Capital Investments Chooses Codebase Technologies’ Digibanc Platform for Digital Onboarding Transformation
Capital Bank Group and Codebase Technologies expand on their strategic digital transformation partnership by transforming customer acquisitions for Capital Investments, the Group’s dedicated investment arm. Built using Codebase Technologies’ award-winning Digibanc platform, Capital Investments’ digital onboarding solution will introduce Jordan’s first fully-digital onboarding process for investments and brokerage customers.
With the global expansion and adoption of digital fintech propositions, investment firms and banks have recognized the importance of digitalization to keep and grow their business. Projected to grow to US$3.43 trillion by 2030, the WealthTech industry is rapidly dwarfing conventional investment channels due to the ease by which both new and seasoned investors can sign up, manage, and transact.
Izzidin Abusalameh, Group Chief Operating Officer at Capital Bank of Jordan commented, “Our Capital Investments trading platform provides customers with a simple and easy way to invest in stocks and currencies, locally, regionally, and internationally. Implementing digital onboarding for Capital Investments will expand our access to investors while accelerating our digital acquisition strategy. Our strategic technology partner, Codebase Technologies, has been instrumental in realizing these ambitions.”
Investment platforms and accounts face a problem that is common in the banking and financial services industry – over 80% of customers will abandon the account opening process due to a range of complications during the onboarding process.
Codebase Technologies’ approach to digital customer acquisition combines its extensive expertise in developing delightful customer journeys with its powerful technology stack to deliver a streamlined digital process that simplifies the onboarding experience while greatly reducing customer drop-off.
Tamer Al Mauge, Managing Director of MENA at Codebase Technologies commented “We are honored that Capital Bank Group has once again chosen us as a key strategic technology partner for its digital transformation objectives. Customer onboarding for investment accounts has been a challenge in the industry, and we are excited to help Capital Investments overcome it. Our digital onboarding solution provides a highly customer-centric, streamlined process that will accelerate the growth of its investment business.
With a focus on customer-centricity, the digital onboarding journey will leverage Codebase Technologies award-winning Digibanc platform to achieve unprecedented scalability while establishing a flexible platform from which Capital Investments can rapidly introduce new features and processes that further streamline the customer acquisition process.
Shan Foods collaborates with Indus Hospital & Health Network for 2nd IHNN annual Corporate Cricket Championship to support childhood cancer treatment
Shan Foods joined hands with Indus Hospital & Health Network (IHHN) as one of the key sponsors and participating team at the 2nd IHNN annual Corporate Cricket Championship to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer treatment.
The two-day Corporate Cricket Championship is an annual initiative by IHHN as a means to gather corporate community to support their mission to provide free-of-cost quality healthcare to the people of Pakistan. Pakistan has a vulnerable position in terms of cancer treatment. About 8,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year, 50% of which have no access to treatment owing to a lack of specialised oncology centres while 70% do not complete treatment. Shan Foods, in addition to sponsoring 2nd IHNN annual Corporate Championship event, also participated as a playing team at the tournament where its employees played against teams from other participating organizations in an exciting cricket match for the cause of ensuring pediatric cancer patients, regardless of their socioeconomic status, a chance at healthy life. All proceeds from the tournament will be donated to ensure provision of complete treatment of pediatric cancer patients.
Maria Rashdi, Head of Corporate Communications and PR Shan Foods, said, “Shan Foods is pleased and honored to support Indus Hospital in its fight against pediatric cancer. Easy access to affordable and quality healthcare is a right of every individual. This is very encouraging to see the entire corporate sector come together for the cause. We appreciate IHHN efforts for it. Shan Foods will always stand by the cause and is committed to contribute towards the health and wellbeing of our children.”
Expressing his appreciation for Shan Foods’ contribution to making the tournament and its mission successful, Haider Rizvi, Senior Corporate Relationship Manager Indus Hospital & Health Network, said “Cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among children and adolescents. With our vision to provide excellence-driven healthcare services free for all, IHHN is committed to ensuring access to complete treatment to pediatric cancer patients with the global goal of reducing childhood cancer mortality. The idea behind our annual corporate championships is to bring public-private sectors to join the cause while also promoting a healthy sport. I would like to thank Shan Foods for supporting our efforts to offer the people of Pakistan free, high-quality healthcare.”
As part of its prior partnership with IHHN, Shan Foods also sponsors chemotherapy sessions for pediatric cancer patients every three months for over a year.
IBA Karachi and Tapal aim to strengthen industry-academia linkages
The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi, and Tapal hosted their first session of a series called ‘Tum, mein aur aik cup chai’. With an objective to strengthen industry-academia linkages both institutions have agreed to set up these sessions on a regular basis. The event encapsulated insightful discussions with three guests who represented the FMCG and Tech industries. The guests included Mr. Samar Hayat, CEO Tapal Tea; Mr. Ali Ahmed Khan, MD Friesland Campina; and Ms. Ammara Masood, President & CEO NdcTech. Dr. S Akbar Zaidi, Executive Director IBA welcomed the guests.
The idea behind this initiative was to showcase Pakistan’s diverse excellence to the wider audience and help students, staff, faculty, alumni, and external guests to learn from the experiences of these guests. The session was attended by more than two hundred people and was moderated by Ms. Malahat Awan, Director Alumni Affairs, Resource Mobilization and Corporate Relations. The interactive session was followed by a Q&A session.
In addition to the session, Tapal and IBA also signed an MoU and have agreed to set up an endowed fund for IBA’s deserving students. Dr. Zaidi and Ms. Amra Mubashir, GM Human Resources Tapal, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective institutions. On the occasion, Dr. Zaidi said, “IBA is a breeding ground for talented students coming from diverse backgrounds, belonging to different socio-economic strata. The policy of diversity and inclusivity and the provision of financial support plays a crucial role in creating such an environment.”
Soneri bank announces results for the nine months
The Board of Directors of Soneri Bank Limited, in their 194th meeting held in Karachi on 27th October 2022, approved the Bank’s condensed interim financial statements for the nine months ended 30 September 2022.
The Bank posted profit before tax (PBT) of Rs. 3,348 million and profit after tax (PAT) of Rs. 1,295 million for the nine months ended September 2022, as compared to Rs. 4,198 million and Rs. 2,357 million respectively in the same period last year. The Bank’s EPS was recorded at Rs. 1.1747 per share for the current reporting period, as compared to Rs. 2.1388 for the comparative prior period.
The Bank’s Net Interest income for the nine months ended at Rs. 7,759 million, decreasing by 8.04 percent against Rs. 8,437 million reported for the same period last year. The key factor behind this reduction was the timing difference on repricing of the overall balance sheet. Non-interest income increased impressively to end at Rs. 4,066.717 million as against Rs. 3,093.038 million for the comparative prior period. Despite inflationary pressures, growth in expenses was restricted at 19.73 percent as compared to the prior period with Non-markup expenses reported at Rs. 9,003 million for the nine months period ended 30 September 2022.
The Bank’s net advances portfolio increased to Rs. 194,752 million as at 30 September 2022, 17.68 percent higher than the year end 2021 level, while the Bank’s Non-performing loans to total Advances ratio improved to 4.93 percent (December 2021: 5.95 percent). Specific coverage was at 71.86 percent (December 2021: 76.51 percent).
Bank’s Deposits registered an increase of 7.69 percent when compared to 31 December 2021, ending at Rs. 434,017 million at 30 September 2022. The Bank’s CA mix improved to 28.39 percent in September 2022 as against 27.17 percent at December 2021, with period end Current Accounts at Rs. 123,221 million as against Rs. 109,494 million at the year-end 2021.
The Bank’s period end borrowings indicate a decrease of Rs. 46.143 billion when compared to December 2021, while overall costs increased to 10.21 percent for the nine months ended 30 September 2022 as against 6.31 percent for the comparative prior period.As a result of changes introduced by the Finance Act 2022, the Bank’s effective tax rate for the period increased significantly to 61.32 percent (September 2021: 43.83 percent), as the Bank had to absorb the resulting additional charge, including that for prior periods during the current period.
While the overall pace of growth in the economy has slowed down, the Bank has continued to play its part in serving the needs of its customers. Performance in the short to medium term will continue to be impacted by changes to the interest rate regime, and the Bank will continue to follow a risk based approach towards lending and growth. With repricing on the asset book now effective, the management expects the pressure on spreads to gradually ease out in the coming months. The Bank intends to continue with measures to control costs amidst high inflationary pressures so as to achieve its desired KPIs over the remaining course of the year.
UBL, Habib University for Pakistan’s agree on first design, digital training plan
UBL and Habib University Karachi are collaborating to bring Pakistan’s first Design and Digital Training Program. A signing ceremony was held recently to mark the occasion. Seen in the picture are: Mr. Shazad G. Dada, President & CEO UBL (seated, 2nd left) and Mr. Wasif Rizvi, President Habib University (seated, 2nd right) along with senior executives from both institutions.
