Press Releases

Pakistan Cables wins Map’s Corporate Excellence Award 2021

Pakistan Cables won the prestigious Corporate Excellent Award 2021 in the Cables and Electrical Goods category at the Management Association of Pakistan’s (MAP) 36th Corporate Excellence Awards.

The award was presented to Mr. Fahd K. Chinoy, CEO Pakistan Cables Limited by Mr. Shabbar Zaidi, former chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), who was also the Chief Guest of the ceremony, which held at a local hotel in Karachi.

The Corporate Excellence Awards was instituted by MAP in 1982 to recognize and honour companies in Pakistan that demonstrate outstanding performance, progress and enlightened management practices consistently.

About Pakistan Cables

Pakistan Cables Limited founded in 1953 is the premiere and most reputable cable manufacturer in Pakistan. Being the only wire and cable manufacturer listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) since 1955 it is also a member company of the Amir S. Chinoy group.

The company has the largest geographical footprint in Pakistan with presence in over 180 cities. It is ISO9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and OHSAS 18001:2007 certified and its various cables type tested by KEMA, Netherlands.

Business community supports efforts to expand the tax base: 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 said on Wednesday (November 10) the efforts of Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin to automate the tax system and expand the tax base are commendable.

He said that the business community supports these efforts which are imperative to get rid of the economic mess.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the survival of the country is impossible without modernizing the tax system, so it should be reformed without delay.

Talking to the business community the veteran business leader said that the Finance Minister wanted to more than double revenue for which it would be necessary to expand the tax base.

The Finance Minister is striving to make the tax system simple and automated so that taxpayers can easily pay their taxes. The FM wants to abolish dozens of indirect taxes and impose an income tax and consumption tax in which the business community will cooperate with him, he said, adding that the harassment of existing taxpayers must be avoided.

He observed that Pakistan’s tax system targets the poor and middle class through indirect taxes, while influential individuals and business groups easily dodge the system to avoid discharging their obligations.

The poor and the middle class are paying exorbitant taxes, while a large segment is not paying taxes due to non-registration and the government is facing a huge deficit, which necessitates the reduction of development expenditure.

He noted that infrastructure development is also affected and loans have to be taken from all over the world to finance expenditures.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that all over the world electronic technology is used for tax assessment and collection but some elements in Pakistan consider it against their interests therefore in Pakistan this system is still in the hands of clerks.

Notices are also a major cause of revenue shortages and other problems. Whenever the government tries to improve the tax system, many elements take to the streets to blackmail it and a series of protests break out, forcing the government to reverse its decision.

Negotiations have been tried many times after harassment which has not worked and now the government should consider raising taxes by introducing a business-friendly, forward-looking, fair system through technology.

Islamic finance heading towards new destination
  • Second International Conference on Ijarah (Islamic Leasing) and Takaful successfully held in Istanbul, Turkey

The leading Islamic Finance consultancy services provider AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics successfully organised International Conference on Ijarah (Islamic Leasing) and Takaful. The two-day event was held on November 10-11, 2021 at Radisson Blu Sisli Hotel, Istanbul Turkey with collaboration of Leasing Association of Uzbekistan and Islamic Corporation for Development of Private Sector. ICD-IsDB is one of the premier Islamic multilateral financial institutions working for the development of the private sector including the Ijarah industry. The lead sponsor for this event was Caiz Holding AG and the technology partner was Codebase Technologies. The media partner for the conference is Web-TV powered by ProShare and Islamic Finance Weekly Nigeria. The conference hosted delegates from Canada, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Germany, Dubai, Pakistan and Turkey.

The conference agenda was to explore a new horizon for Ijarah (Islamic Leasing) and evaluation of new dimensions to the world of Takaful. This event projected Islamic finance, its challenges, global reach and future prospects, Ijarah (Islamic Leasing), products, innovative value addition in its product line, Shariah Compliance, Operational aspects, Ijarah Sukuk (Innovative solution to Governing bodies and Islamic Capital market), and Takaful (Islamic Insurance).

In the inaugural session, the Chief Guests were Mr. Ihsan Ovut (Secretary General), The Standards and Metrology Institute for Islamic Countries (SMIIC), and Mr. Botur S. Yusupov (Deputy Chairman) Leasing Association of Uzbekistan. AlHuda CIBE arranged an impressive lineup of 17 speakers from different countries on the subject matter to explore more options for Ijarah (Islamic leasing) and Takaful industry. Mr. Pervez Nasim (Chairman and CEO) Ansar Financial Development Corporation (Canada), Dr. Levent Sumer (Chairman) SMR Strategy Turkey, Ms. Ebru Cetin (Head of Turkey) The Digital Insurer, Mr. Muhammad Salman Anjum (Chief Executive) InvoiceMate, (Head of BSV Blockchain) in MENA and South Asia and many other leading names of industry have participated in the event.

Addressing to the audience, the organizer of International Islamic Leasing Conference, Muhammad Zubair Mughal Chief Executive officer said that Islamic Finance Industry is growing all over the world, for its future direction we need to remove barriers for developing it as equally beneficial alternative financial system. Ijarah is a very convenient product to launch in those jurisdictions where there is no proper legal and regulatory environment available to facilitate Islamic banking and financial products, he added. He argued that due to this feature Ijarah products can be introduced effectively and efficiently in financial markets without introducing any additional legal and regulatory framework for enabling environment for Islamic finance products.

Muhammad Zubair Mughal said that Takaful is a key to unlock the independence of men. He highlights the concept of Takaful based on solidarity, shared responsibility, and brotherhood among communities to cooperate and be mutually responsible for each other’s unwanted uncertainties and financial damages. While narrating the theme and core purpose of the 2nd International conference on Ijarah (Islamic Leasing) and Takaful, Muhammad Zubair Mughal resonated his thoughts that economic prosperity and well-being massively depends upon banking and finance sector in any country around the world. It is also noteworthy that those sectors are growing. In this connection the Islamic Banking and Islamic finance sectors have shown tremendous emergence globally by double digit growth from the last several years.

