JCR-VIS upgrades ratings of United Bank

KARACHI (PR): JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (JCR-VIS) has upgraded the entity ratings of United Bank Limited (UBL) to ‘AAA/A-1+’ (Triple A/A-One Plus) from AA+/A-1+ (Double A Plus/A-One Plus). Outlook on the assigned ratings is ‘Stable’. The previous rating action was announced on June 30, 2015.

The assigned ratings incorporate sustained improvement by United Bank Limited across key performance areas including asset quality, liquidity, capitalization and profitability as well as the management’s commitment to maintain a positive trend, going forward. UBL is the second largest private sector bank in Pakistan with a market share of 8.95% (end-2015: 8.60%; end-2014: 8.36%) in domestic deposits at end March’2016, reflecting its systemic importance. Deposit base of UBL had crossed Rs. 1 trillion at end-2015 with over 1,300 branches across Pakistan. UBL’s drive to innovate within the digital space continues to diversify and deliver its products and services.

Apart from being a strong domestic franchise, UBL’s diversified operations and revenue streams are also a key rating driver; the bank has a sizeable presence in the overseas market, largest by a local bank, representing around one-fourth of total assets. With minimal oil-related exposure, the management does not foresee any material non-performing loans emanating from the overseas portfolio. Besides overseas operations, diversification in domestic revenue streams, apart from growth in core revenues, is also evident from the bank’s branchless banking presence through its Omni platform (now at over 40,000 agents) and significant market share in home remittance business.

The Corporate loan book witnessed growth in 2015 with product pipeline for the ongoing year including a number of energy and infrastructure projects. UBL has also positioned itself to tap business opportunities arising from the China Pakistan Economic Corridor. While maintaining asset quality indicators, the Bank is expanding its presence in other financing segments, including commercial, agriculture and consumer, further increasing the breadth of its lending operations. The overseas portfolio represents almost one-third of the gross financing portfolio and has been funded by an organic build up in overseas deposits which crossed $2b (largest for a commercial bank) in the outgoing year.

Transworld completes upgrade of its TW1 cable

ISLAMABAD (PR): Transworld Associates Private Limited (TWA) has successfully completed the 100G upgrade of its undersea cable TW1. The 100G upgrade will combine submarine and terrestrial systems into a unified network. This will greatly enhance the operational and management capabilities of the TW1 system. Using the state of the art 100G transmission technology, original system design capacity has been increased by six times; adding36x100G wavelength on each fiber pair and total of 72x100G wavelengths which will boost the network assets and enhance the life of the overall cable system. Through this cutting-edge system upgrade Transworld has accelerated and expanded the capability to deliver to its end users a much improved quality of service experience for our customers.

“Transworld is dedicated to providing high-speed, cost-effective, reliable international bandwidth. The 100G upgrade will increase system capacity to meet the expectations for high-quality international connectivity services for our customers,” said Kamran Malik (President of TWA). He further added “The flexible upgrade solution will provide options for us to upgrade 400G or 1 Terabit in the future, allowing greater flexibility, while enabling us to maintain our quality and reliability commitments to our valued customers.”

Gardezi made Hashoo

Hotels GM

ISLAMABAD (PR): Hashoo Hotels has promoted Haseeb Gardezi to the position of Vice President Operations, Hospitality Division. Previous to this very important assignment, Gardezi was working as CEO, and General Manager, Pearl-Continental Lahore. Haseeb Gardezi, a certified hotel professional from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, USA, has a diversified and vast management experience in the hospitality industry in Pakistan and abroad.

He has a long association with the Hashoo Group holding various senior positions.

LG releases preliminary earnings for 2nd quarter

LAHORE (PR): LG Electronics Inc (LG) has announced its preliminary earnings results for the second quarter of 2016.

Tentative consolidated revenue for the second of 2016 is 14 trillion KRW and operating profit is 584.6 billion KRW. Revenues are expected to be 0.5 percent higher than the same period the year prior while operating profit will be 139.5 percent higher year-over-year.

These figures are the tentative consolidated earnings based on K-IFRS. These tentative earnings are provided as a service to investors prior to LG Electronics’ final earnings results including net profit and details regarding each division which will be announced officially later this month.

PSO Sihala installation was operational during holidays

KARACHI (PR): In line with its commitment to meet the fuel and energy needs of Pakistan, the country’s leading OMC PSO kept its Sihala installation operational during the Eid holidays.

“The Sihala installation plays an important role in helping us maintain a seamless supply of fuel to our outlets located in the northern areas,” said Sheikh Imran ul Haque, Managing Director, PSO.