May 10 - 16, 2004

 

STATE LIFE SECURED RS.386 MILLION

State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan has successfully secured Rs. 386 million as First Year Premium (New Business) by providing financial protection to 40,923 new policyholders and their families nationwide during the first quarter of 2004 as compared to Rs.284 million in the corresponding period 2003 showing an increase of 35.73% during 1st Quarter 2004.
This was stated by Mr. Rasool Bakhsh Baloch, Chairman State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan while talking to the senior media persons during the closing ceremony of 3 days State Life Convention 2004 held here.

 

 

Executive Directors, Mr. Muhammad Javed Khan, Mr. Zafar Mahmood, Mr. Zahid Murad besides Regional Chiefs, Zonal Heads, Senior Corporate and Marketing Executives were present on the occasion. Mr. Rasool Bakhsh Baloch while highlighting the corporate performance of State Life during the first quarter of 2004 informed that the Life Fund of State Life stood at Rs.98 billion while its market value has reached to Rs. 125 billion. Chairman State Life said that Rs. 6.25 billion were paid as bonus to policyholders during 2003 on the basis of actuarial valuation of previous year. The valuation of 2003 is currently underway, he elaborated. Mr. Rasool Bakhsh Baloch said that State Life has paid more than Rs. 2 billion as death and maturity claims that has benefited 26,707 policyholders and their families during the period 2003. Mr. Rasool Bakhsh Baloch reiterated that State Life will continue to serve its valued policyholders by providing quality financial services at their doorstep. Chairman State Life said that the total target of Rs.12.32 billion for 2004 includes Rs.8.9 billion as individual life premium, Rs.2.85 as Group premium and Rs.543 million as international business. He hoped that the marketing force will achieve the business targets by the end of the 4th quarter of 2004 with dedication, zeal and commitment.

Earlier, Mr. Zafar Mahmood, Executive Director Marketing highlighted the business performance of 1st quarter 2004 and said that business wise Central Region topped by securing Rs.12.39 crore as First Year Premium (New business) followed by South Region Rs.10.25 crore, North Region Rs.10.14 crore and Multan Region Rs.5.86 crore. The Executive Director (Marketing) added that Multan Region topped by showing an increase of 44.96% as compared to 2003 during the same period, while South Region stood at 41.03%, North Region 32.39% and Central Region 30.41% respectively. Mr. Zafar Mahmood said that our elite marketing force is fully geared to achieve the business target of Rs.12.32 billion in 2004. Mr. M. Jawaid Khan, General Manager (Marketing) while making his presentation informed that the rules for convention 2005 have been laid down according to which State Life will arrange one corporate convention and four Regional Conventions for the qualifiers on the basis of the business contest.

The General Manager (Marketing) congratulated the entire marketing force on achieving their respective business targets during Q1 of 2004. Shields were awarded on the outstanding business performance amongst the qualifiers.

ELECTION OF DIRECTORS: PAK GULF LEASING

The three-year term of the sitting Directors of Pak-Gulf Leasing Co. Ltd. expired on April 20, 2004. In compliance with the relevant company law, an Extra Ordinary General Meeting of the company's Shareholders was held on April 20, at the Registered Office of the company to elect new Directors. Representatives of THK Associates (Pvt.) Ltd., the Share Registrar of the company supervised the election of the Directors. According to the election results, the following were re-elected as Directors of the company for the next three years:

1. Mr. Sohail Inam Ellahi
2. Mr. Fawad S. Malik
3. Mr. Inam Ellahi Shaikh
4. Mr. Shaikh Aftab Ahmed
5. Mr. Yousuf Jan Mohammad
6. Mr. Shaikh Mohammad Jawed
7. Mr. Shaheed H. Gaylani
8. Mr. A. B. Shahid .

MEEZAN ISLAMIC FUND EARNS RS.200 MILLION IN EIGHT MONTHS

The Board of Directors of Al Meezan Investment Management Limited, the Management Company of Meezan Islamic Fund (MIF), in its 21st meeting approved the financial results for MIF for the third quarter ended March 31, 2004.

