Press Releases

MOU signing ceremony between GFS builders and developers and Shahid Afridi Foundation

Leading GFS Builders & Developers who always work for humanitarian Services, there another important step for the noble cause, had an agreement with Shahid Afridi Foundation. On this occasion GFS builders and developers CEO Mr. Irfan Wahid said that he is really impressed with Shahid Afridi’s character and he is very much impressed the way Afridi is helping people in remote areas.

Even today, there are people in this country who support humanity. Shahid Afridi in his speech said that GFS Builders & Developers is a very big name and as big as their name is, God has given them a big heart. Allah has made us pious and aider and we keep praying and seeking help from Allah as without his will nothing is possible. On this occasion, Irfan Wahid also announced to donate the land for Shahid Afridi Academy in Phase 2 of North Town Residency.

Shahid Afridi also said that Irfan Wahid Sahab is serving the people even though he is a very big name in business and me and my foundation will always support him.

MD GFS builders and develoeors Mansoor Wahid, Director Admin Mohsin Wahid and renowned and leading social worker Zafar Abbas, MPA Aziz GG, Bilal Ghaffar, Farooq Ghaffar and Adeel Iqbal also attended the event.

Masses not getting benefit of reduced oil prices: 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 Monday said masses are not getting the benefit of reduced oil prices in the international market.

He said that there should be a mechanism to transfer the benefit of receded prices to the consumers and industrial sector without delay.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that oil prices are at the lowest in the last three months due to a strong dollar and resurgence of coronavirus.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that China, which is the largest crude importer has introduced a zero-tolerance policy for coronavirus while many countries have reintroduced travel restrictions which has reduced the demand for oil.

The dollar is at its highest during the last nine months reducing oil price by five dollars in seven days but masses here are yet to get any benefit, he said.

The business leader said that the shale oil production in the US has increased to fifteen months high while OPEC has also decided to boost production by every month which will also hit the oil prices.

The increased popularity of electric vehicles have also dented oil sales therefore there is no chance of substantial hike in oil prices but the chances of reduction is bright, he observed.

He noted that government reviews oil prices fortnightly but some other countries are reviewing it on daily, after three days or weekly basis and prices are announced after considering the exchange rate and other expenses.

The government should consider streamlining oil prices mechanism, he demanded.

Kyrgyzstan is growing for Islamic Banking: Zubair Mughal
  • Kyrgyzstan is setting itself up well in Islamic Finance to take off as a key player among the CIS

The year 2021 has been tough for economies globally. The hard-hitting Covid-19 Pandemic has mutated and resulted in a crisis in many countries. For most economies, it was hard enough to recover from its adverse effects lest face another wave caused by another rampant variant. In this disastrous situation, a land-locked country in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has been striving to achieve success in inducing Islamic Finance in its economy. Most impressively, thanks to the support of the government and regulators within the country, it has been progressing at a steady rate too.

Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The demographic statistics of the country show almost 90% of the population is Muslim. Businesses and companies have paid heed to these demographics well and are now fully invested in shifting towards Islamic Finance. It is now an emerging market for Islamic Finance as more and more professionals and individuals turn their focus towards Shariah-compliant modes of financing. Currently, two banks are providing Islamic banking products in the Kyrgyz economy. Companies are looking forward to starting operations in Takaful as well. More and more companies are vying for establishing themselves as the prime providers of Islamic Finance facilities. Furthermore, two microfinance institutions are working for Islamic Banking organizations to provide Islamic Microfinance services.

Even though Kyrgyzstan was the first country among the Central Asian States to incorporate Islamic Finance in its economy, but still, the share of Islamic banking in the banking sector of Kyrgyzstan was 1.5 percent, and 0.3 percent in the microfinancing sector in 2016. In 2018, these figures increased up to 1.6 percent and 6 percent, respectively. It has come to the government and central bank’s understanding timely that it’s not only the banking legislation that makes the Islamic principles of financing work in the country. The government has amended the Tax Code, Customs and Civil Codes, and many other laws and policies. It took them almost three years to pass all these amendments in the parliament and adopt them in 2016. Today the laws encourage the development of Islamic principles. The above-mentioned figures may not seem encouraging, but Kyrgyzstan has set up a very favourable framework for Islamic Finance operations and the foundation for rapid development is complete.

Kyrgyzstan has lacked in achieving diversity in financial products and institutions providing finance to laymen, entrepreneurs, and other potential clients. Islamic Finance products are proving to not only be appreciated by the masses but are also nurturing development in the region. SMEs and businesses feel more confident when they understand that the financing institution is not only providing finance but is essentially the investor due to the risk-sharing nature and mechanism of Islamic Financing. The introduction of Takaful in the mix will not only complement Islamic Banking here but also attract a huge potential customer base. The development of diverse Islamic Finance products in the region will ultimately lead towards the development of the economy.

The human resources in the Kyrgyz economy related to Islamic Finance has developed themselves into a capable force. It is high time to partake in the development of Islamic Finance in Kyrgyzstan and imbue professional excellence and learning. AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking (AlHuda CIBE) conducted a consequential 2-Day Specialized Training Workshop on Islamic Banking, Islamic Microfinance and Takaful. Multiple aspects of promoting and developing Islamic Finance in Kyrgyzstan was discussed. The training was attended by professionals of the Finance and Islamic Finance industry to enhance their knowledge about global practices and developments. The training imparted valuable knowledge to the participants, who were keenly invested in developing their skills. The organizers expressed their elation at such a positive response from the professionals. AlHuda CIBE further intimated their inclination to continue contributing towards the development of Islamic Finance in Kyrgyzstan.

Jazz gets Shaukat Khanum Corporate Social Responsibility Award 2020

In recognition of its sustainability initiatives, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Center (SKMCH&RC) has awarded Jazz the Shaukat Khanum Corporate Social Responsibility Award 2020.

Tariq Azam, Director Marketing – SKMCH&RC, congratulated Jazz on receiving the award and acknowledged their invaluable support. He said, “During the pandemic the process of patient care changed dramatically, increasing costs substantially. In such challenging circumstances, Jazz stood by us. We would like to especially acknowledge Jazz for their generous contribution last year in our fight against COVID-19 and for helping us in spreading cancer awareness. We hope they continue supporting our cause in the years to come.”

“We extended our full support to various organizations to play our part in limiting the devastating impact the pandemic had on the vulnerable communities, including the frontline healthcare workers. Jazz commends the work SKMCH is doing in combatting the pandemic and in areas of cancer treatment and research,” said Syed Fakhar Ahmed, Chief Corporate & Regulatory Affairs Officer – Jazz.

