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Jan 29 - Feb 04, 2001

Intel Presents First University Computer Lab

Christian Morales, Vice President, Intel Corporation and General Manager, Asia-Pacific announced Intel's donation of a computer lab to the National University of Science & Technology (NUST).

The lab is composed of more than thirty high performance Intel Pentium III® processor-based workstation, a suite of Intel networking products and an Intel Xeon® server.

It is seen as an important step towards preparing students through access to globally leading technologies to help Pakistan adopt technology and become leaders within the global Internet economy.

"As one of the world's leading technology companies, Intel is deeply committed to science, math and technology education. We must put the best tools in the halids of our youth and provide them with the best education possible, " Mr Morales said.

"Technology access is integral to giving young people the broadest possible career choices and preparation for the increasingly technology rich future, " added Kamil F Hasan, Area Sales Manager & Country Head, Intel Pakistan Corporation. Lt. General (Retd.) Syed Shujaat Hussain HI (M), TBt, Rector NUST said that the university is grateful to Intel. "The support from the government and corporations such as Intel, has been in-strumental in our endeavors to promote information technology. Intel in particular has showed their leadership amongst corporate Pakistan by taking active steps to assist us to provide the latest equipment & technology to our students."

World Gold Council (WGC) Appoints Syed Faisal Hashmi as Consultant for Pakistan

The World Gold Council has appointed Syed Faisal Hashmi as Consultant for Pakistan, effective November 16, 2000. It was announced by Moaz A. Barakat, Regional Director, WGC in Dubai recently.

Faisal Hashmi who brings with him rich marketing experience having worked with a multinational company, will oversee WGC's marketing and promotional plans in Pakistan and strive to strengthen trade relations with the jewellery industry and relevant government offices.

Furthermore, Faisal's scope of work will entail widening the market base, introducing innovative promotional and marketing activities; and continuing with WGC's many success stories in Pakistan, including the Gold-Hee-Gold festival, the Zargalli Design Contest and Trade seminars and meetings.

The World Gold Council is an international organization formed and funded by the leading gold mining companies from around the world, to increase the demand for gold. The 27 countries monitoring Gold Demand Trends account for approximately 80% of global gold demand.

Cathay Pacific Releases December Traffic Figures

Cathay Pacific Airways carried more than one million passengers in December — the highest in five months — ending 2000 on a strong note. This increased the total number of passengers carried by the airline during 2000 to 11.9 million, the highest number in its history. In 1999, the airline carried 10.5 million.

In December Cathay Pacific also transported 65,203 tonnes of cargo and mail. This was down slightly from the 72,266 tonnes carried in November, reflecting the general slowdown typical of the Christmas period. For 2000 as a whole, the airline carried 769,075 tonnes of cargo, also a record high.

Cathay Pacific's General Manager Network Revenue Ian Shiu said: "2000 was a highly successful year for Cathay Pacific both in terms of passenger and cargo operations. The record result in both areas was due to the growth in demand around our network and the hard work of all of our staff."

Karachi Sheraton introduces Classic Lounge

The Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers, in its efforts to continuously improve the facilities and services provided by them to its resident guests, recently introduced a casual lounge for all the guests staying on the hotel's Classic Floors. Catering to all rooms are located from the 1st floor to 4th floor — i.e. the Classic Floors — the lounge is located on the second floor.

The "Classic Lounge" offers self service complimentary tea/coffee with light snacks round the clock. During their stay the Karachi Sheraton guests can just come and relax in the lounge, read from a selection of newspapers and magazines available there, watch TV or simply unwind with a game of chess or scrabble. Not just that, the lounge is an ideal place to hold meetings and serious business discussions, away from the casual surroundings of ones room.

"We at the Karachi Sheraton try our best to anticipate even the smallest expectation of our guests and then standing out in the industry with the fulfilment of those expectations," says Mr. Thomas van Opstal, General Manager, Karachi Sheraton Hotel & Towers.

Hilinks joins hands with Reuters

Hilinks.com of Pakistan and world's leading news agency Reuters have signed an agreement that will enable Pakistanis here and abroad to avail Reuters international information products such as real time news and market data across the equities, foreign exchange and money markets on "hilinks.com".

Amer Nazir CEO E-Tech Group which owns hilinks.com and Javed Faruqui, Country Manager, Reuters Limited signed the agreement recently in Karachi. Capt. Irfan Ajmal, Director Hilinks was also present at the signing.

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd., (Karachi Branch)

Rates of return on pls deposits for the half year ended July- December, 2000.

