. .

Dec 17 - 30, 2001

New Issue of IBA's Islamic E-zine launched

IQRA Society of BITS Club CCS, IBA Karachi, has recently launched the fourth issue of IBA's Islamic E-zine "Enlightenment". The main theme for this issue is FORGETTING THE CORE.

This issue tries to highlight the concerns and possible explanations of why Muslims are forgetting the real teachings of their beautiful religion. It is an irony that, although Islam is the best way of life for the humanity & fastest growing faith in the world, Muslims all over the world are in misery. This issue is another sincere effort to provide inspiration about Islam especially to the younger generation in becoming better a Muslim.

The E-zine includes many interesting and thought provoking articles and poems, mostly contributed by the students of IBA, to enlighten the minds & souls of the readers and to give them a more philosophical view of life. An exciting crossword puzzle and an opinion pool conducted at IBA are also part of this issue. It also contains a special article on the "Basics of Islamic Economic System." A special section is included on Islamic calligraphy and artwork, highlighting the glory of Islamic architecture and design. Much effort has been put in to make the e-zine more attractive for the readers.

The E-zine Team consists of Ahmed Ali Siddiqui (Editor), Nada Ahsan (Asst Editor), Sofia Sultana Ali, Syeda Jafri, Tahira Rahman, Shazia Pervez, Muhammad Umer Khan, Zeeshan Hasan, Farheen Adil, Taimoor Ali Mirza, Muhammad Ali Channa, Ali Mohsin, Khurram Mahboob, Ahmad Arsalan, Shoaib Ishaque, Tabinda Khurshid and Uzzam Malik - IQRA Secretary BITS Club.

The sponsors of the Magazine are Zeal-Pak Ltd, New Delite Industry, Fateh Motors, Indus Dyeing & Manufacturing Co., Pakistan Oil Mills and Young Food Products

The website address for the e-zine is www.goenlightenment.com

SWISSAIR introduces again its 4th weekly flight to Karachi

Swissair has announced that it will operate again a 4th weekly flight from Karachi to Zurich (via Dubai) - with effect from 14th December 2001.

"The new flight will be operating every Friday evening into and out of Karachi and complement the new weekly schedule of 4 connections between Pakistan and Switzerland," said Mr. Hanspeter Wegmueller, Swissair's General Manager for Pakistan.

All 4 weekly flights operate via Dubai and offer very convenient connections from Zurich to a large number of destinations in Europe, North America, South America and Africa.

Karachi is now connected to Dubai and Zurich by Swissair on Sunday's, Tuesday's, Thursday's and Friday's. The state-of-the-art Airbus A-330-200 aircraft operated on this route is famous for its First Class seats to be converted into beds, as well as for its Business Class with its large legroom space and its typical Swiss hospitality of the crew.

Hubco and a United Bank Limited led syndicate signed an agreement for Standby Letter of Credit Facility of Rs. 1.5 billion in Karachi. Picture shows, Mansoor M. Khan, Head Corporate Banking Group UBL; Shaharyar Ahmad, Head Investment Banking Group UBL; Hasnain Haider, Treasurer HUBCO and Arshad Hashmi, Secretary HUBCO with others.

UBL Arranges a Rs. 1.5 Billion Standby LC Facility for Hubco

Hubco and a United Bank Limited led syndicate signed an agreement for Standby Letter of Credit Facility of Rs. 1.5 billion in Karachi on Friday, the 7 December 2001.

The Participant banks are UBL, Askari Commercial, Bank AlFalah, Faysal Bank, PICIC Commercial Bank and Saudi Pak Commercial Bank.

The Corporate Banking Department of UBL has syndicated this transaction.

PSO holds 25th Annual General meeting

Pakistan State Oil during 2000-2001 distributed dividend of 60% or Rs. 6 per share. Combined with the earlier declared interim dividend of 40% (Rs. 4 per share), the total dividend amounted to Rs. 10 per share, making it a total payout of 100% for the FY-2001. This resulted in cash payout of Rs. 1.43 billion as dividend to shareholders of the company.

This was announced in the 25th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of PSO held on December 6 under the chairmanship of Mr M Salim, Chairman, Pakistan State Oil. The shareholders approved the accounts for the year 2000-2001.

The AGM was told that PSO's sales revenue during FY-2001 rose to Rs. 170 billion, showing a growth of 25.7% over the previous year. The company earned an all-time record gross profit of Rs. 6.4 billion, up by 12.4% over the preceding year. The profit after tax was Rs. 2.25 billion, which is marginally higher than the previous year's profit of Rs. 2.23 billion. This after tax profit was achieved despite the financial impact of Rs. 408 million due to Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) offered in April 2001 as part of the restructuring plan. In addition, provisioning for medical retirement, other adjustments amounting to Rs 138 million had been made. Had these provisions not been made, the company would have reflected an additional profit of the same amount, which would have resulted in significantly higher profit than the preceding year. The profit increase is primarily due to improved margins combined with results derived from the New Vision Development program and other marketing initiatives.

