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IMF programme paused, not derailed, says Mian Zahid Hussain

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said IMF programme has been paused but not derailed.

The Government should try to restore the programme without compromising on the interests of the masses as the lender is not happy over power price freeze and some budget measures directed at boosting growth rate, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government cannot afford to keep the IMF unhappy for long as the economy is still dependent on loans.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that budget has preferred growth over stabilisation which will add to deficit, may hit tax collection and other targets.

Moreover, the resistance by industrial sector, distributors, wholesalers and retailers may dent expected tax collection to put the plans of the government in jeopardy, he added.

The government will have to boost developmental activities while provinces may not come up to the expectations adding to the deficit, he said, adding that the dependence of the government has increased on petroleum levy which is helping to earn Rs600 billion.

Government can increase levy but it would also increase inflation which will be not acceptable for the masses while it can also opt for increased fuel consumption by promoting economic activities.

So far, the government has not initiated meaningful reforms in the power sector, tax administration and state-run companies wasting hundreds of billions while the circular debt remains a threat therefore increased economic activity is the best option for the government to boost its income, he said.

Kashan Hasan to head the entire Pakistan business at Reckitt

Kashan Hasan has been appointed as the lead for all Pakistan operations at Reckitt – formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser (RB). Previously, Kashan was leading the Health business in Pakistan since January 2020. During his tenure, the Health business not only achieved double digit growth, but was also recognized as the Market of the Year for Reckitt globally.

Both the Health and Hygiene business divisions in Pakistan will now report into Kashan Hasan to optimize the potential of the complementary nature of products. It’s the next stage in the journey of transformation, and the commitment to a cleaner and healthier country as the business continues to work towards its aim of ‘Hoga Saaf Pakistan’.

Elaborating on this, Kashan Hasan, stated: “This reintegration makes Reckitt Pakistan stronger, more able to leverage our scale, drive synergies, align business strategy and execution; an exciting moment for all of us. With power brands like Dettol, Mortein, Harpic, Veet, Strepsils, Durex, Gaviscon and many others as part of Reckitt Pakistan, the business is fully equipped to achieve its purpose: to protect, heal and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world.”

Pakistan’s Creditfix secures seed funding from Singapore-based firm

Creditfix, the Pakistani Fintech startup, has announced that they have secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding in a round led by venture capital fund, Insitor Partners Pte. Ltd. The Singapore-based impact investment firm confirmed this as their inaugural investment into Pakistan.

The landmark deal is the first-of-its-kind in Pakistan’s startup ecosystem, marking the first-ever convertible loan financing from an international investor into a Pakistani company to be approved by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The unsecured convertible loan facility also has on board local investor ACT Group and High Net Worth Individuals. The financing arrangement was announced on June 16, 2021 in Karachi, in the presence of representatives from Creditfix, Insitor Partners, Deosai Ventures and ACT Group. Creditfix has also been assisted by StratLink, an emerging markets focused financial advisory company.

With over 100 million people in Pakistan remaining unbanked, Creditfix was founded in 2018 to offer conventional and Shariah-based lending solutions and financial services, particularly targeting Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME). By adopting new technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) to reduce the operating cost of disbursing loans, Creditfix utilizes its mobile application platform to underwrite and extend asset-backed, productive loans starting from USD 60 to USD 6000.

The CEO and Founder of Creditfix Owaiz Zaidi while highlighting the significance of the deal structure, which promises to open more foreign funding avenues in Pakistan’s startup ecosystem said “We are happy to work with our investors that share our vision of profitability with responsibility and are geared up to show our Risk at Scale ™ framework in action in Pakistan and East African market.”

Hammad Umer, the Pakistan Country Manager for Insitor Partners, a majority female-owned firm, stated: “We believe CreditFix’s underwriting model can help transform how credit is delivered to micro and small entrepreneurs and self-employed persons. Our goal is to pave the way for cheaper, faster and equitable access to finance for all strata of society. The SBP has been instrumental in making this deal possible by granting special permission, which sets the ground for more foreign convertible loan transactions in the future. We are looking forward to announcing more investments into the ecosystem.”

