. .



Jan-28 - Feb-03, 2002

Smart University of Islamic Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI)

Developed By KalSoft (Pvt) Ltd & ECommerce Gateway

It is an honour for KalSoft (Pvt) Ltd. — a leading Pakistani Software House, that Islamic Chamber of Commerce will be using our latest software KalEd — 'Latest In Distant Learning Tool', currently available in the market, in establishing Smart (Virtual) University. KalSoft (Pvt) Ltd. is proud to be associated in this International Project to serve Muslim Ummah in 57 countries.

Smart University is a part of Smart Commerce being initiated by Ecommerce Gateway Singapore and Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industries. This project will help bring the Muslim Ummah together and promote unity. This project would facilitate greater cooperation between Muslim countries and would enable 57 Islamic countries to derive benefits in the fields of Business, Commerce, Marketing and Technology.

The Smart University and Smart Commerce Programme will be organized by Islamic Chamber of Commerce with joint efforts of Ecommerce Gateway, and other members of consortium. KalSoft (Pvt) Ltd. will handle the Technical Aspect of this University by providing the required Software 'Kal Ed'.

KalSoft (Pvt) Ltd. operates globally in the area of Software Development and as Information Technology solutions provider. The International Islamic Chamber of Commerce & Ecommerce Gateway will be utilizing KalEd as tool for Smart University.

In this Project ECommerce Gateway is responsible for making necessary arrangements for establishing Smart University and KalSoft (Pvt) Ltd. is responsible to provide KalEd which is an exclusively software developed by KalSoft for establishing the Smart (Virtual) University.

KalEd is currently the latest among the Distant Learning Tools that is available in the market. It is a complete Learning Management System which possesses the most modern and high tech features that are not offered by any other software in the Industry. KalSoft has applied for Trade Mark/Patent registration for this software to protect it and to prevent any one from copying its features and technology. KalSoft has taken the initiative to get the KalEd registered for Patent/Trade Mark from The Patent/Trade Mark Office, Government of Pakistan and it is the first software in Pakistan that has been officially registered with Government of Pakistan.

KalEd was viewed and examined by the members of Technical Team of ECommerce Gateway and was highly appreciated. Based upon its highly technical and specialized features, KalEd is selected for being used as a tool for the Smart University.

KalSoft, in this regard, has signed an MOU with Ecommerce Gateway in an auspicious ceremony held on Monday at Sheraton Hotel Karachi. The ceremony was graced by the Presence of Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh — Minister of Finance, Planning and Development Department Government of Sindh. The Speakers at the Launching Ceremony were Mr. Attiq ur Rehman — Director Marketing and Technology Jamal's Yellow Pages of Pakistan, Mr. Khurshid Nizam — CEO Jamal's Yellow Pages of Pakistan, Mr. Sarmad Ali — Group Executive Director Jang Group of Newspapers, Mr. Hanif S. Kalia — Chairman Kalia Group, Mr. Abdul Ghaffar Memon — CEO KalSoft (Pvt) Ltd, Mr. Anis Ahmad and Mr. Kamran Khan — CEO ePatterns. The signing ceremony was also witnessed by a number of renowned journalists, leading businessmen and social figures.

MCB leads in Diploma Examinations

The merit oriented policy of MCB particularly recruitment of Officers at entry level and providing them the best theoretical as well as practical training has borne fruit, resulting into maximum distinctions and prizes obtained by the employees of MCB in IBP Examinations {Summer/Winter-2001).

Officer Grade-III Miss. Faiza Mansoor has obtained the highest position in IBP Examination (Stage-l) as she won a Gold Medal in addition to securing a distinction in a subject and also winning a prize in another subject.

Overall results of IBP Examinations regarding employees of MCB remained on the top in comparison with other banks. The maximum distinctions and prizes were fetched by the employees of MCB i.e. total number of distinctions & prizes including Gold Medal comes to 24.

DESIGN NEARLY COMPLETE FOR BOEING LONGER-RANGE 747-400 FAMILY

Boeing engineers have completed 90 per cent of the design work for both the passenger and freighter versions of the new Longer-Range 747-400 family of airplanes — two weeks ahead of schedule.

The first of these airplanes begins major assembly in February 2002, rolls out of the Everett, Wash., factory in June and, after a four-month flight test program, will be delivered in October to launch customer Qantas Airways. The delivery will be one month ahead of the original schedule.

The Longer-Range 747-400 airplanes are the same size as today's 747-400s, but they allow airlines and cargo carriers to fly longer routes, or carry more cargo or passengers on existing.

UBL DISBURSES Rs.750 MILLION TO PAKTEL

The Corporate Banking Group of United Bank Limited disbursed Rs.750 million bridge finance facility to Paktel Limited to enable the company to meet its immediate working capital requirements.

