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MISYS AND HABIB BANK RECOGNISED BY CELENT FOR INTEGRATED CORPORATE BANKING PLATFORM

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MISYS AND HABIB BANK RECOGNISED BY CELENT FOR INTEGRATED CORPORATE BANKING PLATFORM
  • Celent’s Model Bank program recognises innovation and transformation
  • Habib Bank targets 65% growth in corporate banking business

Misys has been recognised for its work with Habib Bank Limited (HBL) in the cash management and trade finance category of the 2016 Celent Model Bank program. The accolade celebrates the bank’s technology transformation which has unified cash management, trade services and supply chain finance onto a single, integrated digital platform.

Celent’s program recognises excellence in banking technology in helping financial institutions improve performance and meet market demands. It assesses technologies and technology projects across seven categories, with the cash management and trade finance category including treasury management and trade finance transformation, along with corporate digital channel and customer experience innovation.

HBL has been recognised for achieving product innovation through management vision and the strategic deployment of a connected corporate banking architecture using integrated components of the Misys corporate banking platform, Misys FusionBanking Corporate.

Through a unified digital channels application, FusionBanking Corporate Channels, the bank can offer commercial customers a convenient and consistent way to oversee and manage their global financial activity and cash positions from a single online location. As a result, the business is on track to grow its corporate client base by 65%. The common ebanking platform tightly integrates with the best-of-breed trade and supply chain finance and core banking applications of FusionBanking Corporate, resulting in a simplified IT landscape to better service and innovate for its corporate banking clients.

“We’re honoured that this key project has been recognised by Celent for its 2016 Model Bank research,” said Fareed Hosain, Chief Information Officer at HBL. “Our existing relationship with Misys, coupled with its flexible implementation approach, has meant that we’ve been able to quickly re-prioritise feature development as market and client needs change. The HBL and Misys teams worked cohesively and collaboratively, identifying the delivery of new services during the application design process and delivering the project on time and within budget.”

With a global presence in over 25 countries spanning across four continents, HBL is the largest private sector bank in Pakistan. It is also the largest provider of corporate banking services in Pakistan, with between 200 and 300 corporate clients, and a target of growing its customer base to 500 corporate clients over a three-year period. With the bank’s prior online platform, customers could make basic payments but had to go into branch for other services.

By working with Misys, HBL now offers a broader range of cash management and working capital solutions to its corporate clients. Relationship managers are able to focus on value-added services, rather than operational processing and transaction servicing.

“Our relationship with HBL goes back over many years. We are delighted that the bank has chosen us to support its vision to become a connected corporate bank, and as such is testament to the strength of our corporate banking solution,” said Simon Paris, President, Misys. “Working with Misys, HBL can reduce complexity and enable innovation to offer a broader range of cash management and working capital solutions to its corporate clients. HBL relationship managers will now be free to focus on value-added services, rather than operational processing and transaction servicing. HBL is one of the innovators in its sector and we look forward to helping the bank continue optimising its corporate banking business.”

For further information about the Celent Model Bank program please click here.

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Oil set for steady gains as economies shake off pandemic blues – Reuters poll

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Oil set for steady gains as economies shake off pandemic blues - Reuters poll 1

By Sumita Layek and Bharat Gautam

(Reuters) – Oil prices will stage a steady recovery this year as vaccines reach more people and speed an economic revival, with further impetus coming from stimulus and output discipline by top crude producers, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

The survey of 55 participants forecast Brent crude would average $59.07 per barrel in 2021, up from last month’s $54.47 forecast.

Brent has averaged around $58.80 so far this year.

“Travel and leisure activity look set to catch up to buoyant manufacturing activity due to the mix of stimulus, confidence, vaccines, and more targeted pandemic measures,” said Norbert Ruecker of Julius Baer.

“Against these demand dynamics, the supply side is unlikely to catch up on time, leaving the oil market in tightening mode for months to come.”

Of the 41 respondents who participated in both the February and January polls, 32 raised their forecasts.

Most analysts said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) may ease current output curbs when they meet on March 4, but would still agree to maintain supply discipline.

“With OPEC+ endeavouring to keep global oil production below demand, inventories should continue falling this year and allow prices to rise further,” said UBS analyst Giovanni Staunovo.

Oil demand was seen growing by 5-7 million barrels per day in 2021, as per the poll.

However, experts said any deterioration in the COVID-19 situation and the possible lifting of U.S. sanctions on Iran could hold back oil’s recovery.

The poll forecast U.S. crude to average $55.93 per barrel in 2021 versus January’s $51.42 consensus.

Analysts expect U.S. production to rise moderately this year, although new measures from U.S. President Joe Biden to tame the oil sector could curb output in the long run.

“A structural shift away from fossil fuels” may prevent oil from returning to the highs of previous decades, said Economist Intelligence Unit analyst Cailin Birch.

(Reporting by Sumita Layek and Bharat Govind Gautam in Bengaluru; Editing by Arpan Varghese, Noah Browning and Barbara Lewis)

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Japan’s jobless rate seen up in January due to COVID-19 emergency measures – Reuters poll

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Japan's jobless rate seen up in January due to COVID-19 emergency measures - Reuters poll 2

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s jobless rate is expected to have edged up in January as service industry businesses suffered renewed restrictions on movement to fight spread of the coronavirus in some areas, including Tokyo, a Reuters poll of economists showed on Friday.

While industrial production activity picked up in Japan, emergency curbs rolled out last month such as asking restaurants to close early and suspending the national travel campaign hurt the jobs market, analysts said.

The nation’s unemployment rate likely rose 3.0% in January, up from 2.9% in December, the poll of 15 economists found.

The jobs-to-applicants ratio, a gauge of the availability of jobs, was seen at 1.06 in January, unchanged from December, but stayed near September’s seven-year low of 1.03, the poll showed.

“As the impact from the coronavirus pandemic prolongs, it is hard for firms, especially the service sector, to expect their business profits to improve,” said Yusuke Shimoda, senior economist at Japan Research Institute.

“So, their willingness to hire employees appear to be subdued and it is difficult to see the jobs market recovering soon.”

Some analysts also said the government’s steps to support employment and existing labour shortages will likely prevent the jobless rate from worsening sharply.

The government will announce the labour market data at 8:30 a.m. Japan time on Tuesday (2330 GMT Monday).

Analysts expect the economy to contract in the current quarter due to the emergency measures to counter the spread of the disease.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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China’s economy could grow 8-9% this year from low base in 2020 – central bank adviser

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China's economy could grow 8-9% this year from low base in 2020 - central bank adviser 3

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s gross domestic product (GDP) could expand 8-9% in 2021 as it continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, Liu Shijin, a policy adviser to the People’s Bank of China, said on Friday.

This speed of recovery would not mean China has returned to a “high-growth” period, said Liu, as it would be from a low base in 2020, when China’s economy grew 2.3%.

Analysts from HSBC this week forecast that China would grow 8.5% this year, leading the global economic recovery from the pandemic.

If 2020 and 2021’s average GDP growth is around 5%, this would be a “not bad” outcome, said Liu, speaking at an online conference.

China is set to release a government work report on March 5 which typically includes a GDP growth target for the year.

Last year’s report did not include one due to uncertainties caused by the coronavirus. Reuters previously reported that 2021’s report will also not set a target.

(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley and Muyu Xu; Editing by Sam Holmes and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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