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MoU signed between Habib University (HU), Pakistan, and Stanford University, USA, for the exclusive Stanford Summer International Honors Program (SSIHP)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Karachi (November 17, 2015) Habib University and Stanford University, USA, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the exclusive Stanford Summer International Honors Program (SSIHP). The agreement gives HU students unprecedented access to an 8-week immersive educational experience at Stanford University, providing them with unique learning opportunities.

At the MoU signing ceremony, HU was represented by the HU President, Wasif Rizvi, while the Associate Provost and Dean of Continuing Studies and Summer Session, Stanford University, Dr. Charles Junkerman, represented Stanford University.

U. Habib University MoU

Stanford University, USA, is a private research university in Stanford, California, and one of the world’s leading educational institutions, with the top position in numerous rankings and measures in the United States. Since its opening in 1891, Stanford has been dedicated to finding solutions to big challenges and to preparing students for leadership in a complex world.

A first-of-its-kind university in Pakistan, Habib University is a liberal arts and sciences university that offers an interdisciplinary education in an intensely collaborative learning environment. Habib University is currently collaborating with the Texas A&M University at Qatar and the Carnegie-Mellon University to equip students with knowledge and skills that will help them address the emerging challenges of the twenty-first century.

Building onto its existing collaborations, the new partnership with Stanford University will enable HU students to experience an unforgettable summer of personal and intellectual growth. It will expose them to an opportunity in which they will experience learning through a new perspective by becoming a part of the Stanford tradition. Speaking events, academic roundtables, and trips will let them take full advantage of all that Stanford and the Silicon Valley have to offer. This will also help HU students in developing lasting bonds with Stanford University’s faculty, staff and peers.

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Emirates Group announces half-year performance for 2015-16

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Karachi / DUBAI, November 05, 2015: The Emirates Group today announced its half-year results for 2015-16, showing continued business growth and a strong performance.

The Emirates Group revenue reached AED 46.1 billion (US$ 12.6 billion) for the first six months of its 2015-16 financial year, down 2.3% from AED 47.2 billion (US$ 12.9 billion) during the same period last year, reflecting the impact of the strong US dollar against major currencies.

Emirates A380s at Dubai International Airport.Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum - Chairman & Chief Executive Emirates Airline...

The Group marked one of its best half-year profit performances ever, with net profit rising to AED 3.7 billion (US$ 1.0 billion), up 65% over the last year’s results. The Group’s cash position on 30th September 2015 was at AED 14.8 billion (US$4.0 billion), compared to AED 20.0 billion (US$ 5.5 billion) as at 31st March 2015. This is due to ongoing investments mainly into new aircraft, airline related infrastructure projects, and business acquisitions.

His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: “Our top-line figures were hit hard by the strong US dollar against other major currencies. The currency exchange situation, combined with ongoing regional conflict and weak economic outlook in many parts of the world, dampened the positive impact of lower fuel prices during the first half of our 2015-16 financial year. Emirates also made the decision to pass on savings from the lower fuel prices to our customers by cancelling passenger fuel surcharges, and lowering fares across the network.”

He added: “That the Group is reporting one of its most profitable first half-year performances ever, speaks to the strength of our underlying business. In first six months of this year, Emirates and dnata grew in terms of capacity, capability and global reach – organically, and for dnata through strategic acquisitions as well.

Looking ahead, we will continue to build on our core strengths by investing in new ways to improve efficiencies and deliver the best customer outcomes. At the same time, we will keep an eye out for strategic growth opportunities, and stay agile so that we can respond effectively to external challenges.”

In the past six months, the Group continued to develop and expand its employee base, increasing its overall staff count by 4% to over 87,000 compared with 31st March 2015.