The conference also hold One Day “Post Event Workshop on Islamic Leasing” which covered a variety of allied topics.

Bank Islami and Elahi Group file compromise agreement

Bank Islami Pakistan Limited (BIPL) and Elahi Group of Companies (EGC) / Zafar Agencies (ZA) have filed a compromise agreement in the Honourable Sindh High Court through which all liabilities will be settled and full closure and withdrawal of all pending complaints and litigation has been agreed on a no-fault basis between the parties; accordingly, the matter stands fully resolved.

Both parties express their disappointment that a commercial dispute got dragged in with the law enforcement agencies; and both parties shall make concerted efforts to facilitate each other and further strengthen their relations.

UBL, Euronet to launch first ‘Fintech Accelerator Program’ in Pakistan

UBL and Euronet Pakistan have launched a first of its kind Fintech Accelerator Program to facilitate the on-boarding and go-to-market for Fintechs desirous of entering the payments landscape.

With a view to foster innovation and growth in the local payment’s ecosystem, the program aims to facilitate local Fintechs in early-stage challenges such as on-boarding, selection of the right payment processing techstack and in defining an optimal quick market roll-out strategy. Being veterans in the digital arena, both UBL and Euronet have come together to create this Fintech enablement platform to lend support to new entrants who in their initial stages have to navigate through the steps of the payment scheme relationships, technology stack selection, amongst other things.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Sharjeel Shahid, Group Executive Digital Banking, UBL said, “This collaboration is reflective of UBL’s commitment of playing an active role in the growth of the digital ecosystem in Pakistan and we look forward to it creating tangible benefits for the target audience.”

Mr. Kashif Gaya, CEO, Euronet Pakistan said, “This strategic collaboration with UBL will further fuel the growth of Fintechs in Pakistan and will provide them a next gen technology stack and platform to explore significant growth opportunities and deliver tailored payment experiences as well as quick go-to-market solutions”.

Standard Chartered Bank collaborates with ‘NIFT ePay’ digital financial services

Standard Chartered Bank, a globally leading financial institution operating in Pakistan has recently signed an agreement with National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (NIFT) – a specialised institution for enabling digital commerce payments. Through this agreement, Standard Chartered Bank will connect to ‘NIFT ePay’ as an ‘Issuer’ and ‘Acquirer’ to facilitate its clients.

The primary focus of this Digital Financial Services Platform is to execute interoperable and secure digital-commerce payments, using any bank account, card and wallet in Pakistan.

With this agreement, Standard Chartered Pakistan brings its international omni-channels collections offering for its corporate clients – Straight2Bank Pay – providing multiple payment options to end-consumers both online and offline. The solution acts as a one-stop shop to accelerate clients’ ability to scale and collect digitally, working with a single provider, a single point of integration, and minimal investment. The clients benefit from Standard Chartered’s superior infrastructure that meets the highest standards of security, integrity, and stability, along with receiving real-time payment notifications powered with data-analytics. This agreement also enables Standard Chartered Bank’s account-holders to be able to pay the NIFT ePay merchants, opening up a new payment option for the bank’s customers.

NIFT ePay provides an opportunity to the retail end-consumers who don’t have Debit or Credit Card to conduct e-commerce transactions directly through their current or savings accounts. These consumers can maintain their account with any NIFT ePay member bank to transact for e-commerce purchases, where Standard Chartered Bank will also act as the collecting bank offering a digital online platform to their corporate collection mandates through an account-based local payment gateway.

Standard Chartered Bank has been at the forefront of digital innovation, with its network of 42 branches operating all over Pakistan, in the Corporate, Retail and Islamic Banking sectors. This partnership has created greater convenience for Standard Chartered Bank’s clientele, enabling them to make digital payments on the retail side, while at the same time allowing its corporate clients to collect, as well as, pay for these transactions.

The signing ceremony was chaired by the Mr. Rehan Shaikh, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited and Mr. Haider Wahab, CEO, NIFT who signed the agreement along with Mr. Shiraz Hyder, Head of Transaction Banking at Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan. Other senior officials who graced the occasion included; Mr. Arslan Nayeem, Head of Client Coverage, CCIB Pakistan – and Mr. Fawad Abdul Kader, Head of Digital Financial Services at NIFT and others representing the collaborating institutions.

Speaking on the occasion, Shiraz Hyder, Head of Transaction Banking, Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan remarked, “Straight2Bank Pay is a one-stop global platform, providing consumers the flexibility to pay online through multiple digital options – i.e. through wallets, debit/credit cards or account transfers. It will aid our corporate clients to enhance their e-commerce presence, while we help them collect digitally from end-consumers, all through a single integration, one contract and their existing collections account with us. Our partnership with NIFT is of significant importance as we help our customers expand their e-commerce marketplaces, while providing digital collections and payment options for players in their ecosystems”.

Mr. Fawad Kadeer, Head of Digital Financial Services, NIFT said, “We are pleased to sign up Standard Chartered Bank as an Issuer and Acquirer for NIFT ePay services, enabling the bank’s account holders to make payments on NIFT ePay Platform through their bank accounts and also allowing Standard Chartered Bank to offer online collections to its corporate and business relationships. Standard Chartered Bank has been offering reliable and convenient services to its customers and maintains its niche in the financial services space and has a great potential in digitizing payments and collections, in partnership with NIFT, especially for Business Payments”.

BEL celebrates opening of new flagship office in Lahore

Premium solar energy solutions by BEL are now in the historical city of Pakistan. Beacon Energy Private Limited, has inaugurated its Flagship Office in DHA Lahore where, now you can have a live review of the product and free consultations is provided to all our walk in clients. We as a team feel privileged in providing our customers with solar awareness and best solutions.

