NBP enhancing its penetration in market

A technical team of the World Bank visits NBP Head Office to look into various aspects of the country’s largest commercial bank in size.

NBP WB

Corporate Ambassador/KARACHI: The World Bank technical team visited the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Head Office to discuss the dynamics of Pakistan’s financial sectors, particularly the development finance landscape and the role NBP can play in this area. The World Bank Group is conducting this analysis on the request of the Ministry of Finance and the State Bank of Pakistan.
The World Bank Group plays a critical role in advancing development finance in Pakistan since it can leverage its financial sector expertise by holding country engagement and dialogue, financing and risk-sharing instruments, unique data-sets and research capacity, and influence with standard-setting bodies. Mr. Marius Vismantas (Lead Financial Sector Specialist) and Ms. Namoos Zaheer (Senior Financial Sector Specialist) met Mr. Rehmat Ali Hasnie, SEVP/Group Chief, Inclusive Development Group and Mr. Faisal Ahmed Topra, SEVP/Group Chief, Strategy & Development Analytics Group, discussed various initiatives planned by NBP for development finance and priority sectors including agriculture, SME, Housing and Microfinance.
Mr. Rehmat Ali Hasnie informed the representatives on NBP’s initiative to reposition itself and increase its market penetration and growth in the priority sectors of the economy.
The World Bank team appreciated the renewed focus of NBP and assured of its support for further development of these sectors that are essential contributors to Pakistan’s economy.

IMF package, lack of direction slowdown CPEC projects

In round-table conference organized by Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), an Islamabad-based security think-tank, experts said that for just US$ 6 billion from IMF, Pakistan has practically wasted 23 billion dollars. They termed the slow down on CPEC projects as a result of Pakistan’s deal with IMF

PICSS pic1

Corporate Ambassador/ISLAMABAD
During a roundtable conference organized by an Islamabad-based think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) the experts on CPEC subject said that Pakistan lacks strategic clarity on CPEC which has resulted in slowdown in the overall progress of the projects. Raja Amir Iqbal, former President Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who has recently attended a workshop in China was the keynote speaker during the roundtable while economic and strategic experts, businessmen, academia, journalists, international relations experts, researchers were among the participants including Chairman PICSS Major General (R) Saad Khattak, Dr. Azhar Ahmad head of department International Relations Bahria University, Brig. (R) Saif Malik, Head of Department IR MUSLIM University, Dr. Talat Shabir Director China Pakistan Study Center (CPSC) ISSI, Brig (R) Saad Muhmmad strategic analyst, Brig. (R) Ahtisham defense analyst, Abdullah Khan Managing Director PICSS, Wajeeha Butt, political analyst and others participated in the discussion.
The participants expressed serious concern over progress on CPEC projects. Raja Amir Iqbal said the Chinese have no strategic ambiguity while it seems Pakistan lacks strategic clarity regarding CPEC. Most of the participants agreed with the notion that we lack strategic clarity on the issue. A question was raised that whether the strategic clarity was a shortcoming or a deliberate plan.

Raja Amir Iqbal said that things were moving in right direction till 2018 but then things changed and situation is like a stalemate. He said that CPEC is our requirement and we need to focus on industrialization rather than thinking about transit trade and collecting just toll tax.
Brig (R) Saad Muhammad said that Chinese want us to avoid conflicts and progress but unfortunately we are marred with conflicts since Pakistan’s creation. Raja Amer Iqbal emphasized on developing strategic clarity among the various power circles of Pakistan so that Pakistan’s economy could be facilitated by the benefits of this initiative. The most important hurdle regarding CPEC is the difference of business ethics between Chinese and Pakistanis counterparts. However, we cannot implement Chinese business ethics in Pakistan as we have to develop things as per our own domestic requirements.
They all stressed the need to bring structural reforms in the political and economic sphere of Pakistan to get the benefit of CPEC instead of shelving various projects under CPEC.
Experts also said that for just US$ 6 billion from IMF Pakistan practically wasted 23 billion dollars. They termed the slow down on CPEC projects as a result of Pakistan’s deal with IMF.
One of the participant Abid Imam said that Pakistan did not need IMF package and should get out of it as soon as possible. However, Raja Amir contradicted and said that in his opinion Pakistan should have gone to IMF in September 2018.
Participants have raised the question of the worries of the local producers and their capabilities in the wake of this Belt Road Initiative and also the role of the external elements and their interests in making the pendulum swung the other way. No Progress on CPEC due to external pressure would cost Pakistan more than China.
Major General (R) Saad Khattak while giving concluding remarks said that there are people in power corridors who have their vested interests in countries who do not look positively towards Pakistan-China relations and in the presence of such people it is very difficult to achieve the dividends of CPEC properly.