The Managing Director, Mr Tariq Kirmani, told the shareholders that the company had taken a number of steps to improve the brand image and arrest the chronic decline in the market share of key products. He said that during the FY-01, the company maintained its strong focus on the New Vision Retail Development Programme, commissioning a record 185 outlets and bringing the total to 295. The company has been laying special emphasis on quality and quantity of products. In this regard, seven more Mobile Quality Testing Units have been added in major cities, bringing the total to 12. PSO also plans to provide Internet at 500 retail outlets, especially in inaccessible areas. The facility is already provided at 150 outlets. The company has installed Price Display Unit at its monoliths and pylon signs to inform customers about the retail prices and introduced new products like Castrol GTX-XL and various other grades of industrial lubricants.

Mr Kirmani said the company was now well-positioned to face the challenges of deregulation and increased competition and take advantage of the opportunities arising from the changing business environment.

The shareholders expressed their satisfaction that the company's strategic initiatives were beginning to produce results. They hoped that PSO would further improve its profitability in future.

Chinese team visits PSO

A two-member team of the China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Corporation visited the PSO House here on Monday.

The Managing Director of PSO, Mr Tariq Kirmani, made a presentation to the distinguished guests Mr Hung Tongzhang and Jin Qingguo. He gave an overview of the POL industry in Pakistan. This was followed by corporate profile of Pakistan State Oil.

Mr Kirmani also briefed the delegation on the steps taken by the government for phased deregulation of the petroleum sector. He also briefed the participants on the efforts to improve PSO's market share and profitability. He also informed the members about the investment being made by the company in terms of infrastructure and New Vision Retail development. He also shared the strategic thrust of the company for the impending deregulation scenario.

The Chinese delegation hoped that the ties between the two brotherly countries in the oil sector would further grow in future.

Mr. M. Salim, (C) Chairman, PSO Board of Management, addressing the 25th Annual General Meeting of Pakistan State Oil at a local hotel in Karachi on Thursday. Mr. Tariq Kirmani, Managing Director, PSO, and Mr. Jalil Tarin, Company Secretary, are also present on the occasion.


Recently, Gilles Bonnaud, Consul General of France and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Karachi, performed the groundbreaking ceremony of the AL-MEHRAB TIBBI IMDAD (AMTI) cancer hospice by planting a commemorative sapling.

The 50 bed hospice located in Korangi would be completed at a cost of Rs 15 million in a period of eighteen months. During his tenure in Karachi, Mr. Bonnaud through his personal efforts raised Rs. 7 million for the project by organizing charity opera concerts at which Ms. Caroline Dumas, world renowned Diva of the Opera de Paris and Ms. Marie Develreau the new rising star of the international opera scene enthralled discerning connoisseurs of this sublime art. Last year, the famous French chef from Bordeaux, Philippe Techoire specially flew into Karachi to give a dazzling display of his culinary skills at a gastronomic soiree organised in the gardens of the French consulate. Some philantrophists of Karachi have pledged to donate Rs. 4 million.

ABN AMRO & ORIX Leasing to introduce Debit Cards in Pakistan

The ABN AMRO Bank inked an agreement with ORIX Leasing Pakistan Limited to set up the infrastructure for the Country's first Point of Sale (POS) network that will allow customers the ultimate satisfaction and security through debit cards.

The agreement will allow banks and sales outlets to cater to prepaid debit cards. The debit card is a combination of the credit card and the ATM card providing the advanced services of one and the security of the other. The card is virtually foolproof. It is directly attached to a cardholder's bank account allowing the use of amounts smaller than one's deposits, hence eliminating the possibility of over-creding.

POS machines will be used for many practical purposes that a credit card cannot serve. The holder may even buy bread and butter for breakfast from 1000 outlets nationwide. Eventually the service will be extended to over 4000 outlets. The card will be charged at a considerably lower rate and is the model of ultimate convenience and security.

Emirates resumes flights to Peshawar

Emirates, the international airline of the UAE, has resumed its twice-weekly services between the northern city of Peshawar and Dubai. Emirates trimmed its operations in Pakistan in the wake of events in Afghanistan but changing circumstances have allowed the airline to re-commence services. This was announced by Emirates' General Manager, Pakistan Abdulla Nasser Abdulla.

Emirates operates a total of 27 flights a day between Pakistan and Dubai, from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar all linking with Dubai, the fast developing tourism and business centre.

Restructuring of Crescent Greenwood Limited Debt

The signing ceremony of the Morabaha Finance Facilities to be extended by United Bank Limited (UBL) to Crescent Greenwood Limited (CGL) was held on Monday, December 10, 2001 at UBL Head Office. The facilities are a part of overall restructuring plan being implemented.

Crescent Greenwood Limited was incorporated in 1993. The project is a composite textile unit, which has facilities ranging from production of yarn from raw cotton to the manufacturing of denim jeans under one roof. CGL is one of the first single site operations of its kind in the region and largest apparel manufacturer in Pakistan having a production capacity of over 8 million jeans per annum.

The signing ceremony was attended by Khawaja Aftab Ahmed from IFC, Mr. Tariq Shafi from CGL and Mr. Shaharyar Ahmed and various other officials from UBL. The Investment Banking Group at UBL these days is actively involved in a number of structured finance transactions, advisory assignments and is also working on developing new and innovative financial products.