Pakistan Today

Ali Allawala appointed CEO of #Malaysia’s Standard Chartered Bank Islamic unit

Pakistani banker Ali Allawala has been appointed as the chief executive officer of the Islamic Unit of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia. Ali Allawala possesses over 22 years of experience in retail banking, both within conventional and Islamic banking. He joined Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan in 2012 and had previously worked for Citibank and Samba Financial Group. He was named "Best Islamic Consumer Banker in Pakistan 2015" by the Islamic Finance Awards. Mr. Allawala has extensive multi-product experience in business development, product management, distribution, digital banking and marketing.

Three major banks are up for sale. Who will buy them?

For the first time in #Pakistani history, three perfectly healthy and viable banks are simultaneously up for sale. They are Bank Alfalah (BAFL), Meezan Bank (MEBL), and Faysal Bank (FABL). The Gulf Arab investors who initially put up the capital to create these banks have held their positions profitably for decades and are now looking for a suitable exit opportunity. The potential foreign acquirers of these banks would be the most interesting ones, since they are likely to be large foreign financial institutions, extending their presence into the Pakistani market. The most interested potential acquirers, however, are the domestic players, only some of whom have a history of previously owning and operating financial institutions.

Mutual #funds and Islamic funds have huge potential in #Pakistan: Saqib Saleem

In this interview CEO of MCB-Arif Habib Savings and Investments (MCBAH) Saqib Saleem gives advice to new individual investors who want to save a portion of their money. He recommends increasing purchasing power over a period of time and seeking reliable investment advice. For this reason, MCBAH has 14 types of mutual funds, two voluntary pension schemes and different investments plans in its product portfolio. The mutual funds industry in Pakistan is still in its infancy stage standing at mere 1.6% of GDP. Saleem believes that an increase in awareness and introduction of innovative products to reach out to general public will provide an impetus to growth. As the Pakistani economy is entering the growth phase, he expects young investors to enter the market and increase their investment profile.

Al-Baraka Bank ready to purchase Burj Bank; final approval on Aug 22

The AL-Baraka Bank Pakistan (ABPL) has decided to purchase the Burj Bank Pakistan. The ABPL bank will purchase the Burj Bank through swap Ratio of 1 share of ABPL for every 1.7 shares of Burj Bank for shareholders of Burj Bank, while its face value will be Rs 10 each in the ABPL for every 1.7 shares of Burj Bank. The ABPL will finalise this merger on August 22. In April this year, the ABPL was allowed due-diligence of the Burj Bank for the amalgamation of two of the smaller entities in Pakistan’s banking industry. The two banks deal in Islamic products only.

ICCI calls on Islamic banks to focus on SMEs development

The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with FPCCI Standing Committee on Islamic Banking and Takaful organised a seminar on Islamic banking. Speaking at the occasion, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Muzzamil Hussain Sabri said that there should be full-fledged Islamic banks on micro finance to support SMEs as currently no Islamic bank was focusing on SMEs with better products. He stressed that the branches of Islamic banks should be enhanced in the country to provide more consumer outreach as the insufficient branch network and lack of awareness in general masses were the major hurdle in the growth of Islamic banking.

SBP to set up centers of excellence in Islamic finance at 3 institutions

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) held a signing ceremony for Financial Innovation Challenge Fund (FICF) on promoting excellence in Islamic finance in Pakistan under its financial inclusion programme funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). The signing ceremony marks the beginning of the implementation phase of the FICF innovative Islamic finance education and research projects in partnership with higher education institutions which was earlier launched by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on January 9, 2015. At the ceremony, three projects were signed with Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and Institute of Management Sciences (IM Sciences).

Mufti Muhammad Hassaan Kaleem joins Dubai Islamic Bank as Sharia head

Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan (DIBPL) has appointed Mufti Muhammad Hassaan Kaleem as the Bank’s new country Head of Shari’a. Mufti Hassaan has also been appointed a member of the Bank’s Shari’a Board by the Board of Directors of DIBPL, subject to approval of State Bank of Pakistan. Mufti Hassaan has vast experience in matters of Shari’a teachings and advisory and has been teaching various courses in Islamic Studies and Arabic at Darl-ul-Uloom Karachi for the last 17 years. He is a member of several institutions and boards, including Dar-ul-Ifta, JamiaDarul-ul-Uloom Karachi, Chairman Shari’a Board of Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and others.

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