Karachi(Cliff News)The business optimism in Pakistan was on the decline during Q1 2020 compared with Q4 2019 even before the government had executed the lockdown restrictions to shutter the economy in an attempt to halt the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.The findings of the Dun & Bradstreet’s Business Optimism Index (BOI) for the first quarter of 2020 released on Monday shows that enforcement of the Covid-19 lockdown in the third decade of March had only intensified the deterioration in the business sentiments sharply and sped up the shift from optimism to pessimism.Before the implementation of the lockdown, the report says, the businesses were optimistic and hopeful that the pandemic would not affect Pakistan very acutely. Thus, only a marginal drop of 2.4 per cent was witnessed in the pre-lockdown Q1 2020 BOI when compared with the Q4 2019 BOI. However, Q1 2020 BOI after enforcement of the lockdown dropped from a high of 141.1 points – the index level prior to the lockdown – to 85.6 points (below the benchmark neutral value of 100 points, indicating a significant shift in the business sentiments from optimism to pessimism.Overall, the composite BOI stood at 120.6 points in Q1 2020 compared, down by 16.6 per cent from144.6 points in Q4 2019.The BOI survey was conducted during Q1 2020 with companies spanning all across Pakistan. The companies included a mix of SMEs and Large Enterprises and has representation from the Manufacturing, Trading, and Services sectors in proportion to their respective value-added contribution to GDP.Dun & Bradstreet Launched its world renowned BOI for Pakistan in Q4 2019 and has issued the second edition for the last quarter. The report aims to measure the pulse of the business community and provide an outlook of business sentiments in Pakistan.The BOI for Q1 2020 represents mixed sentiments, collected both before and after the announcement of the lockdown in Pakistan. Since the majority of responses were captured the lockdown restrictions, the Q1 2020 BOI issue primarily – at an aggregate level – reflects a pre Covid-19 sentiment analysis.The report discusses five key parameters for businesses, that is, Sales Revenue, Selling Price, Volumes Sold, Number of Employees, and Profits. At an overall level, Businesses were optimistic for all the parameters for the upcoming quarter (Q2, 2020). However, post-lockdown, there is a significant shift in business sentiments. Prior to the lockdown, 68 per cent respondents anticipated an increase in Sales Revenue and 62 per cent respondents anticipated increase in Profits; however, post-lockdown, only 19 per cent respondents anticipated increase in Sales Revenue and Net Profits. Additionally, prior to the lockdown, only three per cent respondents anticipated decline in the number of Employees; however, post-lockdown, this number increased sharply to 16 per cent.As per the report, Exporters’ Optimism Index, at an aggregate level, stood at 116 points in Q1 2020 compared to 144.8 points in Q4 2019. Breakdown of results into pre-lockdown and post-lockdown revealed that the index stood at 134.8 points pre-lockdown and deteriorated sharply to 84.3 points post-lockdown. USA, UAE and Saudi Arabia were identified as top export destination for businesses. In addition, 27 per cent of the businesses indicated that they are planning to export to new markets in future. Macro-economic concerns of inflation (44 per cent) and exchange rate fluctuation (34 per cent) were key factors hindering business growth in Q1 2020. Additionally, nine per cent of respondents reported COVID-19 related uncertainty as an emerging challenge among the businesses.Mr. Nauman Lakhani, Country Head of Dun & Bradstreet in Pakistan, said, “The second issue of D&B Business Optimism Index comes at a time when businesses world over are facing unprecedented challenges in sustaining their operations due to prolonged closure, decreased demand and disrupted supply chains. This is the reason why a contrast can be seen in responses of business owners before and after the lock down was implemented during last week of March 2020.”He said:”We at D&B, through our global expertise in providing critical business insights, are helping Pakistani businesses in identifying and evaluating alternate business partners, vendors and customers so they can minimize the impact of current situation by establishing new relationships where their existing suppliers and customers are no more able to do business with them. We look forward to get in touch with more Pakistani businesses and help them explore new avenues for business amid the lockdown and its impacts.”