The office offers a complete Solar Experience journey with 3D visuals and product demo. The functional office will offer Sales, Aftersales, Operations & Complaint handling of Solar applicability to its customers.

One of our key aspirations for diversifying into renewable energy was to be catalyst for a positive change in the world. Our clean energy solutions are designed to be highly affordable and give our clients access to energy no matter what their location is in Pakistan.

We hope in bringing equal quality and cleaner solutions. BEL offers complete solar solutions including assistance in Bank Financing, Net-Metering, and Free of Cost O&M Services for 5 years. Our unique Network Operations Centre (NOC) proactively monitors the performance of customer systems to detect anomalies which may affect production.

BEL has a robust monitoring and support app (BEL CONNECT) to give customers complete visibility over their solar system. The app allows the user to see all current and historical data about energy production, utilization, export, and overall saving.

Beacon Energy (Pvt) Limited (BEL), a group company of Beaconhouse Group has been offering Solar Solutions in all major cities of Pakistan since 2019. BEL is an ISO Certified Renewable Energy company that is registered with the (Alternative Energy Development Board) AEDB in the ARE-V1 Category up to 1Mwp.

500 global delegation meets with Chairman STZA to discuss Pakistan’s technology potential

A high-level delegation from global venture capital firm 500 Global visited the Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) in Islamabad to meet with Chairman STZA Mr. Amer Hashmi and his team. The delegation from 500 Global included Chief Operating Officer and Managing Partner Courtney Powell, Board Member Max Scheder-Bieschin, and Alysia Lopez, Executive Assistant to 500 Global’s CEO Christine Tsai and Ms. Powell.

Ms. Powell had previously met with the STZA delegation, led by Chairman Hashmi, last month in Dubai, to discuss investment opportunities and the burgeoning tech startup ecosystem in Pakistan. Chairman STZA invited Ms. Powell for a visit to Pakistan to meet startups, incubators, local venture capitalists, and other stakeholders in the public and private sector that are working towards technology-driven growth in the country.

In the meeting held at STZA’s Office, Chairman STZA and Ms. Powell discussed her experience visiting the tech startup community in the country, the support and mentorship that 500 Global can provide to startup founders to scale their ventures, and the firm’s plans to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan. Both parties agreed to work together to identify and explore mutual areas of interest to foster innovation and promote a technology-driven knowledge ecosystem.

The STZA team briefed 500 Global about the Special Technology Zones (STZs) created by the Government of Pakistan to attract foreign direct investment, allow technology transfer, boost technology exports, prioritize research & development, and foster job creation for Pakistani youth. The STZA aims to build knowledge ecosystems that will harness Pakistan’s technology potential and set the country on the trajectory of an entrepreneurial, innovative, and tech-driven future for shared prosperity and inclusive growth.

“We welcome 500 Global to Pakistan and look forward to working closely with them to support the startup and technology sector in Pakistan,” said Chairman STZA, who also reinforced the government’s commitment to facilitating global venture investment in the STZs.

Ms. Powell noting the government’s commitment to facilitate the growth of the country’s high-potential technology sector, said “We met fantastic founders in Pakistan during our visit and truly appreciate the incentives that the government has offered in its Special Technology Zones. The visit has also helped us understand how we can equip founders to establish themselves on a global level.”

Punjab free, compulsory education act soon to be notified, says Aisha Nawaz

“The constitutional amendment of Article 25-A, pledging free, quality and equitable education for every Pakistani child occurred in the year 2010. The Punjab Assembly passed the Free & Compulsory Education Act in 2014. However, despite the lapse of seven years since the passage of this provincial law, it is yet to be notified. What then was the point of passing a law that the government did not intend to implement?” This question was raised by Mr. Mukhtar Ahmad Ali, Executive Director, Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) during a round table discussion in Islamabad with the members of the Standing Committee on School Education, Punjab.

This parliamentary roundtable was organized by civil society organizations including CPDI, Pakistan Youth Change Advocates (PYCA) and Pakistan Coalition for Education (PCE) in collaboration with Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS).

Chairperson of the Provincial Standing Committee on School Education, Punjab Ms. Aisha Nawaz Chaudhary chaired the roundtable. Responding to Mr. Mukhtar Ahmed’s question she assured the civil society stakeholders that the standing committee was in constant coordination with the provincial education department and the law would soon be notified. “The notification of the Punjab Free & Compulsory Education Act is a top agenda item for this standing committee. We will soon begin its phased implementation, starting with the most vulnerable districts in Punjab.”

Public finance expert and author of the recent published white-paper “Public Invest in Education: An Appraisal of SDG 4 in Pakistan” Mr. Asim Bashir Khan while providing an overview of the findings and recommendations of the white-paper said “Both the federal and provincial governments understand the fact that the current state of public investment in education is not up to the required mark. This is evident from the majority of the sector plans as well as the Vision 2025 document which pledges to allocate 4 per cent of the GDP to education. However, in actuality Pakistan has been unable to allocate more than 2.5 per cent of its GDP in the last 20 years. The COVID crises have led to a further decline in public investment in education with merely 1.5 per cent of GDP being allocated for education in the fiscal year 2020-21.”

MCB Bank, Unionpay International in accord for ecommerce acceptance

MCB Bank Limited (MCB), one of Pakistan’s leading Banks, has entered into an agreement with UnionPay International (UPI), a prominent purveyor of cross-border payment services, to further facilitate eCommerce businesses partnered with MCB eGate with access to UnionPay International’s globally recognized payment services.

Under this agreement, MCB Bank will be enabling partner eCommerce businesses access to UnionPay International as a payment scheme in the MCB eGate internet payment gateway service. Going forward, all eCommerce businesses that utilize the MCB eGate service will be able to receive patronage from UnionPay International Debit and Credit Card holders who will now be able to conduct online payment transactions on their platforms.