UBL and Habib University have entered into an agreement for Level Up, Pakistan’s first design and digital training program. An MOU ceremony to mark the occasion was recently held at UBL’s Head Office, in Karachi. Mr. Shazad G. Dada, President & CEO, UBL and Mr. Wasif Rizvi, President Habib University alongside other senior members from both organizations attended the event.
“As Pakistan’s most innovative and progressive Bank, this program personifies the essence of UBL’s vision, combining the use of cutting-edge technology to provide digital financial services, with investment in young tech-talent of Pakistan. Successful candidates will work at UBL’s state of the art Digital Lab, providing them a taste of real industry problems and putting theoretical solutions into practice. We are very excited about this program and look forward to providing the youth of Pakistan a rich diversity of career opportunities at UBL.” said UBL President Mr. Shazad G. Dada.
“Habib University prides itself on providing a contextually grounded education through our industry linkages. This partnership with UBL helps us deepen our engagement with industry, and provide practical learning opportunities to fresh graduates,” added President Habib University, Mr. Wasif Rizvi.
Level Up is an experiential, nine-month training program designed to introduce the youth to digital financial services and train them to design and take the lead in providing digital solutions to market. The program is open to recent graduates from all universities across Pakistan.
During the program, Level Up associates will be introduced to design thinking, product engineering and management. They will be working on real projects right from ideas to implementation. Upon successful completion, successful associates will be offered permanent placement within UBL Digital.
Khushhali Microfinance Bank continues to support the flood-affectees
Khushhali Microfinance Bank Limited is a leading financial institution in Pakistan, which has achieved operational excellence over the years while contributing generously towards the country’s socio-economic development. Responding to the devastating floods in Pakistan this year, Khushhali Microfinance Bank has launched another resourceful initiative to provide relief for the large number of families, who need food, shelter, and rehabilitation after this catastrophe.
With the winter season approaching soon, the situation is likely to be unfavourable for the flood-affected families. This is why Khushhali Bank is extending its full support in ensuring families who have lost their homes and livelihoods in this calamity are provided with adequate relief such as warm clothing, tents, and medical assistance. Through its flood-relief program, Khushhali Microfinance Bank is committed to mitigating the losses faced by flood affectees across the remote regions of Sindh, Balochistan, and Punjab provinces. It is now arranging food-ration distribution drives in the affected villages surrounding; Sukkur, Larkana, Hyderabad, and Mirpurkhas too.
The bank has mobilized its volunteer teams, who are participating enthusiastically in the relief efforts, all across the affected areas. Initially, Khushhali Microfinance Bank provided food packages to flood victims in the surrounding villages of DG Khan and Taunsa, to fulfil the immediate requirements for food and nutrition. In the second phase of this initiative, the bank provided tents, sheets, and food packages to the affectees of Khairpur. Medical camps are also being arranged in the surrounding villages, to provide free health checkups and medicines to a large number of deserving people, including women and children.
The President and Chief Executive Officer of Khushhali Microfinance Bank – Mr Ghalib Nishtar stated: “The devastating floods in Pakistan have left behind a heartbreaking tale of destruction, as millions of affectees have been left homeless and need our support to survive this natural calamity. Khushhali Microfinance Bank is fully committed to helping the flood affectees of Pakistan, as we continue to extend generous support for their relief and rehabilitation.”
Khushhali Microfinance Bank is known for its customer-centric innovations and advanced technologies, while the Bank has also launched “Khushhali for Everyone” – an award-winning program to fulfil its Corporate Social Responsibility. It is focused on: Elevating Quality-of-life, financial inclusion, public health, education, disaster relief, women empowerment, re-integration of ‘Persons-with-disabilities’, and environmental sustainability. The bank is investing with a vision for financial inclusion of the vast unbanked population of Pakistan, to accelerate human development and growth.
Silkbank consumer banking continues growth momentum
This is with reference to the Public Announcement of Intention (PAI) issued by M/s Park View Enclave (Pvt) Ltd for investment of upto PKR 12 billion in Silkbank. In this regard M/s Arif Habib (AHL), Manager to the offer, informed that due to change in business priorities, M/s. Park View Enclave (Pvt) Ltd will not pursue the said letter of intent further.
The representative of AHL also informed the Silkbank Board that for raising the capital of the Bank, they have identified other potential strong investors who have good prospects of meeting regulatory criteria, and they will update the Board upon receipt of the necessary letter of intent in the coming weeks. The potential equity injection will help accelerate the future growth of the bank and post capitalization, the Bank will be able to fully comply with regulatory capital requirements.
It is pertinent to mention that the bank’s flagship Consumer Business continue to be amongst the top performing businesses in the industry. As a testament of the customer confidence reposed in the Bank, the growth was led by its Credit Cards and Personal Loan products registering a growth of 41% profit before taxes from Rs. 1.57 billion in 2019 to Rs. 2.23 billion in 2020. The deposits of the Bank substantially increased by Rs. 21 billion as compared to December 2019, taking the total deposit base to Rs. 160 billion. Local currency Current Account grew by 32% while CASA deposits improved from 61% in December 2019 to 63% in December 2020. The bank’s Net Revenue also increased by Rs. 2.96 billion registering 61% growth while expenses declined by Rs. 638 million, decline of 8%. The upward positive momentum continues in 2022 as well.
On the other hand, the Bank had to take various provisions in 2020 against some borrowers engaged primarily in the real estate businesses which were secured against mortgage of land. However, in December 2020, the Bank entered into a REIT arrangement for disposal of these mortgaged land held by the Bank with M/s Arif Habib Dolmen REIT Management Company (RMC). This development will substantially address the Bank’s NPL issue and result in major provision reversals. Moreover, Bank also entered into the agreement for disposal for its owned properties with the RMC. This will not only reduce non-earning assets of the Bank but significant capital gains are also expected to be realized by the Bank. The Bank has already received approx. Rs. 2.6 billion as down payment against the said REIT structure. Besides, the Bank has also entered into arrangements with other major borrowers to ensure expeditious recovery of loans classified in 2020. The Bank expects most of these provisions to reverse within the next 12 – 24 months through the settlement and sale of mortgaged properties.
Emirates boarding pass unlocks hundreds of offers in Dubai this winter
Emirates has announced the return of its popular My Emirates Pass. Starting from 1st November 2022 to 31st March 2023, My Emirates Winter Pass enables customers to get more from their trip with exclusive offers at over 500 locations in the UAE.
Emirates customers flying to or through Dubai can simply show their boarding pass and a valid form of identification to hundreds of retail, leisure and dining outlets, as well as famous attractions and luxury spas, to enjoy fantastic discounts throughout Dubai and the UAE. To see all My Emirates Pass offers, please visit www.emirates.com/myemiratespass.
In addition, Emirates passengers can also enjoy a complimentary ticket* to Tour Dubai’s one hour Creek Sightseeing Cruise, which gives unrivalled panoramic views of Dubai’s historic district from a traditional dhow boat.
Explore more of Dubai with Emirates
Whether it’s catching up on major sports events such as the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens and DP World Tour golf events, or immersing yourself in the festive celebrations this December, there is something for every traveller when visiting Dubai this winter season. From sun-soaked beaches and heritage activities to world class hospitality and leisure facilities, Dubai offers a variety of world-class experiences.
Skywards partners: Members of Emirates’ award-winning loyalty programme, Skywards, can earn Miles on everyday spends at retail outlets in the UAE, and redeem these Miles for reward tickets, upgrades, as well as tickets for concerts and sports events. Learn more about Emirates Skywards here: https://www.emirates.com/pk/english/skywards/.
Dubai Experience: Customers can now browse, create and book their own customised itineraries including flights, hotel stay, visits to key attractions, and other dining and leisure experiences in Dubai and the UAE, through Emirates’ Dubai Experience platform, and enjoy even more unique benefits.
Emirates has safely restarted operations to more than 130 destinations, across six continents and currently operates more than 50 flights per week from the UK to Dubai.
For more information, visit emirates.com. Tickets can be purchased on emirates.com, Emirates Sales Office, via travel agents or through online travel agents.
Dawlance employees’ generous donation to Indus Hospital to support flood victims
Dawlance is an industry-leading enterprise in Pakistan with a generous Corporate Social Responsibility doctrine, to sponsor resourceful initiatives for socio-economic development. Inspired to contribute towards humanitarian well-being, the company’s employees have also collected and donated a generous amount to Indus Hospital Karachi, recently, for providing quality healthcare to the large population impacted by devastating rainstorms and super-floods, this year.
Every employee at Dawlance donated passionately to provide funds and enable relief and rehabilitation for unfortunate flood victims. This initiative will help large segments of the Pakistani population, after the natural disaster, which has left millions of people suffering without food, shelter, healthcare and other necessities of life.
The Dawlance brand has always been at the forefront to support society in overcoming major challenges, while it also conducted a large-scale relief programme during the Covid-19 pandemic, as millions of people had lost their livelihoods during that unprecedented global crisis. Dawlance is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the 2nd largest manufacturer in Europe – Arçelik, which also donated a large number of Respiratory-Ventilators and life-saving equipment to major hospitals in Pakistan, during the pandemic.
