OMD Pakistan bags RB Media Business

Karachi (PR): Reckitt Benckiser Pakistan successfully concluded its media pitch process and transferred its media planning and buying responsibilities to OMD Pakistan.

OMD Pakistan has handled the RB business in 2013 and 2014 with a gap in 2015 and successfully secured the business once again for 2016.

RB is one of the leading FMCG companies operating in Pakistan with a bankable reputation for marketing top quality brands. RB is engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of leading brands like Dettol, Mortein, Veet, Harpic, Strepsils, Gaviscon, Cherry Blossom, Disprin and Durex. It is a subsidiary of the RB Group Plc, a global consumer goods leader in health, hygiene and home products, headquartered in the UK and with operations in over 60 countries.

OMD Pakistan is a part of the Omnicom Media Group under the global Omnicom Network. Their strong presence in Pakistan allows for a crossover of technical skills, training and innovation from the region and beyond. RB Pakistan is yet another feather in the cap of OMD Pakistan’s distinguished clientele.

For further information and all media enquiries, contact:

S. Salman Ahmed Kazmi Manager Media Relations OmnicomMediaGroup

Bank Alfalah, Unionpay to launch debit cards

Karachi (PR): Bank Alfalah and Unionpay International have signed an agreement to issue debit cards in Pakistan. Under this agreement, Bank Alfalah will issue multiple categories of debit cards across different customer segments starting with branchless banking.

Unionpay International is the leader in credit and debit cards supporting over 5 billion cards globally, across various customer segments. UtilisingUnionpay’sglobal experience and Bank Alfalah’s local expertise, both organisations will work together to develop and launch innovative, secure and widely accepted payment products and services in Pakistan.

“At Bank Alfalah, we focus on improving the outreach of our services and are committed to the financial inclusion of the under-banked segments.Unionpay has had unparalleled success in the financial inclusion of the masses in China, and through this partnership we hope to bring solutions tothe financially excluded segments in Pakistan,” said AtifBajwa, President & CEO, Bank Alfalah. He added that “Bank Alfalah is at the forefront of the evolving digital financial services landscape in Pakistan and this partnership is yet another testament of our commitment to provide innovative payment solutions to meet the changing needs of our customers.”

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. ShuanGhaidan, Director of Products, UnionPay International said, “This remarkable and ground breaking partnership between UnionPay and Bank Alfalah has further endorsed the ties between China and Pakistan. We are extremely delighted to partner with Bank Alfalah, and both organisations enjoy a healthy standing relationship eyeing towards the launch of Debit Cards and Branchless Banking Initiative. This new offering of Branchless Banking Product reflects the commitment to finding innovative ways to meet the evolving payment needs and is exemplary in setting trends in Pakistan digital payment landscape. In addition to the payment space, both organisations are also focused on enabling the Trade and B2B Transactions between the two countries”

These debit cards will be accepted at all ATMs and POS machines in Pakistan and globally at Unionpay’s fast growing network. With the trade relations between Pakistan and China on the rise, availability of Unionpay products in Pakistan will help in facilitating cross border transactions between the two countries and further solidifying relations between the two.

In the past, Bank Alfalah signed an agreement with Unionpay to accept their cards at the Bank’s POS network in Pakistan.

Bank AL Habib launches remittance service

Lahore (PR): Bank AL Habib Limited and Ria Money Transfer (“Ria”), a Global Leader in international money transfer and payment services, have announced a strategic partnership to provide remittance services throughout Pakistan.

The partnership now allows Pakistanis living abroad to send money to their families and loved ones, through thousands of Ria locations worldwide. Remittances can be collected easily from 525 Bank AL Habib branches located all over Pakistan.

Citi Lab organises workshop on blood cancer

Lahore (PR): Citilab & Research Centre organized workshop titled ‘’Introduction to Flow Cytometary‘’ at AIMC. Workshop was formally started with Recitation from Holy Quran and welcomed addressed by Prof Dr Ambreen Anwar; Dr Sajjaad Haider discussed preliminaries of Flow Cytometary in diagnosis of blood Cancers which was followed by video presentation regarding working of to Flow Cytometary by Dr Mizna Arif.

Later patients cases discussion was done by Dr Muneeza Hatiq, DrRabia

JS Bank opens first branch in Bahrain

Lahore (PR): The JS Bank has strengthened its GCC business with the opening of a new branch in Bahrain. Pakistan-based JS Bank to serve a range of customers in GCC and MENA from its first international branch in Bahrain. Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) welcomes JS Bank’s presence in the Bahraini Markets.

