UAE’s HBK group in discussions to buy 'majority shares' in Pakistan’s wi-tribe broadband 

Undated photo of a wi-tribe sign in Karachi, Pakistan (Photo Courtesy: wi-tribe)
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Updated 28 August 2020

UAE’s HBK group in discussions to buy 'majority shares' in Pakistan’s wi-tribe broadband 

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa Departments of Projects works in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Central Asia
  • Pakistani officials say UAE investment in telecom will strengthen bilateral relations between the two nations

KARACHI: A major business group from the United Arab Emirates, the Hamad Bin Khalifa Departments of Projects (HBK DOP), is in discussions to acquire a ‘majority stake’ in wi-tribe, one of Pakistan’s largest independent broadband providers, officials said on Thursday. 

The targeted company, wi-tribe, has main offices in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi and until early 2016 was owned by Qatar Telecom when it was bought by the Pakistani group HB International Investments, a business conglomerate with diverse interests, particularly in the fields of telecommunications and information technology.   

“Wi-tribe investment opportunity provides HBK a footprint into Pakistan Telecom's space as a firm foundation to consolidate the ongoing investment interest for the telecom infrastructure acquisition,” Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, chairman of the Arab Investment Development Authority (AIDA) and HBK Holdings, said in a statement issued on Thursday.  
Responding to a question about the possible future acquisition, Haris Hasan Khan, CEO of Emergent Telecommunications, a project arm of HB International Investments, said the deal was not yet finalized but HBKDOP had shown interest in buying majority stakes.  

“They are interested in majority stakes, but not finalized yet,” Khan told Arab News by phone from the UAE. “I would refrain from [quoting] amounts but it will be double digit US dollars, in millions.”  
Hamad Bin Khalifa Departments of Projects (HBK DOP) was founded by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan to handle project investments through strategic joint venture partnerships. The group operates in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Central Asia.

“Our vision is based on forging strong investment partnerships built on our innovative technology, Fintech solutions such as HBK GoChain, our block chain technology, along with Arabian Bourse, our digital asset technology platform,” Anwar Hussein, HBK DOP Group CEO, said.   

Pakistani officials said investment in telecom, energy, infrastructure and health by the UAE would strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.   

“We are thankful to His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan for considering Pakistan as one of his target  investments for a number of ongoing investments within the telecom, energy, infrastructure, health and logistics with the HB International Investments,” Hasan Bokhari, chairman of HB Investments, said in a statement.  


New Zealand maintains Pakistan cricket training ban as coronavirus cases rise

Updated 04 December 2020

New Zealand maintains Pakistan cricket training ban as coronavirus cases rise

  • Ten people among the 53-member tour party have tested positive for COVID-19 while completing two weeks of isolation in Christchurch
  • Team members were confined to their rooms when the first cases emerged last week but had hoped to resume training before finishing their stint in isolation

Wellington: New Zealand health officials refused to lift a ban on Pakistan’s coronavirus-hit cricket team training during quarantine on Friday after the touring party’s number of infections climbed to 10.
The team were confined to their rooms when the first cases emerged last week but had hoped to resume training before finishing their stint in isolation on Tuesday.
However, health chiefs said the risk of further infections was too great. Ten people among the 53-member tour party have tested positive for COVID-19 while completing two weeks of isolation in Christchurch.
“I have very carefully considered this situation,” director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said in a statement.
“At this time, I continue to have ongoing concerns about the risk of cross-infection within the squad.”
The decision means that Pakistan’s cricketers will have only 10 days to prepare for their first tour match, a Twenty20 international in Auckland on December 18, and probably less when travel is factored in.
Bloomfield said the decision was prompted by the number of active cases detected among the squad.
“Public health considerations will continue to be foremost in our response to COVID-19, whether this involves individuals or teams,” he said.
“We appreciate the challenges that this decision will have for the touring team.”
Bloomfield issued the team with a “final warning” last week for flouting social distancing protocols at their hotel and no further breaches have been reported since.
The tourists arrived in New Zealand on November 24 and are scheduled to play three T20s and two Tests.
New Zealand has largely eradicated community transmission of coronavirus, recording just 1,713 cases and 25 deaths in a population of five million.