Pak-Kuwait to launch Islamic insurance unit

KARACHI (March 26 2004): Pak-Kuwait Investment Company plans to launch Islamic insurance company in Pakistan and has established an Asset Management Company to diversify and expand its services.

The 25th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Pakistan Kuwait Investment Company (Private) Limited was held recently in Karachi and was attended by shareholders representing Government of Pakistan through State Bank of Pakistan and, Government of Kuwait through Kuwait Investment Authority.

The audited accounts for the year ended on December 31, 2003 were considered and approved by the shareholders.

The shareholders appreciated the initiatives and measures adopted by the company to maintain its leading position amongst DFIs through exceptional profitability and growth in asset base and remarkable growth in shareholders equity.

The company's net profit in 2003 was Rs 2,830 million, which is 33 percent higher than the year 2002.

The earning per share of Rs 19 places Pak-Kuwait at the top of the best performing companies in the country's corporate sector including the entire financial sector. Total assets as on December 31, 2003 stands at Rs 16,554 million as compared to Rs 14,136 million during the same period of the previous year 2002, which depicted 17 percent growth.

Shareholders equity registered 41 percent growth during the year 2003 and record at Rs 7,795 million.

Pak-Kuwait continued in its endeavour of paying impressive dividends to its shareholders and a sum of Rs 580 million, equivalent to approximately $10 million has been declared in the second consecutive year, ie 2002 and 2003.

This dividend pay out has been the highest in the history of the company, a cumulative dividend paid by the company since its inception amount to Rs 4,112 million.

The Managing Director Zaigham Mahmood Rizvi apprised the shareholders regarding various achievements that were attained through concerted effort of the management to make Pak-Kuwait as one of the most professional organisation of the country.

In this respect several ratings and awards were achieved during the year 2003. Among those are, highest credit rating AAA (Triple-A) award by Pakistan's two credit rating companies, Pacra and JCR-VIS. Code of Corporate Governance Rating of CGR-8 on a scale of 1-10. ISO 9001:2000 certification from Moody's International for quality systems and procedures.

A representative office has been established in Lahore to cater to the needs of the upcountry customers, expand its Customer base and enhanced services in northern region of the country.

The shareholders appreciated the performance of the company during the year 2003 and showed their satisfaction over various achievements and initiatives of the company and recorded deep appreciation to the dedication, commitment and performance of the company's staff and its Managing Director – Zaigham Mahmood Rizvi.

The representative of the Kuwaiti shareholding Abdullah Abdulwahab Al-Ramadhan stated that as foreign investor, they consider Pak-Kuwait as a shining example and a success story for foreign investment.

He expressed appreciation on overall improvement in all of the economic indicators of the country under experienced leadership of H.E. Shaukat Aziz, Federal Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs and Dr Ishrat Husain, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan.

In terms of salient diversified initiatives of Pak-Kuwait, an Asset Management Company with the name of Pak Kuwait Financial Services Ltd is being launched. Pak-Kuwait also undertook the initiative to launch Islamic insurance in Pakistan.

The First Takaful Insurance Company (General) and Family Takaful Operations are expected to commence very soon. Negotiations are underway with major foreign investors to form a joint venture.

Pak-Kuwait has also sponsored TMT PKIC Incubation Fund, the fund has so far invested in six companies and all companies are technology driven. Pak-Kuwait so far has invested Rs 60 million in the fund and investments have promising prospects.

In terms of improving the operational efficiencies, Disaster Recovery and Digital Archiving Modules to attain the ability and the methodology of returning to an acceptable level of business operations are already in place.

The company has initiated business continuity planning which will ensure that continued availability of essential services, programmes and operations in case of any disaster.

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