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Nov 13 - Nov 19, 2000

Standard Chartered Grindlays and MCB to launch co-branded credit card

Rated as Pakistan's best banks ('domestic' and foreign' respectively) by Euromoney magazine Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) and Standard Chartered Grindlays signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch the first-ever joint servicing co-branded credit card in Pakistan. Under the arrangement the partnering banks will have shared as well as distributed responsibilities to service the customers in line with their respective strengths.

The Partnership will derive its strength by combining the large diversified customer base of MCB and the track record of Standard Chartered Grindlays in managing a successful credit card business in Pakistan. MCB, the largest Private Bank in Pakistan, has over four million accounts domiciled in 1200 branches across the country. Standard Chartered Grindlays, the largest foreign bank in Pakistan, has over ninety thousand satisfied card members and is a leading international player in the cards business. With this new initiative the customers of MCB will now be able to enjoy the unmatched card member privileges from the product of the two leading banks in Pakistan. This agreement further strengthens the relationship between these two banks; earlier this year Standard Chartered Grindlays signed an agreement to join MCB's switch / ATM network, the largest in the country.

SLIC Achieves record claim payment

State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan paid Rs. 5 billion on account of policy claims, Rs. 1.85 billion in death and Rs. 3.05 billion in maturity during the year 1999. This was stated by Mr. Sameeul Hasan, Chairman, State Life while talking to some senior officials of the corporation. He said that Rs. 27 lac per working hour were paid to policyholders in 1999; Rs. 17 lacs and Rs. 10 lacs respectively on maturity and death claims. There are over 5.5 million policyholders insured with State Life, 1.9 million individual and 3.5 million in group life. Mr. Sameeul Hasan continued to say that the total income of the Corporation during 1999 stood to Rs. 1.5 billion as compared to Rs. 13 billion in 1998, while the life fund has exceeded Rs. 62 billion in 1999, showing accretion of Rs. 7.23 billion in the same year. Mr. Sameeul Hasan said that the principal investments are 101.4% of life fund, whereas the major portion of investments which include the government securities stood to Rs. 46.47 billion, loans to policyholders is Rs. 4.30 billion and Real Estate at Rs. 2.71 billion. Getting insured with State Life has real value and advantages, which include protection, saving, security and service through large nationwide network, State Life Chairman concluded.

Engro Golf tournament concludes in Karachi

A three day golf tournament sponsored by Engro Chemical Pakistan Ltd. concluded at the Karachi Golf Club on November 5, 2000. Around 300 amateur golfers contested for the Championship trophy. The Championship trophy was bagged by Col. Hassan Rafi with a net score of 65 while Farooq Gharib was runner-up with a net score of 67. Tariq Alam, a PIA pilot was the winner in the gross category with a score of 73 followed by Murtaza Qasim with a gross score of 75.

The Tournament kicked off on November 3rd with events for Veterans and Gulzar Zaidi wining with a net score of 33. Iqbal G. Shaikh was the runner up with net score of 35. The ladies event was dominated by the Japanese. Mrs. Yomi Ito won the event with a net score of 65 whilst Mrs. Tmoko Goto came runner up with a net score of 66.

Rafiq Dawood won the Seniors event with a net score of 65. He had an amazing back nine of 1 over (gross). Rear Admiral Sarfaraz Khan was runner up in this category with score of 69. In the Juniors section Master Inam Adbullah (net score 81) and Faraz Anis Khan (net score 83) won the first and second positions respectively.

In an impressive and well attended ceremony held at the Karachi Golf Club, Sindh Minister of Finance Dr. Hafeezullah Shaikh gave away the prizes to the winners. Speaking on the occasion he lauded Engro's contribution towards improvement of the health and education facilities in the rural Sindh and promotion of sports in the country.

Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Zaffar A. Khan, President, Engro Chamical Pakistan Ltd. gave a brief account of the Company's social responsibility and role as a good corporate citizen. Mr. Aminali Currimbhoy, Captain of the Karachi Golf Club, thanked Engro for holding a successful tournament.

Independent Caption

Mr. Khurram H. Kalia, Honorary Chief Adviser to Ibrahim Jamal iinstitute of Information Technology is briefing Dr. Attaur-Rehman, Federal Minister for Science and Technology about the institute on the occasion of its inauguration recently.

MCB's Remit Express

The Muslim Commercial Bank is making concerted efforts to enhance "Home Remittances" of workers from abroad, particularly in the Middle East to meet the current foreign exchange shortage of the country.

