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Jul 03 - 09, 2000

11th Session of Pak-China JEC

China to expand technical cooperation with HMC, PMTF and HEC

Pakistan and People's Republic of China have signed the Agreed Minutes at the conclusion of the 11th Session of Pak-China Joint Economic Commission held at Beijing during May 15-16, 2000 emphasizing the need for enlarging scope of Chinese investment to Pakistan with a view to further solidify bilateral economic relations.

Federal Minister for Finance & Economic Affairs Mr. Shaukat Aziz, who was leading a senior level delegation comprising government officials and private businessmen and Mr. Shi Guang-sheng Minister for Foreign Trade & Economic Cooperation signed the MOU on behalf of respective sides.

The areas of cooperation identified include rehabilitation of railway projects in Pakistan, construction of Gawadar sea port, expansion of Pakistan Steel Mills and reinvestment in Saindak Metal project.

The Chinese side agreed to enhance technical cooperation with state-owned enterprises such as Pakistan Steel, Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Heavy Rebuild Factory, Heavy Mechanical Complex, Heavy Eletrical Complex, Pakistan Machine Tool Factory, etc. The Chinese side has also expressed willingness to assemble and manufacture small agricultural machinery in Pakistan

ENAR Petrotech Services now part of State Engineering

The Government of Pakistan has, as part of its restructuring plan of major public sector corporations under Ministry of Industries & Production, recently transferred ENAR Petrotech Services (Pvt.) Ltd., to the State Engineering: Corporation (SE). The company was previously under the State Petroleum Refining & Petrochemical Corporation (PERAC).

ENAR is an engineering and consultancy firm, established for providing services for designing, engineering, procurement assistance, site supervision and project management to the projects in the petroleum refining, storage terminals, cross country pipeline systems, gas processing, chemical, fertilizer and other sectors of process industry. The company has undertaken various energy sector projects in the country, covering Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) and commissioning activities, in addition to provision of consultancy and designing of equipment.

The corporation deals with the industrial sector by contributing largely through supply of plant machinery and equipment manufactured at its various heavy and light engineering companies.

With the induction of ENAR in State Engineering, the group will now promote developing significant synergies in design, engineering and consultancy expertise, particularly in the Energy Sector, combining with that of production facilities of other industrial companies of the Corporation and extend its services for various industrial sector projects. The group is in a position to offer complete packages for Energy Sector projects right from the feasibility to design and manufacturing of equipment, installation and operation of the project.

State Engineerng group of companies now eye on the foreign markets, particularly Gulf countries for provision of consultancy services and supply of equipment especially for oil & gas processing and chemical & petrochemical sectors.

Development of Centrifugal for sugar industry at HMC

Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) has succeeded to indigenously manufacture 'Centrifugal Equipment' for sugar industry by using reverse engineering and utilizing existing production facilities. The credit goes to the engineers of Design Department and the Works who have developed centrifugal which has been manufactured locally by attaining optimum deletion.

Centrifugal constitute an important portion of a sugar mills and 70% of its components (by value) were earlier being manufactured at HMC, whereas remaining components were imported from M/s. Hein Lehmann of Germany. Now, by utilizing the expertise and facilities available with the company, complete centrifugals are being manufactured at HMC. Under this development certain modifications in MASSECUITE Central Valve of centrifugal equipment have also been made for making it more effective. This has eliminated the vibration problem of the machine, which is now gaining 5-10% more efficiency. The lubrication system has also been modified by conversion to grease lubrication instead of earlier oil conversion, which has enhanced the efficiency of oil pump.

It may be added that HMC is regularly supplying Centrifugals for new sugar mills as well as replacement for existing sugar plants in the country.

ANZ Grindlays and Hashoo Group Celebrate Mango Season At Pearl Continental Hotel

ANZ Grindlays Bank and the Hashoo Group, invited the creme de la creme of Karachi, to the Mango Mela Party, recently held at the Pearl-Continental Hotel, to celebrate the arrival of the mango season.

