MCB: Hell with your customers care system

The Financial Daily publishes my
new column on Feb 23, 2018

Unbridled Banking Logo

Rapid expansion and modernization in the Pakistani banks in recent years has not changed the mindset of some big banks/policy-makers of the banks regarding the customers’ facilitation. On Feb 22, 2018, this writer visited the MCB G-8/4 Corporate and I&T Center branch to get bank statement of my account. I was maintaining my account with NIB for over a decade but in 2017, the MCB has acquired the NIB Bank and merged it with the MCB. This merger has opened a chapter of embarrassment for me and other customers of the NIB that I will discuss in this column.

I needed my bank account statement to submit it along-with other documents to apply for a scholarship of my son who has shown outstanding result in O’Levels and wants to apply for a prestigious scholarship being offered by a famous and high-profile Lahore-based university. Why the MCB officials refused to give me statement of bank account statement is very interesting? I have migrated to Islamabad two years ago, from Karachi and maintaining some accounts with different banks in Karachi. My Account Number is 0045-1826123 – West Wharf Road Branch, Karachi.

First of all, a bank officer of above mentioned MCB branch said that the bank statement is issued by the mother branch. When I told him that my branch is in Karachi, he said that your Karachi branch will issue the statement and we cannot issue it here (in Islamabad) as it is not the policy of the bank. On his advice, I met the Branch Manager Qaiser Iftikhar Janjua and told him that I needed my bank statement on urgent basis to apply for a scholarship for my son. He too gave the same reply “we cannot issue the statement, it is not the policy of the MCB Bank and that only the mother branch can issue the statement,” he said. When I told him that I have got my bank statements from United Bank branch in G-8 Markaz and Bank Al-Falah branch in G-9 Markaz in Islamabad and both the branches did not ask me to go to Karachi to get bank statements.

The MCB Manager said that MCB Bank’s policy is different than those banks. When I said that would you/your bank give me the tickets to travel to Karachi to get the bank statements, he smiled sarcastically and said “’it is not the policy of the bank’’. So what is the policy of the bank _ sheer embarrassment for the customers? If the UBL and Bank Al-Falah branches in Islamabad are issuing bank statements of Karachi-based accounts without any hesitation, then why MCB is not doing it facilitation. What is the logic behind this policy of the MCB that is annoying the customers? Why MCB is not going along with other banks in facilitating its customers?

Can you believe that the MCB is among the top-2 private commercial banks in Pakistan and this is the way this bank is pursuing its customers’ facilitation policy. A problem for me and my family is that March 1, 2018, is the last date to apply for the scholarship being offered by the Lahore-based prestigious university to the A’Level 1st year students who have obtained more than 80% marks in O’Levels in 2017. It is the requirement of the university that the parents of the students must submit all their bank statements with the scholarship application. Now I have no other choice, but to submit the application without having my MCB bank statement.

Another problem that I am facing from the date the MCB has acquired the NIB Bank is that I am not getting the bank’s SMS alerts about the amount of money that is credited into my account every month. The MCB Bank is sending me SMS each time when it deducts charges from my bank account, but the bank’s system becomes dumb and deaf when some money is credited into my account. MCB helpline officials are terming it a technical problem, but how is it possible that the bank is sending SMS for deducting charges and not sending SMS for receiving credit into my account. This is very pathetic policy and embarrassing system of the MCB bank that must be changed. I hope the State Bank of Pakistan would also look into this anti-customers approach of the MCB. (Writer is Chief Editor of Weekly Corporate Ambassador/Columnist of The Financial Daily and a Founding-Member of Karachi Editors Club. Readers facing problems with banks can share their issued with us at the following emails: mediafocuspakistan@gmail.com & jchoudhry63@gmail.com)

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Saudi Arabia, China, Turkey block US move of putting Pakistan on watch-list of terror financing in FATF meeting

China Turkey save Pakistan in FATF meeting

Monitoring Report/WASHINGTON: China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — the three close allies of Pakistan — have joined hands to block a move by the Trump administration to place Islamabad terror-financing watch list.
Pakistan has claimed a victory, the United States and India were working behind the scenes during the ongoing Paris meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to put Pakistan on watch-list.