Police-“Peace-Maker or Peace Breaker”

Police -Image 3

URBAN GOVERNANCE KARACHI

Zeeshan Shah

GOVERNANCE-SOCIETY-CULTURE

Karachi city has seen its share of challenges in the past. A city that was hit by a crime wave in the early 90s, succumbed to its intensity. High crimes, higher lawlessness, extrajudicial killing, political and religious unrest were some of the non-stop issues that plagued the city of lights. Karachi being the largest business hub and work station, hosts over 22 million inhabitants from various ethnic backgrounds, having migrated from all over the country with diverse backgrounds, seeking work and refuge. We saw the past, with accusations of abetting the crime, complacency and moral, social and above all financial corruption.  In order to clear the negative perception of the police, we needed positive “image –building”.

Police as Peacemakers – is the way forward. The objectives of the police as peacemakers to help create a pro-active civil society, ensure good governance, uphold rule of law, maintain transparency and help observance of basic human rights in society. Every day we come in contact with the police force, busy with many duties like regulating traffic, guarding VIPs, controlling crowds, escorting people to court, giving evidence, filing complaints or taking on criminals in the city. People have different experiences with the police, most being negative than positive. In reality, the police are public servants paid for by the citizens, hence their primary job is for the citizens, to protect, safeguard and serve them at all times.

The police has a duty towards the people. As responsible citizens, we must also change our perception and not fear them or go to them only when in difficulties. Both the people and the police have to work together as peace-builders. To see the police in a positive light, it is important to try and see them as “Peacemakers” .The government must take steps in building a more robust and active image of the police force by de-politicizing the force, making them more customer friendly. Core duties must be reviewed to reduce ‘divide’ between the average citizens and the police, due to a rising perception, that the police only protects the powerful and ignores the powerless.

Police powers must be clearly defined to benefit citizens and not intimidate them. The citizens must know that police is the first contact point in distress and emergencies, not the last . Each province has its own police service that is governed by each district. That is where the process must start and then cascade further down the chain of command. Anyone can become a police officer, after they qualify the physical and educational requirements laid down through initial assessments and a comprehensive training curriculum. According to UN standards, there must be 230 policemen for every 100,000 people. So we need bigger numbers.

Both men and women police personnel play the exact same role, without any gender bias, as we do need sufficient amount of female PO’s (police officers) to cater  to the growing needs of the women population in the city. Specific duties are assigned to every officer from a constable to the Inspector General of Police. Educating the masses requires a confident people-friendly police force in the city.

Meritocracy is key. We must let go of the “Sifarish” culture on postings and promotions.  We must have a defined code of conduct for police recruits by having yearly evaluations of their key performance indicators (KPI’s). Every city has a budget for the police, allocated exclusively for provision of police services. Proper documentation of that budget in a transparent manner must be enforced.

 

There is more sinister and more dangerous side to the police as well. Something that is common in our culture.  It is the reputational risk that is associated with the police every time we talk about them. Connivance, bribery, obstruction of justice, illegal kick-backs, kidnapping, torture under detention, rape and murder in the name of law and religion. The police have been known to assist criminals and have even been implicated in terrorist financing and extreme terrorist activity.