Emirates airline

During the first six months of the financial year Emirates received 13 wide-body aircraft – 8 A380s, and 5 Boeing 777s. It also retired 4 older aircraft, resulting in a net increase of nine new aircraft for its fleet, with 16 more new aircraft scheduled to be delivered before the end of the financial year (31st March 2016). Emirates also expanded its global route network by launching services to four new destinations – Bali, Multan, Orlando, and Mashhad. As of 30 September, Emirates’ global network spanned 147 destinations in 79 countries. Bologna came online on 3rd November, and Panama City will be launched on 1st February 2016.

Operating the world’s largest fleet of A380s and the largest fleet of Boeing 777s, Emirates continues to provide ever better connections for its customers across the globe with just one stop in Dubai.

In the first half of the 2015-16 financial year, Emirates net profit is AED 3.1 billion (US$ 849 million), up 65% from the same period last year. This performance reflects the impact of lower fuel prices, and also the airline’s continued ability to grow passenger demand in line with significant capacity growth, despite external challenges such as continued regional unrest and economic malaise in many regions, and increased competition adding downward pressure on yields.

On average, fuel prices were 41% lower compared to the same period last year. Fuel remained the largest component of the airline’s cost, accounting for 28% of operating costs compared with 38% in the first six months of last year.

Capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKM), grew by 16%, whilst passenger traffic carried measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKM) was up 11% with average Passenger Seat Factor dropping slightly to 78.3%, compared with last year’s 81.5%. Emirates carried 25.7 million passengers between 1 April and 30 September 2015, up 10% from the same period last year. The volume of cargo uplifted was up by 10% to reach 1.25 million tonnes, a solid performance that continues to buck the market trend.

This performance shows the airline’s continued business growth, both in terms of capacity on offer and traffic carried, even accounting for the fact that during the same period last year, the airline had temporarily reduced capacity when it parked 17 aircraft due to the runway closure at Dubai International.

Emirates revenue, including other operating income, of AED 42.3 billion (US$ 11.5 billion) was slightly down by 4% compared with AED 44.2 billion (US$ 12.0 billion) recorded last year. This is due to the combined effect of an unfavourable currency environment – where the US dollar strengthened significantly against most other major currencies; and lower average fares reflecting the airline’s decision to pass on some of its fuel cost savings to customers.


dnata continued to grow its international business footprint, investing in infrastructure and operations which now span 74 countries. In the first half of 2015-16, dnata’s international operations accounted for over 67% of its total revenue.

dnata’s revenue, including other operating income, is AED 5.2 billion (US$ 1.4 billion), a strong 27% increase compared to AED 4.1 billion (US$ 1.1 billion) last year. Overall profit for dnata increased by 64% to AED 557 million (US$ 152 million). This outstanding performance was underpinned by the first full year contribution of dnata’s major acquisitions Stella Group, and Toll dnata. Also, on a comparable basis, last year’s performance had suffered significantly due to the one off runway closure at Dubai International Airport.

dnata’s airport operations remained the largest contributor to revenue with AED 2.4 billion (US$ 645 million), a 21% increase compared to the same period last year. This reflects the internal alignment of dnata’s airport services and cargo handling divisions, its growing international operations with the acquisitions in Australia and Europe, and as mentioned earlier, a rebound from the impact of the runway closure at Dubai International airport during the same period last year.

Across its operations, the number of aircraft handled by dnata increased by 21% to 169,951, and it handled 917,065 tonnes of cargo, and increase of 10% over last year.

Boosted by its major international acquisitions in the past 18 months, revenue from dnata’s Travel Services operation contributed AED 1.7 billion (US$ 469 million), up 90% from the same period last year. The travel division expanded its international offering with the acquisition of Stella Group, which contributed to a substantial increase in the division’s underlying net sales of 62% to AED 6.2 billion (US$ 1.7 billion).

dnata’s flight catering operation, contributed AED 0.9 billion (US$ 257 million) to its total revenue, down 8%. The number of meals uplifted* was at 32.7 million meals for the first half of the financial year, up 4% compared to last year’s figure of 31.4m.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

LG’s First V Series Phone Delivers Enhanced Multimedia Capabilities and More

Karachi / DUBAI, November 04, 2015-TheLG V10, the newest smartphone from LG Electronics (LG)developed with creativity in mind, will begin to reach customers worldwide starting this week. The “ultra-smartphone” will make its debut inthe United States, China and Hong Kong, followed by key markets in North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States through-out the fourth quarter.