Last year, Jazz announced PKR 1.2 billion COVID-19 relief support, which included short to mid-term initiatives to limit the negative impact of the pandemic, primarily for the most vulnerable communities. This also included a PKR 8 million funding to SKMCH&RC for 1,000 COVID-19 tests, which were utilized to diagnose the underprivileged. Jazz also carried out a cancer awareness and fund-raising campaign via its social media assets and mass SMS to support the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust (SKMT) in raising donations.

This is the 8th Shaukat Khanum Corporate Social Responsibility Award that the mobile operator has received. In the last four years, Jazz has contributed significantly towards sustainable initiatives that empower the youth through technology and philanthropy in the areas of natural disaster relief and healthcare.

BankIslami marks 75th independence day with renewed commitment ‘saving humanity from riba’

BankIslami, Pakistan’s leading Islamic finance Institution, commemorated the country’s 75th Independence Day reaffirming its commitment towards serving the nation and its economy. A flag hoisting ceremony was held in this regard at BankIslami’s headquarters on I.I. Chundrigar Road in Karachi. At the event, President and CEO, BankIslami Syed Amir Ali raised the national flag while senior members of the management team were also in attendance.

BankIslami was the first scheduled Islamic Bank in Pakistan and has since revolutionized the Shariah-compliant financial space with many state-of-the-art products and services to serve its customers and the nation’s economic landscape. The company’s role in empowering the nation to tackle the Covid-19 crisis has been paramount and the recovery effort since has received a significant boost from its efforts. BankIslami is devoted towards serving the country and it has reaffirmed to continue with a determined zeal towards new horizons in the future.

Speaking at the occasion, CEO and President BankIslami, Syed Amir Ali commented; “Over the years, we have witnessed Pakistan achieve new heights. On this Independence Day, as we emerge from one of the biggest crises in modern history, we are presented with an uphill task for economic recovery. At BankIslami, we’ve always taken pride in being at the forefront of revolutionizing the Shariah-compliant financial space through innovation and we look forward to continuing this journey with greater enthusiasm in the times to come.”

Amir s. Chinoy group and urban forest coalition agree mutual commitment

The Amir S. Chinoy Group, represented by the Chairperson Pakistan Cables Ltd, Mustapha A. Chinoy and the Urban Forest Coalition represented by Chief Coordinator Shahzad Qureshi, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently. This MoU is a form of mutual commitment in complimenting each other`s duties and function in the perspective of promoting tree coverage in Karachi, particularly in urban forest development and management.

“The Amir S. Chinoy Group has actively promoted green initiative through its companies. Pakistan Cables Urban Forest, which is the largest Miyawaki based Urban Forest in Pakistan, is one such example. We are proud to partner with the Urban Forest Coalition to further the cause of a greener Karachi”, said Mustapha A. Chinoy.

The MOU will leverage each entities comparative advantage to support and promote environmental conservation by undertaking tree planting in various parts of Karachi and contribute towards the city landscape. “It is imperative that we synergize our strengths and take on the challenge of Climate Change together to help our future generations. Amir Chinoy Group has taken the lead in demonstrating its seriousness about creating a Green Cover in the City of Karachi by establishing the largest Miyawaki Forest at their factory and committing to all support for the Urban Forest Coalition which will greatly help in mobilizing large scale plantation in the city.”

Honourable president of Islamic Republic Of Pakistan meets CEO of Arcelik in Turkey

The honourable President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan – Dr. Arif Alvi recently made an official visit to Turkey, where he also held a meeting with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Arçelik – Mr. Hakan Bulgurlu and several other major corporate leaders from Turkey. Arçelik, which is the 2nd largest manufacturer of home appliances and electronics in Europe, acquired Pakistan’s leading home appliance company Dawlance in 2016 and is one of the largest Turkish investment in Pakistan.

During the meeting the participants discussed vast opportunities of economic cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey. The President also extended an invitation to Turkish investors and entrepreneurs to take full advantage of Pakistan’s business-friendly policies and conducive business environment being created by the government.

The CEO Arçelik, Mr. Hakan Bulgurlu, expressed his pleasure on meeting the President of Pakistan and said: “Emerging economies like Pakistan are at a crossroads, as the growing demand for energy and home appliances go hand in hand with diminishing natural resources. We have had a valuable discussion with the President of Pakistan about effective measures to curb energy consumption, while we also shared with him sustainable solutions across our industry and how scarce resources can be conserved through our efficient appliances which will be the need of the hour especially for a country like Pakistan.”

Commenting on this important meeting in Turkey, the CEO of Dawlance in Pakistan, Mr. Umar Ahsan Khan, stated: “Dawlance-Arçelik would like to express our gratitude to the Honourable President Dr. Arif Alvi for meeting our Global CEO in İstanbul. While we make sure we are always a reliable partner for our customers in their homes as they make progress in their lives towards achieving their dreams, we at Dawlance are committed to sustainability and strive towards giving our future generations a healthy planet.”

Environmental and sustainability initiatives were also discussed and talked upon during the session as energy efficiency and environment sustainability are at the core of operations for Arçelik and is the point of focus for Pakistan. During the discussions with delegates of the Energy, Electronics, I.T., Health and other industries of Turkey, President Dr. Alvi also invited these entrepreneurs to avail the lucrative investment opportunities emerging in numerous industrial sectors of Pakistan, including; Finance, Mining and Tourism amongst others. The Government of Pakistan has appreciated the multitude of robust ventures being established in Pakistan by these progressive Turkish companies, while offering all possible support to the foreign investors.

Metro commemorats independence day with green Pakistan campaign, women sports festival

As part of its Independence Day celebrations, METRO Pakistan, being a socially responsible corporate organization, joined the Government of Pakistan’s Green Pakistan initiative, the largest tree plantation campaign, by distributing tree saplings to its customers, in collaboration with The Trust School Lahore.

METRO Pakistan believes that such initial steps will grow into larger actions to help the nation’s environmental issues. METRO Pakistan has already carried out similar drives to make Pakistan green in the past.

In addition, METRO participated in the Independence Day Women Sports Festival organized by the Lahore College for Women University with the office of the Deputy Commissioner Lahore, and distributed gifts bags among the participants. The players showcased their best skills in various sports including Cricket, Basketball, Volleyball, Handball, and Badminton. The event was widely supported and attended by, among others, national players, the Provincial Ministers, and the Lahore administration.

Bank Alfalah and Indus Motor jointly launch Toyota smart finance portal

Bank Alfalah, Pakistan’s premier financial institution providing both Shariah compliant and conventional banking services, has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Indus Motor Company Limited (IMC) for a joint launch of a portal Toyota Smart Finance (TSF) to promote Toyota products through the former’s Auto Financing services.