The event had a purely rustic look, with Charpais arranged for seating the guests and numerous carts artistically decorated with mangoes placed all over the venue.

Exclusive arrangements were made for the younger guests, as they were entertained and taken care of by hostesses attired in traditional Pakistani dresses. There seemed to be a never-ending line of children waiting to take turns at the swings, which were specially arranged for them.

The festivities included a musical programme that was thoroughly enjoyed by the guests. The event was followed by a sumptuous dinner, which again had the King of Fruits — Mango, for dessert.

Also present on the occasion along with the socialites of Karachi, were Hasnain Khoja, Head of Card Services, ANZ Grindlays Bank; Tooran Asif, Marketing Manager, Credit Cards Division, ANZ Gindlays Bank; Shahrukh Khan, General Manager, Pearl-Continental Hotel and Yaqoob Maung, Room Division Manager, Pearl-Continental Hotel.

NUST, GIK and SZABIST Ranked among top science and technology schools in Asia

Asiaweek (Time - CNN) in their survey of the Asian Best Science and Technology Schools has listed the National University Science and Technology (NUST), Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology (GIK) and Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) among top Science and Technology Schools in Asia. (Asiaweek, June 30, 2000). According to survey results, NUST, GIK and SZABIST have been ranked at No. 20, No. 23 and No. 32 respectively in Asia in Science and Technology category. A total of 39 Science and Technology Schools from Asia were ranked in this survey. NUST was ranked No. 1, GIK No. 2 and SZABIST No. 3 of the three top Science and Technology Schools from Pakistan. Ranking of universities was based on academic reputation, student selectivity, faculty resources and research output. No Pakistani University was ranked in Multi-Disciplinary category. Quaid-e-Azam University, University of Punjab and University of Karachi did not participate in the survey according to Asiaweek.

Habib Bank, ABN AMRO and Askari Bank share ATM network

Habib Bank Limited (HBL), ABN Amro Bank N.V., and Askari Commercial Bank Limited signed an ATM network sharing agreement. According to the agreement, customers of the three banks would become eligible to use ATMs of any of the three banks, anywhere in Pakistan. The shared ATM network would be of one of the largest in Pakistan and provide the customers of the three banks the convenience of online cash withdrawal and balance inquiry facility through about 60 ATM sites covering the major cities of Pakistan. The facility would be available free of cost, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Habib Bank, which was the first bank to introduce ATMs in Pakistan, presently has a network of 33 ATMs across the country. HBL plans to further strengthen its ATM network by adding about 30 more machines within next six months. Due to shared network agreement, this investment would automatically benefit the customers of all the three banks, and offer them the convenience of utilizing Pakistan's largest ATM network.

The agreement was signed by the President of Habib Bank Limited, Mr. Zakir Mahmood, President of Askari Commercial Bank Limited. Mr. Kalim-ur-Rahman, and the Country Manager of ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Mr. Mohammad Aurangzeb. The signing ceremony was held at Habib Bank Plaza, Karachi and was also attended by the senior Marketing and IT team members of the three banks. The project of combining the networks of three banks would be completed within the next few months allowing customers to utilize the shared network facility.

NBP will Provide Rs. 942 Million To Security Papers Limited To Help Upgrade Its Paper Manufacturing Facility

The National Bank of Pakistan will provide an amount of Rs. 942 million to upgrade the existing paper manufacturing through BMR of the Security Papers Limited Paper Mills, which will include production of modern anti-forgery features after rehabilitating the existing ageing machinery with latest technology.

A total amount of Rs. 1.242 billion will be utilised over a period of 18 months with National Bank approving a credit limit of Rs. 942 million for six years with compatible rates. The remaining amount of Rs. 300 million will be generated through internal resources of SPL.

The agreement between the two institutions was signed here at the head office of Security Papers Limited and the two signatories were Mr. Muzaffar Iqbal, President, NBP and Mr. Nur Ahmad Shah, Chairman and Managing Director, SPL.