The Indus Hospital & Health Network (IHHN) provides quality healthcare, absolutely FREE of cost, to millions of deserving patients through its countrywide network of tertiary and secondary-care hospitals, physical rehabilitation centers, regional blood centers, community health centers, and public-health programs spread across 52 districts of Pakistan. This state-of-the-art healthcare system solely relies on public donations, to achieve its purpose.
The Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of Dawlance – Umar Ahsan Khan recently invited the Chief Executive Officer of IHHN – Dr. Abdul Bari Khan at the Dawlance Head Office. While presenting the Donation-Amount, Mr. Umar thanked Dr. Bari for his valuable services to the healthcare sector in Pakistan and said: “The thought behind this humble contribution from the Dawlance-employees is that the healthcare institutions all over Pakistan have been devastated by the rain-storms and the flood-victims have lost access to medical-facilities. So, we are donating our whole contribution to Indus Hospital, which is showing exemplary performance to provide quality healthcare across the impacted regions. Dawlance will continue to support the philanthropic endeavors of Indus Hospital in future too and we would also like to request all other resourceful individuals and companies to help the nation in these rehabilitation efforts.”
Dr. Bari expressed his gratitude for this valuable contribution and stated that: “Dawlance has regularly supported the Indus Hospital in delivering quality services to the needy masses. This time I was pleasantly surprised to note that this contribution is coming from the kind-hearted employees of this company. It is a reflection of the generosity of the Pakistani nation. I would like to thank Dawlance and its workforce for this inspirational gesture and assure them that this donation will go a long way in easing the sufferings of the flood-affected families.”
In Pakistan, Dawlance-Arçelik is consistently elevating the standards of quality and adopting global best practices, to elevate the quality of life for the masses. The nationwide sales network and operational teams of Dawlance are also making relentless efforts to provide relief to their unfortunate brethren in the rain-affected regions.
Pakistan pavilion dazzles at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference
Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC), one of the world’s most influential energy sector event, held from October 31 to November 03, 2022 in Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), United Arab Emirates, under the patronage of President of the United Arab Emirates.
Pakistan’s leading national oil and gas companies, Petroleum Institute of Pakistan and Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) is representing Pakistan in this event by setting up a grand double-deck Pakistan Pavilion which is spread over 100 square meters showcasing Pakistan and its upstream, midstream, and downstream energy sectors.
The theme of the Pakistan Pavilion is ‘Pakistan – A Gateway to Energy Investments’. The exquisitely created Pavilion will provide Pakistan’s oil and gas professionals an exceptional opportunity to network and explore new business opportunities, encourage foreign direct investment in the country, promote Government’s investor friendly policies and enhance country’s overall image.
Participating companies from Pakistan includes Government Holdings (Private) Limited (GHPL), Mari Petroleum Company Limited (MPCL), Oil & Gas Development Co. Limited (OGDCL), Pak-Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO), Pak-Arab Pipeline Company Limited (PAPCO), Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL), Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL), Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) with Petroleum Institute of Pakistan (PIP) as a focal point of the industry, under the patronage of Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division).
The top officials of these companies will represent their respective organizations at the Pakistan Pavilion and hold B2B meetings at the event. In the past Pakistan Pavilion & participation has received extensive appreciation by the national and international oil & gas community in Pakistan and UAE.
FM’s silence increases anxiety in the business community: 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 November 4 said the people and the business community have high hopes for Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and his silence has been increasing the anxiety of the business community.
The drastic decline in consumption of petrol and diesel is the result of economic slowdown which also indicates challenges faced by the economy, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that in the first four months of this fiscal, the demand for petrol has decreased by 18% and the demand for diesel has decreased by 26%. The demand for furnace oil has also decreased by 26% as it is becoming expensive to generate electricity with furnace oil.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the situation is also having an impact on many sectors. The demand and production of motorcycles and cars have dropped significantly.
Despite the appreciation of the rupee against the dollar, some car and motorcycle manufacturers are increasing the prices of their products which is beyond comprehension.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that investments are not being made in the country, instead of foreign aid, more emphasis is placed on promises. In such situations, the importance of money sent by Pakistanis living abroad increases.
Expats support our weak economy with their hard-earned money. Due to the global and domestic situation, remittances are also decreasing now, which should be noted.
In the first ten months of 2022, remittances fell by 3.6 percent. It was generally believed that remittances would increase after leaving FATF’s gray list, but this did not happen.
It is also not clear whether overseas Pakistanis have actually reduced remittances or some of them are sending money through hundi which is not only cheap but also efficient as compared to banks.
PTCL Group marks conclusion of month-long breast cancer awareness campaign
Pakistan’s largest telecommunication group – PTCL & Ufone 4G concluded its month-long breast cancer awareness campaign by organizing a webinar in collaboration with Maroof International Hospital, Islamabad to sensitize its female employees regarding the prevention and early detection of the disease.
The webinar concluded the awareness drive organized in correspondence with the global ‘Pinktober’ campaign. The guest speaker, Dr. Saira Mehmood emphasized the need to self-examine for early detection, which she said can ensure a full recovery from the otherwise life-threatening disease.
PTCL and Ufone 4G kick-started their Breast Cancer awareness campaign in early October also called “Pinktober” by illuminating PTCL and Ufone buildings with bright pink colors and turning their corporate logos pink on all digital platforms. The Group also carried out an SMS broadcast campaign in collaboration with Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital to instill a sense of awareness amongst its entire user base. A weekly breast examination poll was also conducted to encourage the female staff to examine themselves for early signs or symptoms.
In addition to that, PTCL and Ufone ran a comprehensive digital campaign under ‘The Pink Club’ to create awareness about the disease and associated risk factors amongst all female employees. The entire PTCL and Ufone staff wore pink ribbons during the month of October to express and exemplify the group’s unwavering commitment to the cause of eradicating breast cancer from Pakistan.
PTCL Group is leading corporate efforts for prevention of breast cancer in Pakistan. The Campaign aimed to reinforce awareness and inspire action to fight the disease that not only threatens precious lives but also incurs a hefty social and economic cost in terms of medical treatment and patient care. Pakistan’s collective willingness to root out breast cancer is remarkable and a significant drop in the number of cases is expected in the coming years.
Jazz and UN women to digitally empower 10,000 women micro-entrepreneurs
Jazz, Pakistan’s leading digital operator and a part of the VEON Group, has signed an agreement with UN Women to introduce digital and financial literacy programs for women-led microbusinesses in underprivileged areas. Under this program, by 2025, 10,000 women micro-entrepreneurs will also be provided free sims, internet data, calls and SMS bundles, and JazzCash Wallets. The idea behind this collaboration is to close the digital gender gap by providing women with skillsets to thrive in the fast-evolving digital economy.
Additionally, Jazz will be offering gender financing and micro-mobility solutions, awareness campaigns, upskill trainings, advocacy, and thought leadership programs to reduce gender-based violence including sexual harassment and declassifying prejudicial gender roles that hinder women’s progress. The programs reflect the company’s commitment towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG 5 – Gender Equality.
While women make up half of the country’s population, unfortunately, women’s labour participation in the country rests at only 21 percent. These metrics are the focus of this collaboration and will be tackled through a customised curriculum to train and enable aspiring women entrepreneurs on digital skills and providing access to internet data and technology products to support their business endeavors.
Aamir Ibrahim, CEO, Jazz reiterated the importance of building an inclusive society where women are empowered through digital and financial inclusion, “Our collaboration with UN Women is a testament towards our commitment to improve the lives and livelihood of women in Pakistan through technology. Providing women with tools and resources to improve their economic capabilities will unlock larger societal benefits, including poverty eradication, reduce the digital gender divide resulting in economic growth.”
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Sharmeela Rassool, Country Representative, UN Women Pakistan applauded Jazz’s efforts towards building an inclusive digital ecosystem. “The private sector has an important role to play to address public perceptions of women using mobile technology. Especially, normalizing women’s use of mobile and raising awareness of how owning and using a mobile phone can benefit women and their families”.
Jazz is also the signatory to the global Women’s Empowerment Principles, a set of Principles offering guidance to businesses on how to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace, and community. As part of the GSMA’s Connected Women Commitment Initiative, Jazz has committed to increase the proportion of women by 8 percent in its mobile internet customer base by 2023. While JazzCash is aiming to increase its female customer base to 50 percent in the next few years – currently, 27 percent women are subscribed to JazzCash wallets.
Standard Chartered Pakistan delivers record operating profit for q3-2022
Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan Limited (SCBPL) delivers record profit before tax of PKR 36.4 billion, registering an increase of 98 per cent year on year. Performance was driven by strong income growth, as well as continued cost and risk discipline.