In line with the commitment to facilitate customers in every possible way and taking a step further to digitalize the financing process “Toyota Smart Finance” has been launched to the mutual customer base of both entities. Toyota Smart finance is not only a one stop online financing solution for customers but also empowers dealerships to initiate credit process from the floor by electronically engaging with either Bank Alfalah Islamic or Conventional. The strategic partnership will cater to evolving financial needs of mutual customers by delivering innovative solutions with value-added benefits. The combined expertise of the companies will help save time, reduce hassle, and create a seamless purchase & financing experience for customers.

Indus Motor Company Limited (IMC) is a joint venture between House of Habib of Pakistan, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) of Japan. Incorporated in 1989, the Company manufactures and markets Toyota brand vehicles in Pakistan.

Dr. Muhammad Imran– Group Head, Bank Alfalah Islamic Banking Division said “The alliance between both the parties will boost a healthy competition in the market. Through this partnership, we will be providing an attractive Shariah compliant financing package for Toyota variants. We also appreciate the efforts of IMC team towards developing portal, which will ease the journey of the customers”

Mr. Abdul Rab–Senior General Manager Marketing & Sales, while highlighting the unique features of the vehicles, said, “Toyota customers will experience modern, multi-functional vehicles with affordable price ranges. Alliance with Bank Alfalah Islamic will provide Toyota customers with one of the best financing options in the market. Through the portal, customers can digitally check the status of their application and they will also receive SMS on each step of the process”.

Mr. Syed Muhammad Asif – Head of Consumer Finance, Bank Alfalah Conventional said “I am honoured to collaborate with partners like IMCL and to be part of a banking team that constantly strives for excellence, crosses new boundaries, faces challenges head-on and shines throughout this journey. This ambitious and strategic journey will create a tri-party connect between the customers, Bank Alfalah and Toyota Manufacturers & Dealers, offering Toyota Vehicles on exclusive terms. The Toyota Smart Finance program will elevate the experience of financing of Toyota vehicles. TSF is a very promising financing solution that will play an integral role to seamlessly enable the forecasted demand and supply chain. This is one of the many initiatives of Alfalah Auto Loan to offer leading digital solutions and to become the ultimate destination for auto financing customers. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our partners IMCL for designing the TSF portal and the team at Bank Alfalah for making this happen.”

The signing ceremony took place at House of Habib, in the presence of Bank Alfalah Islamic, Group Head – Dr. Muhammad Imran, Talat Khurshid Mian – Retail Head, Syed Nabeel Ahmed Rizvi – Business Head Auto Finance, Mr. Abdul Rab – SGM Marketing & Sales, Mr. Alam Ayub – DM Marketing Planning and Mr. Sarim Jamal – AM Marketing Planning, Wajih Ur Rehman – RSM Autos CFG, Javed Amir – National Sales Manager Autos CFG and Iftikhar Javed – Head Autos Business CFG.

TSF Portal will help the customers to finance the Toyota vehicles with a quick and easy process which will involve minimal documentation and application fee. Through the portal customers can avail their desired vehicle from any dealerships across Pakistan. Applicants can apply for auto financing with 15% security deposit and with a tenure of up to 7 years.

With the Bank Alfalah Islamic Auto Finance program, customers will be able to finance the vehicle with no upfront Takaful charges. Additionally, no rentals will be required before the delivery of the vehicle.

Standard Chartered Pakistan provides sustainable trade financing for Gul Ahmed Textile to import cotton

Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited in continuation of its global initiative for supporting sustainable-financing and promoting earth-friendly industrial practices, has provided a sustainable-trade financing facility to Gul Ahmed Textile Mills Limited – one of the leading industrial enterprises in Pakistan. This is a part of the Bank’s global initiative to cover different financial products which integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into funding and supporting projects which have environmental benefits and typically promote low carbon economy and help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). This robust investment will build capacity for importing and retiring BCI cotton in Pakistan, as Gul Ahmed Textiles is among Pakistan’s largest composite units, making everything from cotton yarn to finished products, whilst also having strong aspirations to become a ‘Green Company’, with minimum carbon-footprint and harmless emissions. With this additional capital, Standard Chartered Pakistan and Gul Ahmed Textiles have structured highly sustainable trade-facilities, in a manner to allow client-flexibility with interchangeable limits, for issuance and retirement.

Sharing his views on this occasion Arslan Nayeem, Head, Client Coverage, CCIB, Standard Chartered Pakistan commented: “This is an inspirational initiative, where we are enabling high-performance clients and socially-responsible enterprises to achieve their objectives of maintaining a healthy environment for the future, while seeking commercial progress and exploring growth opportunities. We appreciate Gul Ahmed’s re-aligned policies, to promote the use of earth-friendly raw-materials, for production of textile goods, while consuming safer energy – preferably renewable-power. Additionally, we have also deployed automated internal checks and balances, to assist the textile industry in tracking the imports from BCI certified farmers.”

Mr. Zaki Bashir, CEO Gul Ahmed Textile Mills said: “At Gul Ahmed, we carry the vision of “enriching lives by inspiring change”. We believe as a manufacturer of textiles products, one of the ways in which we can be enriching lives is by adopting practices in selecting sustainable raw materials which are responsibly produced and sourced i.e. BCI cotton. We are one the largest users of BCI cotton in Pakistan, and through our sustainable practices we will continues to create lasting impact in sustainability through our vision.”

These new policies and measures will ensure that; only sustainable raw materials are routed under this banking facility. This sustainable business model is built as per the guidelines from; “The Better Cotton Initiative” (BCI) — a global not-for-profit organisation, operating the largest cotton sustainability program in the world. They provide training on more sustainable farming practices to more than 2.3 million cotton farmers in 23 countries. To read more about BCI click here (”

Standard Chartered Pakistan has a long history of contributing to the social economic development and supporting communities in the country. Investing in communities is one of the three priorities of its global strategy.

Overseas Pakistanis taking interest in RDA, says: 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 Monday said interest of overseas Pakistanis is increasing in the Roshan Digital Account (RDA).

The investment in RDA has surpassed two billion dollars during in eleven months which is a laudable initiative of the SBP and its Governor Dr. Reza Baqir, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the success of RDA is helping the economy while steps are being taken to boost the remittances using different tools.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that RDA attracted one billion dollars by 24 April, deposits jumped to 1.5 billion dollars by 27 June while the deposits are increasing at a rapid pace which reflects the confidence of overseas Pakistanis in the government.

He said that government will shortly announce a reward scheme for those sending remittances to encourage them which may improve remittances.

The business leader noted that demand for the US dollar has eroded the exchange rate pushing rupee to a ten-month low as the dollar was sold at Rs164 per dollar.

He said that the government should stop the fall of the local currency against the dollar to provide relief to the masses and the business community.

The IMF has planned to pump 650 billion dollars into the global economy to boost it and Pakistan will get 2.8 billion dollars in six days under the plan which will strengthen forex reserves and local unit.

He said that there are thin chances for further erosion in the exchange rate which will stabilize the economy and provide relief to importers.

