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Sep 04 - 10, 2000

Shaukat Tarin elected as the Chairman, Union Bank Limited

Prominent banker, Mr. Shaukat Tarin has been elected as the new Chairman of Union Bank Limited. This decision was taken in a meeting of Board of Directors held on Saturday, August 26, 2000.

After appointment of Mr. Shaukat Tarin as the Chairman, Union Bank Limited, which has recently acquired Bank of America's operations in Pakistan, would emerge as a name to reckon with in the banking industry. In the midst of redefining its corporate identity, Union Bank can greatly benefit from Mr. Tarin's dynamic expertise in banking in general and consumer banking in particular. Mr. Tarin's appointment would also help the bank enhance its corporate brand equity, which in turn would help the bank achieve its objective of becoming one of the leading financial institutions in the region.

Shaukat Tarin is one of the foremost names in the banking industry both in Pakistan and abroad. An MBA from University of the Punjab, he started his career with Citibank and served at vastly responsible and strategic positions in the bank including Country Manager UAE and Oman, Regional Manager for Citibank's consumer business in Gulf and Pakistan, Country General Manager for Pakistan, and Country Corporate Officer for Thailand.

Sheraton brings flavours of Balochistan to Karachi

After the tremendous success of the Balochistan Food Festival at ArtFest '99, Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers, in association with Hub Power Company, Quetta Serena Hotel and Bukhari Travels once again present the Balochistan Food & Cultural Festival to start off the ArtFest 2000. The festival was held from August 24 to 29 at "The Pakistani" restaurant for dinners.

The Balochistan Food & Cultural Festival was inaugurated on August 24 by Mr. Thomas van Opstal, General Manager, Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Mr. Umar Daudpota, Head of Priority & Direct Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, Dr. Anjum Siddiqui, Chief Advisor, Hubco, and Mr. Siraj Mirza, Regional Marketing Manager, Serena Hotels.

Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan announces new senior appointments

On 31st July, 2000 Standard Chartered completed the acquisition of Grindlays Bank and the associated Private Banking business. The combination of Standard Chartered and Grindlays businesses creates a significantly expanded and more complex business in the MESA region.

Following this completion, Standard Chartered Bank made the following senior management appointments in Pakistan on Thursday August 10, 2000.

Azhar Hamid will be the Group's senior representative in Pakistan whilst continuing in his current role as Chief Executive Officer of Grindlays in Pakistan. Azhar brings with him a wealth of banking knowledge and expertise. After completing studies at Aitchison College in Lahore, Azhar joined Grindlays Bank in 1962 and was sent to London for an extensive banking training programme. During his career with Grindlays, Azhar has held various senior positions both within and outside Pakistan; including Country Head positions in Bahrain and Jordan and a three year assignment at ANZ Headquarters in Melbourne as Senior Manager, Retail Banking. In October 1994, he was appointed General Manager for Grindlays operations in Pakistan.

Ahmed Rehman, currently Chief Executive, Standard Chartered, Sri Lanka, will relocate to Pakistan and take up the role of Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered, Pakistan and will lead the Group's Corporate and Institutional Banking business in Pakistan. Ahmed has successfully restructured Standard Chartered's operations in Sri Lanka. These included portfolio clean up, rationalised costs and manpower and developing a high performance team delivering on target. Previous to his assignment in Sri Lanka, Ahmed was the Corporate Banking Head for Standard Chartered in Pakistan. He has participated in many overseas training programmes on management, the latest being the prestigious INSEAD management course.

Zahid Rahim, currently Chief Executive, Standard Chartered, Pakistan has been promoted to Regional Head, Corporate and Institutional Banking, South Asia, based in Dubai. In addition, Zahid will have management responsibility for some countries, and, will also oversee the Bank's expansion plans in Egypt.

Steering Committee Meeting Held To Finalise Arrangements

The Fourth Steering Committee meeting of the International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS 2000) was held in Karachi from August 23-25, 2000.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and finalize arrangements and preparations for the event, between Pegasus Consultancy (Pvt.) Ltd., the organizers of the event, and other concemed agencies.

A team of Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Army personnel visited the Sonmiani Firing Range to discuss various matters pertaining to the availability of the range and the facilities and arrangements there, for land based weapons firing, aerial maneuvers and a mini firepower demonstration by PAF aircraft.

MCB: Profit before tax

Muslim Commercial Bank has earned a profit before tax for the half year ending June 30, 2000 of over Rs. 577 million.

The Board of Directors of the bank which met in Lahore on Wednesday morning with Mian Muhammad Mansha, Chairman presiding, after reviewing the financial results of the year ending on June 30, 2000, recommended to issue an interirn bonus shares of 10% i.e, 10 shares for every 100 shares held by shareholders, as appearing in the register of members on September 28, 2000.

