Apr 29 - May 05, 2002
COMSATS INSTITUTE OF
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SIGNS UP FOR
UNIVERSITY PROGRAM PHASE II
As Phase II, NCR Corporation signs agreement with
Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) to introduce data
warehousing course at both undergraduate and masters level.
The CIIT is the first university that NCR has
signed up in 2002 as part of Phase II of NCR Teradata University
Program, making a total of 5 universities and 7 universities currently
under the umbrella of this network. CIIT has been granted the status
of degree-awarding institute by the Government of Pakistan, and is now
authorized to issue its own degrees, diplomas, certificates, etc.
CIIT has six campuses in Pakistan; three in
Islamabad, one in Abbottabad, one in Wah, and a recently established
one in Lahore under the patronage of Ministry of Science and
Technology to promote IT education in the country. CIIT will introduce
this program at one of their Islamabad campuses.
Presently the data warehousing course is being
taught at LUMS, IBA and NUCES (previously FAST) in Islamabad and
Karachi, while NUCES Lahore and NUST are going to introduce the course
in their Fall semester. The total number of students taking these
courses is more than 200.
This Data Warehousing Program was initiated in
Pakistan with an aim of preparing the IT students to meet the
challenges of the 21st century and enhance their skill sets at par
with the international standards. In its first phase, NCR launched a
unique University Program on Data Warehousing in Pakistan which
includes investments in the form of hardware, software, train the
trainer program and development of course materials, while in the
second phase the universities have to invest in the hardware and
NCR begins the second phase of the University
Program from this year whereby more universities will be selected to
impart data warehousing training and expertise to their graduates and
master students in top IT and Business universities of Pakistan. Syed
Veqar ul Islam, Country General Manager, NCR said, "The program
is aimed at enhancing the knowledge base and skill set in Pakistan.
Data Warehousing has become very popular strategic tool among
organizations worldwide, striving to gain competitive edge in the
Dr. Junaid Zaidi, Rector CIIT, said "We are
looking forward to the transfer of knowledge provided by this program
to our students for the enhancement of IT education as latest and
current technologies are added to our curriculum. NCR is a world
leader in the area of data warehousing and we feel privileged to be
associated with them for this program."
MAP DELEGATION CALL ON
SECRETARY GENERAL ICCI
Members of the Executive Committee of Modaraba
Association of Pakistan (MAP) called on Mr. Aqeel A. Al-Jassem,
Secretary General, Islamic Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The
delegation was led by Mr. Basheer A. Chowdry, Chairman and included
Mr. Adil A. Ghaffar, Vice Chairman, Mr. Ateed Riaz, Mr. Zubair R.
Palwala, Committee Members and Mr. Muhammad Samiullah, Corporate
Mr. Basheer A. Chowdry thanked the Secretary
General ICCI for promptly responding his request and sparing time for
the meeting. The Chairman presented MAP Year Book — 2001 to the
Secretary General ICCI and explained the current performance and
potentials of the Modaraba sector and role of the Modaraba Association
Mr. Adil A. Ghaffar informed that Modaraba sector
have an appropriate infrastructure with more than 22 years of
practical experience. He said the basic motive of the sector is to
eradicate RIBA from the economy and create investment culture based on
the Islamic Shariah. He informed about the Modaraba sector's
capitalization of Rs. 6 billion and asset base of Rs. 16 billion.
Mr. Ghaffar also informed about Modaraba sector
payouts and its status as being leaders in the financial sector of
Pakistan as far as dividend yield is concerned. He also elaborated on
resource mobilisation and termed it as the main problem for Modaraba
sector for which few Modarabas are planning to issue TFCs in
accordance with the Islamic conjunction.
The Chairman explained that the purpose of this
meeting with the Secretary General ICCI is to seek help and guidance
of ICCI to introduce Modaraba sector in the Islamic countries. He
elaborated that there is a good potential in the Middle East countries
like U.A.E., Bahrain and Kuwait where a great number of people are
interested to invest in Islamic modes of financing. To fetch this
market ICCI can play an effective role.
Mr. Aqeel A. Al-Jassem welcomed the delegation of
Modaraba Association of Pakistan and appreciated the role played by
Modaraba sector in Islamization of the financial system of Pakistan
and assured that ICCI would provide every possible support to the
sector. He informed the delegation that 9th Private Sector Meeting of
the Islamic Chamber is being organised at Sharjah, U.A.E. from 21-23
December, 2002. He mentioned that the meeting has a two fold
objective, one within the context of trade and the other is the
context of joint ventures and will be based on bilateral and
multilateral contacts. The main objective of the meeting is to
strengthen economic development of Islamic Umah.
CATHAY PACIFIC ANNOUNCES
MARCH 2002 TRAFFIC FIGURES
Cathay Pacific Airways released traffic figures for
March 2002 showing small but positive passenger growth and a marked
improvement in cargo traffic. The airline carried 1,052,460 passengers
in the month of March, a 0.9% increase on the same month last year,
and 73,018 tonnes of freight, up 11.4% from March 2001.
The volume of passenger traffic for March 2002
measured in terms of revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) rose by 1.8%
against the same month last year, helped by stronger demand on
regional routes. The passenger load factor for the month was 83.1% and
the cargo load factor was 76.0%.
The high reported load factors reflect the effects
of the modest recovery in demand combined with capacity reductions,
particularly on ultra-long-haul routes. Cathay Pacific operated 4.2%
fewer flights in March compared to a year ago. Cargo capacity measured
in terms of available cargo tonne kilometres was down 3.3% from March
2001 for similar reasons.
