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Feb 05 - 11, 2001

Governors week at iba

The New Year has been very novel for everyone at IBA. Many big changes have taken place here and everyone seems very busy and important. This New Year brought with it the formulation of new computer lab having 42 latest P-III computers, the start of BCS program in IBA and along with all these activities IBA is also celebrating Governors Week. One by one, three Governors have graced IBA with their presence. First it was the Governor Sindh, who was here on 18th of January for a brief visit. He arrived here at about 10:25 and visited the academic block and the newly furnished computer lab. He praised everyone for their valiant efforts in upgrading this region with this great educational institute. He said that this institute is a great asset for all the people in this vicinity and plays a major role in development of this region and the province.

On the very next day it was the Rotary Governor Mr. Sohail Ahmed. He was on his trip to Sukkur city when he planned his visit to new campus of IBA. He monitored the functioning in the campus and visited the classes and the computer labs. He was very pleased and praised everyone for running such a great educational institute successfully.

The third Governor in this week was the Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr. Ishrat Hussain. He was here on 22nd of January for delivering his lecture on "Forms of Organizations — Financial Markets". He delivered a very informative lecture and it proved very beneficial for the students. Many leading industrialists and bankers of Sukkur region also attended this lecture and also participated in the question-answer session. The lecture ended with refreshment for the guests and students.

In the same context, another visitor was the minister Mr. Dewan Yousaf, he also paid a brief visit to the new campus of IBA. He was accompanied by our Director Professor Shah Muhammad Luhrani and one of our most senior faculty member Mr. Mir Muhammad Shah. He was informed regarding the operations of IBA, Board of Governors of IBA and the sources of funds of IBA. He visited all the classrooms and was very pleased to see all the students busy in their studies.

Very soon IBA is expecting the visit of Chief Executive of Pakistan Gen. Pervez Musharraf. These sort of visits are very essential and important for the exposure of IBA to the outer world and we hope such trend of Governors' week and Minister's, keep on continuing.

Seminar At IBA Sukkur

"ROLE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN BUSINESS".

IBAians have never laid back in any field, be it sports, education, picnics or seminars IBAians have always proved their mark. This time it was the turn of a seminar although it was after a brief pause but finally BASC organized a regional seminar on the topic of "Role of Information Technology in Business" on 22nd of November 2000. Mr. Nisar Ahmed Siddiqi Commissioner Sukkur division and chairman Board of Governors and Brig. Muhammad Shafi honored IBA with their presence in the seminar being the guests. IBA also invited other dignitaries and distinguished guests from Sukkur region to attend the seminar.

This seminar started with recitation of Holy Quran by Mr. Sajjad a student of IBA. After the recitation, the guests and the director IBA were decorated with badges by faculty members and vice president of BASC. This followed the welcome speech of Mr. Khurram Pirzada Vice President of BASC. He thanked all the distinguished guests who were present on the venue, he also gave a brief introduction of BASC (Business Administration Students Club) and told them about activities of IBA and BASC. This followed the welcome speech by the worthy director of IBA Professor Shah Muhammad Luhrani. He also thanked all the guests and put some light on the topic of seminar. He told everyone the importance of information technology in today's fast moving and changing world.

Afterwards it was the turn of the faculty members and the students of IBA to read their papers. From faculty it was Mr. Mir Muhammad Shah and Madam Faria Pirzada. From students Mr. Amar Jalil, Mr. Saad Bin Jawaid and Miss Marium Iqbal read their papers and every one showered light on the topic and delivered very informative lectures. They said Information Technology is actually playing a cream role in business, it increases the speed of buying and selling under the auspices of e-commerce.

After the IBAians, it was now the turn of guest speakers, these guests included Mr. Hameed Shahid head of PACC, Mr. Qayuum Malik head of SisTech. All of them delivered very informative papers and said that Information Technology have brought great modifications in the world with hardware and software engineering. IT has changed the behavior of the business and everyone must welcome this change with open arms.

