Free Internet for Basic Phone Users with Opera Mini

Islamabad, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): Telenor and Mobilink customers in Pakistan will be able to enjoy a day of free internet with the popular Opera Mini browser. The free internet access, sponsored by Microsoft Lumia, is available exclusively to basic Java phone users and is aimed at encouraging more Pakistanis to go online and experience …

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Islamabad, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): Telenor and Mobilink customers in Pakistan will be able to enjoy a day of free internet with the popular Opera Mini browser. The free internet access, sponsored by Microsoft Lumia, is available exclusively to basic Java phone users and is aimed at encouraging more Pakistanis to go online and experience the power of the internet.

To take advantage of the free internet offer, Telenor and Mobilink customers just need to open the Opera Mini browser on their phones and click the Free Internet icon. This will open a page from which users can activate 10MB of free internet access that can be used over a period of 12 hours. Mobile users who do not have the Opera Mini browser installed on their phones can visit m.opera.com to download the free app.

A large number of Pakistanis can access the web only via their mobile phones. At the same time, many are hesitant to use mobile internet because of the perceived high cost of data. The possibility to access the internet for free, for a limited time, is a good incentive for users to experience the web for the first time.

Omer Bin Tariq, Director Internet and Devices, Telenor Pakistan said:

Active mobile users in Pakistan are young and they feel the need to always stay connected with friends. The partnership with Opera Mini and Microsoft Lumia will attract youngsters to use mobile internet and usher in a new wave of mobile-data growth in the country. This is another step towards our efforts to build an ecosystem to further facilitate internet uptake in the country and yet another testament of our ambition to bring Internet for All.

Aamer Manzoor, Head of Data, Mobilink said:

We want to simplify browsing for first-time mobile-web users. It is great to see sponsors such as Microsoft Lumia come forward and work together toward this goal. We are open to working with more partners who would like to leverage the Opera Mini platform and reach out to mobile users in the country.

Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software said:

Access to the web should not be limited to the privileged few. Partnering with market leaders such as Mobilink, Telenor and Microsoft Lumia has offered us the opportunity to help lower the barriers to accessing the mobile web and empower more Pakistani users to get online.

Opera Mini’s compression technology

Users can surf the web using the Opera Mini app on almost any kind of phones, from basic Java phones to the latest Android and iOS smartphones. Opera Mini’s unique compression technology shrinks web pages to as little as 10% of their original size. This powerful compression means that Opera Mini users can browse much more within a set data limit, compared to those using other mobile browsers.

For more information, contact:
Saad Warraich
Corporate Communications Department
Telenor Pakistan
13-K, Moaiz Center, F-7 Markaz,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92-51-111-345-700
Fax: +92-51-2651923
Cell: +92-345-5000684
Email: press.center@telenor.com.pk
Website: www.telenor.com.pk

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AKD Securities Limited – Pakistan Economy: Soft Inflation to Persist

Karachi, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): Backed by the Govt decision to reduce its GST (General Sales Tax) rate on petroleum products (barring HSD) in order to maintain prices coupled with the high base effect of CPI based inflation, AKD Securities Limited estimates headline inflation for Mar’15 to read at ~2.52%YoY (+ve 0.25%MoM). This compares favourably …

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Karachi, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): Backed by the Govt decision to reduce its GST (General Sales Tax) rate on petroleum products (barring HSD) in order to maintain prices coupled with the high base effect of CPI based inflation, AKD Securities Limited estimates headline inflation for Mar’15 to read at ~2.52%YoY (+ve 0.25%MoM).

This compares favourably when pitted against CPI of 8.5%YoY recorded in Mar’14, despite increase in certain food items. Furthermore, this implies 9MFY15 CPI average of 5.14%YoY vs. 8.64%YoY in 9MFY14, the lowest level witnessed since FY04.

In this regard, AKD Securities Limited believes a 50bps rate cut by the SBP in its upcoming Mar’15 MPS cannot be ruled out. AKD Securities Limited’s belief is further cemented by the money market expectations, reflected by declines in MTB (45-60bps) and PIB yields (60-109bps) since the last MPS. A rate cut will serve as a much needed catalyst for otherwise lacklustre market, which has been on a bearish run since its highest in Feb’15 (losing 5.2%). In connection with this, AKD Securities Limited believes the current levels provide a good entry point for investors sitting on cash.

