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Apr 09 - 15, 2001

UBL to set up Booths in Post Offices, MOU signed

United Bank Limited (UBL) will open its counters at selected branches of the Pakistan Post Office to provide basic financial services to the "un-banked" areas of the country, which will be manned by UBL staff under its exclusive supervision.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in this regard was signed jointly by UBL President, Amar Zafar Khan and Director General, Pakistan Post Office, Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) Agha Masood Hasan.

Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) Agha Masood Hasan, while expressing his views on this unique arrangement said, "We have signed this MOU with the vision of providing banking services to the bank-less people of our country. Initially this facility will be available at over 350 post offices and our goal is to extend it to every post office in Pakistan."

Speaking on the occasion, Amar Zafar Khan said, "By opening these booths in remote areas, we will be able to provide basic financial services besides generating employment opportunities in the rural areas. Post office is one of the unrecognized jewels in the government sector. It has 48,000 employees delivering millions of letters at no burden to the tax-payer, as the post office is a profitable institution." He also said that UBL has placed high priority on this project and it has demonstrated the greatest desire amongst the Nationalized Commercial Banks (NCBs) to turnaround and commercialize the bank which is evident from improving customer service, by developing technology and communication vision as well as generating a profit of Rs. 1.4 billion in the year 2000.

Citibank and Pak-Suzuki Renew Successful Partnership

Citibank is the preferred financier for all Pak-Suzuki automobiles financing through the Suzuki Car Financing label. The two companies renewed their strategic alliance. Customers opting for Suzuki Car Financing get the advantages of priority delivery and value-added benefits that no other financing company provides.

Shell Pakistan Limited

The Board of Directors of Shell Pakistan Limited has appointed Mr. Farooq Rahmatullah as Chairman and Chief Executive of the Company with effect from 30th March 2001. In this capacity, he will also be Chairman of Shell Gas Limited and on the Board of Directors of Pakistan Refinery Limited and Shell Development Offshore Pakistan B.V. Mr. Rahmatullah has been with Shell since 1st March 1968 - his last posting was as Operations Director. He has succeeded Mr. David M. Weston, who will now be based in London, heading Shell's Global Aviation business.

Al F. Barry, New President for Mobilink

The Mobilink Board of Directors appointed Mr. Al F. Barry as President and CEO of Mobilink the leader of the cellular business in Pakistan on March 29, 2001. Mr. Barry has been and will continue to be a member of Mobilink's Board of Directors.

Mr. Barry recently had several important portfolios within Orascom Telecom the largest Middle East and African Operator, the holding company of Mobilink. His last position was Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Orascom Telecom Group. Mr. Barry has an extensive and rich experience with various multinational fortune five hundred companies in the United States at senior levels. He was instrumental in preparing Orascom Telecom for its Initial Public Offering in July 2000 and listing the company on London Stock Exchange as well as Cairo and Alexandria Stock Exchanges.

Orascom Telecom operates 20 GSM network licenses in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. "We at Orascom Telecom are convinced of the tremendous opportunity and growth potential in the Pakistan telecom market, we did it before in Egypt, a very similar market, similar culture and similar wonderful people, and will do it again in Pakistan" said Al F. Barry the new president. " I am personally convinced with the new stability brought by the current regime and the caliber of government officials appointed to restore the confidence of the international investor, Pakistan with 140 million people is one of the most promising markets in the region".

"Under the new dynamic leadership, Mobilink is set towards providing the best services through state of the art technology and unique value added services for its customers." said Mr. Javed Saifullah Khan, Chairman and shareholder of Mobilink. "The Government of Pakistan delivered its promise on implementing Calling Party Pays last December, which stimulated the telecom market and made the service more and more affordable". Orascom Telecom is committed to support Mobilink's operations to maintain its leadership position. Mr. Khan and Orascom Telecom are also looking at other opportunities in the telecom and IT sectors in Pakistan.

Pakistani banker honoured

The Academic Council of the Institute of Islamic Banking & Insurance, London, has awarded fellowship to Aftab A. Siddiqi, Vice President, United Bank Limited.

Siddiqi, who heads the Islamic Banking Department at the head office of United Bank Limited in Karachi, has rich experience in domestic and international banking and it is an honour for a Pakistani banker to be awarded fellowship by the London-based Institute of Islamic Banking & Insurance.

Engro responds to levy of GST

The Government of Pakistan, in keeping with its commitment to international financial agencies, has levied General Sales Tax (GST) on Urea fertilizers effective April 1, 2001. The Government desired that the fertilizer industry absorb the GST so that the market price of Urea did not increase at a time when the country's agriculture was suffering from drought conditions. Engro Chemical Pakistan Ltd, after due regard to the current difficulty of the farmers, decided to support the Government's position by not increasing the price of Engro Urea for the time being. As a consequence, the company profit margin is estimated to reduce by Rs. 220/ ton before tax. The impact of the GST would have been much bigger, but for the fact that the company has already been absorbing sizable GST on its raw materials (e.g., packaging material, etc.) even prior to the current levy of GST on its finished product.

Intel hits key milestone

Intel Corporation has completed production of its first silicon chips from its 0.13 micron technology, 300 millimeter (mm) wafer development fab. Named D1C, this factory is the first in the industry to produce fully functional computer chips built using advanced 0.13 micron process technology on the new, larger 300 mm wafers. This milestone keeps Intel on track to bring chips built on these advanced technologies into the marketplace at the beginning of next year.

"Intel is the first in the industry to complete silicon using advanced 0.13 micron technology on 300 mm wafers," said Sunlin Chou, Intel's senior vice president and general manager of its Technology and Manufacturing Group. "For Intel, this accomplishment represents the beginning of a new era in cost-effective, high-volume manufacturing. For our customers, it means great products, great technology and increased availability in the future."

"Intel expects chips produced on 300 mm wafers to cost 30 per cent less than those made using the smaller wafers," said Tom Garrett, Intel's 300 mm Program manager. "By shrinking the circuit lines to 0.13 microns and increasing the wafer size to 300 mm, we are able to quadruple the output of a standard factory operating today."

Allied Bank introduces revolutionary "Allied Tahaffuz Deposit Scheme"

Allied Bank announces a revolutionary scheme under the name of "Allied Tahaffuz Deposit Scheme". This takes effect from 9th April, 2001. Special features of this scheme are that the depositor gets Insurance Cover equal to five times of the amount deposited. Excellent monthly profit is also paid on deposits, whereas the premium of this Insurance Cover would be paid by Allied Bank. This scheme is available to persons between the ages of 18 to 64 years.

In order to bring the scheme to the doorstep of common man Allied Bank conducted a one day Seminar in their Training Academy. The guest of honour Mr. Naveed Masud, Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) inaugurated the Seminar and projected its important features to the participants. Mr. Safar I. Malik, Chief of Business Promotion Division while addressing the participants gave a detailed description of the benefits of this scheme to the depositors. Mr. Mahmood H. Khan, Chief Training Division was also present on the occasion.