Playing a leading role in the promotion of IT culture in Pakistan

Jan 22 - 28, 2001

Pak Libya Holding Company (Pvt.) Limited is among the leading joint venture DFIs in Pakistan, which is playing a leading role in the promotion of IT culture in Pakistan, in pursuance of its overall objective of supplementing economic development of Pakistan. Pak-Libya, a leading joint venture financial institution in Pakistan, between the Governments of Libya and Pakistan, established on October 14, 1980 has an authorized capital of Rs.4.0 billion. The Company has witnessed a remarkable growth in its operations in the recent past, which has been demonstrated by expansion of its Balance Sheet, profitability as well as diversity of its operations. The Company had an original subscribed equity capital of Rs.1.0 billion, shared equally between the two Governments, wherein the total employed capital including reserves has more than doubled since inception and currently stands at Rs.2.1 billion. In addition, the Company has paid a cumulative dividend of Rs.1.9 billion since its inception. The dividend payout since inception is thus nearly twice the subscribed capital of the Company.

Pak-Libya's major areas of operations include Project Financing, Investment Banking and Merchant Banking. The Company's investment and financing operations encompass both fund-based and non-fund based activities. Since its inception, the major focus of Pak-Libya's activities has been financing of industrial development in the private sector. Pak Libya has made tangible contribution towards financing of industrial development in Pakistan. Financial assistance has since been provided to a number of projects pertaining to a cross section of important industrial sectors including Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Fertilizers, Engineering Goods, Oil & Gas, Energy, Financial Sector, Services, etc. The Company has so far made gross cumulative sanctions of Rs. 9.4 billion (including both local and foreign currency investments) to over 300 projects. Of the cumulative gross sanctions, a sum of Rs. 2.4 billion has since been fully repaid. In line with present Government's policy of financing export oriented industries, Pak-Libya is providing long term project financing support to various viable projects particularly in their Balancing, Modernization and Replacement BMR plans. The Company is also playing an important role in the area of Capital Market and resource mobilization though listed instruments of finance.

Pak Libya's present Management has, over the last couple of years, taken a number of bold decisions, which have given fundamental strength to Pak Libya's Corporate Goal, improvement in its profitability, diversification of its operations and enhanced its market image and has ensured that the Company is now working on a well documented and computer aided environment. Some of the major steps undertaken by the present Management included revision and improvement of Pak Libya's Charter, diversification of operations, resource mobilization, introduction of effective internal control system, establishment/re-activation of subsidiary companies, promotion of Information Technology, computerization, introduction of digital archiving, Credit Rating, etc. With the accomplishment of these tasks, Pak Libya not only enjoys today an "AA" Band Credit Rating but has also engaged Moody's International for award of ISO-9002 Certification.

Realizing the largely untapped IT potential that lies in Pakistan and as part of its commitment to develop and broaden the base of Pakistan's growing Information Technology sector, Pak-Libya is playing a pioneering role in promotion of Information Technology talent, industry and culture in the country. Pak Libya had earlier sponsored an Information Technology Company, which has not only expanded in promotion of IT education with very strong international affiliations but has also entered into the area of software development. Pak Libya has also taken the initiative of promoting the first IT specific Venture Capital Fund in the name of "PakVenCap.com Limited" (Website: www.PakVenCap.com). This fund aims at creating an incubator for budding IT professionals, students, amateurs and entrepreneurs who might have a unique product/idea but because of lack of financial support, the idea could not become a reality. By promoting the IT sector, Pak-Libya wants it to eventually contribute handsomely to the Pakistani exports, generate new employment opportunities and eventually make Pakistan a force to reckon with on the global IT scene. PakVencap.com is essentially envisaged to promote and support IT professionalism and entrepreneurship through identifying, incubating and eventually commercializing Software Technology (SOFTECH) projects in Pakistan. Pak Libya had also sponsored a 'Talent Hunt Scheme' to identify and assist I.T. students, amateurs, professionals and budding I.T. entrepreneurs to convert their nascent projects into real life applications by providing venture capital financing to deserving projects. The idea got a very encouraging response from the participants. The technical and financial feasibilities of the submitted projects are being evaluated to short list viable projects.

The size of the Venture Capital Fund is proposed to be Rs. 250 million. The said fund would be the first of its kind in Pakistan, which would promote venture capital enterprises in the I.T. Sector. PakVencap.com is being floated in association/sponsorship with various other financial institutions. Other financial institutions are gradually expressing their interest to join the promotion of the venture fund. Although PakVenCap.com Limited is still in the process of incorporation pending finalization of Venture Capital Rules by the SECP, it has already initiated its soft opening by encouraging and promoting two IT Venture projects i.e. PakBusinessPortal.com (a Business Portal) and Ajrak.com (a Search Engine). Both these IT Venture projects were launched on September 7, 2000 by the Sindh Governor, Mr. Mohammadmian Soomro in an impressive ceremony held at a local hotel. Both have already witnessed remarkable success.

Pak Libya's bold initiative to float its IT Venture Capital Company was also appreciated by the Finance Minister, Mr. Shaukat Aziz and the Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Ishrat Hussain, during their meeting with Pak Libya management. The Finance Minister and the Governor, State Bank of Pakistan fully encouraged Pak-Libya on its planned Venture Capital Fund. While assuring the government's support, the Finance Minister desired that the said proposal be submitted by Pak-Libya to Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) for the early completion of the necessary formalities. The said proposal has since been approved by the SECP and PakVenCap.com Limited is under incorporation pending finalization of Venture Capital Rules by the SECP.

PakVencap.com is also actively participating in the ITCN ASIA 2001, an international IT Exhibition and Conference being held in Pakistan from 24-26 March, 2001 and is also putting-up a stall at the exhibition. ITCN ASIA 2001 would be the biggest-ever International IT Exhibition and Conference to be held in Pakistan and is designed to be one-stop meeting place for trade matching of the global and the regional IT players with decision makers from business and government sector.

Mr. Zaigham Mahmood Rizvi, Managing Director, Pak Libya is the Chairman of the Information Technology Sub-Committee of Pakistan Banks Association. The Sub-Committee is presently working on a number of areas pertaining to promotion of Information Technology in the Banking Sector.