The agreement was signed between Muhammad Azam Naeem, Business Head, Digital Banking, MCB Bank and Nadeem Haroon, Country Manager, UnionPay Pakistan at MCB House, Lahore. Shahzad Ishaq, Group Head, Consumer & Digital Banking, MCB Bank, Mr. Jasim Ahmed Waheed, Department Head Acceptance, Digital Banking, MCB Bank, Umer Qasim, Product Manager eCommerce and Payment Gateway, Digital Banking, MCB Bank, Kashif Ali, Ali Abbas & Mehtab Haider from UnionPay International were also present at the ceremony.

Speaking at the occasion, Shahzad Ishaq said “at the heart of all our digital initiatives is enhancing customers’ access to payments, convenience and ease of doing transactions. Simultaneously, we would enrich the value proposition provided to Bank’s eCommerce merchants. Through our agreement with UnionPay International, our partnering eCommerce merchants stand to benefit from the potential business with over 12 million UnionPay cardholders in Pakistan.”

James Yang, General Manager UnionPay International Middle East, also added “UnionPay has the world’s largest cardholder base issued across 70 countries and regions. Providing security and effortless convenience for all of our customers is key when looking to the future. Supporting both merchants and consumers, UnionPay International invests significantly in technology and innovation to deliver a range of leading products, all adhering to the highest standards of security and protection.”

Business community does not want interest rates hike: 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 said the Central bank planning to raise interest rates as their experts consider a hike necessary to stabilise the economy while the business community does not want interest rates hike at this juncture.

State Bank of Pakistan is planning a significant increase in interest rates as it believes that this step is the last option is to reduce inflation, stem the falling value of the rupee, curb the growing current account deficit and reduce the balance of payments imbalance.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that all the previous records of inflation in the country have been broken. The rupee has lost true value against the dollar and the current account deficit is reaching the level of three and a half billion dollars while the government has failed to overcome these two problems which has prompted SBP to take action.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that SBP is considering a hike in the interest rate to 100 to 200 basis points as inflation is increasing which has made life miserable for the people.

Experts believe that in the next few months, inflation will rise further which will increase public unrest and create political turmoil which is not in the interest of the country, he added.

In view of this situation, the SBP’s Monetary Policy Committee has convened its meeting a week ahead of schedule in which important decisions will be taken to end uncertainty in the market.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the demand for dollars in the local market is increasing, oil prices are higher than required while grain and sugar have to be imported which is making the deficit uncontrollable.

The current account deficit during the three months of July, August and September of the last year was eight hundred and fifty million dollars which has increased to three billion dollars this year while the value of dollar has jumped to Rs174.

The government got some relief from the remittances of ten and a half billion dollars during these three months, but it is not enough to solve the problems. He said that from the business community’s point of view, raising interest rates will severely shake investor confidence and increase business costs, reduce employment and add to the public’s woes.

Instead of raising interest rates, the government should increase the production process, including agriculture, by ensuring uninterrupted supply of electricity and gas at reasonable prices to boost the economy.

No relief to masses despite oil price fall globally, says Main Zahid
  • Reduction in circulating capital could strengthen rupee

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 that oil prices are falling in the international market but there is no relief in sight for the people in Pakistan.

Rather, the government is planning to increase the oil prices which will further burden the masses which are already reeling under record inflation, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government should provide some relief to the masses and avoid adding to their miseries.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that he said that the price of oil in the global market has been falling for three consecutive weeks due to lack of demand and expectations of increased supply.

The government is not transferring the benefit of reduced oil prices in the international market to the masses who are braving the destructive impact of inflation on their buying power.

Another hike in oil prices is against the interests of the country and the nation as the average income of the laborer has fallen below the monthly expense of buying roti.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that recently, the price of petrol was increased by Rs8 on the rise of Rs3 in value of dollar and now petroleum products are being made more expensive on the pretext of depreciation of rupee which is unacceptable.

The rupee itself has not weakened but has been weakened under a scheme by the policy makers and now they are justifying another hike which is unacceptable as it will make the lives of masses more difficult.

He said that the central bank has decided to increase the case reserve requirement of scheduled banks from five per cent to six per cent to curb rupee depreciation and inflation.

The money supply in the market is being reduced to moderate the demand and reduce pressure on the rupee.

The central bank has taken such a decision after nine years as a result of which at least one hundred and seventy billion rupees will be sucked from the banking system and they will be forced to provide better services to the people.

Accelerating the Poverty Reduction in the World
  • 10th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum to be held in Dubai-United Arab Emirates

10th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum (GIMF) will convoke in Dubai -United Arab Emirates on 12th-14th December, 2021 under the theme of “Evidence of Impact and Financial Inclusion” to explore and discuss innovative financial inclusion strategies that can create clear pathways to poverty alleviation. This Apex event is organized by AlHuda CIBE and Sponsored by Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector- ICD. ICD is one of the premier Islamic multilateral financial institutions for the development of the private sector. Our other supports are Association of microfinance organizations of Tajikistan, Azerbaijan microfinance association, and Islamic Chamber of commerce industry and agriculture. Our lead sponsor in said event is Caiz Holding, and codebase are our technology sponsor. Our media partners in this event are Proshare Islamic finance weekly and Financial IT.

More than 30 countries will be participating in this prestigious event and around 25 international speakers will be addressing in the event. Majority of the speaker are industry leaders and experts. AlHuda is striving for poverty alleviation through Islamic microfinance by providing advisory, consultancy, research and capacity building services and organized 8 annual events in different countries of the world. This event helps the industry practitioners to join the common platform and strengthen the networking for industry development in true and innovative ways. Mr. Muhammad Zubair, the Chief Executive Officer of AlHuda CIBE said that 10th GIMF will explore how new and effective strategies (according to Shariah compliant procedures) be formulated to alleviate poverty and for economic sustainability.