MIF earned a total income of Rs.220 million for the period August 08, 2003 to March 31, 2004. Major sources of revenue were surplus on revaluation of held for trading investments of Rs. 96.3 million, Capital Gains amounting to Rs. 71.4 million, and dividend income of Rs. 40 million. After accounting for expenses of Rs.20 million, the net income for the period stands at Rs.199.97 million, which translates into earnings of Rs.10.51 per unit.

During the period under review, units worth Rs.1.17 billion were issued and units worth Rs. 204.3 million were redeemed. The net assets of the Fund as on March 31, 2004 stand at Rs.1,151.5 million. The Net Asset Value per share of MIF increased from Rs.50 to Rs.60.51 during this period, depicting an increase of 21% for the period or 31.5 % on an annualized basis.

SINGAPORE TRADE DELEGATION VISITS ICCI

Dr. Balaji Sadasivan Minister of State of Singapore and leader of the visiting trade delegation said that Pakistan and Singapore will hold negotiations on Free Trade Agreement between the two countries.

The delegation represented real estate, infrastructure, engineering services, health care, trading, IT, info technology and textile sectors has met the relevant businessmen in Islamabad Chamber and President ICCI Zubair Ahmed Malik.

Dr. Balaji called upon the Pakistani entrepreneurs to use Singapore as a springboard to the ASEAN, China and the rest of the South East Asian regions as Singapore has excellent connectivity to the region and the rest of the world. He said that Singapore already has free trade agreement with the U.S.A, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the European Free Trade Association. Pakistani companies seeking to export their goods and services to the region can use Singapore as a base. He informed that Pakistan is 13th largest trading partner of Singapore and we want to improve this ranking.

US VISA ARTICLE

US government's new federal rule 67 FR 76711 has sparked job security scare among Pakistani seamen. Being Pakistani & Muslim seamen, they were already worried for the loss of their jobs owing to American branded Islamic terrorism, the new federal rule coming in force from June 16th 2004, will replace the existing Crew List Visa (22 CFR Part 41, 42) where by all crew members seeking to enter United States in that capacity will be required to apply for individual crew visa.

This move is in progress without realizing its impact and time constraint. This US rule would adversely affect those nations where visa-obtaining process is lengthy, Pakistan being one of the strong and effective ally of the US is among those countries and deserves preferential treatment from the United States and H.E. the Ambassador to Pakistan. The USA government on one hand is calling Pakistan a close alley and a Non-Nato member status is being accorded by US Secretary of State Mr. Collen Powell. On the other hand such federal rule referred above, deprives employment opportunity to skilled seamen of an ally which must be considered with caution and on priority basis.

 

 

The fact that many Pakistani seafarers are serving vessels trading on US routes and it would not be possible in the given time to replace them with Pakistani seafarers holding US visa unless the process is accelerated. As observed lately, the time to obtain crew visa in Pakistan takes about five to six months. The USA visa office at Pakistan has already been directed to scrutinize documents of Pakistani applicants thoroughly, this takes 4-6 months till clearance received from US State department. While very few crew members are in possession of Valid US Crew Visa, the time available to comply with the rule is indeed insufficient. Thus it would be tough for local shipping companies to obtain US Crew Visa for their entire fleet in the given time unless the process is accelerated or it is issued on a priority basis. This also makes seamen & various sponsors (Manning agent/principals) to submit list of seamen demanded by Principles for US voyage to US embassy for visa, four to six months in advance.

Although many countries including USA take decision as same suites to their interest without caring for even skilled foreign labour force. There could be dozen of solutions for resolving this threatening issue. The government of USA in collaboration with US Embassy in Pakistan and interaction/interest of Pakistani foreign office can come up with as many solutions as they can! Where there is a will, there is a way. However the suffering seamen community for a time being, can offer a single solution to Ambassador of USA in Pakistan. A dedicated window/cell for seamen community for visa may be arranged where documents for seafarers may be processed and visa applications may be decided in favour or against, at the maximum of 3-4 weeks.

We hope US - Government, US Ambassador in Pakistan and our foreign office will come up with more convenient solutions or least agree to our proposed solution stated above.