LG V10 TV Commercial featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt

LG’s first V Series smartphone was designed to provide a rich multimedia experience for today’s socially savvy consumers. The LG V10 offers distinctive new features such as a Second Screen, Dual Front Cameras and Manual Video Mode to make both con-sumption and creation of multimedia content as seamless as possible. Featuring LG’s signature removable battery (3,000mAh) and micro SD card slot, the LG V10 has the distinction of being the first smartphone to meet SanDisk’s guidelines for Extreme Pho-to-Imaging Capabilities (EPIC)to distinguish exceptional photography and video expe-riences in smartphones.

As an advanced multimedia smartphone, audio quality was also given top priority con-sideration. The V10 plays back high-definition music via its 32 bit Hi-Fi DAC by ESS Technology, a first in a mobile device. It accomplishes this by up-sampling standard-definition audio files to 32 bit Hi-Fi format.

Other notable highlights of the LG V10 include:

Other notable highlights of the LG V10 include:

  • Second Screen, an “always-on” display above the main 5.7-inch QHD IPS Quantum Display, enhances the V10’s productiveness without impacting battery life
  • Dual Front Cameras with two separate lenses can capture standard 80 degree selfies or undistorted wide angle shots of 120 degrees
  • Manual Video Mode creates professional-quality videos by adjusting options such as shutter speed, frame rate, ISO, white balance and focus even while recording
  • Resilient Dura Guard frame composed of SAE grade 316L stainless steel and Dura Skin firmly secures the display to protect the phone from hard bumps and tumbles


Earlier this fall, LG embarked on a partnership with actor, writer and director, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his Emmy Award winning production company Hit record to support the development of creative content. The innovative collaboration builds upon LG’s ambition to celebrate and support creators across the world. Specifically, the efforts include the creation of a television commercial in the United States and a short film focused on the In-Between Moments which “happen all throughout the day and can be beautiful, or spontaneous, or fleeting — but they give life its texture.”

“Designed from the ground up primarily as a multimedia smartphone, the LG V10 is the ultimate device for the sharing ecosystem,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Consumers have been waiting for a true multimedia device that doesn’t cut corners. With the V10, we hope to show what smartphones are truly capable of.”

Prices and availability dates will be announced locally.

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LG Named Brand of the Year 2015 at Red Dot Award

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Recognized for Excellence in Design with 13 Awards in Communication Design Category

Karachi, November 12, 2015 — LG Electronics (LG) was honored with the title of Brand of the Year by the prestigious Red Dot Award, one of the top design award competitions in the world. With this recog-nition, LG joins the ranks of renowned previous winners such as PepsiCo, Audi AG, and Mercedes-Benz. LG also becomes only the third company to win both Brand of the Year and Design Team of the Year, which LG won in 2006.

The title of Brand of the Year was bestowed on LG for its 13 wins in the Red Dot Award: Communication Design category over the course of the year. Winning entries this year include the LG G4 and LG Watch Urbane, both embodying the company’s human-centric user experience (UX) design philosophy with a simpler and more intuitive interface to accommodate individual users.

“The brand management of LG Electronics is unparalleled in its skills in this respect. The corporate claim sums it up — Life’s Good,” said Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of Red Dot. “Anyone who invests in an LG product notices immediately that his or her life is a little more attractive because of it. That is exactly how convincing brand management works.”


“Being honored by Red Dot Award is humbling and demonstrates LG’s leadership in the field of design by reaffirming our ongoing commitment to both innovative design and intuitive consumer experience,” said Noh Chang-ho, vice president and head of corporate design at LG Electronics. “We will continue to design and develop creative solutions that elicit a positive emotional response and deepen the relation-ship between our brand and consumers to live up to our motto, Innovations for a Better Life.”