While narrating the theme and core purpose of 10th GIMF, Mr. Muhammad Zubair echoed his thoughts, saying that poverty is considered one of the common global issues, but most alarming situation is that major chunk of poverty exist in Muslim countries, as it is considered as number one agenda of “financial inclusion” and Evidence of Impact that how positively affecting the lives of poor people. According to most recent estimates, 46% of the poor population resides in Muslim countries, where poverty trends are alarming. The prime reason of this staggering situation is the general avoidance from” RIBA” which is strictly prohibited in Islam. In order to reduce poverty in Muslim populous countries, a proper platform is needed to execute, valuing their cultural and social values, which is possible only through Islamic Microfinance.

The purpose of this forum is to gather the stakeholders under one platform, to find out the remedy to these problems to give a strong support to rapidly increasing Islamic Microfinance industry. A gathering of 120+ Participants are expected from almost 30 different countries to participate in the forum, wherein a large variety of topics will be covered including; Islamic Microfinance, Financial Inclusion, Evidence of Impact and future potential, Rural development, use of IT in Microfinance and FinTech solutions, Micro-Takaful, Waqaf, Zakah, Small business problems and solutions, Shariah Principles and General Economic Development.

The Forum will be followed by Two Days Post Event Workshop on Practical Aspects of Islamic Micro, Agriculture and Rural Finance dated for December 13-14, 2021. This Workshop will cover a variety of allied topics. To learn more about please visit: https://www.alhudacibe.com/gimf2021/

About AlHuda-CIBE:

AlHuda Center of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) is a well-recognized name in Islamic banking and finance industry for research and provide state-of-the-art Advisory Consultancy and Education through various well-recognized modes viz. Islamic Financial Product Development, Shariah Advisory, Trainings Workshops, and Islamic Microfinance and Takaful Consultancies etc. side by side through our distinguished, generally acceptable and known Publications in Islamic Banking and Finance.

We are dedicated to serving the community as a unique institution, advisory and capacity building for the last twelve years. The prime goal has always been to remain stick to the commitments providing Services not only in UAE/Pakistan but all over the world. We have so far served in more than 35 Countries for the development of Islamic Banking and Finance industry. For further Details about AlHuda CIBE, please visit: www.alhudacibe.com

TAG partners with IDEMIA to offer Pakistan’s first eco-friendly debit card

Leveraging IDEMIA’s Global Fintech Accelerator Program, the Islamabad-based fintech can now effectively scale-up its operations and offer a certified green payment experience to its customers.

TAG recently concluded another round of funding, attracting an additional $12 million in September . The one –year old fintech, currently valued at $100 million, partners with public and private firms to offer banking services to their employees, including a Visa-powered debit card .

Always the innovator and first-mover, TAG has chosen to partner with IDEMIA and leverage the IDEMIA GREENPAY eco-friendly product suite for the card it is offering to its customers. Made from recycled PVC, IDEMIA’s GREENPAY cards have recently been certified by Mastercard as more sustainable . TAG’s eco-friendly card also happens to be Pakistan’s first green debit card.

“As a fintech, we aim to be the front-runner in everything we do, from innovative banking services to cards. Working closely with IDEMIA, a payment technology leader, we have now again clinched another first in the country – by offering to our customers Pakistan’s first green debit card. The step we take today is critical for our generations to come, we are first in the region to take initiative which is sensitive to climate change and in-line with international-national commitments of Pakistan.” said Talal Gondal, CEO & Founder, TAG.

TAG is also leveraging IDEMIA’s Global Fintech Accelerator program to facilitate the ramp up of its operations. The Global Fintech Accelerator Program is a fast-track program designed to enable new entrants to the industry, such as TAG, to utilize IDEMIA’s unrivalled payment card product suite and network of personalization centers to reach even more customers. With a full service, state-of-the-art card personalization center right here in Karachi, IDEMIA has been a trusted partner to Pakistani financial institutions for over a decade.

“As a global technology partner to the payment industry, with a strong presence in Pakistan, IDEMIA is pleased to support TAG in its ambitions to deliver eco-friendly debit cards and expand the availability of financial services to even more people in the country,” said Hennie Du Plessis, Senior Vice President (Middle East and Africa), Financial Institutions, IDEMIA.

Honeymoon of IMF and Pakistan is over
  • Decades of breached promises led to mistrust
  • Conditions be met before release of tranche: 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 the IMF and Pakistan’s honeymoon is over.

After decades of broken promises, the IMF is now calling for reforms before lending instead of pushing for reforms after providing loans, which is a big change, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that five preconditions of the IMF must be met to qualify for a 500 million dollars loan.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that Pakistan has less than a month to implement IMF conditions which the government and the people consider a fundamental change in the IMF policy.

The IMF decision is being taken as an interference in our political, economic and national sovereignty but at present the government has no other option as all friendly countries have turned away.

He said that for decades, before borrowing numerous promises were made, including eliminating unnecessary subsidies and tax breaks, increasing taxes, cutting spending and ending the promotion of the elite, which were never fulfilled.

The failure in carrying out reforms has led to a sharp rise in debt, while our governments, with the help of influential countries, have always focused on easing IMF conditions, which has led to a widening deficit and mistrust in international institutions.

He noted that Pakistan is now closer to China than the United States, which has fanned suspicions in the western countries, while the IMF also fears that their dollars will be used to pay off Chinese debts.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that this year in April the IMF’s terms were not met on the assumption that the country could be run without loans and if better results were obtained then there would be no need for the IMF.

If some loans had to be taken, the terms would be lenient, but this assumption proved to be an illusion because the government was targeting success in the upcoming elections instead of financial discipline and economic stability, the outcome of which is in front of everyone, he observed.