HP BRINGS RELIABLE OFFICE DOCUMENT

HP (NYSE:HPQ) unveiled an extended portfolio of multi-function products and print solutions enabling small and medium businesses (SMBs) of all sizes to get more from their imaging and printing, helping to position them for continued business growth. The new multi-function devices released include three new HP LaserJets and two HP Officejets, which each combine the functions of scanning, printing, copying and faxing in one reliable business device. Additionally, three newly launched HP print solutions offer SMBs added security, mobility and form automation.

By consolidating imaging and printing functions, businesses can save time, reduce supplies and lower maintenance costs by as much as 30 percent (Gartner Group). The products enable users in Small Offices and Home Offices (SOHO), Small and Medium size Businesses (SMBs) and workgroups in enterprises to benefit from the versatility of multi-function products at an impressively affordable price.

"SMBs can trust HP to provide high-quality network-ready imaging and printing devices, supplies, connectivity solutions, services and support that are easier to acquire, use and manage at all stages of their business growth," said Tan Lee Chew, Vice President, Shared Printing & Imaging and Digital Publishing, HP Imaging Printing Group, Asia Pacific/Japan. "Improving efficiency is a priority for businesses whatever their size. This is a real opportunity for cost-sensitive businesses to reap the benefits of consolidated workflows, reduced costs and increased productivity. For functionality, price and competitiveness, the new range of all-in-ones delivers tailored solutions to businesses of any size, from micro businesses to enterprise. Coupled with the new print solutions to help them do more, customers are able to maximise the return on their investment."

PAKISTAN RECEIVES EXPORT ORDER FOR CALL CENTER TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION

A leading cellular phone service provider in Tanzania, East Africa known as M/s Mobitel, MIC has placed an order for Voice Transaction Recording and Monitoring solution with ZRG International (pvt) Ltd., a Pakistani-based telecom solutions.

M/s Mobitel last year awarded a major contract to ZRG International for the installation of a state-of-the-art customer services and support Call Center. The recent order for adding Voice Recording and Monitoring capabilities into their Call Center constitutes the next phase of the project. For this expansion order, bids from various international solution providers were considered.

The evaluation and selection criteria included factors such as price-performance ratio, feature richness, scalability and ruggedness of the systems as well as the company track record of prompt support, flexibility and market references. After detailed evaluation, M/s Mobitel selected ZRG's solution for their customer services call center.

 

 

With this order, ZRG not only earned foreign exchange for the country but also contributed towards the Software Export efforts of Pakistan and paved the way for other Pakistani technology firms into the international market.

The received export order is a direct endorsement of the world class quality and acceptance of telecom solutions from Pakistan. ZRG International is already turning this initiative into a strategic penetrative move into the largely untapped East African markets for customer service tools and solutions.

ZRG International (pvt) Ltd (www.zrg.com) is a market leader in Pakistan that has been providing Call Center solutions to some of the largest and busiest Call Centers of Pakistan including Mobilink, Instaphone, Paktel, Bank Alfalah, etc.

PKR 1.4 BILLION SBLCS FOR AES LALPIR & AES PAKGEN IN AN HBL LED SYNDICATE

A signing ceremony to commemorate the establishment of two SBLCs for AES Lalpir and AES PakGen respectively, was held at the AES Oasis Regional Office in Dubai. The subject transactions were led by

Habib Bank Limited in a consortium consisting of Faysal Bank Ltd. National Bank of Pakistan, Saudi Pak Commercial Bank and Habib Bank Ltd. According to bank sources a PKR 713.9 mn SBLC was issued favoring WAPDA on behalf of AES Lalpir (Pvt) Ltd, and a PKR 690.5 mn SBLC was issued favoring WAPDA on behalf of AES PakGen (Pvt) Co. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Atif R Bokhari SEVP, HBL said that the syndicate was pleased to close this landmark deal which was the first of its kind in Pakistan from the point of view of sccuritization. Mr. Shehzad Qasim, CEO AES Oasis, thanked the consortium banks and hoped that this new relationship would grow in the future. Corporate banking heads of the paricipating banks along with senior executives were also present at the occasion.