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Jun 12 - 18, 2000

Insurance Association of Pakistan

An Extraordinary General Meeting of Insurance Association of Pakistan was convened on Thursday, 25th May, 2000 at Pearl-Continental Hotel, Karachi, to consider the Draft Insurance Ordinance, 2000. The matter was discussed in detail and consensus was reached on the following issues:

Over regulation

The provision of said Ordinance relating to registration of insurance companies is a glaring example of over-regulation.

Paid-up capital

The Ordinance has drastically revised the level of Paid-up Capital; if implemented, it may result into closures of many insurance companies. If this level is retained, a sufficient period of time should be allowed to the existing companies for raising the Capital to the required level. A time frame of 5 years for paid-up capital of Rs. 50 million should be provided. As regards the balance, another 3 years may be allowed.

Solvency margin

(a) The level of Solvency Margin should be Rs. 5 million or 10 per cent of the net premium income which ever is the higher. This is the level recommended by the Task Force in 1997 and also by the Consulting Committee set up by the Ministry of Commerce to examine, the Draft Insurance Ordinance.

(b) The percentage for investment in real estates and in shares, which are to be prescribed by Rules should be 30 per cent and 50 per cent respectively of the Insurer's total investment.

(c) Motor Vehicles & Office Equipment should be treated as admissible assets for the Solvency purposes.

(d) Outstanding premium not older than 12 months should be treated as asset, for the Solvency purposes.

Market conduct

Many provisions of the Ordinance relating to the Market Conduct need further detailed study since they are inconsistence with the Fundamental Principle of the insurance, moreover they are in conflict with the local conditions.

Pakistan Insurance Corporation

The existing provisions relating to PIC have been made part of the proposed Insurance Ordinance 2000 which is not proper and is contrary to the industry's age-old demand of doing away with 20% compulsory cession and as such is unacceptable. It was observed that this could be achieved by creating excess capacity pool which should be managed by the Members of IAP and manned by highly professional persons.

Insurance Tribunal & Ombudsman

It was observed that in the presence of powers given in the Pakistan Penal Code both Insurance Tribunal & Ombudsman are not necessary as these are one sided and are for the grievances of the insured only. No relief have been provided to the insurers through these institutions. It is suggested that the powers given to the Insurance Tribunal & Ombudsman be reconsidered.

The Chief Executive, Ministers for Finance & Commerce, Secretaries of the Ministries of Finance & Commerce, Chairman, Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan & the Controller of Insurance have been requested to intervene in the matter and withdraw the issuance of the proposed Insurance Ordinance as it will give more harm than good to the insurance industry and will not solve any problem.

Independence Picture

Deutsche Bank's Chief Country Officer, Mr. Arif Ali and Head of Global Banking Division Pakistan, Mr. S. Omar Hassan look on as Ms. Roshaneh Zafar, Managing Director, KASHF Foundation signs the documentation for a US$ 75000 loan being provided by Deutsche Bank to the KASHF Foundation.

Independence Picture

Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers was the venue for a press conference hosted by UTV, which with its spacious banquet facilities to meet varying needs, is an ideal location for meetings, conferences and seminars. This press conference was held to announce the launch of a global Urdu Channel called UTV, which will be based in UAE. Seen here are the senior members of the organization, addressing the members of the press.

Independence Picture

Governor Sindh, Mr. Mohammadmian Soomro addressing the President of the National Bank of Pakistan, Mr. Mozaffar Iqbal and other senior executives of NBP, at a meeting held at the National Bank's Head Office in Karachi, recently.

National Bank of Pakistan and Microsoft Sign Global Enterprise Agreement

The National Bank of Pakistan recently signed a global Enterprise Agreement (EA) with Microsoft, which will enable NBP to significantly reduce its IT investment costs, by standardising on Microsoft technology.

NBP sees this agreement as a critical move to spur information technology (IT) based economic development in the country, by promoting respect for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and copyright laws.

"As the largest and most respected government bank in Pakistan, we feel a deep responsibility to push for the quick adoption of IPR in this country", said Muzzafar Iqbal, President of the National Bank of Pakistan. "This will not only attract foreign investors, who are very keen to explore business opportunities in this country, but will also protect Pakistani intellectual property from illegal practices in the future".

The agreement will not only allow NBP to lower its IT investment costs across its network of 1431 local and 24 international branches, but will also further NBP's ambitions to grow its market share in the Internet arena, by allowing it to serve its customers better through the introduction of online services.

The bank has already standardised on a number of Microsoft desktop applications including, Microsoft Windows 2000 and Microsoft Office 2000 for its 1,000 users across the organisation. Microsoft Exchange Server was deployed to handle messaging requirements with Microsoft Internet Explorer as the user interface for the web.

Sysnet of Pakistan was chosen as the direct large account reseller for the Microsoft EA and was responsible for the deployment of the technology, as well as for providing the training necessary to meet the bank's long term requirements.

The National Bank of Pakistan is planning to expand its IT infrastructure in the near future, improving internal communication resources even further and introducing online services such as Internet banking to its customers.

PACRA NOTIFIES CREDIT RATING OF FIRST HABIB MODARABA

PACRA has assigned an individual rating of 'A3' (A three) to First Habib Modaraba (FHM). This is the second Modaraba which has been placed in the 'A' category rating by PACRA. Under PACRA's rating definitions, only such Modarabas are placed in this category which are considered to be in "outstanding financial condition and with a consistent record of above average performance".