Police as peace-breakers. Peace is relative to each and every one of us at citizens.  We expect the law to be upheld by the police and not broken. We demand security of our families, our neighborhoods, our streets, our children’s schools and our women’s integrity. The amount of extra-judicial killings in the country supervised directly or indirectly by the police, still pose questions marks. There is a whole new process that needs to be in place to review the kind of police force that has been recruited on political grounds, bypassing all formats of merit that exist.

Case in point- there has been a significant in police corruption in the past decade in Pakistan, primarily due to politicization of the police, where politicians and bureaucrats have used influence the police department through nepotism and personal favoritism, by ensuring that the police-men are not hired on merit but are hired to work as their personal servants, assisting them in all kinds of illegal activities, even crimes.

One of the major breakthrough cases was of senior police official, who was arrested after being involved in a high profile killing of an innocent young man, falsely implicated as a terrorist and was exterminated by an official police hit squad, on the orders of a top man in the country’s structural matrix.  This has been going on in all parts of the country, where laws are broken by policemen who are under illegal duty of senior non-governmental functionaries, primarily members of political parties, members of national and provincial assemblies, senators and other heads of private organizations with connections with the higher ups in the system.

This has apparently lead to a major governance failure in the country, where law protectors have become law makers. The current governments primarily agenda in their first term was to enforce police reforms in one of the provinces, but the remaining provinces, including big cities like Karachi, remain under threat of this disease where the citizens are left at the mercy of the men in uniform, with extremely low ethical and moral standards.

Pakistan has one of the worst police reforms in the world and very little effort has materialized, due to major political influence of the elite and powerful, destroying the basic fabric of society at large.  We are at a point where the law is being protected and influenced by thugs, leading to extreme insecurity across the board. To take this massive initiative, we have to “de-politicize” the entire police network by ensuring that process recruitment, training and hiring procedures are ensured by senior officials of the highest personal and professional caliber. The core issue of “moral corruption” has to be addressed by the top leadership of the country, with zero tolerance for any and all corrupt police men who are law-breakers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As Peacemakers, we need to ensure that we build trust between public and the police.  We also must see that the police force is given proper compensation, health and housing with other benefits, to motivate them to perform better.  CRPC (Code of Criminal Procedure), includes a set of rules for the police to follow- that applies for the victim and the accused separately. PPC-Pakistan Penal Code, includes certain codes of conduct that come under “crimes” or “offences”. Both have to be clearly explained to the public, to ensure a more peaceful and well-informed general public.

To become successful role models for the city, police as peacemakers must ensure that the public understands the law, comprehends it and follows it with complete confidence

Police must become good-will ambassadors for the citizens, especially to 65% of the “youth population” of Karachi and work as reliable guides and comrades. To do that, they have to ‘lead by example’ by ensuring that they themselves are well versed in communication and that they reach out to public with empathy and play their part in ensuring peace and harmony.

As they say, “A kind heart and a brave spirit goes a long way”. We need our police force as a brave, caring and determined unit. A truly amazing police force for the city of Karachi.

SBP reports over 50% decline in CA deficit

current account deficit down 50%

Corporate Ambassador

State Bank of Pakistan has reported more than 50 percent decline in the current account deficit in first two months of 2019-20. During July-August 2019, the CAD has dropped to 1.44 billion dollars, from 3.06 billion dollars in the same months in 2018. Thus in dollars, the country has saved 1.62 billion dollars current account deficit mainly through steady decline in imports in two months of this financial year. In July-August 2019 the trade deficit has plummeted to 4.6 billion dollars, from 6.78 billion dollars in the corresponding months of 2018.

Declining trade and current account deficit will ease pressure on country’s foreign exchange, exchange rate of rupee and minimize government’s dependence on borrowings in 2019-20.

