National Bank of Pakistan in collaboration with Peoples Doctors Forum organised a two-day National Blood Donation Camp from 21 to 22 June on the occasion of “Birth Anniversary of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed” at NBP Head office.
Hundreds of employees of National Bank of Pakistan and outsiders contributed with their blood donation and paid tribute to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.
The camp was visited by Qamar Hussain, President NBP along with Senior Executives of the Bank and from People’s Doctors Forum, Dr. Kareem Khawaja and other volunteers of NBP and Peoples Doctors Forum visited the camp and praised the efforts for organising a National Blood Donation Camp.
President NBP also praised the efforts of Peoples Doctors Forum and volunteers who contributed their blood to pay homage to the Daughter of the East, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed and said NBP will arrange and organize these type of medical camps in future also.
Emirates, one of the world’s fastest-growing international airlines, has introduced a collection of onboard Monster toys for children which is set to launch on June 25, 2012.
These young globalistas can now enjoy the company of new travel companions which have two ranges of toys aimed at pre-school and older children, the travel experience has been further refined by Emirates to enable young passengers to have an entertaining, memorable journey, says a press release.
Emirates airline has been a popular choice for many Pakistanis with tiny tots heading abroad for their summer holidays. Pre-school children can look forward to collecting a range of original monster characters from the ‘Fly With Me Monster’ collection.
The playful monsters – Jimbob, Tezz, Camus and Wagga, each have their own personalities and traits, and are ideal characters to fuel a child’s imagination.
Each monster toy comes in three product categories; Blanket Buddies – plush characters wrapped around soft polar fleece blankets, Seat Belt Critters – little toys worn around a seat belt to encourage safety and Magnetic Sketchers where Emirates’ youngest customers can unleash their inner Picasso for hours of creativity and entertainment.
The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has maintained long term and short term entity ratings of Bank AL Habib Limited at AA+ (Double A Plus) and Al+ (A One Plus), respectively.
These ratings denote a very low expectation of credit risk emanating from a very strong capacity for timely payment of financial commitments.
The ratings of two listed, unsecured subordinated TFCs issues of Rs l,350m and Rs l,500m and two privately placed, unsecured subordordinated TFCs issues of Rs 2,000m and Rs 3,000m have also been maintained at AA (Double A), says a press release.
These ratings denote a very low expectation of credit risk emanating from a very strong capacity for timely payment of financial commitments.
The ratings reflect Bank Al-Habib’s strong performance, exceptional asset quality, and stable financial profile. The ratings draw comfort from the bank’s experienced management team with prudent risk management practices. The ratings incorporate the bank’s ability to capitalise on its expanded branch network augmenting deposit mobilisation.
The State Bank of Pakistan has allowed banks / Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) to assign clean credit card and personal loan limits up to a maximum of Rs. 5 million with a sub-limit of Rs. 2 million on clean personal loans to their “Prime Customers”.
Banks/DFIs may assign clean credit card and personal loan limits up to Rs 5,000,000
According to the statement the higher clean limits facility has been provided to banks / DFIs with a view to providing flexible treatment to their prime customers. However, to aggregate exposure of banks/ DFIs in respect of prime customers has been capped at up to 20pc of total exposure on account of credit cards and personal loans, says circular letter issued to the Presidents/ Chief Executive Officers of all banks and DFIs here on Wednesday.
In view of this facility to prime customers, “Banks/DFIs may assign clean credit card and personal loan limits up to Rs 5,000,000 (aggregate from all banks/DFIs) to their prime customers subject to the condition that the aggregate clean limit assigned to one prime customer on account of personal loan should not exceed Rs. 2,000,000.
The banks/ DFIs shall put in place comprehensive criteria defining “Prime Customer” on the basis of, interalia, track record, credit worthiness and financial position, duly approved by their Board of Directors. The banks/ DFIs are also encouraged to set internal limits for such clean financing to prime customers keeping in view their risk appetite and other factors.
However, aggregate exposure on prime customers should not exceed 20pc of the total exposure of the respective portfolio i.e. 80pc exposure on account of credit cards and personal loans (separately) should comply with the limits prescribed for regular customers. Further, robust mechanism for risk profiling and risk mitigation should also be adopted for this purpose.”
State Bank of Pakistan Governor Yaseen Anwar has said that Microfinance-exclusive Credit Information Bureau will help Microfinance Banks (MFBs) and Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in developing robust risk management system and practices, which in turn reduce the risk of multiple borrowing and loan defaults.
Special Attention Paid to Microfinance banks
He said this while addressing at national roll-out of Microfinance-exclusive Credit Information Bureau (MF-CIB) at SBP Learning Resource Centre here on Wednesday. He said the MF-CIB will open access to credit for millions of potential poor borrowers and reduce the credit risk cost of the lenders, besides lowering the loan price for the borrowers.
Anwar pointed out that at present even the credit-worthy borrowers of microfinance institutions face difficulty in accessing larger loans from MFBs or commercial banks due to non-availability of their long history of loans and timely repayments with a microfinance institution. ‘The MF-CIB will facilitate in the ‘graduation’ of such livelihood-based workers into small entrepreneurs,’ he added.