Overall revenue grew by 70 per cent to deliver a top-line of PKR 45.1 billion, with positive contributions from all segments. Despite a high inflationary environment and continuous investments in our infrastructure, operating expenses continue to be well managed through efficiencies and disciplined spending with an increase of 12 per cent from the same period last year. Moreover, reversal of Covid-19 general provision, coupled with lower impairments and strong recoveries led to a net release of PKR 1.5 billion during the period against a net release of PKR 0.8 billion in loan impairments in the comparative period.
With a diversified product base, the Bank stands well positioned to cater for the needs of its clients. On the liabilities side, the Bank’s total deposits grew by PKR 108.0 billion (up 17%), whereas current and saving accounts increased by PKR 119.0 billion (up 21%) since the start of this year and comprise 95% of the deposit base. Advances declined marginally since the start of this year and the Bank continues to monitor the portfolio in the prevailing economic environment as part of its strategy to build a profitable, efficient, and sustainable business.
The external environment remains challenging; however, we remain 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. Standard Chartered continues to make good progress against its strategic priorities. The global network differentiates the Bank for its clients, bringing forth innovative solutions, product specialisation and structured offshore offerings. At all times the Bank strives to maximise the contribution to State Bank’s initiatives. In line with the State Bank’s efforts on financial inclusion, with enhanced digital offering, Standard Chartered is now able to reach more clients across the country and provide them with convenience of opening accounts as well as subscribing to products and banking services online. Overall, the Bank’s transformation journey stands well-curated, closely aligned with the Pakistan’s landscape and helping lift participation through digitization.
Sustainable finance along with digital solutions for clients and their ecosystem stay as areas of keen focus for the Bank. The Bank continues efforts under its initiative ‘Futuremakers by Standard Chartered’ initiative to tackle inequality and promote greater economic inclusion for young people in the community. Standard Chartered has also contributed towards emergency relief and rehabilitation of communities impacted by the recent floods that have caused devastation in Pakistan.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Rehan Shaikh, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited said, “I am pleased to share our results for the first three quarters of 2022 which clearly reflect strong foundations, enhanced productivity and good headway towards achieving our strategic priorities. The results give me the confidence that we have the right strategy to deliver real value to our clients, our investors and the communities where we operate. I am thankful to our clients and business partners for their ongoing trust in our capabilities and to our associates and colleagues for their commitment, passion and hard work in supporting the Bank in its journey.
We are investing heavily in our people, giving colleagues the skills they need to succeed, bringing in expertise in critical areas and evolving to a more innovative and agile operating model, as we strive to drive innovation and increase our operational efficiency further. This operational leverage allows us to create capacity to invest in the many exciting and potentially transformational initiatives as the Bank’s pivot to digital continues.
The external environment remains challenging; however we remain 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.”
With a strong Return on Equity (ROE) of 23.5% for the period and a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 17.7%, the Bank remains well positioned for future growth.
Negligence on the gas shortage issue on the rise: 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 October 28 said the problem of gas shortage in the country has not been solved in the last twenty years.
Despite the continuous increase in the price of gas, the losses of this sector have increased to eighteen percent and shortfall, as well as theft and other losses, are increasing, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that mismanagement in this important sector is on the rise due to which the current winter will prove to be worst for the people and the business community.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the circular debt of the gas sector will soon cross the milestone of one trillion rupees.
He said that the situation of discovery of new gas reserves in the country is disappointing, plans to import gas from Iran and Turkmenistan are stalled, while LNG purchases have become impossible as international suppliers are focused on European due to profits.
Pakistan cannot compete with EU nations to get LNG which is resulting in a crisis. Mian Zahid Hussain said that with the increasing population and industrial activities, the demand for gas in the country is also increasing, which is more than six billion cubic feet per day, while the production is only four billion cubic feet per day, thus Pakistan needs additional two billion cubic feet gas per day.
Despite the shortage of gas, new gas connections are being given on political grounds compounding the problem.
He said that in order to reduce the mismanagement in the gas sector, the supply of subsidized gas to the inefficient industrial units should be stopped while domestic, commercial, and industrial consumers should be immediately shifted to solar, wind, and LPG to improve the situation.
If gas is given only to efficient power plants and industrial units, other factories will be forced to improve their systems while the subsidy burden on the taxpayers will also be reduced, he remarked.
The business leader noted that the rich are benefiting more from the subsidy on domestic gas as the poor mostly use LPG.
It is also important to consider the unpopular option of price revisions to reduce domestic gas consumption. Unless the gas sector is reformed through tough and out-of-the-box decisions, the problems of the public and the business community cannot be resolved.
A.P. Moller — Maersk opens Us-Korea air freight service
A.P. Moller — Maersk (Maersk) announced the inaugural flight of Maersk Air Cargo´s new air freight service with scheduled flights between Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina (GSP) and Incheon, Korea (ICN) stretching the wings of its newly introduced cargo airline for the first time.
The scheduled transpacific operation will commence on October 31 with two weekly flights introducing the first of three newly built Boeing 767-300 freighters that have recently been purchased by Maersk Air Cargo. All US-Korea flights will be operated by Miami-headquartered cargo airline Amerijet International.
Maersk Air Cargo is the cargo airline arm of A.P. Moller – Maersk and is on a journey to provide customers with unique end-to-end air freight services through own controlled capacity and a global network of scheduled flights.
“Back in April, we announced the launch of Maersk Air Cargo as our integrated in-house air cargo carrier. With the introduction of this new service between the US and Korea, we have taken the next step in securing logistics solutions for our customers with our own aircrafts. Next to the new scheduled transpacific flights, we also operate own controlled capacity from Europe into the US, Mexico, South Africa, and Singapore,” says Michel Pozas Lucic, Global Head of Air & LCL in A.P. Moller – Maersk.
The scheduled flight of Maersk Air Cargo also marks the first scheduled air cargo operation between the state of South Carolina and Asia. The corridor from GSP International Airport is expected to significantly increase access for trade between Asia, South Carolina, and the entire Southeast US.
Maersk also recently opened a new Chicago Air Freight Gateway facility to add more supply chain integration opportunities for customers using Chicago O’Hare International and Rockford International.
Capital bank of Jordan launches new app powered by Codebase Technologies’ Digibanc platform
Capital Bank of Jordan, one of Jordan’s leading banks with a strong regional presence has launched its new mobile banking app for customers, powered by Codebase Technologies’ Digibanc platform. The launch of the revamped mobile banking experience is a milestone in the longstanding strategic technology partnership between Capital Bank of Jordan and Codebase Technologies. Over the past year both teams have collaborated on the launch of Jordan’s first neobank “Blink” that provides banking services through its smart digital platform, in addition to digital onboarding for Capital Investments – the investment arm of Capital Bank Group.
“Codebase Technologies has been a longstanding and valued technology partner for us. The team’s in-depth knowledge of software, IT and the nuances of the banking industry have been of immense value on our journey of digitization” commented, Izzidin Abusalameh, Group Chief Operating Officer, Capital Bank of Jordan.
Leveraging Codebase Technologies’ award-winning Digibanc platform, the two teams have created the first of its kind in MENA, widget- based banking app experience, inspired by cutting-edge operating systems. Using a component-based development approach by customizing multiple market-ready solutions within the Digibanc platform accelerated the mobile app’s time to market, significantly. Furthermore, the Digibanc platform’s open and agile nature allowed features to be developed and integrated with the bank’s existing core banking system and IT infrastructure for a seamless deployment.
Hani Khalil, Group Chief Digital and Innovation Officer at Capital Bank of Jordan, stated “Codebase Technologies technical know-how and their ability to work under extreme time constraints is really impressive. Their Digibanc platform puts us in a strong position from a business and technology point of view and gives us the flexibility to innovate at scale, now and in the future.”
With a population of over 10 million and just over 8 million active mobile connections, Jordan is a market ripe and hungry for digital services. Furthermore, with only 27% of women and 53% of men having access to a bank account, there is a strong need for digital financial services in the country. By enhancing customer engagement and acquisition through the new digital offering, Capital Bank of Jordan aims to increase its market share and drive growth across the organization.
Mohammed Othman, Group Chief Consumer Banking Officer at Capital Bank of Jordan, added “We’re extremely proud of the new mobile app and the experience our customers will enjoy. The high level of personalization and ease of use is helping us grow our customer base, improve customer retention and acquire new customers, ultimately driving revenues across our business.”
Tamer Al Mauge, Managing Director — MENA of Codebase Technologies, added “The recent mobile app launch is another milestone in our strategic technology partnership with Capital Bank of Jordan. We are honoured that Capital Bank of Jordan has placed their trust in us as a longstanding technology partner and chosen our Digibanc platform as their solution for multiple projects in their digitization journey.”
A.P. Moller — Maersk continues the record streak with strong Q3 results
A.P. Moller — Maersk (Maersk) delivered strong results in Q3 2022 with higher earnings in its three main businesses; Ocean, Logistics & Services and Terminals, compared to the same quarter last year. Revenue increased by 37%, and both EBITDA and EBIT increased around 60% compared to Q3 2021. Continued momentum in the strategic transformation, growth in Logistics, and Ocean contract rates above the previous year were the main drivers of improved performance.
