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Feb 14, 2000


Intel Corporation announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Thinkit Technologies, Inc. The agreement includes the acquisition of Software & Silicon Systems Pvt., Ltd., Thinkit's wholly owned subsidiary based in Bangalore, India.

The Thinkit acquisition adds to Intel's design capabilities for advanced communications silicon on a worldwide basis. The purchase also marks the 11th networking and communications related acquisition announced by Intel since January 1999. Terms of the all-cash transaction were not disclosed.

Thinkit Technologies specializes in advanced design for chips used in networking and communications products such as switches and routers. The Bangalore-based Software & Silicon Systems group currently designs communications silicon for Intel's Level One Communications subsidiary. When the acquisition is completed, Intel will operate communications chip design facilities at more than a dozen sites worldwide.

The purchase complements Intel's efforts to provide advanced silicon components for networking and communications applications. In September, the company announced the Intel(R) Internet ExchangeTM (IX) architecture, a comprehensive "blueprint" for building next generation networking equipment. The Intel IX architecture uses programmable silicon to allow new functions and features to be added to networking equipment quickly and cost effectively.

"The acquisition of Thinkit further expands the worldwide reach of Intel's silicon design capabilities for networking and communications," said Mark Christensen, vice president and general manager, Intel Network Communications Group. "Adding this new silicon design expertise provides Intel with additional resources for advancing the Intel Internet Exchange architecture. This, in turn, will help enable networking and communications systems companies to build faster, more intelligent networks."

"Chips for networking and communication infrastructure are pushing the edge of silicon technology and tools," said Sridhar Mathani, Thinkit Technologies president and managing director of the Software & Silicon Systems subsidiary. "Our expertise in designing multimillion gate communication chips coupled with Intel's market segment focus will speed time-to-market and provide Intel's customers with high performance, cost effective and adaptable solutions."

Intel has had a sales and marketing office in Bangalore, India since 1998 and also operates additional offices in Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi. In addition, Intel set up a Development Center in Bangalore in November 1999.

" Intel's decision to invest in a Development center in Bangalore coupled with the acquisition announcement of Thinkit Technologies, is yet another sign of Intel's commitment to India," said Avtar Saini, Intel's co-director for South Asia and director of Intel's Development Center in India.

Upon completion of the acquisition, Thinkit will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel, reporting within Intel's Network Communications Group.

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

Commercial delivery record is official

Orders roll in at year's end

Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group successfully completed its 1999 production plan by delivering its 620th and final jetliner for 1999, setting a record for commercial jet deliveries in a single year.

Boeing also closed out the year by confirming commercial airplane orders from four airlines

The milestone 620th jetliner was among four 717s delivered from the Long Beach, Calif., facility. The delivery record is all the more remarkable since Boeing also has significantly improved its jetliner production process. All measures Boeing uses to gauge its production health are at or below the ambitious targets set at the beginning of 1999.

Commercial Airplanes is on track to achieve further production improvements in 2000, when it will deliver about 480 jetliners to customers worldwide — 50 percent more than the nearest competitor.

Boeing also confirmed orders from four airlines at the end of last month. Orders were placed by Alaska Airlines for two Next-Generation 737-700s. and by Air Berlin for Next-Generation 737-800s Singapore Airlines exercised options for 10777-200ERs. These orders are new and not accounted for in order totals published on Dec. 15.

Existing orders by previously unidentified customers were announced from Hapag-Lloyd Flug for two Next-Generation 737-800s and eight additional aircraft for Alaska Airlines. These orders bring the number of orders for 1999 to 386 jets.

Seminar on ISO-9000 and TQM at Isra University.

The Management Science Department (Business Administration) of Isra University, Hyderabad, organized a seminar on Total Quality Management and ISO 9000 on January 25th 2000 in the Auditorium Hall. Mr. Mohsin Nishat, Quality Manager, Indus Dyeing & Mfg. Co. Ltd. Hyderabad was the guest speaker at this occasion. Teachers and the students of the Management Sciences Department participated in the seminar in a large number and listened to the lecture with great interest and enthusiasm. A question answer session was also conducted at the end of the lecture.