After all these informative papers, Mr. Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui Commissioner Sukkur division and Brig. Muhammad Shafi gave their comments on the topic and said that IT is the name of data processing, gathering, storing, retrieving and communicating with people globally. Mr. Muhammad Shafi shed some light on history of Army and computers and said that computer is need of today, everyone must understand its pros and cons and must move with today's diverse environment.

After all the hard work everyone relaxed with some light refreshment a cup of tea. All the guests, faculty members and students enjoyed the refreshment. Afterwards everyone visited the IBA campus and the stall set up by City Computers and Fox Computers displaying the latest computer technology and equipment. This sort of seminars and lectures are very informative and beneficial for students and Inshallah, IBA would continue its trend of being pioneer in organizing such great events.

Khushhali Bank: Servicing the Poor

'Poverty is an important issue and raising living standards is the primary concern for any society' said Ghalib Nishtar, President Khushhali Bank (KHB). While addressing a seminar jointly held by UNDP & Network Leasing. He stated that 'We need to develop the resources to empower the poor at a grassroots level'. Nishtar highlighted KHB's role as a service provider to the poor at retail level and its vital function as the apex microfinance body established in the country to facilitate development of the microfinance sector that must attract other institutions to emerge and operate on sustainable paradigms.

Nishtar added, that a comprehensively integrated package of policy reforms, institutional development, capacity building and outreach expansion is essential for meeting needs of our market. He said that microfinance triggers a process of deepening and broadening the rural financial markets and generates a momentum for sustainable growth and development.

The establishment of the KHB symbolizes collaboration between the government, private sector, donors, NGOs and communities. KHB's range of financial services are already being delivered to the country's poor through its pilot operations which will be expanded across 18 districts in four provinces and AJK within 2001. KHB's emphasizes gender participation to encourage participation towards development at household level. KHB's initial paid-up capital is Rs 1.705b and is regulated by SPB.

$24 million in funding mark opening of industry Linux Lab

The industry's first independent, non-profit lab designed for developers who are adding new business-oriented capabilities to Linux* and Linux-based software opened with the support of l9 sponsor companies and more than $24 million in funding.

The Open Source Development Lab™ (OSDL), an 11,000-square-foot computing center in the high-tech district west of Portland, Ore., provides Linux and open source developers with access to high-end enterprise hardware and an open forum where they can build and test software for powerful servers and business computing environments.

Computer Associates, Fujitsu and Hitachi have joined original lab sponsors Hewlett-Packard Company, Intel Corporation, IBM and NEC Corporation in supporting the lab. Miracle Linux, Mitsubishi and Covalent joined original members Caldera, Dell, Linuxcare, LynuxWorks, Red Hat, SGI, SuSE, TurboLinux and VA Linux as additional contributors and sponsors. The lab is managed by an independent board and officers, as well as a full-time director and staff.

"The Open Source Development Lab provides tremendous resources that enable collaborative development of enterprise-class capabilities in Linux," said Dr. Larry M. Augustin, president and CEO of VA Linux Systems. "Projects supported by the lab will further accelerate the acceptance of Open Source solutions in large-scale business environments."

Initial Lab Projects Identified

The first OSDL project is a scalability project designed to enhance the Linux operating system to support 16 64-bit processors with near-linear performance improvement. The second project, identified with jabber.org, an open source company, is focused on increasing Linux TCP/IP concurrent connection support from 20,000 to greater than 64,000.

Under the lab's charter, all projects were established according to the open source development model. The lab does not create projects; rather, it supports and accelerates existing or new projects developed by the open source community.

Supporting the Open Source Development Model

The lab houses several servers that interface with high-speed Internet communications links, providing lab access to developers around the world in order to create a single virtual lab. The companies plan to provide significant hardware updates over the next six months. Future open source development lab locations around the globe will be linked together to provide a unified virtual development environment.

H&S launches national Star Contest

Head & Shoulder, in collaboration with noted TV writer Haseena Moin, has launched an exciting 'Khushki Bhagao, Star Ban Jao' Star Contest.

