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May 06 - 12, 2002


Preston Institute of Management, Science and Technology (PIMSAT), Karachi organized an Education Seminar at its campus in Islamabad for students desirous of seeking admission in its graduate and postgraduate programs. Prospective students who thronged the seminar evinced immense interest in the academic programs being offered by the Institute at its campuses located in nine major cities of the country. The purpose of the Seminar was to provide information to prospective students about Preston's BBA, BBA (IT), BS (IT), MS (IT), and MBA (Marketing, Finance & Accounting) programs. The participating students lauded the sustained endeavours of Preston Institute to provide top quality market-driven academic programs to those who are aspiring to become future business leaders of the country.

Addressing the students on the occasion, Chairman Preston Institute of Management, Science and Technology Dr. Abdul Basit gave a detailed account of the institution from its inception, in 1984, to date. He said Preston was the first institution of higher learning to have been established in the private sector in Pakistan. The enviable stature Preston has attained today and the impeccable reputation it enjoys in the comity of reputed institutions of higher learning in the country amply supports this claim, he said. While highlighting the significance of Preston's graduate and postgraduate (BA, BBA (IT), BS (IT), MS (IT), and MBA (Marketing, Finance and Accounting) programs, he said all Preston academic programs were market driven and students who have sought admission in these programs tremendously benefited in the professional careers. They were readily absorbed by national and international business and other organizations both within the country and abroad, he said. In his concluding remarks Preston Chairman Dr. Abdul Basit informed the prospective students that Preston Institute of Management, Science and Technology (PIMSAT) Karachi is a chartered and recognized Degree Awarding Institute. The government of Sindh conferred a charter on PIMSAT vide Sindh Ordinance No. XXVI of 2001 in August last year, and in recognition of this charter the University Grants Commission (UGC) has duly enlisted the Institute in its consolidated list of chartered/recognized public and private Universities and Degree Awarding Institutes of Pakistan, he said.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Preston's Director Marketing & Public Relations, M. Fazal Elahi gave a detailed presentation on the academic programs being offered by the Institute at graduate and postgraduate level. Mr. Elahi highlighted the academic policies of the Institute and said that its policies were directed towards the attainment of two basic objectives provision of top quality education to its students, and ensuring utmost discipline both on academic and non academic fronts to guarantee over all grooming of its students. These two factors, he said, were very crucial from its students' career point of view. He thanked the students for participating in the seminar with enthusiasm, and expressed the hope that they would join the academic programs of their choice and give Preston the opportunity to groom them for a bright and thriving career.

Dr. Abdul Basit, Chairman Preston Institute of Management, Science & Technology (PIMSAT) Karachi addressing the participants to the Information Seminar organized at the Institute's Islamabad Campus.


The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan (AKPBS, P) recently organized a daylong workshop on "Improving the Living Conditions of Rural Communities in Sindh" at Ali Muhammad Ismail Village, Khyber, district Hyderabad. Nazim and Naib Nazim of the District and other members of the local government, Directors of AKPBS, P and representatives of various other NGOs were among the 200 people who attended the program.

Representing the village, Mr. Mansoor Ali, Secretary of the Village Development Association (VDA) appreciated the work of AKPBS, P and said, "This will go a long way not only in improving the living conditions of individual households but also help beautify our village. Making us partners in their work they have shown us that we, the people, can improve our own living conditions." He also thanked them for providing cost efficient smoke free stove, drain covering. Bio gas plants and simple construction tools and said, "These will help provide a healthy environment and help reduce diseases like malaria, food poisoning, diarrhea etc. from our village."


The Board of Directors of Muslim Commercial Bank Limited in the meeting held on April 29, 2002 approved the accounts for quarter ended March 31, 2002 of MCB and the consolidated accounts of MCB and its subsidiaries.

The board recommended to issue interim bonus shares @ 10%. The pre-tax and after-tax net profit for the quarter ended March 31, 2002 was Rs. 664.94 million and Rs. 374.94 million respectively. Out of profit available for appropriation Rs. 74.99 million were transferred to Statutory Reserve.

The board appreciated the performance and endorsed policies of management team in the present economic scenario where reduced margins and depressed volumes due to limited industrial, economical and commercial activities may undermine past profit trends. They expressed confidence that despite all these factors best results will be reflected in the remaining period of current year by focusing more attention on I.T related services to customers, launching of new products and best use of human resources.


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 profits 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 lubes 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.


His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims, met with President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation at the Kremlin.

The two leaders discussed the potential for expanding activities of the Aga Khan Development Network within the Russian Federation and reviewed together the context in which the Network has established and grown its development initiatives in Central Asia and Afghanistan.

During the Aga Khan's brief visit to Moscow, he also held discussions with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and other senior government officials.

The Aga Khan Development Network has been working with agencies of the government of the Russian Federation since it began its humanitarian assistance programme in Central Asia in 1992.