“Our third quarter result was another record and the 16th quarter in a row with year-on-year earnings growth. Ocean freight rates, which have driven the exceptional results we have delivered in 2022, were again up both year-on-year and compared to the second quarter. However, it is clear that freight rates have peaked and started to normalize during the quarter, driven by both decreasing demand and easing of supply chain congestion. As anticipated all year, earnings in Ocean will come down in the coming periods. Our overall transformation momentum remained very strong as we continue to grow our Logistics business rapidly. For the first time, revenue in Logistics exceeded USD 4bn in one quarter, and we expect to continue to outgrow the market in Logistics based on new customer wins,” says Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller — Maersk.
Revenue for Q3 increased to USD 22.8bn, EBITDA increased to USD 10.9bn and EBIT increased to USD 9.5bn. Profit was USD 8.9bn for Q3 and USD 24.2bn for the first nine months. Return on invested capital (ROIC) was at 66.6% for the past 12 months.
“With the war in Ukraine, an energy crisis in Europe, high inflation, and a looming global recession there are plenty of dark clouds on the horizon. This weighs on consumer purchasing power which in turn impacts global transportation and logistics demand. While we expect a slow-down of the global economy to lead to a softer market in Ocean, we will continue to pursue the growth opportunities within our Logistics business. As a trusted partner, we are ready to support our customers in rethinking their supply chain needs through what is likely to be a period of a more volatile business environment,” says Søren Skou.
In Ocean, revenue increased over the quarter to USD 18bn and EBIT rose to USD 8.7bn mainly driven by significantly higher freight rates on contract and shipment on routes from Asia to Europe and to North America, partly offset by a decrease in volumes and by higher costs related to bunker, container handling and network.
In Logistics & Services, Maersk continued to invest in its portfolio and capabilities. The acquisition of LF Logistics was completed, the intended acquisition of Martin Bencher Group was announced, and the warehouse, distribution center and cold storage footprint was significantly expanded with 21 incremental facilities across key markets like Latin America, Europe and India. Revenue in Logistics grew 60% to USD 4.2bn and EBIT increased to USD 258m mainly due to added revenue from acquisitions and higher volumes, in particular among Maersk’s existing top 200 customers.
In Terminals, revenue grew to USD 1.1bn and EBIT increased to USD 357m, mainly driven by higher volumes and prices as well as the completion of the divestment of the Terminal’s share in Global Ports Investments in Russia.
Demand for logistics services moderated across global supply chains in Q3 2022. Supply-side bottlenecks continued to pose challenges, but there are signs of easing as demand slows and COVID 19-related restrictions in China diminish. Freight and charter rates declined in Q3 2022 relative to the previous quarter as the expected normalisation gained momentum through the quarter. Global container volumes are estimated to have declined –3% year-on-year in Q3 while global air cargo volumes, measured in CTKs, dropped by 9% in July/August (IATA). As a result of slowing economic activity, global container demand is expected to contract between –2 and –4% in 2022.
Guidance for 2022
Full year guidance confirmed for underlying EBITDA of around USD 37.0bn, an underlying EBIT of around USD 31.0bn and a free cash flow above USD 24.0bn. Given the unfolding economic slowdown, which is also expected to continue into the coming year, APMM has lowered its outlook for the growth of 2022 global container demand to between –2/-4% decline from previously the lower end of the +1-/1% range. Capex guidance for 2022-2023 remains unchanged at USD 9.0-10.0bn.
Jubilee Life Insurance wins AsiaMoney Award 2022
Jubilee Life Insurance, the largest private sector insurer in Pakistan, has extended its list of notable acknowledgments with AsiaMoney Award 2022. AsiaMoney is a prestigious platform that adjudges financial performance of companies on a set of strict criteria to ascertain the most outstanding companies in various countries. Jubilee Life Insurance is the first and the only life insurance company in Pakistan to win this prestigious award.
Jubilee Life Insurance also made its name in Best Corporate Report Award 2021. The Company received the accolade in recognition of its excellence in corporate reporting, promoting accountability and transparency, as well as responsible presentation of economic, environment and social performance of the business.
Jubilee Life Insurance was recently ranked in the list of Top 25 best performing companies at the Pakistan Stock Exchange based on its good financial ratios, effective CSR as well as Diversity, Equity & Inclusion practices. It is the only insurance company to be awarded with the PSX Top 25 Companies Award thrice during last 10 years.
The Company has been at the forefront of not just financial and operational excellence but also digital innovation. The two accolades: ‘Best Integrated Media Strategy’ and ‘Best Content of the Year’ at Pakistan Digital Awards 2022, serve as a testament to the claim.
Commenting on these achievements, Mr. Javed Ahmed, MD & CEO Jubilee Life Insurance, said; “At Jubilee Life Insurance, our goal has always been to excel at all fronts. Besides exceptional achievement on the financial side, we are making headways on other avenues as well. Winning the AsiaMoney Award and the Best Corporate Report Award 2021 after having recently received the PSX Top 25 Companies accolade is a tremendous boost of confidence for the Company, its customers, stakeholders and the team of employees who made this all possible.”
Hefazat Technologies partners with Pak-Qatar Takaful and Salaam Takaful for customer purchase protection
Insurance is a mechanism that can facilitate social mobility by allowing individuals and families to overcome shocks that can affect their wealth and future income-generating capacities.
The possibility of accessing insurance products and services may be the difference between individuals or families achieving the goal of social mobility or remaining in a situation of economic vulnerability.
According to damage estimations by Karandaaz chief risk officer Ammar Habib Khan and The Asia Group vice president Uzair Younus, Pakistan experienced $13 billion in economic loss and infrastructure damage due to the floods. Without financial inclusion tools such as insurance, Pakistani citizens bore the consequences of the floods.
To help every Pakistani benefit from the social mobility benefits of insurance, Pak-Qatar General Takaful Limited and Salaam Takaful Limited recently partnered with insurance technology (InsurTech) market leader Hefazat Technologies to introduce new products to give customers more flexibility in acquiring Takaful to protect their purchases.
Hefazat Technologies offers purchase protection, an extended warranty at the point of eCommerce checkout, and an income continuation plan. The business is launching in Pakistan in mid-November amid a rise in mobile snatchings, according to several hundred reported incidents on the VoC group on Facebook.
“It is great to have partners that share a common goal and vision,” said Ali Rehman, a founding team member at Hefazat Technologies. “Our desire to digitize Takaful and enable it in the consumers’ lives in a convenience-driven way is shared by the leadership at Pak Qatar. We look forward to building more innovative solutions with the team’s continued support at Pak Qatar to add value to the lives of consumers across Pakistan.”
Hefazat Technologies was founded by Kash Rehman, an American business magnate that has long supported the Pakistan start-up ecosystem. His notable investments include Lettus Kitchens, RoomShare, and Foodem.
Hefazat Technologies has recently onboarded several founding team members, including Danish Ahmed as the chief technology officer and Saeed Ansari as the head of strategic partnerships and alliances.
Ahmed has over 17 years of experience with big names such as K-Electric, Telenor Microfinance Bank Limited, TPL Rupiya, and Meezan Bank. Ansari has a decade of experience across Alibaba-owned Daraz, Kaymu, ECOM, and Sheep.
Amir s. Chinoy group marks PinktOber
The Amir S. Chinoy Group marked PinktOber, a global movement dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness among women, by hosting an evening for its group companies’ employees in Karachi. The Honourable First Lady of Pakistan, Mrs. Samina Alvi was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
In Asia, Pakistan has the largest rate of breast cancer. It is the second leading cause of death among women. An estimated 83,000 cases are being annually reported in our country, and over 40,000 deaths are caused by it, which is alarming. 1 in every 9 Pakistani women develops breast cancer at some stage of her life.
“This day provokes all of us — especially women — to think about our health, how we can protect ourselves from a curable disease with periodic check-ups, lend support and help to the ones suffering and appreciate efforts of the caregivers and survivors who inspire us with their drive to beat cancer”, said the First Lady, Mrs. Samina Alvi. The session also included briefings from
Prof. Dr. Naila A. Zahid, Head of Department, Department of Oncology, Liaquat National Hospital and Ms. Sadia Hamid, Clinical Psychologist, Department of Mental Health shared useful tips on risks and impacts of breast cancer. The evening was followed with an inspiring survivor’s account of the illness, Ms. Sue Ellen, also an employee of Pakistan Cables Ltd.
The Group companies showcased efforts undertaken over the years to promote awareness among staff and also other social areas where work to uplift vulnerable segments has been undertaken through its corporate social responsibility programs.
“We encourage our employees to think positively about themselves and adopt preventive measures in their routine life, so as to avert the risks of breast cancer and ensure that early detection can have a great impact on their precious lives “, said Kamal A. Chinoy, Director Amir S. Chinoy Group.