LG publicly honored at the annual Red Dot Gala in Berlin and LG’s winning products can be viewed online at www.red-dot.de/cd.

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World’s first Islamic Branchless Banking Service Launched

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ufone, Meezan Bank collaboratively launch ‘Meezan-UPaisa’

KARACHI, November 19, 2015: Ufone, an Etisalat group company, renowned for its innovative; out-of-the-box products and services and Meezan Bank, Pakistan’s first and largest Islamic bank, have formed a strategic partnership to launch Meezan-Upaisa, world’s first Islamic branchless banking solution.

With the launch of Meezan-UPaisa, customers across Pakistan would now, for the first time, be able to send and receive money, pay utility bills and do mobile top ups through Islamic banking. These services would be followed by an even wider array of Islamic financial services in the future.

Regarding this new initiative, Mr. Abdul Aziz, President & CEO, Ufone, said, “With this new collaboration we aim to capitalize on both parties’ strengths – Meezan Bank’s expertise in Islamic Banking and UPaisa’s geographic foot print to facilitate customers, making it a win-win situation for all.”

He added, “With UPaisa being at the forefront in providing branchless banking services with its collaborations at various levels andMeezan Bank holding over 50% of the Islamic banking share in Pakistan, this partnership is poised to go a long way in opening new opportunities.”

Mr. Irfan Siddiqui – President and CEO, Meezan Bank, while underlining the need for better financial solutions for the unbanked population of the country said, “Meezan Bank has played a vital role in expanding access to Islamic financial services in Pakistan. This initiative is poised to accelerate financial inclusion by adding convenience and greater reliability, deepening the role of Ufone through enhancing the value it provides to its customers and that of Meezan Bank in expanding the reach of Islamic financial services to every citizen of the country. We believe that we are now one step closer to our Vision of establishing ‘Islamic banking as banking of first choice’ by serving more than 60 million users – thus taking Islamic banking in the country to the next level.”

It is pertinent to mention here that this partnership would expand the Islamic system footprint to its maximum potential and facilitate customers to avail branchless banking services with utmost ease and convenience under Islamic system. This would be the first milestone in the ambit of Islamic Branchless Banking, in banking industry.

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HBL and Virtual University sign Internet Payment Gateway Agreement

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lahore, November 11th, 2015: HBL, Pakistan’s largest bank entered into an Internet Payment Gateway Agreement with Virtual University of Pakistan (VU), the first of its kind university in Pakistan.

A ceremony marking this event was held at HBL Regional Head Quarters, Lahore on Tuesday. The participants included Dr. Naveed A. Malik, Rector of VU , Mr. Naeem Tariq, Director of Finance, VU, Mr. Faiq Sadiq, Head of HBL’s Payment Services Group and Ms. Sobia Chughtai, HBL’s Corporate Head – Central, along with other members of both organizations.

The agreement allows HBL to offer an exclusive online payment platform for the VU community, especially students. Paying for lectures, examinations and tuition fees online is an enormous capability being introduced by VU for its patrons using HBL InternetPaymentGateway (IPG).

HBL InternetPaymentGateway is powered by VISA – Cybersource, which holds 60% of the payment gateway market. The platform is fully equipped with modern fraud control tools and transaction security features.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Malik expressed his gratitude towards HBL for offering online financial solutions focused on improving the existing payment mechanism. He added that the services aimed to facilitate students, in particular VU’s overseas strength, giving them the benefit of paying their fees using plastic. He hoped that “the VU and HBL relationship to further grow under a mutually beneficial partnership”.

Mr. Sadiq said that “Educational institutions are key to our Country’s future and Virtual University is playing a vital role towards enhancing the educational sector. Our recent alliance with VU on IPG is a stepping stone towards cementing our existing relationship.

We are delighted to partner with educational institutions and look forward in building a better, stronger community with a common aim in improving lives of students / faculty by providing efficient, reliable, cost effective and next generation financial services through alternate channels.”

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