Oct 25, 1999
Non-Stop Filights to Munich
Emirates Airlines has announced the commencement of non-stop flights
from Dubai to Munich, Germany, from November 1, 1999.
Emirates will start with six non-stop flights a week between Dubai and
Munich. From January 1, 2000, these will go up to daily operations. Munich flights will
add to the daily operations to Frankfurt, and Emirates will then be offering a total of 14
flights a week into Germany from Dubai
All flights to Munich will be operated with Emirates' Airbus A310-300
configured in two classes of 18 Business Class and 177 Economy Class seats.
Shareef A Raheem, Emirates' Manager Pakistan, said: "Pakistan, one
of Emirates' first destinations, is today one of the biggest stations in our network.
Emirates' new service to Munich connects especially well with Emirates flights from Lahore
to Dubai and from Islamabad to Dubai Residents in Pakistan will enjoy faster and more
convenient access to the south German city."
Apart from Lahore, Emirates serves Karachi, Islamabad and Peshawar and
operates a total of 30 flights a week from Dubai
Other new destinations to come online are: Stockholm, from November 12,
in a codeshare with SriLankan Airlines, and Sydney, from March 26, 2000.
Szabist forum on Banking Challenges of the new millenium
By Mr. Zeeshan Ghani (BBA IV) SZABIST and Mr. Adeel Hassan (BBA IV)
The importance of getting current knowledge and keeping oneself abreast
with the latest developments in the world is essential to cope with the challenges of the
new millenium. We are about to enter the 215t century and due to this reason it has become
a must for every individual to be informed with the developments of the world.
Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology
(SZABIST) in keeping pace with the latest developments in various fields has been
continuously arranging seminars under the banner of the SZABIST FORUM. Various luminous
personalities from diversified professions have been invited to speak at the SZABIST
The latest addition to this was a seminar held under the title of
"Banking Challenges of the New Millenium" on September 16, 1999. The speakers
were Dr. Amjad Waheed, Head Asset Management, NIT; Mr. Raheel Ahmed, Vice President,
Citibank N.A.; Mr. Intisar Alvi, General Manager, Orix Investment Bank (Pak) Ltd.; and Mr.
Khalid Durrani, Senior Vice President, National Bank of Pakistan.
The purpose for holding this seminar was to inform the students about
the latest trends that are prevailing in the Banking Sector and also about the future
prospects of banking particularly in the next millenium.
Dr. Amjad Waheed briefed the audience about the prevailing
macroeconomic situation of the country. He stressed that that the present problems
attached with the country are due to the debt issue and lack of human infrastructure.
Pakistan's debts have risen to the size of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Debt
servicing is eating up all the Federal Government Revenues. This year the estimated
revenues will be $320 billion while the debts alone are expected to be $280 billion. He
also spoke about the economic threats Pakistan might be facing in the next millenium. He
suggested that the government should make efforts to match the maturity of its assets with
its liabilities. He said that there must be a trend of shifting income to equities, and
stressed that there should be the element of professionalism in the banking sector.
The second speaker of the seminar was Mr. Raheel Ahmed from Citibank
informed the audience about the opportunities that are existing in the wake of
technological developments and also about the challenges and threats that might exist in
future. He said that the banks must-keep abreast with technological changes that are
taking place around the world. There are new developments taking place in the banking
sector. He gave the example of identification procedure of customers in banks that involve
by checking a person's retina. Computerized thumb impression system for identification has
been developed. These days transactions can be done via mobile phones and one can access
his or her bank account through the television set. Extreme sophistication will be the key
features of the next millenium.
Talking about the opportunities he said, "The biggest opportunity
is technology". Emerging middle claXss is another fastest growing area. They are
inspired people and have needs and they are educated. If they are provided adequate and
sufficient loans, they can start their own businesses, and thus, they can materialize
their dreams. This is a big opportunity for consumer banking. Another factor that has
become an opportunity is the changing standard of people and their lifestyles. The third
factor is Global Distribution Capabilities. Due to Internet, banking boundaries will
become extinct. The concept of borders and cross-borders has been eliminated.
The fourth opportunity that lies is the development of nontraditional
products. Products of banks must and will not be related to Finance. Overlapping of
service sector and finance sectors is taking place. For example, the submission of utility
bills. In the coming millenium the banks will be taking an edge over each other partly due
to their operations in the service sector.
Mr. Raheel Ahmed also spoke about the underlying threats for the
banking sector in the coming millenium. He started by briefing the audience about the
competition and price wars. He made a comparison between the Pakistani and the U.S credit
card system and the consumer responses to them. He said there must be mechanism to keep a
check on corruption and bankruptcies. He also stressed on the mismanagement of data and
MIS, and said that with the computerization of banking comes the threat of hacking.
