EFU Hemayah Takaful distributes 80 percent surplus

KARACHI (PR): EFU Life has announced a distribution of 80 percent of its surplus to takaful participants from Individual Family Takaful Fund for its EFU Hemayah Window Takaful Operations. EFU Life is the first Window Family Takaful Operator to declare distributable surplus, achieving this milestone in a short period of three years after commencing window takaful operations in 2015. EFU Life has the distinction of being the first window family takaful operator in the country, starting its operations in February 2015 under a dedicated brand - Hemayah. The company offers a wide range of takaful solutions aimed at individuals and corporates, focusing on takaful protection, savings, education and retirement plans. Over the last three years, Hemayah has penetrated into all socio-economic segments extending the financial security net to a larger population. With a dedicated focus on promoting Takaful, EFU Life is on the path to becoming the premier Takaful provider in the country, while at the same time being a catalyst in the continued progress of the Takaful industry.

Canadian high commissioner launches CPACT Pakistan chapter

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Canadian High Commissioner Perry Calderwood has formally inaugurated Pakistan chapter of Canada Pakistan Affiliated Chamber of Trade (CPACT) in a bid to boost bilateral trade between the two countries. The ceremony was held at the office of Ali Malik, president CPACT Pakistan, where prominent personalities participated in the launching ceremony including Senator Sitara Ayaz, MNA Sajida Zulfikar, MPA Malik Ali Khokhar and founder CPACT Hayee Bukhari. “Pakistan has very talented professionals and a lucrative business environment which is mutually beneficial for both countries,” the high commissioner said while sharing views. The envoy hoped that CPACT will help promoting businesses and the well-being of the two countries through multiple networking platforms and people to people contact. President CPACT Ali Malik said the CPACT will focus on its efforts to improve business relations between Canada and Pakistan that are mutually beneficial for both countries and their people.

CPACT is an endeavour by like-minded professionals to promote, study, extend, advance and protect business relations, investments and interests of the business fraternity and to become the trusted voice, primary point of contact and preferred networking forum for executives doing business between Pakistan and Canada and to protect Pakistani and Canadian values in social and business platforms.

ICRU, private sector collaborate to resolve taxation issues

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): The Investment Climate Reform Unit (ICRU), Planning and Development, Punjab, held the first task force meeting on Monday to address the taxation issues faced by the private sector. The Task Force on Taxation Reforms is an extension of the Public Private Dialogue Council, formulated under the PPD mechanism of ICRU, and is one of the several critical decisions undertaken during the 3rd PPD Council session chaired by chairman P&D Board, upon request from the private sector. The taxation reforms task force meeting was led by Bruno Olierhoek, president OICCI and CEO Nestle, and Ms Maleeha Bangash, MD ICRU. Other representatives and sector experts in attendance were Saquib Hussain, CEO Atlas Honda, Almas Hyder, chairman of Board, Synthetic Products Enterprises; Samir Ahmed, CEO Knightsbridge Capital; Dr Ikram Ul Haq, Advocate SC & Chief Partner Huzaima & Ikram; Usman Khan, Adjunct Faculty at LUMS; Naeem Mohsin, financial controller, Atlas Honda; Hammad Zafar, head of taxation Nestle, and reps from Finance dept.

The main areas of discussion during the meeting were frequency of taxation and need for harmonisation of tax regimes between the provinces and federal government.

Oil prices slide after Syria air strikes

LONDON (AFP): Oil prices slid on Monday after US-led strikes on Syria did not provoke an escalation in the conflict, while equities were mixed. The United States, Britain and France carried out attacks at the weekend on alleged chemical weapons facilities, in response to what they say was a toxic gas attack by the Russia-backed Assad regime a week before. "Even though investors have moved past the Syria missile strikes and are working on the basis that there will be no extended conflict or market-adverse retaliation, equity markets are struggling for direction," noted Interactive Investor analyst Rebecca O'Keeffe. Crude prices, however, fell back after having run up to highs not seen since the end of 2014 last week as tensions rose ahead of the attack in the tinderbox oil-rich Middle East region. "The strike on Syrian chemical locations over the weekend marks the end of the recent standoff," noted IG analyst Joshua Mahony. "Market realisation that this attack largely draws the line under the issue has brought about a sharp decline in oil prices in early trade..."

The commodities-heavy FTSE-100 in London was weighed down as oil prices slid, falling 0.5 percent in afternoon trading.

Shares in BP were down 1.3 percent, which Shell shares gave up 0.6 percent.

The FTSE 100 index also lost ground as the strong pound weighed on the share prices of multinationals earning large amounts in other currencies.

In the eurozone, shares in Frankfurt and Paris were both down around 0.1 percent.

Wall Street opened higher, buoyed by data showing US retail sales rose for the first time in four months. The Dow climbed by 0.7 percent in the first minute of trading.

Sentiment was also boosted by Bank of America beating earnings estimates with first quarter profits rising by a third to $6.5 billion.

"US stocks are adding to last week's advance in early action, with late-Friday's US-led targeted missile strikes in Syria appearing to not exacerbate concerns that they will escalate tensions with Russia and Iran," said analysts at Charles Schwab brokerage.

While there was broad support for the Syria mission, Moscow condemned it as illegal and warned it would provoke "chaos" in international relations.

The Syria crisis, which has seen the West's relationship with Russia grow increasingly frosty, has encompassed other regional players including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel, and led to talk of a military standoff.

It also comes against the backdrop of a trade dispute between the United States and China. Many fear this could hammer the global economy if the two sides push through tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods.

Most Asian markets dipped Monday but Tokyo eked out gains.

- WPP tumbles -

British advertising and marketing group WPP topped the FTSE fallers after chief executive Martin Sorrell resigned over the weekend.

Sorrell's departure came 10 days after WPP launched an independent probe into allegations of his personal misconduct through the misuse of company assets.

The company, widely regarded as a bellwether for the global advertising industry, saw its stock dive 5.1 percent.

"WPP has been losing ground in the advertising world recently, as traditional advertising is losing out to online and social media marketing," said CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

"Sir Martin was an integral part of WPP, and some market confidence has been lost now that he is no longer at the helm."