This financing will be utilised to enhance the paper production from 1400 tons to 2000 tons per annum, to meet the increasing demand of Pakistan Security Printing Corporation, which is at present importing paper for non-bank security papers and passport booklets. The increased production will also go a long way in replacing dirty and worn out currency notes from circulation.

After the BMR, the Mills will not only meet domestic requirements but will also be able to export good quality paper, thus earning precious foreign exchange for the country.

First Women Bank Limited

Dr. Ishrat Hussain Governor State Bank of Pakistan visited First Women Bank Ltd. Head Office and met with the staff of the Bank. This is for the first time in the history of Pakistan that Governor of the Central Bank met with the staff of a Bank to know the problems being faced by them. Talking to the staff of the Bank it was made clear by the Governor that FWBL will not be privatised and its present status will be maintained and enhanced. He said that Government is taking much interest to enhance the role of women in economic upliftment due to reason that it has been proved universally that women are very good workers and they play a vital role for increasing the profitability and productivity of an organization.

Earlier, representatives from the staff discussed various issues and problems being faced by them. Governor assured that due weightage will be given to them. Their pay scales would be revised after restructuring is completed.

Representatives of staff thanked to the Governor and President of the Bank for having arranged this meeting for the staff of the Bank to discuss grievances and other issues.

Iqra University Ordinance

Sindh Governor Mian Muhammad Soomro has promulgated the ordinance known as Iqra University Ordinance VI of 2000. The ordinance will come in to force at once.

According to the ordinance the University will consist of Patron, the Chancellor, the Chairman, of the board, the President, the Dean the Registrar, the Chairman of the teaching departments, and member of me academic council and such other officers may be prescribed.

The University shall be a body corporate by the name of Iqra University having perpetual succession and a common seal, with power among other to acquire, hold and dispose of any property vesting in it and shall by the said name, sue and be sued.

The University shall be open to all persons of either sex, of whatever religion, race, class, creed, color, or domicile who are academically qualified for admission to the courses of study offered by the University and no such person shall be denied the privilege on the ground only of sex, religion, creed, race, class, color, or domicile.

The University shall have the powers to provide for instruction in general, technical, professional education, or other disciplines of higher learning, and other subjects as may be prescribed, and in such branches of learning as it may deem fit for the advancement of knowledge as it may determine:

The University will also admit and examine students and to confer or award degrees diplomas, certificates and other academic distinctions on and to persons, who have passed its examination under the prescribed conditions.

It will prescribe courses of studies and undertake research as it mat determines, besides to control the discipline of the students of the University and the institute in the prescribed manner.

The University confers honorary degrees or other distinctions on approved persons in the manner prescribed. And affiliate it or associate with other institutions and establish faculties and teaching department to discharge its functions and responsibilities for the betterment of education beside provide and support other facilities for education professional training and research.

The University also affiliate and disaffiliate educational institutions and inspect such institutions or associate itself with other selected educational training and research institutions, provide them with services and facilities for the effective discharge of their functions and responsibilities and determine teaching methodology, techniques and strategies in order to ensure the most effective educational training and research programs and receive and manage property, grants, bequest, trusts, gifts, donations, endowments and other contributions made to the University and to invest them in such manner as it may deem fit.

Intel announces pentium® 4 brand name for new microprocessor

Intel Corporation announced the Intel® Pentium® 4 processor brand name for its new generation of desktop microprocessors (formerly code-named Willamette).

The new Pentium 4 name builds upon one of the world's most recognized brands to convey the most powerful personal computing experience. Scheduled to be introduced in the second half of 2000, the new Pentium 4 processor is based on revolutionary technology designed to maximize performance today and in the future, keeping consumers on the cutting edge of the Internet.

