Western Digital enters Pakistan

Updated 08 Oct 2020

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A Western Digital office building is shown in Irvine, California, US. — Reuters/File
A Western Digital office building is shown in Irvine, California, US. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: Amid digital growth in the country, the Western Digital has decided to enter Pakistani market with the launch of its products in the country, but the company faces challenges from piracy and copy rights violations from imports to retail end.

The Western Digital Corporation, the global data infrastructure leader, announced on Wednesday that all its new range of data storage devices would be available in Pakistan through its authorised network instead of imports by the traders.

Speaking at the launch, Khwaja Saifuddin, senior sales director for Middle East and Pakistan, Western Digital, said that growing digitisation had enhanced the importance of data storage, but added that there were several regulatory requirements that the authorities should look into.

“All data from personal financial accounts to family pictures etc is going digital and this need is more serious for the corporate sector as the banks have all details of their clients and money in digital data,” he said. “Pakistan should have comprehensive laws related to data protection.”

Mr Saifuddin said that access, saving and sharing were three main segments of data storage and from an individual to government offices, the need for data storage was growing in modern times.

He said that the Western Digital had established after sales support and warrantees through its authorised dealers in Pakistan but expressed disappointment that due to weak copyright and anti-piracy laws, fake devices, including flash drives and external hard drives, were being sold in Pakistan.

“There is a need to curb this market and it should start from the import stage and cover even the retail end,” he said, adding that the company was in touch with relevant government agencies in this regard.

Mr Saifuddin said that the Western Digital was offering flash drives and dual drives with capacity range from 16GB to 256GB and cautioned that the company offered a minimum warranty of three years and those offering warranties of six months or one year were selling fake products.

He said that Pakistan was a huge market for data storage sector but the company would decide about manufacturing devices in the country at a later stage.

Directives for TSA implementation

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday issued a circular to all commercial banks with respect to implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

The Finance Division on August 19 had directed, through a letter to all federal government ministries, divisions, attached departments and subordinate offices, to close their banks accounts with the commercial banks and financial institutions and transfer the balance funds to the Federal Government’s Central Account No. I (non-food) with the SBP.

“Your respective branches will receive the ‘Account Closure Request’ from the respective authorised signatories on the specified format issued by the Finance Division for closure of such bank accounts and transfer of balances therein to the SBP,” said the Finance Division.

In order to ensure closure of all the accounts and transfer of their balances to the SBP through a standardised procedure, banks were advised to develop their internal applications and processes to keep track of the receipt of directives by the authorised signatories; closure of accounts by banks’ branches and transfer of available balances to their centralised treasury and transfer of the consolidated amount by the centralised treasury to the SBP.

Upon receipt of account closure request, the respective branches will initiate the closure of accounts and transfer the available balances to their centralised treasuries within seven days through their internal application.

The respective branches will convey the following details to their centralised treasuries, through standardised internal application. names of administrative and controlling ministries, names of government departments or institutions, account titles, balances transferred and branch code.

The centralised treasury of each bank will transfer the aggregate amount of deposits surrendered by its branches on daily basis to the SBP for onward credit to the federal government’s central account No. I (non-food).

Agha Steels IPO oversubscribed

The book-building of Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Agha Steel Industries Limited (ASIL) was over-subscribed by 1.63 times, the company said on Wednesday.

The strike price clocked in at Rs32 per share, higher than the floor price of Rs30. ASIL has set up to raise Rs3.8 billion. Investor demand amounted to Rs4.4 billion as against the IPO’s book-building size of Rs2.7bn. The company said it would use the proceeds to finance expansion of its re-rolling capacity to 650,000 tonnes, from 250,000.

The general public would now be offered 30m shares (25 per cent of the total offer size) on October 14-15 at the strike price of Rs32.

Published in Dawn, October 8th, 2020