. .

Feb 21, 2000

Zargalli 2000 Gold Jewellery Design Submission Date Extended

The World Gold Council's jewellery design contest — Zargalli 2000, has received a stunning response this year, as entries are pouring in from all over Pakistan. The last date for submission of designs has been extended to February 25, 2000, as there has been an unprecedented response from people interested in taking part in this contest.

The contest, which was launched in December 1999, invites designs in four categories: rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets and participants can submit a maximum of two entries per category.

The Zargalli 2000 design contest is an occasion where both professional and amateur designers from all over Pakistan may participate, in showing their talent for gold jewellery. The high level of participation witnessed so far, indicates that the contest will out do its last year's performance.

The design contest carries with it cash prizes of Rs. 50,000, Rs. 25,000, and Rs. 12,500 for the three best designs in each category and also national and international repute. Already the six winners from Zargalli 1999 have been selected for final judging in Gold Virtuosi, an international gold jewellery design contest being held in Vicenza, Italy.

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 an international 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.

Further information can also be obtained from the Zargalli web site at www.zargalli.com.

National HR Conference Receiving Excellent Response

The Second National HR Conference organised by the Pakistan Society for Training and Development has received an enthusiastic response from professionals for registration for this event. The Conference is being held on February 23rd and 24th, 2000, at the Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi.

This conference aims at identifying managerial competencies and relevant professional values required to support and accelerate National Growth. It is a high profile event and the CEO's of various multinational companies, HR and Business Managers and Academicians have already committed to support it.

Renowned professionals from the corporate sector and the academic world will present papers on Science and Information Technology, Environmental Management, Education and Training, Management of Economics & Finance, Business Management and Productivity and Quality. The speakers will also give an in-depth perspective on various human resource development techniques and methodologies and their importance in accelerating national growth.

Commenting on the registration for the event, which is currently underway, Mian A. Ghani, founder of Pakistan Society for Training and Development said, "We have received a very encouraging response from various national and multinational organisations as well as HR professionals, which is indicated by the fact that organisations which are concerned with the development of Pakistan such as, Shell Pakistan Limited, ICI Pakistan Limited, Engro Chemicals Pakistan Limited, Pakistan Petroleum Limited, Lever Brothers Pakistan Limited, Citibank, BOC Gases, Smith Kline & Beecham, Tapal Energy, the Asiatic Public Relations Network (Pvt.) Limited (APR) and others have generously supported the purpose of the Conference."

The Pakistan Society for Training and Development is an independent and non-profit organisation committed to promoting serious and high quality human resource development effort.

Delegates desirous of participating in the HR Conference may contact PSTD office at 34th Street, Phase V (Extension), Defence Housing Society, Karachi-75500. Phones: 585-4462, 585-5985, Fax 584-4902.

Mr. Shaukat Aziz, Federal Minister for Finance, flanked by Mr. Mohammed Mian Soomro and Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, addressing a meeting at the National Bank of Pakistan's head office in Karachi, recently.

Shareef A. Raheem (L), Area Manager Pakistan, Emirates Airlines, addressing a press conference to announce Emirates' special package for the Dubai Shopping Festival 2000. Also seen in the picture is Ken Marshall, Sales Manager Pakistan, Emirates Airlines.

NIT's Performance last Six months

National Investment Trust Unit price registered a rise of around 35% during the first half of the current fiscal year. The unit price which was Rs. 7.95 on July 1999, rose to Rs. 10.80 per unit as of December 1999, Mr. Istaqbal Mehdi Chairman & MD of National Investment Trust said while briefing the newsmen on Trust's performance during the last six months. He said that the total funds under management also increased from Rs. 14 billion to Rs. 19 billion during these six months while the unit price further improved and touched the barrier of Rs. 13.30 last week thus resulting in increase of value of funds under management to Rs. 23.6 billion.

The Chairman NIT said, that the Trust earned about Rs. 287 million only by selling shares above their prevailing market rates and a net income of Rs. 749 million during last six months.

He said that the credit of NITs performance is partly attributable to the improvement the stock market has witnessed during this period, and supplemented by various steps taken by the professional management which NIT has hired.

Mentioning the Management's efforts to ensure better returns to unit holders Mr. Istaqbal Mehdi said that NIT has successfully structured its portfolio by investing in sectors like fuel & energy (45%) and Chemical & Pharma (13%) which constitute 58% of the total portfolio and are the most lucrative sectors in terms of real growth. NIT is holding major shares in leading blue chips companies like PSO 20%, Shell 8%, Fauji Fertilizer 7% HUBCO 3% and PTCL 2%.