The event was also attended by Yousuf Mirza (CEO, International Steel Ltd.), Fahd K. Chinoy (CEO-Pakistan Cables Ltd.), and senior management team from across the group companies that include International Industries Ltd., Pakistan Cables Ltd. and International Steel Ltd.
IBA Karachi holds a mental health symposium
Department of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts, School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS) at Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi organized a mental health symposium titled ‘Mental health: Why is it a Global Priority’. The symposium comprised of brief talks on important topics relevant to mental health and associated factors. Guest speakers included Dr. Nargis Asad, Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH); Dr. Shireen Najam, Consultant Psychiatrist, Department of Psychiatry, AKUH; Aneeta Pasha, Country Director, Interactive Research and Development (IRD) Pakistan; Samar Naqvi, Chief Executive Officer, Karachi Down Syndrome Program (KDSP); Ahmed Ali and Humera Qutb, Wellness Counsellors, Wellness Center, IBA.
The session commenced with a welcome address by Dr. Sahar Nadeem, Chairperson, Department of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts. She talked about the importance of mental health and how we define health.
The first presentation was by Dr. Asad, she shed light on the importance of understanding psychosocial determinants of mental health. She stated that in Pakistan the availability of trained mental health professionals is far less than the demand as 24 million people in Pakistan require psychiatric care and the country only has 0.19 psychiatrists per 100,000 individuals.
Ms. Pasha spoke about the importance of mental health and the need for awareness of mental health related problems at the workplace. She said that most organizations and individuals were unaware of mental health issues in our part of the world and usually their first instinct is to terminate people with mental health problems as organizations consider people dispensable. She emphasized that a paradigm shift is needed as organizations need to invest in the mental wellbeing of their employees by investing in a mental wellbeing culture and by adopting a more humanistic value system.
Providing statistics on people with disabilities in Pakistan, Ms. Naqvi shared that 1 in 7 people have some form of disability and 80% of those reside in developing countries. She said that people with disabilities feel a lack of belonging. She highlighted ways through which the people with disabilities can be supported and be made to feel more included in society.
The second segment of the symposium was a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Ayesha Zia, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts. The audience participated in the discussion by asking questions and the panelists gave insightful answers. Answering a question, IBA Wellness Counsellor, Mr. Ali stated that IBA has been offering free mental health counselling to its students for the past 6 years through which the counsellors help the students to develop healthy coping mechanisms to deal with their daily stressors and mental health issues.
UBL continues to deliver strong results in 2022
UBL declared Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 50.7 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2022, a stellar growth of 29% over last year. Earnings per share (EPS) stood at Rs. 15.33 (9M’21: Rs. 18.59), with strong growth in EPS from Rs. 1.91 in Q2’2022 to Rs. 5.64 in Q3’2022. The Bank remains well capitalized for future business expansion with a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 18.4%, which is around 7% in excess of the regulatory minimum requirements. The Bank declared dividends of Rs. 4.0 per share for the third quarter of 2022, taking the overall dividend distribution to Rs. 13.0 per share for the nine months ended September 30, 2022.
Strong revenue expansion of 34% in 2022 driven by all core segments
Gross revenues were reported at Rs. 94.9 billion for 9M’22, with an increase of 34% over last year. Net mark-up income grew significantly by 36%, as a well-positioned loan and investment portfolio repriced well during the year. Maintaining a focus on low-cost deposit mobilization remained a priority across the network resulting in an efficient cost of deposits despite a rising rate environment. A growth of 13% in the current account portfolio along-with the expansion in the core customer base, enabled the Bank to improve its average current to total deposits ratio to 44.3% from 42.0% last year. This contained the domestic cost of deposits to 5.9% for 9M’22, despite the sharp increase in interest rates during the period, which enabled the Bank to expand its net interest margins (NIMs) from 3.8% in 9M’21 to 4.6% this year.
Non-funded income continued to grow and was recorded at Rs. 22.1 billion, which is 28% ahead of last year with strong build up in business momentum from new debit card acquisitions, trade flows across corporate clients, revenues from home remittances business across each major corridor and growing throughput levels across cash management business.
Despite an exceedingly high inflationary environment and continued investments in human resources, branch network and technology, the Bank’s cost to income improved from 44% in 9M’21 to 40% in 9M’22.
Serving 11 million customers across the nation – the deposit franchise remains our cornerstone
UBL operates one of the largest branch networks in Pakistan with 1,338 branches and 1,445 ATMs along-with the Bank’s branchless banking proposition, UBL Omni spread all over the country. The network is augmented by the Banks’ award winning and industry leading Digital Banking services, which together serve over 11 million customers nationwide. UBL remains the preferred partner to the Pakistani diaspora with a market share of over 21% within the home remittance space. The Bank is a key partner in the SBP’s Roshan Digital initiative, having opened over 88,000 accounts, with inflows crossing the USD 700 million mark recently.
Branch Banking Group continues to provide the foundation for the Bank’s core earnings. UBL’s domestic deposits averaged Rs. 1.6 trillion for 9M’22, an increase of 7% year on year. The Bank on-boarded 450,000 new current account relationships during the year which resulted in a 13% growth in average current deposits. This was made possible by the growing momentum of our Good Citizen Product, a current account for active tax filers, which has grown to Rs. 22 billion this year. As part of the Bank’s Diversity and Inclusion agenda, UBL further enriched its exclusive product for women, “UBL Urooj” with a dedicated debit card and targeted alliances to meet the specific needs of women. Since its launch, the portfolio has built up to over 21,000 account holders with Rs. 4.0 billion in deposits.
We continue to build our loan book, with good asset quality and NFI growth in 2022
UBL continues to expand its intermediation role within all key segment and regions, as Bank level performing advances averaged Rs. 647 billion in 9M’22, with a strong growth of 19%. The Bank is serving and building on long standing relationships while leveraging a growing suite of digital capabilities. We are integrating financial services across value chains within all major sectors. Deepening customer relationships through cross sell enabled the Bank to record a 23% growth in domestic trade and guarantee business income, with a 17% growth in earnings from cash management. The Bank continues to expand within the mid-market segment as the average portfolio of SME and Agri loans recorded a 17% growth over last year.
UBL Digital – Recognized as the best in the industry, our innovation spirit leads the way
UBL’s Digital Banking Services continue to be the hallmark in the Pakistani banking space. With its digital transformation strategy, the Bank is actively delivering innovative digital solutions and providing easy access to financial services in a seamless and convenient manner. The Bank’s digitally registered customer base now stands at over 3.1 million customers with payments throughput of Rs. 1.8 trillion, which is up 51% year on year. In recognition of our industry leading services, UBL was once again declared Pakistan’s Best Digital Bank by Asiamoney, an associate of Euromoney, for the third year in a row in 2022. The award is a testament to UBL’s contribution towards digitization of banking in the country.
As an industry first, recently the Bank, in collaboration, hosted the “BuiltByHer 3.0” Hackathon. The Hackathon focused on empowering aspiring female entrepreneurs in creating technologies to address Pakistani women’s economic inclusion issues while promoting STEM education amongst young women. Furthermore, in order to introduce fresh talent to digital financial services, UBL has launched a training program in partnership with a leading university to equip fresh graduates in the areas of design thinking principles and product engineering.
Islamic Banking — UBL ‘Ameen’ a brand gaining ground within its target segment
UBL Ameen continued to build on the momentum of last year with strong results in 2022. UBL Ameen’s branch network now stands at 150 branches (Dec’21: 145 branches) and is further supported by 197 Islamic Banking Windows (IBWs) within conventional branches. UBL Ameen’s deposit base closed at Rs. 234 billion at Sep’22, growing by 68% over Dec’21, while Islamic advances averaged Rs. 62 billion for 9M’22, an increase of 81% over the previous period. The Bank is actively building up its scale and presence and views the Islamic segment as the key driver of growth for the Bank in the near future.
UBL Cares — Relief and sustainability efforts during testing times
The country suffered the worst spell of flooding in recent memory that caused devastation on an unimaginable scale. During these troubling times, UBL has been actively working to provide assistance to thousands of families displaced and affected by the floods, under the Bank’s overall ESG agenda. The Bank provided immediate relief to the distressed families through distribution of cooked meals and dry-food ration bags in the worst affected districts of Sindh and Baluchistan provinces. Furthermore, we also set up medical camps with the help of local NGOs to provide healthcare services to those affected by water-borne diseases.
Bestway Foundation, the charitable foundation operated by the Bank’s principal sponsors, held a fundraising event in London where it raised funds for flood relief. These funds, together with earlier donations by the group for relief efforts amounted to over USD 2 million and are being used to provide sustainable assistance to the scores of people tragically affected by the floods.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Shazad G. Dada, President & CEO of UBL said: “We continue to maintain a strong customer acquisition momentum across our major segments. With a well-positioned asset book, we have seen strong expansion in margins. Our fee-based revenues provide a significant diversification benefit in the long term as we continue to grow our market leading positions. Our results reflect the resilience of our core earnings, built around the strong trust that our customers place in the quality of our services, the UBL brand and our innovative digital solutions. As an institution we always endeavor to deliver best in class services to our valued customers whom we are privileged to serve. In these challenging times, we shall continue to play our role in strengthening and building on the strong potential of the Pakistan banking sector, driven by the unwavering commitment of the UBL staff.”
