Feb 21 - 27, 2005

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AFGHANISTAN, PAKISTAN TO ENHANCE TRADE, ECONOMIC TIES

Afghan Finance Minister Dr. Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi, called on Commerce Minister of Pakistan Humayun Akhtar Khan to discuss economic and trade matters between the two countries. Dr. Ahadi said that Pakistan was the major trade partner of Afghanistan and his country gave much importance to the valuable assistance of Pakistan in rebuilding Afghanistan. He acknowledged the tremendous potential for trade yet to be realized between the two countries.
Our trade volume is rapidly rising and much is to be done to further increase this volume, he added.

 

 

SAMSUNG'S MOBILE PHONES RECORD 55pc INCREASE

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. announced a record 55% increase in sales of mobile phones in its financial results for 2004. Samsung mobile phones, which are part of the Company's Telecommunication Network Business, have captured a unique high-end world market and are one of the fastest growing businesses of the global giant.

The Telecommunication Network Business sold 86.53 million phones throughout 2004, a 55% increase from the 55.66 million units it sold in 2003. Sales grew 33% to US$18.37 billion and profits were at US$2.72 billion.

The aggressive push of its successful Olympic marketing program and favorable sales in the US and Brazil, Russia, India and China region all contributed to its best recorded performance to date and a marked improvement in market share from 10.8% in 2003 to 13.7% in 2004.

Mr. Sang Suk Roh, Samsung's Country Manager in Pakistan, said, "Sales of Samsung mobile phones along with its other business units are gaining momentum in Pakistan, consumers are finding our products to be technologically advanced, stylish and fashionable, and at a competitive price." "Consumers will be happy to note that a newer generation of Samsung high-end mobile phones are soon to be launched in Pakistan", Sang added.

The company recorded sales of US$55.90 billion, a 32% increase, operating income of US$11.66 billion, a 67% rise, and net income of US$10.46 billion, a 81% gain. In particular, it maintained high profit margins at 21%. Samsung achieved profits of over US$10 billion for the first time in its 35-year history, a remarkable feat for a manufacturing company. Last year, only 9 companies recorded profits of over US$10 billion, the majority being from either the financial services or oil industries.

APPNA EXECUTIVE COUNCIL MEETING IN HOUSTON

At the request of President Dr. Hussain Malik a special meeting of APPNA Executive Council was called at Houston, Texas to discuss and approve certain organization matters. The special purpose of the meeting was to approve the incorporation of APPNA Charitable Foundation and APPNA Rewards program.

It was a full day meeting starting at 9:30 am. The meeting was called to order by opening remarks from the President Hussain Malik.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Hussain said that he is personally grateful to all the Executive Council Members who are participating in this special meeting. The first half of the day was dedicated to the organization matters of the association like presentation of 2004 accounts and committee reports. The second half of the day was dedicated to discussions on some new initiatives with special emphasis on APPNA Charitable Foundation and formation of Youth and Awards Committee chaired by Dr. Nisar Chaudhry.

In his presentation to the Executive Council, Dr. Hussain Malik said that the mission of APPNA Charitable Foundation is to provide community service not only in health care, by conducting free clinics, but also contribute towards other disasters like the recent Tsunami calamity in South Asia. He also said that APPNA Charitable Foundation will work as an umbrella for existing initiatives like APPNA Sehat as well as new initiative proposed and approved by the board of directors of the Foundation. He also told the audience that we are citizen's of USA and we should give back to this society which has adopted us their own. He said that APPNA Charitable Foundation would work with local communities, specially the downtrodden neighborhoods, to conduct free health clinics. In the end he presented the articles of incorporation to the Executive Council for review and approval.

Two-tier organization with a five-member Board of Trustees and a 9-member board of directors will run the APPNA Charitable Foundation. Trustees will be responsible for setting the policies and procedures for running of the Foundation while Board of directors will manage the day-to-day operation of the Foundation.

PAK OMAN RATING

Pak Oman Investment Company Limited (Pak Oman) has been assigned a corporate governance rating of CGR-9 by JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (JCR-VIS).

These ratings are based on a scale ranging from CGR-1 (lowest) to CGR-10 (highest). The highest rating of CGR-10 can only be assigned to listed companies. The rating assigned to Pak Oman denotes a 'very high level of corporate governance'.

 

 

These ratings are arrived at after evaluating key governance areas of the rated enterprise, which include regulatory compliance, ownership structure, composition and operations of the board of directors and executive management, self-regulation, financial transparency and relationship with stakeholders.