Chairman NIT said, that the Management has taken initiatives of introducing major structural changes when the investment market is witnessing an unprecedented growth. To further protect unit holder's interest NIT had applied to Security Exchange Corporation of Pakistan (SECP) for registration under the Asset Management Company rules. He mentioned that the request has been "in-principle" approved and now all the advertisements of the Trust are approved first by SECP thus removing any doubts of exaggerated claims.

To further increase the Unit holder's trust the Management he said has commenced an audit by external auditors who continuously audit sale and repurchase price of NIT units which is now NAV based.

Mr. Mehdi said that by introducing these changes the management has not only been able to recover its unit price and gain faith of its unit holders but it has also managed to recover a large portion of its loans which now stand at only 2% of the overall investments. After this recovery he said 98% of NlTs portfolio is now invested in shares of listed companies.

Taking into account the NITs six months performance the Chairman Mr. Istaqbal Mehdi indicated that the Trust will be paying a healthy dividend to the unit-holders for the current fiscal year.

Mr. Istaqbal Mehdi, Chairman-NIT also disclosed that NIT plans to launch two new funds in the near future. The first fund, namely NIT Privatization Fund, will cater to investors seeking dividends and capital appreciation from listed and unlisted companies up for privatization, and those investors with appetite for relatively higher risk and higher expected return potential. A series of closed-end Privatization Funds will be floated as financially sound companies become available for privatization. The fund will be munched with the following objectives: (i) broad - basing of ownership of state-owned /enterprises; (ii) assisting small savers to benefit from the privatization process; (iii) broadening the depth and breadth of the stock market; (iv) encouraging the privatization process; and (v) releasing funds to GoP prior to sale of strategic stake.

The NIT Income Fund will be the second fund that will cater to those investors who are conservative and looking for stability of principal along with a regular income stream. The fund will also be attractive to overseas Pakistanis who can assure a regular monthly income to their loved ones in Pakistan by investing in this fund. The Fund will invest in debt and regular income securities issue by the Federal Government, financial institutions and corporations. This will be an open-ended fund with an initial size of Rs 250 million.

Background of NIT (contd.)

NIT's Top 10 Holdings

Top 10 Holding % of Portfolio

PSO 20%

Shell Pak 8%

Fauji Fertilizer 7%

Sui Southern Gas 4%

National Refinery 4%

Sui Northern Gas Pipelines 3%

Hubco 3%


Nishat Mills 2%


Olympic Airways Now Over to Mercator's Rapid

Olympic Airways has cutover to a new revenue accounting system designed and implemented by Mercator, the Dubai-based provider of systems and solutions for the aviation industry and the IT subsidiary of Emirates Group. The system, branded Rapid by Mercator, and Socrates by Olympic, provides the latter with an integrated package of passenger and cargo revenue accounting, and will enable the airline to maximise profits.

The contract with Mercator was signed last year between Olympic's Chairman, Giorgos Zigoyannis, and Emirates' Chief Director Group Services, Gary Chapman.

First Women Bank Limited

During the visit of Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Ishrat Hussain to Head Office of the First Women Bank Ltd., last week, Miss Akram Khatoon, President of the Bank apprised him of the performance of the Bank and problem and constraints being faced by the management for which Governor State Bank promised to address to these issues. Governor also desired restructuring of the Bank itself and confirmed that for time being Privatization of the Bank has been postponed and it will continue to operate in Public sector for the present.

Intel unveils new technologies for PCs of tomorrow

Intel Corporation today showed a combination of technologies and initiatives designed to help fuel a new generation of business and consumer PCs.

Today's activities included the unveiling of concept PCs that "fit easily into your hand", the first-ever demonstration of a USB 2.0 product and an effort to advance PC graphics capabilities through the "Beyond AGP4x Initiative."

"The PC is evolving rapidly, not only in speed, but also in simplicity and style," said Pat Gelsinger, vice president, Intel Desktop Products Group. "Intel is working with the industry to deliver a wide range of new PCs for a new generation of Internet computing."

Gelsinger revealed the new PC technologies and initiatives in his joint keynote address with Intel Senior Vice President Albert Yu at the semi-annual Intel Developer Forum, the industry's premier technical event attended by more than 2000 developers from around the world.

James W. Jarrett, vice president intel corporation to visit Pakistan

James W. Jarrett, Vice President, Intel Corporation and President, Intel China will visit Pakistan to gauge the local e-commerce and Information Technology scenario.