Mar’15 CPI Preview: Based on SPI data for Mar’15, AKD Securities Limited forecasts headline inflation for the month to read at ~2.5%YoY (compared to 8.5%YoY in Mar’14), reflecting a 0.2%MoM rise. While an increase in certain food items (staples and poultry) is likely to push CPI numbers higher, inflation will remain restricted by (i) continued low fuel prices (backed by GoP decision to reduce GST on petroleum products) (ii) high base effect.

This implies 9MFY15 CPI average of 5.14%YoY vs. 8.64%YoY in 9MFY14, the lowest level witnessed since FY04, reflecting real interest rates of +3.3%. With int’l oil prices bottoming again, soft inflation trend is expected to sustain for the remainder of fiscal year with the FY15 average rounding up at the lower end of SBP’s 4.5-5.5%YoY forecast.

Low Yields Hint Monetary Easing: In the upcoming Mar’15 MPS AKD Securities Limited expects SBP to reduce policy rate by 50bps to 8.0% on the back of (i) low inflationary environment (ii) strong reserve position with Fx reserve at US$16bn (import cover: 4.8m) and (iii) dovish stance of other central banks globally (South Korea reduced 175bps).

Market expectations of continued monetary easing are reflected through marked decline in PIB and MTB yields. PIB yields in the secondary market have tapered down by more than 50bps across all tenors (up to 109bps for 5yr PIBs) since the Jan’15 MPS. A similar shift is also observed in MTB yields, which have come off by 45-60bps over the same period.

Lower yields for 12m papers (7.95%) than those for 3m (8.05%) reflect anticipation of policy rate cut in near term. Cut-off yields in latest auctions for 3m, 6m and 12m MTBs have come-off by 19bps, 31bps and 40bps, respectively, from the last MPS policy in Jan’15. Similarly 3yr, 5yr and 10yr PIB cut-off yields in Feb’15 auction dropped by 39bps, 61bps and 21bps, respectively.

Investment perspective: The market has been on a bearish run, with lower than expected inflation in Feb’15 (3.24%YoY) failing to provide a boost on the back of (i) foreign investment outflow (net sell: US$110mn CYTD), (ii) concerns about market regulations and (iii) political and security concerns. The KSE-100 index has lost 5.2% since the high of Feb’15 wiping out 7.2% gains seen in Jan’15.

However AKD Securities Limited sees this as transitory with a rate cut in the upcoming MPS as a potential trigger that can drive a period of valuation expansion, where AKD Securities Limited reiterates AKD Securities Limited’s Jun’15 index target of 37,000 points for the index. In a backdrop of soft inflation theme AKD Securities Limited sees the current downtrend as an opportunity where AKD Securities Limited’s preferred plays include BAFL, UBL, POL, MLCF, ENGRO and HUBC.

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Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited signs agreement with NESPAK

Islamabad, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has inked an agreement with NESPAK for deployment of PTCL infrastructure and provisioning of services in NESPAK housing society. The partnership shall enable residents of NESPAK housing society to experience the state-of-the-art telecommunications services of PTCL including Voice Telephony, Broadband Internet, SmartTV as well as …

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Islamabad, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) has inked an agreement with NESPAK for deployment of PTCL infrastructure and provisioning of services in NESPAK housing society.

The partnership shall enable residents of NESPAK housing society to experience the state-of-the-art telecommunications services of PTCL including Voice Telephony, Broadband Internet, SmartTV as well as EVO Wireless Broadband internet services. PTCL is already providing services in Phase-I of the society.

The agreement was signed by Nausherwan Ajmal, PTCL Senior Business Manager, Faisal Town and Amjad A Khan, President NESPAK Housing Society in the presence of Naeem Shahbaz Ul Haq, EVP Central Zone PTCL and Nasir Mehmood Bajwa, PTCL Regional General Manager, Lahore Telecom Regional South along with other senior officials from PTCL and NESPAK.