According to JCR-VIS, the rating assigned to Pak Oman is a positive reflection of the conscious effort on the part of both the Board of Directors (BoD) and the executive management towards developing a corporate culture at Pak Oman based on good governance.

HUBCO ORGANISES FREE EYE CLINIC AT HUB

The Hub Power Company Limited (HUBCO) organised its fourth free eye clinic for the benefit of the people of district Lasbela. The free eye clinic has been set up to facilitate eye examination and eye surgery to alleviate blindness.

Mohammad Aslam Bhutani, Deputy Speaker and Member Provincial Assembly, Balochistan graced the occasion and performed the opening ceremony, Also present were representatives from Hubco including Sardar M. Yousuf Khan, Lesley Middlecoat and Musharaf Hussain. Local notables and government officials were also present on the occasion.

The company has collaborated with the Al-Ebrahim Eye Hospital and Civil Hospital (Jam Ghulam Qadir Hospital, Hub Chowki) to conduct this eye clinic. The clinic will function for 4 days with the dedication of doctors from Jam Hospital team of doctors and surgeons of Al Ebrahim Hospital.

Speaking on the occasion, Bhotani said, "It is a pleasure for me to come to this eye clinic that has been organised in my own vicinity. I'm thankful to Hubco for pursuing this noble cause also for donating medicines to the Civil Hospital and request other companies to follow their good example."

On behalf of Hubco's CEO, Ashraf Tumbi, Sardar M. Y. K. reiterated that as a concerned corporate Hubco intends to keep working in the field of health and education for the benefit of the people of the area.

CHALLENGES OF WTO REGIME

The ensuing challenges of WTO regime can be adroitly met be Pakistan, by improving its human resources, developing its infrastructure and promoting foreign investment. Pakistan, possessed sufficient potential to convert challenges into opportunities offered by the TWO regime. This was stated by Asad Elahi, Secretary Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan, while addressing a seminar organized by Preston University at its Islamabad Campus. The seminar was attended by eminent economists, intellectuals and members of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Elahi said that Pakistan has adequate comparative advantage in the agriculture sector rice, cotton and wheat being its main stay. With proper investments it could enhance its productivity in these areas and effectively compete in the world market.

Dr. Aqdas Ali Kazmi, Chief-Macro-Economic Section, Planning Commission and Dr. Syed Wajid H. Pirzada, Director/National Coordinator, WTO, Food and Agricultural Related Matters Cell, Islamabad also addressed the seminar.

INSTAPHONE BREAKS NEW GROUND IN VALUE-ADDED SERVICES

Instaphone, Pakistan's one of the largest mobile phone service, broke new ground in value-added services by further reducing the charges for their Short Messaging Services (SMS). Instaphone subscribers can now SMS to other Instaphone, Insta Xcite & Insta One users at a remarkably low rate of 50 paisas only. The charges for SMS to any other mobile users across all networks used to be Rs1.50 for Instaphone users.

This remarkable lowering of prices is in line with Instaphone's history of bringing new innovations and providing best value to it customers. The company was the first to introduce cross network SMS services between itself and all other mobile phone services in Pakistan. The new price decrease will give Instaphone users a considerable price saving and economy.

CHANDA OIL's IPO FOR TFC

Chanda Oil And Gas Securitization Company Limited (COGSCL) will be making Rs250 million public offer of the rated and listed and asset backed Term Finance Certificate Issue on February 15 & 16, 2005. Faysal Bank Limited is the Advisor, Arranger and Structuring Agent for the Issue with the total TFC amount of Rs1,000 million comprising of private placement of Rs750 million and initial public offering of Rs250 million. The company has successfully raised Rs750 million through 23 financial institution which includes Allied Bank of Pakistan, Bolan Bank Limited, Faysal Bank Ltd, Faysal Balanced Growth Fund, Jahangir Siddiqui Investment Bank Limited, KASB Bank Limited, Pak Kuwait Investment Company (Pvt) Limited, Pakistan Income Fund, PICIC Commercial Bank Limited and other institutions. It is interesting to note that approximately 52 percent of the Rs750 million pre-IPO amount has been placed in the non-bank market which is viewed as a signal of widening investor base and strengthening of the domestic capital markets.

PBBF's NEW ELECTION

Zahid Dada and Mohammad A. Rajpar have been elected president and vice-president, respectively, of the Pakistan-Belgium Business Forum for a two-year term 2005-06.

The eighth annual general meeting of the PBBF also elected Sameer H. Dodhy as vice-president, Mehelli B. Dinshaw as secretary-general, and Takreemul Haque as treasure. Engr Salahuddin Zia and Mashood Husain were elected executive committee members, according to press release issued recently.