Dr. Amanat Ali Jalbani, Chairman of the Department, delivered the opening speech and said that seminars will continue to be held regularly in the university. Speaking on the topic, he said that as competition has intensified, companies are facing difficulties in marketing their products. He added that quality in the eyes of the beholders. It does not depend on price. However uniformity in standards is very important for this purpose, ISO came into existence.

The guest speaker gave an exhaustive lecture, explaining the function of TQM and ISO 9000. He said that more than 2000 companies have so far got the certification in India, against this, only 200 companies have been able to get the certification in Pakistan. In this connection the Government of Pakistan should help the companies if they want to increase the exports. Otherwise, although having resources, we won't be able to compete in the world.

The Vice Chancellor of the University Dr. Asadullah Kazi appreciated the seminar and said that as these seminars are very useful for the youth of the nation in general and university students in particular, they should be regularly held.

In the end, the Chairman Dr. Jalbani thanked the guest speaker and the audience and announced that the next seminar would be held in February on Project Management.

SITE problems

Abdullah Rafi, Chairman SITE Association of Industry has called upon the Federal Minister for Commerce & Industry, Mr. Abdul Razzak Dawood, to hold a detailed meeting with the Karachi Industrialists representing SITE, Korangi, Federal 'B' Area, and North Karachi before finalizing the Industrial Policy. In a press statement, Abdullah Rafi said that it is high time the Federal Minister discarded the list prepared by Export Promotion Bureau and should directly contact industrialists who really matter and who are true representatives of industry.

Abdullah Raif said that Karachi provides 72% of the total national revenue while just SITE alone contributes 30% of the coffers of the government. It is regrettable that neither the Finance Minister nor the Commerce Minister are willing to take feedback and output from the Karachi industrialists.

Abdullah Rafi invited Federal Minister to come to SITE and meet Karachi's industrialists so that they can benefit from the presentations made by representatives of Karachi's industrial base. Only then a pragmatic and workable industrial policy will be attainable.

Pacra notifies entity ratings for orix leasing

The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has assigned a long-term rating of AA-(Double A minus) and a short term rating of A1+ (A one plus) to Orix Leasing Pakistan Limited (OLP). The ratings represent the highest rating in the leasing sector. The assigned ratings denote both a very low expectation of credit risk as well as a very strong capacity to service financial obligations on a timely basis. The ratings are applicable to the senior unsecured creditors of the company.

While assigning the rating, PACRA has recognised OLP's success in maintaining its outstanding performance and asset quality in comparison to the sector despite an adverse operating environment. This has been possible because of the well organised management systems as well as effective credit evaluation and marketing. OLP's target segment (small and micro leasing) and business strategy allows it to remain insulated from the risk of client or sectoral concentration. OLP has gradually expanded its operating lease portfolio and is well positioned to avail the growth opportunities in this specialised line of leasing. The company's strategy of diversification by way of investing in foreign ventures which offer promising returns has helped in providing an additional and sustainable source of revenue generation.

PACRA Notifies Entity and TFC Ratings for NDLC

The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has assigned a long-term rating of A (Single A) and a short term rating of A1 (A one) to National Development Leasing Corporation Limited (NDLC). The assigned ratings denote a low expectation of credit risk emanating from the company's strong capacity to service its obligations on a timely basis. These ratings are applicable to the senior unsecured creditors of the company. The secured TFC of Rs. 500 mln issued in November 1999 has been assigned a rating of A+ (A plus).

The management's aggressive recovery drive augmented by across the board pressure against defaulters initiated by the new government enabled NDLC to make substantial recoveries from some of its chronic defaulters. There has also been an improvement in NDLC's performance indicators. The positive trends in performance and asset quality are expected to continue as long as the management's strategies remain on track. While the prevailing operating environment may continue to constrain the extent of this improvement, the company is better positioned to benefit from any positive trends in the operating environment by optimally deploying additional funds generated from the TFC issue.