Mr. Umer has been working closely with Creditfix to implement a number of impact indicators and ESG frameworks to validate and track their progress.

Nicholas Lazos, the Chief Investment Officer of Insitor stated:”Creditfix reinforces our long term commitment to Pakistan and is the first of many more investments into impactful businesses in the country. We’re pleased to back a high quality team and their innovative approach to provide financial services to the masses”.

Shehryar Hydri, Managing Partner at Deosai Ventures, is impressed by CreditFix’ technology: “Creditfix is the only Fintech that combines a field-tested proprietary credit scoring model and technology platform with deep knowledge of the consumer lending space. Their team has a unique founder market fit and we’re excited to help them scale during a historic boom for this sector.

One of the most pressing areas when it comes to financial inclusion in Pakistan is the gender gap, with Pakistan recently ranked 153/156 on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2021. Mehvish Owais, Creditfix’s spokesperson and shareholder stated: “Our like-minded investors are cementing Creditfix’s mission to empower women in Pakistan through employment creation. Promoting responsible lending rates will pave the way for other Fintechs in the country and abroad to do the same.”

Reon Energy announces commissioning of 14.3mw solar power project at BCL Farooqia Plant

Pakistan – Bestway Cement and Reon Energy Limited energized 14.3MW captive Solar Power Project at Farooqia, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Solar Photovoltaic Plant is part of around a 50MW project deal dispersed across Bestway’s four locations i.e., Farooqia, Chakwal, Kallar Kahar and Hattar. The deal between Bestway and Reon is the largest distributed energy project in the region to date. The project is owned and financed by Bestway.

The Solar PV project is expected to produce approximately 78,385 MWh (Mega watt hours) annually. The output energy will be used on-site resulting in substantial savings for the company in cost of energy and will significantly reduce the company’s reliance on the national grid.

The energy generated will also cutaround1million tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions over the life of the project, which is equal to plantation of approximately 2.1 million trees.

Business community fully support Tarin’s determination to boost revenue: Mian Zahid

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said the business community fully supports the resolve of the Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin to boost revenue through all possible measures.

The country will always remain dependent on loans unless revenue is increased forcing every government to adopt policies that are contrary to the national interests, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that no serious initiative was taken over the last seventy years to improve the economy resulting in very frequent loans by the IMF and other lenders while the majority of loans were wasted due to weak oversight.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that IMF has stressed on the revenue generation in each and every agreement but our policymakers avoided reforms and preferred a shortcut of burdening masses by enhancing taxes fanning poverty and discontent.

Now further burdening masses is not an option as the indirect taxes have reached the highest point and the only way out is to document the economy and take other hard decisions, he observed.

The business leader said that further increase in petroleum levy, hike in electricity and gas tariff, increasing import duties etc. is no longer an option as it can flare-up the masses cornered by inflation.

He said that now the government has started imposing taxes on food items which is uncalled for and resulting in needless agitation.

Our tax system is outdated and full of contradiction, a person renting a property will have to pay tax but another renting land does not require to pay any tax, he said.

He said that the government has agreed with the IMF to undertake power sector reforms and sell bleeding state-run enterprises and now it cannot hide behind coronavirus to delay reforms as steps are needed to overcome Rs600 billion annual losses.

Mian Zahid Hussain noted that how can a country survive where the salaried class is the largest taxpayer after corporate sector while taxing agriculture sector, transport, wholesale and the retail sector has become a joke.