Head & Shoulders is a highly popular anti-dandruff shampoo loved by those who want beautiful, dandruff-free hair. It is now being marketed in a dynamic new pack with a new and improved formulation.

Details of the Star Contest were announced at a Press Conference at Pearl-Continental Hotel, Karachi on January 26, 2001. It was addressed by well-known TV writer Haseena Moin, Mr. Hanspeter Heissan, General Manager, Procter & Gamble Pakistan, senior P& executives besides TV celebrities Aijaz Aslam and Vaneeza.

This is the first time that a talent contest of this kind is being launched on a national scale in the country. It is open to each and every citizen — young and old, children, males and females, people living in cities, towns and villages.

Spread over 8-weeks and segmented in three phases, the Contest will help in identifying talented male and female actors from all parts of Pakistan. This would be the first occasion when people will have a genuine opportunity to showcase their acting talents.

The event will be a useful contribution from Head & Shoulder towards the task of discovering and grooming new talent.

FCDC announces cash dividend and bonus shares

The First Credit And Discount Corporation (Pvt.) Ltd., (FCDC) declared a cash dividend of 15% and a bonus shares issue of 10% for the year 1999-2000. This was approved in the recently held meeting of the Board of Directors and AGM of the Corporation on January 27, 2001. This is the highest dividend announced by a financial institution in the public sector for this year. This is a significant performance keeping in view the economic slow down and consequent effects on the profitability of the financial institutions. It is worth noting that since last seven (7) years, FCDC has been declaring continuously dividends ranging between 10% to 120% per annum (repeat 120%).

During the year paid-up capital was increased to Rs. 85.9 million (Rs. 78.1 million in 1999). The shareholders equity improved to Rs. 289.8 million (Rs. 266.4 million in 1999). Break-up value of the share was Rs. 33.73 as against Rs. 34.11 in 1999. This was due to increase in paid-up capital during the year by bonus share issue of 10% based on performance for 1999. Profit after tax was Rs. 36.3 million (Rs. 37.7 million in 1999). Unappropriate profit carried to balance sheet was Rs. 140.4 million (Rs. 132.8 million in 1999), after transfer of Rs. 7.3 million (1999 - Rs. 7.5 million) to general reserve.

The meeting of the Board of Directors was attended by Mr. Manzoor A. Shaikh (Chairman of the Board), Mr. Mohammad Imran Malik (Chief Executive), Mr. Waseem Mehdi Syed (Acting Chairman NDFC), Mr. Javed Nizam and Mr. Latif Khawar.

FCDC is an associate company of National Development Finance Corporation (NDFC) and WAPDA. It is a specialized non-banking financial institution which, inter alia, has popularized the medium of Bonds and TFCs as instruments of raising long-term funds for infrastructure and industrial projects directly from the capital market rather than through bank loans or budgetary grants from the Government. It provides consultancy to the prospective borrowers for the issuance of debt securities like bonds and TFCs. These instruments also provide better alternatives to the investors for placing their funds in securities which are risk free, and have stable and relatively higher returns vis-a-vis deposit schemes of the banks and investment in shares. FCDC is also engaged in market-making, sale-purchase and discounting of various securities. These activities have contributed in the development of the primary as well as secondary markets of the debt securities in the country.

During the financial year 2000, FCDC handled various bond and TFC issues, including two issues of WAPDA Bonds. Through one of which FCDC raised an amount of Rs. 1,600 millions (Rupees one thousand and six hundred millions) as sole advisor and arranger, and through the other one raise an amount of Rs. 6,620 millions (Rupees six thousand six hundred twenty millions) as advisor and co-arranger alongwith National Bank of Pakistan, ABN-Amro Bank and Jahangir Siddiqui & Co.

The board of FCDC was greatly satisfied with the financial results as well as operations of the Corporation.

Keeping in view the requirements and potential of the growing capital market in the country, the Corporation plans to further expand its activities in other business areas and introduce new products.