Guest Speaker on PTCL Fault Management System at IBA

The BITS Club & Center for Computer Studies, IBA Karachi in keeping with its tradition of continuous interaction with the business world has started a series of guest speaker and Experience Sharing sessions. In these sessions renowned experts and business leaders would be invited to share their experiences and bridge the gap between the theoretical and practical aspect of today's fast changing business scenario.

One of these Experience Sharing session was held at IBA on January 31, conducted by Mr. Syed Owais Ali Shah, of Future Technologies (PVT) Ltd., — a highly reputed software house. The topic of his presentation was "Design and Implementation of Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL)'s Fault Management System". His company, Future Technologies (PVT) Ltd., is currently developing this system for PTCL.

Mr. Owais in his presentation highlighted the challenges of Software Project Management particularly in the case of government corporations. He discussed some of the hindrances that are faced by IT companies and professionals in managing a computerization project in the government sectors. Some of these difficulties are low computer literacy, employees' resistance, level of bureaucracy, slow procedures and lack of motivation. Mr. Owais also outlined some steps that his organization has taken to deal with the above-mentioned problems. Mr. Owais also elaborated upon the real world issues of successful project management including definition the project scope, division of larger project into small manageable modules, selection of design methodology, step by step implementation plan, user training and software design tools etc.

Talking about the PTCL Fault Management System, Mr. Owais said that the idea of this system was conceived in 1993 and this project was assigned to Unisys and Digital Equipment of USA but unfortunately the working remained on paper only. In 1996, Future Technologies proposed a solution and initial model of the new system which was approved by PTCL.

The main objectives of this project were to increase the efficiencies of lineman and supervisors and also to make the customers satisfied. The project was completed in 3 phases whereby the new system was implemented at Karachi, Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas, this not only computerized their exchanges but also helped the establishment of a complete network for PTCL and authenticated Data Collection and Verification.

The tools used by for new system includes MS SQL server as back end Relational Database while Visual C++ and Visual Basic were used as a front-end application which also supported Active-X control for future expansion of the network on the Internet The Operating System used in the project was windows NT for being a 32 bit GUI based Network Operating System and strong security features, which matches with the Pentagon and NASA standard security provision, was used in these systems which was centralized but distributed to have consistent data across network.

In the end Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder, Deputy Director Center for Computer Studies, IBA concluded the presentation by highlighting some of the important points set forward by Mr. Owais presentation and stressed the students to learn the practical issues involved in the managing a real world software project.

To conclude the session Syed Saad Hussain, Vice President of Business and Information Technology Students (BITS) Club delivered the vote of thank. Sardar Umer Alam, Seminar Coordinator BITS Club, organized the event.


A delegation of the Islamic Development Bank visited Pak-Libya Holding Company (Pvt.) Limited on February 07, 2000 to discuss the Company's request for availing IDB's Export Financing Credit Line for enhancing trade between Pakistan and Libya. The mission comprised of their Dy. Director, Mr. Salih A. Bin Jamiaan and the Country Trade Operation Offficer for Pakistan, Mr. Moinuddin.

Managing Director, Pak-Libya, Mr. Zaigham Mahmood Rizvi and Dy. Managing Director, Mr. Ramadan A. Haggiagi welcomed the delegation, and briefed them about the overall operations of the Company. The delegation was apprised that besides Project Financing, which is the core business of Pak-Libya, the Company's other major areas of operations included Investment Banking and Merchant Banking. The Company is also playing a vibrant role in the development of the Money Market by way of money market and treasury operations. Pak-Libya is the only financial institution which has taken a proactive role and initiative in promotion of IT Sector and has sponsored an IT Company. Pak-Libya enjoys a good credit rating which stands at "A+" for Long Temm and uD1" for Short Term Investments. The Company is also in the process of securing ISO Certification. In addition, Pak-Libya has also been actively involved in promotion of trade between Pakistan and Libya. Prior to imposition of sanctions on Libya by the U.N., PakLibya has been exporting different commodities to them. As the sanctions have now been lifted, Pak-Libya is once again reactivating its Trading Cell to promote trade between the two countries. The trading operations are being promoted and executed through Union International (Pvt.) Limited, a trading afffiliate of Pak-Libya. The Union International (Pvt.) Limited is registered with imporUExport Board of Libya. Pak-Libya has, therefore, approached the IDB for their Export Finance Credit Line, availability of which will be an additional promotional tool to enhance the trade among the Islamic countries in general and with Libya in particular.

