Jazz to fund 1000 COVID-19 tests at SKMCH&RC

ISLAMABAD-As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads across Pakistan, the health system is increasingly under pressure. One of the biggest issues being faced is the limited availability of free of cost testing for the destitute population. Realizing this as an urgent need, Jazz has donated PKR 8 million to Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC), which shall fund 1000 COVID-19 tests. SKMCH&RC is a site designated for COVID-19 testing and has so far conducted over 500 free of cost tests on those who fulfilled the initial testing criteria.

This donation is a part of the PKR 1.2 billion COVID-19 relief support that Jazz recently announced. The support includes short to mid-term initiatives aimed to limit the negative impact of the pandemic, primarily for the most vulnerable communities.

“I understand that the policymakers are trying their best to ensure adequate supply of testing equipment nationwide, but we had to reach out to the private sector for urgent support. My greatest gratitude to Jazz for answering our call and supporting this humanitarian cause at a crucial stage. We will now revamp our testing efforts to clamp down on the virus spreading beyond control,” Dr. Faisal Sultan, CEO, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Trust.

SKMCH&RC has been at the forefront throughout the outbreak and is watching this developing situation very closely. Apart from being the designated testing site for the virus, the institution has also agreed to provide beds for the treatment of patients with coronavirus.

“Jazz has always been a strong supporter of SKMCH&RC and the ideology it stands for. The decision to support the institution during this critical time was unanimous as we believe they can create a positive impact in the fight against this pandemic,” said Jazz CEO Aamir Ibrahim. “As the leading mobile operator, we have a duty to support the health authorities and medical institutions during these critical times by leveraging our resources, digital expertise and nationwide footprint. To every one of the heroes on our front lines, we thank you.”




IPO of Additional Tier 1 Sukuk of BankIslami launched


KARACHI-BankIslami Pakistan Limited, while fulfilling its vision of providing innovative Shariah complaint products and services to the customers, has announced Pakistan’s first Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Additional Tier 1 Modarba Sukuk under the brand name of “BankIslami Ehad Sukuk”, which will be listed and traded on Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). The word “Ehad” means an era of new vision, new leadership and also means a ‘promise” to reaffirm the fact that BankIslami is committed to offer authentic Islamic Banking products and provide Halal returns to the Sukuk investors.

BankIslami Ehad Sukuk offers monthly profit payment at an attractive expected profit rate of 2.75% over 3 months KIBOR. The rating of Sukuk is ‘A-’ assigned by PACRA, while long term and short term rating of the Bank is ‘A+’ and ‘A1’. Total size of Sukuk Issue is PKR 2 billion out of which PKR 1.7 billion has already been subscribed by Pre-IPO Investors including 27 prestigious institutions of the country and 45 high net worth individuals.

Public subscription dates for PKR 300 Million IPO are Monday, April 20thand Tuesday April 21st 2020. Minimum investment amount is Rs.5, 000/-. Next Capital Limited, acting as Consultant to the Issue whereas JS Global Capital Limited is the Joint Advisor & Arranger and designated Market Maker.

The IPO is fully underwritten by Next Capital Limited and Arif Habib Limited. In addition to BankIslami, 10 more banks have been appointed as Bankers to the Issue to receive the Sukuk subscription. Further, to facilitate and promote online subscription, the eIPO services of CDC and UBL have been obtained.


Asiatic Public Relations Network shortlisted for prestigious int’l award


LAHORE -Asiatic Public Relations Network (Pvt.) Ltd - APR, one of the oldest and most experienced PR agencies in Pakistan, was shortlisted for the prestigious Gold Standard Awards 2019, in the Issues Management and Crisis Communications category. APR is the only agency from Pakistan which was short-listed in any of the categories for the 2019 Awards.

Organised by Hong Kong based organization, Public Affairs Asia, Gold Standard Awards are held annually to recognize the best public relations practitioners across the region, which include achievements by agencies, corporations, NGOs and governmental agencies across 25 categories. More than one hundred of the region’s most senior practitioners form the jury, to first shortlist entries and then to select the final winners, out of more than 250 entries that were received from countries all over Asia-Pacific.

