Nov 15 - 28, 2004

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SHAHEEN AIR GEARING UP FOR NEW HORIZONS

By FAROOQ NASIR KHAN

The airline industry of Pakistan, for the last many decades, had been dominated by its national carrier PIA, which had the lion's share in the airline market. However to promote healthy competition by giving more options to the growing number of customers and potential customers, in 1992 under the liberalization program, the Government of Pakistan had granted permission to number of airlines including SAI, to operate flights in the domestic market. However, after some time few airlines closed their operations, thus leaving the market divided between Aero Asia & Shaheen Air.

 

 

Shaheen Air International (SAI) started its services in December 1993 with the support of Pakistan Air Force, not only as an alternative to PIA but also as a dependable substitute carrier in times of war, national emergency or in the event of privatization of PIA. SAI commenced its operations from a single domestic sector of Islamabad-Karachi-Islamabad with wet leased aircraft. However on account of its professional service, exceptional performance and expertise in the aviation market, on October 25, 1994, Shaheen Air was accorded the status of Second National Carrier of Pakistan, and allowed to operate international route Peshawar-Dubai-Peshawar, thus becoming the first private sector airline of Pakistan to operate an international flight, the most for a fledgling company in ten months. Since then SAI has been in a perpetual pursuit of excellence in operations and services by expanding it's fleet, acquiring new routes and increasing its passengers base.

Shaheen Air, as part of its continuous improvement and constant process of expansion and restructuring with an aim to provide the best possible service to its valued clients, is once again gearing up for new horizons. In June 2004, SAI has been totally taken over by the new management TAWA International Inc. of Canada. The leading Canada-based Pakistani businessman Khalid M Sehbai the new Chairman of SAI has made a huge initial Foreign Direct Investment in SAI with the sole objective of making it profitable and a leading customer-focused regional airline.

The Chairman, Mr. Khalid M. Sehbai and Vice Chairman Mr. Pervaiz Ali Khan of SAI is planning to expand SAI fleet with Western Aircrafts, like 737-200s, 737-800s and other wide body aircrafts with more flights on domestic and international routes, however, the current SAI's fleet of five Russian airplanes, which were all on wet lease, would be gradually phased out. SAI will increase the frequency of flights on the domestic sectors, including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and will start flights to Gwadar, Quetta, Multan, Sukkur, Faisalabad, Northern Areas and other socio- economic routes very soon. The management is also confident that within 1 year, with state-of-the-art aircraft and quality service to passengers, SAI will be a leading regional carrier by operating flights to the member states of SAARC, Gulf, Middle East and later to Europe and North America.

SAI's mission is to provide its customers excellent value to their money, through customer satisfaction, quality service with courtesy, reliability and efficiency. SAI will enhance its customer base by offering competitive fares and excellent customer care coupled with electronic reservation and electronic departure systems.

Shaheen Air International not only aims to be the market leader in the forthcoming years by excelling the heights of success but also hopes to be the paradigm for other companies in the airline industry.

PICIC GROWTH FUND (PGF) OUTPERFORMS KSE-100 INDEX BY 3% FOR THE QUARTER ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2004

The Board of Directors of PICIC Asset Management Company Ltd at its 4th meeting held on 29th October, 2004 at Karachi, approved quarterly accounts (unaudited) of PICIC Asset Management Company Limited, PICIC Investment Fund-PIF (formerly ICP Mutual Funds Lot 'B') and PICIC Growth Fund-PGF (formerly ICP State Enterprises Mutual Fund-SEMF) for the first quarter ended 30th September, 2004.

By the Grace of Allah, PICIC Asset Management Company Limited the Investment Adviser of PICIC Investment Fund (PIF) and PICIC Growth Fund (PGF), despite depressing stock market conditions during the quarter ended September 30, 2004 stood well above the expectations of its certificate holders and seized maximum possible opportunities for realizing capital gains and enhancing certificate holders value.

PICIC GROWTH FUND

During the quarter ended September 30, 2004 PICIC Growth Fund's total income (excluding unrealized gains/loss) stood at Rs.260 million. Total expenditure during the quarter ended September 30, 2004 amounted to Rs.37 million. The net income (excluding unrealized gains/loss) for the quarter ended September 30, 2004 stood at Rs.222 million. This translates into an earning per certificate of Rs.1.77 for the quarter.

 

 

The net assets of PICIC Growth Fund (PGF) increased from Rs.6369 million on June 30, 2004 to Rs.6483 million on September 30, 2004 reflecting a growth of 1.8% during which the KSE-100 Index had underperformed by 1.2%, thus PGF outperformed the KSE-100 Index by 3%. Accordingly the net asset value per certificate improved from Rs.50.55 per certificate on June 30, 2004 to Rs.51.45 per certificate on September 30, 2004.