Investment in Pakistan thin despite best policies: 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 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country is far from encouraging despite best policies.

No country in the region can match our investment policies as the focus should be improved on rule of law, honouring agreements, consistency in policies, and political stability, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that concerns of foreign investors should be allayed and the situation should be controlled before any major investor leave country as it sends the wrong signal.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that during 2020 South Asia attracted FDI worth 71 billion dollars in which share of India was 64 billion dollars while Pakistan’s share was a disappointment at 2.1 billion dollars.

FDI in India rose to 27 percent despite pandemic, while it fell by six percent in Pakistan, he said, adding that from 2016 to 2020 FDI in India jumped from 44.5 billion dollars to 64 billion dollars while it was down from 2.5 billion dollars to 2.1 billion dollars in Pakistan which is not enough to meet the expanses of ten days of imports.

According to the World Investment Report, developing nations attracted $662.6 billion of investments in which Vietnam got $15.8, Indonesia got 18.6 and Bangladesh bagged $2.6 billion.

China, once obsessed with the stability, policies, economic model, and good governance in Pakistan attracted $149.3 billion in FDI in 2020 which should act as a wake-up call for our policymakers.

The veteran business leader noted that from 2015 to 2020 the FDI stock in India swelled from $318 billion to $480.3 billion while it shrank from $41.9 billion to $35.6 billion.

Now, there are news in the market that some major companies are winding up their businesses in Pakistan which should be noticed by authorities, he demanded.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that commodity prices are rising in the international market, our imports are climbing which exports are not satisfactory, remittances have reduced to some extent, while the government is on a spending spree to please the electorate for the elections to be held in 2023 which will bring the rupee under pressure.

The government will have no option to seek another IMF loan on harsh conditions to keep foreign exchange reserves stable, he said.

MCB bank declared highest dividend per share in the industry for H1-2021; announces increase in unconsolidated profit to Rs.14.74bn

The Board of Directors of MCB Bank Limited (MCB) in its meeting under the Chairmanship of Mian Mohammad Mansha, on August 11, 2021, reviewed the performance of the Bank and approved the condensed interim financial statements for the half year ended June 30, 2021. The Board of Directors has declared 2nd interim cash dividend of Rs. 5.0 per share i.e. 50% bringing the total cash dividend for the year ending 2021 to 95%, continuing with its highest dividend payout trend.

Despite the challenges posed to the operating environment by the recently witnessed resurgence in COVID-19 infections amidst the fourth and the most virulent wave of the outbreak, MCB remained operationally resilient and capitalized on the earlier gained business traction to post another period of sustainable financial growth for its stakeholders.

MCB’s unconsolidated Profit After Tax (PAT) for the six month period ended June 30, 2021 increased to Rs. 14.74 billion (+12%); translating into an Earnings Per Share (EPS) of Rs. 12.44 against an EPS of Rs. 11.15 reported in the corresponding period last year.

Net Interest income reported at Rs. 31.55 billion with a drop of 12% on account of decreased earning margins due to the expansionary monetary policy regime adopted by the State Bank of Pakistan to combat the downside risks emanating from Covid-19 outbreak. Low policy rate diluted the impact of positive volumetric growth achieved by the Bank in its average earning assets.

Non-markup income registered phenomenal growth of 34% and aggregated to Rs. 9.50 billion against Rs. 7.08 billion in the corresponding period last year. Improved transactional volumes, surge in business activities, diversification of revenue streams through continuous enrichment of Bank’s product suite, investments towards digital transformation and an unrelenting focus on upholding the high service standards in the industry supplemented a growth of 17% in fee income while the dividend income increased by 83%.

On the operating expenses side, despite sustained inflationary pressures amidst currency devaluation, higher compliance related regulatory charges, expansion in branch outreach and regular performance and merit adjustments of the Human Capital, the Bank was able to contain the growth to 6%.

On the provision front, the equity scrip disposals resulted in net reversal of Rs. 529 million for the six month period ended June 30, 2021. Proactive monitoring and recovery efforts led to a net provision reversal against non-performing loans (NPL’s) aggregating to Rs. 1,387 million for the period under review.

On the financial position side, the total asset base of the Bank on an unconsolidated basis was reported at Rs. 1,861 billion (+6%). Analysis of the asset mix highlights that while the growth in gross advances remained subdued amidst a dearth of quality lending, the excess liquidity was diverted towards the investment book; which in turn grew by Rs. 80 billion and contributed the major share to the total increase. However, the consumer lending book grew by Rs. 3.98 billion (+14%) on account of significant activity in the construction and auto segment.

Persistent focus on maintaining a robust risk management framework encompassing structured assessment models, effective pre-disbursement evaluation tools and an array of post disbursement monitoring systems has enabled MCB to effectively manage its credit risks despite realization of systematic risks emanating from the evolving macroeconomic situation. The non-performing loan (NPLs) base of the Bank hence registered a decline over December 2020 to report at Rs. 51.06 billion.

The Bank has not taken FSV benefit in calculation of specific provision and carries un-encumbered general provision reserve of Rs. 3.06 billion. The coverage and infection ratios of the Bank were reported at 95.67% and 9.98% respectively.

On the liabilities side, achieving growth in no-cost current account base remained a key strategic objective for the Bank. Thereby, non-remunerative deposits grew by 20% to close at Rs. 589 billion; improving their mix in the total deposits to 41% as at June 30, 2021 compared to 38% as at December 31, 2020. CASA mix was reported at 92% whereas the total deposits of the Bank grew by 12% to close the period at Rs. 1.44 trillion.

Return on Assets and Return on Equity reported at 1.63% and 18.66% respectively, whereas the book value per share was reported at Rs. 129.68.

Under Roshan Digital Account (RDA), the Bank has brought in over USD 125 million since the inception of the proposition in September 2020. The volume of foreign trade showed tremendous growth of 64% over H1’2020.

While complying with the regulatory capital requirements, the Bank’s total Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) is 19.51% against the requirement of 11.5% (including capital conservation buffer of 1.50% as reduced under the BPRD Circular Letter No. 12 of 2020). Quality of the capital is evident from Bank’s Common Equity Tier-1 (CET1) to total risk weighted assets ratio which comes to 16.07% against the requirement of 6%. Bank’s capitalization also resulted in a Leverage Ratio of 6.33% which is well above the regulatory limit of 3.0%. The Bank reported Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) of 245.82% and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) of 187.82% against requirement of 100%.

The Bank’s exceptional performance has also been recognized by the globally coveted Finance Asia’s Country Awards wherein it has been bestowed with the “Best Bank in Pakistan” accolade for the year 2020.

The Bank enjoys highest local credit ratings of AAA / A1+ categories for long term and short term respectively, based on PACRA notification dated June 23, 2021.