Naeem Shahbaz Ul Haq, Executive Vice President (EVP), Central Zone PTCL while speaking at the occasion said, “We are delighted to extend our partnership with NESPAK housing society. PTCL remains committed towards improving lifestyle and empowering people to achieve more through its futuristic and diversified products and services”.

PTCL is Pakistan’s largest integrated ICT service provider and is serving the nation since 1947. The Company’s cutting-edge technology and powerful array of telecom services, including Voice Telephony, Fixed/Wireless Broadband, Digital Television, Carrier and Wholesale, Satellite Services and Data Centers serve the connectivity needs of millions of consumers and businesses nationwide.

For more information, contact:
Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL)
F-8 Exchange, Nazim-Ud-Din Road F-8/1,
Islamabad
Tel: +92-51-111-20-20-20
Fax: +92-51-111-21-21-21
Email: shahzad.khalil@ptcl.net.pk
Website: www.ptcl.com.pk

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Envoy asks Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to organise visit of trade delegation to Tajikistan

Karachi, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): Ambassador of Tajikistan, Sher Ali S. Jononov has asked the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to organize visit of a trade delegation to Tajikistan in order to explore trade and investment opportunities with a view to improve the existing trade volume between Pakistan and Tajikistan. Exchanging views with …

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Karachi, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): Ambassador of Tajikistan, Sher Ali S. Jononov has asked the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to organize visit of a trade delegation to Tajikistan in order to explore trade and investment opportunities with a view to improve the existing trade volume between Pakistan and Tajikistan.

Exchanging views with KCCI Office Bearers and Managing Committee members during his visit to Karachi Chamber on Wednesday, Tajik Ambassador underscored the need to enhance people-to-people and business-to-business interaction between Pakistan and Tajikistan which was the only way forward towards improving trade ties while there was a huge demand for Pakistani products, particularly mangoes in Tajik markets.

Honorary Consul General of Tajikistan in Karachi, Irshad Ali S. Kassim, Consul/ Protocol of Embassy of Republic of Tajikistan, Marufjon Abdurahmonov, President KCCI, Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra, Senior Vice President KCCI, Muhammad Ibrahim Kasumbi and KCCI Managing Committee members were also present at the meeting.

Tajik Ambassador said that President of Tajikistan was keen to develop trade, investment and business ties with Pakistan. Thus, efforts were being made to enhance bilateral trade and bring the business communities of the two countries closer.

Emphasizing the need to effectively promote Pakistani products and services in Tajikistan, he said that every year around four to five exhibitions were being organized in Tajikistan by various countries including Iran, China, Turkey and India but unfortunately no such event was being staged by Pakistan.

“Last such activity to promote Pakistani products in Tajikistan took place in 2004 and to be honest with you, Pakistan is too late, it needs to be more active. We are ready to extend every possible assistance from the Tajik Embassy”, he added.

Earlier, while welcoming the Tajik Ambassador, President KCCI Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra stressed the need to enhance interaction by frequently exchanging business delegations from Pakistan and Tajikistan in order to look for business and investment opportunities. He said, “Karachi Chamber is keen to strengthen trade ties and exploring new bilateral trade prospects with Tajikistan as we believe that ‘Pakistan desperately needs to enhance trade’.”

President KCCI also expressed satisfaction over signing of an agreement on Central Asia-South Asia (CASA-1000) between Pakistan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The energy project known as the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000) will help export 1000MW of energy to Pakistan which would help in dealing with ongoing energy crisis to a certain extent.

Speaking on the occasion, Senior Vice President KCCI invited the Embassy of Tajikistan to participate in Karachi Chamber’s forthcoming 12th My Karachi – Oasis of Harmony which is scheduled to be staged at the Karachi Expo Center on April 10th, 11th and 12th, 2015. This three-day long event is regularly being organized since 2004 which is likely to attract around 1 million visitors this year. My Karachi will provide an excellent opportunity to promote what was being produced in Tajikistan, he added.