The Share Transfer Books of the Company will be closed from September 28, 2000 to October 7, 2000 (both days inclusive). Transfers received at the office of share registrar M/S THK Associates (Pvt) Ltd., Ground Floor, Shaikh Sultan Trust Building No. 2, Beaumont Road, Karachi-75530 at the close of business on September 27, 2000 will be treated in time for the purpose of bonus shares to the transferee.

Productivity measurement and improvement

Mr. Mohammed Naeem Khan, Principal Knowledge Officer of Attock Refinery Limited presented Country paper at Symposium organized by Asian Productivity Organization at Kuala Lumpur Malaysia during 1-4th August, 2000.

Mr. Khan's paper and presentation was declared best. Additionally, he also got the rare honor of leadig the Committee formed to submit micro-level "Productivity Measurement & Improvement" recommendations to the governments of members Countries, business organizations, Asian Productivity Organization and National Productivity Organizations (NPOs). Furthermore, our reported business model was also highly appreciated by the participants and resource persons.

Income tax exemption certificate allowed for one year

On the persistent representations of Mr. Mohsin Aziz, Chairman Aptma, Mr. Shaukat Aziz, Minister for Finance, directed the CBR to accept the demand of Aptma for issuance of Income Tax Exemption Certificates for one year to Textile Units instead of piece meal basis for each import consignment of industrial raw material, Machinery and Spares. The CBR has issued notification No. 1(38)WHT/91, dated 26th Aug. 2000 allowing validity of Exemption Certificates U/S 50(4) and 50(5) of Income Tax Ordinance, 1979 valid for one year upto 30th June next. Before this notification, Textile Mills had to waste a lot of time and effort to obtain Income Tax Exemption Certificates for each and every import consignment of industrial Raw Material, Textile Machinery, Equipment and Spares. The requirement of obtaining Income Tax Exemption Certificates for each and every consignment was a major irritant for the Textile Industry. Without the Income Tax Exemption Certificate the Textile Industry was required to pay 6% advance Icome Tax on every import consignment of imported Industrial Raw Material, Machinery and Spares. Once, the 6% advance Income Tax was paid it was extremely cumbersome and time consuming to get adjustmennt of the advance Income Tax paid. Mr. Mohsin Aziz, Chairman Aptma made several forceful representations to the Minister for Finance and Chairman CBR for removing this unnecessary obstacle and irritant faced by the Textile Mills, so as to promote smooth Textile Operations and Exports. Finally, Minister for Finance, acceded to Aptma's demand and directed the CBR to issue Income Tax Exemption Certificates for one year instead of piecemeal basis.

Cathay Pacific starts service to Pakistan

Cathay Pacific, the international airline of Hong Kong, made its maiden landing at Quaid-e-Azam international airport in Karachi. The flight carrying passengers and airline VIPs was received by Air Marshal (Retd.) Aliuddin, Director General Civil Aviation Authority, Happy Minwalla, Manager Cathay Pacific Pakistan, Afghanistan and CIS, Kieran Bowers, Manager Cathay Pacific Karachi and other airline and civil aviation staff members.

Addressing a briefing, Tony Tyler, Director Corporate Development Cathay Pacific said, "we are delighted to be able to add the largest city in Pakistan to our network. We see excellent potential for this new service over the years ahead."

"Hong Kong, China and Pakistan have always enjoyed a cordial relationship and with the start of the Cathay Pacific service to and from Karachi we expect to see further business development between our countries", he added.

Welcoming the guests, Happy Minwalla, thanked the Civil Aviation Authority for their invaluable support in making this move possible. "The management of Cathay Pacific has been looking at Pakistan for a long time as a possible on-line destination because of the enormous potential of our country and it's strategic geographic location", said Happy. "We will be operating 3 flights a week from Karachi to Hong Kong and are confident that the convenient schedule will benefit travelers." Cathay Pacific will operate an A330-300 for the Karachi/Hong Kong sector.

Karachi becomes Cathay Pacific's 50th destination. The award winning airline was established in September 1946 and is a founder member of the global airline alliance oneworld. Cathay Pacific operates a fleet of 65 wide-body aircraft with an average fleet age of 5.5 years.

INTEL FORMS PEER-TO-PEER WORKING GROUP

Intel Corporation announced the formation of an industry working group to foster standards and protocols for peer-to-peer computing, particularly in business environments. In a keynote here, Patrick Gelsinger, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Intel Architecture Group, outlined how this emerging Internet-computing approach could give corporations a significant new capability to more efficiently use their computing resources.