During his stay from 22nd to 24th February, James Jarrett is expected to meet with senior Government officials, chief executives of leading commercial institutions and members of the media. He will also discuss Intel's role in promoting IT, e-commerce and Internet development in the country. Intel is the leading building block supplier to the worldwide Internet economy and is currently involved in various projects throughout the Asia-Pacific region to enhance deployment of technology.

James W. Jarrett, President of Intel PRC Corporation, is responsible for development and implementation of Intel's strategy in the Peoples' Republic of China. He also serves as the company's primary link to the government of China.

Jarrett serves on the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing, and the Board of Directors of the U.S. Information Technology Office. In 1996, he was co-recipient of the "Best Investor Relations Officer" award in a poll of financial analysts conducted by Investor Relations Magazine.

Intel ranks among the world's top 15 most valuable stocks, based on total market value. Intel is the world's largest chip maker and a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products.

NIT declares Rs. 0.55 interim dividend per unit

National Investment Trust has declared an interim dividend of Rs. 0.55 per unit for the first half of the current fiscal year ended on 31st December 1999, which will be equivalent to Rs. 100 Crore, this was stated by Mr. Istaqbal Mehdi Chairman & MD of National Investment Trust while briefing the newsmen on Trust's decision. he said that the Unit Price registered a rise of about 36% during the first half of the current fiscal year it was the unit holders turn to be compensated as the Trust had declared last year a very low dividend of just .47 paisa for the whole year.

NIT has earned over Rs. 300 million by selling shares above the market price in the first half of fiscal year 2000. He attributed NIT's remarkable performance to the professional management and improved performance of Stock Market. The NIT professionals took various steps to structure the portfolio and better strategic allocation of assets which alongwith increased unit price has maximised the return on the portfolio. As a result the Trust has been able to pay an interim dividend of Rs. 0.55 per unit for the first half of current fiscal year, he observed.

Mr. Mehdi said that the dividend is only being paid on an interim basis and full dividend on the basis of Turst's performance will be announced after the end of current fiscal year. He is confident that NIT will be able to pay a good final dividend as well in June, 2000. Unprecedented measures have been taken by the Trust's management to further strengthen the Unit-holders confidence and attract more investments in order to enhance the portfolio.

Emirates Announces US $ 99 Special Package for DSF 2000

Dubai Shopping Festival 2000 (DSF 2000) kicks off on March 1 as a month-long extravaganza of entertainment and unbeatable retail discounts. This year's festival - the fifth in the series - focuses the theme of Mother with love - and launches the first on-line shopping facility across the globe.

Emirates, a major sponsor of the annual DSF, makes it even more attractive with great value packages, discount on inflight telecommunications charges and excess baggage allowance for passengers.

at a press conference in Karachi, Emirates Manager Pakistan, Shareef A. Raheem, said "Emirates Holidays, our leisure division, has released an irresistible package. For just US $ 99 per person, our clients get deluxe hotel accommodation for three nights with daily breakfasts. We include arrival meet-and-assist, transfers and will also provide an exclusive shopping discount card".

During the Dubai Shopping Festival month, Emirates Airlines has also slashed inflight telecom charges, making a phone call or sending a fax on board Emirates' flights will cost passengers just US $ 3.50 per minute - down from the standard US $ 6.50 rate.

Also during the DSF, all Emirates passengers will be entitled to an additional 10 kg of baggage allowance on departure from Dubai.

DSF's online shopping site - mydsf.com - presents a unique opportunity to shoppers worldwide to take advantage of the super retail discounts in Dubai without actually making the trip to the emirate.

This e-initiative will cast the net wider for the already successful festival, which this year is expected to draw in more than three million visitors.

IBA & US publishers collaborate to promote e-commerce

The Center for Computer Studies, IBA Karachi in keeping with its tradition of continuous interaction with the business world, has collaborated with US Publishers to gain vast and extensive knowledge of their research, development and marketing techniques. This will also promise new ideas for generating business strategies and promotion of e-commerce.

The incubator will consist of several groups of students working on different projects who will develop these ideas into venture and extending their knowledge of Business and Information Technology in collaboration with US Publishers. This is part of ongoing effort of CCS-IBA & US Publishers to top e-commerce potential and to increase exports in order to contribute to the development of Pakistan's economy. These projects will open up new avenues in the areas of entrepreneurship on the Internet and development of market strategies for these new ventures. This would help promote the concept of e-commerce in Pakistan for which IBA has been researching for a year and also plans to hold a conference of e-commerce this year in March where it is going to present its recommendations.