Mar 15 - 21, 2004

 

UNION BANK TO LAUNCH A UNIQUE 'KISAAN CARD' FOR FARMERS

Considering the vital significance of agriculture sector in Pakistan's economy, with approximately 25% contribution in the GDP, Union Bank is introducing an innovative product 'Kisaan Card' to benefit the small farmers. This is a first of its kind product in the region and will be offered to farmers holding 12.5 to 50 acres land. Union Bank plans to launch this card countrywide however; at the initial stage the card will be offered in Multan, Sahiwal, Hyderabad and Mardan regions. The roll out of the project will start from Multan and its adjoining areas.
'Kisaan Card' is an easily manageable financing scheme that will help farmers to purchase high quality pesticides, fertilizers and seeds on credit terms that in turn will increase crop yields.

 

 

In order to accommodate the farmers to payback in a manner that is most convenient to them. The users of the card will have the liberty to repay the utilized amount only after the crop harvest is complete.

FOCUS AND WORLD BANK AGREE NATURAL HAZARD AND POVERTY REDUCTION PROJECT FOR HIGH-MOUNTAIN AREAS

The World Bank and Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) have agreed recently to implement an innovative project aimed at reducing poverty in high-mountain areas around Lake Sarez. The US$ 2 million project is financed through the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) administered by the World Bank.

Mr. Hakim Feerasta, the Resident Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), noted that, "the JSDF project is innovative in that it links risk reduction with longer-term socio-economic development. This is critical for the communities which will be targeted in this project as they face the combined challenges of physical and socio-economic isolation as well as threats from natural hazards."

TETRA PAK & WASTE BUSTERS SIGN MOU

Tetra Pak Pakistan and Waste Busters, a Lahore-based environmental NGO, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to recycle 30 million post consumer Tetra Pak cartons in the current year. The MoU, which is valid for a period of one year, was signed by Tetra Pak's Marketing Department represented by the Head Khaled Ismail, and Waste Busters' Chairman Asif Farooki.

"Tetra Pak has always believed in responsible industry leadership and creation of profitable growth in harmony with environmental considerations. Since we have always believed in valuable partnerships, we hope that this recycling initiate will also prove to be beneficial to society. We have worked with Waste Busters for the past one year and we believe that together we can make a lot of difference," remarked Khaled Ismail, Director Marketing, Tetra Pak Pakistan. "The objective of the campaign," in the words of Khaled Ismail, "is to provide clean and healthy living environment to the people of Pakistan, to help ministry/government manage waste, and to promote small and medium enterprises in the recycling industry for employment generation and poverty alleviation."

Asif Farooki, Chairman Waste Busters, thanked Tetra Pak for providing Waste Busters yet another opportunity to be part of the recycling campaign, 'Proud Pakistanis Recycle.' "We will not only pulp the waste but will also assist Tetra Pak in carrying out other recycling initiatives in schools and the recycling campaign as a partner," he added.

IMMENSE POTENTIAL IN PAKISTANI AC MARKET FOR LG ELECTRONICS

In line with LG's commitment to Pakistan, LG Electronics' General Manager Air-Conditioner Marketing Group Seoul, Korea recently visited Pakistan to evaluate the current market situation, customer behavior and developing market trend.

During his visit Mr. Lee visited the electronic markets of Karachi and had several discussions with local market representatives. He concluded that "the air-conditioner market in Pakistan has immense potential and LG has got the most innovative and userfriendly air conditioners to fulfill this need". "LG's Plasma split AC and window AC are penetrating at a very high pace in the local market due to their innovation and accessibility for the consumers" Lee added.

LG also plans to open up an Air-conditioner manufacturing plant in Balochistan soon this year, which will reinforce LG's commitment and long-term vision for the local market. Mr. Lee also visited the LG partner office New allied and probe into their needs regarding LG's further development in the local scene.

THIRD BRANCH OF H&H EXCHANGE

Pakistan's first and the largest exchange company (H&H Exchange Co.) will Inshah Allah be opening their third branch in Rawalpindi on March 12, 2004. The inauguration ceremony will take place at, The Mall Plaza, Rawalpindi same day.

 

 

It will not be out of place to mention that one of their main branch at Saima Trade Towers, off I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi and the other at Al-Karam Centre, Block-7, Clifton, Karachi have already been serving for the last of one year.