ACCA and [email protected] to join hands in promoting Pakistan as a knowledge economy

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between [email protected] (Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES), Pakistan’s sole representative trade body for the IT & ITES sector, and ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants), the world’s leading body for professional accountants. Both organizations have committed to work together towards accelerating Pakistan’s inclusive economic growth through development of technology eco-system and digital acceleration.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Islamabad, Head of ACCA Pakistan, Sajjeed Aslam, shared:

“We are really excited to partner with [email protected] to jointly promote technology development and digital acceleration of Pakistan into a knowledge economy and hub of shared services, making IT & ITES (including AI, Data Science, Blockchain, Fintech, Robotics process automation, Finance & Accounting etc.) the top contributor to Pakistan’s exports and job creation.

Key focus would remain to super connect the innovation value chain for the development of human capital and branding of Pakistan amongst globally recognized knowledge economies. This will amplify our contribution towards a better, fairer, more sustainable future for all.”

Sharing the details of the MoU, Barkan Saeed, Chairman, [email protected], said: “[email protected], as the functional trade association for IT industry in Pakistan, continues to co-create policies and environment that help upskill the youth of Pakistan and enable sustainable IT industry growth (locally and internationally). With growing local and global influence, [email protected]’s collaboration with ACCA aims to develop future-ready human capital, infrastructure and connectivity through STZs, entrepreneurship, investment opportunities, policies/ regulations intervention and integrated joint research on digital transformation ecosystem. Other areas include mentorship and development of finance talent in [email protected] member organizations”.

Dawlance joins WWF-Pakistan for plantation of 5,000 mangroves on coastal belt

With a vision to combine its technological-leadership with preservation of nature, Dawlance has collaborated with WWF-Pakistan to contribute towards environmental sustainability. Both these resourceful partners shall now take the partnership ahead by planting 5,000 Mangrove saplings on the 28th of June 2021, along the coastal belt. This valuable initiative is a part of the brand’s sustainability objectives which will also include various activities that are environment friendly like Green workshops, tree plantations and much more in times coming ahead.

This extensive plantation-drive will signify the importance of mangroves and protection of nature’s ecological-balance, for preventing global-warming and climate-change to ensure a safe and healthy future for our coming generations. By nurturing and preserving mangrove forests and with the plantation of 5,000 mangrove saplings, Dawlance shall contribute to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide at an average of 61.1 metric tonnes per year. This collaboration with WWF is a part of the ‘Dawlance for Humanity’ initiative – propagating environmental and economic sustainability, while enabling a better quality of life, education and healthcare for the Pakistani nation.

The Chief Executive Officer of Dawlance – Umar Ahsan Khan stated: “We recently signed an MoU with WWF Pakistan and the mangrove plantation is first step towards many more initiatives in collaboration with WWF-Pakistan. Mangroves play a vital role as a defence line against flooding, provides a whole new ecosystem to several species. As a responsible and reliable organization, Dawlance shall continue propagating “Perfect Balance of Nature & Technology” and play its role towards achieving the company’s annual sustainability objectives which are in line with Arçelik’s vision of sustainability”.

The Regional Director of WWF-Pakistan, Dr Tahir Rasheed said: “The partnership with Dawlance will help us increase the mangrove cover in Pakistan. Mangroves are the defence line for the coastal communities and provide many ecological services. So this partnership will contribute to ensure that these important ecosystems remain intact.”

Dawlance, being a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arçelik – the 2nd largest manufacturer in Europe, is implementing the inspirational and generous sustainability vision of Arcelik into Pakistan. After this plantation drive, multiple stakeholders will be engaged to proceed with a series of large-scale community development initiatives, leading to a greener, cleaner world for our future generations.

Hyundai Nishat Motor announces booking of 8th generation Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai Nishat Motor Private Limited has officially revealed its 4th CKD model Hyundai Sonata in Pakistan. Hyundai Sonata is the 8th Generation Luxury Sedan and HNMPL is proud to bring a product for the first time in the D-Sedan Segment thereby providing Sonata a first mover advantage in this category for Pakistani consumers. It is pertinent to mention, 8th Generation is latest generation of Hyundai Sonata as available worldwide.