PICIC INVESTMENT FUND

During the quarter ended September 30, 2004 PICIC Investment Fund's total income (excluding unrealized gains/loss) stood at Rs.238 million. Total expenditure during the quarter ended September 30, 2004 amounted to Rs.43 million on account of restructuring cost for the merger of the funds. The net income (excluding unrealized gains/loss) for the quarter ended September 30, 2004 stood at Rs.195 million. This translates into an earning per certificate of Rs.0.69 for the quarter.

The net asset value per certificate for quarter ended September 30, 2004 stood at Rs.17.37 per certificate.

PICIC ASSET MANAGEMENT COMPANY LIMITED

PICIC AMC has started with a vision to provide a diverse set of investment products according to the investment and risk appetite of all the investor segments, establishing it as the largest fund manager in Pakistan. Its immediate future plans include launching a closed end fund by the second quarter of current fiscal and bringing on to a platform of an open end fund by June 2005.

The Company is being headed by a team of dedicated professionals who have excelled in their respective careers and offers a unique mix of experience and young potential so that a collective and focused effort can be made towards realization of our vision.

We at PICIC AMC are adamant about the growth potential of the Mutual Funds Sector and feel that the current economic growth rate, privatization policy, economic reforms, deregulation policy, new listings, current political scenario and the performance of micro economy would contribute significantly towards further market appreciation and hence the mutual fund industry.

PICIC Asset Management Company Ltd would Insha-Allah continue to emphasize on maximizing certificate holders value and is adamant for seizing all emerging opportunities to ameliorate the certificate holders interest. PICIC's motive of providing innovative value-added and impeccable services and to make it "Investor Preferred Institution" is amply justified by the spectacular results reaped.

HSBC INCREASES ITS PAID-UP CAPITAL

Mr. Guy Priestley, CEO HSBC Pakistan announced that HSBC has increased the capital invested in Pakistan by 5% or PKR 500 million. HSBC now has PKR 1.5 billion in capital dedicated to the Pakistan market. This is only the first step: a further increase of PKR500 million will follow in 2005.

Mr. Priestley said that this was a very emphatic statement of HSBC's commitment to the growing Pakistan financial sector and general economy.

'HSBC is one of the world's largest and most profitable bank; but we are also proud of our long-term view and commitment to the societies in which we operate. Although we are a foreign bank, during the 22 years we have been in Pakistan we have seen many changes and endured many vicissitudes side by side with the Pakistan people. It is with great pleasure that we have seen the return to solid and sustainable growth in recent years. This has given us the confidence to bring more investment into Pakistan and increase our capital here. We hope our many loyal customers will join us in celebrating this step, which will in turn enable us to improve and expand the services we offer them.

CELL-PHONE MARKET REACTS POSITIVELY TO PAKTEL GSM LAUNCH

The fastest growing sector of the economy, telecommunications, has reacted very positively to the recent launch of Paktel's new GSM network. Dealers in different parts of the country reported that the entry of a third GSM operator has been favourably received by the public as judged by the demand received for new connections.

According to a leading dealer in the country's largest city Karachi, the Paktel launch, expected for some time, came with a pleasant surprise. Instead of competing with the other operators on their terms by offering a low up front connection charge, Paktel GSM offers usage rates 35 to 83 percent lower than the others. "The connection charge is a one time charge and it does not really matter if it is Rs. 200 or Rs 600," said the dealer. "What is important is the usage charge because the usage bill has to be paid every month. Paktel GSM's pre-paid connection has an air-time rate of Rs 3.75, compared to Rs. 5.00 of Ufone and Rs. 5.75 of Mobilink."

 

 

EMIRATES ADDS FOUR DESTINATIONS IN 2005

Emirates, the Dubai-based international airline, has disclosed that it will start passenger flights to another three cities in 2005, in Europe and the Far East.

When added to the airline's new three-weekly route to the Seychelles, due to start on 2 January as announced earlier, the new routes will expand the Emirates network to 81 destinations by the end of next year.

Daily services to Hamburg will start on 30 October, making it the airline's fourth gateway to Germany, presently served by five daily flights to Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich.

On 1 December, Geneva will become the second Swiss city with daily Emirates services, besides Zurich.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates, said: "In 2005, Emirates will continue to grow and expand to new destinations where we know there is a demand for our services.

"In doing so we are putting our airline within reach of an ever-growing customer base, giving them more choices and an opportunity to experience first-hand the high quality of the Emirates product that has been the foundation of our success.

He added: "We constantly invest in advanced equipment and staff training to meet the highest passenger expectations and requirements. Our customers keep rewarding us for the high priority we give to providing them the best possible travel experience."