Aug 08 - 14, 2005

 

DR. ATTA LAYS FOUNDATION STONE OF BIZTEK'S NEW BUILDING

Prof Dr. Atta-ur-Reham, Federal Minister and Chairman Higher Education Commission, laid the foundation stone of the new building of Institute of Business and Technology (BIZTEK) at its main campus in Korangi Creek . The VIPs present on the occasion included Mr. Sun Chun Ye, Consul General, Peoples Republic of China; Dr. Saeeda Malik, Minister for Women Development, Government of Sindh; Mr. Salahuddin Haider, Adviser to the Chief Minister, Sindh, and Prof. S. M. Iqbal, Regional Director, Higher Education Commission, besides Mr. M. Abid Lakhani, Chairman Board of Trustees and Founder Chairman Biztek, and Mr. Anwer Dawood, President GEC Society. People from academic circle of the city as well as students and teachers of the university also attended the event.

 

 

While giving his speech Dr. Rehman said that boom of natural resources has come to an end, adding: "This is the era of human resource boom". He quoted the example of MIT. In MIT out of their 4000 graduates for a specific period, a large number became business entrepreneurs. These business entrepreneurs combined together and produced a sale of US$ 232 billion for USA, he added.

He emphasized that universities should go beyond education. It is the responsibility of universities to do research and produce research publications. He mentioned the need to concentrate on producing more number of PhDs. Right now Pakistan is producing 200 PhDs per year. He said that HEC has planned to produce 1500 PhDs per year in near future. "This is the era of knowledge economy. This is a great challenge full of unlimited opportunities for all of us."

While visiting the university library and computer lab of Biztek Dr. Rehman gave very positive remarks and appreciated the efforts of the management in raising the quality of its resources e. g. books, computers, research facilities etc. He was impressed to note that Biztek has grown to be a real 'Category A' university in such a less span of time.

DHL NAMED BEST EXPRESS OPERATOR FOR 19TH YEAR

At the prestigious 2005 Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards (AFSCA) in Hong Kong, DHL - the world's leading express and logistics company - was named Best Express Operator for the 19th consecutive year, reflecting the company's market leadership and service excellence in air express offerings in Asia Pacific.

The award underscored DHL's leadership and ability to offer the full suite of express and logistics soultions supply chain solutions from a single source.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Salim Awan, MD & CEO, DHL Pakistan (Pvt) Limited, said: "The awards represent our customersí vote of confidence in DHL. Over the last few years, we have put in place a carefully thought-out strategy building on our infrastructure investments, network coverage; and the development of innovative express delivery solutions in response to a changing marketplace".

To date, DHL's investments in the region over the past several years totaled over US$1.4 billion.

The AFSCA is organised by Cargonews Asia, a leading freight industry newspaper in the region, and is widely acknowledged as the industry's most celebrated accolade which seeks to recognise and honour outstanding shippers, logistics providers and cargo transport companies. More than 12,500 Cargonews Asia readers were polled to select companies that are the best service providers in 41 industry-specific categories of this year's AFSCA. DHL is the only company to have won the Best Express Service award since the Asian Freight Industry Award - the predecessor of the AFSCA - was inaugurated in 1987.

ANOTHER ATTRACTIVE DIVIDED FROM PAKISTAN MUTUAL FUNDS

The Board of Directors of Arif Habib Investment Management Limited Fund, managers of Pakistan Capital Market Fund (PCMF) and Pakistan Strategic Allocation Fund (PSAF), both closed-end funds, declared dividend for FY 2004-05. The book closure for the entitlement for both funds will be from September 3 to 10 (both days inclusive).

The announcement was made at a board meeting held on July 30. The Board has approved final cash dividend for PCMF of Rs. 1.75 per certificate. PCMF has already announced an interim cash dividend of Rs. 1.25 in February 2005. The announcement takes the total distribution per certificate for the financial year 2004-2005 to Rs. 3.00 per certificate.

The Board also announced results for Pakistan Strategic Allocation Fund (PSAF) (launched on 21 July 2004, but started investing activity in August 2004) and approved a cash dividend at Rs.1.5 per certification. The announcement takes the total distribution per certificate for the period from 21 July 2004 to June 2005 to Rs. 2.50 per certificate.

PCMF delivered a cash-flow basic adjusted internal rate of return of 57% for FY 2004-2005. The market rose 41% during the fiscal year.

The Fund has earned a total income of Rs. 598.90 million (including unrealised appreciation in fair value of investment classified as held foe trading) during the year. Realised capital gains totaled Rs. 473.25 million, dividend income was Rs. 84.81 million, income from carry-over transactions (COT) Rs. 25.65 million, and income from investment in government securities Rs. 3.94 million.

In order to provide the investors the benefit of being able to exit any time at full value of the Fund, the Board of Directors of Arif Habib Investments has decided to convert the Fund to an open-ended fund. Approval from the certificate holders has already been taken, and same last minute legal requirements are being fulfilled. This is the first time in Pakistan's history that such a step has been taken in the mutual fund industry which demonstrates management's continued commitment to serve its valued investors.

PSAF has earned a total income of Rs 1,046.40 million (including unrealised appreciation in the value of investments classified as held for trading) during the period. Realised capital gains were Rs 827.68 million, dividend income was Rs 102.67 million, and income from carry-over transactions (COT) Rs 94.60 million.

The market rose 41% during the fiscal year and despite the sharp correction in March, still closed appreciably up by the close of the year. The market performance was simply a response to the higher earnings growth, superior corporate results and payouts and improved market fundamentals. PSAF delivered a cash-flow basis adjusted internal rate return of 37% for FY 2004-2005.