NBP takes tree plantation to South Punjab

NBP tree01

Corporate Ambassador/Multan:  National Bank of Pakistan has promoted Prime Minister of Pakistan’s vision of a  “ CLEAN AND GREEN PAKISTAN”, in South Punjab as part of its resolve to support this mission and reiterate the Corporate Social Responsibility. National Bank of Pakistan conducted a Tree Plantation Drive in Bahahudin Zakriya University Multan.  Syed Farooq Hasan. Regional Corporate Head, Multan and Professor Dr. Tariq Mahmood, Vice Chancellor, Bahauddin zakariya University, launched the plantation of over 1150 Climate specific plants including Amaltas, Arjun and Neem which were specially bought from Pattoki and planted in BZU with the commitment that both these Institutions will keep on collaborating for this nobel and patriotic cause.

NBP tree1

NBP Corporate and Investment Banking Multan and BZU including Kashif Shamshad Ali, Muhammad Safiullah, Muhammad Khawar Saeed, Muhammad Umer Farooq (BZU), Dr. Aamir Nawaz Khan (Chairman, Department of Horticulture, BZU), Dr. Shaukat Malik (Chairman Institute of Banking & Finance, BZU) were present at this ceremony.

 

PICSS reports 31% decline in terror-related casualties in Pakistan

picss-security-report2016

Corporate Ambassador/ISLAMABAD: Although the number of militant attacks slightly increased in Pakistan during the month of August, the number of casualties dropped compared with the month of July. An Islamabad based independent think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) in its monthly report revealed that the number of violent attacks increased from 12 to 18 during the month while subsequent deaths and injuries decreased by 30 percent and 13 percent respectively compared to July 2019.
Militants carried out 18 attacks across the country in August 2019 in which 24 people were killed including 11 security forces personnel and 13 civilians while 90 people were injured including 17 security forces personnel and 73 civilians. It has been observed that the ratio of casualties in security forces has been increasing recently as compared to civilian deaths.

Rangers2
A visible push by the militants is observed in different parts of erstwhile FATA in recent weeks. In August 2019, majority of the attacks took place in erstwhile FATA followed by Balochistan and KP. PICSS recorded eight militant attacks in erstwhile FATA in which nine people were killed including eight security forces personnel while 13 people were injured including eight security forces personnel and five civilians.

In Balochistan, militants carried out five attacks in which six people were killed, all of them were civilian while 43 people got injured in which two were security forces personnel and 41 civilians.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, four militant attacks were witnessed in which six civilians and one security forces personnel was killed while 33 people were injured including 27 civilians and six security forces personnel. In Islamabad capital territory, two security personnel were killed and one got injured in a firing by militants on the old toll plaza on I.J. Principal Road. The attack was first of its kind during last four years.
No militant attack was recorded in any other administrative unit of Pakistan including Sindh, Punjab, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Most of the attacks were done by Improvised Explosive Device (IED).Ten IED attacks were carried out in erstwhile FATA, Baluchistan and KPK. While 3 militant attacks were done by target killing in Baluchistan and erstwhile FATA. There was no suicide attacks recorded in the month of august.
Rangers patrollingMeanwhile Pakistani security forces conducted 3 actions against the militants in three different provinces in which three suspected militants were arrested and four were killed. Majority of the arrests took place in the province of Sindh. Four suspected militants were killed in KPK.

Pakistanis hold mammoth rallies to show solidarity with Kashmiris

National Bank and First Women Bank also hold demonstrations in Karachi

Kashmir01

Corporate Ambassador/ISLAMABD & KARACHI: Pakistanis participated in several rallies and protests on Friday throughout the country to express solidarity with Kashmiris living in IOK who are facing a fresh phase of Indian oppression and brutalities since August 5, 2019.

On the appeal of Prime Minister Imran Khan, a large number of Pakistanis came out on Friday to observe ‘Kashmir Hour’ from 12pm to 12:30pm to express solidarity with Kashmiris.

