Published December 4, 2023

U Microfinance Bank’s results

During the first half of 2023, U Microfinance Bank reported a revenue of Rs21.5bn with a growth of 133pc as compared to the corresponding period of last year. Also, it announced a profit after tax of Rs1.4bn with a jump of Rs1.6bn as compared to the corresponding period’s half-year loss (restated) of Rs175m, as per its press release.

U Bank’s gross loan portfolio stood at Rs65.5bn, reflecting the high demand for its diverse portfolio of financial products and services catering to the banking needs of multiple population segments of Pakistan.

In addition to its healthy banking performance, U Bank continues to have strong confidence and unwavering support from its parent company, Pakistan Telecommunication Company, which injected Rs1.6bn into the bank.

Donations for children

Nestlé Pakistan extended a corporate contribution worth Rs5m to support SOS Children’s Village in its endeavours, as part of its philosophy of Creating Shared Value, as per a press release.

Talking at the event, Jason Avanceña, CEO, Nestlé Pakistan, said, “It’s a privilege to be here today to witness the incredible work SOS Children’s Villages is doing for the communities of Pakistan, especially its voluntary efforts in providing a loving and nurturing environment for orphaned children.

‘Nestlé Cares’, the company’s voluntary programme, provides the opportunity to engage and assist underprivileged communities through direct and indirect participation. SOS Children’s Villages of Pakistan is a non-profit organisation working for the welfare, upbringing and education of orphan and abandoned children since 1977.

NBP’s Hajj applications

According to a press release, the National Bank of Pakistan has started accepting applications for Hajj 2024 at all NBP branches from November 27 till December 12, 2023.

The Long Hajj package, the regular Hajj scheme, which spans 38 to 42 days, including eight days in Madinah, is priced at Rs1.07m per person for the Southern Region (Karachi, Quetta, Sukkur) and Rs1.08m per person for the Northern Region (other cities). The Sponsored Hajj Scheme for the Southern Region is priced at $3,765 per person, while the Northern Region is $3,800 per person.

For the Short Hajj Package, covering 20 to 25 days, with three to five days in Madinah, the regular Hajj scheme is priced at Rs1.14m per person for the Southern Region and Rs1.15m per person for the Northern Region. The sponsored Hajj Scheme for the Southern Region is $4,015 per person, and for the Northern Region, it is $4,050 per person.

Winners of Women in Tech

Standard Chartered Bank, in partnership with INNOVentures Global, announced the winners of Women in Tech, 2023, according to a press release. The winners were RENT-IT, Khair, EcoBricks, Chiragh Education Technologies, Aesthetics Lab, DigiDeaf, and Irverde-Gogreen.

The Women in Tech programme is designed to foster gender representation within technology-based entrepreneurship, specifically promoting financial inclusion. The participants get an opportunity to go through an extensive capacity-building programme complemented by a seed grant for the winners.

Over the years, the Women in Tech programme has awarded approximately Rs30m as grant money. Besides these declared grants awarded between 2019 and 2022, more than two start-ups have undisclosed investments raised through one successful acquisition exit.

BOP meets with Xalq delegation

A high-level delegation from Xalq Bank and representatives from Asia Development Bank met with a high-level delegation from the Bank of Punjab in Lahore last week. Xalq Bank, one of Azerbaijan’s oldest and largest public sector banks, received a detailed presentation on BOP’s SME Banking Business Model. Asif Riaz, Group Head of Consumer Banking, and Ahsen A. Khawaja, Head SME, shared success stories and best practices of BOP, especially in financial inclusion.

ICMA’s job fair

Last week, the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMA) organised a mega Job Fair 2023 in Faisalabad at the Zoom Executive Marquee, Faisalabad. Over 60 companies participated, representing all major industrial sectors and was attended by over 3,000 students.

The ICMA is a professional accounting body that delivers high-standard education, professional training, and research and development activities to improve business efficiency.

Published in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, December 4th, 2023



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