Pakistan cables: the winner
Pakistan Cables Ltd. Annual Report 2021 picked up the ‘Merit Award’ as part of ICMA’s Best Corporate Report Award 2021 in the Auto and Engineering Sector. ICMA Best Corporate Report Awards 2020 are held annually to recognize the best corporate reporting practices by public listed companies. Pakistan Cables Ltd. previously won the Merit Award in 2020.
MCB maintains growth momentum in q3 2022
The Board of Directors of MCB Bank Limited (MCB) in its meeting under the Chairmanship of Mian Mohammad Mansha, on October 26, 2022, reviewed the performance of the Bank and approved the interim financial statements for the nine months period ended September 30, 2022. The Board of Directors has declared a 3rd interim cash dividend of Rs. 5.0 per share i.e. 50%, in addition to 90% already paid, bringing the total cash dividend for the nine months period ended September 30, 2022 to 140%.
With strong build up in core earnings, MCB’s Profit Before Tax (PBT) for the nine months period ended September 30, 2022 increased to Rs. 51.6 billion against PBT of Rs. 38.3 billion of corresponding period last year. On the back of strong overall performance, the Bank reported highest ever quarterly profit before tax of Rs. 19.05 billion in Q3 2022. Retrospective application of tax amendments along with higher tax rates for current period enacted through Finance Act, 2022 resulted into 62% average tax rate for the nine months ended September 30, 2022 as compared to average tax rate of 41% for the corresponding period last year. Profit After Tax (PAT) registered a decline of 12% from Rs. 22.6 billion to Rs. 19.9 billion; translating into Earning Per Share (EPS) of Rs. 16.75 compared to an EPS of Rs. 19.03 in corresponding period last year.
On the back of strong volumetric growth in current account and favourable yield curve movements, net interest income for nine months period ended September 2022 increased by 29% over corresponding period last year. Average current deposits of the Bank registered a growth of Rs. 91.6 billion (+17%) YoY.
Non-markup income registered a growth of 41% and reported a base of Rs. 20.25 billion against Rs. 14.38 billion in the corresponding period last year. The contribution from foreign exchange line, debit cards, trade business and home remittances remained strong during the period.
Despite exceptionally high inflation, impact of currency devaluation and continued investments in human resources, branch network and technological upgradation, operating expenses of the Bank were recorded at Rs. 30.52 billion, growing by a modest 16% year on year, while the cost to income ratio significantly improved to 37.3% from 42.5% reported in corresponding period last year.
Proactive monitoring and recovery efforts led to a net provision reversal against non-performing loans (NPLs) which aggregated to Rs. 1,883 million for the period under review. 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 risk. The Non-performing loan (NPL) base of the Bank was reported at Rs. 52.47 billion. The Bank has not taken FSV benefit in calculation of specific provision against its NPLs. The coverage and infection ratios of the Bank were reported at 85.14% and 8.37%, respectively.
On the financial position side, the total asset base of the Bank grew by 5.4% and was reported at Rs. 2,076 billion. Gross advances registered a slight decline of Rs. 9 billion (-1%), whereas the consumer lending book grew by Rs. 4.8 billion (+12%).
During the period under review, MCB’s strategic objective of achieving growth in no-cost current account base was reinforced by an uncertain and volatile interest rate scenario, leading to persistent re-pricing gaps between the earning assets and liabilities. Hence, the Bank registered a growth of 21% in non-remunerative deposits to close the period at Rs. 680.33 billion. CASA mix was reported at an industry leading level of 93.73% which reflects customer loyalty earned by the Bank over 75 years through sustained provision of quality services.
MCB attracted home remittance inflows of USD 2,666 million, during the period under review with market share of 11.5% as an active participant in SBP’s cause for improving flow of remittances into the country through banking channels.
During the ongoing year, the Bank celebrates successful completion of 75 years of its banking services to the nation. From modest beginnings, the Bank has transformed into a dynamic and innovative organization; overcoming a multitude of challenges along the way with resolve and fortitude. Recognition by the globally coveted Asia Money awards as ‘Pakistan’s Best Corporate Bank of the Year’ in 2022 is a testament to its legacy of posting consistent and exceptional performance for its stakeholders.
While complying with the regulatory capital requirements, the Bank’s total Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) is 17.6% 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 16.47% against the requirement of 6%. Bank’s capitalization also resulted in a Leverage Ratio of 5.62% which is well above the regulatory limit of 3.0%. The Bank reported Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) of 203.85% and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) of 134.66% against requirement of 100%.
Pakistan Credit Rating Agency re-affirmed credit ratings of MCB at “AAA / A1+” for long term and short term respectively, through its notification dated June 23, 2022.
The Bank on consolidated basis is operating the 2nd largest network of more than 1,600 branches in Pakistan and remains one of the prime stocks traded in the Pakistani equity market, with 2nd highest market capitalization in the industry.
Shell Pakistan promotes biker and rickshaw fuelling safety
Shell Pakistan promotes biker and rickshaw refuelling safety to its consumers and has launched a safety campaign, named “Ehtiyaat Bunay Hifaazat” (precaution means protection), aimed at creating awareness amongst 2 wheelers and 3 wheelers of the risks of staying seated on their vehicles while fuelling. An industry level event was organised and attended by representatives of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), the Oil Companies Advisory Council (OCAC), and Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in Pakistan to jointly collaborate and progress.
In Pakistan, there are approximately 25 million 2 wheelers and one million 3 wheelers. In the last five years, an estimated 2,000+ fuelling incidents have been reported in the industry related to the aforementioned vehicles. It is important for bikers and rickshaw drivers to get off their vehicles before fuelling their vehicle tank. This practice significantly reduces exposure to gasoline vapours during refuelling, reduces the risk of injury and allows time to react in case of an incident.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chief Executive & Managing Director of Shell Pakistan Limited, Waqar Siddiqui, said: “Safety of our staff and customers is of utmost priority. We have embarked on a journey to create awareness about the safety risks while fuelling. Many a time it is not an easy dialogue, nevertheless it is an important one. We have learnt from other countries who have been able to inculcate these practices. Shell Pakistan is keen to bring about this mindset and behaviour change amongst people and to help drive this industry change.’
US Govt and Khushhali Microfinance Bank sign $25 million partnership
The United States government, through the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), launched a new partnership with Pakistan’s leading financial institution Khushhali Microfinance Bank Ltd (KMBL) to support micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) and women-led businesses in Pakistan.
The partnership will enable the MSMEs to access finance with enhanced credit history and collateral accommodations. This project is made possible by an investment guarantee of up to $25 million provided by DFC in collaboration with USAID/Pakistan to KMBL.
The launch event brought together DFC’s Chief Climate Officer Jake Levine, USAID/Pakistan’s Acting Mission Director Michael Rossman, KMBL President Ghalib Nishtar, and other senior U.S. government and KMBL representatives.
DFC has provided KMBL with a $10 million, 50 percent loan portfolio guarantee to mobilize commercial loans to 2X-qualified MSMEs that are majority-owned, operated or staffed by Pakistani women across the country. DFC’s 2X Global Women’s Initiative has catalyzed more than $13.5 billion of gender smart investment in projects that are owned by women, led by women, or provide a product or service that empowers women.
DFC also provided a $15 million, 50 percent loan portfolio guarantee to KMBL that will help mobilize commercial loans, specifically to MSMEs operating in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and its Newly Merged Districts (NMDs).
USAID Acting Mission Director Michael Rossman said, “U.S. government initiatives, such as these loan guarantee facilities, are playing a key role in unlocking private financing for small and medium businesses and women entrepreneurs and advancing the U.S. government’s long-term commitment to helping Pakistan secure a more prosperous future.”
“Today’s signing underscores DFC’s commitment to supporting the resilience of small businesses that improve lives and enable inclusive growth and employment,’ said DFC Chief Climate Officer Jake Levine. “This support will help small businesses in Pakistan adapt to the impacts of the climate crisis by providing financing to support businesses in regions impacted by the recent floods as well as those that increase access to new mitigation technologies.”
KMBL President Ghalib Nishtar expressed his gratitude to the DFC for placing its trust in KMBL’s high standards and said “These loan portfolio guaranties will build-capacity and create more opportunities for KMBL to empower micro and small businesses, especially those owned by female-entrepreneurs, to contribute in the socio-economic uplift of the country.”
Research data shows MSMEs contribute to more than 30 percent of Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product and generate 80 percent of the country’s non-agricultural employment, but only represent 6.3 percent of all private sector lending. Women-led MSMEs make up approximately 8 percent of all MSMEs in Pakistan, yet they face a finance-gap of $3.5 billion. Loan guarantee mechanisms enable financial partners to transfer certain risks that they would otherwise be unable to easily absorb or manage on their own thereby helping to mobilize resources to assist underserved populations and regions.
