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Paymob, NIFT sign agreement to securely enable digital payments...

June 29, 2022: Paymob, the leading omnichannel financial services platform in the MENAP region, signed an agreement with National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (NIFT) to facilitate digital payments in Pakistan and secure payment transfers. Under the agreement, Paymob will enable digital payments for their merchants using the NIFT ePay payment platform which supports account, wallet, and card-based payments.

Paymob’s payment infrastructure enables SMEs to accept digital payments online and in-store whilst providing them better access to financial services. As an API integrator, Paymob’s gateway sits on merchants’ websites to facilitate payment capture. In addition to conventional bank cards, Paymob merchants will have access to mobile wallets, QR payments, bank card instalment plans, and Buy-Now Pay-Later (BNPL) options all of which serve to drive an increased volume of transactions and revenue.

Paymob plans to extend its Tap-on-Phone payment acceptance service to the Pakistan market. The company will also launch cards to enable B2B transactions for its merchants and build tools for merchants to better manage and grow their business.

NIFT was established in 1995 as a joint venture between six major Pakistani banks and entrepreneurs from the private sector. It is the leading Payment System Operator (PSO) in Pakistan for cheque clearing and is the country’s foremost Digital Payment Gateway, providing an electronic platform for clearing, processing, and switching electronic transactions in Pakistan under the brand name NIFT ePay.

Haidar Wahab, CEO of NIFT commented, “NIFT continues to play an important and proactive role in streamlining Pakistan’s payment system. As promoters of financial technology, NIFT is committed to delivering an efficient, secured, and convenient digital payment system in which our economic growth can further thrive. This new partnership with Paymob opens a range of exciting new possibilities for Pakistan’s payment infrastructure and puts it at the cutting edge of innovation in this space.”

Fawad Abdul Kader, Country Manager of Paymob in Pakistan mentioned, “We are proud to partner with NIFT ePay which will serve to drive e-commerce by making a variety of payment options available to merchants all across Pakistan. SMEs are the engines of growth in any economy and this partnership with NIFT ePay will serve to fuel that growth and drive revenue in today’s digital economy.”

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IT exports down by around 27% MoM in May 22

IT exports down by around 27% MoM in May...

June 28, 2022 (MLN):  ICT export remittances including telecommunication, computer and information services have dropped by 27% MoM to $183 million in May 2022, the lowest monthly number since February 2021, data revealed by the Central Bank showed.  

The recorded decline may be attributed to the increasing number of hours of loadshedding faced by the ICT companies and individuals.

Cumulatively, the export of the same group surged to $2.38 billion in 11MFY22 at a growth rate of 25.45% YoY compared to $1.89bn in FY21.

The net exports for the said period stood at $1.81bn which is 75.98% of $2.38bn in ICT exports. Last year, for the same period, the net exports were $1.425bn which was 75.08% of $1.89bn in ICT exports.

Federal Minister of IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin ul Haq said, “On the direction of the Prime Minister, steps are being taken to take ICT exports to a record level.”

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Foreign loans surge to $13.5bn in 11MFY22

Foreign loans surge to $13.5bn in 11MFY22

June 29, 2022 (MLN): Pakistan received fresh external loans of $13.54 billion in 11 months of the ongoing fiscal i.e., July- May FY22 from multiple financing sources against the annual budget estimates of $14.09bn for the entire fiscal year FY22, the latest monthly report by the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) showed.

In the month of May 2022, the country got foreign assistance of $505.65 million from multiple financing sources. While no loans were borrowed from commercial banks in May 2022.

Out of $13.54bn, the government obtained a $10.5bn loan for non-project aid that includes $9.2bn in the form of budgetary support, $1.29bn for short-term credit, and $31.41mn for TDPs.

Meanwhile, $1.95bn has been obtained for project aid financing and $1.03bn guaranteed loans during July-May FY22.

Going into details made available by EAD, the disbursement from bilateral and multilateral development partners maintained a strong trend as it totaled $4.85bn of foreign economic assistance during 11MFY22.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs noted the country relied on foreign commercial borrowing as it was recorded at $2.62bn during July-May FY22.

Similarly, the country received $2.04bn from bonds issuance and a $3bn time deposit from Saudi Arabia during the said period.

During July-May FY22, the foreign assistance obtained by Pakistan through multilateral sources totaled $4.25bn. Amongst the multilateral development partners, Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided $1.48bn, followed by Islamic Development Bank (IDB) provided $1.29bn as short-term finance and International Development Association-World Bank (IDA) with $1.02bn.

The monthly bulletin by EAD revealed that the collective disbursement from bilateral partners amounted to $593.3mn during July-May FY22 wherein the country received $301.1mn from Saudi Arabia, followed by China with $157.6mn, the United States with a grant of $64.72mn while Japan gave $19.49mn during the period under review.

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Update 2: PKR on gaining spree

Update 2: PKR on gaining spree, up by 2.57...

June 29, 2022 (MLN):  Keeping its gaining momentum intact, the Pakistani rupee (PKR) has gained 2.57 rupees against the US dollar in the interbank market in intraday trade.

The local unit was quoted at 204.98/205.48 [11:08 PST] compared to the previous close of PKR206.87 per USD.

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Packages to purchase additional 585

Packages to purchase additional 585,254 shares of Sanofi Pakistan

June 29, 2022 (MLN):  Packages Limited (PKGS) has made a public offer to purchase 585,254 ordinary shares of Sanofi-Aventis Pakistan Limited, having a par value of Rs10 each at an offer price of Rs1,704 each, the company's filing on PSX showed today.

The above acquisition by PKGS (the Acquirer) is on behalf and under the consent of the Investor Consortium comprising Packages Limited, IGI Investments (Private) Limited and affiliates of Arshad Ali Gohar Group.

It is pertinent to note that Arif Habib Limited is the Manager to the Offer.

On June 24, 2022, PKGS had extended the timeline for making a Public Announcement of Offer (PAO) to acquire the entire 52.87% shareholding of Sanofi Foreign Participants B.V. held in Sanofi-Aventis Pakistan Limited (SAPL) by an Investor Consortium.

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