He spoke about the challenges that are existing for the banking sector.
Information management must be at the micro and macro level. There must be credit bureaus.
We need data mining capabilities. Banks must acquire economies of scale. Products become
commodities due to development. We need economies of scale through rationalization,
centralization, etc. Electronic distribution capabilities must be there. He said that
another threat existing with this sector is fraud, e.g. credit cards that can be misused.
He said that technology management is also very important. Banking sector must walk side
by side with the technological developments. He then talked about the legal and regulatory
framework. Legal processes and documentation of economic activities was the introduction
of innovative products like utility bills, school fees, etc.
Mr Intisar Alvi shared his views about the future of leasing business
in the coming millenium. He told the audience about the components of a leasing company
and gave a brief history about the progress of leasing business in Pakistan follows. In
1980s government realized the importance of leasing for this country. As a result leasing
business started in Pakistan in 1985. Throughout the world, leasing has been introduced in
the form of 'Financial Leasing' and has been later followed by 'Operating Leasing'. The
same fact holds true for Pakistan as well.
In the initial 5 years of operation there were only 5 leasing
companies. But now businesses are being increasingly financed through this mode of
financing. As a result the number of leasing companies have risen to 38 in just 10 years.
The total net worth of all the leasing companies in Pakistan was Rs. 9 billion in 1993 and
it has been growing at an average annual rate of 10 percent ever since.
In Pakistan lease financing has contributed to 8 percent of the total
medium of financing (at the most), where as in a developed country it contributes to 35-40
percent of that country's total financing.
Mr Alvi highlighted the fact that despite being expensive leasing is an
attractive mode of financing because of the following features:
It is exempted from tax where as other forms of financing aren't tax
exempted. It has a comparatively faster processing than other means of financing. In
leasing comparatively less collateral (securities) are required. Recovery (in the case of
default) is comparatively easier in this form of financing.
Giving a brief history about the Orix Leasing Company Mr. Alvie said
that the company started dealing in 'Operating Lease' 2 years ago. Before that it used to
deal in 'Financial Lease' only.
Referring to the current state of Pakistani economy, he stated that
leasing business is going through a slump due to global economic turmoil. But he was
confident that this situation won't prevail for an extended period of time.
Commenting on the future of leasing business in Pakistan, he said that
hopefully people would become more aware of this mode of financing. He showed his optimism
by stating that technological advancements would lead to an increase in demand of high
tech. equipments that would be financed through leasing.
In the context of the threats being faced by the leasing companies in
this country, he showed his concerns by highlighting the fact that very few new industrial
projects are being established in Pakistan. He stated bad debts to be the main impediment
for investment in this country. He stressed on the development of regulatory framework and
encouragement of 'Consumer Leasing'. He pointed out that this country can prosper only if
investments are made in the developmental sector. He concluded his speech on the note that
those nations that don't keep abreast of the technological advancements face a threat of
The fourth speaker of the session was Mr. Khalid Durrani. Mr. Durrani
is an experienced banker and has a banking experience of 26 years and is currently the
Senior Vice President of National Bank of Pakistan. He has also written numerous articles
for various newspapers and magazines.
He said that technologically we are ages behind the West. He stressed
that if we want to survive as a nation, we will have to compete with the developed
nations; _ and that is only possible if we compete with them at an intellectual level.
Pointing at our national psychology he said, "We consider best
speakers to be the best people". He shared with the audience his personal experience
of working with Mr. Agha Hassan Abidi, and paid him homage by saying that he (Mr. Abidi)
was a very committed person. He said that in 1972 he was asked to develop the most
sophisticated banking system in Pakistan to meet the banking challenges of the coming
Reviewing the history he said that in the past Indus Valley had an
influence on 9 civilized societies of that era. He envisioned the future by saying that
our present conducts would become a history for the coming generations. Thus, 'Our
conducts should be exemplary'.
Giving a brief history about the banking business he said,
"Banking is based on trust. Our Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was a banker and an
excellent businessman. People used to trust on him and used to call him Ameen".
He emphasized that to remain alive as a nation we have to develop
critical thinking. Because sound and logical thinking leads to the generation of
innovative ideas that in turn translate into technological developments. He also stressed
the importance of commitment at individual and national levels.
At the end of the seminar, Dr. Javaid Leghari Project Director,
SZABIST, thanked and handed out tokens of appreciation to the honoured speakers of the
day. The seminar was attended by about 150 students of Management Sciences and large
number of bankers from Karachi.