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Sep 10 - 16, 2001

Waqas Bashir, a brilliant 14-year old Pakistani from Lahore achieved the unique distinction of becoming one of the youngest persons in the world to complete the challenging Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) qualification, recently. Acquired from the institute of RITE System Pakistan, Lahore, Waqas has indeed reflected extraordinary acumen for attaining significant strides in the field of information technology.

Habib Rafiq Technologies Embark On First Mission

Habib Rafiq Technologies, a subsidiary of the Habib Rafiq Group, has recently kicked-off its proposed Information Technology Education Program with the launch of LINCS, (Lahore Institute of Networking and Computer Sciences.)

The Institute has already been launched while its official inauguration is expected in the first week of October, this year. The project, LINCS, is backed by CISCO, the world leader in Networking Solutions. LINCS is the first Lahore-based institution to be backed and authorised by CISCO, as CISCO ACADEMY, with fully equipped practice lab.

This will be an opportunity of a lifetime for the people of Lahore who are well known for their enthusiasm in IT. Lahore has been repeatedly termed as Pakistan's Software Capital for contributing 70 per cent of Pakistan's total software production and exports. The institute will also, be providing other unique features in Pakistan for the first time.

Intel to provide additional support

Intel Corporation introduced a program designed to help developers successfully build and market wireless applications, services and devices.

To enable the growing developer community around the Intel® Personal Internet Client Architecture (Intel PCA), the Intel PCA Developer Network offers wireless companies development, technical and marketing support—including access to more than 300 tools —for designing cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and other mobile Internet devices and applications supporting Intel PCA. More than 200 companies are participating in the network, including AT&T Wireless, Compaq Computer Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company, Palm, Inc. and Symbian.

Clipsal Pakistan Inauguration

The provincial Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said that the government was making all efforts to usher in much-needed foreign investment in the country and locals would have a special treatment for industrial joint ventures.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by Clipsal Pakistan to mark its inception, Sindh Finance Minister said that the provincial government would give every support to those who bring in offshore investment in the shape of joint ventures.

He hoped that Clipsal Pakistan with its specialty and expertise in providing international standard electrical products including hardware networking would cater for the needs of development being witnessed in the Information Technology (IT) Sector in Pakistan.

Referring to Clipsal Pakistan, Sindh Finance Minister said that the project, first in its kind in Pakistan, would help save precious foreign exchange being spent on imports of electrical and IT networking accessories. Pakistan spent around $150 million on imports of such items annually.

On commenting on the creation of the Pakistan-Australian joint venture Mr. Beardsley confirmed the Australian Government's commitment to support the continuing development of commercial relations between Australia and Pakistan. He said Australia and Pakistan had very close friendly ties and he hoped that other Aussie companies would come to Pakistan for joint ventures.

Earlier, in his welcome Speech CEO Clipsal Pakistan Pervez H Madraswala said that the project aimed at fulfilling the varied domestic requirements at par with international standards.

He said Clipsal Pakistan also has an alliance with M/s R.STAHL, a German company specialized in equipments for hazardous location, and the international Molex group, which is specialized in the field of voice and data structured cabling.

Chehlum of Shaukat Mirza

The Management and the employees of Engro Chemical Pakistan Ltd held a condolence meeting at the Cornpany's plant site at Daharki on August 31st in memory of the late Chairman Mr. Shaukat Raza Mirza who fell victim of terrorism and was assassinated in Karachi on July 26, 2001.

Quran Khawani was held and Fateha was offered for the esal-e-sawab of the departed soul. The employees have been recalling the landmark achievements of Engro under the visionary leadership of Mr. Mirza who made phenomenal contributions towards the growth of Company which he served for more than thirty years.

The employees were very appreciative of the Government's gesture of awarding Sitara-e-Imtiaz to Mr. Shaukat Mirza, however, they are concerned over the killing of innocent and distinguished citizens like the late Mr. Mirza and hope that the authorities will track down the criminals and give them exemplary punishment.

JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited upgrade the entity ratings of MCB

JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited is pleased to upgrade the entity ratings of MCB from A+ to AA- (Double A Minus) for medium to long-term and from A-1 to A-1+ (A One Plus) for the short term. By virtue of this upgrade, the preliminary ratings of MCB's proposed subordinated TFCs of Rs 2.5b has also been upgraded to A+ (A Plus) from a (Single A). The outlook on these ratings is 'Stable'.

The upgrade is based on significant improvement in the bank's profitability on account of increased markup income, fuelled by improved spreads in the first half of FY 2001. Substantial growth was observed in the bank's deposit base during the period under consideration. Also, further provisions have been made improving coverage against the bank's non-performing advances. MCB has impressively demonstrated its ability to continually employ information technology to improve front-end banking and has earned itself the image of a progressive bank.

JCR-VIS will continue to monitor the bank's profitability, its ability to generate non-markup revenues and its efforts to bolster its equity to sustain future growth.

Domestic Banks play vital role in economic development

The NWFP Governor Lt. General (R) Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah has said that the role of commercial banks in the development of economic base of the country could not be ignored.

He said this while talking to high ups of the Muslim Commercial Bank after inaugurating the newly constructed MCB Cantt. Branch on Thursday.

President of MCB Aftab Manzoor was also present on the occasion.

The NWFP Governor said, utility of the commercial banks in the promotion of national economy was of paramount importance and sound banking system ensured stability of the economy. The bank worked under a set mechanism, he added.

General Iftikhar said, the present government was taking every fiscal step in the larger interest of the nation. He also appreciated the role of commercial banks which helped 174 million US dollar export from the NWFP during the last year.

He contended that economic activity generated in the country through expanded and sound banking system.

On a point raised by a trader leader on the occasion, the NWFP Governor replied that no hue and cry should be made over merger of the NDFC with National Bank of Pakistan. The depositors' money would be fully protected, he assured.

Earlier, President of MCB briefed the Governor NWFP about the role of the MCB in the uplift of the industrial and trading base of the province.

The Governor also went round various sections of the newly constructed MCB Cantt. branch which is fully equipped with latest banking system like ATM etc.

The inaugural ceremony was largely attended by the people belonging to cross section of the society including businessmen, traders, and high officials of the MCB. The Governor inaugurated the branch after unveiling the plaque.