IBA sign MOU with Orange Tree Foundation


Karachi(Cliff News)The Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Orange Tree Foundation (OTF) agreeing to provide scholarships worth Rs. 2 million each year for a period of 2 years to undergraduate and graduate students.  The objective of the scholarship is to provide the Institute’s promising young students a stepping stone to self-efficiency. The eligibility for the scholarship will be based on the candidates’ academic record and their requirements of financial assistance.In the ceremony, the Institute was represented by Acting Executive Director IBA Karachi, Dr. Sayeed Ghani; Head of Corporate Relations and Communications Department, Malahat Awan; Director National Talent Hunt Program, Dr. Junaid Alam; and Director HR Department, Mashooque Bhatti while OTF was represented by CEO and Board Member, Omer Mateen Allahwala; Chairman Board, Faisal Khalid Abdullah; Board Member and Head of Academic Program, Arfa Hasnain, Senior Coordinator, Tazeen. A. Qadir, and Senior Member Fundraising Committee, Riaz Ahmed.The IBA Resource Mobilization department is striving to create new avenues for helping the financially constrained students at the Institute. Every year 4000 students get enrolled in the six undergraduate as well as eight graduate programs of the IBA Karachi. Out of these 4000, 1500 students apply for financial assistance. Along with the limited resources of the IBA Karachi, many individuals, businesses, and governments make regular funds available to provide scholarships to the underprivileged students of the Institute.The OTF is a tax-exempted, not-for-profit Educational Society based in Karachi working towards the cause of education in Pakistan. Established in 2011, Orange Tree Foundation aims to provide equal opportunities to financially challenged individuals of our society through quality education, healthcare and family support.Scholarships worth Rs. 2 million each year for a period of 2 years.

Standard Chartered pioneers trade A1 engine in partnership with IBM

Singapore(Cliff News) Standard Chartered has officially launched the Trade AI Engine, a joint solution developed in partnership with IBM to enhance the client experience in trade document processing through increased operational efficiency and strengthened operational control. The industry-leading solution is currently live in key markets across Asia, Africa and the Middle East[1], with more markets across the Bank’s footprint to follow[2].Traditional documentary trade requires millions of data elements in paper-based, unstructured documents – often issued by various companies – to be reviewed through a largely manual process. With the implementation of the Trade AI Engine powered by IBM, this time-consuming and high-risk process is now significantly automated:

  • Conversion of non-digital shipping documents into machine-readable format enabled by Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

  • Identification and classification of document types from an initial pre-defined database

  • Continuous Machine learning (ML) based on user re-classification / re-defining of data elements to further improve accuracy

  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities to read and capture context from data in the documents

 The innovative solution allows the Bank to handle high volumes of diverse back office tasks with greater efficiency and accuracy, thus offering a more seamless trade processing experience for clients.“As a market leader and major intermediary between buyers and sellers in the centre of global trade, we process more than 36 million pages of trade documents annually, with over 200 million data elements for name capture and processing,” said Lisa Robins, Global Head, Transaction Banking at Standard Chartered. “The Trade AI Engine significantly reduces the amount of time and effort in this review process while raising the bar on our controls environment, further enhancing our ability to play the connector role for our clients by facilitating transactions at pace with the growth of their businesses.”“Trade document processing traditionally relies on a high degree of manual effort to ensure transaction compliance. IBM worked with Standard Chartered Bank to develop a solution that would automate the retrieval of key information from text within scanned documents. The Trade AI Engine enables multi-format document capture without templates and uses NLP to extract relevant information for review, as well as leveraging user interaction to improve text extraction accuracy and streamline the process with each cycle in real-time,” said Likhit Wagle, VP, Financial Services Sector, IBM Asia Pacific. Standard Chartered continues to innovate and drive digital transformations to deliver a differentiated and unparalleled service that aligns to the needs of its clients. The Bank was recognised as one of “The Innovators 2017 – Trade Finance” for the Intelligent OCR process innovation by Global Finance. In 2018, Standard Chartered announced its collaboration with Siemens Financial Services and TradeIX to carry out an industry-first client pilot to create an end-to-end blockchain-based smart guarantees proposition in trade finance. Most recently, it also announced the launch of an expanded coverage of Straight2Bank Pay, a digital collections gateway for corporate clients, to additional markets in  Asia, as well as the Straight2Bank Pay mobile app in Singapore.

Standard Chartered

We are a leading international banking group, with more than 80,000 employees and a 150-year history in some of the world’s most dynamic markets. We bank the people and companies driving investment, trade and the creation of wealth across Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good.Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.

