the past, to serve this country and this
nation. He expressed the hope and confidence that Mr. Soomro would
succeed in fulfilling his obligations as Chairman Senate, by always
upholding the rule of law in all spheres of the legislative process.
In his endeavors to attain this important national objective, Dr.
Basit assured him of his own and his institution's fullest support and
sincere best wishes.
UBL ANNOUNCES RS. 2.8 BILLION PRE-TAX PROFIT
United Bank Limited has declared a pre-tax profit
of Rs 2.8B for the year ended December 31, 2002 - the first audited
results since the privatization of the Bank. This is almost double the
pre-tax profit declared for last year (which was Rs l.5B, excluding
extraordinary items). The improvement is all the more impressive
considering the high market liquidity and increased competition in the
sector as interest rates continue their downward spiral.
The major driver for this increase is Net Revenue
from Funds which has gone up by Rs 1 B to Rs 6.1B before provisions.
The NRFF increase in turn has come mainly from lower cost of funds and
the Bank's focus on low cost deposits. The non-funded income of the
Bank has increased by Rs 0.5B to Rs 3.4B, signifying an all-round
improvement. Provisions are substantially lower compared to last year,
resulting in a net income growth of Rs l.9B (28%). The expense for the
year shows an apparently sharp increase mainly because of an
extraordinary reversal in 2001. After adjusting 2001 costs, the
administrative expense for 2002 has increased by Rs 0.8B to Rs 5.9B.
Deposits grew by Rs 20.9B to Rs 162.2B (14.8%
growth). This increase is mainly in the low cost segment. Low cost
deposits have gone up by Rs 15.1B to Rs 94.9B (18.9% growth).
Expensive deposits have grown by Rs 5.8B to Rs 67.3B (9.4% growth).
Performing advances have grown by Rs 2.1B to Rs
70.1B. Non-performing loans have reduced by Rs 6.1B to Rs 5.7B.
The Bank handled around Rs. 135B of import and
export business during the year, an increase of 17% as compared to
These results show that after comprehensive
restructuring and subsequent privatization, the Bank seems poised to
take its place as the premier financial service provider in the
UNITED BANK LIMITED & SWEETWATER INTERNATIONAL
United Bank Limited, Sweetwater International and
Sweetwater Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd. (SPPL) have entered into an agreement
for provision of strategic benefits to the agricultural sector in
Pakistan through the provision of modern banking services in relation
to SPPL's provision of sweet water pumps, utilizing financing from the
banking/leasing sector. Present at the signing ceremony were Amar
Zafar Khan, the President of UBL, Edward W.Jackson, the CEO of
Sweetwater International, Shahid Waqar Mehmood, Head Commercial Bank,
UBL and other team members from UBL. Mr. Shamoom Chaudhry, GM
Financial Services and Mr. Ijaz Majeed, Regional Head Sindh of SMEDA
were also present at the occasion. '
Under this agreement, Sweetwater and SPPL,
manufacturers and suppliers of Sulphurous Acid Generator units,
jointly agree to supply these units in Pakistan to farmers and UBL has
agreed to finance the purchase of these units in most viable financing
mode. The financing would be made either by UBL directly or through a
syndicate of leasing companies or financial institutions. In case of a
syndicate being formed, it would be arranged and managed by UBL. The
Parties have also mutually agreed to collaborate together with SMEDA
(Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority) to achieve the
success of this Project.
After the signing ceremony of Memorandum of
Understanding, Edward W Jackson, CEO Sweetwater International showed
great enthusiasm about this project and said, "Sweetwater is
honored to be partnered with a bank such as United Bank Limited in
providing available financing to the local farmers. The progressive
attitude that UBL has towards assisting the farmer is to be commended.
Sweetwater shares the same commitment to help the Pakistani farmers
that UBL has and is pleased to have them as their exclusive commercial
banking partner for the wide scale implementation of the SAG unit
throughout Pakistan". He also said, " Sweetwater believes
that in working with UBL, this technology and the financing options
made available to the farmer by UBL will greatly help to enhance the
agricultural asset that Pakistan has to offer the world".
CATHAY PACIFIC VOTED AIRLINE OF THE YEAR
Cathay Pacific Airways' commitment in providing our
customers with superior products and service has reaped rewards. The
airline has been honoured as "Airline of the Year" in the
2003 Skytrax survey. In addition, Cathay Pacific was also named
"Best Airline - Asia'' and "Best Airline -
Transpacific" for the second consecutive year.
Skytrax Research is a UK-based consulting firm
which conducts the world's "largest" passenger survey. This
year, more than 4.4 million entries were received during the survey
period between August 2002 and March 2003. Passengers were asked to
give performance ratings for categories such as "Check-in-
services, Airline Lounges, Boarding/Departures, Arrivals/Transfer,
Cabin Seating, Cabin Cleanliness, Onboard Catering, Inflight
Entertainment and Cabin Staff Service".
According to survey comments from Skytrax:
"Despite difficult times the airline industry faced throughout
2002, it seems customers remained only too happy to make their
opinions known...all credit to the final winner, Cathay Pacific, who
eventually took the title Airline of the Year 2003. Having read
through many thousands of comments made about the winning airlines,
Cathay Pacific drew "considerable support for the quality of
staff service standards" and "scored very highly for their
front- end premium products".