Category Archives: Banking and Finance

PICS Expands Its Current Operations in Africa With Peter Brummer

IRVINE, CA–(Marketwire – Sep 5, 2012) – PICS is expanding its existing contractor screening and auditing business in Africa with the appointment of Peter Brummer. Peter comes to PICS’ African Business Development Team with extensive experience in Risk & Safety and Supply Chain management as well as new market development. Peter’s appointment provides added support to the existing South African office.

PICS is an established, simplified contractor prequalification service operating in Africa and throughout the world. PICS currently supports a vast client base of the safest and most successful companies in the world. The PICS supply chain management solution is flexible, simple to use, and provides contractor data on demand to PICS clients.

By recruiting highly experienced and knowledgeable professionals from the safety and supply chain management sector, PICS has swiftly established its credentials in Africa, demonstrating how its services can best benefit businesses across a wide range of sectors.

Peter Brummer has over 15 years’ experience in the international contract management field. During this time he led new business and implementation projects for blue-chip clients with global operations. In that role, Mr. Brummer integrated client objectives with local regulatory requirements and established sector best practices. Peter also advises clients on how to engage contractors and suppliers in their sustainability initiatives.

Ian McKinnon, Executive Director for PICS in EMEA, commented, “PICS employees help our clients streamline supply chain management services. They are the reason the PICS process is efficient and simplified. I am delighted to welcome Peter to the team and look forward to working with him in providing our clients with excellent service.”

PICS is a global contractor screening consortium committed to improving Health, Safety and Quality. PICS’ prequalification and auditing services have become the standard in many industries, including: Chemical, Oil & Gas, Power, Construction, Mining and Manufacturing. Access to thousands of vendors’ prequalification information is housed online Founded in 2003 as an organization dedicated to safety, PICS is the fastest-growing, full-service contractor prequalification company worldwide. PICS is headquartered in Irvine, California, with offices in Houston, Texas; Calgary, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Johannesburg, South Africa; Maidenhead, U.K.; Munich, Germany; Paris, France; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Sydney, Australia; Singapore; Tokyo, Japan and Hong Kong, China.

All services and trademarks are the properties of their respective companies.

Contact Information


Catherine Gutierrez
Marketing Manager
PICS, Inc.
P: 949-936-4555
E: Email Contact

SBP conversion rates

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan on Thursday announced the rates applicable for conversion into rupee of Foreign Currency Deposits, Dollar Bearer Certificates, Foreign Currency Bearer Certificates, Special US Dollar Bonds and profits thereon by all banks and for providing forward cover on Foreign Currency Deposits (Excluding FE 25 deposits) on March 30, 2012.

The rates are: US Dollar Rs90.6882, Japanese Yen Rs1.1010, Pound Sterling Rs144.2306 and Euro Rs120.5519.

Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) holds business plan competition

RAWALPINDI: The President Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) Jawed Bhatti said that industry-academia linkage is very essential to promote business activities in the country. RCCI is fully aware of the importance of youth in the national economic uplift and has signed Memorandum of Understandings with the 8 leading universities of the region. “Today’s competition will lead the students in their practical life and RCCI will continue its efforts for betterment of the students from the business field”, he said. He stated this while addressing the “RCCI Business Plan Competition 2012” ceremony held here on Wednesday.

Aziz Ahmed Bilour Federal Secretary Ministry of Industries was the chief guest of the ceremony while Aitzaz Niazi Chief Executive Engineering Development Board, Khawaja M Younas Chief NPO, Shaista Sohail Joint Secretary Ministry of Industries WTO Wing, Former Presidents RCCI Mr. Najamul Haq Malik, Kashif Shabbir, Senior Vice President Raja Amer Iqbal, Vice President Ch. Iqbal Ahmed, members executive committee and other participants were also present on the occasion.

Jawed Bhatti said that the motto of the Rawalpindi Chamber is to bring industry and academia closer as these are the two main players in the development of the nation and economy. He said that such kinds of activities are very significant for learning and knowledge sharing and students participating in said competition must be appreciated.

Aziz Ahmed Bilour Federal Secretary Ministry of Industries lauded the role of RCCI in the economic uplift of the Country. He appraised all the students and termed that young generation can bring the country out of crises.

MCB Bank approves final cash dividend @30%, 10% bonus issue

Karachi: MCB Bank Board of Directors Tuesday approved final cash dividend @ 30% and 10% bonus issue after shareholders adopted audited financial statements of MCB Bank Limited and its subsidiaries at 64th Annual General Meeting. This is in addition to 90% interim cash dividend already paid in 2011.

Chairing AGM to transact ordinary and special business, Director MCB Bank, Aftab Ahmad Khan said MCB completed yet another remarkable year in terms of financial performance and registered 20% and 15% increase in profit before tax PBT & profit after tax PAT respectively.