Standard Chartered Pakistan

Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Ltd. is the oldest and largest international bank in Pakistan. It is also the first international bank to be awarded Islamic banking licence and the first to open an Islamic banking branch.The Banks serves both Corporate Institutional and Retail Clients. Provides credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, deposit taking and wealth management services to individuals and, trade finance, transactional banking, lending, securities services, foreign exchange, debt capital markets and corporate finance to Corporate Institutional Clients. It also offers a complete suite of Islamic banking solutions under its Standard Chartered Saadiq brand.Standard Chartered was assigned a rating of AAA/ A1+ by PACRA. In 2012 and 2013 it won the award for Best Bank in Pakistan by The Asset Triple A for two consecutive years.The Bank employs more than 3,400 people in Pakistan and has a network of 77 branches in 11 cities.

World Islamic Finance Forum starts on 19th March 2018

Wiff Eng CapKarachi(Cliff News)H.E Shaikh Ebrahim Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Chairman – AAOIFI Board of Trustees, would be the Chief Guest at World Islamic Finance Forum (WIFF) 2018, a unique conference being organized by CEIF-IBA in collaboration with LUMS and INCEIF, to bring together researchers, academicians and practitioners for generating innovative ideas to stimulate Islamic Finance growth while overcoming present day industry challenges. The two-day conference would be held at the Movenpick Hotel, Karachi on 19th and 20th March, 2018.Governor State Bank of Pakistan Tariq Bajwa, Chairman, Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP)  Zafar Abdullah, Dr. Ishrat Husain, Chairman, CEIF- IBA, Shaikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Shari’ah Board Chairman, Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI); Chairman Shari’ah Board, Meezan Bank and Deputy President, Dar ul Uloom, Karachi, Pakistan, Presidents of Islamic banks and many other important figures from national and international financial institutions are participating in this International Conference. These views were expressed by Mr. Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, Director, Centre for Excellence in Islamic Finance at Institute of Business Administration (CEIF-IBA) while addressing a Press Conference today. Dr. Farrukh Iqbal, Dean and Director, IBA and President, Meezan Bank Limited Mr. Irfan Siddiqui were also present on the occasion.Ahmed Ali informed that prominent Shari’ah scholars, renowned academicians, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), Islamic Finance News (IFN), World Bank, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) , Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), Deloitte & Touché in addition to key local and global Islamic financial institutions are participating in this mega event.Overall, 17 global and 15 local institutions would be represented by industry experts on the Speaker Panels throughout the two-day conference at Movenpick Hotel. Global Islamic Finance Hubs including KSA, Bahrain, Malaysia and other GCC countries are participating in the conference. Additionally, speakers from Bosnia-Herzegovina, USA, UK, Turkey and China are also participating in WIFF.Dr. Farrukh Iqbal, Dean and Director, IBA said that research papers and case studies presentation at WIFF 2018 would be focused on areas crucial for the expansion of Islamic Finance industry. Around 50 speakers representing regulatory bodies, Islamic finance infrastructure institutions, Islamic banks/windows, asset management companies, advisory firms and Takaful players will be part of the event.Dr. Farrukh informed that research papers / case studies will be appraised by a renowned committee of practitioners and Shari’ah scholars. The 1st position has a hefty reward of $5000, whereas the 2nd & 3rd positions would be awarded $3000 & $2000 respectively. Furthermore, 3 consolation prizes of US$ 500 each will be given in the Conference.President, Meezan Bank Limited Irfan Siddiqui said that World Islamic Finance Forum (WIFF) 2018 is a unique conference being organized by CEIF-IBA to bring together researchers, academicians and practitioners for generating innovative ideas to expand Islamic Finance growth through innovation, Fintech and Regulations. Against this backdrop, the role envisaged for various stakeholders, especially the regulator, to expand the outreach will be discussed by Islamic finance visionaries at the conference.Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Takaful Pakistan, Mr. Rizwan Hussain appreciated the role of IBA CEIF in bridging the gap between industry and academia.Other distinguished guests include Dato’ Dr. Azmi Omar, President & CEO, INCEIF, Mr. Najmul Hassan, Director FIDD, ICD (Saudi Arabia), Dr. Zamir Iqbal World Bank Islamic Finance Development Centre (Turkey), Dr. Muhammad Imran Ashraf Usmani, Group Head Product Development & Shari’ah Compliance and Resident Shari’ah Board Member, Meezan Bank, Mr. Amer Bukvic, CEO, Bosna Bank International (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Mr. Ashar Nazim, Managing Director, Finocracy (Bahrain), Mr. Saeed Ahmed, President & CEO, National Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Necdet Sensoy, Member of Board, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), Mr. Farrukh Raza, Founder & Managing Director, IFAAS (UK), Dr. Salman Syed Ali, Senior Researcher, IRTI (KSA), Dr. Aishath Muneeza, Associate professor, INCEIF (Malaysia), Mr. Muhammad Nasir Ali Syed, CEO, Pak-Qatar Family Takaful amongst others.