The Wall Street Journal which first reported about the development said this was one of the “rare disagreements” between Saudi Arabia and the administration of President Donald Trump. Saudi Arabia, it said was acting on behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Pakistan has claimed it had foiled US-led efforts to place it on a terror financing watch-list after the country was granted a three-month reprieve by the Paris-based international watchdog FATF. The FATF, a global body that combats terrorist financing and money laundering, met in Paris amid reports that the US with support of some European allies was trying to place Pakistan on a list of countries that financially support terrorism. Like IMF, WB, the FATF is also a US-controlled puppet body that is used to promote the vested interests of the United States.

“The officials said the US effort, which included pressure on the Saudis, raised the possibility of a fresh vote on action against Pakistan as soon as Thursday. The Pakistanis were scrambling to shore up support,” the WSJ report said. The US says Pakistan is not taking action against terror groups like the Haqqani network and the Taliban while Pakistan says the United States should take action against terrorist groups having their bases in Afghanistan and targeting Pakistan as well.

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White-man attacks Sikh outside UK Parliament thinking him a Muslim

Sikhs

Monitoring Report/LONDON: An Indian Sikh wearing turban was ripped by a white-man in a racist attack outside the UK parliament. Ravneet Singh, 37, from Punjab in India, said he was waiting to enter the Portcullis House, part of the British Parliamentary Estate, to meet Sikh Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi when the assault took place yesterday.

Ravneet Singh said he was waiting in the queue when the man, who was shouting “Muslim go back”, approached him and attempted to remove his turban, a religious headgear that Sikh-men wear everywhere in the world. This is not the first racist attack on a Sikh, in the past several Sikhs, who resemble with Muslims because of their beards, have been attacked in the United Kingdom, the United States and in some other countries. Even Hindus have also faced racism in these countries in suspicion of being Muslims.

“I was in the queue outside Portcullis House and a white guy ran up to us. Just before we got to the entrance, he came up to me and attacked me. “He was pulling at my turban strongly. It half moved and I grabbed it. Before he could do anything else, I shouted at him and he ran away,” reports The Independent.

Singh said that the man made a “racist comment” in another language that he did not recognise. “He was a white man, but he didn’t sound English. He said something like ‘Muslim go back’,” shouted the white-racist, he added.

Labour MP Dhesi, who was to host Singh, expressed “disgust” at the incident and sought action against the culprit. “Disgusted to discover today that someone filled with hatred tried to pull off the turban of one of my guests standing in line outside UK’s Parliament. I hope the police will take urgent action,” Dhesi tweeted.

According to the report, the police have confirmed being alerted at 5.20 pm about the assault outside outside Portcullis House, the building adjacent to the Houses of Parliament, which is home to offices for MPs and their staff.  No arrest has been made so far, with the police probing the case.

 

China secretly seeking Balochs help to secure CPEC projects: British newspaper claims

OBOR image

Monitoring Report/NEW DELHI: China has been secretly holding talks with Baloch militants in Pakistan for more than five years to secure protection for its $60 billion worth China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), British newspaper Financial Times (FT) on Monday. Three people with knowledge of the talks told FT that Beijing had been in direct contact with militants in Balochistan, the restive province where several key CPEC projects are located.

“The Chinese have quietly made a lot of progress,” a Pakistani official was quoted as saying by FT.  If true, it would explain a curious statement by China’s envoy to Pakistan earlier this month. Yao Jing asserted without proof or explanation that Baloch militant organisations are no longer a threat to CPEC.

CPEC3

Activists in Balochistan allege China and Pakistan are aiming to change the demography of Balochistan. They also allege Pakistan has illegally occupied Balochistan and that it has been committing atrocities against Baloch people, Times of India reported today (Feb 20, 2018).

Last year, 10 Pakistanis were killed by unidentified gunmen while the former were working near Gwadar port, a key part of the economic corridor.

CPEC00

Secretary-General of Sahari Welfare Association, President of Karachi Editors Club Mubasher Mir is speaking at a CPEC conference organized in Karachi in 2017.

“Even though separatists occasionally try to carry out the odd attack, they are not making a forceful push,” said the Pakistani official. More than one Pakistani official told FT the powers-that-be in Pakistan welcomed the talks between Baloch rebels and the Chinese. “Ultimately, if there’s peace in Balochistan, that will benefit both of us,” said one official in Islamabad.