Agreement inked for acquisition of GOP shares in MCB through jumbo certificates

The signing took place on Tuesday in Islamabad, of a Share Purchase Agreement and payment/delivery of Jumbo Certificates of one million shares each for the divestment of 15 million GOP owned shares of Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) at Rs. 37.55 per share.

This is the first capital market transaction included in the short-term privatisation plan, completed successfully and according to schedule. The divestment of 15 million shares of GOP in MCB raised over Rs. 550 million, the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation gave its approval for the sale.

Through this transaction, eight million GOP owned shares in MCB have been sold to MCB Employees Pension Fund, four million to MCB Provident Fund (Pak Staff) and one million each to Global Securities Limited, Ibrahim Agencies Limited and Nishat Mills Employees Provident Fund Trust. These investors submitted their EOIs for these shares in MCB in minimum sized lots of 1,000,000 shares.

The Government of Pakistan, through the Privaisation Commission, offered its remaining stakes in MCB. The GOP's minimum base price per share, for the sale of its shares in MCB, was fixed as Rs. 37.55, with the stipulation that the shares will be sold at the said base price or the market price per share, whichever was higher. The consortium of Lead Managers to the said divestment was composed of AMZ Securities, Al Meezan Investment Bank Limited and M. Yousaf Adil Saleem & Asociates.

Senior officials of the Ministry of Privatisation and the representatives of the respective bidders were present during the signing.

Continued Import of Sugar & local Sugar Industry

The Pakistan Sugar Mills Association — Sindh Zone has expressed deep concern over the government's continued policy of sugar import which is likely to create a glut in the market.

In an extraordinary general meeting held recently, the Association reviewed the situation pertaining to sugarcane supply and price trend of both sugarcane and sugar.

The meeting was of the opinion that sugar prices in domestic market were perceptibly poised to plummet in view of the increasing inflow of indigenous sugar production and the government policy of continuing sugar import from abroad, particularly India, which was following a policy of dumping its surplus sugar in Pakistan.

"In view of the prevailing uneasy conditions, sugar industry is not in a position to afford Rs. 50/= per 40 kgs. Of sugarcane supply though agreed to with the representatives of the sugarcane growers" the meeting agreed.

Standard Chartered launches the 3 month term deposit

Standard Chartered, the biggest foreign banking group in Pakistan, launched the "3 month term deposit". Exclusively designed to encourage the savings habit in Pakistan, the 3 month deposit is currently offering returns upto 11.5% p.a.

Available across all 21 branches of Standard Chartered and Standard Chartered Grindlays (formerly ANZ Grindlays) the advantages of the 3 month deposit product are: it offers high returns without tying up funds for a long period of time, has an exclusive tiered rate structure where higher balances attract higher profit rates, and provides an automatic rollover option to help earn profits without hassles. Customers can also avail free ATM cards for their checking accounts, have access to a pre-approved credit card (Visa or Mastercard), obtain waivers on locker purchase fees and take loans at preferred rates.

"Our aim is to be Pakistan's leading Consumer bank by delivering financial solutions our customers need to adopt lifestyles they desire. We believe we can do this by introducing innovative and technologically superior products and customer friendly and convenient services. The 3 month deposit is the first in line of many initiatives from Standard Chartered and Standard Chartered Grindlays which enable us to keep this customer promise", commented Abid Sattar, Head of Consumer Banking.

British Commercial Catalogue Exhibition-"SUPERCATEX 2001"-PAKISTAN

British Deputy High Commission, Karachi in conjunction with Trade Partners UK is organising a catalogue show at Pearl Continental Hotel in Karachi from 6-8 February 2001, moving to the Pearl Continental in Lahore from 13-15 February.

The show will be inaugurated in Karachi on 6th February at 3pm by Mr Dewan Mohammad Yousuf, Sindh Minister for Industries, Commerce and Mineral Development.

Catalogues displaying more than 3500 products and services from approximately 160 British companies and Trade Associations will be available from sectors such as plastics, engineering, textiles, printing, education, catering, food, construction, automotive, transportation, chemicals and education and training. Most of these companies are exploring business opportunities with partners from Pakistan for the very first time and would like to hear from interested local agents and end-users.

