fortnightly; and basing the same on the Arab Gulf Mean oil prices published in PlattsOilgram. This ensures fair competition and alignment of fuel prices with international pricing trends, smoothing out any volatility caused by the legacy pricing mechanism. In addition, the government upgraded the fuel grade to Euro-V standards from Euro-II standards which was introduced in 2016-17. This will pave way for cleaner air quality in Pakistan as a result of lower motor vehicle emissions.

SPL decided to issue right shares to ensure a healthy financial and cash position, to meet working capital requirements and to enhance shareholders’ value. The rights process is expected to be completed by Q1 2021.

Shell Pakistan continues its focus on driving competitive business plans to deliver top quartile business performance and play a key role in developing Pakistan’s energy future.

Bank Alfalah signs agreement with PMRC to promote low-cost housing finance

Pakistan Mortgage Refinance Company (PMRC) and its Partner Financial Institutions (PFIs) including Bank Alfalah joined hands to provide and promote affordable housing finance in the country by signing Credit Guarantee Agreements with Credit Guarantee Trusts for Low-Cost Housing, set up by the Government of Pakistan with PMRC as Trustee.

In the ceremony held at PMRC’s office at FTC in Karachi Credit Guarantee Agreements were signed with National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), United Bank Limited (UBL), Bank Alfalah Limited (BAFL) and Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan Limited (DIBPL), which will allow them to avail risk cover for low-income housing finance. Soneri Bank limited (SBL) also participated in the event to partner with PMRC to obtain Refinancing Facility to help them grow their housing portfolio. These initiatives will allow the banks to partially alleviate the credit risk entailed and provide affordable mortgage facilities to the low-income, particularly those in the informal sector.

PFIs were represented by their Presidents Mr. Arif Usmani – CEO NBP, Mr. Shahzad Dada – CEO UBL, Mr. Atif Bajwa – CEO BAFL, Mr. Junaid Ahmed – CEO DIBPL and Mr. Muhtashim Ahmad Ashai – CEO SBL.

Mudassir H. Khan, MD & CEO, PMRC expressed his views saying, “It is indeed a proud moment for PMRC and all PFIs, as we recognize the importance of mutual coordination between the financial institutions for the growth of affordable housing in the country. In particular, the Credit Guarantee will play a key role in the promotion of low-income housing and realizing the Government of Pakistan’s vision of making affordable housing a reality.”

Presiding the ceremony, Ms. Sima Kamil, Deputy Governor SBP praised the efforts of PMRC and PFIs for this groundbreaking event and said that this endeavour is not only a step forward in making the dreams of many low-income earners of owning a house come true but also an example of turning visions into reality.

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