Hyundai Sonata will be offered in two different variants including a 2.5L Smart Stream MPiengine at Ex-factory price of Rs. 7,099,999 /- while the other variant comes with a 2.0LMPi engine at Ex-factory price of Rs. 6,399,000 /-

In the category of Luxury Sedan (D-segment), Hyundai Sonata will be the first CKD car to be available in Pakistan thereby providing a unique offering to its targeted customers.

Hyundai Sonata is lauded due to its executive outlook and luxury comforts and specs. The 2021 model has industry best features such as,

  • 12.3″ High Resolution TFT LCD Cluster + 8″ Infotainment Floating Display + Wide Head-Up Display
  • Shark Fin Antenna + Panoramic Roof + Powered Rear Sunshade + Rear Side Curtain
  • Rain Sensing Wiper + Shift By Wire Automatic Transmission + 5 Driving Modes + Wireless Charger
  • 6 SRS Air Bags + Speed Sensing Door Lock + Auto Child Lock + Front / Back Parking Sensor
  • Paddle Shifter + Cruise Control + Wireless Charging + Auto Hold
  • Front Full Tetra LED Head Lamp + DRL’s with gradient hidden light technology + Rear Horizontal LED Tail Lights + Rear Fog Lamp
  • ESC (Electronic Stability Control)
  • Traction Control
  • HAC (Hillstart Assist Control)
  • BAS (Brake Assistant System)
  • Full Sized 18″ Alloy Spare Wheel & PirelliP-Zero Tire
  • Sporty Front / Rear / Side Skirts

In a bid to get mileage and gain customer confidence, 3 exclusive preview events were organized in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. An overwhelming response was received across three metropolitans where many notable personalities joined the exclusive preview of the all new Hyundai Sonata.

JazzCash launches Pakistan’s first-ever digital account for teenagers

JazzCash, Pakistan’s leading fintech, has launched the country’s first ever digital account for teenagers, the ‘JazzCashNextGen Account’. This account will allow adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 years to receive their pocket money and make all their payments digitally.

The JazzCashNextGen account will give young account holders access to the digital wallet for online payments, QR Payments, topping up their mobile balance, and for many other JazzCash services.

Unlike the cumbersome bank account opening process which requires several documents and visits to bank branches, the activation process for JazzCashNextGen Account will require only one brief visit to any JazzCash biometric agent, alongside the minor’s parent/guardian with their B-form details. Once the minor turns 18, they will be able to convert their JazzCashNextGen account to a conventional JazzCash account using their own CNIC.

Building on JazzCash’s existing partnership with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in promoting financial literacy amongst the youth, JazzCash, through its PomPak program, believes its NextGen initiative serves to advance the National Financial Inclusion agenda. Continued synergy between the SBP and JazzCash holds immense potential to serving towards financial inclusion in Pakistan, through leaps and bounds.

“The younger generation makes up a significant portion of the local population and is quite familiar with technology and devices. JazzCash is the No. 1 fintech in Pakistan, and we are proud to provide an early life banking solution for teenagers, to teach financial literacy and responsibility firsthand – a crucial life skill in today’s times”, said Erwan Gelebart, CEO JazzCash.

This demographic of school and college going students are digital natives and introducing them to digital financial services at an early age not only gives them financial literacy, but also empowers them to learn and experience fiscal management and sensible purchasing of goods. Various other services will be launched under this new initiative in the future.

UNDP and JAZZ open registrations for SDG Bootcamps for social enterprises

Aimed at promoting social entrepreneurship and strengthening the startup ecosystem in the country, UNDP Pakistan and Jazz have launched SDG Bootcamp for Social Enterprises. Under the project, 20 bootcamps will be conducted across the county to train 800 young social entrepreneurs, including 50 percent women, over the course of two years. In this regard, a meeting was also held with Dr. Arif Alvi, President of Pakistan recently where Knut Ostby, Resident Representative, UNDP Pakistan and Aamir Ibrahim, CEO, Jazz apprised the President about the project and its expected impact.

