HBFCL Clarification

Karachi, September 20, 2012: House Building Finance Company Limited (HBFCL), the country’s leading housing finance institution has taken strong notice of misleading and inaccurate reporting in a section of the press, regarding the appointment and continuing in office of its regularly appointed MD and CEO, Azhar Abbas Jaffri. HBFCL has pointed out that as recently as September 10, 2012 it received a letter from the Finance Division, requesting the presence of Azhar Jaffri for a meeting of the PAC in Islamabad. The said letter is categorically addressed to Azhar Jaffri as ‘Managing Director HBFCL’, and hence reports in the media referring to some letters in the past from the Finance Division, and purporting to indicate that the Finance Division does not recognize Azhar Jaffri as the MD, are categorically inaccurate and malicious.

HBFCL wishes to further clarify that in the past 3 years, it has sent number of letters to the Finance Ministry, requesting the reconstitution of the HBFCL Board. Moreover in various communications to the Ministry, the issue of the appointment of the MD has also been raised by HBFCL and the present MD himself. As an example, HBFCL would like to draw attention to the letter of the Company Secretary dated January 10, 2012 sent to the Ministry, in which it was clearly pointed out that the 3 years term of appointment of the MD expired on January 05, 2012 and the Ministry was requested to advise as soon as possible in case the term of the incumbent MD/CEO is to be extended for a further term of 3 years by the HBFCL Board. In this letter the HBFCL also pointed out that the Ministry of Finance appointed Board of Directors in its meeting of September 21, 2011 had desired that the retiring CEO will continue to hold his office for purposes of avoiding any interruption in the business of the HBFCL. In this regard it is also to be noted that under Section 199(3) of the Companies Ordinance 1984, which is applicable to HBFCL, the retiring CEO shall continue to perform his functions until a new CEO is appointed.

Regarding erroneous media reporting on the MD’s original appointment and relating to his nationality, HBFCL wishes to clarify that Azhar Jaffri had categorically declared his nationality in the Fit & Proper documentation of the State Bank of Pakistan, before he was approved for and subsequently appointed as MD HBFCL. Therefore to say that the Competent Authority was not aware of his nationality at the time of appointment is also a blatant misrepresentation of facts. Further, some misleading reporting about Azhar Jaffri having reached the age of superannuation is also based on incorrect information. Pursuant to the Vesting Order SRO.1/2007 dated July 25, 2007 issued by the Finance Division, GoP, HBFCL is no longer a statutory institution and is a company existing under the Companies Ordinance, 1984. Therefore, government rules of superannuation do not apply and retirement at the age of 60 is not mandatory or applicable.

HBFCL sincerely hopes that with these clarifications, the sections of the media which have published speculative news reports on HBFCL and its management will henceforth desist from publishing erroneous reports that only serve to create confusion and malign the organization when it is one of the very few state organizations that has shown a financial turnaround and registered a profit for the past 2 consecutive years and also expected to show continued profits 2012.