Nature of deposits

Rate (Per Annum)

Special Notice Deposits


7 to 29 days notice


30 Days and Over Notice


Saving Accounts


Current Deposit


Profit Plus Account


Term Deposits


3 months


6 months


1 year


Corporate Investment a/c.


90 days


180 days


Sheikh Javaid Appointed as life member of FPCCI

Sheikh Javaid, an eminent businessman and a social worker has been appointed as life Member of FPCCI. Sheikh Javaid has been associated with Trade Body activities since late 70s and extended valuable contribution to trade while serving on various committees established by KCCI and FPCCI. Besides, Sheikh Javaid had been elected as Director, Vice Chairman and Chairman of Pakistan Shippers' Council (PSC) of FPCCI. PSC is one of the most popular and active forums dedicated to serve the Trade and Industry specially the Exports Trade. During his tenure as Chairman PSC, he successfully conducted some very beneficial international workshops and seminars in collaboration with United Nations.

He had the honour to be the Chairman of ASCOBIPS i.e. Association of Shippers' Councils of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka during 1986-88.

Sheikh Javaid had also served as Member Port Council of KPT for several years. He was the Convenor of Documentary Reforms Task Force established jointly by World Bank and the Karachi Port Trust (KPT).

Presently, Mr. Sheikh is serving the trade as Director PSC of FPCCI and as elected Chairman of Export Processing Zones' Investors' Council (EPZIC). Sheikh Javaid is a notable orator and a well known columnist, widely covered both by print and electronic media.

UBL to hold budget & planning meeting

The senior management of United Bank Limited met at the Head Office on 25th and 26th January to discuss and finalize the strategies and action plans for 2001/2003.

The meeting reviewed the milestones reached and progress made by the bank during the year 2000 and presented Specific Action Budget for the year 2001. The plan for the years 2002-03 also submitted during the presentations The meeting reviewed the progress against various infrastructure reforms implemented recently like Central & Satellite Branches, Regional Credit Administration/Risk Management and Internal Control Units.

All the Business Heads, Regional Chief Executives from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Multan, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Azad Kashmir, Sialkot, Quetta & Hyderabad and Regional Operations Heads participated in the two-day presentations.

Once finalized, the budget and the plans shall be presented to the Board of Directors for approval.

MCB — Recovers Rs. 2.000 billion in the year 2000

Muslim Commercial Bank made cash recoveries of unprecedented Rs. 2 billion during the year 2000 of stuck-up loans and has thus broken all previous records of yearly cash recoveries.

A function was held at Special Assets Management Group office to review recovery activities and to distribute Cash Awards, Shields and Certificates among the staff performers. Mr. Mohammad Aftab Manzoor, President, Muslim Commercial Bank was the Chief Guest.

Mr. Shahid Sattar, Head of SAMG attributed this success to the team work and dedicated efforts of the field staff. He disclosed the year 2000 cash recovery of Rs. 2 billion was 53% higher than the corresponding period of last year when the bank recovery was Rs. 1.3 billion. He pointed out that out of this cash recovery of Rs. 2 billion 67% was in the Loss/Doubtful category, thus contributing significantly towards Bank's earnings.

Mr. Shahid Sattar added that Muslim Commercial Bank branches as well as dedicated employees in the Special Assets Management Group had contributed a great deal towards this achievement and enjoyed full support of the Chairman, Mian Muhammad Mansha and the President, Mohammad Aftab Manzoor in their endeavours.

Mr. Muhammad Aftab Manzoor, President, Muslim Commercial Bank speaking on the occasion that recovery of stuck up loans was a very difficult job and Bank fully appreciated the hard work done by SAMG and other field staff. He added that this performance was all the more creditable in view of the depressed market conditions. He hoped SAMG will continue its good work in future as well.

MCB is the largest private Bank of the country with a network of over 1200 branches and operates the largest nation wide network of ATMs. It offers a full range of products and services catering to various segments of the market.

NBP Signs Rs. 3 billion Term Finance (TFC) Deal

National Bank of Pakistan has entered into an agreement with Sui Southern Gas Co. Ltd. for arranging and advising the gas company's term finance certificate issue of Rs. 3 billion.

National Bank of Pakistan has joined hands with Standard Chartered Bank and Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari & Co. Ltd. to from a consortium for the financing arrangements. The proceeds of this issue will be utilized to finance a portion of the company's Gas Infrastructure Expansion Project.

Sui Southern Gas Co. intends to go for shelf-registration of Rs. 3 billion for its TFC issue out of which the first tranche will be of Rs. 1 billion, which is expected to be launched by end of March 2001. This issue shall be SSGC's second, the first having matured successfully in October 2000.