He said that governance could not be improved while exports suffered due to hike in energy prices triggering trade and current account deficit.

PM Imran Khan and Daraz Group CEO meet to discuss how eCommerce can help grow Pakistan’s economy

November 25th, Karachi: Yesterday in Islamabad, Prime Minister Imran Khan along with the Minister of Finance, Shaukat Tarin, met with Daraz Group’s CEO, Bjarke Mikkelsen, and Daraz Pakistan Managing Director, Ehsan Saya, to discuss the vital role e-commerce can play to increase employment and accelerate economic growth for the country.

Digitalization is a key agenda of the Government and yesterday’s discussion focused on how the Government and e-commerce businesses can work together to help fuel the country’s economic growth and create millions of jobs.

Daraz helps SMEs grow their businesses by providing them with technology, training, and education to access to a large and engaged online customer base. As part of the discussion, Daraz shared their vision to grow the number of active and e-commerce educated SMEs on their platform to 300,000 within the next two years and create a total of one million jobs through its marketplace model, which will contribute to the premier’s agenda of creating 10 million jobs.

As Pakistan’s economy is heavily dependent on small businesses, both parties discussed how e-commerce can support small businesses in rural areas and provide them access to grow their business across the entire country.

Mr Mikkelsen said it was an honour to meet with the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance to discuss how Daraz can work in partnership with the Government.

“As a company, our purpose is to uplift the communities where we operate in, and we believe that through digitalization, we can play a significant role to support the economic growth of the country. We look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with the Government to ensure that we can support their ambitions,” said Mr Mikkelsen.

In the meeting, it was also discussed how e-commerce can play a role in managing inflation pressure by providing more direct access between consumers and the producers of goods.

Daraz looks to continue to scale its business in Pakistan and has committed to invest US$150 million over the next two years to support the growth of Pakistan’s digital ecosystem.

Roche Diabetes Care Launches Accu Chek making diabetes management simpler, smarter & easier

Roche, a pioneer in the development of blood glucose monitoring devices and a global leader for diabetes management systems and services has launched its new device Accu Chek Instant making lives of Diabetic patients Simply Clear!

Former Pakistani Cricketer Wasim Akram who has been the brand ambassador of Roche Diabetes Care Pakistan for over two decades, endorsing the latest device said, “It’s an innovative solution & I am very pleased that Roche has taken such a great initiative to make lives of Diabetic patients easier.

Wasim Akram checks his sugar levels 6-7 times a day and asks diabetic patients to do the same to manage their diabetes regularly. According to him, Accu Chek Instant is facilitates those who want to keep a regular check on their diabetes.

Pakistan’s first of its kind MySugr app that automatically connects with the device, enabling the wireless transfer of data from the device to the app and helps patients manage their diabetes without keeping records in paper log books.

It has a target range indicator that makes it easier to understand the blood glucose level. It is a device that requires no set up. Patients just need to insert a strip, apply a small blood sample and to read their blood glucose level on a large backlit display, in just 4 seconds.

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology, and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.

Price hike and borrowing will continue. Mian Zahid Hussain
  • IMF agreement to avert threat of bankruptcy
  • Whole population will be affected as economy will shrink

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 Wednesday said an agreement with the IMF will prevent bankruptcy.

The deal will stabilise economy to some extent but the whole population will be affected as the economy will shrink at a fast pace, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that price hike and borrowing will continue which will reflect badly on the limping economy.

Talking to the business community, he said that the government has reached a staff level agreement with the IMF and it has started implementing strict preconditions of the international body.

The IMF board can ratify the deal in the month of January, after which the threat of bankruptcy of the country will be temporarily averted, he said.

The veteran business leader said that for some time, the rupee and the economy will be stable, but continued rise in prices of electricity, gas, petrol and other commodities will make life difficult for the people.

The agreement will reduce production, employment and exports and the economy will start shrinking, which affects 22 crore people as the lender will become more stringent with the passage of time due to frequent breach of promises and non-compliance with the wishes of Western countries in some cases.

The government will gladly cut several hundred rupees in development expenditure but will never compromise on its princely expanses, he said, adding wasteful expenditures to woo voters and politicians will increase as election approaches and all expenses will be taken out of the pockets of the poor.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that only after approval of loan installment from IMF other countries and international investors would be willing to lend to Pakistan while loans could be taken from the international bond market at high interest rates and in the near future.

The downturn will continue because the rulers have never been serious about the economy but have been more interested in creating a baseless impression of the country’s development through statistical manipulation.

The economic condition of the country has been deteriorating continuously since 2018 and the development of the country is being touted by giving incentives to different lobbies.

Gas tariff for captive power plants has been increased by $2.50 which will increase the production cost and many Pakistani products will lose their competitiveness in the international market.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the only solution to get the country out of the economic quagmire is to eliminate losses through privatization, and contain energy theft and improve governance.

PSX Lists First GEM Board Company

In a watershed development at Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), Pak Agro Packaging Limited (PAPL) becomes the very first company to be listed on PSX’s Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) Board. The GEM Board is a listing platform created to facilitate growth enterprises whether small, medium or greenfield businesses for their capital raising needs.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin was the Chief Guest of the gong ceremony.

The Ceremony was also attended by Chairman SECP, Mr. Aamir Khan; Chairperson PSX, Dr. Shamshad Akhtar; MD & CEO PSX, Mr Farrukh H. Khan; Board Members PSX; CEO Pak Agro Packaging Limited, Mr. Khalid Butt; CEO AKD Securities Ltd., Mr Farid Alam; and senior management of the participating organisations including PSX, SECP, Pak Agro Packaging Limited and AKD Securities Limited.

Pak Agro Packaging Limited had set out to raise Rs 180 million through the PSX GEM Board Listing. The Issue of Pak Agro Packaging Limited consisted of 8,000,000 ordinary shares comprising of 40% of the post-issue paid-up capital of the Company. The entire Issue was offered through book building process at a floor price of Rs 22.50 per share.