Karachi(Cliff News)Emerging Markets Property Group (EMPG), a leading property portal group in emerging markets, and OLX Group, Prosus’s global classifieds business, have announced their merger in Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon and the UAE. The agreement includes a US $150 million investment round, led by OLX Group along with existing EMPG shareholders, which values EMPG at US $1 billion after the transaction. As part of the deal, OLX Group will contribute its operations in the four countries into EMPG and will become EMPG’s largest single shareholder, owning 39% of the company. EMPG will use the new capital to develop a range of new services, creating a more seamless user experience, enhancing data transparency, and deepening market intelligence for both consumers and business users. In Egypt and Lebanon, EMPG will operate the existing OLX platforms, rolling out new services for the real estate community, as well as offering consumers a superior experience across all categories. In Pakistan and the UAE, both groups’ platforms will be operated by EMPG and will continue to operate through their well-known local brands.The aggregated value of properties sold in these markets is estimated at US $90 billion, providing a commission pool for real estate agencies of over US $2 billion per annum. This presents a great opportunity for EMPG to enhance their real estate services in these markets. “EMPG has grown at a tremendous pace since its inception,” said CEO Imran Ali Khan. “Our unique ability to scale using our proprietary tech has aided and enabled this expansion. This deal puts us one step further in our journey towards providing solutions in multiple markets to over a billion consumers around the world, expanding our classifieds offering significantly.” Martin Scheepbouwer, CEO of OLX Group, says “I’m proud of what we have built in these four markets. Our brands are household names, and currently help tens of millions of people to exchange goods and services every month. The next phase is an exciting one, with EMPG’s real estate industry expertise helping deepen the customer experience. As EMPG’s largest shareholder, we’ll have a front seat to explore how we can scale their services model further – taking our ambition to shape the future of classifieds into its next stage.”EMPG is currently present in the GCC region with Bayut, Pakistan with Zameen, Bangladesh with Bproperty, Morocco and Tunisia with Mubawab, and Thailand with Kaidee. After this deal, besides expanding to Egypt and Lebanon, EMPG will also operate OLX’s platforms in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman, and the dubizzle platform in the UAE.
Karachi(Cliff News)Bank Islami Pakistan Limited, while fulfilling its vision of providing innovative Shariah complaint products and services to the customers, proudly announces 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 20th and 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. Ehad Sukuk Prospectus and Subscription Form can be easily accessed and downloaded from BankIslami website as well as the websites of PSX, CDC, Next Capital and JS Global.
Karachi(CliffNews)Mastercard announced today that it is championing efforts to increase contactless payment limits across the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region as people look for safer ways to pay in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative is in line with recommendations from global and regional health authorities and governments to practice social distancing that has led a growing number of merchants to encourage consumers to pay with contactless over cash to avoid human-to-human contact.Globally, Mastercard has been spearheading the transition to contactless for over 15 years. In MEA, the company has worked with various industry partners and sectors in multiple markets to increase the use of digital and contactless payment technology in an effort to enhance safety, security, speed and convenience in the payment experience for cardholders. In 2019, the MEA region saw >200% growth in contactless transactions. Today almost 1 in 9 Mastercard transactions at point-of-sale (POS) terminals in MEA are contactless.Central banks across the region in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Egypt have already increased the cardholder verification method (CVM) limit, which will ultimately improve purchase experiences for people across the region, making them safer and more convenient for consumers and businesses alike. Mastercard is working swiftly with all financial institutions, issuers and merchants to ensure this update is executed securely for shoppers in the region.“Mastercard remains committed to offering safe, secure, and simple payment solutions across the region. In the current environment, we are grateful that contactless payments are available so consumers can follow social distancing recommendations, and that people are embracing these safe and hygienic solutions as their preferred form of payment every day. Today’s announcement reflects the pace of those changing behaviors, offering consumers ease, speed and peace of mind in a rapidly changing world. We will continue to work with our industry partners to guide and support them through this effort,” said Mete Guney, Executive Vice President of Services, Middle East & Africa at Mastercard.Presently, while following best practices from around the world, Mastercard is working closely with its partners to enable businesses and retailers to implement contactless limit increases quickly and efficiently. Contactless payments for transaction amounts below the CVM limits do not require a physical PIN entry, therefore this important move would allow cardholders to make higher value payments without having to touch the POS terminal keypad – enabling consumers to purchase more of what they need with the security and touch-free experience expected from contactless payments.Cardholders should look for the contactless symbol on the front or back of their credit or debit cards to determine whether they have a contactless-enabled card or can add their debit or credit card to their mobile wallets on their contactless-enabled devices to tap and pay where contactless payments are accepted.Mastercard’s effort to raise CVM limits is one of many the company is leading to do its part for its employees, customers and cardholders. Most recently, the company announced a partnership with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust to accelerate the development and access to treatment for COVID-19 with the initial grant of US$20 million funding announced to three institutions to fund clinical trials.
Karachi(Cliff News)Global demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) grew by 12.5% to 359 million tonnes in 2019, according to Shell’s latest annual LNG Outlook published today – a significant increase that bolsters LNG’s growing role in the transition to a lower-carbon energy system.2019 saw key developments that are helping to reshape the industry, namely;
- an industry record of 40 million tonnes of additional supply becoming available and being consumed by the market.