Sharing his thoughts on this distinction, Zohare Ali Shariff, CEO of APR, stated, “Being short-listed is indeed a singular honor, not only for our agency but also for Pakistan, even if we finally are not declared as the category winner. This is international recognition that is merit-based and transparent, and not one of those pay-to-win award schemes which seem to have proliferated in recent times. Issues and crisis management and communications is one of our greatest strengths, and this area of public relations has assumed even greater importance these days with the COVID-19 global crisis, which has deeply impacted businesses.”

Previously APR was the winner of the Social Media Campaign category, of the 2016 Gold SABRE Awards South Asia, for its entry: The Coca-Cola Book Bank, a unique PR activity conceived and executed by the agency for its client, Coca-Cola Pakistan, and which targeted collecting donation of books from the public, to be given over to students of schools operated by The Citizens Foundation (TCF) and other NGOs for less privileged children. The campaign was actively promoted on the social media and had received an overwhelming response.




Kasuri family and MAK Welfare Trust pledge Rs60m amid COVID-19 crisis


LAHORE -The Kasuri family and the Mahmud Ali Kasuri (MAK) Welfare Trust have pledged a combined Rs 60 million (6 crore) towards the Covid-19 crisis engulfing the country. Of this, the Trust and the Kasuri family have contributed Rs 20 million each to alleviate the hardship faced by deserving individuals through a Rs 40 million fund, while a further Rs 20 million is being contributed by the Trust to the Prime Minister’s Covid-19 Relief Fund.

The Rs 40 million (4 crore) fund will be used to procure and distribute essential food items as ‘ration packs’ to deserving individuals, mainly daily-wage workers. These ration packs include necessary food supplies to help sustain a family of 5 for approximately one month. The activity will be carried out in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Kasur from 13 April 2020.

Chairman of MAK Welfare Trust Mian Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri and Co-Chair Nassir Kasuri said, “Since 1994, the Trust has been discreetly engaged in various welfare and education projects for the underserved without seeking publicity. We are now launching the campaign Har Qadam Pakistan Kay Saath to support daily-wage workers during these testing times. We also hope that our contribution to the Prime Minister’s Fund will make a small difference to the government’s effort towards combatting this pandemic.”

The Mahmud Ali Kasuri Welfare Trust is privileged to have partnered with the highly regarded Akhuwat organization and will be using their extensive grassroots level networks in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad to ensure that ration is distributed to only the most deserving families, whereas the MAK Trust will independently manage screening and distribution in Kasur.  Prior to distribution, supplies will be stored at designated campuses of Beaconhouse and Concordia Colleges.

Mrs Nasreen Kasuri, Patron of the MAK Welfare Trust and Founder of Beaconhouse, said that there is a deeply ingrained culture of social responsibility at Beaconhouse, a key donor of the Trust. Speaking about the initiative, she said, “This is a time when we all need to come together and support the government’s efforts. I am happy to see that many private organisations and individuals have stepped up. On behalf of Beaconhouse, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our doctors, healthcare workers, and law enforcement agencies who are all on the frontlines of this battle.”

Mrs Kasuri added: “While the initial drive is privately funded, many of our employees and students have also expressed a desire to play a role but cannot manage the procurement and distribution of ration on their own.  In the next stage, therefore, we hope to create a pathway for the Beaconhouse community and others to contribute to this initiative on a voluntary basis. This will enable the Trust to extend its reach beyond our initial pledge.”



NBP president visits branches

KARACHI -President/CEO NBP Arif Usmani visited various branches of the city to see first-hand preparations made by the branches for safety and security of the customers and employees of the Bank and evaluate the efficacy of the measures taken.

Arif Usmani appreciated the bank employees who in the face of all challenges are doing their work. The Bank is taking preventive and precautionary measures in the branches by ensuring social distancing and providing hand washing facilities/sanitizers to customers before entering the branches or using ATMs.


Arif Usmani, President & CEO National Bank of Pakistan, was accompanied by Tariq Jamali, SEVP & Group Chief, Centralized Operations & Administration Group and Karim Akram Khan, Group Head Logistics Support Group.