MCB Bank, Virtual University sign MoU


LAHORE (Staff Reporter): MCB Bank has entered into a strategic collaboration & agreement with Virtual University (VU) for services that include fee collection and accessibility to VU’s vast knowledgebase. Under this agreement, MCB Bank will provide fee collection services, financial products and other associated financial services to VU. Additionally, VU will facilitate its professional expertise and grant MCB Bank access to its exclusive Learning Resources. At the ceremony, Zargham Khan Durrani, Retail Banking Head – North MCB, also appraised the delegation on the Bank’s diverse product portfolio and customer centric financial solutions. Dr Naveed A Malik, Rector VU, also spoke of the need for greater collaboration between the two organizations and proposed different initiatives to strengthen the link between the banking industry and the academic sector. The MoU was signed between Mirza Ali Raza, Head Institutional Sales MCB Bank, and Naeem Tariq, Director Finance VU, at MCB House in presence of senior executives from both organizations.


Hakla-DI Khan Expressway to be

completed next year

ISLAMABAD (APP): The construction work on 285-kilometer long Hakla-Dera Ismail Khan Expressway is in full swing and the project would be completed by end of 2018. National Highway Authority (NHA) spokesman Kashif Zaman told APP on Saturday the project, which is part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor Western Route, will cost of Rs 129 billion. To ensure timely completion of the project, the expressway has been divided in five packages, he said, adding that phase one of the project comprises Yarik-Rehmani Khail section. The contract of this phase has been awarded to M/s NLC and up to 21pc progress has been achieved so far. Cost of the package would be Rs 13,257 million. He said that 65-km Phase 2 of the project which starts from Rehmani Khail and ends near Mianwali is under procurement. The 55-kilometer phase 3 begins from Mianwali and ends at Tarap near Injra in district Attock. The contract of this section has been awarded to M/s FWO. About 8 per cent progress has been achieved, he added.

 He said that 62-kilometer Tarap-Pindi Gheb section contract has been awarded to M/s Limak-ZKB JV. The fourth section would cost Rs 21,386 million and about Rs 17 pc progress has been achieved.

The NHA official said that Phase 5 is 63-kilometer Pindi Gheb-Hakla Interchange section and its contractor is M/s Limak-ZKB JV. The section would cost Rs 16,887 million and about 16 per cent progress has been achieved, he said.

The 285-kilometer-long motorway is being developed as part of the Western Alignment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The expressway includes provision of 11 interchanges, 19 flyovers (6 lanes), 15 bridges (4 lane), 74 underpasses, 259 culverts, and three major bridges (6 lane); one at River Swan, one at River Indus and third at River Koram.

The expressway will have 100 metre wide right of way (ROW) to convert the four lane facility to six lanes in future.







NBP to be made number one bank of Pakistan: Saeed Ahmed

KARACHI (APP): The National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) would be made the number one bank of Pakistan, said its President Saeed Ahmed here on Saturday. He said that all endeavours would be made in this regard and all energies would be utilized to attain number one status for the NBP in the country. The NBP chief was talking to APP on the occasion of a moot titled `Happy customers-Our success' here and said that this conference was aimed at to render services like the private banks. Saeed Ahmed pointed out that to improve the performance of the NBP one-window would be initiated in all the branches to help address the complaints of the customers. He said that NBP is a national bank with a network of 1,500 branches and has a vital role in the country's economy. He said that the regional officers would be asked to visit two branches daily and redress the complaints of the customers. Saeed Ahmed said that the services in every department would also be improved.

In Karachi, Saeed Ahmed has emphasized the importance of customer service to gain competitive edge. He expressed these views in his address to a gathering of more than 100 NBP regional management and Head office staff, from across Pakistan, said a statement here Saturday.



HBL disburses first loans to farmers

with crop as collateral

KARACHI (NNI): Under an effort put together by non-profit Pakistan Agricultural Coalition (PAC), the first-ever loans by a leading Pakistani bank to farmers with crop (not land) as collateral were disbursed by the HBL in Muridke, District Sheikhupura. Loans worth Rs3.7 million against 185 tons of wheat were disbursed to two farmers whose wheat was placed in a warehouse operated by Agility Pakistan after testing by SGS Pakistan. The stocks are under pledge to HBL at Pakistan Mercantile Exchange. Mahmood Moulvi, Chairman M.M. Flour Mills, committed to purchase the stock. PAC Chief Executive Arif Nadeem said this is the birth of a new era for Pakistan’s farmers as the warehouse receipts business model has now been adapted to the Pakistani environment. At its full strength in a major grains producer like Pakistan, this system can not only improve financial inclusion of farmers but also farmers’ market access, protection of crop quality, price stability, and ultimately export competitiveness and food security.

Nadeem noted that this effort is a pilot for an eco-system based on the collateral management regulations 2017 championed by the SECP for which State Bank of Pakistan is developing a framework. In this context, he acknowledged SECP’s commitment to the development of the commodities market and the excellent support its Chairman and Commissioner SMD are offering in terms of guidance and help in developing the sector.