The signing ceremony of the agreement took place at National Bank of Pakistan's auditorium, at NBP's head office, and was attended by Managing Director of Sui Southern Gas Company, Mr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Senior Representative of Standard Chartered Group, Mr. Azhar Hamid Chief Executive Officer of Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari & Co. Ltd., Mr. Nadir Rahman and the President of National Bank of Pakistan, S. Ali Raza.

President of National Bank S. Ali Raza speaking on this occasion said "National Bank of Pakistan has served as the engine of growth for the private and public sector in the past and this transaction will also significant in terms of its impact".

National Bank of Pakistan is the country's largest commercial bank, while Standard Chartered Group is the largest foreign bank operating in Pakistan. Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari & Co. Ltd., the local affiliate of Merril Lynch, is a leading securities house, which has been a four-time recipient of the Euromoney award for "Best Domestic Securities Firm".

PTC reflects confidence in the Pakistan market

Pakistan Tobacco Company Limited (PTC) is delighted to announce that it has successfully concluded a large recapitalization programme in the form of a Right Issue for US $ 40 million (Rs. 2.2 billion).

The total amount of US$ 40 million was received from a combination of existing shareholders and the underwriter, British American Tobacco Investments Limited, the major shareholder in PTC and a wholly owned subsidiary of British American Tobacco plc.

This huge investment in foreign exchange from British American Tobacco plc, in an economic environment that has not attracted any significant foreign investment in the recent past, is again a clear indicator of its commitment to Pakistan.

British American Tobacco plc is the second-largest tobacco company in the world, operating in 180 countries and employing more than 100,000 people worldwide.

PTC currently sells about 22 billion cigarettes per annum, which represents around 38% of the Pakistan cigarette market. Over 80,000 people are directly dependent on PTC for their livelihood.

PTC is the signal largest contributor to the National Exchequer outside the oil sector in terms of Excise and Sales Tax, contributing around Rs. 10 billion in 2000. During the past five years, PTC has paid over Rs. 45 billion in taxes, whilst making cumulative losses of around Rs. 1.6 billion.

In recent years, the legitimate sector of the tobacco industry in Pakistan has been confronted with major problems which include:

The high incidence of Excise duty & Sales tax (at almost eighty per cent on premium brands).

The low selling price of cigarettes in Pakistan, often at a fraction of average global cigarette prices.

Free availability of tax-evaded and smuggled cigarettes, which makes it very difficult to raise prices without an adverse impact on sales.

Unsastable sales volumes that have resulted from a growth in smuggling, tax evasion, and counterfeit products.

As a consequence, during the last five years PTC's financial performance has faltered and dividends have not been paid.

However, due to the government's strong administrative measures during the last few months, the incidence of excise evasion has declined to a current level of about 8% from around 16% in 1999.

Despite the background above, PTC's ultimate major shareholder, British American Tobacco plc, remains fully committed to its investment in Pakistan and has continued to invest in the Company and its people. In recent years, in addition to the Right Issue, over Rs. 1 billion has been invested in PTC's factories to increase capacity and improve product quality even further.

The Right Issue is a part of an overall strategy to transform and re-invigorate PTC. The funds generated from the Right Issue will be used in the following manner:

Further invest in PTC's brands to support its marketing activity.

Support a focused capital investment programme to enhance productivity and product quality.

Restructure PTC to meet current and future business needs. It is expected that after the restructuring is complete the Company will be in a significantly improved competitive position.

IBA director vows to make CCS best centre for IT education in Pakistan

A welcome dinner for the new batches of BBA (MIS), BCS (Hons.) and MBA (MIS) was organized by the BITS Club of IBA on Saturday. The new director of IBA, Dr. Javed Ashraf who has recently returned from Canada, in his address to the students said that acquiring the best computing facilities for the computer labs and an excellent faculty were on the top of his agenda. He promised that soon Centre for Computer Studies of IBA would become the best institute of IT education in Pakistan.

The Vice President of BITS Club, Nasir Hussain Khadim gave the welcome address. The General Secretary Salman A. Khan also later outlined the activities and the philosophy of the Business and Information Technology Students (BITS) Club. Later, all secretaries of the club were introduced to the new batches.

The event was organized by the social committee headed by Afsheen Bakhshi. Raheel Pasha was the chief organizer.