The Bank on consolidated basis is operating the 2nd largest network of more than 1,550 branches in Pakistan. The Bank remains one of the prime stocks traded in the Pakistani equity market with highest market capitalization in the industry.

Khushhali Microfinance Bank celebrates 21 years of empowerment &progress

The pioneer microfinance institution in Pakistan – Khushhali Microfinance Bank is celebrating its 21st year of services for socio-economic uplift of the marginalized &unbanked segments of the market. The anniversary celebrated with great enthusiasm across the bank’s network both physically and digitally, via virtual conference.

Established in year 2000, Khushhalibank’s success has fostered an ecosystem for the growth of microfinance industry within Pakistan and generating economic opportunities that has the potential to drive growth and development at the grass root level.

With total assets of USD 700 million Khushhali is the largest microfinance bank in Pakistan. With deep-rooted presence through a distribution network of 232 outlet’s it is fostering financial inclusion even to remote areas of the country. It offers customer-focused financial solutions to males and females alike, to invest in their microenterprises and uplift their business and living standards. The growth of microenterprises generates income and employment opportunities at community level, conserves local skills and prevents rural to urban migration. Over the past two decades, Khushhalibank served over 6 million clients.

The President of KMBL – Ghalib Nishtar praised the hardwork and commitment of his entire team, for achieving this inspirational milestone and said, “KMBL is proud of its legacy in elevating the quality of life for the less privileged people. We believe that; with a little support and access to credit, the talented micro-entrepreneurs – both men and women, have great potential to become productive & contribute to the economy. We are investing generously for the development of micro-enterprises that promise more employment-opportunities and a prosperous future for the whole nation.”

Khushhalibank consecutively for the last three years won the “Best Microfinance Bank” award at the Pakistan Banking Awards for delivering customer value through innovations, penetration efficiency and a strong social impact.

Standard Chartered announces #SCWomenInTech 2021 winners

Seven Women led companies win PKR 1.5million each in seed grants

Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan, in partnership with INNOVentures Global (Pvt.) Limited, announces the top seven winners of the #SCWomenInTech Programme 2021. Standard Chartered Women in Tech (WiT) support female-led entrepreneurial teams with business management training, mentoring and seed funding. These accelerators were designed to help address gender disparity in the technology sector and to use technology to tackle social challenges faced by communities. They are an important part of our entrepreneurship offering within Futuremakers by Standard Chartered, our global initiative to tackle inequality and promote economic inclusion.

Today’s event saw the announcement of the seven women led teams shortlisted from over 350 applicants, win PKR 1,500,000 each, in seed grants for their businesses.

The seven teams were selected from a pool of the top 25 teams previously shortlisted and went through the #SCWomenInTech programme for three months where they were offered coaching, mentoring and business management skills to grow their businesses to the next level.

The seven winning companies for 2021 are:

Civixa – A startup seeking to automate the process of classifying objects and developing algorithms for easy use in artificial intelligence applications

Out Class – An online platform to disrupt the Pakistani tuition market through high quality teaching and delivery.

Storytellers Club – A traditional venture providing co- and extra-curricular storytelling and play for kids aged 2-10 seeking to establish an online presence post-COVID19.

Abey Khao – An innovative venture that provides economic opportunity to the deaf by starting foodcarts that sell through sign language now seeking to build a digital ordering system.

Cheezain Etc. – An eCommerce store and one-stop shop for trendy home accessories.

MediQ – A digital health app that provides access to online consultations as well as other related services now seeking to scale.

SLOSH AI – A software tool that automates the reading and diagnosis from chest x-rays for radiographers and other service providers.

The awardees will be supported with extended mentoring and milestone-based disbursement of the winnings for a period of 9 months.

Speaking at the event Ms. Khadija Hashimi, Head, CABM, AME & Country Head, Pakistan mentioned, “At Standard Chartered, we aim to focus on global societal issues where we can play a role and make a difference. Social and economic inequality limits individuals and collective potential, stifles growth and can create social disharmony. Fostering inclusion through active participation in the market economy increases access to opportunity as well as economic growth. Women have the potential to play a very important role in economic growth and we see, irrespective of industries and sectors, women are breaking barriers in every field – driving social and economic inclusion for communities. We believe, our SCWomenInTech programme has great power to pull other women forward to realise their dreams and their aspirations.

This directly aligns with the Bank’s purpose to drive commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity and reinforces that we are Here for good.”

Standard Chartered launched Women in Tech in Pakistan in March 2019. Since its launch in Pakistan 70 businesses have gone through extensive training, coaching and mentoring sessions. This programme aims to promote the economic and social development of women in Pakistan through innovation or technology led entrepreneurship.

The Women in Tech programme were first launched in October 2014 by Standard Chartered Americas as a local community project. In 2021, the programme was active in nine countries. Between 2019 and April 2021, the programme reached a total of 1,632 young people and provided funding to selected start-ups to grow their business ideas.

IBA Karachi and Maersk Pakistan come together to empower meritorious students

The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi and leading integrated logistics company Maersk Pakistan, have partnered to launch Maersk Future Leaders’ Scholarship with an aim to advance the Institute’s financial assistance program for its students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Executive Director, IBA Karachi, Dr. S Akbar Zaidi and Managing Director, Maersk Pakistan, Ms. Aruna Hussain signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the IBA, City Campus.

Under this MOU, Maersk will set up an annual scholarship fund of around PKR 2.25 million at the Institute, to support a meritorious, undergraduate student from IBA’s National Talent Hunt Program (NTHP) for a period of four years. The scholarship will be awarded to a student pursuing a degree of Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA) from IBA. National Talent Hunt Program (NTHP) enrolls competent students on merit from various areas and offers them scholarships.

On this momentous occasion, Ms. Hussain said, “Our young talent deserves adequate support to build their careers through top notch education. By tying up with IBA to provide scholarship to such deserving students, we are playing our small role in building a bright future for our country.” She added, “We are not limiting our support to funding the student, but in fact going a step forward to mentor the student and add more value to this tie-up with IBA.”

Dr. Zaidi appreciated Maersk Pakistan for supporting IBA with its mission of providing quality education to all the students regardless of their financial backgrounds.

To ensure inclusivity, the IBA, through its financial assistance program supports approximately 30% of its student body every year.

Khushhali Bank launches ‘Apna Makaan’ home-financing for the low-income segment

Khushhali Microfinance Bank Limited (KMBL), Pakistan’s leading microfinance institution recently pioneered another innovative product – ‘Apna Makaan’ – an affordable home-loan that provides the low-income households with an opportunity to own formal housing and improve their quality of life.

This is a unique opportunity for the low-income segment to avail low markup house building loans of up to PKR 2,000,000/- for the purpose of buying, constructing or extending their houses. This facility can be availed through KMBL branches and is repayable in equal monthly installments for a tenure period of 5-20 years. This offering is structured under the ‘Mark-Up Subsidy Scheme’, regulated by the Government of Pakistan, to support the construction industry and uplift the economy.