The amount raised was Rs 198,000,000 against total bids received Rs 366,453,573 (or 14.79 million shares) at strike price of Rs 24.75 per share, thereby the Issue was oversubscribed by 1.85x. A large number of investors participated in the book building process and out of 106 bidders, 69 investors were declared successful.

The Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance & Revenue, Mr. Shaukat Tarin, hailing the inclusion of the first company on the GEM Board, said, “As we celebrate the first listing on the GEM Board, I congratulate not only the management of Pak Agro Packaging Limited but also the Board Members and the Management of Pakistan Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan who have worked tirelessly in converting this dream into reality. I would recommend SMEs to come forward to avail this opportunity to raise capital through the Stock Exchange.”

In response to comments of MD PSX regarding rationalisation of tax incentives, Mr Shaukat Tarin stated, “We absolutely have to rationalise tax incentives so that investment in Pakistan’s productive sector increases. We want to see investment in this country in productive sectors. While I am not against the real estate sector as it benefits the economy and supports around 40 other industries as well as creates employment, we have to make sure that the benefits to the real estate sector are aligned with those given to other productive sectors of the economy as well. We do see an anomaly in the real estate sector when plots of land are bought and are held for years. That is productive capital sunk. In this regard, I would like to announce that we will be introducing certain scheme of taxes that will be applicable to these assets so that the money can be recycled to the other sectors of the economy as well. We are also approving REIT listings which will benefit the capital market. Additionally, we are in favour of listing of SOEs which are currently encumbered by the circular debt phenomenon. This has choked some of our public sector entities, specially in the energy sector. We are, however, in the process of unlocking that. Petroleum and some power companies in the listed domain will see some activity and that will help the Stock Exchange as these are heavy weight companies.

We appreciate the hard work put in by you, and I will stand with you in all your efforts; I also call upon the FBR to provide the necessary support that you need and to review the tax regime to encourage companies to list “, he added.

The Chairman SECP, Mr Aamir Khan, stated, “The SECP has always focused on improving access to finance for SMEs, and the GEM Board will facilitate small enterprises, start ups and green field companies in gaining access to private capital.”

Speaking about the successful book building & listing of Pak Agro Packaging Limited on the GEM Board of PSX, the MD PSX, Mr. Farrukh Khan, stated, “I congratulate Pak Agro Packaging Limited as the first company to be listed on the GEM Board of the Exchange since the Board was launched in 2019. The GEM Board is an important innovation in Pakistan’s capital market and will support the financing needs of the hugely important and vibrant SME sector in Pakistan by enabling them to raise debt and equity capital at a low cost and with ease. The new Board will also help in the full value chain of early stage financing in Pakistan as such investors will now have a viable exit mechanism via listing on the GEM Board.

As an industry leader in providing agricultural support packaging & storage products, Pak Agro Packaging Limited is now raising capital to expand its industrial base by manufacturing fishing nets. We are very happy that they have utilised the GEM Board to raise of capital for diversifying their industrial capacity as well as for meeting their working capital needs.”

He further stated, “Pakistan Stock Exchange has been working diligently to facilitate the SME sector of Pakistan in meeting their financial needs through the capital markets. We are thankful to the SECP and Ministry of Finance for their guidance and support in this effort. We are confident that this will become an important source of capital for Pakistan’s SME sector.”

Speaking about the successful listing of Pak Agro Packaging Limited on PSX’s GEM Board, the Chairman of the Company, Dr. Safdar Ali Butt, in his video message, said, “I wish to offer my congratulations to Pakistan Stock Exchange, SECP, our consultants, AKD Securities Ltd, and all those entities who have been instrumental in opening the doors to access equity capital for SMEs of this country through the GEM Board of Pakistan Stock Exchange.”

He further stated, “The common misconceptions of SMEs being a risky proposition has clearly not stopped informed and sensible investors, particulary the institutional investors, from investing in the bright & potentially enormous future of SMEs.”

In his message, the Chairman of AKD Group, Mr. Aqeel Dhedhi, stated “The first listing at the GEM Board has paved the way for SMEs access to equity capital and created opportunity for investors to participate in evolution of progressive enterprises.”

The CEO of AKD Securities Ltd., Mr. Farid Alam, added, “SMEs are a backbone of any developing economy. The growth path that we as a nation have embarked upon, requires contribution from all participants of the economic value chain. By introducing the GEM Board, SECP and PSX, with the help of financial sector entities, have allowed SMEs access to that integral capital for long term growth. We are delighted to be part of the first ever GEM listing and a catalyst for long term growth.”

Head of Investment Banking at AKD Securities Ltd., Syed Khurram Shahid, said, “PAPL’s inaugural listing at PSX GEM Board executed by AKD Securities Limited is a testimony of our firm belief in leading the development of the financial ecosystem and supporting the growth stimulus of Small and Medium Enterprises. This Board offers a lot of promise and a formidable channel for raising funds for financially challenged SME sector companies.”

AKD Securities Limited took the initiative of bringing the first growth company for listing on the Exchange’s GEM Board. The book building attracted tremendous response from investors. This reflects the interest and appetite that investors have for sound and sustainable businesses that offer good potential returns and growth opportunities.

Dawlance wins UNOCHA award for the brand’s efforts in fighting Covid-19

Dawlance is Pakistan’s leading manufacturer of home-appliances and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arcelik – the 2nd largest manufacturer in Europe. The company has now won a prestigious award from the ‘United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ (UNOCHA), to recognize the company’s efforts against Covid-19. Dawlance had proactively implemented all safety protocols across its nationwide distribution network, while ensuring continuity of its robust manufacturing operations. The health and wellbeing of customers, employees and stakeholders was effectively protected, while the company contributed generously to help the nation minimize the impact of this pandemic and the global lockdowns.

