June 20 - 26, 2005

 

ANOTHER CALL CENTER SOLUTION EXPORT FROM PAKISTAN

A prominent UK bank in Dubai, serving the Middle East and nearby markets, has placed an order for an advanced telecommunication solution known as the Call Center Solution with a Pakistan-based IT and Telecom solution provider company. This export order contributes to the growing software export activities of Pakistan of over US$ 32 million.
Lloyds TSB Dubai is a subsidiary of the leading UK-based Lloyds Bank listed on the UK stock exchange. Lloyds TSB operations were growing in the Gulf region at an enormous scale and the existing customer services and call processing setup at the Bank had become insufficient to handle the call volumes. Lloyds was also looking for ways of providing personal, commercial, offshore and priority

 

 

banking. For these requirements, Lloyds TSB wanted to setup a flexible and effective Telephone Banking call center from where it could provide information and services to its existing and potential customers, 24 hours a day.

The key criteria for selection included a reliable, scalable and future safe technology from a dependable solution provider that has a proven track record of performance. Management of Lloyds TSB evaluated several offerings from Dubai's local and international market. Lloyds TSB selected solution from ZRG International, Pakistan because of ZRG's strong technical expertise and know how in Banking Call Centers, its modular approach and total customization capabilities.

Mr. Ayub Butt, CEO ZRG International, while commenting on the occasion said, ZRG has made history by exporting call center solutions to domestic as well as to leading companies abroad. In the year 2003, ZRG became the first telecom solutions company in Pakistan to start exporting call center technology to the international market. The customer was a leading cellular service provide in Tanzania, East Africa In year 2005, Serco Gulf a leading facilities management company of UK, selected ZRG Call Center solution for their UAE customer services and support requirements. Recently, Lloyds TSB Dubai, a subsidiary of Lloyds Bank UK has selected ZRG for their customer services call handling requirements. These events have elevated the image of Pakistan in the international market and now Pakistan is considered as the exporter of advanced telecommunication solutions.

MS. ZARINE AZIZ WINS INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AWARD

Ms. Zarine Aziz, President, First Women Bank Ltd., has been awarded the International Business Award (IBA), at the Annual International Business Award's ceremony in New York, USA. The IBAs are the only global, all encompassing business awards program honouring great performances in the workplace.

Ms. Aziz was recognized as the 'Best Turnaround Executive'; and shares the honour in that category with Edward D. Breen, Chairman & Chief Executive of Tyco International, an American conglomerate.

She is the first ever Pakistani to receive this prestigious award. Other recipient companies of this award in various categories are Rolls-Royce plc, United Kingdom, Microsoft, USA, Adobe Systems USA, Henkel KGaA, Germany, Hill & Knowlton, China, Cincom Systems USA, Grenock, Star Syringe Ltd. of East Sussex England, Reliance Industries Ltd, India, Bank of Montreal Canada.

Recipients of 76 International Business Award trophies were selected from more than 600 nominations received from companies and individuals in more than 30 countries including Argentina, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Nigeria Pakistan, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.A.

 

 

MOBILINK'S CAPITAL INVESTMENT CROSSES $ 1 BILLION MARK.

Mobilink, the country's favourite cellular company has surpassed US $1 billion mark in capital investment during the ongoing 2005 financial year, emerging as the largest private sector investor in the telecom industry in Pakistan.

Mobilink has achieved this historic mark in a short span of 11 years since its inception in 1994. Its investment till last year was over US $ 750 million. However, as it continued to invest in expanding its capacity and coverage across the country, driven by phenomenal growth in its subscribers' base, the company has invested an additional US$ 300 million to date and another US$ 250 million is planned for the remainder of 2005. This will take Mobilink's coverage from its current presence in 350 cities, towns and villages to over 450, including all major roads and motorways, by the end of the year. With a total investment to date of over US $1 billion, the company continues to consolidate its position as the clear market leader in the mobile sector in Pakistan. In addition Orascom Telecom is investing heavily in establishing an optic fiber backbone, and an undersea cable project in the country.

The company's subscriber base had exceeded 5 million at the close of the year 2004. At the end of the first quarter 2005 the subscribers' base has surged to over 6 million users. "It is the confidence put in Mobilink by its family of over 6 million users and the stability and transparency of the present governments' policies that has led our shareholders, Orascom Telecom to continue so heavily in this sector", said Zouhair Khaliq, President and CEO while speaking to a select gathering of journalists.