Aspiring social entrepreneurs across Pakistan can apply for registrationshttps://bit.ly/3wTQPFM. The focus will be on enterprises that are innovative, tackle at least one of the development challenges of the country and contribute to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The most promising social venture ideas will be provided seed money to start their initiatives.

UNDP has been a key partner for developing and implementing Prime Minister’s Kamyab Jawan Programme which aims to empower Pakistani youth through various projects. As part of the project, the trainees will have an opportunity to secure Kamyab Jawan loans to make their business ideas a reality.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs, Usman Dar said, “UNDP has been an important technical partner of the Prime Minister’s Kamyab Jawan programme since its inception. I am sure that this partnership between UNDP and Jazz will help in advancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the country and many beneficiaries of the SDG Bootcamp will be able to secure Kamyab Jawan loans which would enable them to realize their business ideas.”

Speaking about the initiative, UNDP Resident Representative Knut Ostby said, “Social enterprises are cause-driven businesses whose primary purpose is to improve social objectives and serve the common good. It is essential to help the youth of Pakistan create businesses that not only lead to economic growth and job creation but are also beneficial to the society. UNDP’s Youth Empowerment Programme has been promoting entrepreneurship and supporting economic empowerment of youth in Pakistan through various initiatives. I am confident that this initiative with Jazz will help in further promoting social entrepreneurship as a viable career option among youth.”

Aamir Ibrahim, CEO, Jazz said, “The SDG Bootcamp for Social Enterprises complements the Government of Pakistan’s efforts to increase the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in driving economic growth. The project is in line with our focus on tech-led youth enablement, social innovation and women empowerment to help materialize the vision of Digital Pakistan, while offering solutions to youth unemployment and unlocking opportunities for aspiring social entrepreneurs across Pakistan.”

UNDP through its Youth Empowerment Programme supports the Government of Pakistan in developing innovative and sustainable pathways for social engagement and economic empowerment of young Pakistanis. One of the key components of the Programme is youth entrepreneurship which not only nurtures young talent to create economic opportunities for all, but also spurs change and ensures inclusive development in the country. Through this partnership, UNDP and Jazz will contribute towards improving the startup ecosystem and enable youth to practically explore their innovative ideas and develop skills needed to succeed in the digital space.

VIS upgrades entity ratings of Meezan Bank Limited to aaa/a-1+

VIS Credit Rating Company Limited has upgraded the entity ratings of Meezan Bank Limited (‘MEBL’ or ‘the Bank’) to ‘AAA/A-1+’ (Triple A/ A-One Plus) from ‘AA+/A-1+’ (Double A Plus/ A-One Plus). The medium to long-term rating of ‘AAA’ denotes highest credit quality, with negligible risk factors, being only slightly more than for risk-free debt of Government of Pakistan (GoP). The short-term rating of ‘A-1+’ denotes highest certainty of timely payment, liquidity factors are outstanding and safety is just below risk-free short-term obligations of GoP. VIS has also upgraded ratings of the outstanding Basel 3 Compliant Tier 1 and Tier 2 Sukuk of MEBL at ‘AA’ (Double A) and ‘AA+’ (Double A Plus) respectively. Outlook on the assigned ratings is ‘Stable’. The previous rating action on the entity was announced on June 30, 2020.

The upgrade in MEBL’s credit rating to the highest credit quality is underpinned by MEBL’s market positioning in the Islamic Banking segment, as the largest bank holding 37% of segment deposits as of Dec’20, and in the banking sector at large, being 4th largest, in terms of domestic deposits and financings. Given the aforementioned market positioning in the sector and the Islamic banking segment, VIS considers MEBL to be a dominant player in the domestic banking sector, right behind the top-3 banks designated by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) as Domestic-Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs). At present, SBP classifies MEBL as a Sample D-SIBs, and in accordance with SBP guidelines, MEBL has successfully complied with SBP’s enhanced supervisory requirements since 2018.