The facility provided by UBL is for three months and will be followed by a scrutinized Term Finance Certificate issue which is being advised and arranged by the Investment Banking Group of United Bank Limited.

Paktel is one of the leading mobile phone operators in Pakistan and is fully owned by Millicom International Services. Paktel's future expansion plan entails migration to the digital system by enhancing the existing technology.

Man from Disney gives 3D animations presentation at Arena Multimedia

No need of models, actors and actresses for movies any more...

3 D animations and graphics have made it possible to develop computerized characters, which could replace the human presence in film production.

A seminar on the wonders of technology especially the advancement on 3D Animation and Graphics was organized on Jan 16, 2002 by Arena Multimedia to make the students aware of the scope of animations and what is going on in the world in this field. Mr. Muqeem Khan from American University of Sharjah was the guest speaker. He is an internationally recognized personality for his contribution in the world of animations. While working with Disney he produced visual effects for movies like Deep rising, George of The Jungle, Flubber, Armageddon and With Square Soft. He shared his experiences and discussed the difficulties his team had to face in the beginning due to lack of technology and how the advancement has made things easier. It was also discussed in detail that how computer animations and graphics helped Film Industry in making it time and cost efficient. Shots of his latest movie 'Final Fantasy' was shown to the audience and the most exciting thing about this movie is that all the characters are computer made and they all look 100% real.

The seminar provided a platform for the students and those in the field of animation to share the views and ask questions regarding different issues. By looking at the work of guest speaker it improved the moral and gave confidence to the students that Pakistan is also going abreast with the advanced countries in the field Multimedia. The program was attended by guests from different media including Indus Vision, leading newspapers and business and computer magazines.

Reckitt Benckiser Launches Air Wick — a complete air care solution

Reckitt Benckiser Pakistan unveiled a new range of product category — Air Wick, from its global portfolio of brands, at a colourful ceremony. Air Wick, provides a complete fragrancing solution.

Air Wick has been launched in three different formats: Incense Sticks, Perfume Blocks and Aerosols. Incense Sticks are available in 4 fragrances: Sandal Wood, Fresh Wave, Motia and Rose; Perfume Blocks in: Rose, Lemon, Lavender and Jasmine and Aerosols in: Rose, Lavender, White Flowers and Jasmine.

PACRA ASSIGNS "AA"
IFS RATING TO IGI

The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA) has assigned an Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) Rating of "AA" (double A) to International General Insurance (IGI) Company of Pakistan Limited. The rating denotes a very strong capacity to meet policyholders’ and contract obligations.

While assigning the rating, PACRA has recognized the very strong financial base and solvency margin of the company, both being substantially higher than peers. These reflect the inherently strong ability to meet policyholders’ and contract obligations despite a difficult operating environment. The stable nature of revenue from the company’s core business coupled with a very strong investments portfolio and conservative risk management policies provide added comfort for policyholders.

Effective lst, January 2002, PACRA has changed its Claims Paying Ability (CPA) Rating into Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) Rating. The change is in line with the international practice of PACRA’s principal sponsors — FITCH — and to more fully reflect the methodology of insurance ratings, which takes into account the overall financial strength of the insurer rather than its ability to pay insurance claims only.

Intel reports fourth-quarter and annual results

Intel Corporation announced fourth-quarter revenue of $7.0 billion, up 7 per cent sequentially and down 20 per cent year over year. Asia Pacific contributed 35% of overall Intel revenues, up from 31% from the third quarter of 2001 and 25% year over year.

For the fourth quarter, net income excluding acquisition-related cost was $998 million, up 52 per cent sequentially and down 62 per cent year over year. Fourth-quarter earnings excluding acquisition-related costs were $0.15 per share, up 50 per cent from $0.10 in the third quarter and down 61 per cent from $0.38% in the fourth quarter of 2000.

Including acquisition-related costs in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), fourth-quarter net income was $504 million, up 375 per cent sequentially and down 77 per cent year over year. Earnings per share were $0.07, up 250 per cent from $0.02 in the third quarter and down 78 per cent from $0.32 in the fourth quarter of 2000.

Acquisition-related costs in the fourth quarter consisted of $550 million of amortization of goodwill and other acquisition-related intangibles and costs.

Full-year results

Revenue for 2001 was $26.5 billion, down 21 per cent from $33.7 billion in 2000. Net income excluding acquisition-related costs was $3.6 billion, down 70 per cent from $12.1 billion in 2000. Earnings excluding acquisition-related costs were $0.52 per share, down 70 per cent from $1.73 in 2000.