For more information, contact:
Aamir Hassan
Director Press/Electronic Media and Public Relations
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Aiwan-e-Tijarat Road, Off Shahrah-e-Liaquat,
Karachi-74000
Phone: +92-21-99218001-09
Fax: +92-21-99218040
Email: info@kcci.com.pk, secretary@kcci.com.pk
Website: www.kcci.com.pk

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Khalid Tawab appointed Chairman Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s body on Sales Tax and Inland Revenue for 2015

Karachi, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): President FPCCI Mian Muhammad Idrees has appointed S. Khalid Tawab (Sitara-e-Imtiaz) as Chairman of FPCCI Standing Committee on Sales Tax and Inland Revenue for the year 2015 and advised him to keep close liaison with the concerned government authorities and businessmen in resolving sales tax related issues and also help …

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Karachi, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): President FPCCI Mian Muhammad Idrees has appointed S. Khalid Tawab (Sitara-e-Imtiaz) as Chairman of FPCCI Standing Committee on Sales Tax and Inland Revenue for the year 2015 and advised him to keep close liaison with the concerned government authorities and businessmen in resolving sales tax related issues and also help out the national exchequer.

Khalid Tawab is the Honorary Consul General of Republic of Mozambique and was the Provincial Minister for Commerce and Industry in the last interim government. He is one of the senior members of FPCCI, KATI, Arts Council and has served as Vice President of FPCCI. He is also associated with various advisory committees of the government.

For more information, contact:
M. A. Lodhi
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Shahra-e-Firdousi,
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +92-21-35874332
Email: info@fpcci.com.pk
URL: www.fpcci.com.pk

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Pakistani business community considers United Arab Emirates as their second home which can be witnessed by frequent flights from Pakistan to Emirates: Abdul Rahim Janoo

Karachi, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): Pakistani business community considers UAE as their second home which can be witnessed by frequent flights from Pakistan to UAE. This was stated by Abdul Rahim Janoo, Sr. Vice President FPCCI in a meeting with Khalid Bardan, Country Manager Emirates Airline who visited FPCCI to meet the office bearers and …

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Karachi, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): Pakistani business community considers UAE as their second home which can be witnessed by frequent flights from Pakistan to UAE. This was stated by Abdul Rahim Janoo, Sr. Vice President FPCCI in a meeting with Khalid Bardan, Country Manager Emirates Airline who visited FPCCI to meet the office bearers and members of FPCCI. The meeting was also attended by Ikram Rajput, Vice President and Incharge FPCCI Sindh Region, Muhammad Waseem Vohra, Vice President, Mr. Rafiq Suleman, Chairman REAP, Haji Siddique Suleman, Saeeda Bano, President WCCI and others.

Rahim Janoo further said that the business community prefers to travel abroad by Emirate airlines and most of them are holding the status of frequent flyer. He appreciated the services and facilities of Emirates airlines and said that there is still room for further improvement in services, meal and separate lounge at airport in Pakistan.

He further suggested new destination for opening at Mombasa where most of Pakistani businessmen visit for business purpose as Mombasa is the trade and industrial hub of Kenya. Rahim Janoo emphasis on the special services for the members of FPCCI and suggested to sign an MOU with Emirate Airlines. They also discussed the possibility of facilitation to the members of FPCCI trade delegation, participants of trade fair and special package for cargo of exhibits.

Khalid Bardan appreciated the views of the Senior Vice President FPCCI and assured best services with improvement as notified to him. He also agreed on having an MOU between FPCCI and Emirate Airline for cooperation and facilitation to business community. He further assured his support and full cooperation with FPCCI’s trade delegations and cargo facilities to the exhibitors.

For more information, contact:
M. A. Lodhi
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Shahra-e-Firdousi,
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: +92-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +92-21-35874332
Email: info@fpcci.com.pk
URL: www.fpcci.com.pk

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Fauji Fertilizer Company day held to promote public awareness regarding its culture

Lahore, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): Honouring the contributions of the company towards community, Fauji Fertilizers celebrated FFC day on March 18th, 2015 with a view to promote public awareness regarding the FFC culture which stands for transparency, corporate governance, best business practices and its obligations towards the community and Pakistan as a whole. The event …

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Lahore, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): Honouring the contributions of the company towards community, Fauji Fertilizers celebrated FFC day on March 18th, 2015 with a view to promote public awareness regarding the FFC culture which stands for transparency, corporate governance, best business practices and its obligations towards the community and Pakistan as a whole.