SITE Association of Industry

Prof. Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman, Federal Minister for Science & Technology was delighted to note the keen interest of the members of SITE Association of Industry in Information Technology. He fully supported the views of members of SITE Association of Industry that the flawless telecommunication system is the pre-condition for operation of Information Technology. He said that the communication ministry is working under him and he can direct the concerns to upgrade the system in SITE area on modern lines. As regards delay in sanctioning ISDN connections the Minister took a serious note of it and said that the list of such subscribers might be forwarded to him for the needful at his end. He said that he would see the connections are provided to the subscribers required ISDN facility for e-commerce within 7 days. He said that he had already ordered the PTCL authorities in this regard.

Mr. Muhammad Munir Suria, Chairman, Information Technology proposed that "SITE Information Technology Association" be set up in which the Federal Minister will be Honorary Life Chairman.

Mr. Imran Shaukat, Co-Chairman, Information Technology Sub-Committee covered the following points:

Introduction of SITE role in the field of Information Technology

  • SITE is 1st in offering public private partnership, for example Polytechnic Institute Management Committees were formed by the invitations of sole.

  • SITE was the first to call on the Government for Information Technology Park and 50 acres of land (No execution ever since).

  • Already 15-20 members have invested in IT in one shape or the other.

  • Hurdles in the progress of developing IT

  • Absence of an broad board IT policy

  • Absence of an Information Technology Act.

  • Absence of sense of and application of IT within the government sectors.
  • Govt. is the biggest spender and employer

  • Harassment on copy right in the absence of adaptable regulations
  • Absence of efficient communication Infrastructure

  • Absence of IT education at Primary and Secondary level.
  • In-efficient Software Export Board and Govt. Testing, Training Bodies.
  • Expensive IT education at the Behest of Regularities fee.


  • Non credibility of local boards

  • Mismanagement of local training boards

  • Obsolete syllabus

  • Aggressive marketing of Quality Software on a National Level


  • An elaborate and guiding IT policy should be formulated giving direction to the Investor.
  • A comprehensive IT Ordinance to be promulgated giving cover and legal protection.

  • Training programs for the Govt. Employees should be announced on public private partnership basis.

  • A future target must be set in transferring manual system and database to electronic media.

Chairman EPB visits Pak-Libya to discuss exports prospects to Libya

Pak-Libya Holding Co. (Pvt.) Ltd. invited Mr. Tariq Ikram, Chairman Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) for a presentation on the International Trade Prospects between Pakistan & Libya. Mr. Zaigham Mahmood Rizvi, Managing Director, Pak-Libya briefed him on the progress made for promoting bi-lateral trade between Pakistan & Libya and other African Region countries for Pakistani products and commodities.

Pak-Libya Holding Co. (Pvt.) Ltd., promoted specialized trading company namely Union International (Pvt.) Ltd on the concept of International Trading House (ITH).

Union International is maintaining a comprehensive database of local and international suppliers of a variety of Pakistani as well as non-Pakistani products, with the aim to become an information-intensive, value-creating enterprise. This would enable it to cater exportable products/commodities like Rice, Wheat, Sesame seeds, Textile items etc.

Union International is not a primary exporter but is functioning as a Facilitator/Agent/Export House for various exporters in the country who are or would be interested in exporting their products to this very promising market. Thus it is not a competitor with other Pakistani companies.

Union International has carried out a comprehensive market study for the market potential of Pakistani exportable products in North African Countries and has identified Libya as the gateway to North African markets.

Union International's research shows that Libya is the richest country in North Africa with a strong demand for industrial and consumer products. Libya is exporting goods worth of US $12 billion (85% of these exports comprise of crude oil). Lifting of UN sanctions in 1999 has created a wealth of commercial opportunities in Libya. As UN sanctions have been lifted now Libya's economy is showing an annual GDP growth of 6%.

Libya also has a good potential for Pakistani agricultural & manufactured items like Garments, Tents, Canvas, Cotton Bags, Sports Goods, Surgical Instruments, Leather products, Rice, Wheat, Agricultural implements, Industrial Machinery (food processing & engineering) etc.

In 1999-2000 Libya imported US $5 billion goods, which included foodstuff items (Rice, Wheat, Barley etc.) worth of one billion dollars, Manufactured Goods amounting to US $1.80 billion and Machinery & Transport equipment worth of US $1.90 billion.

Recently Union International signed a contract with a major buying house in Libya for supplying Textile related items on exclusive basis for a long-term period. The first shipment of said contract has already shipped to Libya. Union International is receiving export inquiries from North African countries as well Europe for various items.

Chairman EPB commended Pak-Libya's role in promoting bi-lateral trade between Pakistan and Libya.