Mr. Salih took keen interest in the operational activities of Pak-Libya, and appreciated its efforts to enhance Trade between the brotherly Muslim countries. He assured his cooperation in considering Pak-Libya's request for the Export Finance Credit Line.

Overseas Pakistanis positive for UBL's TezRaftaar

UBL's new home remittance service, "TezRaftaar" has had a very positive response from overseas Pakistanis since its launch on the 11th December.

The service was introduced keeping in mind the needs of consumers for a speedy and easy way through which they can send money home to their dear and near ones. Another objective was to help the country mobilize foreign exchange through banking/legal channels and discourage the "Hundi" system.

The popularity of the product is due to the unique features it offers, like being free of cost and the remittance being delivered at the doorstep of the beneficiaries within 24 hours by a reliable courier. The service is open to all Pakistanis, whether they are UBL account holders or not. The TezRaftaar service is available at all UBL branches in UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Muscat, Qatar, Yemen, UK and USA.

The performance of this new product is over and the expected target. There has been a 390% increase in the number of transactions processed till now as compared to those processed in the same time period last year. In terms of value the increase has been 350%.

The bank has been very successful with almost all of the new products it has introduced since the turnaround started in 1998. The new management of UBL has implemented various progressive policies and schemes, which has made the bank one of the most progressive financial institutions in the country. There is no doubt that the bank will achieve its objectives in a matter of time earlier than expected.

Saudi Pak Financing UP by 228 percent in 1999

The Board of Directors of Saudi Pak Industrial and Agricultural Investment Company (Pvt) Limited met on February 09, 1999 under the Chairmanship of Dr. Abdullah T. Al-Thenayan, who is also Director General of Arab Company for Livestock Development, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Board approved a total financing of Rs. 230 million of four companies. The financing comprises of Rs. 80 million for three projects in manufacturing sector and Rs. 150 million for one project in energy sector. The financing will facilitate expansion of existing production facilities and creation of additional capacity.

The Board also reviewed the operational performance and audited accounts of the company for the year ended December 31, 1999 and expressed its satisfaction on the results achieved in 1999. Saudi Pak approved long-term financing and investment facilities of Rs. 918 million up by 228 percent from Rs. 280 million in 1998. Disbursement of long-term financing increased to Rs. 578 million from Rs. 470 million during the same period. Recoveries from long-term financing touched record level of Rs. 612 million, up from Rs. 493 million in 1998. Current dues collection ratio stood at 93.10 percent in 1999 as against 92.7 percent in 1998, which shows growing strength of Saudi Pak's portfolio.

Since inception. Saudi Pak has approved financing by way of direct equity investment and term finance to 208 companies for an aggregate amount of Rs. 5,535 million. In addition, the facilities of underwriting of public issue of shares and guarantees have also been provided for a total amount of Rs. 1,549 million.

The Board also approved the audited accounts for the year ended December 31, 1999 and expressed satisfaction on the financial and operational results.

Saudi Pak, a joint venture of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is playing an important role in promoting brotherly relations between the people of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. It is committed to accelerate industrial development in Pakistan by providing term loans and investment facilities to medium and long term projects sponsored by private sector. Saudi Pak's financing is distributed overall the key economic sector and the projects financed are located throughout the country. The paid-up capital of the company is Rupees two billion held in equal proportion by the Government of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of Pakistan.

The Board expressed satisfaction over the role performed by Saudi Pak in promoting growth of industrial sector in Pakistan.