The event started with the recitation of Holy Quran followed by Mr. Syed Iqtidar Saeed’s, Chief Technology Officer, speech in which he highlighted the key contributions and achievements of FFC over the years. After that, awards were handed out to the standout long serving dedicated members of FFC. CE and MD FFC, Lt Gen Naeem Khalid Lodhi, HI (M) (Retd), presented those awards.

In his short speech, Chief Guest Lt Gen Naeem Khalid Lodhi, congratulated the work force of FFC and stated that Fauji Fertilizer Company enjoys a rich history, and events like these are thus important not only for FFC as it allows the company to grow in stature but also for the general public, enlightening the community about the CSR activities of Fauji Fertilizer Company.

Other distinguished guests, which included the likes of Maj. General Abid Hussain (Retd), Lt Gen Amjad Shuaib (Retd), Lt Gen Munir Hafeez (Retd), and Lt Gen Malik Arif Hayat, were thrilled to be a part of this event. Showing their delight and satisfaction, they dubbed FFC Day a good and healthy initiative taken by Fauji Fertilizer Company.

For more information, contact:
Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited
Marketing Group
Lahore Trade Centre
11-Shahrah-e-Aiwan-e-Tijarat,
Lahore, Pakistan
PABX: (+92-42) 36369137-40, 36308429-30, 36315021, 36369278-79, 36313994
Fax: (+92-42) 36366324

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Agricultural credit disbursement surges to Rs 288.7 billion in fiscal year (July- February 2015)

Karachi, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): During first eight months of current fiscal year (Jul- Feb 2015) the banks have disbursed Rs 288.7 billion which is 57.8% of the overall annual target of Rs 500 billion and 32.3% higher than disbursement of Rs 218.3 billion made during the corresponding period last year. The outstanding portfolio of …

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Karachi, March 18, 2015 (PPI-OT): During first eight months of current fiscal year (Jul- Feb 2015) the banks have disbursed Rs 288.7 billion which is 57.8% of the overall annual target of Rs 500 billion and 32.3% higher than disbursement of Rs 218.3 billion made during the corresponding period last year. The outstanding portfolio of agri. loans has increased by Rs 34.2 billion i.e. from Rs 273.4 billion to Rs 307.6 billion at end February 2015 as compared to same period last year.

Five major banks as a group have disbursed Rs 150.9 billion or 59.8% of its annual target and two specialized banks (ZTBL and PPCBL) also disbursed Rs 51.5 billion or 50.7% of their targets of Rs 101.5 billion. Fifteen Domestic private banks collectively disbursed Rs 64.9 billion or 56.2% against their target of Rs 115.6 billion. Seven Microfinance banks have disbursed Rs 18.9 billion or 67% of their annual targets, however; the four Islamic banks as a group have already surpassed their annual targets by disbursing Rs 2.5 billion against the target of Rs 2.3 billion during the period under review.

Amongst the five major banks, MCB has achieved 76.3% of its annual target, UBL achieved 72.2%, HBL 66.6%, NBP 46.2% while ABL could achieve only 43.1% of its individual annual target. Under the specialized banks category, ZTBL disbursed Rs 46.1 billion or 51.3 % against its target of Rs 90.0 billion while PPCBL disbursed Rs 5.4 billion i.e. 46.9 % against its target of Rs 11.5 billion during the period under review.

Within Fifteen Domestic Private Banks, Bank of Khyber has achieved 86.9%, Faysal bank achieved 72.3%, Bank Alfalah 53%, Bank Al Habib 48.3%, NIB bank 47.5%, Summit bank 45.4%, Sindh Bank 45%, Silk bank 43.5 %, Soneri Bank 43%, Bank of Punjab 36.6% while Askari bank could achieve only 35% of their annual targets during Jul-Feb 2015, however Standard Chartered Bank has disbursed Rs 3.8 billion against its annual target of Rs 2.5 billion for 2014-15.

For more information, contact:
Syed Wasimuddin
Chief Spokesman
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)
Tel: +92-21-39212562
Fax: +92-21-39212563
Email: syed.wasimuddin@sbp.org.pk

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