HARVEST SECURITIES TO LAUNCH
Harvest Group plans expansion of its horizons in
major Middle Eastern and European markets. Commodity futures is one of
the instruments that the company intends to launch very soon.
This was stated by Harvest Group's Chairman Gulraze
Mir at a meeting with journalists in connection with 10th anniversary
of the company. Regional Marketing Director Mike Leung, Overseas
Consultant Lorenz Lee, Chief Financial Officer Stephen Cheung and
Senior Marketing Manager Kamran K McGee were also present on this
Gulraze stated that Harvest Group became member of
the Lahore Stock Exchange in 1999 and thus formed Harvest Smartrend
Securities Limited, which has carved for itself a prominent name in
the equity brokerage industry in short span of time.
CHINESE TEAM BRIEFED ON PSO
A high-powered Chinese team that visited PSO House
showed great interest in Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and its operations.
During the visit, the team from China National Oil Development
Corporation was briefed on the functioning of PSO and its different
The visitors were given an overview of the company
in terms of operations, marketing and financial performance. The
Managing Director, Mr Tariq Kirmani, shared the strategic thrust of
the management in terms of market leadership and improved
They were told that Pakistan State Oil's vision is
to remain as the market leader in the country, providing the highest
quality petroleum products and service, and a low-cost supplier with
assured access to long-term supplies.
Mr Tariq Kirmani told the visitors that despite the
exigencies of September 11, 2001, and stiff competition, the company
not only maintained sound financial health but was also pressing ahead
with all its major investment plans. He said the strategic initiatives
undertaken by PSO would help the company face the challenges of
Mr Tariq Kirmani informed the visitors that the
financial advisors J. P. Morgan had finalized the brief on PSO
privatization and the road shows were likely to get under way soon.
The visitors appreciated the performance of the
company and thanked the PSO management for extending the hospitality.
Later, the Chinese team visited a company-owned and
company-operated retail outlet near PSO House and saw routine
operations of the flagship model outlet.
INTEL PACKS PERFORMANCE INTO
ULTRA-PORTABLE MOBILE PCs
Intel Corporation announced five mobile processors
designed for the industry's smallest mobile computers. Intel's Low
Voltage and Ultra Low Voltage processors enable enhanced performance
and extended battery life for mini-and sub-notebooks. These
ultra-light mobile computers, typically weighing under five pounds and
less than one-inch thick, enhance business users' productivity by
giving them a virtual office in a sleek, easy to carry design that
fits into a small briefcase. Additionally, some Intel mobile
processor-based ultra-portables allow consumers and business users to
use their mobile computers for more than six hours without recharging
PAKISTAN POST OFFICE PUBLIC
The Consumer Protection Council of the Helpline
Trust is concerned with the attitude and notices of the Pakistan Post
Office (PPO), which is threatening to prosecute anyone who sends
'letter mail' through private couriers, under section 58 and 59 of the
Post Office Act 1898.
Ordinary citizens, commercial, industrial, or
financial institutions, including government ministries, rely heavily
on courier services for prompt delivery of mail especially 'time
sensitive' documents, to their destinations within 24 hours. This
"prompt and reliable service" is sadly lacking in PPO.
In order to resist, PPO's thoughtless and illegal
action, the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) of the Helpline Trust
intends to challenge the public notices issued by PPO, which threaten
legal action against the citizens of Pakistan, by prosecuting them
under section 58 & 59 of the Post Office Act 1898.
PSO ANNOUNCES ANOTHER INTERIM
CASH DIVIDEND OF 20 PER CENT
The Board of Management of Pakistan State Oil
Company Limited met on April 26, 2002, at PSO House, Karachi, to
review the company's performance for the nine-month period of the
financial year 2001-02.
During July '01-March '02, the company earned an
after tax profit of Rs 1,711 million, up by 4.8% over the
corresponding period last year. For the quarter ended on March 31,
2002, profit before tax had stood at 1,880 million vs. Rs. 452 million
earned during the reviewed period, while after-tax profit stood at Rs.
1,260 million. Based on the results, the Board of Management was
pleased to announce another interim cash dividend of 20% (Rs. 2 per
share) which, combined with the earlier cash dividend of 30%, raised
the YTD cash dividends to 50% as the fundamentals of the company
remain sound and are improving.
The POL industry grew by 2.6% with total demand of
4.3 million tonnes over the prior year period. Against an industry
growth of 3.6% in Mogas sales, PSO sales grew by 4.0%. On YTD basis,
PSO's Mogas sales declined by only 0.5% vs. an industry decline of
1.7%. Despite extensive construction work at 173 stations, HSD
registered a growth of 5.5% during the 3rd quarter of the FY-02. After
the chronic and steady decline in 1ubes market share, the company
regained market leadership in lubricants sales by increase of 18.8%
over last year against an industry increase of only 0.5%. Fuel oil
sales have struggled during the period due to erratic demand by WAPDA/
Hubco and IPPs.
The company has undertaken a number of steps to
improve its brand image, productivity and financial performance
through expansion of New Vision retail network, launching of
successful sales promotion campaigns.
The Board of Management expressed its satisfaction
that, with the upward revision in OMCs' margins and strategic
initiatives undertaken by the management, the company is now
well-positioned to face the challenges of impending deregulation and
can take advantage of the opportunities arising from the changing
business environment to free market conditions.