"Peer-to-peer computing could be as important to Internet's future as the Web browser was to its past," said Gelsinger. "While the most visible impact of this model has been in consumer environments, peer-to-peer computing has the potential to play a major role in business computing as well. By adding peer-to-peer capabilities, corporations can tap into existing teraflops of performance and terabytes of storage to make today's applications more efficient and enable entirely new applications in the future."

Industry Group to Aid Implementation

Gelsinger called on other industry leaders to join Intel and others in the new Peer-to-Peer Working Group, which will analyze the issues surrounding the deployment of peer-to-peer computing, including security, storage management and interoperability. The group's charter is to foster standards, create the necessary infrastructure for this technology and develop applications that would help implement it. In addition to Intel, current members of the group are: AppleSoup, Applied MetaComputing, CenterSpan, Distributed Science, Dotcast, Enfish Technology, Engenia Software, Entropia, Groove Networks, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Kalepa, MangoSoft, Popular Power, Static, United Devices, Uprizer and Vtel.

Peer-to-Peer Computing

Peer-to-peer computing is a set of technologies that enable the direct exchange of services or data between computers. In such a business computing environment, servers, desktops and notebook PCs in a network become peers that contribute all or part of their resources such as processing power or storage to the enterprise. This type of architecture transforms client computers from mere consumers of services to service providers as well. For example, an Information Technology (IT) department can tap into a company's computers and use their collective computing power and storage to perform data-intensive calculations or simulations over a network without overloading the corporate infrastructure.

As the workload for servers in corporations continues to grow, peer-to-peer computing can also be used to offload common server tasks such as file serving or virus protection to other peers on a network, allowing servers to focus on other tasks such as handling business transactions.

At the Intel Developer Forum, several potential new applications of peer-to-peer computing, including self-organizing Webs and peer-to-peer edge services, were demonstrated in an industry showcase. Intel also disclosed it will begin internal trials of several of these technologies later this year.

Shaheen Coaches and Trucks

Raza Fecto Group of Industries in collaboration with China FAW Group held a launching ceremony of Shaheen Coaches and Light Duty Trucks on 29th Aug at Hotel Avari Towers, Karachi.

China FAW group is the first and the one of the largest group owned by the Govemment of China. It was established in 1953 and the first truck was rolled of the assembly line just after 3 years. Mr Yan Feng, the Vice President of China FAW Group, proudly disclosed on the occasion that "We are among the 3rd largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, in terms of volume, of the world due to the practical experience of improvement. Our manufacturing of the products is based on the conditions of developing countries."

He further continued, "We are the only one who have research and development institute in China where 3 series with 356 versions trucks have been developed. Now we hold more than 50% market share. We have also developed the only local Chinese brand car Hongqi which is used by the high govemment dignitaries and foreign delegates who visit China."

Regarding the launching of commercial light duty trucks and 24 seater coaches Shaheen, he said, "We have signed a TLA agreement with our local partner to start the CKD operations very soon at the factory of Raza Fecto group at Sheikhupura Road Lahore. I'm very confident that these products will meet the expectations of the people in Pakistan and I would like to assure them that these vehicles have been developed according to the conditions in your country because we also have very similar conditions in our country."

How economical and feasible are FAW products he said, "Pakistan like any other developing country is facing the problems of environmental pollution and high prices of petroleum and diesel. So, keeping these valid points in mind, our research and development institute designed a bus which uses 40% CNG and 60% diesel which not only helps in reducing the pollution but also helps in lower consumption of diesel because of 40% CNG use. It helps in reducing the diesel bill by 40%. We are planning to introduce these buses in Pakistan in collaboration with our local partners Raza Fecto Group and request the Government of Pakistan to give us concession in duties for import of these buses."

Mr Raza Fecto, Chief Executive Raza Fecto Group of Industries said, "We rely on intellectual capital. Harmonizing human, owner's and market capital is our entrepreneurial brand quality." He revealed that "We have signed an agreement with China FAW Group to import Shaheen coaches and light trucks and buses in CKD and CBU conditions."

Fecto Group of Industries, which presently occupies its position amongst the very prominent industrial groups of Pakistan, was established in 1954 in the former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). During the early period, the activities mainly included trading, assembling of electrical appliances and wires etc. After the separation of former East Pakistan, the Group reorganized its activities from scratch and aimed to move progressively from trading to industries. Presently, the group manages 16 public quoted, unquoted and private limited companies beside many other business activities carried on in partnership & joint ventures.

Mr Fecto proceeded, "This venture will help solve the crucial unemployment problem. The project will create about 200 direct employment and over 3,000 employment through vendors, dealers and associated concerns."