SBP issues SGF to strengthen Shariah-compliance environment

karachi (Staff Reporter): State Bank of Pakistan has issued a comprehensive Shariah Governance Framework (SGF) to further strengthen the overall Shariah compliance environment in Islamic banking institutions (IBIs). The framework aims at institutionalising the Shariah compliance function in IBIs. It  explicitly defines the roles and responsibilities of all organs of IBIs including Board of Directors, executive management, Shariah Board, Shariah Compliance Department and Internal and External Auditors towards Shariah Compliance. The framework requires IBIs to constitute Shariah Boards comprising at least 3 Shariah scholars meeting SBP fit-and-proper criteria.

 It also prescribes an effective mechanism for the BOD oversight of Shariah compliance environment and introduces external Shariah audit requirement for IBIs. The framework will be applicable from 1st October, 2014.

Mandatory membership of REAP for rice exporters removed

karachi (Staff Reporter): The Unisame in persuasion of the clarification received from the ministry of commerce (MoC) that the condition of mandatory membership of the REAP has been removed with effect from 23rd April 2012 and rice exporters do not have to be members of REAP for exporting rice to global destinations has urged the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan to obey the procedure of simple registration as stated in the Trade Policy. President Unisame Zulfikar Thaver  said the clarification became necessary due to the behavior of the Quality Review Committee (QRC) which created the confusion by demanding REAP membership number from rice exporters.

 Even REAP did not inform its members that the mandatory condition was removed and kept silent on the issue for 2 years.

Altaf Hussain Maitlo Assistant Chief (Export) MOC on the directions of the secretariat stated that the MOC had already removed the condition of mandatory membership of REAP vide notification dated 23rd April 2012.

QRC has informed the SME rice exporters that it has forwarded the clarification to TDAP for instructions and has promised to do according to the instructions received from the TDAP.

It is pertinent to note that those rice exporters who wish to become members or continue to remain members may do so out of their own free will but cannot be compelled to become members. REAP will commit contempt of court if it compels rice exporters to become members.

However Unisame wishes to see REAP flourish and has requested REAP to reduce its membership fees to make it affordable for the small exporters and the new entrants. Secondly Unisame wishes to see REAP as a strong representative body of all rice exporters big and small.

LSE hosts IPO presentation

Lahore (Staff Reporter): The Lahore Stock Exchange organised an IPO awareness session of Hascol Petroleum Limited, inviting chairman Hascol Mumtaz Khan along with his team to share the company’s financial performance before the TREC holders and the investors of the Lahore Stock Exchange. Among the advisors for HPL, Farid Alam, Chief Executive Officer AKD Securities graced the event as the financial advisor and Liaqat Ali appeared as the lead manager and the arranger. Ali while delivering the presentation before the participants covered the financial details indicating the performance, the worth and the potential of the company.

Liaqat Ali highlighted that Hascol Petroleum Limited has applied for listing of its ordinary shares at the Lahore Stock Exchange and the Karachi Stock Exchange. He further briefed that the transaction has received an overwhelming response from both institutional investors and high net worth individuals in the book building process.

Smeda, Finland body sign MoU

Lahore (Staff Reporter): SMEDA, Government of Pakistan and Finland-Pakistan Business Council have signed an MoU to support social entrepreneurship, enterprise creation and SME sector development in Pakistan. The MoU entails establishing incubation/innovation centers, social enterprise challenge fund as well as developing business linkages between Pakistani and Finnish businesses. CEO SMEDA, Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera said that SMEDA by virtue of its outreach and experience in developing and diffusing an entrepreneurial eco-system is poised well to integrate and synergize allied programs for the development of social entrepreneurship in Pakistan.

During the MoU signing ceremony, CEO SMEDA stressed upon developing meaningful collaboration with development partners and expressed that SMEDA’s partnership with Finland Pakistan Business Council will go a long way in developing cooperation between the two countries and promotion of entrepreneurship in Pakistan. He stated “Developing an entrepreneurial eco-system is a key priority of SMEDA.

Cement dispatches decline

Lahore (Staff Reporter): Cement dispatches to domestic markets during the month of March 2014 declined by 3.7 per cent to 2.463m tons compared with 2.55m tons during same month last year, according to the figures released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association. The decline in cement dispatches was mainly due to heavy rains in the month of March. Exports during March 2014 stood at 725,000 tons against 768,000 tons during March, 2013. Total dispatches during March were 3.188m tons compared to 3.326 million tons during same month last year showing reduction of 4.1 percent. APCMA said that during the first nine months of the fiscal, average local cement dispatches stood at 2.084 million tons per month.