- the belief in long-term demand growth triggering record investment decisions in liquefaction capacity of 71 million tonnes.
- an increase in diversity of contractual structures, providing a wider range of options to LNG buyers.
- the growing role of gas in improving air quality through coal-to-gas switching in the power and industrial sectors, with coal generation phase-out announcements more than trebling.
Natural gas emits between 45 and 55% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and less than one-tenth of the air pollutants than coal when used to generate electricity.“The global LNG market continued to evolve in 2019 with demand increasing for LNG and natural gas in power and non-power sectors,” said Maarten Wetselaar, Integrated Gas and New Energies Director at Shell. “Record supply investments will meet people’s growing need for the most flexible and cleanest-burning fossil fuel.”“While we see weak market conditions today due to record new supply coming in, two successive mild winters and the Coronavirus situation, we expect equilibrium to return, driven by a combination of continued demand growth and reduction in new supply coming on-stream until the mid-2020s.”Europe absorbed the majority of 2019 supply growth as competitively-priced LNG furthered coal-to-gas switching in the power sector and replaced declining domestic gas production and pipeline gas imports. New spot-trading mechanisms and a wider variety of indices used for long-term contracts point towards LNG becoming an increasingly flexible commodity.There was a modest rise in imports to Asia in 2019, compared to the previous two years, a result of mild weather and rising electricity generation from nuclear power in Japan and South Korea, two of the three largest global importers.In China, LNG imports increased by 14% in 2019 as efforts continued to improve urban air quality.Also notable was LNG demand growth in South Asia. In total, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan imported 36 million tonnes, an increase of 19% over last year, pointing to emerging growth countries in Asia.Over the longer-term, global LNG demand is expected to double to 700 million tonnes by 2040, according to forecasts*, as gas plays a significant role in shaping a lower-carbon energy system.Asia is expected to remain the dominant region in the decades to come, with South and South-east Asia generating more than half of the increased demand.
Karachi(Cliff News)Crown Group, a leading two and three-wheeler automotive giant, has partnered with Total Parco Pakistan (TPPPL), a globally recognized player in the oil industry, to introduce a new infusion of quality Ultra Boost Multi-Grade Engine Oil which will be available all across Pakistan. Formulated in France, the high quality engine oil will not only rejuvenate vehicles engine life but also actively clean it due to its Pro-Cleansing Formula Technology.The signing ceremony took place at local hotel with the presence of dignitaries from both the respective organizations including Chairman Crown Group, Mr. M. Farhan Hanif, Managing Director, S.M Kashif Qaseem along with other directors of the group. The agreement was signed between Business Development Director, Crown Group – Mr. Zohaib Farhan and Vice President, Total Parco Pakistan Pvt. Ltd – Mr. Zaza Kandelaki.With a monthly sale of up to 10,000 motorcycles, Crown Group has now diversified its operations across motorcycles, all engine parts, batteries, body parts and tyres for two and three-wheelers. Their production capacity is laid out strategically in two factories in Sadiqabad, one motorcycle factory and 8 Chinese joint venture factories in Karachi and an industrial park in Port Qasim, Karachi.Crown is a leading brand in the two and three wheeler industries of Pakistan and the only local consumer brand that exports to international markets while offering solutions for all segments of the industry within Pakistan.
About Crown Group:
Crown Group has been the forerunner in two and three-wheeler automotive industries since 1963. Having the largest network of motorcycle parts across pan Pakistan, Crown deals in manufacturing motorcycles, tyres and tubes for more than 15 years.
