Nov 24 - Dec 07, 2003

 

CHINESE PRODUCTS FLOW & BLOW

Prices serve as signals to produces. A market should be thought of as a mechanism by which buyers and sellers can determine prices and exchange goods and services. It is a mechanism by which buyers and sellers interact to determine the prices, the quantity and services. The flow of Chinese products has shaken the monoplistic thoughts of several countries including west.
The global economy is changing its pattern. The revolutionary intrusion of Chinese products into global market has resulted a dramatic change in investment pattern. Entering into the new world of financing, number of multinational companies, after closure of their concerns, preferred to invest alongwith Chinese companies. Because of low cost of labour and overall low cost of production they are preferring to

 

 

manufacture along and within Chinese territory and selling the same in world market under their brand name.

Chinese long march towards global market has resulted a rapid change in Chinese companies shares. The Chinese products have reached from South East Asia to United States of America. These countries are left with no option but to bring reduction in their price market, whereas Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea and India has lost the demand of their products in global market. Chinese investors are very fluently establishing their trade offices in South East Asian countries and elsewhere .

Once against the golden principles of marketing has established its myth through the precedence of Chinese — marketing pattern introduced on revolutionary basis. The affordable cost of goods varying from society to society, the durability of goods being of super quality and different kinds of goods according to the taste of different people are the key reasons as to why global market turned favourable to Chinese pattern.

What to produce, how to produce and for whom to produce are the questions which is properly and vigilantly answered by the Chinese economy. Chinese economy is enriched by raw material, cheap labour and abundant infrastructure. These are the resources which have been properly placed and utilized. Who is incharge of a market economy? Do giant companies or something else. If we examine the structure of a market economy carefully, we see a dual monarchy shared by consumers and technology. Other than consumers, the available resources and technology place a fundamental constraint on their choices.

Many industries, in our country, are facing negative impact of the present Chinese trend. The major problem is to save our industries from greater and total distruction. What I feel we should patronize our products, Should curtail produces the margin of profit, abundant production and a change in quality of products should be praticed. These, and several other measures have to be taken to save our industries. The consumers should also realize their importance towards security of national economy and the rate of taxes should be brought to a normal level. May God same our economy.

—Dr. Nurul Islam

ORIX LEASING

ORIX Leasing Pakistan Limited and Travel Walji's (Pvt) Limited (AVIS), have signed a Management and Service Agreement at a simple ceremony held at a local hotel. ORIX Rentec, the Operating Lease Division of ORIX Leasing Pakistan Limited, has appointed Travel Walji's as the Asset Manager for their Vehicles Rental Segment. Under the agreement, AVIS & ORIX will jointly market and promote vehicle rental business in the country.

ORIX Rentec provides various equipment on short-term and long-term rentals, and is currently expanding its services in the vehicle segment. Travel Walji's (Pvt) Ltd. is licensee of AVIS (U.K), engaged in the business of Rent-A-Car to multinationals & local organizations.

The Agreement was signed by Mr. Kashif Yaqoob — Head of Rentec Division, on behalf of ORIX Leasing Pakistan Limited and Mr. Iqbal Walji — President & C.E.O., Walji's Group on behalf of Travel Walji's (Pvt) Limited.

MALAYSIA AIRLINES ANNOUNCES PROFIT OF RM101.1 MILLION FOR SECOND QUARTER

Malaysia Airlines returned a Group net profit of RM101.1 million for the second quarter ended 30 September 2003, making a crucial rebound from the severe impact of SARS in the first quarter that caused the airline to incur a loss of RM 164.5 million. A steady return of travel confidence provided the main push behind the recovery. Operating revenue improved to RM 2,128.1 million from RM1,642.6 million last quarter, an increase of 29.5% although this is still lower than that achieved in the same period last year.

The quarter saw a steady rise in international passenger load factor with notable improvement to 72.5%, as compared to 54.7% in the preceding quarter, peaking at 75.3% in September.

 

 

The airline has restored its capacity production to pre SARS level and is looking to resume its plans set for the year. Recently the airline introduced two direct services from London Heathrow to Penang and London Heathrow to Langkawi and in December will add two new destinations in Indonesia — Jogjakarta and Padang. The SARS-postponed start up services to Guangzhou and Xiamen from Kota Kinabalu and Kuching have resumed. The airline's network planning remains focused on pushing for growth in the region.

Cargo operations which contributed strongly the past two quarters remain positive. MASKargo has recently added a sixth freighter to its fleet. This would enable the company to plan additional capacity and service frequencies to its target markets.

Malaysia Airlines balance sheet remains comfortable. Cash reserves rose from RM913 million in the last quarter to RM1,336 million.