(Glimpses of a CPEC seminar organized by Mubasher Mir in Karachi in collaboration with Sahafi Welfare Association. Corporate Ambassador was Media Partner along with The Financial Daily and Arz-e-Pak News).

CPEC01
What could explain Pakistan not being unduly worried about China’s interference in its internal matters, is the fact that US-Pakistan relations are probably at the worst they’ve ever been. Last month the US suspended as much as $2 billion in security assistance to Pakistan, saying it isn’t doing enough to end terror safe havens.

Pakistan’s ‘all-weather friend’ China has been very supportive of Islamabad through its crisis with Washington. Beijing’s direct dialogue with separatist militants in Pakistan might be seen as small price to pay for that support.

 

 

NBP reports Rs23.03 billion post-tax profit for 2017

Saeedahmad NBP

J. Choudhry/Corporate Ambassador/KARACHI: Despite tough situation, the National Bank of Pakistan has reported post-tax profit of Rs. 23.03 billion, 1.2% higher against Rs. 22.75 billion similar profit for 2016. This translates into highest ever earnings per share of Rs. 10.82 (2016: Rs. 10.69). Bank’s pre-tax profit amounted to Rs. 35.6 billion, 4.1% lower against Rs. 37.14 billion for prior year. Pre-tax and after-tax return on average equity were 29.0% and 18.7% (2016: 31.5% and 19.3%) respectively.

NBP head office

The NBP announced its financial result in meeting of the Board of Directors (BoD) of National Bank of Pakistan (Bank) that was held on February 20, 2018 at the Bank’s Head Office in Karachi. The BoD approved the financial statements of the Bank for the year ended December 31, 2017.

NBP logoMaintaining its position in the industry, the Bank reported highest ever profit after tax numbers in its 69 years history. Despite a generally difficult year for the banking industry, NBP recorded an overall positive performance. Operating income of the Bank for the year amounted to Rs. 85.3 billion (2016: Rs. 84.8 billion). While net interest / mark-up income amounted to Rs. 54.3 billion (2016:Rs. 54.8 billion); a 3.7% growth was observed in non-interest / mark-up income which amounted to Rs. 31.1 billion.

 

Healthy growth in balance sheet size was also recorded as the same reached to Rs. 2,370 billion depicting a 20 % growth YoY. Banks’s gross loans & advances increased by Rs. 75.5 billion reaching to Rs. 857 billion. A nominal growth of 1.16% only was observed in non-performing loans. Investment also increased by Rs. 72.4 billion and reached to Rs. 1,296 billion. Similarly Bank’s deposits also increased by Rs. 69.8 billion and reached to Rs. 1,727 billion.

 

The Board deliberated at length whether or not cash dividend and / or bonus shares should be recommended. However, the likely impact of pension case, despite some positive signals, still remains a cause of concern. The first priority of BoD is to maintain continuity of Bank’s business which is very much dependent upon the capital base of the Bank. The BoD is conscious of the fact that the shareholders look forward to receiving dividend. However, eventually it was considered more prudent to retain the profits for the time being and once the position becomes clearer and positive, the Bank may consider declaration of dividend at a later stage. Accordingly the BoD does not recommend any dividend for the year 2017.

The Bank has filed review petition against the judgement of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the pension case and has also moved an application for constitution of a larger bench which has been accepted. Pending the decision of review petition, financial impact of the subject case has not been included in the financial statements as the Bank looks forward to a favourable outcome of the case.

NBP is continuously expanding its market outreach through adding to its product range, restructuring its business model, and adopting the modern-day delivery strategies. Provision of services through Alternate Delivery Channels and Customer Service Quality are now among top priorities of the Bank. During the year, Islamic Banking branches of the Bank increased from 118 to 169. With “AAA” credit rating, the Bank is a driving force in financial industry with its large distribution network domestic and international branches, and a wide range of products & services.

In order to address structural issues of the field management of the Bank, the BoD has approved restructuring of Commercial & Retail Banking Group set-up in the field by adopting a flat reporting system empowering the region & field management team and giving them distinct business targets to achieve better results. This has been in an area which needed attention for some time.