MEBL has achieved its market positioning on the back of consistently stronger growth in deposit growth vis-à-vis industry. In 2020, MEBL’s deposit growth was roughly double the industry growth. The Bank has consistently grown its branch network, which stood 825 strong as of Mar21 and several initiatives on the digitization front, translate in a strong franchise value for MEBL. In terms of profitability, the Banks’ RoAE, RoAA & efficiency ratios compare favourably to peers. MEBL’s liquidity profile is considered strong, as reflected by the Bank’s ability to post strong growth in deposits along with an improvement in deposit composition whilst maintaining the lowest cost of funding amongst peers. At present, MEBL’s deposit market share stands relatively lower than D-SIBs, albeit given the strong growth in Islamic Banking deposits and MEBL’s own historical growth, VIS expects this gap to reduce over time.

MEBL’s capitalization metrics have continued to depict improvement on the back of strong profitability, adequate profit retention, and deployment of excess liquidity in low risk weight assets. As of Mar’21, the Bank was maintaining a comfortable cushion over the minimum CAR requirement, set by SBP for D-SIBs.

The assigned rating remains dependent on maintenance of asset quality and capital adequacy, while continuation of strong growth trend and improvement in market positioning has also been factored in the assigned rating.

Alhuda’s 7th African Islamic Finance Summit held in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Tanzanian government ambitious for development of Islamic Finance, says Minister of Finance

Islamic Finance has key financial instruments that can play a key role in alleviating poverty and attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) to Tanzania and Muslim Economies globally, stated Mr. Zubair Mughal Chief Executive Officer – AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE), while addressing the 7th African Islamic Finance Summit organized at Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania. The event was organized on 08th of July 2021 and saw physical and virtual participation from speakers, regulators, experts, and participants joining together for learning and experiencing the avenues of Islamic Finance. The event featured East Africa emerging for Islamic Finance and a new destination for Islamic Financial Institutions. He urged the Ministry to support the Islamic Finance Industry and particularly the Takaful Industry in Tanzania for the smoother and stronger development of this country. He also gave a detailed and insightful overview of the current African and Global Islamic Finance market.

The Chief Guest for this event was His Excellency Dr. Mwigulu Lameck Nchemba, Minister of Finance and Planning Tanzania, who was representing His Excellency Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council. Addressing the event, he thanked AlHuda CIBE and Sponsors for organizing an apex event in such troubling times when Covid-19 has hit the African countries are hard. He also stated that he was proud to represent the His Excellency the Tanzanian President in such a prestigious event. He recognized the importance of Islamic Finance in poverty alleviation and attracting DFIs. He further expressed the President’s ambition and commitment to make Tanzania the hub of Islamic Banking and Finance. He showed support to the industry and welcomed any and all of the industry professionals to meet him at his office. He mentioned the government’s keenness in the development of Islamic Finance and is prepared to make reforms for the Takaful industry to provide them an open license like its conventional counterparts. He stressed the need for logical and clear dealings with Finance and related personnel to eradicate misconceptions and promote development.

His Excellency Mr. Aymen Sejiny, Chief Executive Offcer-ICD was the Guest of Honor. He appreciated AlHuda CIBE’s efforts for Eastern and Sub-Saharan Africa and pledged full support to the organization for years to come. He expressed his belief that efficient mobilization of all available resources will ensure the economic success of African countries. Islamic Finance is demonstrating viability for multiple Muslim and non-Muslim economies, demonstrating its ability as an engine of growth, he said. He mentioned the support that the ICD has shown to Africa in 20+ African countries is a testament to this belief. He also drew attention to the human aspect of the economy, stating the need for upskilling and educating individuals with Islamic Finance knowledge.

