Sep 29 - Oct 05, 2003

 

FAYSAL BANK INITIATES A MOVE TOWARDS THE MUTUAL FUND INDUSTRY

The current trends in the Pakistani market and the flow of investments and savings, when compared to the Asian sub-continent, suggest that the mutual fund industry is at its initial growth phase. This is due to the lack of awareness and understanding on the investors' part about this industry. With recent progress and developments in the Mutual Fund industry, prospective investors have come to understand that Mutual Funds are instruments that are managed by professional investors in a well diversified portfolio, thereby providing safety to investments and long-term adequate and constant revenue generation vis-a-vis capital growth, with minimum risk, when compared to other individual investment instruments in the capital and money 

 

 

markets. Keeping this trend in mind, Faysal Bank Limited, in collaboration with its  group company (and wholly-owned subsidiary of Dar A1 Maal A1 Islami Trust) Islamic Investment Company of the Gulf (Bahamas) Limited (who will bring extensive international experience in the fund management industry) and Akeel Karim Dhedhi Securities (Pvt.) Limited (which is among the leading brokerage house in Pakistan along with it's extensive research department) joined hands to sponsor an asset management company in Pakistan, namely Faysal Asset Management Limited (FAML). This step will help Faysal Bank in providing a unique opportunity to general investors, including its own depositors, for investing in a pool of well diversified portfolio funds which will generate adequate return with growth prospects to its unit holders. The units of the Mutual Funds are easy and convenient to buy and sell. The Unit holder can easily redeem his investments in the units on any business day through one single application to the distribution agent and receive applicable cash value within few business days. Among others, FAML's responsibilities will include the promotion of the units of the mutual funds, investments and management of assets of the mutual funds. FAML will be involved in the launch and maintenance of the financial records of mutual funds and work towards making the mutual fund grow in value and magnitude. After extensive research and analysis of the securities in both the capital markets as well as the money market, FAML will choose the investments that will take the investor's savings where the investor wants it to go. It will also make sure the account is accurate and up to date, and that the investor is kept aware of how his/her investment is performing.

ZRG CALL CENTRE SOLUTION

A call center is traditionally defined as a physical location where calls are placed, or received, in high volume for the purpose of sales, marketing, customer service, telemarketing, technical support or other specialized business activity. One early definition described a call center as a place of doing business by phone that combined a centralized database with an automatic call distribution system.

Over the years, there has been a substantial increase in the numbers of customer contact/call centers and consumers rely on more convenient modes on keeping track of their history. Organizations are actively considering the setup of call centers in order to provide personalized service to their customer base. Companies that already have working call centers are considering expanding in size and functionality to the growing customer needs and progressive diversity of products and services.

Askari MasterCard, the Credit Card Division of Askari Commercial Bank Ltd is part of a dynamic and rapidly growing bank in Pakistan that needed a flexible, scalable and reliable solution for its customer services and support centers in Karachi. After having gone through a number of proposals, Askari MasterCard identified ZRG International as the solution provider with the most mature and sophisticated call center solution, at the best price performance ratio and an excellent track record of post sale service and customer satisfaction.

Askari MasterCard is using the ZRG call center solution to provide customer support and value-added service to their customers calling on their UAN. This solution is designed to provide a comprehensive set of services and tools to Askari MasterCard and to the customers who call in. The self-service interactive voice response is part of the solution that offers a 24/7 access to their customer's account related information. This self-service facility will be integrated with several databases to provide the required information to the customer. Customers with complex issues are transferred to the next most suitable customer service representative. The call center officers have all the information related to the call and the caller's account right on the screen and this has resulted in faster delivery of information, thus increasing customer satisfaction. The Askari MasterCard call center supervisors and managers have powerful tools and applications on the desktop PC to monitor and analyze call center status, service quality and agent performance. Askari MasterCard has expressed great satisfaction towards the solution and the support they have received ZRG.

The management of Askari MasterCard feels that ZRG International is without any doubt, the better choice, over other call center providers.

Mr. Floyd Francis Faria, Manager, Customer Services adds that his contact center is growing in importance and is gradually moving from being a back office overhead to a strategic entity by which the businesses can increase profits and drive revenues.

ZRG International (Private) Limited, the leading Customer Contact Center consultant and Call Handling expert organization holds the largest market share of Pakistanís call center market. The company has installed call center and customer interaction solutions for some of the largest and most prominent call centers in Pakistan.

