HBL, MCR sign MoU

KARACHI (PR): Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Pakistan’s largest bank, recently joined hands with MCR Private Limited, more commonly known for its renowned food franchises, Pizza Hut, Burger King & TGIF, to provide customized and convenient banking solutions to MCR clients for food delivery & order placements.

MCR has taken a step into the bank’s POS acquiring business by placing 57 HBL POS terminals at various outlets across Pakistan. HBL’s MPOS model will be included among the food delivery payment options as well, bringing quality and convenience to customers’ doorsteps.

Internet Payment Gateways have also been deployed for both brands.

Aqeel Hassan (MCR - CEO & Chairman) voiced goal of maintaining MCR’s benchmarks of food production at international standards. He alsoemphasized on his aim to ensurethat MCR brand names are technologically abreast with contemporary international banking practices.

Nauman Dar, (HBL – President& CEO), underlined the fact that these solutions would principally benefit the consumer, and therefore further develop the brands of MCR. Both HBL and MCR were confident that together they could accomplish a much needed technological enhancement of the company to meet international banking standards.

Porsche launches its new Cayenne in Pakistan

LAHORE (PR): Firmly cemented in its position as a sports car amongst SUVs, the new Porsche Cayenne is poised to redefine the segment with a sharpened design, enhanced efficiency and an extensive selection of exciting features as standard. With more power and comfort than ever before, the new Cayenne is extending the brand’s heritage of performance excellence and showcasing the latest evolution of Porsche design DNA.

The new generation Cayenne has been launched in six variants including the Cayenne S

E-Hybrid, the first plug-in hybrid in the premium SUV segment. This model, together with the Panamera S E-Hybrid and the 918 Spyder, make Porsche the world’s only carmaker to offer three plug-in hybrid models.

Adding to the new Cayenne’s attributes, all derivative engine versions now boast upgraded performance figures as well as superior fuel economy compared to that of previous versions.

The car was displayed in Islamabad at the Porsche sponsored Flamenco Night at the Spanish Embassy for both foreign and national guests to enjoy. The Cayenne, along with the new Panamera S E-Hybrid, was also test-driven by select customers at an event held by Porsche in Islamabad.

Earlier in Lahore, the stunning car was displayed at a dinner in the grand Hazoori Bagh during the 3 day “EO Majlis Lahore Chapter, 2015” held by the Entrepreneurs Organization. A customer drive experience was also hosted at BYOB with both the Cayenne and Panamera put through their paces. 

Mobilink subscribers can now dial *786# to open Mobicash Mobile Account

ISLAMABAD (PR): Mobicash has announced an exciting offer for the existing Mobilink customers whereby biometrically verified subscribers shall be able to open up a Mobicash Mobile Account by simply dialing *786#. The offer is introduced to encourage the use of Mobile Accounts which will benefit the overall landscape of Mobile Financial Services (MFS) in Pakistan. As an added incentive, customers shall be awarded 250 free Mobilink minutes upon their first cash deposit.

The registration will not require any additional documents. Once the registration is complete, the subscriber will be sent a 4 digit PIN which must be changed for ensuring security by dialing *786#. As this offer is only for biometrically verified subscribers, thus non-biometric verified Mobilink subscribers will be required to visit the nearest Mobilink franchise, Business Center and selected Mobicash retailers for activating their Mobile Account.  

In case a subscriber’s CNIC is expired or there is discrepancy in data available at NADRA, the request for an account registration shall be deferred.

Aniqa Afzal Sandhu, Head of Mobile Financial Services, Mobilink speaking about the offer said, “It is our way of thanking our subscriber base for successfully following the biometric re-verification regime and introducing convenience for our new customers.

This offer is a step towards ensuring increased financial benefits to the under-banked and unbanked population of Pakistan. The one step Mobile Account set up will entice potential users to utilize Mobicash’s superior financial services.”

Previously, subscribers had to visit the nearest branch of Waseela Microfinance Bank, Mobilink franchise or Mobilink customer care center to open up their mobile account.

US investors optimistic over long-term: Survey

KARACHI (PR): “While US businesses are positive and remain committed to Pakistan, the reality is that half of the survey participants believe that the international perception of Pakistan is poor which makes it challenging for them to sell investment and expansion plans at a regional level.”

This was stated by Arshad Saeed Husain, President of American Business Council of Pakistan (ABC) while announcing the results of a Perception Survey conducted by ABC. The survey allowed ABC members to rate their satisfaction on various economic, regulatory and political factors that affect the performance and growth of businesses operating in Pakistan over FY14-15. Though American Businesses in Pakistan are adversely affected by poor law and order situation, however 80% respondents are optimistic about the future in longer run.

“Concrete action must be taken by policy makers to make Pakistan a preferred investment destination. International standing and perception is extremely important as Pakistan competes with other Asian players to attract foreign capital in the form of trade exports, human resources, tourism and most importantly foreign direct investment,” added Arshad.

“A political, economic and social environment that is predictable over the long term does the most to strengthen confidence and forms the basis of a country’s development,” he added.

The business climate was rated on each of the various factors influencing it; including implementation and consistency of trade and competition policies, government development budget, domestic market, internal and external political climate and law and order. Of these factors, law and order received the worst response, with 74% of respondents rating it poorly. Even though PAK Army is reportedly making progress with Operation Zarb-e-Azb and the government is conducting a targeted operation to rid the country of professional trouble-mongers, 48% of ABC respondents felt that the law and order situation had affected business operations/investment plans adversely. Other areas of concern included policy consistency and implementation which have been rated poorly by over half of the survey participants.

A positive indicator is that over 65% of respondents have indicated that they plan to invest in Pakistan over the next 12 months and 80% are optimistic about the long-term economic and operating climate. For 2014-15 the vast majority of respondents rated the business climate of Pakistan as satisfactory with 11% giving it a poor rating. This is a marked improvement over 2013-14 when 44% of participants rated the business climate as poor. The overall positive perception of American investors reveals an expectation of some economic stability and an improvement in Pakistan’s economic environment.

With the performance of each of the various federal ministry directly affecting the business climate, participants were asked to rate the performance of each ministry. In this regard, the overall trend reflects a slight improvement in the performance of the various ministries from last year. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs enjoyed a significant improvement in rating with 77% of participants rating its performance as fair versus 2013-14 when 50% of participants rated the performance of the Ministry as fair and 44% rated it as poor. The Ministry of Science and Technology also showed a marked improvement with 74% of participants reporting the performance as fair and 20% reporting it as poor. In 2013-14 just 47% has rated the performance of this ministry as fair and 43% had rated it poorly.