His Excellency Mr. Muhammad Saleem, High Commissioner Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for High Commission for Pakistan in Tanzania was also the Guest of Honor. He expressed his delight to see such collaboration between the two countries and these organizations that have been serving the Islamic Finance industry with such passion. Mr. Aref Nahdi, Chairman for CIFCA and Islamic Foundation, Guest of Honor, stressed the importance of regulatory frameworks and bodies that have to be created and supported by the Ministry of Finance for Development of Islamic Finance. Islamic Finance may seem expensive, but it is critical to clear misconceptions and develop the industry. Dr. Ally Hussein Laay was also the Guest of honor who is the Board Chairman of CRDB Bank Plc Tanzania. He thanked AlHuda CIBE for this event and expressed hope that Islamic Finance will be recognized by Muslims and Non-Muslims alike.

More than 20 International Speakers gave their valuable contribution in the topics of discussion. These speakers include H.E Ayman Sejiny, CEO for ICD, Prof. Mussa Assad, Former Controller and Auditor General Tanzania, Dr. Ally Hussain Laay, Board Chairman CRDB Bank PLC, Prof. Dr. Mohammad Akram Laldin, Executive Director ISPRA Malaysia, Mr. Araf Nahdi, Chairman The Islamic Foundation and Centre for Islamic Finance, Compliance and Advice Tanzania, Dr. Huda Ahmed Yussuf, Chairperson Board of Directors Zanzibar Social Security Fund, Dr. Mohammad Kabir Hussain, University of New Orleans USA, Dr. Hima Saysi, Head of Islamic Finance Department London School of modern Studies UK, Mr. Salum Shaban Lupunda, Secretary-General and Controller Islamic Finance, Compliance, and advice. Further speakers include Mrs. Fatuma Ahmed Seid, CEO Bikols Plc, Dr. Salum Ahmed Kihemba, CEO NA Prints PLC, Dr. Karamo NM Sonko, Chairman Heeno International, Mr. Khalfan Abdallah Salim, Principal Partner at Abrar Consult Kenya, Ms. Sabra Machano, Executive Director, Warrior Women Foundation Tanzania, Dr. Abdallah Yahya Tego, Lecturer Muslim University of Morogoro, Prof. Mohammad Hafidh Khalfan, Chairman Zanzibar Higher Education Loan Board, Mr. Salum Awadh, CEO SSC Capital, Deputy Secretary-General BASUTA and Technical Resource Person for CIFCA, Mr. Yuce Uyanik, Legal Committee Member (FCI) Turkey, Mr. Paul Nilson, Commercial Director Codebase Technologies, Mr. Pervez Nasim, Chairman and CEO Ansar Financial and Development Corporation Canada, Mr. Lujjia Sulaiman Zaid, Head Islamic Banking Department Tropical Bank Ltd. Uganda, Mr. Bilal Laving, VP Takaful Africa and Asia, APEX Reinsurance and Brokers, Mr. Aminou Nassourou, Regional Manager Africa (FCI) Cameroon, Mr. Seleman Abdallah, Lead Consultant at SPM Consulting and Program Specialist at NICE Tanzania, and finally Mr. Zubair Mughal CEO AlHuda CIBE.

NITL declares dividends for funds under its management for the year ended 30th June 2021

National Investment Trust Limited (NITL), has declared its annual results for its funds under management for the year ended 30th June 2021.

Mr. Adnan Afridi MD NITL, said that despite the economic effects and challenges of the pandemic, majority of funds managed by the National Investment Trust Limited have generated a competitive return. He said through timely and effective decisions under the guidance of the NITL’s Board, the rate of return for unit holders of different funds has continued their growth momentum.

He said last year NIT introduced Asset Allocation fund (NIT-AAF) and Pakistan’s first Exchange Traded Fund (NIT-PGETF) which attracted investors and performed well. NITL is in process of launching NIT Social Impact Fund (NIT – SIF) and NIT Islamic Money Market Fund (NIT-IMMF). NIT Social Impact Fund (NIT – SIF) is an open-end Micro Finance Sector Fund that shall channelize funds of impact investors to leverage on the strengths of rated asset pool of Micro-Finance Sector, for financial returns and sustainable social impact.

