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May 29 - June 4, 2000

"Mothers Day at the Karachi Sheraton"

Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers recently held a whole day long celebrations for the Mothers Day on May 14th, where children of all ages brought their mothers in for an extra special treat on their special day.

"Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers is proud of our involvement and commitment of offering outstanding promotions at all occasions celebrated by families," says Mr. Thomas van Opstal, General Manager, Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers. "Mothers, who are an integral part of any society, deserve to be given the extra-special feeling which our Mothers Day programmes successfully achieved."

The celebrations began with a special Mothers Day Brunch served at Al-Bustan, where a scrumptious feast had been prepared. As a token of goodwill the Karachi Sheraton presented all mothers a complimentary voucher for Brunch for the next time they visit the hotel along with a box of marzipan. The magic show, a live band and all other delights which are a part of the Sunday Brunch were also there for Mothers Day.

Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers also served a special Mothers Day dinner at its renowned Italian Restaurant — La Mamma. The warm and cozy ambiance of La Mamma proved to be a perfect place for an evening out with "mom", where a delectable feast, with varieties of breads, pastas and pizza and the chef's special. Karachi Sheraton also gave complimentary dinner vouchers for La Mamma, along with the marzipan box and flower bouquets to all mothers who came for the dinner.

Avari Re-elected Unopposed as Chairman Parsi Community

Mr. Byram D Avari has been re-elected unopposed for the 4th time, as Trustee and Chairman of the Karachi Parsi Anjuman.

Mr. Dinshaw B Avari Sr, was the Chairman of the Parsi community till his demise. After his death the Parsi community has been electing his son Byram D Avari as the Chairman of the community.

The confidence repeatedly reposed in him by the Parsi community, even his detractors maintain, is because of his good work for the community.

The humanitarian, charitable, social and community services of the Avaris has earned them the recognition and respect of the Parsis, as well as all sections of Society.

The Parsi community considers him a cornerstone for resolving all their problems. He was responsible for ensuring that English education was maintained by the two high profile Parsi schools of the city. He also implemented the scheme for a new housing project at Mahmoodabad Parsi Gate, which has charitable flats, low income housing, as well as independent bungalows.

Avari is the President, Member or Trustee on a number of Parsi institutions apart from being the Vice Chairman of the Minorities Council and having been on the Minority Advisory Council since 1970.

Engro Chemical

Engro Chemical Pakistan Ltd. is pleased to nominate Mr. Javed Akbar as Chief Executive Officer of Engro Paktank Terminal Ltd. (EPTL). EPTL is a 50/50 joint venture of Engro Chemical and Royal Vopak of the Netherlands. EPTL has built and is operating a modern liquid chemical terminal at Port Qasim. Mr. Akbar replaces Mr. Cees Smit, the current CEO of EPTL who shall be returning to Holland in June 2000 after completing his assignment in Pakistan. Mr. Akbar holds a Masters in Chemical Engineering. He joined the Company in 1974 and prior to this appointment was Vice President Technology at Engro Chemical Pakistan Ltd.

Pakistan's Gold Demand Remains Buoyant Despite Price Volatility

Pakistan's demand for gold remained buoyant in the first quarter of 2000, despite volatile global gold prices. Though there was a slight decrease in demand, it was arrested by the post Eid buying.

Gold demand in the first quarter this year was 24.8 tonnes as compared to 31.5 tonnes during the same period last year. This was primarily led by the price volatility in gold, prompting buyers to defer their purchases.

According to Yousuf Akhtar Hussain, Manager Pakistan, World Gold Council, "The traditional buying that takes place after Eid-Al-Fitr was strong enough to limit the decline in demand for the quarter as a whole".

Total global demand in the first quarter of 2000 rose to 795.2 tonnes, a modest increase of 1% over the first quarter of 1999. "Gold demand in the Middle East reached a record 217.3 tonnes in the first quarter, 11% higher than the year before," announced Moaz Barakat, Regional Director, World Gold Council.

Gold demand in the Gulf States registered a 4% increase, rising to 43.5 tonnes. Despite the higher average gold price demand was 59% higher than the fourth quarter of 1999. Gold offtake in the UAE was 27.8 tonnes. 5% higher than in the same quarter last year. The Dubai Shopping Festival and other promotional campaigns, all contributed to the strong performance.