He said that this nation-wide MF-CIB will be a major step for both lenders and borrowers with positive impact. ‘As the CIB expands its operations across the country, the quality and efficiency of the loan appraisal process will improve significantly, he added.
SBP believes that a policy framework for credit bureaus is essential for their smooth and long-term growth, he said., adding that the Government and SBP have already been working on the development of a legal framework, which will strengthen private CIBs by establishing criteria for licensing, issuing regulations, and creating oversight mechanism. ‘All this will result into stakeholders’ satisfaction, and, most importantly, it will boost public confidence,’ he added.Governor SBP urged upon the CEOs/ Presidents of MFBs and MFIs to improve corporate governance, management structures and put in place adequate systems & policies in their respective organizations for ensuring protection of consumer rights.
SBP is already in the process of revising regulations to ensure that MFBs follow best standards in these critical areas, he said and added: ‘We count on your wisdom and commitment to reach out to millions of financially excluded people.’ SBP encourages that credit growth should be fairly distributed across all economic, social, and geographic segments of the target market. ‘The MFBs and MFIs should develop innovative credit methodologies and appropriate risk management policies to maintain growth and quality of loan portfolios,’ he added. It may be pointed out here that the MF-CIB is a joint initiative of the SBP, PMN and PPAF, with funding support from the DFID under its “Financial Inclusion Program” being managed by the SBP.
A Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) inquiry team has decided that commission will commence legal proceedings against PTCL, said a report issued by Competition Commission of Pakistan.
CCP inquiry said that PTCL is likely to face legal action under Section 30 for prima facie violation of Section 3(1) read with Section 3 (2) of the Competition Act by monopolizing the market by offering anti-competitive DSL tariffs, that could lead other broadband companies to quit businesses.
Complaint Against PTCL
PTCL was facing an inquiry from CCP based on a complaint filed by Aqlaal Advocates on behalf of their clients Mircronet, LINKdotNET and Nexlinx by alleging that under the current regime for provision of Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) services, DSL Operators are dependent upon the infrastructure of PTCL as it owns and controls the required copper line infrastructure.
Complainant alleged that PTCL refuses to provide access to its copper infrastructure by refusing to cater requests of DSL Operators for issuance of new connections in a timely manner as required by SOP on DSL services.
The DSL Operators submitted that PTA informed the DSL Operators that such delays were caused in December 2009 as PTCL was upgrading its system. However, the DSL Operators have stated that PTCL was issuing new connections to its own customers during this period of system up gradation. PTCL has denied that it issued any new connections at the time the DSL Operators were not being issued new connections.
Complaint said that PTCL has shifted its public switched telephone network (PSTN) consumer numbers from the copper network to an optical fiber network which the DSL Operators do not have access to.
DSL operators said that PTCL has not only violated PTA’s Numbering Plan Regulations, 2005 but also clause 7.2.1 of the IA and PTA’s determination No. 15-70/07 (CA)/PTA dated August 3, 2007, according to which PTCL may not change the copper pair of a customer to optical fiber without the customers consent
DSL operators further alleged PTCL for creating operational problems for the DSL Operators, such as denial of their authorized staff to enter PTCL exchanges in violation of clause 7.2.1 (c) of the IA, delaying provision of infrastructure, cutting of cables, refusal to provide collocation space, etc.
It was further added in complaint that PTCL has forcefully disconnected the connections of the DSL Operators provided to customers and started providing these customers DSL services through PTCL‟s DSL connection without even informing the customers.
Operators alleged that PTCL, through cross-subsidization and predatory pricing, is driving competitors out of the DSL market in violation of Section 3 (3) (f) of the Act, Section 26 (e) of the Pakistan Telecommunication (ReOrganization) Act, 1996 (the “PTA Act”) and Article 11 of Schedule 2 of the 2000 Rules.
PTCL in its response to complaint said that the determination of PTA that PTCL holds a dominant position has been challenged before LHC, Rawalpindi Bench and has been suspended. The matter is sub-judice and the complaint is an attempt to frustrate the judicial process.
PTCL said that it reserves the right to challenge the validity of the Act and constitution of
the Commission at an appropriate forum as the Commission lacks jurisdiction in this respect
PTCL said that the complaint incorrectly defines DSL as a service in the market, when it is merely one technology for provision of Broadband Internet Access. Therefore, it cannot be said that consumers cannot interchange or substitute the DSL technology for other technologies.
PTCL mocked by saying that the DSL Operators misunderstand the concept of predatory pricing which is clear as the allegations have not been substantiated by any legal argument.
PTCL in its reply said that it is incorrect that the DSL Operators are solely dependent upon PTCL for infrastructure as Nayatel provides broadband services through use of optical fiber technology (FTTH) instead of depending upon PTCL’s copper lines.
PTCL said that there have been exceptions where extra time has been required by the DSL Operators have been timely informed by PTCL and PTA. PTCL customers were not given preference over DSL Operators customers and had to face the same problems.