"Around the world, PC users associate the Pentium brand with the highest PC performance, compatibility and quality available," said Pam Pollace, vice president, Intel Sales and Marketing Group, and director, Worldwide Marketing Operations. "Computer users will be able to instantly recognize the Pentium 4 processor as Intel's newest high-performance microprocessor. "

The Intel Pentium 4 processor logo will become part of the Intel Inside® program, the largest co-op advertising program in the world. The new logos are available to the media at www.intel.com/pressroom.

Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom.

Destinations of the World launches its operations in Pakistan

Destinations of the World LLC (DOTW), an international travel-related service provider based in Dubai has officially launched its master franchise operations here in Pakistan in association with VAL enterprises Ltd.

With the head office in Islamabad and sales support operations in Lahore & Karachi, their main objective is to enhance and broaden the scope of travel products and services available to the travel trade.

Offering free access to their website at " wwwDOTW.com" Travel Agents, Airlines, Business and Leisure travellers will now have access to wholesale prices to more than 30,000 world wide services, comprising of Hotels, Apartments, Car Rentals & Tour Packages in over 70 countries.

As Mr. Fawaz Valliani (Chief Executive) said "this new venture will dramatically change the face of the travel industry in Pakistan. As consumers become increasingly price conscious and discerning, DOTW is ideally positioned to service these requirements".

NBP refutes media reports

The National Bank of Pakistan has refuted media reports that its officials were involved in a fake bank draft case, saying that the facts were otherwise.

An official spokesman of NBP stated that the factual position is as follows:

1. That a payment order No. SP/C-007579 dated June 5, 2000 for Rs. 108.0 million favouring Haji Nasir-A/c. Parco purported to have been issued by our Corporate Branch, PIDC House was received in clearing from Gulf Commercial Bank, I.I. Chundrigar Road branch. The instrument was found to be fake and was accordingly withheld by our branch.

2. Accordingly, our branch asked the Manager Operations, Gulf Commercial Bank, to provide complete information on the account holder in whose account the said instrument was lodged.

3. On June 29, an Army Monitoring Cell team comprising of Lt. Col. Shahid Mehboob and Major Mehboob along with several other army officials reached our branch to check the records. After initial investigation, the army team called area SDM and SHO Civil Lines for necessary action and newsmen for press briefing informing them about the details and that the attempt to defraud National Bank of Pakistan was foiled by the NBP officials.

4. No NBP officer was arrested or implicated in the case, as misreported in the press. On the other hand some officials of the Gulf Commercial Bank and other relevant persons were taken into custody as per reports.

The National Bank of Pakistan has taken the media reports as an attempt to sabotage its plans to revive the national economy through its positive and progressive policies and ambitious future programmes. The case has been taken up with military authorities for reconciliatory steps in that direction.

Union Bank Acquires BoA operations in Pakistan

State Bank of Pakistan issued order regarding amalgamation of Bank of America's Pakistan operations into Union Bank on June 30. With the issuance of this order the process of amalgamation has been officially completed. On Monday, July 3, the three branches of the Bank of America will open doors as Union Bank. This acquisition will bring to Union Bank complete transfer of Bank of America's existing technology base, control systems and procedural manual, etc.

As a result of this amalgamation, Union Bank has become one of the largest private banks in Pakistan with a network of 28 branches in 15 major cities throughout the country. While some foreign banks are virtually taking an exit from Pakistan, Union Bank's decision to increase its stakes shows the belief and commitment its sponsor towards Pakistan. The combined resources put Union Bank in a favorable position to benefit from the opportunities in the market.

This initiative signifies the bank's aggressive strategy. This acquisition by Union Bank reflects the confidence of regulators and stockholders of Bank of America in the credibility and strength of the Bank. Union Bank is a locally incorporated private bank operating in Pakistan since 1991. In September 1999, the major shareholding of the Bank was acquired by a foreign investor from Saudi Arabia through the purchase of shares from the original sponsors of the Bank. With this change in ownership, the management of Union Bank was entrusted to the group of professionals with solid banking experience.