FHM's rating recognises the high quality of its asset portfolio, steady growth and the ability to maintain a consistently good performance despite the continuing difficult operating environment.

Eli-Lilly Celebrates Successful Clinical Trials of "Cefaclor" and "Lispro" in Pakistan

Eli-Lilly Pakistan Ltd. recently celebrated successful clinical trials of its two drugs, Cefaclor antibiotic and Lispro antibiotic at a ceremony held at the company's head office in Karachi.

This is for the first time in Pakistan, that a pharmaceutical company has conducted the regional, multicentre clinical trials of a new drug in Pakistan, but has also coordinated the trials being held in different countries from here.

The Principal Investigator for Cefaclor, an antibiotic, was Dr. Shabbir Kanjee, an eminent ENT specialist at the Civil Hospital, Karachi, and Assistant Professor at Dow Medical College. Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Kanjee, who has quite a few research papers and dissertations to his credit, said, " Clinical trials in Pakistan are a must before the introduction of any new drug, as the findings of medical research conducted in the West, are not applicable here due to different disease patterns."

Prof. Dr. Javed Akram, Head of the Medical Unit, King Edward Medical College, who was the Principal Investigator for Lispro, an anti-diabetic, also addressed the gathering. Speaking at the event, he said, "There is a dire need for medical research and the clinical trials of drugs in Pakistan. It is especially commendable that Eli-Lilly has invested so much money and efforts in clinical trials, because there are very few pharmaceutical companies in Pakistan that are actually involved in meaningful medical research".

Eli-Lilly has been serving the country for the last many decades by providing highly innovative health care solutions. It has contributed vastly to the growth and development of the pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan.

National Bank of Pakistan Donates Rs. 10 million to the Drought Relief Fund

The Governor Sindh, Mr. Mohammadmian Soomro, received a cheque of Rs. 10 million from Mr. Mozaffar Iqbal, Acting President of the National Bank of Pakistan, for the drought stricken people of Sindh.

Addressing the top officials of NBP on the occasion, the Governor Sindh said, "Despite limited resources, we have made all out efforts to provide relief to the affected families, and by the Grace of God, the situation is fully under control".

Shedding more light on the Sindh government's efforts to combat the drought, the governor said that having initiated successful short-term measures, the government is now working on a long-term plan to supply both irrigation and drinking water to the drought stricken areas.

The governor lauded National Bank's efforts and hoped that other banks and financial institutions will also join hands and contribute to fight the drought.

LASMO Employees Donate Funds for Drought Relief Efforts

The employees of LASMO Oil Pakistan Limited donated Rs. 150,000 to the Edhi Foundation for its drought relief efforts in Sindh and Balochistan.

The cheque was handed over to Maulana Abdul Sattar Edhi, the head of the Edhi Foundation, by Mr. Neil Booth, Managing Director of LASMO Oil Pakistan Limited, at the Clifton office of the Edhi Foundation.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Neil Booth, MD, LASMO Oil, said, "As a responsible corporate citizen, we feel it is our duty to assist the people of Pakistan, especially those in the drought stricken areas of Sindh and Balochistan, in this hour of need".

LASMO Oil has already donated Rs. 2 million to the Chief Executive's Drought Relief Found and Rs. 100,000 each to the governments of Sindh and Balochistan.

LASMO Oil Pakistan is a branch of LASMO plc, an international oil and gas exploration and production company. LASMO has been present in Pakistan for the last thirteen years, and is actively involved in petroleum exploration and production activities in Sindh and Balochistan, respectively.

Emirates launches its dss packages on the web

Emirates has launched a website packed with details of its super value holiday packages produced specially for Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS).

Emirates is once again a major sponsor of this annual summer carnival for bargain-hunters and fun-seekers, supported by the Dubai-Government, in which the city's air-conditioned malls and entertainment centres take on a festive air.

The new website at www.emiratesdss.com provides passengers with full details of the Emirates DSS offer and can be accessed from the comfort and convenience of their home or office. The site has links to the Emirates Group website (www.ekgroup.com).

The site can be accessed in Arabic or English, with language change available instantly at the touch of a button

To drive web users to the site, Emirates has also created a banner advertising campaign, in which ads run across the top of all the UAE's most popular commercial websites, including Arabia.com and Dubaionline.com

Full details of the offer, terms and conditions, information about Dubai and the participating hotels are set out in easy to tallow format. A special office locator enables passengers to find out the nearest office at which to make their booking.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Commercial Operations Director,said: aWe recognise that a substantial section of our passengers now use the Internet as their prime source of travel information. This new website completes our multi-media campaign for this year's DSS."

It also comprises press advertisemennts, posters, and information leaftlets at point of sale across the airline's network.

Emirates passengers travelling to or through Dubai can enjoy an unforgettable three-night break from as little as US $ 22 per person per night based on two people sharing, with extra nights offered at the same prices. The offer is valid from June 22 to August 31.

The Emirates DSS offer is open to passengers regardless of fare basis or class of travel and regardless of whether they fly into Dubai as their final destination or en route to one of Emirates 50 other destinations around the world.