Bank Alfalah signs agreement to transfer Afghanistan ops to Azizi Bank


KARACHI (NNI): In a joint ceremony held in Dubai, Bank Alfalah Ltd signed an agreement to transfer its Afghanistan operations to Azizi Bank, a leading financial institution in Afghanistan.   Bank Alfalah’s Afghanistan operations had total assets of Afghani 15.3 billion as of 31st March, 2018. The transfer will result in Bank Alfalah Afghanistan’s employees and retail branches becoming a part of Azizi Bank. The regional expertise of Azizi Bank is seen as a major benefit to the continued delivery of high service standards that Bank Alfalah’s customers have come to expect, while opening greater investment and growth opportunities for Bank Alfalah in their largest geographic market, Pakistan. The agreement is subject to mandatory regulatory approvals in both countries.  The agreement was signed by Nauman Ansari, CEO Bank Alfalah, and Mohammad Salem Omaid, CEO Azizi Bank. Senior management from both organizations were present at the ceremony.

Nauman Ansari, CEO Bank Alfalah, said, “It gives me great pleasure to announce the agreement to transfer Bank Alfalah’s Afghanistan operations to one of the leading Afghan banks, Azizi Bank. This agreement demonstrates Bank Alfalah’s commitment to always giving the highest priority to delivering the best customer experience in all the regions where we operate.  We believe that regional expertise contributes tremendously to the operational excellence required for achieving the high standards our customers deserve.  We are confident that Azizi Bank’s experience and specialized regional knowledge will only add to the value our customers will receive from their banking relationships with us.”



PARC, SAU sign agreement to develop agri sector in desert areas

ISLAMABAD (APP): PARC and Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam have signed MoU for improving and strengthening the coordination among academia and research institution to develop the agriculture and livestock sector in the desert areas of the country. Chairman PARC Dr Yusuf Zafar and Vice Chancellor Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam Dr Mujeeb uddin Memon inked the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations. Chairman PARC said that government was taking several steps to convert Thar desert into grasslands through agricultural innovations programme to improve the livelihoods of the people of these areas. He said that PARC was playing vital role in agriculture research and development across the country and initiated several programmes for the uplift of agriculture sector of the country. He informed that PARC Arid Zone Research Institute Umerkot had also organised a workshop on combating  malnutrition and desertification in Thar Desert.

, which was aiming at to strengthening and upgrading the agriculture and livestock research system in arid zones.

In this regard, the government had allocated Rs 529 million for project strengthening and up-gradation of agriculture and livestock research system of Arid Zone Research Institute Umerkot-Sindh in its Public Sector Development Program, he added.

Vice Chancellor Sindh Agriculture University said that the MoU with PARC will improve the research as well as academy activities for both the institutes. He further appreciated the research activities of the PARC-AZRI Umerkot.



Awareness session on SMEs held at LCCI


LAHORE (APP): Small & medium enterprises are backbone of the economy and their role is crucial for economic development of the country. A good workable policy should be evolved for the small & medium enterprises in consultation with the stakeholders. This was upshot of the speeches delivered at 'SME Awareness Session' jointly organised by Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and State Bank of Pakistan here Wednesday. LCCI senior vice president Khawaja Khawar Rashid, vice president Zeshan Khalil, Convener LCCI SME Committee Rehmatullah Javed, acting chief manager SBP Iftikhar Ansar and other experts spoke on the occasion.Khawaja Khawar Rasheed said that SMEs hold paramount importance in the Pakistan's economy. Other than preparing roadmap, there is a need to develop a market for SMEs intermediary services where SMEs, on nominal payment, can acquire the services such as technical know-how, marketing, managerial skills, accounting, book keeping and preparation of basic financial statements.

 This will improve the bankability of the credit proposals of SMEs and their requests for fixed capital as well as working capital.

Zeshan Khalil said that by way of improving the capacity and disseminating important information among the relevant stakeholders, "we can ensure better results". He said State Bank of Pakistan for preparing a Roadmap for Promotion of SME Banking and in this connection their experts have visited here to brief us about one of the pillars of this roadmap which is Capacity Building & Awareness Creation.

Rehmatullah Javed said underlined the need to make SMEs more aware of the Islamic Banking Products. He said owners and managers of a large number of SMEs have a deeper craving for Shariah-compliant financial services as compared large businesses and companies. The share of SMEs in overall financing portfolio of Islamic Banks is still less than five percent.




Businessmen delegation to visit Greece


LAHORE (APP): Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) vice president and regional chairman Chaudhry Arfan Yousaf will lead a high profile businessmen delegation to Hellenic Republic Greece (EU and Schengen State) in the last week of June 2018. The delegation was especially arranged for trade promotion, to utilize GSP-Plus Status and for the promotion of trade with European Union, the Federation's VP stated in a special meeting with Greek-Pakistani Chamber of Commerce President Ms Maria Rubina Markopoulou here Wednesday. Chaudhry Arfan Yousaf said that Pakistan should explore Greece as trading partner and a link to EU and Schengen states but the volume of trade between two countries was very low. He mentioned that delegation would meet government officials of Greece and various Chambers in Greece especially The Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Greek-Pakistani Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Maria Rubina Markopoulou said there was good market for Pakistani surgical instruments, pharmaceutical products, textile yarn & fabrics of apparel & cloth accessories, leather & leather manufacturing, fish rice, and sports goods. Greece pharmaceutical products, organic chemicals, paper & paper board, iron & steel, textile yarn, chemicals, fertilizers, specified machinery and cotton. She added that communication gap between business circles in Pakistan and Greece must be bridged, as it was one of the biggest reasons of low trade between the two countries.

Chaudhry Arfan Yousaf said that exchange of trade delegations and timely dissemination of trade and investment-related information could help boost two-way trade. He said that he would also receive a delegation of Greek people visiting Pakistan this year for joint venture under the MoU already signed between two the countries.