Current account deficit hits $9.47 billion in 7 months of FY17

The current account deficit of Pakistan has expanded to 9.47 billion dollars in seven months of the ongoing financial year, July 2016 to Jan-2017, says a latest update of the State Bank of Pakistan, issued on Feb 20, 2018. The current account deficit is almost 40% higher in comparison with 6.48 billion current account deficit in the corresponding period of last financial year. Here is data of the State Bank about balance of payment, exports, imports, current account position, etc.

current account deficit JulyJan2017

Faysal Bank’s Credit Card or Embarrassment Card

My weekly column published in The Financial Daily, Karachi, today (Feb 20, 2018).

 Faysal Bank's Credit Card or Embarrassment Card

In the last one decade, the banking sector in Pakistan has witnessed massive expansion, innovation, modernization in the use of technology and automation of the system. But the most worrying aspect is that the bank customers’ facilitation culture and automation systems are facing deterioration that are creating problems for the millions of the customers of the bank.

Last week, my friend and General Manager of The Financial Daily Ahmed Omar again faced embarrassment twice in one day when his Credit Card of the Faysal Bank declined payment at two different locations. Ahmed Omer is a customer of Faysal Bank and using the credit card for the past more than 14 years.

A consistent and unending trouble that he is facing for a long time is that the Faysal Bank fails to post the payment of the credit card the same day. In certain cases, the bank did not update the credit card payment even the following day that caused embarrassment to Ahmed Omar. The fresh episode of embarrassment emerged the last week when he made full due payment of the credit card, but the Faysal Bank did not update the payment even a day after receiving the payment that landed Ahmed in trouble and he felt ashamed twice, first time when he got fuel at Shell petrol pump Phase 1, DHA Korang Road and gave the card for payment. But he was shocked when the Shell staff told him that the card had declined payment.

At that time, a friend of Ahmed was also sitting with him in the car and unfortunately Ahmed did not have cash in his pocket to pay to Shell for getting 32 liters of petrol. Finally, his friend (Mubasher Mir, President of Karachi Editors Club, Resident Editor of Daily Pakistan and a senior TV analyst) felt the awkward situation and immediately made the payment to save his friend from the demoralization. Ahmed Omar’s bad-luck with Faysal Bank’s credit card continued to haunt him throughout that day and he faced another shock at night when he went for dinner with friends at Hot and Spicy in Delton Market in Defence, Karachi.

When he and his friends finished the dinner, Ahmed again handed over the credit card for payment, but the card again refused payment and once again the man faced unexpected shame before his friends. Again, one of his friends made the payment and rescued Ahmed from further humiliation. All this happened a day after he made full payment of his credit card. Every month, Ahmed consumes almost equal to the limit of the credit card (Rs 37,000/number is 5254-5200-9099-1877) and every month he deposits the full payment within the prescribed limit, but whenever he made the adventure of making payment from the credit card, the same day at evening, he had to face embarrassment as card always betrayed him in making payment. This time, the non-payment from the credit card a day after payment annoyed him and he finally shared his over a decade-long bitter experience of Faysal Bank’s credit card banking with this writer who had accepted the onerous task of exposing the weaknesses of the banks through his weekly column “Unbridled Banking” being published in The Financial Daily from February 2018. This column is also shared on the Weekly Corporate Ambassador website and Facebook.

The purpose of this column is to highlight the embarrassing mistakes of the banks so that the financial institutions take measures to prevent their customers from facing annoying situation and improve their performance and efficiency. Interesting to note is that Ahmed Omar contacted the helpline of the Faysal Bank and told the official who attended the call about his ordeal of embarrassment just because the bank did not update the payment even the following day of the payment of the card. The helpline official sufficed it to say that it happened due to a technical problem, but Ahmed wondered that why this technical problem is haunting him for the past many months.

The way the bank is posting payment very late, it seems that the bank is even not working at par with the manual banking days of banking sector (in 20th century) when the payment was updated the following day. This writer is also using different bank cards and has observed that most of the banks are posting the payment, the moment the customer delivers cash at the counter and the banks also send an SMS as confirmation. But what has happened to the Faysal Bank that is unable to post/update payment the same day, is really shocking and unbelievable for many.

Ahmed Omar is making payment in Phase-I branch of the Faysal Bank that is near to his office’s location. The Faysal Bank should try to follow other banks that are updating the payment in accounts and credit cards almost at the same moment when the customers deliver cash. After facing consistent embarrassment, Ahmed is in a position to file damage suit against the bank.