BEDLINEN IN EU

The Commerce Minister met with the Stakeholders regarding the anti-dumping investigations against Pakistan's Bedlinen in EU with the objective of formulating a strategy in the best national interest in negotiating with EU in this regard. The Minister assured them that his Ministry will do its best to amicably settle the issue with the EU and request it to withdraw the anti-dumping proceedings as Pakistan considers the chain investigation as unjustified and because proper investigation of sample companies were also not carried out.

RECONSTITUTED NFC WILL PROMOTE DEMOCRACY: ICCI

Mr. Zubair Ahmed Malik, President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) has stated that the reconstituted National Finance Commission (NFC) announced by the President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf will strength the democratic process and promote relations between the Federal and Provincial Governments.

He pointed out that population base has been the main determinate to distribute the divisible pool of NFC among the provinces. The ratio for the Federal and Provincial Governments was changed under the 6th Award Committee's recommendations from 37.5:62.5 to 40:60, far below the demands of the provinces, who demanded 50 per cent share in the divisible pool. Also the Federal Government decided to provide special grants and GST payments to the provinces so that the provincial share would increase to 44.6 per cent. GST transfer to the provinces alone provides Rs.32-25 billion per annum. Some Provincial officials have suggested that NFC Award should consider four factors: Population, needs of district governments, backwardness and share of each district in revenue generation. The reconstituted NFC is expected to review the demands and priorities of all the provinces as well as the whole issue of port/trade activity in Sindh resulting in higher tax collection, royalties for cotton in Punjab, hydel profits and gas availability in NWFP and Baluchistan.

CALL CENTER SUCCESS STORY

The management of Bank Alfalah has expressed great satisfaction towards the performance of ZRG call center and with the quality of post-sale support from the professional team of ZRG. According to Ms. Zoha Imam, Executive In charge at Bank Alfalah, "ZRG is a knowledgeable, cooperative and accommodative solution provider. They have a team of experienced professionals that get things resolved creatively and cost-effectively in the shortest possible time."

 

 

ZRG call center is a very flexible and highly scalable setup that can be stretched, expanded an enhanced in a variety of ways to support value-added services and customized functionality.

ZRG is a fast growing telecom solutions company with a strong focus on customer interaction and contact management solutions. Specializing in the convergence of information and communication technologies, ZRG expertly integrates information stored in databases and desktop applications with multiple channels of communications such as telephone, fax, email, SMS and the Web. ZRG offers a wide range of telecom solutions on a turnkey basis for standards-based LAN environment, providing next generation call handling solutions and capabilities in a very cost-effective and highly scalable way.

ZRG enjoys an excellent reputation in the market because of our solutions, services, dedication and commitment. We guarantee 100% satisfaction and do not settle for less than that. ZRG holds a leadership position and an excellent reputation in the call center market in Pakistan with solutions installed at the largest and the busiest call centers in the country. Following are some of our most prestigious and satisfied call center customers:

Bank Al Habib, Faysal Bank, Bank Alfalah, Bank Indosuez, Askari Bank Master Card, Standard Chartered Bank, Soneri Bank, Metropolitan Bank, Pakistan State Oil, WorldCall Broadband, Pak Tehcom (KTR), SSGC.

ARIF HABIB INVESTMENTS TO LAUNCH RS. 1.5 BILLION PAKISTAN CAPITAL MARKET FUND (PCM)

Arif Habib Investments, having been authorised by the SECP to launch the Pakistan Capital Market Fund (PCM), have applied to the Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad stock exchanges for the listing of PCM. At an initial size of Rs. 1.5 billion including an IPO of Rs. 375 million, this will be the largest closed-end mutual fund offering being brought to the Pakistan market. It also has the distinction of the first fund being structured as a closed-end unit trust scheme under the recently announced NBFC Rules — thus providing the investors with the added protection of a trustee. The Central Depository Company Limited (CDC), trustee of several other funds, is the Trustee of PCM.

Out of the total Rs.1.5 billion of the Fund, Rs. 975 million has already been committed for being subscribed under pre-IPO arrangements by prominent financial institutions and other investors. Arif Habib Investments itself is taking up Rs. 150 million leaving only Rs. 375 for offer to the general public through an IPO. This is the minimum amount that must be offered to the public as their first right of refusal under the listing regulations of the stock exchanges. The issue has been fully underwritten, again by a list of prominent business names.

The issue is likely to be offered for public subscription during the first half of December 2003 subject to obtaining all the necessary regulatory approvals.