He said during the year 2020-21 NITL has achieved the highest asset manager rating of AM1 by accredited rating agencies, PACRA and VIS Credit Rating Co. Ltd. This is the top-quality asset management rating for asset management companies.

Adnan Afridi hoped that the NIT stakeholders would continue to invest in trust and allow NITL management to manage their portfolios.

NI(U)T Fund

Despite challenging macroeconomic conditions and the impact of Covid-19, NIT has maintained its 58 years track-record of consistently paying dividends and declared a cash dividend of Rs. 1.61 per unit for its unit holders of NI(U)T Fund against the dividend of Rs. 1.29 last year. The payment of dividend @ Rs. 1.61 per unit translates to a payout of Rs. 1.38 billion among its unit holders.

The MD stated that during FY21, the Fund earned a total return of 37.14% where its NAV appreciated from Rs. 54.93 (Ex-Dividend) as on (Date30-06-2020) to Rs. 75.33 as on (Date 30-06-2021).

NIT Money Market Fund (NIT MMF):

During FY21 in the form of twelve interim payouts, NIT has already paid a cumulative per unit cash dividend of Rs. 0.6905 for unit holders of NIT Money Market Fund.

During the year under review, the Fund yielded an annualized return of 6.80% p.a. compared to the benchmark return of 6.70% p.a. an outperformance by 0.10%. During FY21 net assets of NIT Money Market Fund grew by almost 155% and stood at Rs. 12,302 million as of 30th June 2021 as compared to Rs. 4,824 million as of 30th June 2020.

NIT – Equity Market Opportunity Fund (NIT-EMOF):

NIT has declared a per unit cash dividend of Rs. 5.00 for unit holders of NIT Equity Market Opportunity Fund for the year ended on 30th June 2021. During FY21, the Fund earned a total return of 37.43%.

NIT Income Fund (NIT-IF):

NIT has declared a cash dividend of Rs. 0.6332 per unit for unit holders of NIT Income Fund for the year ended on 30th June 2021. During FY21, NIT IF yielded an annualized return of 6.37% p.a.

NIT Government Bond Fund (NIT-GBF):

NIT has declared a per unit cash dividend of Rs. 0.5101 for unit holders of NIT GBF for the year ended on 30th June 2021. During FY21, NIT GBF yielded an annualized return of 4.99% p.a.

NIT – Islamic Equity Fund (NIT-IEF)

NIT has declared a per unit cash dividend of Rs. 0.23 for unit holders of NIT Islamic Equity Fund for the year ended on 30th June 2021. During FY21, the Fund earned a total return of 33.33%.

NIT-State Enterprise Fund (NIT-SEF)

NIT has declared a cash dividend of Rs. 0.24 per unit for unit holders of NIT-State Enterprise Fund for the year ended on June 30, 2021.

NIT Islamic Income Fund (NIT-IIF):

NIT has declared a per unit cash dividend of Rs. 0.8071 for unit holders of NIT Islamic Income Fund for the year ended on 30th June 2021.

During FY21, the Fund generated an annualized return of 6.32% p.a. compared to the benchmark return of 3.56% p.a. hence an outperformance by a significant 2.76%. As of 30th June 2021, the net assets of the Fund stood at Rs. 818 million.

NIT Asset Allocation Fund (NIT-AAF):

NIT has declared a per unit cash dividend of Rs. 1.8358 for the unit holders of NIT Asset Allocation Fund for the period ended on 30th June 2021. During FY21, the Fund generated an annualized return of 20.78%.

NIT Pakistan Gateway Exchange Traded Fund (NIT-PGETF):

NIT has declared a per unit cash dividend of Rs. 0.90 for unit holders of NIT Pakistan Gateway Exchange Traded Fund for the year ended on 30th June 2021. During FY21, the Fund generated an annualized return of 19.71%.

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