In addition eight major British companies based in Pakistan are also displaying their products and services at the exhibition. The British Deputy High Commission and British Council will have stalls providing information for commercial visitors and those interested in the education and training sectors in United Kingdom.

The exhibition provides an excellent opportunity for local businessmen to select the catalogues of their choice and includes a CD-ROM giving information on some 60,000 British companies. There will be an additional facility at the exhibition for businessmen to send their specific enquiries electronically through the internet.

First two days of this exhibition are reserved for the local businessmen and the exhibition will be open for general public on the 8th February.

PAF KIET SEMINAR

PAF KIET, The Center of Excellence, recently organised a seminar, which was sponsored by Standard Chartered. Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Minister for Finance, Planning & Development, Government of Sindh, having more than 20 years of global experience in economic policy making and management, was the Chief Guest. Before joining the Sindh government as Minister for Finance & Planning, he was the Director of the World Bank country programme in Saudi Arabia.

Keynote speakers on the subject: "Risk Management" were Mr. Hira Lal Bharvani, Assistant General Manager Head of Consumer Finance Division at Orix Leasing, Topic: Credit Risk, Dr. Amjad Waheed, Head of Asset Management in National Investment Trust. Topic "Risk Management in Capital Market", Mr. Safdar Akbarie, working at Jehangir Siddiqui & Co. as Manager, Fixed Income. Topic: "Interest Rates Risk" and Mr. Rehan Qudrattulah, Manager Risk Control, Standard Chartered Bank. Topic: "Foreign Exchange Risk". The seminar was largely attended by distinguished personalities and educationists.

UBL holds Seminar on Export Documentation

The UBL recently held a seminar to educate the exporters in preparation of export documents so that when the documents are presented for negotiation they should conform to the L/C terms and the same can be negotiated/purchased without delay.

The seminar, presided by M. Ayub Hamid, UBL's Country Head Trade Finance was attended by representatives/exporters along with their respective Branch Relationship Managers.

The session was more operation oriented as the exporters have never had the opportunity to air their views across the table with their bankers.

In view of the popular demand for such seminars and to bring the exporters closer to a working relationship with the bank, UBL has decided to hold such seminars throughout the country on a regular basis which will help bridge the gap by interfusing between the exporters and bank officials.

The participants were advised that in accordance with the international practice and UCP-500 banks have a reasonable time to negotiate documents, which normally implies 48 to 72 hours. In view of which the service UBL is providing at the moment is still far better than the international practice.

UBL has also decided to establish A Customer Service cell to provide advice to the exporters in preparation of L/C documents and any other assistance that they may require.

In the end a questionnaire was also circulated to the invitees. Most of the participants suggested for the continuation of such seminars.

Century Paper declares dividend

Century Paper & Board Mills Limited, a Lakson Group Company, having ISO 9002 certification has announced an interim cash dividend of l O % (Re. l.00) for its shareholders for the six months ended December 31 2000.

The turnover during the above-mentioned period increased over the corresponding period last year by 25% and the operating profit of Rs. 111 million was higher by 58% compared to the corresponding period's operating profit of Rs. 70 million. The profit before tax from operations also improved to Rs. 86 million over the corresponding period of previous year. The profit after tax was Rs. 50 million during six months compared to Rs. 37 million during the corresponding period last year.

M. Rafi Chawla, Managing Director, Century Paper & Board Mills Limited, commenting on the results stated: "The Company's production efficiencies during the period under review resulted in production of over 31,400 million tons of quality paper and paperboard, higher than the installed capacity."

The Company has also made favourable price adjustments to offset the increase in its input cost of imported raw material, cost of furnace oil and depreciation of Pakistani Rupee. The consistent good quality of products was instrumental in acceptance by the customers of the input cost increases."

The machinery and equipment for the BMR of the existing Coating Plants have arrived and the project is expected to start in the first quarter of 2001. Improvement in the quality of the Company's Coated Board will further enhance the market acceptability of its products.