The fault incidence is not attributed to PTCL only as numerous external factors are also responsible, such as poor in-house wiring, large scale damage to PTCL outside plant, utility companies, malicious cable cuts and theft and right of way (ROW).
PTCL denied that it has forcefully disconnected customers of other DSL Operators and only provides services on request of customers. PTCL also informed that it has offered the ISPs to work in partnership with PTCL for its white label DSL broadband services on revenue sharing basis. Under which PTCL will provide end to network infrastructure and resources and DSL Operators will provide marketing, sales, provision and installation of customer premises equipment, billing and revenue collection and after sales support services.
CCP Inquiry Findings:
Based on investigation conducted by CCP team, the findings of cost analysis suggested that the margins in the DSL retail market due to PTCL’s pricing for the access to its copper network are insufficient for an efficient competitor to operate profitably.
The analysis of financial statements of DSL Operators appears to confirm that as a result of such low prices the profit margins of DSL Operators have gradually reduced and now they are operating under huge losses. Many of the players in the DSL retail market have exited the market.
The cost analysis of PTCLs DSL operations shows that it has been able to record profits despite offering very low retail prices and having very low margins. PTCL being a vertically integrated company, its DSL business does not incur/record some of the expenses such as co-location charges, copper pair rent, additional overheads etc. that other operators have to bear.
Additionally, the offers like double the speed without additional cost, upgrading of package etc are impossible for the competitors of PTCL to match.
Resultantly, prima facie, DSL operators are losing market shares and incurring huge operational losses and if this continues, it may lead to exclusion of further competitors and thus monopolizing the relevant market by PTCL.
Inquiry report said that lower tariffs are beneficial for the customers and are a good way to penetrate in a growing market for DSL based broadband services. However, such low tariffs and low margins are making this market unattractive for further investment, research and development.
This may result in competitors leaving the market and creating a monopolistic situation in the long run, thus leaving the customers on the mercy of a super dominant player who will be at its free will to exploit customers.
In light of its findings, inquiry team proposed that proceedings under Section 30 may be initiated against PTCL for prima facie violation of Section 3(1) read with Section 3 (2) of the Act.
Waseela Microfinance Bank, which recently captured the heavy weight CEO Ghazanfar Azzam, signed a partnership agreement with Adamjee Life Assurance.
The signing ceremony was attended by the top managements of Waseela Bank and Adamjee Life.
Waseela Microfinance Bank has been established to cater to the needs of the vast under and unbanked market segments through simple and low cost channels such as branchless banking agents, community centers and smart branches.
Waseela MF Bank through an alliance intends to become a major player in the branchless banking arena and has plans to introduce mass market savings, loans, funds transfer, insurance and investment products to promote financial inclusion, promote economic and trade empowerment in both rural and urban communities.
In an interesting turn of events, Sindh Govt beloved venture, Sindh Bank will soon be getting new stream of business from Sindh Revenue Department.
According to BR, Sindh Revenue Board (SRB) and Sindh Bank would likely to reach an agreement very soon for authorisation of some bank-branches in various areas of the province, to collect tax money from tax-payers.
According to the report, this initiative had been taken by the Chief of Sindh Bank who visited SRB head-office a few weeks back in order to make an agreement for authorisation of some branches of Sindh bank by the SRB.
Although it was also mentioned that initially, very few services which have low tax-income would be assigned to Sindh Bank branches as the staff of the provincial bank branches can learn this new practice of tax-collection through automation system.
Some branches of Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and other districts would be authorized for the SRB services tax deposits. Sindh Bank has 53-online branches in Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Sindh Bank is the first bank set up in the province by the Government of Sindh. The initial investment in the Sindh Bank by the provincial government was Rs. 1,000 Crore.
Xpress Money Services Limited which is the third largest money transfer service provider in the world, awards National Bank of Pakistan the “Max Factor of the Year-2011/12”, in a ceremony held in Abu Dhabi recently, says a press release.
The ceremony was attended by senior management of leading financial institutions from Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan. NBP has been awarded for maximum distribution growth in home remittances in the above mentioned regions/receiving markets, in the year 2011/12.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Shaheen said, “home remittances are vital for developing economies in general and especially for Pakistan as remittances play a very important role in building foreign exchange reserves, improving the standard of living, reduces the level and severity of poverty which ultimately strengthens the economy for the benefit of the entire nation”.
“This award once again proves NBP’s commitment to the home remittances business, in pursuit of the national cause”, he added.
National Bank of Pakistan has deployed Pakistan’s first Solar Powered ATM at its Defence Housing Society Branch, Karachi.
This is a step towards going Green along with it is considered an essential in long term planning while eying Pakistan’s energy crisis that has damaged businesses countrywide.
This is How a Solar Powered ATM will Look.
Nausherwan Adil, SEVP/Group Chief Operations Group, Zubair Ahmed, SEVP/Group Chief, Logistic Support & Engineering Group and Samar Abbas Jafri, SVP/Regional Head South and others inaugurated solar ATM.
According to the official press release, National Bank of Pakistan has planned to install more ATMs on solar energy so as to use natural resources without misuse of generated electricity and fuel.