Deal signed to introduce new robotics technology
Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the UIT University Zhejiang College of Security Technology (ZJCST) China and Yalong Intelligent Equipment Group China for the Co-construction of Yalong Silk Road College of Pakistan.
The purpose of the MoU is to build the Silk Road College Pakistan to introduce new Robotics technologies to the youth and update them with the latest trends in Robotics Technology. The Initiative is to jointly shape a community for vocational education schools and research institutions featuring industry and education integration, school, enterprise cooperation, and multi-dimensional training between the two countries.
This five-year MoU aims to jointly carry out curriculum development, teaching management, and research activities for cooperative majors such as industrial robots.
Dr. Johar Ali, Vice Chancellor of UIT University, said that we are in the process of filling the technological gap. For this purpose, we signed MoU so our students can make the nation proud. We will also provide scholarships to the students.
Securing Gwadar essential for Pakistan’s future: 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 October 24 said it is important to secure Gwadar for the bright future of Pakistan.
Along with security measures, it is very important to address the reservations of the locals, he said.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the security expenses can be reduced significantly if the people are satisfied there.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that Gwadar should be connected to the national grid and given a local government system on the model of Dubai to solve the problems of the people.
He said that a modern business center has been built in Gwadar, free trade zone exists, the airport will become operational by the next year, the port is almost complete, and an expressway has also been built.
The hospital is being extended and a number of other developmental projects and being completed. This area is rich in natural beauty and it can become a tourist paradise that needs attention.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Gwadar is developing rapidly and will connect Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East with Pakistan through the sea and will play the role of a valuable trade hub for Pakistan. But the locals are not getting the attention of the authorities which leads to unrest, which the anti-national elements take advantage of.
Taking advantage of the weaknesses they create a law and order problem and attack the Chinese which in turn affects the project, he observed.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that Gwadar is supplied with electricity from Iran which keeps getting interrupted, the local population does not get clean drinking water and there are other problems including unemployment.
If the local population has a stake in the development of Gwadar, their attitude towards the project will turn positive, while the establishment of a local government is also necessary so that the problems of the people can be solved in the presence of the Mayor, because the members of the National and Provincial Assembly are not paying due attention.
He said that due to the 18th amendment, many subjects and resources have devolved to provinces but the districts and tehsils are not getting resources from the provinces, due to which the people are being ignored and anger is arising among them.
In 1950, the population of Dubai was 20,000, now it is 3.5 million and it has become a major commercial center of the world, where bureaucracy acts as a facilitator in the system, while the biggest obstacle to the speedy development in Gwadar is our bureaucracy, he said.
DEL wins multiple awards for benchmark HSE initiatives
Pakistan’s leading large-scale engineering company, Descon Engineering Ltd. (DEL), has worked towards becoming a benchmark for the industry by achieving excellence in Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE). Recently, the company has been recognized for its safety standards by various clients.
DEL received accolades from organizations across the Middle East and Pakistan. Some of them being: General Electric (G.E) and Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) in UAE, Shell and Q-Chem in Qatar, OQ in Oman, Lotte Chemicals and OGDCL in Pakistan. The organization has also shown its commitment to prioritizing the highest standard of HSE and zero loss time injury (LTIs). While remaining dedicated to this by maintaining the safety and health of all stakeholders, internal and external; as well as, ensuring that there is a safe return for everyone through focused leadership, engaged teams, and effective communication.
Speaking about the achievement, DEL’s CEO Taimur Saeed said, “DEL is honored to be recognized for its focus and efforts on safety of its workers. It is never easy to manage safety and that is why our teams have strategically designed mechanisms to demonstrate personal ownership of HSE matters through visible leadership at every level. We want to continue empowering all employees to actively report unsafe conditions and actions so that the HSE culture improves and becomes more transparent. We are proud of the work we are doing and remain committed to maintaining the same momentum going forward.”
Globally, HSE is considered a top priority due to its significance in safeguarding human lives and properties, especially in high-risk industrial sectors. The organization has continued to work with this dedication by integrating HSE and behavioral safety for sustainable growth in its business processes and has designed a specialized central framework that promotes accountability. The brand continues to participate in multiple certifications to encourage participation, consultation and behaviors on HSE-related matters.
Shell, Careem and Muawin Collaborate for Fuel Management Solutions
Shell Pakistan Limited collaborates with Careem and Muawin, to provide a dynamic fuel management solution for Careem Captains along with driving awareness on road safety standards.
By utilizing a personalized Shell Fleet Card financed by Muawin, Careem Captains can avail fuel on credit on numerous Shell retail sites across the country, thereby completing more rides and growing their income. This initiative also includes an educational-safety programme for Careem Captains, to build awareness about road safety and traffic hazards in Pakistan.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Managing Director of Shell Pakistan, Mr Waqar Siddiqui, stated that: “Shell understands the evolving needs of diverse consumer-segments. We have a vision for fueling Pakistan’s mobility landscape, to drive sustainable socio-economic growth in the country. Such resourceful collaborations with innovative enterprises like Careem & Muawin will empower frontline service-providers, and promote road-safety in Pakistan, as we remain committed to adding value to the community at large.”
Commenting on the partnership, the Country Head of Careem Pakistan, Mr. Feroz Jaleel, stated: “Captains are at the heart of what we do and an integral part of our operations and the Careem family. This partnership with Shell and Muawin will undoubtedly help Captains in managing their fuel expenses ultimately providing a better experience to customers. Additionally, the work for safety never stops at Careem, hence the educational-safety programme for our Captains will be a great step to further empower our Captains in their everyday rides. We will continue to come up with more such initiatives to assist our Captains in simplifying and improving their lives”.
Speaking at the ceremony, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Muawin, Hashim Ali, remarked, “Careem and their Captains are doing wonders in a country where public transport options are unable to cater to rising mobility demands. Muawin’s mission is to ensure that our Dost (MSMEs), including Ride-Hailing workers, are able to sustain and grow their livelihood. By partnering with Shell and Careem, we are truly ecstatic to expand the impact of our fuel-financing product and ensure easy access to credit for millions of Pakistani’s.”
First Electronic Warehouse Receipt Trades at PMEX
The first Electronic Warehouse Receipt (EWR) of yellow maize was traded at Pakistan Mercantile Exchange (PMEX), the country’s only multi-commodity futures exchange. This is a historical event for Pakistan as it marks the dawn of a new age where the agricultural sector of Pakistan can be documented and modernized electronically.
Under the guidance of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SECP), the Government of Pakistan has now completed this initiative from the formation of a Collateral Management Company (CMC), accreditation of warehouses, issuance of the EWR, financing against EWR and now the trading of EWR at PMEX.
The introduction of EWRs in Pakistan offers three options to the farmers: 1) safekeeping of commodities to avoid distress selling and post-harvest losses,2) using EWR as collateral for borrowing from financial institutions, and 3) trading of EWRs at the PMEX platform to efficiently sell the produce at a fair price.
The EWR mechanism aims to improve the performance of the agricultural sector by stimulating economic growth both in the agricultural sector and in the construction sector by creating an incentive for the private sector to construct new warehouses. This will increase the capacity of the country to store agricultural produce without wastage, alleviating poverty and reducing shortages of agricultural produce in Pakistan.
Mr. Ejaz Ali Shah, Managing Director of PMEX, speaking on the occasion said, “We are delighted on the commencement of EWR trading at our platform. This would not have been possible without the visionary leadership of SECP, which has worked relentlessly over the years to materialize this initiative into a reality. This is a revolutionary and landmark achievement in the history of Pakistan, which will uplift the lives of our smallholder farmers. Trading of EWR at PMEX will create a vibrant, unified national market for agricultural commodities. We are confident that creating a pan-Pakistan market for agricultural commodities will help revitalize Pakistan’s agricultural sector.”
He further said, “PMEX plans to integrate the EWR trading platform with the Global Commodity Trading Platform (GCTP), a wholly owned subsidiary of PMEX, offering an e-commerce platform for the trading of agri and non-agri commodities. This digital platform will connect producers from Pakistan with buyers across the world. Connecting EWR to the GCTP system seamlessly would enable CMC participants to offer their produce to local as well as international buyers.”
KE’s “Naya Bill Hara Qadam” initiative estimated to conserve 265 million litres of water annually
KE has taken another pioneering step within Pakistan’s power sector to address climate change by introducing its new “Hara bill,” an effective, smarter, and environmentally friendlier way of communicating vital billing information with its customers from the month of November.
Climate change is impacting our environment in unimaginable ways, and the need of the hour is to move from ambition to action. KE is tackling today’s challenges in Pakistan’s power sector by revisiting its core processes and identifying opportunities for improvement. We are committed to add cleaner, greener, and efficient energy into our generation mix as we look to the next decade. Innovation and digitization of services is shifting the company towards an increasingly paperless environment. The next opportunity was to integrate this sustainable mindset towards our customer base of over 3.4 million, many of whom are receiving paper bills.