Mr. S. H. Jafarey, Senior Vice President of the International Division of the bank recently visited Saudi Arabia to explore new avenues of increased home remittance business emanating from Saudi Arabia. During his stay he visited major banks operating in the kingdom. He explained salient features of the MCB's products 'Remit Express' and 'Burq Raftar' Remittance Services.

Under 'Remit Express' agreement, Pakistani expatriates can send remittances to beneficiary's door step which would be delivered in major cities of Pakistan within 24 hours and within 48 to 72 hours in other towns. Both the remittance as well as the beneficiary, are allowed to exchange messages alongwith the remittance. Under 'Burq Raftar' payment is made within an hour over the counters of assigned branches.

Under yet another arrangement with a major bank, MCB will loan its 5 marketing officers to develop and increase awareness and volume of Home Remittance to Pakistan. Most of the Banks visited, have shown keen interest in the MCB products and it is expected that very soon they will start routing their remittances under the above-mentioned schemes.

Karachi Sheraton lends a helping hand to the UNICEF Children's Fund

Karachi Sheraton Hotel and Towers has been actively raising funds for the UNICEF with the Starwood "Check-out for Children" programme. This programme enables guests staying at the hotel to contribute a dollar at the time of check-out, to the Starwood/ UNICEF special children's fund.

This November, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. has launched a special programme called "Give Me Five" to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Check-out for Children programme. "Give Me Five" aims at celebrating the US$5 million milestone collected by all Starwood properties in contributions from guests during the last 5 years, while also raising additional funds for the thousands of needy children around the world. All Starwood properties around the world have designed special programmes and activities in the theme of 5 to celebrate the "Give Me Five" campaign.

Karachi Sheraton, also participating in the "Give Me Five", is giving the hotels' guests an opportunity to be part of this noble cause. A special charity box will be placed in the hotel lobby throughout November, where visitors can put in their cash contributions in all denominations of five be it rupees 10, 50, 500 or above.

"Karachi Sheraton over the years has been very keen in community services and fund-raising activities to help the people and society", says Mr. Thomas van Opstal, General Manager, Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers. "Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., through Check Out for Children, is united in our commitment to build on the present success and creating a new momentum and commitment for the next 5 years".

Greenwich University

A seminar was organised by the management and students of Greenwich University at Ballroom, Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi on November 3, 2000. The topic of the seminar was


The students of the University had prepared an image documentary opening video which related to the topic and theme of the seminar.

The three speakers at the seminar were

1. Mr. Saleem Azeem of Lever Brothers

2. Mr. Peter Hufgard of Hufgard Manufacturing

3, Mr. Masood Ali Khan of Sysnet Distribution

Mr. Javed Jabbar, former Federal Minister was the chairperson of the seminar. All speakers including Mr. Javed Jabbar gave their views on the topic. An overall consensus was that country image plays a vital role in development of a nation and every individual of the country is involved in formation of the image.

The speeches were greatly appreciated by the audience.

Ms. Seema Mughal Vice-Chancellor Greenwich University presenting the Greenwich shield to Mr. Javed Jabbar

Vroom Technologies Forging Ahead at the Speed of Light

Vroom Technologies is USA's premiere telecommunications software solutions provider. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado the telecom hotspot of the US,, Vroom Technologies Inc delivers sales, marketing and customer relationship management solutions specifically designed for the telecommunications software industry.

Given the dynamic nature of our business and ever changing market requirements, we have expanded beyond the US, and now have a wholly owned subsidiary in Pakistan Vroom Technologies, (Pvt.)Ltd which is the main development and engineering centre of the company.

Vroom's vision is to provide the telecommunications industry with new standards for sales, marketing and customer relationship management and our mission is to ensure that our customers become the fastest-growing and most profitable companies in their markets.

Our senior management represents some of the finest talent available in the industry today, and have an impressive track record of successes that has brought us where are today; it bodes well for the future too.

Vroom's products address the needs of the telecommunications industry, which are not addressed by the generic tools and solutions available in the market today.

Our products' architecture allows us the flexibility to tailor our solutions to our clients' requirements: whether they need integrated enterprise applications; stand alone modular components or web-hosted distributed service bureau applications.

To provide our customers with timely and effect customisation services, we have a large network of architects, analysts, developers and engineers, who work round the clock, to help our clients build and maintain competitive advantage.

Our technical team is staffed with personnel who specialise in software development, rule based engine/expert systems, neural networks, object oriented technology, optimisation, distributed computing technologies, Active X, CORBA, COM/DCOM, mathematical modelling and state-of-the-art development tools.

At Vroom Technologie, it is our people who are our biggest strength. That fact is reflected in our philosophy that we believe in creating opportunities on the cuffing edge of technology for our employees, while generating a fair return for the latter and shareholders alike.