Arif Habib Investments is already managing about Rs.5.5 billion in mutual funds. With the launch of PCM, its funds under management will go up to about Rs. 7 billion. PCM is the second closed-end fund to be managed by Arif Habib Investments. The Company already manages the Pakistan Premier Fund, the management rights of which it acquired late last year. Besides the two closed-end funds, Arif Habib Investments also manage three open-end funds the Pakistan Stock Market Fund (PSM), Pakistan Income Fund (PIF) and MetroBank-Pakistan Sovereign Fund (MSF), a strategic alliance with Metropolitan Bank Ltd.

The first full year of performance for the funds being managed by Arif Habib Investments have been rewarding for their investors, with the Pakistan Stock Market Fund (PSM) giving a total return of 81.82% for the financial year 2002-03 and a bonus distribution of 40%; the Pakistan Income Fund (PIF) having delivered a total return of 12.4% and a bonus distribution of 12%; while the Pakistan Premier Fund (PPF) declared a rights issue of 50% during that financial year 2002-03, a bonus of 12.5% applicable to the rights shares as well and that followed by an interim cash dividend of 12.5% for the current financial year.

PCM is a broad-based capital market fund with Arif Habib Investments managing the allocation between equity, debt and the money-market based on their assessment of the market conditions. Investment decisions of PCM would be made by a committee comprising of specialists in relevant asset classes. The objective of the Fund is to deliver the maximum return out of Pakistan's capital market, while diversifying and managing risk to an acceptable level. The Fund would offer a great opportunity for investors who are looking for a professionally managed asset allocation.

The pre-IPO investors include Bank Al Falah, Metropolitan Bank, National Bank of Pakistan, PICIC Commercial Bank, Soneri Bank, Suleiman Ahmed Al-Hoqani (UAE), Bank Al-Habib, The Bank of Khyber, Atlas Investment Bank, Dawood Leasing, Noman Abid & Co., Pak Kuwait Investment Company, Pakistan Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation, Prime Commercial Bank, Saudi Pak Commercial Bank, Escorts Investment Bank, Javed Omer Vohra & Co., Security Leasing Corporation, Westbury (Pvt) Limited, Pak Oman Investment Company, First Standard Bank, First Women Bank, PERAC Pension Fund, Saudi Pak Leasing, Shirazi Investments, Crescent Leasing Corporation, EFU General Insurance, EFU Life Assurance, Orix Investment Bank, Pak Venture Capital, Saudi Pak Industrial & Agricultural Investment Company, Yousuf Yaqoob Kolia, Guardian Leasing Modaraba, Motiwala Securities and Arif Habib Securities.

The underwriters for the fund are, Siddiqsons Denim, Ibrahim Agencies, Mian Mohammad Abdullah (Sapphire Group), Dewan Salman Fibre, Metro Securities, Abdul Razak Tabba (Younus Brothers Group), Bank Al-Habib, National Investment Trust Limited, Ferozuddin A. Cassim, Suleiman Ahmed Al-Hoqani (UAE), AKD Securities, Javed Omer Vohra & Co., Muhammad Bashir Jan Mohammad and Haji Ghani Haji Usman.

 

 

The applications for the initial public offer will be entertained by designated branches of the bankers to the issue. The list includes Allied Bank, Bank Al Falah, Bank Al-Habib, Bank of Khyber, Faysal Bank, First Women Bank, Habib Bank, Metropolitan Bank, Muslim Commercial Bank, National Bank of Pakistan, PICIC Commercial Bank, Saudi Pak Commercial Bank, Soneri Bank, The Bank of Punjab, and United Bank.

DILBAND IRON ORE

Bolan Mining Enterprises (BME), a 50:50 joint venture between the Government of Balochistan and Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) signed a contract on 14 November 2003 with DMT - Montan Consulting GmbH, Germany for carrying out a Feasibility Study for enrichment (beneficiation) of Dilband Iron Ore. The contract was signed on behalf of BME by Mr. Shamim Akhtar, Resident Manager, on behalf of PPL (BME's Operator) by Mr. S. Munsif Raza, Managing Director, and on behalf of DMT by Mr. Michael Loos, at PPL's Head Office.

Enrichment (beneficiation) of iron ore being a complex process will require the study to be carried out in several phases including the pilot plant scale leading to preparation of the feasibility report and detailed engineering for installation of Beneficiation Plant at Dilband to upgrade the total iron (TFe) content from 40% to 60% plus.

Dilband iron ore deposit is located at about 190 km south east of Quetta in District Mastung, Balochistan. Geological studies have indicated iron ore reserves of about 167 million tonnes. An Agreement has been signed between Pakistan Steel (PS) and BME for supply of 100,000 tonnes of fine iron ore to PS from Dilband in one year commencing from December 2003, for which a pilot ore crushing plant has started functioning at Dilband.

The project will not only boost the mineral sector in the province but will go a long way towards the socio-economic development of the area. Substantial amount of foreign exchange will also be saved.