Educational institutions, government, private offices, bankers, traders, lawyers and military authorities took part in the events. All traffic signals turned red at noon.

Small and large rallies were also held across the country by citizens, lawyers, and people from other walks of life. Various leaders took part in Kashmir Hour events including Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda, PTI’s Dr Seema Zia and former cricketer Shahid Afridi at a Kashmir Hour event in Karachi.

In the federal capital, the main event was held outside the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) where a large gathering was addressed by the prime minister. The national anthems of Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir were played at the start of the event.

“Today, all of Pakistan, wherever there are Pakistanis, whether they are our students, or shopkeepers or labourers — today all of us are standing with our Kashmiris,” the premier said.

“Our Kashmiris are going through a very tough time.”

The premier said that the ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had taken over India, “the way the Nazi party had taken over Germany”.

“They think that Muslims should be taught a lesson, that they are not equal citizens. Today, the whole world is seeing what is happening in Kashmir.”

Prime Minister Imran said he has conveyed to all foreign leaders that if the international community does not stand up to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “fascist government”, the effect would be felt in the whole world. The premier reiterated that if India planned to take any action in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, “every brick will be countered with a stone.”

“Forget the media; they did not let even [Indian] opposition leaders go to Srinagar.”

Another event was held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr where President Arif Alvi addressed the crowd.

National Bank holds big rally in Karachi

NBP1National Bank of Pakistan held a big rally at I.I. Chundrigar Road in Karachi. In this rally, hundreds of bankers belonging to NBP and other banks and corporate entities at Chundrigar Road joined this crowded demonstration. NBP also organized similar demonstrations in all its regional offices to show solidarity with Kashmiris and to voice concern against Indian oppression.

NBP2President NBP Arif Usmani led the rally in Karachi. The participants demanded freedom for Kashmiris living in Indian Occupied Kashmir and end to brutalities on the innocent Kashmiris.

First Women Bank demo

FWBL

First Women Bank officials also held a demonstration outside the head office in Karachi to express solidarity with Kashmiris. President of the FWBL and other senior bankers participated in this demonstration.

Different social welfare organizations also held demonstrations in Karachi and other cities to condemn Indian oppression on Kashmiris.

 

NBP reports Rs20.4 billion pre-tax HY profit for 2019

nbp ho image with new logo final

Corporate Ambassador/KARACHI: National Bank of Pakistan has reported increase in its pre-tax profit to Rs 20.4 billion in first half of calendar year 2019. This the pre-tax profit is 18.8 percent higher than the corresponding period of 2018.

A meeting of the Board of Directors (BoD) of National Bank of Pakistan was held today i.e. August 28, 2019 at the bank’s Head Office in Karachi in which the BoD approved financial statements of the bank for half year ended June 30, 2019.

Profit before taxation amounted to PKR 20.4 billion, registering an increase of 18.8% against June, 2018. After-tax profit amounted to PKR 11.1 billion being 11.1% lower than PKR 12.5 billion of June 2018. The drop in after-tax profit is mainly due to the higher taxation charge of 46% compared to 27% for June 2018. Overall revenues of the bank amounted to PKR 53.8 billion which is highest in the banking industry, and is also 18.4% higher than the bank’s revenues for the corresponding period last year. Growth is attributed to volumetric growth in earning assets, and increase in the discount rate over the period. During the period, the bank paid PKR 47.1 billion as profit to its depositors. On the back of increased deposits and higher profit rates thereon, the profit paid is 81.9% higher than PKR 25.9 billion paid for the half year ended June 30, 2018.

While net interest income increased by 18.0% to PKR 35.6 billion, the bank’s non-fund income also increased by 19.3% to PKR 18.2 billion as against PKR 15.3 billion earned during the corresponding period last year. Complementing objectives of the government and SBP, the bank is aggressively promoting home remittances through banking channels. This has considerably increased the bank’s market share in home remittances business as transaction volumes and remittances grew by 29% and 19% respectively from June ’18.