Saudi Arabia, too, followed a similar trend with offtake at 65.5 tonnes, as compared to 63.1 tonnes in the same period last year. Turkey, recovered spectacularly to register an increase of 79% over last year's figures, with demand rising to 50.0 tonnes as compared to 28.0 tonnes in the same period last year.

In Kuwait, gold demands slipped 4% to 6.8 tonnes, while in Bahrain the offtake rose 12% to 2.8 tonnes. Oman enjoyed a 5% rise to 4.4 tonnes whereas. Qatar enjoyed a more substantial 31% increase, as compared to the first quarter of 1999.

The World Gold Council is an international organization formed and funded by leading gold mining companies from around the world to increase the demand for gold. The 27 countries monitored in Gold Demand Trends account for approximately 80% of global gold demand.

PakVenCap.com, the first Information Technology specific Venture Fund being floated by Pak-Libya

PakVenCap.com (Pvt.) Limited, an IT company which is primarily being promoted by Pak-Libya, is in the process of launching an IT specific venture fund. The said fund would be the first of its kind in Pakistan.

PakVenCap.com wants to identify, incubate and groom the IT talent in Pakistan and provide opportunities which were not previously available. This Venture Capital Fund has been launched as a national service with the main goal to promote the IT culture in Pakistan and to create avenues which could contribute to higher export earnings of the country, provide new employment opportunities and eventually make Pakistan a force to be reckon with in the IT world; a world which is moving forward towards globalization in the IT environment.

Pak-Libya held an IT Talent Hunt Program from March 12 to April 30, 2000 to identify the said talent in Pakistan. In order to promote the IT Talent Hunt Program, Pak-Libya published a series of ads in the leading dailies of the country, thereby inviting the IT professionals and entrepreneurs to participate in the said program by submitting their projects/proposals online at www.paklibya.com.pk. It is learnt that the idea got a very encouraging response from the participants. Not only the number of the submitted projects exceeded the initial estimates but the quality of the submitted projects was outstanding too.

Initially it was expected that the program would draw around 100 projects or so but by the time the program closed, the actual count of submitted projects was 400. During the period the program was on, over 41,000 visits were recorded on that section of Pak-Libya's website, which was hosting the said program. Around 50% of the applicants were from Karachi, whereas 20% of the projects came from Lahore and the remaining came from other cities. Over 63% of the projects were submitted by applicants in the age bracket of 16-25 years, while 27% were in the 26-35 slot. 48% of the applicants had atleast a bachelor's degree under their belts. About 28% of the submitted projects dealt with Internet Applications, whereas 22% of the projects were about database applications.

Currently, the technical and financial feasibilities of the submitted projects are being evaluated to short list viable projects. For the next phase, PakVenCap.com would now be holding a series of Talent Hunt Exhibitions in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad by the end of June now whereby the selected candidates would be invited to demonstrate their projects in order to qualify for Venture funding. Consolation and encouragement prizes would also be awarded to potentially strong project proposals in order to motivate the young IT entrepreneurs.

PakVenCap.com intends to select around 60-75 projects for Talent Hunt Exhibitions. Out of these, potentially strong projects would eventually qualify for Venture Funding. The projects which would not qualify at this stage would not be left behind. PakVenCap.com intends to set up workshops and nurseries where these projects would get professional support and consultation. With this consultation, these projects would be improved upon in order to qualify for venture funding at a later stage.

The main idea behind holding the said Talent Hunt Program and the workshops was to have a ready pool of IT projects for PakVenCap.com, so that by the time the company would start its operations, it would have a selection of viable IT projects as well as projects in pipeline to proceed further.

It is also learnt that quite a few local financial institutions as well as some multinational companies have also shown keen interest in this idea of IT Venture Fund and have expressed their interest to enter into this project as partners in PakVenCap.com. Just recently, PakVenCap.com was also approached by Hyundai Corporation of Korea in this regard.

Intel surpasses Cisco in market value

Old tech passed new tech but pre tech still rules. Intel Corp. supplanted Cisco Systems Inc. to become Silicon Valley's most highly valued company Wednesday — but General Electric Co. remains the most valuable company in the world.

At the close of trading Wednesday, Intel's market capitalization — the number of shares outstanding times the stock price — stood fat $ 413 billion, helped by the fact that its shares rose $ 1.30, while Cisco's stock price closed down $ 2.65 a share.

Those changes in per share prices — a $ 22 billion swing — were enough to put Intel at the top of the Silicon Valley heap as the biggest local company and the most highly valued company on the Nasdaq composite index.