Pakistan-based JS Bank hasofficially opened its first branch office outside of its home country, in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, targeting the GCC, and eventually the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The announcement follows the awarding of a wholesale conventional banking license to JS Bank by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) last year.

As the eighthlicensed Pakistani wholesale bank in Bahrain, JS Bank will serve regional businesses with interests in Pakistan, non-resident Pakistani expatriates, other Pakistani banks without overseas branches, and Pakistani government entities. Its service offerings includetrade finance, treasury, institutional banking, corporate banking, and private banking & wealth management.

CBB Director of Licensing and Policy, Ahmed Al Bassamwelcomed JS Bank’s new level of presence in theGCC market.

“The growing number of Pakistani banks with branches in Bahrain is a positive reflection of the attractiveness of the Kingdom’s banking sector, and builds upon historic trade relations between the two countries. We welcome this positive trend and look forward to working closely with JS Bank in the years ahead,” he said.

JS Bank Chairman, Jahangir Siddiqui said that the Bankis pleased to be contributing further to strengthening business relations between the GCC and Pakistan.

“The GCC was already an important market for us which we now seek to develop further through a physical presence here. In addition to having two banking hubs in Bahrain and Dubai, the region also has a sizeable Pakistani expatriate community, including many running their own businesses who have a strong need for our services. The ties between the GCC and Pakistan, both economic and diplomatic, date back decades, and we are committed to helping to further strengthen this relationship, while also serving the business community,”

JS Bank President, Khalid Imran said that the Bahrain branch would deliver the same high standard of services and products that the Bank is known for within its home market.

The opening of the Bahrain branch is an important milestone for us as it gives us our first footprint outside of Pakistan, which we plan to use as a springboard for further expansion into MENA,” he added.

The Bank has appointed WaqarUl Islam as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Bahrain branch. An accomplished international banker with more than 38 years of professional experience in London, the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, the UAE and Bahrain, he has a strong track record in solicitinganddevelopingnewbusinessfromfinancialInstitutionsinEurope, MENA andSouthEastAsia.

JS Bank is active within Retail and Consumer Banking, Treasury, Corporate & Commercial Banking and Investment Banking services. It has a large network of 278 branches across 138 cities with plans to expand its outreach with more branches nationwide serving a growing customer base across Pakistan. JS Bank is part of JS Group, one of Pakistan’s largest and most prominent business entities.

ACCA holds session on sales tax on services

Lahore (PR): The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a session on Sales tax on services and the contours of inter-provincial harmony.

The session talked about equilibrium with the indirect taxes on the supply of goods. It is the more patchwork contours of Pakistan’s post the 18th amendment to the constitution that now presents us with shifting tectonic jurisdictions on sales tax on services.

Each province barring Baluchistan, have now passed their own statute for sales tax on services. First out of the starting blocks was Sindh with their Sindh Sales Tax on Services Act 2011, followed closely by the Punjab Sales Tax on Services Act 2012 and on the outside lane the KP Finance Act 2013.

Speaking at the ACCA/CIPE/LCCI event Sales tax on services and inter-provincial harmonisation Chas Roy-Chowdhury, ACCA’s head of global taxation said “Europe has had to deal with cross border VAT complexities over many years.

The single currency market and open border trade policies allow for the free movement of goods and services, but the principle of input tax at the port of import applies. Each EU member has their own rate from 15 to 27%. Wherever the purchase occurs in the supply chain that is where the VAT is paid.”

Chas further said that sound principles must be followed. “A supply of services is the supply of anything that is not a good. The general rule for determining the place of supply is the place where the supplier of the services is established (or "belongs"), such as an office where the service is supplied, the supplier's permanent address, or where the supplier usually resides. VAT is then charged at the rate applicable in the member state where the place of supply of the services is located and is collected by that member state.

This general rule for the place of supply of services (the place where the supplier is established) is subject to several exceptions. Most of the exceptions switch the place of supply to the place where the services are received.”

Easypay partners with MCB Bank

Lahore (PR): Easypay, Pakistan’s first comprehensive online payment solution partners with MCB Bank to enable its online merchants to increase their sales and enhance the consumer experiences with the help of MasterCard Payment Gateway Services.