President Khushhali Bank, Ghalib Nishtar stated, “This new offer is receiving a positive response from the targeted segments of the society, while our nationwide awareness campaign is inspiring them to gain easy access to affordable financing through KMBL and build their home. While the government of Pakistan has a progressive vision to improve the quality of life for the lower-income groups, KMBL continues to play a pivotal role in raising the standard of living and ensuring the availability of accommodation through inclusion for the larger mass market in the country.”

By launching this home-financing product, KMBL is looking to offer a sustainable solution for the wellbeing and an opportunity to build an asset for their family.

20 finalists announced for 2021 Shell Tameer Awards

Shell Tameer is Shell’s flagship social investment programme, aimed at developing and strengthening young Pakistani entrepreneurs and driving innovation and enterprise development in the country. This year Tameer launched its 8th Shell Tameer Awards, with young entrepreneurs from across Pakistan competing to win and be recognised for their ideas and innovative businesses. The competition rewards and recognises Pakistan’s youth building innovative businesses that power sustainable development and create job opportunities in the country.

20 finalists have been shortlisted across six award categories from 125 applicants received from all over the country. These 20 finalists will receive mentoring and coaching from Shell’s international consultants DAI, after which they will have an opportunity to pitch their business to an expert jury for final winner selection. The winners will be announced at the awards event scheduled for September 18, 2021.

Start-ups and innovators in their prototype stage were eligible to participate under six categories. ‘Clean Energy Solutions’ (CES) category includes disruptive technologies for access to energy, off-grid solutions, energy-efficiency etc. ‘Empowering Women’ (EW) category recognises innovative tech solutions that enable gender equality and new livelihood opportunities. Technology Innovation’ (TI) category fosters e-commerce, FinTech & smart solutions for Health, Education & Business. Other categories include; ‘Circular Economy’ (CE), ‘Transportation & Mobility’ (T&M) and ‘Bright Ideas Award’ (BIA).

Haroon Rashid, Chief Executive Officer of Shell Pakistan Limited expressed, “Transforming creative ideas into sustainable enterprises, providing business solutions for the challenges of an increasingly complex world, helps us progress as a nation. We are pleased to announce 20 bright and young innovators who have made it to the finals. We thank all who participated, we are proud of you for investing in your business for the progress of Pakistan.’

The complete list of the top 20 Finalists for Shell Tameer Awards 2021 are as follows:

Award Category Finalist Business Name Location
Circular Economy TrashIt Sindh
Aabshar Inc. Punjab
International Services Pak Punjab
Clean Energy Solutions Renew Power Projects Sindh
Building Energy Efficiency Simulators (BEES) Sindh
Empowering Women Civixa Sindh
beetee Sindh
Digital Libas Baluchistan
Technology Innovation CricFlex Punjab
Learnovate Sindh Sindh
Transport & Mobility Punjab
CargoTECH Sindh
vCarpool Punjab
Bright Idea Award Frictolysis Sindh
Creatorz Sindh
Boltay Huroof Sindh
Dice Battery Pack Sindh
EcoStabilizer Punjab
Hostile nations trying to damage Pak-China friendly ties

Attacks on Chinese can hit CPEC, other important projects
Some countries settling score for their failure in Afghanistan: 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 enemy nations and terrorists are after the Pak-China friendship.

Attacks on Chinese nationals are increasing while the law enforcing agencies remain clueless which calls for enhanced security and other measures, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that Chinese should not feel unsafe in Pakistan as it will damage CPEC and other important developmental projects.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that some countries that lost the war in Afghanistan are trying to win it on Pakistani soil by stoking terrorism through banned terrorist organizations.

He noted that China has started protesting on the killing of its citizens which should be taken seriously as this close ally is also the biggest foreign investor in Pakistan which has always helped Pakistan when needed.

The reservations of Beijing must be calmed using all the resources which will also foil the unholy designs of hostile states, he demanded.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that thirteen people lost their lives in Dasu attack followed by a suicide attack in Gwadar and a Chinese engineer was shot in Karachi while the accused slipped easily which is unacceptable.

He said that the situation in Afghanistan is not stable which is hurting trade and there are fears that terrorists will try to benefit from the opportunity therefore the security establishment should remain on high alert.

Terrorists are trying to hurt our relations with friendly countries and erode the confidence of business community which has started improving.

UBL rebounds with 37pc growth in profits for the half year ended June 2021

UBL continued its growth momentum with Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 25.9 billion for the half year ended June 30, 2021, recording strong growth of 37% year on year. This is the highest half year PBT that the bank has achieved in over a decade. Earnings per share (EPS) were measured at Rs. 12.25 for H1’21 (H1’20: Rs. 9.31). The bank declared dividends of Rs. 4.0 per share forQ2’21, which takes the overall dividend distribution to Rs. 9.8 billion for the half year ended June 30, 2021, with a payout of over 65% of profits.

These results have been achieved as the country gradually recovers from the aftermath of Covid-19. Economic activity is gradually picking up largely on the back of large scale manufacturing, construction and the services sectors. The Bank is optimistic that Pakistan will re-emerge as a stronger nation post the pandemic and the pace of recovery will gather momentum in the medium term.

Customer centricity is at the core of UBL’s corporate philosophy and the bank is continuously improving its service proposition to meet the evolving needs of its customers. The Bank’s priorities are well defined, which aim to invest management time and resources towards:

  • Building capacity and enhancing service levels across the branch network.
  • More proactive balance sheet management.
  • Aggressively growing non-fund income.
  • Developing a wider payment system built around UBL’s market leading digital and technological capabilities.
  • Stabilizing the Bank’s business model in international jurisdictions.
Estate Performance – Strengthening the Branch Network, gaining Market Share

UBL maintains one of the largest banking networks in Pakistan. The bank operates 1,348 branches within Pakistan and 1,435 ATMs, well supported by its award winning Digital App and UBL Omni, the Bank’s branchless banking proposition, which together serve an ever growing customer base of over 10 million nationwide. Branch Banking Group delivered one of the best years in the recent history of the Bank as domestic current deposits witnessed a year on year growth of 22%, the highest in the last 5 years. Domestic total deposits stood at Rs 1.6 trillion with the highest year on year growth of over 20%, with expansion in market share to 8.3%. The bank is investing heavily in the network and its people to enhance capacity and improving service benchmarks with an aim to grow well ahead of the market. UBL Ameen, the bank’s Islamic banking business continues to grow from strength to strength. Its network spans 100 branches and 187 Islamic Banking Windows which recorded a 36% year on year growth in average deposits, the highest since the inception of the business. The bank sees tremendous potential within this space and is targeting a much larger share in this segment.