Here is link of The Financial Daily that published this column

https://thefinancialdaily.com/faysal-banks-credit-card-embarrassment-card/

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Israel, Saudi Arabia warn Iran of its aggressive behavior

Iranian Minister Zarif, addressing the audience said Netanyahu’s “cartoonish circus” didn’t “deserve the dignity of a response.” He said Iran doesn’t “want to be the hegemon in the region” and, in a warning directed at the US, threatened that his country will “respond seriously” if global powers scrap the nuclear deal with Iran.

Israel Saudi flags

Monitoring Report/MUNICH: Israel and Saudi Arabia delivered twin warnings to Iran, telling a global security conference it’s time to confront the Islamic republic’s encroachment on the Middle East. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu evoked the West’s appeasement of Nazi Germany before World War II in a speech at Munich that described Iranian aggression as “the greatest threat to the world” and warned that Israel would resist it while Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir, addressing the event later Sunday, said Iran needs to pay a price for its “aggressive behavior.”

Faced with a war in Syria that has destabilized the region, redrawn its threat map and escalated the risk of a wider war, Israel and Saudi Arabia, which have no diplomatic relations, are finding a common enemy in Iran. Last week, Israel lost a combat aircraft to hostile fire as it returned from air strikes in Syria, an incident that reportedly began with an Iranian military drone entering Israeli territory, TOI reported on Feb 19, 2018.

Netanyahu interrupted his speech to hold up a piece of metal he said came from the drone and asked if Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Zarif recognized it. Iran, however, denied it sent the drone into Israel.

“Take back with you a message for the tyrants of Tehran: ‘Do not test Israel’s resolve,”‘ Netanyahu said. “Israel will act not just against Iran’s proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself.”

Iranian Minister
Iranian Minister Zarif, addressing the audience later Sunday, said Netanyahu’s “cartoonish circus” didn’t “deserve the dignity of a response.” He said Iran doesn’t “want to be the hegemon in the region” and, in a warning directed at the US, threatened that his country will “respond seriously” if global powers scrap the nuclear deal with Iran.

Netanyahu has used other high-profile platforms, including the US Congress and United Nations General Assembly, to highlight the existential threat to Israel if Iran develops nuclear weapons. On Sunday, he focused equally on the threat created by Iran’s conventional military entrenchment in Syria.

Israel feels increasingly abandoned as regional partners prioritize their often conflicting interests in Syria’s seven-year civil war, now that a common enemy — Islamic State — is largely defeated. That has left Israeli leaders with an unpalatable choice: Tolerate a permanent Iranian military presence on their border, or risk going to war to prevent it.

Escalation risk

This month alone, US aircraft killed as many as 200 Russian mercenaries as they attacked Kurdish forces in eastern Syria; Turkey threatened to expand its invasion of northern Syria to take on Kurds embedded with US advisers; and Israel shot down the Iranian drone. Israel’s biggest concern is if Iran established a land corridor to Lebanon via Iraq and Syria, where Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders oversee thousands of militants.

Netanyahu urged policy makers to avoid the mistake of Munich negotiators who failed to stand up to Adolf Hitler 80 years ago for fear of provoking a conflict. Their inaction “made a wider war inevitable and far more costly,” he said.

Netanyahu said Israel has stayed on the sidelines of the Syrian war so far, acting only to stop transfers of advanced weapons bound for Hezbollah, a Shiite political party that serves as Iran’s proxy militia in Lebanon. That could change if Iran establishes a new reality on the ground in Syria, he said.

 

Without mentioning Israel, Al Jubeir accused Iran of regional expansionism and a long history of supporting terrorism.

“The world has to extract a price from Iran for its aggressive behavior,” Al Jubeir said. “There has to be a fundamental change in the Iranian regime for Iran to be treated as a normal country.”

Netanyahu renewed his call to “fix or nix” the international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program, a message that’s failed to sway much of the trans-Atlantic security establishment represented in Munich. The accord’s defenders included US Secretary of State John Kerry, who said the world “is not a better place” without it.

US, Japan, India & Australia negotiating alternate to China’s OBOR

OBOR image

Monitoring Report/SYDNEY: The United States, Japana, India and Australia are talking about establishing a joint regional infrastructure scheme as an alternative to China’s multi-billion-dollar One-Belt and One-Road (OBOR) in an attempt to counter Beijing’s spreading influence throughout the world, the Australian Financial Review reported on Monday.