Net Interest Income of Bank increased by 21% over last year with non mark up income increasing by 29% to Rs 8.112 billion. Provisions for the period were reported at Rs 3.654 billion with nominal increase of 2% over last year. Strong financial growth was seen in asset base registering 15% increase to Rs 653.233 billion. Investment portfolio increased considerably by Rs 103.6 billion over 2010 with higher concentration in risk free government securities.

Advances gross were reported at Rs 248.135 billion with decrease of 9% over 2010, mainly on account of conversion of commodity financing, circular debt exposure to risk free government securities. Bank’s deposit base went up by 14%, with 11% and 16% increase reported in current and saving deposits respectively, maintaining CASA percentage at 81%. Earnings per share EPS as of December 31, 2011 came to Rs 23.23 compared to Rs 20.18 for last year. Return on assets improved to 3.18% 2010: 3.13% whereas return on equity improved to 26.23% 2010: 25.91%.

World Bank to provide US $150m as additional financing for Social safety network project

Islamabad: The Government of Pakistan signed an agreement with the World Bank amounting to US$ 150 million as Additional Financing for Social Safety Net Project on Monday in the Economic Affairs Division (EAD).

The objective of the project is to support the expansion and strengthen the administration and performance of Pakistan’s safety net with particular focus on the BISP as the national safety net platform.

The project consists of the following parts: Part 1: Establishing a National Targeting System and Expanding Coverage for the Basic Safety Net System, Part 2: Strengthening Safety Net Operations, Part 3: Enhancing the Management, Accountability and Evaluation, Part 4: Developing the Social Protection Policy.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Waqar Masood Khan, Secretary, Economic Affairs Division on behalf of the Government of Pakistan and Mr. Rachid Benmessaoud, Country Director, on behalf of the World Bank.

Mr. Muhammad Sher Khan, Secretary, Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) signed the Project Agreement on behalf of BISP.

WB approves $1.09 Billion to boost electricity supply and improve irrigated agriculture in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved two projects totalling US$1.09 billion aimed at supporting Pakistan’s growth agenda for reducing poverty.

The Tarbela IV Extension Hydropower Project will add power generation capacity of 1,410 megawatts, and the Punjab Irrigated Agriculture Productivity Improvement Project is geared toward maximizing water use efficiency for increased yield per unit of water.

Availability of electricity is of crucial importance for the economic growth and development of Pakistan. Widespread load shedding is disrupting the lives of ordinary Pakistanis and the economic impact of energy shortages is estimated at upward of 2 percent of GDP. By developing its vast hydropower potential – of which only 15% has been developed – Pakistan can significantly reverse the situation and reduce the cost of energy supply mix. The US$840 million Tarbela IV Extension Hydropower Project will use the existing dam, tunnel, roads and transmission line for generating additional electricity in summer months when demand for electricity and river flows are high.

“The Tarbela IV Hydropower Project will enhance Pakistan’s energy security by adding low-carbon, least-cost and renewable hydel power to its energy portfolio, said Rachid Benmessaoud, World Bank Country Director for Pakistan. “The beauty of this project is that it will help Pakistan reduce the gap between supply and demand of electricity by maximizing the benefits of existing infrastructure of Tarbela Dam without requiring any land acquisition or relocation of population. The direct beneficiaries will be millions of energy users, including industry, households and farmers who would get more electricity at a lower cost and suffer fewer blackouts.”

The challenges in the water sector are equally daunting. Pakistan’s water availability is shrinking while demand is increasing. Vast amounts of water are lost due to deteriorating watercourses and wasteful on-farm water use. Improved water use efficiency and new technology that promotes crop diversification will be critical going forward.

The US$250 million Punjab Irrigated Agriculture Productivity Improvement Program Project is aimed at getting maximum productivity out of every drop of irrigation water by weaning farmers away from the traditional and wasteful flood irrigation to more modern methods like drip and sprinkler irrigation systems, which in turn will encourage crop diversification.

“High efficiency systems to be installed over 120,000 acres of irrigated lands in Punjab would promote water conservation and increase crop yields”, said Masood Ahmad, World Bank’s Lead Water Specialist. “This would have demonstrative effect and local industry would develop for installation of such systems as it happened in case of ground water development over the last three decades after installation of groundwater wells by the Government for controlling water logging and salinity.”

Tarbela IV Extension Hydropower Project includes US $400 million loan from the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). It is a fixed spread loan with a maturity of 21 years, including a grace period of 6 years. The remaining $440 million of Tarbela Project and US $250 million for Punjab Irrigated Agriculture Productivity Improvement Project are credits from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm. These carry a 0.75% service charge, and 1.25 percent interest rate, 5 years of grace period and a maturity of 25 years.