Including acquisition-related costs in accordance with GAAP, net income in 2001 was $1.3 billion, down 88 per cent from $10.5 billion in 2000. For 2001, earnings per share were $0.19, down 87 per cent from $1.51 in 2000. Acquisition-related costs in 2001 consisted of $198 million in one-time charges for purchased in-process research and development and $2.3 billion in amortization of goodwill and other acquisition-related intangibles and costs.

PTA advertisement

Tariq A. Nizami, Vice President of Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan (ISPAK), in a statement has said that the criteria adopted by PTA for this so called quality rating was unscientific, unreasonable and without any basis. Therefore, he said PTA should not only immediately withdraw this rating but also publish its retraction. The information printed is misleading the internet users and jeopardizing its future.

He said that PTA should also apologize for wasting public money on unrealistic information, which he was of the view, has damaged the ISP industry in Pakistan. He said this rating would discourage the Internet industry and plans to expand the use of internet in the country. In this regard PTA had sought information from various ISP's which he said the Authority has deliberately or through negligence printed incorrect and biased information thus misleading the public and causing serious damage to many leading ISP's.

ISPAK Vice President, further said that issuance of this unrealistic rating would not enable the Ministry of Science and Technology to realize the dream of spreading Internet facility across Pakistan and urged the Federal Minister, Dr. Atta-Ur-Rehman to take notice of the issue.

The Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan (ISPAK) does not accept that rating, "Relative Quality Rating", of the Internet Service Providers (ISP's) released by Pakistan Telecommunication and demanded immediate withdrawal and publication of a retraction in the interest of public at large and maintaining reputation of PTA.

MCB recovers Rs. 2.200 billion in 2001

Muslim Commercial Bank Limited has reached a milestone in breaking all previous records by making cash recoveries of an unprecedented figure of Rs. 2.200 billion during the year 2001, despite very difficult circumstances like continued recession, depressed market conditions and the effect of the debacle of September 11, 2001. This is 11% higher than the corresponding period of last year.

Mr. M. Abbass Sheikh, Head of SAMG, MCB attributed this success to the teamwork and dedicated efforts of field staff. He further said that out of Rs. 2.200 billion, cash recovery, 74% was recovered in Loss/Doubtful category, thus contributing significantly towards bank's earnings. The amount of Rs. 17.9 million was recovered from previously written off loans.

MCB branches as well as dedicated resources in the Special Assets Management Group (SAMG), have contributed a great deal towards this achievement, which could not have been possible without the support of the Chairman, Mr Mian Mohammad Mansha and the President Mr. Mohammad Aftab Manzoor.

State Life secured one billion rupees new business in 2001

"State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan has successfully secured more than one billion rupees as First Year Premium (New Business) during the year 2001 while extending financial protection to 1,33,000 new policyholders and their families nationwide." This was stated by Mr. Samee-ul-Hasan, Chairman State Life while addressing the participants at the inaugural session of 4 days State Life Regional Chiefs and Zonel Heads Conference. Mr. Samee congratulated the marketing force, officers and staff of the corporation on the overall corporate business performance in 2001. He said that State Life has secured 71% and 87% respectively as second and third year persistency during the year 2001. Mr. Samee, further informed that the life fund of State Life has reached to Rupees 75 billion in 2001 which is the strength of the Corporation, he further went on to say that State Life has hugely invested billion of rupees in Government Securities and Bonds. The Chairman State Life reiterated that State Life looks forward to meet its commitment by providing the benefits of life insurance plans, policies and products that it offers to the general masses in the country. Earlier Mr. Rasool Bakhsh Baloch, Executive Director (Marketing) State Life made his presentation on the overall marketing performance during 2001. He said that the renewal premium stood at 5 billion rupees which is 94% of the actual target. Mr. Baloch lauded the tireless efforts and commitment of Marketing force for successfully achieving their business in 2001. He briefly outlined that the various measures taken to extend quality service to the value policyholders in the light of enforced insurance ordinance 2000. Mr. Baloch added that restructuring of marketing force is carried out to procure quality first year and renewal business, strengthen the marketing force network so as to provide optimum services to the valued policyholders. Mr. Agha Ashraf Abbas, Divisional Head (Marketing) State Life in his welcome address said that State Life is supporting government initiative in eradicating unemployment and poverty by creating job opportunities for the educated youths of the country.

Vast opportunities for foreign investors

Al-Hajj Gulshan Ali Hoti, social worker and industrialist, during his two months tour of Saudi Arabia, observed facilities extended to foreign investors which is not generally available in other countries. During his stay he met Foreign Investment Centre's Director who impressed him very much. He likes to provide investors the facilities as much as possible. There is vast opportunities to invest in profitable business. When I showed interest to establish industry in Saudi Arabia, all top to bottom, cooperated with me and replied promptly which is very encouraging to cement ties between two brotherly countries.