Meezan Bank and IBA sign agreement for Fee Collection

Eng Cap MBL, IBA

Karachi(Cliff News)Meezan Bank, Pakistan’s first and largest Islamic bank recently signed a fee collection agreement with the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi (IBA). Under this agreement, the Bank will provide Payments & Cash Management services to IBA through the Bank’s state-of-the-art web based electronic solution ‘eBiz+’. The agreement was signed by Mr. Ijaz Farooq, Group Head Retail Banking- Meezan Bank and Mr. Moeid Sultan, Director Finance- IBA.This agreement between IBA Karachi and Meezan Bank is a testimony of the Bank’s expertise in the field of payment and cash management services through which the Bank provides digitalized collections solutions to its clients for a hassle-free banking experience.Meezan Bank is the 8th largest bank in Pakistan and the leading Islamic bank of the country. The Bank provides a comprehensive range of Islamic banking products and services through a retail banking network of more than 600 branches supported by a countrywide network of over 580 ATMs, Visa & MasterCard Debit cards, a 24/7 Call Center, Internet Banking and Mobile Application facility.
Meezan Bank has consistently been recognized as the Best Islamic Bank in Pakistan by numerous local and international institutions, which is a testimony of the Bank’s commitment to excellence. These institutions include Islamic Finance News – Malaysia, Global Finance magazine – New York, Asset AAA – Hong Kong, Asiamoney – Hong Kong, The Banker – United Kingdom, South Asian Federation of Accountants, Islamic Finance Forum of South Asian Awards,Pakistan Banking Awards – Dawn & IBP Pakistan, Employers Federation of Pakistan and CFA Association – Pakistan.
The JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited, an affiliate of Japan Credit Rating Agency, Japan has reaffirmed the Bank’s long-term entity rating of AA (Double A) and short-term rating at A1+ (A One Plus) with stable outlook. The rating indicates sound performance indicators of the Bank. Meezan Bank is the only Islamic bank with AA credit rating in the Islamic banking industry in Pakistan.

Pak Qatar Takaful awards 1st ever Scholarship to IBA-CEIF student


Karachi (Cliff News)Pak-Qatar Takaful Group (PQTG), Pakistan’s pioneer and largest Takaful Group, recently held a special ceremony to award the first-ever Scholarship to Ammar Awais – highest meritorious student at the Institute of Business Administration -Centre of Excellence in Islamic Finance (IBA-CEIF), Karachi. The Scholarship Cheque was awarded by Managing Director of PQTG – Mr. Said Gul. The Chairman of IBA-CEIF – Dr. Ishrat Husain and other senior management team were also present at the occasion.Pak Qatar Takaful Group is a strategic partner of IBA-CEIF and has collaborated with the institute, nationwide, to support valuable initiatives and academic programmes for nurturing qualified professionals with specialized skills in managing Shari’ah-Compliant financial business models.This Scholarship-awarding ceremony was graced by prominent personalities including: Dr. Ishrat Husain – Former Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) & Chairman of CEIF- IBA. They were also accompanied by the Founding Director of IBA-CEIF – Ahmed Ali Siddiqui, board members of CEIF-IBA and senior management of PQTG.Addressing the graceful ceremony, Dr. Ishrat Husain stated that; “It is always delightful to see the corporate sector supporting the academic programmes and professional training of business managers, with the vision to nurture a highly competitive workforce for a brighter future. Islamic Finance is a promising field that offers a myriad of career opportunities for the youth. I would like to congratulate our brilliant student Mr. Ammar Awais for being rewarded with this valuable financial assistance for his specialized training.”Dr. Ishrat Husain further said, “Over the years, Pak-Qatar Takaful has also carried out numerous activities and conferences in partnership with IBA-CEIF, including; The ‘World Islamic Finance Forum’ (WIFF). The event invited global leaders in Islamic Finance, along with the representation of the most influential regulatory institutions like; State Bank of Pakistan, Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), the World Bank and many other international institutions like; ICD (Private Sector Development Arm of IDB), AAOIFI, IIFM, CIMB Bank, Ernst & Young, IRTI, ISRA, Deloitte Touche, etc”.Mr. Said Gul, Managing Director of PQTG said, “We are honored to be associated with IBA-CEIF as the corporate values are fully aligned with this prestigious institution. Dr. Ishrat Husain has a great vision to promote Islamic Finance across Pakistan. This scholarship is just one of our numerous contributions to achieve our shared goal, to spread Takaful as a Shari’ah compliant financing alternative for the people of Pakistan”. Mr. Said Gul further said, “Through the training being offered at IBA-CEIF, business managers of tomorrow will be able to gain clearer understanding and deeper insight of various Islamic business-models and services, including; Shari’ah-compliant Investments and Takaful. Moreover, the learned faculty and academic experts are building a solid foundation and knowledge-base for Islamic entrepreneurship, by engaging renowned Professionals, Entrepreneurs, Academicians, Finance Managers, Students, Human Resources Managers, Consultants and other stake-holders of the industry”.