Playing a key role within the Intermediation Space

UBL’s net advances stood at Rs. 557 billion as at Jun’21, increasing by 5% since Dec’20. As economic activity gradually returns to pre pandemic levels, the bank is actively looking to expand its portfolio within its risk parameters. The Bank has recently made structural changes to enhance its coverage within the SME space with an aim to emerge much stronger within this growing segment. The Consumer segment continues to perform well, with average growth in the secured autos segment of 14%.

Non Funded Income -Growing Revenues across Core Segments

UBL recorded non-fund income (NFI) of Rs. 11.4 billion for H1’21, a strong growth of 28% year on year. Fees and commissions of Rs. 6.6 billion were earned during the period, an increase of 26% over H1’20. The bank also realized capital gains of Rs. 2.5 billion during the period, primarily on its foreign bonds portfolio.UBL continues to be the preferred partner to the overseas diaspora as the bank remains the leader in the home remittance space, with a market share of over 20%. This enabled the bank to record remittance commissions of Rs. 840 million, with a 12% growth year on year. The Bank maintained its momentum within the Bancassurance business with revenues increasing by 86% over the previous year. Income from ATM / Debit Cards within domestic bank stood at Rs. 1.1 billion, growing by 64% as ATM throughput volumes increased23% year on year.

Stabilizing the International Franchise

The Bank is executing its exit strategy from non-core jurisdictions and re-allocating capital, resources and management time to core markets with higher and more sustainable returns.

UBL has stabilized its international operations in the Middle East and the UK, and continues to build a sustainable business model, with strong foundations to support future growth.

UBL Digital – Widely recognized as the Best in the Industry

UBL continues to lead the industry in innovation and providing unique solutions with the aim of improving customer journeys and making banking easier and more accessible to the masses. The Bank’s digital proposition continues to be acknowledged by the industry. UBL was declared Pakistan’s Best Digital Bank for the second year in a row by Asiamoney, an associate of Euromoney. The Bank was also declared the ‘Best Digital Bank’ at the 2020 Pakistan Banking Awards. UBL was also awarded the “Best Mobile App” and “Best Emerging Technology” awards at the prestigious Pakistan Digital Awards 2021.

The UBL Digital App continues to penetrate across the Pakistan market with the number of registered app users at over 1.8 million as at Jun’21. The Bank also enhanced its digital product suite as it launched the first of its kind tap n pay facility, ‘UBL Pay’ as well as the country’s first Islamic Digital Account.UBL also continues to play a leading role in supporting State Bank of Pakistan’s Roshan Digital initiative with close to 36,000 accounts opened to date with mobilization of over USD 153 million in remittances.

Commenting on UBL’s financial performance for the half year ended June 30, 2021, Mr. Shazad G. Dada, President and CEO of UBL said “The first half of 2021 has been an outstanding period for UBL in terms of customer acquisition, deposits growth, credit quality and profitability. This success could not have been possible without the hard work, commitment and dedication of the talented UBL team. Being one of the largest financial institutions of the country, UBL prides itself in playing a leading role in broadening the scope of financial services across the country. We will continue to further expand our customer base and offer innovative and best in class financial solutions to fulfill the needs of both our customers and our country. Our award winning digital products demonstrate our industry leading position in innovation and technology. The UBL team remains focused and will continue to deliver sustainable earnings performance while leading the transition to the future of a ‘Digital Pakistan’.”

Turkey’s Consul General meets Dawlance CEO to discuss matters of mutual interest

The Consul General of the Republic of Turkey Tolga Ucak met with Dawlance CEO Umar Ahsan Khan recently. The two discussed matters of mutual interest including new investments being made by Dawlance, the effective Covid-19 response by the company and sustainable initiatives under ‘Dawlance for Humanity’. They also had a friendly, in-depth exchange of views on how the company can promote further innovation in the local home appliances market.

Dawlance is making significant investment to increase its production capacity and R&D capabilities. The home appliance manufacturer recently established its Automatic washing machine plant, added another refrigerator plant and a water dispenser production line leading to the first order of export to Europe and CE Certification of water dispensers.

The Consul General also commended the CEO for Dawlance’s initiatives to safeguard the health and safety of its employees during the pandemic. The company carried out extensive Covid-19 PCR screening of its employees, underwent infrastructural changes at its head office, branches, service centres and factories to comply with government SOPs, and has set up vaccination camps to inoculate its employees.

Dawlance’s team also briefed the Consul General about the company’s ‘Dawlance for Humanity’ programme. Under this programme, Dawlance has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Wildlife Fund to actively begin work towards achieving its annual sustainability objectives. The first initiative under this MoU was the plantation of5,000 mangrove saplings along the coastline of Balochistan’s Sonmiani Beach.

“I’m grateful for the time provided by the honourable consul general. This meeting comes at a time when Dawlance is looking to expand its investment in Pakistan creating more job opportunities and innovating the local home appliances market. Consul general’s visit reaffirms Arcelik/Turkey’s commitment to Pakistan, as we continue to work together in creating socioeconomic opportunities to empower communities,” said Umar Ahsan Khan.

As the leading brand in Pakistan’s home appliances market, Dawlance has established three manufacturing units in Pakistan, with over 4000 employees, producing more than 10 million products, till date, including the latest, energy-efficient refrigerators, microwave ovens, washing-machines, air conditioners and water dispensers, etc. Dawlance has the largest sales/service network and promises the longest warranties, while its resourceful and generous Corporate Social-Responsibility initiatives are elevating the quality of life for the masses.

A.P. Moller – Maersk accelerates fleet decarbonisation with 8 large ocean-going vessels to operate on carbon neutral methanol

In the first quarter of 2024, A.P. Moller – Maersk will introduce the first in a groundbreaking series of 8 large ocean-going container vessels capable of being operated on carbon neutral methanol. The vessels will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and have a nominal capacity of approx. 16,000 containers (Twenty Foot Equivalent – TEU). The agreement with HHI includes an option for 4 additional vessels in 2025. The series will replace older vessels, generating annual CO2 emissions savings of around 1 million tonnes. As an industry first, the vessels will offer Maersk customers truly carbon neutral transportation at scale on the high seas.

More than half of Maersk’s 200 largest customers have set – or are in the process of setting – ambitious science-based or zero carbon targets for their supply chains. As part of Maersk’s ongoing collaboration with customers, corporate sustainability leaders including Amazon, Disney, H&M Group, HP Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., Microsoft, Novo Nordisk, The Procter and Gamble Company, PUMA, Schneider Electric, Signify, Syngenta and Unilever have committed to actively use and scale zero carbon solutions for their ocean transport, with many more expected to follow. (Note – customer quotes available at the end of the press release)

The vessels come with a dual fuel engine setup. Additional capital expenditure (CAPEX) for the dual fuel capability, which enables operation on methanol as well as conventional low Sulphur fuel, will be in the range of 10-15% of the total price, enabling Maersk to take a significant leap forward in its commitment to scale carbon neutral solutions and lead the decarbonisation of container logistics.