Karachi(Cliff News)ACCA(the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) hosted a high-profile corporate networking conference in Peshawar on the theme ‘KP: Pakistan’s gateway to economic prosperity’ providing a platform to region’s key stakeholders and thought leaders to engage in interdisciplinary, forward thinking conversations and encouraging collaborative action by proposing a common agenda aimed at revitalising the private sector to kick start an era of sustainable, inclusive economic growth in the province.Taimur Jhagra, Minister for Finance, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Hassan Daud Butt, CEO, KP Board of Investment & Trade, Mujahid Saleem, Advisor on Economic Growth, USAID, and Assad Hameed Khan, Market Head, ACCA were among the keynote speakers who shared their insights and proposed tips for organisations to become future-ready.“It’s a source of pride to see the city opening up again and providing a platform for thought leaders to engage in meaningful conversations. The province is a large consumer market and offers exciting opportunities for investors. We strongly believe that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is our country’s gateway to economic prosperity.” – Taimur Jhagra.Commenting on the theme of the conference, Director of National Incubation Centre (NIC) Peshawar, Faisal Jamil said, “Around 60pc of all the investments and funding raised by the start-ups at NIC Peshawar have been raised by women-led start-ups. The key takeaway from the conference is that the stakeholders of this region need to focus more on inclusivity and sustainability to drive the business forward.”Recognising the aggregated impact of the conference, Mujahid Saleem said, “Today’s event will go a long way in chalking out a clear path forward to promote sustainable economic development in this region. We look forward to working with ACCA on similar initiatives in the future for the benefit of this region.”From robotics and cloud to AI and block chain, digital is arguably the biggest factor shaping the future of business around the world. At the conference, ACCA shared insights, practical guidance, strategies, and solutions to enable businesses and policy makers to embrace these new technologies and create a conducive environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.“The conference offered great insights into developing future-ready talent and preparing the youth of our country for the challenges ahead.” – Dr Sahibzada Ali Mahmud, Chief Strategy & Information Officer, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company (KPEZDMC).One of the event highlights was a future-focused panel conversation on the topic ‘Digital transformation and economic growth – journey towards sustainable development’. The conversation leaders for the segment included, Dr Mohsin Khan, Director, Institute of Management Sciences, Shafique Ur Rehman, CEO, Rehman Medical Institute, Dr Shahbaz Khan, Managing Director, KP IT Board, Dr Sahibzada Ali Mahmud, Chief Strategy & Information Officer, KPEZDMC, Syed Asmat Ullah FCCA, Executive Director Audit & Assurance, Deloitte and Arif Masud Mirza FCCA, Regional Head of Policy, ACCA.To emphasise on the importance of inclusivity and to discuss the changing nature of work, and evolving business models, the conference also hosted a thought-provoking panel conversation on the theme ‘Building an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem’, with contributions from Hassan Daud Butt, CEO, KP Board of Investment & Trade, Usman Zulfiqar, Academia Head SKANS School of Accountancy Peshawar, Ihsan Ullah Ihsan, Managing Director, The Bank of Khyber, Mubarak Ali Senior Faculty Member Professionals Academy of Commerce Peshawar, Faisal Jamil, Executive Vice President, LMKT and Maryam Arshad, CEO, Impact Dynamics.“We believe healthy and prosperous economies are ones that build equitable and thriving societies. In Pakistan, ACCA will continue to play its role in building a healthy and prosperous economy where people of all backgrounds are able to flourish and there’s an open access to opportunity.” – Assad Hameed Khan, Market Head, ACCA.Bank Islami Pvt Ltd. joined ACCA as an exclusive Strategic Partner. The Bank of Khyber, DHA Peshawar, and Rehman Medical Institute were the Platinum Partners, and Professionals’ Academy of Commerce (PAC), and SKANS School of Accountancy joined as Gold Partners.The conference was also supported by SECP’s Jama Punji, IM Sciences, IM Durshal, Deloitte, SMEDA, KP Information Technology Board, Pakistan Stock Exchange, KPRA, KPCCI, WCCI and KPEZDMC. Nutshell Conferences powered the conference as a Knowledge Partner.With more than 219,000 fully qualified members and 527,000 students worldwide, ACCA is the world’s leading body for professional accountants which uses its unrivalled connections across the world to connect people with fulfilling careers, organisations with the best finance talent, and economies with the ingredients for growth. With strong partnerships with top employers and social sector across the globe and an award-winning Professional Insights programme offering ground-breaking futures insight, ACCA is at the forefront of finance talent development and creating future-proof careers.
ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.ACCA supports its 208,000 members and 503,000 students in 178 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 104 offices and centres and more than 7,300 Approved Employers worldwide, who provide high standards of employee learning and development. Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.ACCA has introduced major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability.
Faisalabad(Cliff News)An impressive handing-over ceremony of 45 units of Porter H-100 pickup to M/sShan Distributors & Shan Marketing Services was held at Hyundai Nishat Motor Pvt. Ltd., plant, Faisalabad.The event was attended by the Directors of Shan Distributors and Shan Marketing who received the ceremonial keys of their brand new Hyundai Porter High-deck and Deckless variants from Mr. Tatsuya Sato-COO HNMPL & Mr. Junya Masuda – EVP Sales & Marketing HNMPL. Other senior company officials from HNMPL were also present at the occasion.The production of Porter H-100 pickup and its committed deliveries to the customers have already begun from early January 2020.M/s HyundaiNishat Motor is committed to not only provide highly quality products and services, but also to work closely with the Pakistani clients to set the new benchmark for Pakistan’s transportation industry.