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Jan 17, 2000

UBL Announces Reduction in Mark-up Rates

Following the decision taken by the State Bank of Pakistan to reduce the repo rate aiming to bring down the interest rates in the economy, United Bank Limited announces reduction in the mark-up rate to 46 paisas from 50 paisas per thousand, a reduction in our maximum lending rate from 18.25% to 16.8% p.a. The last reduction was announced in April 99 when the rates were reduced from 63 paisas to 50 paisas per thousand.

This step will help reduce borrowing costs for UBL's customers and thus assist in the revival of their businesses. It will also provide a boost to our industrial production, increase the trading activities and will encourage investment within the country with the aim of enhancing exportable surplus.

UBL Announces Bonus to Employees

United Bank Limited has announced a bonus equivalent to one month basic pay to all employees in anticipation of excellent result for the year l999. This is the first bonus since 1995 awarded to all employees of the bank.

UBL has made remarkable progress in all banking areas. The reforms initiated by the new administration have turned the bank around. The restructuring efforts put in by the new management in 1997 onwards, are bearing fruit. The bank is now recognized as an institution entering in a vibrant and productive phase. After Zubyr Soomro was appointed as the president, and with the induction of professionals from reputed institutions in different departments of the bank, a rationalization of structure and procedures including manpower rightsizing took place which proved to be a perfect start for a better tomorrow. A very focused recovery drive helped in strengthening the liquidity position of the bank resulting in increased banking activities. Recently issued Moody's report rated UBL in a very positive manner stating the progress the bank has been able to make, not only in the country but also on the international level. The increase in the foreign exchange deposits suggested the strong reputation UBL enjoys intemationally. On the other hand, all the new schemes and products of UBL received an overwhelming response.

It was due to the above factors that despite a reduction in mark-up rates in April last year by 2%, and a decreasing yield on Government Securities, the growth in revenues was from the new businesses, significant improvement in non-performing loans and consolidation of treasury and international divisions.

UBL is Y2K compliant and with the start of a new millennium the bank with the enthusiasm and zealous support of its employees, will march further towards a better future in 2000.


TCS courier service which has the most extensive network within the country is now planning to expand internationally with a view to serving overseas Pakistani communities need for a fast and efficient link to their home country. This was stated by Mr. Khalid Awan, Chairman, TCS.

A global survey undertaken by the company indicated that in the absence of prompt postal service from most countries to Pakistan, the greatest area of need was for workers serving in the Middle-Eastern countries to send home their monthly bank drafts reliably, economically, and in shortest possible time. TCS stepped into this market niche by offering overnight delivery service, at economical rates, initially from the Middle East and GCC countries to most cities in Pakistan alongwith delivery acknowledgement. With the availability of this service sending money through banking channels is fast becoming the preferred method of home remittances, as compared to 'hundi' which the government wishes to discourage as it does not contribute to the country's foreign exchange reserves.

Mr. Awan further informed that TCS is also planning to offer its popular Gifts-Delivery and greetings service to overseas Pakistanis through the Internet, enabling them to order gifts and greetings to their friends and relatives in Pakistan. This would be another foreign exchange earner and an innovative service from TCS.


Emirates, Airline of the Year 1999, will commence a new service to Bahrain on January 25, adding the last Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (AGCC) destination to its network.

HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates' Chairman, said: "We are delighted that with Bahrain, Emirates now links Dubai to all AGCC countries. I am confident that this development will spell greater progress for the region's aviation and tourism industries. We are grateful to the Government of Bahrain and we remain committed to the promotion of traffic to Bahrain."

For the first week of service to January 31, Emirates will operate six flights. From February 1 to March 25, the airline will increase to 11 flights a week. From March 26 to October 28, Emirates will fly twice a day to Bahrain.

On January 25, the inaugural flight, EK241, will leave Dubai at 0800 and arrive in Bahrain at 0810. From Bahrain, EK242 will leave at 0915 and returns to Dubai at 1125, all times local.

Emirates will offer passengers a choice of morning and evening departures. Morning flights follow a similar schedule as the inaugural service. Evening flights depart Dubai at 1830 and arrive in Bahrain at 1840. On the return journey, the flights leave Bahrain at 1950 to arrive in Dubai at 2200.

The schedules mean that passengers can make day trips to Bahrain for business meetings and return to Dubai before midnight the same day.

Bahrain becomes Emirates' 49th destination and while the latest to join the network, is hardly a stranger to Emirates' worldwide destination promotions. The airline's leisure division — primarily Arabian Adventures, the Destination Management Company — works with major tour operators across the world to feature Bahrain as an extension programme from Dubai.

Passengers flying with Emirates from Bahrain will have a wide choice of convenient connections from Dubai to destinations in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Gulf and Middle East. Emirates passengers will enjoy the airline's renowned inflight service, with the latest inflight entertainment and telecommunications systems and high standards of inflight catering that have given Emirates an unrivalled reputation for quality.

Bahrain starts a new year of rapid expansion. Emirates will be launching new services to Sydney and Entebbe on March 26 and 29 respectively, and receiving another five A330-200s and one more Boeing 777-300.

Arts Students Appreciate Zargalli 2000

The World Gold Council (WGC) recently launched Zargalli 2000 — the second Zargalli gold jewellery design contest, throughout Pakistan. This jewellery design contest is aimed at attracting both professional and amateur designers from across the country, to exhibit their creative skills in gold jewellery.