 

 

WAVES HOME APPLIANCES IN AFGHANISTAN

Renowned WAVES Home appliance including Split Air Conditioners, Refrigerators and deep freezers will be displayed at Single Country Exhibition to be held at Kabul, Afghanistan from 25 to 27 in September. This exhibition is being arranged by Export Promotion Bureau of Pakistan.

According to details, after the war ended, it is prime time opportunity for Pakistan to grow its exports to fetch the benefits of such a huge and potential market in Afghanistan. This will not only provide business growth to Pakistani exporters in Afghanistan but also broaden new avenues towards Central Asian Republics.

Waves Home Appliances are widely popular in NWFP and northern areas of Pakistan also that is why, Waves Home Appliances are already being exported to Afghanistan. It is wished that recent single country exhibition will provide big opportunity to Pakistani manufactures to touch new horizons of exports by introducing their products to Pashto and Persian speaking Afghanistan who is returning to economic revival and normal social life after a long period of disaster and blood shed.

FINANCING FOR MOBILINK

The signing ceremony for the PKR 2.5 billion Privately-Placed Term Finance Certificate (PPTFC) issue, arranged for Pakistan Mobile Communication (Pvt.) Ltd. (Mobilink) by United Bank Limited (UBL), ABN AMRO Bank N.V. (ABN AMRO) and Jahangir Siddiqui & Company Ltd. (JSCL) was held in Karachi recently. Among others, the ceremony was attended by Mr. Zouhair Khaliq, President and CEO Mobilink, Mr. Hamid Farooq, EVP and CFO Mobilink, Mr. Amar Zafar Khan President UBL, Mr. Naved A. Khan Country Representative ABN AMRO Bank Pakistan and Mr. Ali Siddiqui, Director JSCL.

Since its inception, Mobilink has developed a reputation for being the premium cellular service provider by investing substantially in technology and infrastructure. The technology used by the Company is sourced from the highest rated cellular equipment providers Motorola, Siemens and Alcatel. Mobilink also has the distinction of being the first in the cellular industry in Pakistan to introduce the Global System for Mobile Communication ("GSM") technology. With a subscriber base of 1.4 million and 53% market share, Mobilink is clearly the largest cellular company in Pakistan right now.

ALLIANZ EFU TO BUILD HEALTH INSURANCE AWARENESS

Allianz EFU at its office premises recently hosted a press briefing on Health Insurance. The event was organized by the company to increase Health insurance awareness and to persuade the media on its effectiveness in facilitating the Health sector in the county.

The company unveiled its plans for making Health insurance affordable to the lower income group and briefed the media about an affordable hospitalization plan that could benefit the masses with its offerings of extensive coverage.

'Within 36 months of its operations Allianz EFU has already become a market leader and is providing health insurance to over 250 companies and 75000 individuals, employees in the country. Our mission in Pakistan is to provide quality healthcare to the people that is accessible and affordable,' disclosed Mr. Kashif Usman, Senior Vice President Marketing and Sales.

Mr. Ahmir ud Deen, the CEO and Managing Director of the company stressed, 'Allianz EFU is here to give the people of Pakistan 'choice' to decide to adapt to an organized way of life where they could plan for unanticipated events of sickness.'

CDC ANNOUNCED 213% RISE IN AFTER TAX PROFIT

Central Depository Company (CDC) announced a rise of 213% in after tax profit in the year 2002-3, over the previous fiscal year at a media briefing in Karachi, recently.

 

Mr. Hanif Jakhura, CEO of CDC said that the pre-tax profit has gone up from Rs.23.36 million in 2002 to Rs. 73.17 million in 2003. He said that CDC's revenues also shot up by 41 % to Rs. 304.69 million in 2003, from Rs. 214.78 million in 2002.

Addressing the media Mr. Jakhura said that in the last few years CDC has developed an infrastructure that has made settlements of high volumes at the stock exchange without fear of damaged, lost, forged or duplicate certificates.

He informed the media that the number of CDC live securities has gone up from 389 to 435, and market capitalization of shares in CDC from Rs. 114 billion in 2002 to Rs. 253 billion in 2003, showing a massive increase of 122%.

 

 

He said that these results were achieved by CDC by bringing an across the board improvement in services, raising the level of its services to the clients and investors.

GOLD RUSH

The world Gold Council (WGC) has announced to organize yet another month-long gold Jewellery festival named GOLD RUSH in the city of Karachi in collaboration with almost 90 leading Jewellers of the city.

The month-long extravaganza commencing from September 22, 2003 expected to generate a lot of excitement and attention from the consumers, which will eventually reflect a positive impact on the gold industry.

