Lahore (Staff Reporter): PTCL will deploy 789 kilometers of fiber for ZONG which will enable delivery of quality telecommunication services for the Pakistan market. An agreement to this effect was signed by Dr. Daniel Ritz, President & CEO PTCL and Mr. Liu Dianfeng Chairman and CEO ZONG at a ceremony held at PTCL Headquarters.

This agreement will serve as a major milestone towards achieving PTCL’s vision of being the carrier of carriers and its pivotal role in promoting ICT services in Pakistan. This fiber leasing agreement will also enable Zong to utilize PTCL’s extensive nationwide fiber optic footprint and its expertise in deploying, operating and maintaining a fiber optic network.

Pakistan’s telecom market has recently started witnessing a sharp increase in the data usage preference of 3G/4G cellular subscribers. This emerging trend is pushing the need for extensive 3G/4G rollout across the country and creating a demand for effective BTS backhauling for seamless data transmission. This agreement will enable ZONG to further expand its fastest 3G and 4G network nationwide.

The signing ceremony was attended by senior management from both the companies, including Mr. Sikander Naqi, (Chief Business Development Officer, PTCL), Mr. Saad Warriach (Chief Technical & Information Officer, PTCL), Mr. Muhammad Nehmatullah (CFO, PTCL)and Mr Omar Khalid (EVP, Carrier Services and Wholesale), Mr. Maham Dard, (Director Corporate Affairs, ZONG), Ms. Miao Qiao, (Chief Technical Officer, ZONG) ), Mr. Mannan Shabir (Executive Director Procurement, ZONG) and Mr. Li Yewen (Director Network Planning, ZONG).

On the occasion, senior management of the two companies emphasized the need for deployment of cost-effective solutions which will enable delivery of quality telecommunication services for the Pakistan market. It is expected that this partnership will go a long way in paving a bright future for both companies.

Turkish Airlines celebrates Independence Day

Lahore (PR): Under the 14th August Pakistan Independence Day Celebrations, Turkish Airlines Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad offices organized an activity of delivering Turkish delight with toothpicks including Pakistan-Turkey flags on it. Also they delivered badges with both countries flags symbolizing the brotherly relations between two countries.

Same day, in the flights from Istanbul to Lahore and Lahore to Istanbul the celebration announcements messages were delivered:

“On behalf of Turkish Airlines, we celebrate the independence day of our brotherly country, Pakistan. Pakistan-Turkey dostizindabad...”

Turkish Airlines General Manager for Punjab, Mr. BesimPerolli observed: “the main purpose of this activity was to share the mutual happiness and strengthen our fraternity bonds between two brotherly countries. No doubt that we have too much things in common and our flags are the main witness of it. So, long last our brotherly relations, Turkey-Pakistan dosti zinda bad.”

Also it was very nice diplomatic gesture from the government of Turkey that the fist appointed General Consul of Turkey for Punjab H.E. Mr.SerdarDeniz, has been transferred to Lahore with the same flight on 14th August with the occasion of Pakistan Independence Day.

Bank Al Habib reports impressive profits

Lahore (PR): Lower interest rates were always going to reduce banks’ top line this season, and Bank Al-Habib’s (BAHL) was no exception. But lower top line growth did not mean lower profits, as BAHL played it smartly. The after-tax profits grew a commendable 13 percent year-on-year, in times when banking sector profits were supposed to be under huge pressure. 

BAHL has been a reluctant lender of late, like many of its peers. The downward interest cycle was tipped to entice banks to start lending more, but if BAHL’s 1QCY16 numbers are anything to go by, the reluctance remains. BAHL’s ADR was barely hanging on to 40 percent, whereas, the IDR had crossed 80 percent by the end of 1QCY16. 

BAHL has done a commendable job in reducing cost of deposits, evident by a sharp decline in mark-up expenses and a much improved gross spread ratio. On the liability side, deposit growth has been rather slow – but that seems more of a strategic move. Recall that most banks have of late adopted the policy of adding the right deposit mix, even if it comes with slow growth. Improved CASA was a just outcome and there is no reason to believe that BAHL would alter the strategy anytime soon. 

The most telling difference came from the reversal in provisioning charges though, which changed the whole complexion of the income statement.