The plan involving the four regional partners+ was still “nascent” and “won’t be ripe enough to be announced” during Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to the United States later this week. The United States, Japan, India and Australia have recently revived four-way talks to deepen security cooperation and coordinate alternatives for regional infrastructure financing that offered by China.

The official said, however, that the project was on the agenda for Turnbull’s talks with US President Donald Trump during that trip and was being seriously discussed. The source added that the preferred terminology was to call the plan an “alternative” to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, rather than a “rival”, reports TOI on Feb 19, 2018.

Read also: ‘China a disruptive power,’ say navy chiefs of Quadrilateral nations

“No one is saying China should not build infrastructure,” the official was quoted as saying. “China might build a port which, on its own is not economically viable. We could make it economically viable by building a road or rail line linking that port.”

Representatives for Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Trade Minister Steven Ciobo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, asked at a news conference about the report of four-way cooperation, said Japan, the United States, Australia, and Japan, Australia and India regularly exchanged views on issues of common interest.

“It is not the case that this is to counter China’s Belt and Road,” he said.

Japan, meanwhile, plans to use its official development assistance (ODA) to promote a broader “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy” including “high-quality infrastructure”, according to a summary draft of its 2017 white paper on ODA. The Indo-Pacific strategy has been endorsed by Washington and is also seen as a counter to the Belt and Road Initiative.

First mentioned during a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s to university students in Kazakhstan in 2013, China’s Belt and Road plan is a vehicle for the Asian country to take a greater role on the international stage by funding and building global transport and trade links in more than 60 countries.

Xi has heavily promoted the initiative, inviting world leaders to Beijing last May for an inaugural summit at which he pledged $124 billion in funding for the plan, and enshrining it into the ruling Communist Party’s constitution in October. Local Chinese governments as well as state and private firms have rushed to offer support by investing overseas and making loans.

 

The so-called Quad to discuss and cooperate on security first met as an initiative a decade ago – much to the annoyance of China, which saw it as an attempt by regional democracies to contain its advances. The quartet held talks in Manila on the sidelines of the November Asean and East Asia Summits.

 

In January, Beijing outlined its ambitions to extend the initiative to the Arctic by developing shipping lanes opened up by global warming, forming a “Polar Silk Road”.

World’s Internet users exceed 4 billion in 2017

Internet Stats graph 2017

Special Report by J. Choudhry/Editor Corporate Ambassador/ISLAMABAD

The global internet population has finally exceeded 4 billion by Dec 2017. Total internet users in the world are 4.05 billion+ by December 2017. The Internet World Stats report, provided to Corporate Ambassador today (Feb 14, 2018) points out the latest trend of global internet population. Mr Enrique de Argaez, CEO and Editor of the Internet World Stats shared this report today from Colombia.

Internet Stats2 Graph

Asia is leading the internet world with 1.992 billion+ users, followed by Europe with 700.015 million internet users. Latin America/Caribbean rank third with 424.628 million+ users, closely followed by Africa with 412.15 million users and North America, having 345.660 million internet users. Middle East hosts 147.117 million users by Dec-2017 while Oceania/Australia host 28.18 million population who are using internet. Total world population (estimated) is 7.634 billion (7,634,757,9432) in 2018 while actual internet users in the world in Dec-2017 are 4.05 billion (4,050,247,583). So, 51.8 percent of the people in the world are using internet. A most interesting aspect is that from the year 2000-2018, the internet population has shown 991.1 percent stunning growth.

World Internet Stats2

Internet-users penetration rate: North America has the highest rate of 95% penetration of internet, followed by 84.6pc in Europe; 68.3pc in Oceania/Australia; 65.1% in Latin America/Caribbean; Asia has 47.4 percent penetration of internet while 32pc penetration is in Africa, the lowest in comparison with the other regions in the world.

Growth-Rate 2000-2018: During the past 17 years, Africa has shown the highest growth of 9,029.7pc; Middle East 4,378.7pc; Latin America 2,250pc Asia 1,643pc; Europe 566.2pc; North America 219.8pc while Oceania/Australia reported 269.8pc growth.

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