“The time to act is now, if we are to solve shipping’s climate challenge. This order proves that carbon neutral solutions are available today across container vessel segments and that Maersk stands committed to the growing number of our customers who look to decarbonise their supply chains. Further, this is a firm signal to fuel producers that sizable market demand for the green fuels of the future is emerging at speed,” says Soren Skou, CEO, A.P. Moller – Maersk.

Maersk will operate the vessels on carbon neutral e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol as soon as possible. Sourcing an adequate amount of carbon neutral methanol from day one in service will be challenging, as it requires a significant production ramp up of proper carbon neutral methanol production, for which Maersk continues to engage in partnerships and collaborations with relevant players.

The vessels will be designed to have a flexible operational profile, enabling them to perform efficiently across many trades, and add flexibility regarding customer needs. They will feature a methanol propulsion configuration developed in collaboration with makers including MAN ES, Hyundai (Himsen) and Alfa Laval which represents a significant scale-up of the technology from the previous size limit of around 2,000 TEU. The vessels will be classed by the American Bureau of Shipping and sail under the Danish flag.

“We are very excited about this addition to our fleet, which will offer our customers unique access to carbon neutral transport on the high seas while balancing their needs for competitive slot costs and flexible operations. To us, this is the ideal large vessel type to enable sustainable, global trade on the high seas in the coming decades and from our dialogue with potential suppliers, we are confident we will manage to source the carbon neutral methanol needed,” said Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO, Fleet & Strategic Brands, A.P. Moller – Maersk.

Replacing Maersk tonnage reaching end-of-life

The new vessels come as part of Maersk’s ongoing fleet renewal program and will replace tonnage of more than 150,000 TEU which is reaching end-of-life and leaving the Maersk managed fleet between 2020 and Q1 2024.

CAPEX for the announced vessels is included in current guidance for 2021-2022 of USD 7bn. Maersk further reiterates its strategy of maintaining a fleet capacity in the 4.0 to 4.3 million TEU range, as a combination of Maersk managed and time-chartered vessels.

Customer Quotes

H&M Group

“As an industry leader, H&M Group has a responsibility to fight climate change. We have the ambition to become climate neutral by 2030 and climate positive by 2040. We truly believe that our climate actions should be co-created with our partners. Maersk’s investment in large vessels operating on green methanol is an important innovative step supporting H&M Group’s climate goals within International Freight and we are proud to take part in this pioneer journey. – Leyla Ertur, Head of Sustainability – H&M Group

HP Inc

“Sustainability is embedded across our business and remains a core value at HP. We recently announced some of the most ambitious climate action goals in our industry and to achieve them we are implementing more sustainable transportation solutions within our supply chain, including this green fuels collaboration with Maersk. It’s an important step for all companies involved to make the greatest impact possible and help combat the climate crisis.” – Antoine Simonnet, chief supply chain officer – HP Inc.


Today, the world is finally waking up to the climate crisis. The next decade has to be one of ‘climate action.’ With Brighter Lives, Better World 2025 – our five-year sustainability program – we’ve set a new goal to go beyond carbon neutrality and to double the pace at which we will meet the 1.5°C scenario set out by the Paris Agreement. The pledge is to meet this ambitious target across our entire value chain and do this six years early. Our renewed partnership with Maersk will help us to scale zero carbon solutions in our supply chain and logistical operations, providing rich pickings for emission reductions.” – Maurice Loosschilder, Head of Sustainability – Signify


“Unilever is committed to accelerating the transition to clean transport solutions, not just in our own operations but along global value chains as we work to achieve net zero emissions by 2039. With logistics and distribution accounting for around 15% of our greenhouse gas emissions footprint, it’s important that we work with partners shifting to lower carbon fuels. We are proud to partner with Maersk as they pioneer carbon neutral transportation on the high seas.” – Michelle Grose, Head of Logistics and Fulfilment – Unilever

Standard Chartered Pakistan announces H1 2021 results

Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited today announced its H1 Results for 2021. The Bank has delivered a resilient financial performance with a Profit before tax of PKR 12.0 billion. Revenue was lower as compared to last year primarily due to sharp reduction in interest rates in Q2’20, subdued economic activity and market volatility which impacted foreign exchange income, revaluation income on derivatives and gain on sale of securities.

Administrative costs continue to be well managed through operational efficiencies and disciplined spending with a reduction of 1% compared to same period last year. Moreover, strong recoveries of bad debts, coupled with lower impairments because of prudent risk approach led to a net release of PKR 0.7 billion in H’21.

All businesses have positive momentum with strong growth in underlying drivers. This is evident from pickup in net advances, which have grown by PKR 39 billion or 22% since the start of this year. This was a result of targeted strategy to build profitable, high quality and sustainable portfolio. With a diversified product base, the Bank is well positioned to cater for the needs of its clients. On the liabilities side, the Bank’s total deposits grew by PKR 32 billion or 6%, whereas current and saving accounts grew by PKR 30 billion since the start of this year and comprise 93% of the deposit base.

Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) continues to make good progress against well-defined strategic priorities. The global network differentiates the Bank for its clients, bringing forth innovative solutions, product specialization and structured offshore offerings. The network advantage has also enabled the Bank to generate over $200M in funding of Roshan Digital Account in addition to carrying out several high-profile transactions for Clients and Government of Pakistan. Facilitating clients through personalised wealth advice based on superior insight has led to an increase in wealth business by 20%. Ongoing technological advancements and investments in digital infrastructure and capabilities have scaled up the Bank’s mass market potential. Digital transaction mix as well as adoption to digital channels including “SC Mobile” application continue to increase and enhance overall client experience. Bank has also continued to make mark on Sustainability front, with execution of several sustainable finance transactions, reduction in its Carbon Footprint by 12% and through its community initiatives including Future makers programme targeting education, employability and entrepreneurship.

The Bank continues to pay dividends and Board of Directors has declared an interim cash dividend of 12.50% (PKR 1.25/- per share) in respect of the half year ended June 30, 2021.

Commenting on the results, Mr. Rehan Shaikh, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited said, “I am pleased to announce our first Half 2021 results. Our results demonstrate strong foundations and a clear path towards delivering on our strategic priorities. Over the course of last year, we have taken several proactive measures that will accelerate our transformation and enable us to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead. Our pivot to digital is resulting in greater efficiency and growth in underlying drivers and positioning the bank for the future as the world resets. We have also made steady progress in further strengthening our control and compliance environment. As we proceed, we are fully committed to delivering a sustainable growth for our shareholders, bringing the best-in-class services and solutions for our clients and playing our part in the growth story of Pakistan.”

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