BASE II: CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS

Teradata, a division of NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), and Alchemy Associates held a seminar on the Basel II: Challenges & Solutions at the Sheraton Karachi on May 31, 2005, with attendance from top executives from all banks of the country, including chief executive officers, chief financial officers, chief technology officers and risk managers.

This seminar endeavoured to enlighten and inform the market with global and local perspectives on the challenges involved in this undertaking and create awareness about the possible solutions to allow banks to adopt better risk management, risk mitigation and risk-based pricing techniques in order to effectively comply with this essential regulatory requirement for all banks.

"The need for implementing the Basel II regulatory requirement is an essential yet complex undertaking and presents a challenge to the banking industry," said Bader ul Islam of NCR in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. "NCR, Both globally and locally, is committed to bringing technology solutions to address this imperative need of the industry."

The speakers included Simon Doherty, Director of Risk and Financial Management, Europe/Middle East/Africa Finance Center of Expertise at Teradata, and Jawwad Farid, CEO of Alchemy Associates, Pakistan, both having extraordinary knowledge of the international as well as local financial industry. They gave a detailed overview on the challenges, implications and solutions related to Basel II implementation in the country.

"Basel II represents the biggest change to hit the banking sector in a generation, and this seminar provided banks in Pakistan with the opportunity to learn how their peers around the world have responded to this enormous challenge," said Simon Doherty.

Jawwad Farid said, "I think it is the first event of its kind in Pakistan that focuses on the implementation challenge of Basel II. Timing is also very apt given the Basel II road map deadlines laid out by the Central Bank."

SBP GOVERNOR CONFERS AWARDS AT CFA CEREMONY

Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Ishrat Hussain, has said that SBP Strategic Vision for 2005-2010 calls for export of financial services to various countries of the world. This requires a high degree of integrity and professionalism in investment and finance professionals of the country which can be attained through the CFA certification. The SBP encourages its employees to go for the CFA certification and it is hoped that other financial institutions and brokerage houses also emphasize this qualification, he said.

Addressing at the second Excellence Award Ceremony by the CFA Association of Pakistan at the Royal Rode Club last week, Dr. Ishrat Hussain lauded the efforts of the association in commemorating investment institutions and individuals for best services to investors.

He stressed the importance of league awards in the financial sector and said that this is a welcome initiative of the CFAAP. All over the world league awards are the benchmark for investors, however, this was absent in Pakistan till now.

The award winners for the year 2003-2004 were Invest Capital Pvt. Ltd. in the category of The Best Equity Brokerage House; Mr. Mohammad Sohail was honored as The Best Equity Research Analyst; United bank Limited was named The Largest Investment Bank; while Standard Chartered walked away with the prize for The Most Innovative Corporate Finance Transaction.

The award ceremony was followed by a presentation by Lawrence S. Speidell CFA, Executive Vice President, Laffer Associates, USA, who spoke on the groundbreaking topic of "Behavioral Finance". Dr. Ishrat Hussain appreciated the theories presented by Mr. Speidell.

HBL CONDUCTS AUTO-FINANCE PRIZE DRAW

Habib Bank Limited (HBL) conducted the bumper lucky draw ceremony for its recently concluded auto finance campaign, titled 'Buy one, get one free'. Under this promotional campaign, all those customers who had applied and were approved for availing the leasing facility during the time period of April 7-May 14, 2005 were automatically entered into this lucky draw.

The first prize was a free car similar to the one the winning customer has originally booked, while three other lucky winners were awarded return tickets to Dubai.

DHA LAUNCHES EXTENSION SCHEME

The Defence Housing Authority Islamabad has given a new dimension to the field of Housing in collaboration with world's renowned multinational companies like "Emmar Properties" Al Ghurair Giga from Dubai and Maxcorps from Malaysia, says a press release.

Defence Housing Authority Islamabad launched Phase-1 Extension scheme with a broad based criteria on 20th April 2005. As per commitment, Defence Housing Authority Islamabad arranged computerized ballots on 10th June 2005. Lt. Gen. Waseem Ahmed Ashraf HI (M), President Defence Housing Authority Islamabad and Adjutant General Pakistan Army graced the occasion as chief guest. He was received by Vice Chairman Maj. Gen Zaka Ud Din Malik HI (M) and Col. Muhammad Asghar Khan, Administrator Defence Housing Authority Islamabad. Besides the applicants, the plot files of Phase 1 Extension were also balloted for allotment of plot numbers.

Defence Housing Authority Islamabad received 41,259 applications from all over Pakistan for Phase-1 Extension scheme. The results of serving Armed Forces officers have been sent to their respective formations/headquarters, and therefore are not being published in the newspapers.