Zargalli 2000, which was launched in December 1999, invites designs for four categories, namely rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets. Participants can submit a maximum of two entries per category and the last date for submission of designs is February 15, 2000.

This contest has been very well received by the students of various art schools all over Pakistan, and especially those from the Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture, Karachi School of Arts and the Vijdan Institute of Arts have shown keen interest in making it a great success.

As one enthusiastic participant said, "Zargalli 2000 is a golden opportunity for amateur designers like me to display our talent and gain much-needed exposure."

Mr. Yousuf Akhtar Hussain, Manager WGC Egypt and Pakistan, while talking to students and designers, added, "This contest is a great opportunity for Pakistani designers to display their talent and express the values and culture of Pakistan by coming up with innovative gold jewellery designs."

Zargalli 1999 — the very first Zargalli gold jewellery design contest attracted a total of 1650 designs and was a great success. Out of these 1650 entries, the most eye-catching 46 were chosen and the three best in each of the two designated categories, wedding and casual designs, were awarded with cash prizes.

The co-sponsors of the Zargalli 2000 gold jewellery design contest are A.K. Motiwala Jewellers, Ar-Raheem Jewellers, Chhotani Jewel Centre and New Ruby Jewellers from Karachi and Karat Jewellers from Lahore.

The World Gold Council is a non-profit organisation representing the interests of gold producers worldwide. Its primary objective is to identify markets in countries with a high potential for gold consumption and to increase the global off-take of gold.

Korean Ambassador Visits New Automobile Plant

Mr. Yoon Jee-joon, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea recently visited the newly built Dewan Farooque Motors automobile plant in Sujawal. Mr. Yoon Jee-joon flew in for the occasion on a special Dewan Group helicopter along with Mr. See Young Lee, Consul General, Republic of Korea, and Mr. Ye Young Lee, Director & General Manager of Hyundai Corporation Co., Pakistan Liaison office. They were accompanied by Mr. Dewan M. Yousuf Farooqui, Managing Director, DFML, and Mr. Dewan Abdullah Ahmed, Deputy Managing Director of the company.

The plant will produce vehicles under license from Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation of Korea, bringing the latest automotive technology to Pakistan's automobile industry. Mr. Yoon Jee-joon appreciated the fact that the newly built plant has a capacity of assembling 10,000 units on single shift basis and 20,000 on double shift basis. The plant will have a state-of-the-art CED paint shop from Shindur. The plant will shortly start producing 1000cc, 1300cc and 1500cc passenger cars and a 4x4 sports utility vehicle made from the latest technology of R&D of Korea; like the recently launched one-ton pick-up, Shehzore.

The Korean ambassador then celebrated the event by planting a young tree at the site. He was also taken to the Dewan Sugar Mills, which is situated nearby, and then shown the school and zoo set up by the Dewan Group for the people of the area.

Towards Riba Free Economy

Institute of Banking Finance & Management (IBFAM), the premier business School and training center of the country, welcomes the Supreme Court's landmark judgement on Riba and the positive approach adopted by the government to implement the same. In order to buildup intellectual support for this towering task, IBFAM has decided to organize a series of conferences on multi dimensional aspects of this judgement entitled Towards Riba Free Economy. A tentative plan of these conferences is:

Feb./March 2000: The implications of and response to the Supreme Court's decision on Riba

April/May 2000: Best International practices and experiences in Islamic Finance

Aug./Sept. 2000: Agenda for change

November 2000: Manging the change

IBFAM is arranging with renowned scholars and experts for their valuable input and participation. IBFAM is also launching training seminars and workshops on Islamic Finance. A Week-long pilot workshop is scheduled to be held in early February. Dr. Junaid Ahmad, Director IBFAM will shortly hold a press conference, to announce the details of these conferences and workshops.

SZABIST to establish human resource development centers

Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) has decided to establish Human Resource Development Centers in different part of the country, starting with the Province of Sindh. The main aim of establishing the HRD Centers is to add value to and enhance the skills and career building of graduates. The HRD Centers will study the job market in the corporate and private sector, suggest the skill enhancement for various jobs and design the curriculum for offering short-term certificate and diploma courses.

In addition, SZABIST has recently established a Center for information and Research (CIR) which is engaged in Socio-economic studies and analysis of current affairs. it has published a study report on "Socio-economic Impact of Cyclone — 02A on Coastal Sindh" after conducting study visits of the effected areas in Badin and Thatta districts.

3S KIA Dealership Signing Ceremony

Another milestone was created in the Pakistan automobile industry when Kia Dealers' Signing Ceremony took place at Dewan Farooque Motors Head Office, Karachi. All the appointed dealers of Kia attended the ceremony, making the occasion a sure success.

The unique features of this agreement will open new vistas of convenience for customers all over the country and will give dealers the chance to serve the customers more efficiently.

Being a nationwide network, featuring 3S dealership, it will create more opportunities through convenience and less consumption of time and efforts. With extensive availability of spare parts all over the country, customers can avoid facing trouble finding spare parts.

The complete back-up support of service & spare parts along with the strong support from Dewan Mushtaq Group will add convenience and 'value for money' to the customers.