Representing 13.8% of the banking industry’s total assets, total assets of the bank stood at PKR 2,864.0 billion which is 2.3% higher than PKR 2,798.6 billion as at December 31, 2018. Strength of the bank’s balance sheet is driven by the wide market outreach and branch banking network where the focus remains on low-cost deposit mobilization.

Representing 12.3% of the total banking industry loans, gross advances of the bank amounted to PKR 1,091.9 billion, marginally higher than PKR 1,059.5 billion as at December 31, 2018. However, compared to PKR 912.6 billion of June 2018, gross advances stand increased by PKR 179.2 billion or 19.6%. The bank’s deposits amounted to PKR 2,093.4 billion, higher by PKR 82.0 billion or 4.1% as against PKR 2,011.4 billion as of December 31, 2018. This represents 79.0% of the bank’s total liabilities and translates into 13.7% share of total banking industry deposits. Customer deposits that form 84.0% of the bank’s funding pool remained stable during the period and amounted to PKR 1,758.0 billion which is 5.0% higher than PKR 1,674.1 billion as of December, 2018

In its 70th year of service to the Nation, the bank is committed to delivering strong results. Its business strategy is evolving to ensure a focus on its “National Role” through reaching and supporting underserved sectors including SME, Microfinance, Agriculture Finance, and finance for Micro-Housing, all being developed with the highest standards. This is in addition to its dominant role in dealing with the public sector and its employees. Building a digital banking capability and a technology platform will be a central part of this strategy as will the development of a performance driven culture within the institution.

 

State Bank reports massive decline in Current Account Deficit

Massive decline in CAD July 2019

By J. Choudhry

State Bank of Pakistan has reported massive decline in the country’s current account deficit in the month of July 2019. Latest data issued at evening (Aug 20) shows that in July 2019, Pakistan has faced only US$664 million dollars CAD as compared to US$2,270 million in the same month last year. Thus, Pakistan has saved US$1.6 billion by trimming its current account deficit in the first month of the ongoing financial year.

In July 2019 the exports slightly surged, to US$2.233 billion as compared to US$2.012 billion in the same month in 2018. Similarly, imports recorded a big decline in July this year and fell to US$1.84 billion, from US$3.48 billion in the same month in 2018. Thus imports dropped by US$1.63 billion dollars in the first month of this financial year. The cost of the exports and imports is calculated by the State Bank on the basis of FOB (Freight on Board), excluding taxes. If this trend prevails further in 2019-20, the country would witness more than US$20 billion decline in imports while current account deficit would also shrink by more than US$14 to US$16 billion in FY-2019-20. How the government would cover up tax collection target from imports and anticipated slowdown in overall economy is a matter that needs to be examined to avoid unemployment, imposition of more taxes, hike in electricity, gas and petrol prices to generate revenues.

Magic of COAS extension: Pak Stock Exchange gains 800 points, India’s sheds 137

Prime Minister Imran Khan has given extension to incumbent chief of army staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa yesterday. Consequently, Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has welcomed this decision by gaining 800 points till 2:25pm (Aug 20), whereas, Indian stock exchange (Bombay Stock Exchange) has lost 137 points ostensibly shocked by this unexpected decision of PM Khan.

Here is screenshot of Bombay Stock Exchange

Bombay Stock ExchangeTwo days ago, India has dropped water bomb on Pakistan by opening flood-gates of its dams towards Pakistan. This Indian water aggression was being mourned throughout the country on Monday (Aug 19), but the PM Khan’s decision to give another 3-year term to present army chief has changed the scenario and many circles in Pakistan are treating it as if the country was got freed Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) from Indian forces.

Here is an image of Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX).

PSX aug20

Most of the analysts in Pakistan are terming extension in COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa’s term a need of the hour to meet the existing core security challenges. So it is obvious that enemies of Pakistan and army would find fault with this extension and weep and cry in desperation.