UNOCHA collaborated with Health and Nutrition Development Society (HANDS) Pakistan, along with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), to organize an event, to reward the corporate entities, that joined the nation’s fight against Covid-19 and to raise awareness of vaccinating undocumented persons/refugees. The Head of UNOCHA in Pakistan – Ms. Choice Ufuomo Okoro presented the prestigious award to the Chief Executive Officer of Dawlance – Mr. Umar Ahsan Khan. In her address to the forum, Ms. Okoro stated that; Pakistan is among the leading nations that tackled the COVID-19 with an iron hand; all this was possible because of the relentless efforts of the political leadership, along with the corporate and social sectors.

The Chief Executive Officer of HANDS Pakistan Dr. Shaikh Tanveer Ahmed, said that “Throughout the COVID-19 crisis and still, the Corporate and Social Sector has transformed into a relief angel in Pakistan, helping thousands to secure food, shelter, and Covid-19 Vaccination. Thanks to the generosity of our Corporate Peers and Partners in the fight against Covid-19. It was indeed impossible to get hold of the results we are seeing today without our corporate partners. I believe that we still need to do more vaccinating 100% of the documented and undocumented population of the country.”

The Chief Executive Officer – Umar Ahsan Khan stated that: “It is a great honor for Dawlance to receive an Appreciation-Award from an esteemed global organization like; UNOCHA. It is a recognition of our brand’s generous contributions for the fight against the pandemic, as we have donated valuable technologies to many healthcare institutions, while providing food-supplies and other essential items to the affected communities. This shows the company’s strong commitment to ensure socio-economic development and sustainable growth of the society.”

Dawlance is a consumer-focused brand, which believes that; Pakistan’s weak healthcare infrastructure needs significant enrichment in the face of the outbreak. Therefore, it is inspiring the resourceful corporate sector to safeguard the nation, against large scale challenges, in future too. The recent Corporate Social Responsibility’ (CSR) initiatives of this brand, include: A generous donation of nearly 120 high-quality Dawlance appliances, including more than 40 refrigerators & freezers, 60 air-conditioners, has been made to The Indus Hospital (TIH) in Karach, along with a number of microwave ovens, water-dispensers and electric-kettles given to the hospital. In another gesture; Dawlance has collaborated with the ‘Karachi Relief Trust’, to support in establishing ‘High Dependency Units’ (HDUs) in hospitals.

In another humanitarian effort – the parent company – Arcelik has also donated 10 respiratory ventilators to various medical-care institutions in Pakistan. Two of these ventilators were granted to the NDMA Covid Hospital, Islamabad. Two more ventilators have been installed at TIH Karachi. Another two ventilators were installed at the Sindh Institute of Urology & Transplant (SIUT), Karachi. Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital has also received two ventilators from Arcelik, while the Lady-Reading Hospital in Peshawar was given one ventilator and the Dow Hospital (Ojha Campus) has also received one ventilator. Moreover, Dawlance-Arcelik has produced, in-house, many incubation-chambers and PPEs to safeguard the health of Medical Staff at various healthcare institutions.

Standard Chartered Bank and TPL Trakker collaborate to secure Auto-Financing solutions

Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) is a leading global bank which has partnered with TPL Trakker – the most advanced IoT Company in Pakistan, for Tracking, Telematics, Mapping and Location-Based Services. This strategic alliance has created a one-window solution to manage and secure the automobiles financed by the bank, as the Auto-Financing sector in Pakistan has risen to an unprecedented volume of 338 billion Rupees.

Through this partnership, TPL Trakker will provide cutting-edge facilities like Warehousing, Vehicle-Monitoring Systems and Direct-Tracking of vehicles. Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan will leverage these services to enrich its offerings and auto-finance solutions. As the demand is forecasted to grow significantly in future, the evolving needs of the car-financing sector need to be catered to, while these financed-assets can be monitored for complete safety, to ensure the consumers’ peace of mind.

A ceremony was recently held to sign this agreement, and the Country Credit Head of Consumer, Private & Business Banking (CPBB) at Standard Chartered Bank – Mr. Hamid Sameen and the Chief Executive Officer of TPL Trakker – Mr. Sarwar Ali Khan, personally graced this event, along with several senior executives from their award-winning and innovative organizations.

On this occasion Chief Executive Officer TPL Trakker – Mr. Sarwar Ali Khan said, “Through this collaboration with Standard Chartered, we want people to drive their favorite cars without worrying about security. We are committed to enable the banks in Pakistan to meet their financial obligations with no worries about uncertainties and adversity. Our facilities are adding more convenience and safety to the auto-financing services offered by the banks.”

Hamid Sameen, Country Credit Consumer, Private & Business Banking (CPBB) SCBP on the occasion said, “Creating exceptional value and convenience for our consumers is always our top priority at Standard Chartered Pakistan. We are creating synergies with the most progressive enterprises, to go beyond our customers’ expectations in ensuring financial-security and a higher quality of life. Our innovative Auto-Finance solutions are built to address major challenges, while we have established a diverse portfolio of discerning clients, who want the best of facilities, protected and backed by the most reliable companies, like TPL Trakker.”

Standard Chartered Bank has been operating in Pakistan since 1863. Over the recent decades, establishing a strong auto-financing market in Pakistan has become an important part of its growth strategy, to enable socio-economic prosperity for the whole nation. SCB was also the pioneer of an Islamic-Banking branch network in Pakistan – ‘Saadiq’, which is now offering a wide range of Islamic-Financing products. SCB Car-Financing include Islamic mode only , while its operations are backed by state-of-the-art digital technologies.

Check Also

Press Releases

Press Releases

Bahria University Islamabad campus hold 23rd convocation The 23rd Convocation of School of Humanities and …

Leave a Reply