WGC announced to give away countless prizes during the event including Rs.30,000 worth gold daily and thousands of "scratch and win" gold prizes. The highlight of the event would be a bumper prize of 02 Kg of gold.

The WGC consultant for Pakistan, Syed Faisal Hashmi, said that the festival would provide consumers with an opportunity to win thousands of exciting gold prizes. "Gold Rush is a unique festival catered to the cultural and social needs of the consumer of Pakistan as it is scheduled especially for the wedding buyers and right before the Holy month of Ramazan''

INTRODUCTION OF CONSULTING GROUP

A consulting group which is set up to provide services of a diversified portfolio such as: engineering and management consulting, human resources development and placement consulting (including international education), international property consulting, international business development and marketing consulting and web-designing consulting is cordially inviting to you visit its website at www.topstrategies.co.uk .

We have also set up a sister company WFKLaw, an international law office to provide legal services to international community. To facilitate problems relating to international immigration, we have signed up agreements with immigration law firms in Canada, Australia and the USA to provide immigration services in their respective region. You are also cordially invited to visit website of our international law office at www.wfklaw.com or www.wfklaw.co.uk .

Furthermore, to assist the international community, we have organised a database of our international associates in the form of an informal association of independent law firms of the Muslim-World (MLF). You are also cordially invited to visit website of MLF at www.topstrategies.co.uk/mlf .

CATHAY PACIFIC HONOURS ITS TOP AGENTS

Cathay Pacific Airways recently held an Annual Dinner for their top performing travel and cargo agents for the year 2002. In all, 10 travel agents and 5 cargo agents received their plaques in a grand ceremony. American Express Travel Related Services received the top travel award whilst the top cargo award went to Universal Freight System. James Barrington, Director Marketing, Cathay Pacific Airways, especially flew in from Hong Kong, for award presentation.

Speaking on the occasion, James Barrington congratulated the winners of the Agent Award and reaffirmed Cathay Pacific's commitment to the Pakistani market. "We are here for the long-term and with the continuing support of the travel and cargo agents, we aim to grow with Pakistan in this new era of stability and prosperity for the nation." He also said that the airline took pride in its rather quick recovery from the SARS strike in Hong Kong that had caused it to suffer a record loss, and emphasized once again, that the disease is spread by people and not via air travel.

Mr. Happy Minwalla, Cathay Pacific's General Manager for Pakistan, Afghanistan and CIS, said, "These Awards are a small token of our appreciation for the hard work put in by all the Agents during the past year. By establishing direct air links between Karachi, Bangkok and Hong Kong we have managed to further develop both tourism and commerce between Pakistan, Thailand, Hong Kong, China and beyond."

 

 

PICIC

The Board of Director of PICIC-fund Manager of ICP-Lot 'B' (Comprising of 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 22nd and 24th Mutual Funds) in their meeting held on September 19, 2003 declared right issue for all the thirteen funds. For first eleven ICP Mutual funds PICIC declared 150% right issue (i.e. 150 certificates for every 100 certificates held) and for 22nd & 24th the rate of right issue was 100% (i.e. 100 certificates for every 100 certificates held). The right issue in respect of all mutual funds is on premium except for 24th which is at par. The offered price (par plus premium) per certificate for 2nd ICP Mutual Fund is Rs.15/-, 5th is Rs.15/-, 6th is Rs.30/-, 7th is Rs.15/-, 9th is Rs.25/-, 10th is Rs.20/-, 13th is Rs.40/-, 14th is Rs.15/-, 16th is Rs.12.5/-, 17th is Rs.15/-, 18th is Rs.15/-, 22nd is Rs.12.5 and 24th is Rs.10/-. The market prices of all the funds offering right is substantially higher as compared to its right offered prices and would help enhance the certificate holder value. The aggregate NAV of ICP-Lot 'B' when acquired by PICIC in December 2002 was Rs.1,550 million which has robustly increased by 275% to Rs.5818 million after the right issue. The objective of the right issue is to supplement more flexibility to the fund manager to take advantage of the market opportunities. PICIC intends to utilize substantial portion of the proceeds from the right issue by investing in high quality stocks and rest in fixed income securities. This approach is expected to provide a partial hedge to the fund against any adverse fluctuation in the stock market.

PICIC INSURANCE

PICIC Board of Directors also approved formation of an Insurance Company offering general insurance services. This endeavor of PICIC is aimed at catering all financial needs of its customers under one roof by providing impeccable services of varied nature thus amply justifying its claims of a "Financial Supermarket".