They are in the finalizing process of opening more branches in Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta as well.

This company has been dealing in all international currencies, issuing foreign currency wire transfers and foreign currency demand drafts as well, also selling foreign currency checks and encashment thereof.

PAK-LIBYA HOLDING COMPANY

The Board of Directors of Pak-Libya Holding Company (Pvt.) Limited, in their meeting held on February 20, 2004, applauded the Management for showing remarkable improvements in their operating performance during the year 2003. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Ahmed Muhamed Aweidat. The Board also approved financing in various projects including the establishment of an asset management company as a joint venture between Pak-Libya, and leading commercial banks. This will be the first asset management company to be launched as a Public/Private sector enterprise.

The Board appreciated that the management of the company had posted gross profits of Rs. 423 million and operating profits of Rs. 201 million in the year 2003 as against Rs. 238 million and Rs. 100 million respectively in the preceding year, which is a remarkable achievement from last year and made possible only due to efficient management. Total credit sanctions for the year ending December 2003 were Rs. 2,089 million as against Rs. 1,156 million in the previous year registering a growth of over 80%. These sanctions were made to diverse sectors of economy including; textiles, energy, transport & telecommunication, oil & gas, sugar and financial sector. Total disbursements for the year 2003 amounted to Rs. 1,422 million as compared to Rs. 763 million in the year 2002 to registering an increase of over 86%. Similarly, during the year Pak-Libya recoveries amounted to Rs. 903 million as against Rs. 890 million in the previous year.

Pak-Libya is a joint stock company, which commenced its operations in 1980 and is equally owned by the Governments of Pakistan and Libya. The Company operates within the framework of banking laws of Pakistan and its operations are routinely supervised by the State Bank of Pakistan, external auditors and credit rating agencies.

The Shareholders' equity of the Company as on December 31, 2003 stood at Rs. 2,375 million. Since inception, the Company has declared cumulative dividend, in terms of cash and stock dividend, of Rs. 2.2 billion to its shareholders. Pak-Libya has also played a vital role in the development of the capital market as well as money market of the country.

The Company has recently undergone administrative and financial restructuring with a focus to improve upon efficiency. A full service "Consumer Banking Division" has started its operations since November 2003 and the results are encouraging. The Company intends to focus on its core activities as well as diversify to take advantage of market potential. With improved efficiency, better operating results and future plans for growth, the Company expects to reach new heights of growth and profitability.

ICCI TRADE DELEGATION TO VISIT MYANMAR

President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) Mr. Zubair Ahmed Malik welcomed the invitation from Myanmar Ambassador His Excellency Mr. U.Maung Nyo to take a trade delegation of Pakistani businessmen to visit Myanmar and explore the prospects for improving Pakistan-Myanmar trade and investment.

Mr. Malik pointed out during the meeting with Ambassador Nyo that presently trade between the two countries was too small and needs to be increased. He stated that the total value of two-way trade is around US$ 18 million during the year 2002-03. Of this amount Pakistan's exports amount to US$ 8.6 million and imports amount to US$ 10.3 million, leaving a trade balance in favour of Myanmar. The major export items are fertilizer (worth US$ 2.79 million) and import items are cork and wood of all types (worth US$ 1.6 million), organic chemicals and iron core conglomerate, dyeing and tanning materials.

 

 

THE CAMBRIDGE SHOP

After successful opening of "The Cambridge Shop" in Forum Mall and Park Towers, Cambridge is proud to announce the opening of "Cambridge Shop" at Millennium Mall very soon where you will find not only the trendiest of boutique style shalwar suits but also the trousers weaved from the finest of cotton along with top of the line executive dress shirts, casual shirts and knits.

A new member is about to be added in the Cambridge Casual shirts range. The fine denim structure of our fit to body casual checks will surely please you on any outings you may wear it to.

PAKISTAN AMERICAN BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

The Pakistan American Business Association (PABA) recently announced that it is organizing its sixth annual conference in Islamabad, Pakistan from March 26-28, 2004. The conference will take place at the Marriott Hotel located in the heart of Islamabad, Pakistan.

This convention strives to bring together Pakistani, American and European business leaders. Participants will interact and explore potential business and trade opportunities. This forum will provide an excellent opportunity for leader to exchange ideas about emerging business, technology and regulatory trends in today's rapidly changing global economy.