Arif Habib investment manages three open-ended and three closed-end mutual funds, with over Rs. 15 billion of assets under management and has a rating of A(M2) by PACRA. Arif Habib Investment has received Performance Excellence Award by MUFAP for FY 2003-04 for the best performance of Pakistan Stock Market Fund (PMS) and Pakistan income Fund (PIF).

JAVEDAN CEMENT LIMITED KARACHI

 

 

Javedan Cement formerly Valika Cement is located in the North of Karachi. Its installation work started in 1961 and completed in 1964. The installation was executed by expert engineering firms of Pakistan. M/s Krupp Polysius of West Germany supplied the machinery for the cement plant. The first production unit with a 500-tonnes/day capapcity was commissioned in 1965 increasing the total production capacity of the cement plant to 1000 tonnes/day.

Under the Economic Reforms Order of 1972 the cement plant was nationalized. Javedan Cement Limited has a good reputation in the country on account of its better quality cement. Javedan Cement contributed in satisfying the cement demand of Karachi and its suburbs.

In view of the constant increase in demand of cement the State Cement Corporation decided the expansion of the Javedan Cement manufacturing involving suspension preheater and short dry process kiln. This was the first ever Dry Process plant installed in Pakistan. Therefore, a team of engineers was trained on various aspects of the latest technology in the United States. The expansion project was completed and started production during 1979-80.

The process control of the new plant is based on computer and sophisticated electronic gadgets backed by X-Ray Fluorescence Analyzer. With the help of computerization & process control high quality cement is produced , which not only excels the local standard specification, but also exceeds the international standard specification for cement.

Apart from production of Quality Portland cement, manufacturing of Blast Furnace Slag Cement was started in 1983 so that the consumers could benefit from a cheaper building material. Slag cement has gained popularity particularly for its application in foundation, civil structures and masonry work.

Another breakthrough was made when manufacturing of Sulphate Resisting Cement was started in 1987. Raw materials available in the Quarry have been used in the manufacturing of SRC. Javedan Cement has thus been able to meet the demand of SRC of Karachi and its adjoining areas. Javedan Cement in the pioneer in manufacturing three types of cement in Pakistan.

Javedan Cement while satisfying part of the demand of cement in the country has contributed in providing job opportunities to over 800 families directly. There has been an indirect employment of a large number of people of Manghopir and adjoining areas as well. Thus Javedan Cement is playing its due role in nation building and uplift of the people.

Javedan Cement Ltd, the only operating unit under control of State Cement Corporation of Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd/Ministry of Industries & Production, Government of Pakistan, is performing very well which is indicative from its production and profit for the period July, 2004 to June, 2005.

JCL has earned record pretax profit of Rs 300 million during the current financial year as compared to Rs. 121.697 million for the corresponding period of pervious year. The higher profit is achieved due to high capacity utilization, good governance and effective management control. The company produced 3,96,508 metric tons of clinker, which is 42,902 metric tons or 12.13 percent higher as compared to corresponding period of previous year. The cement production was 47,615 metric tons, which is 28,628 metric tons (6.39 %) more as compared to same period of last year. The company sold 473039 metric tons of cement, which is 22,531 metric tons (5.00%) more as compared to same period of last year.

The above results speak of better prospects for the company as a result of hard work of its management and employees.

DOHA ASIAN GAMES BODY VISITS KARACHI

The Doha Asian Games Organising Committee (DAGOC) arrived in Karachi as part of the Doha 2006 Games media tour to South Asia.

DAGOC, which is traveling throughout nations of Asia promoting the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006, was welcomed by the Pakistan Olympic Association which congratulated Doha on its rapid progress.

"There is no doubt that Doha will deliver its promise to produce the most spectacular Asian Games ever," said Lt Gen. Syed Arif Hasan, President of Pakistan Olympic Association.

"We would like to congratulate DAGOC on its considerable progress so far and we look forward to watching with interest as more exciting developments continue to shine the spotlight on Doha and the Asian Games."

The Doha 2006 Games, to be held from December 1-15 next year, will further underline Doha's rapid emergence as a world Sporting Superpower. Over US$2.8 billion are being invested to ensure that the 10,500 athletes from 45 countries - who will be competing in 39 sports - enjoy 15 days of thrilling sports and cultural entertainment in a first-class environment.

Mr. Ahmed Al-Khulaifi, the Doha Asian Games Organising Committee's (DAGOC's) Deputy General for Corporate Support, said: "We are proud of the phenomenal success the Games has achieved so far. We are fulfilling the challenge of hosting the Games with pride while setting an example in the region."

GOVT'S COMMITMENT TO AUTO INDUSTRY HAILED

Referring to the joint press conference held in Islamabad by the Minister for Industries and Production, Jahangir Khan Tareen, and Commerce Minister Humayun Akhtar, Chairman Indus Motor Co. Ali S Habib, noted with satisfaction the government's reaffirmation of its commitment to support the growth of the local auto industry.

Ali Habib thanked the ministers for confirming that the revisions in the trade policy were to actually facilitate overseas Pakistanis in sending secondhand cars to their near relatives under the existing schemes, and that the trade policy was not directed towards hindering the expanding automobile industry and investment and employment opportunities in this sector.

Ali Habib also appreciated the ministers' assurances that the government will not allow the trade policy to be misused to the detriment of the local auto industry. He reassured the government that the auto industry will work with the government to assist in developing proper procedures so that the incentives to the trade policy are not misused and are only of benefit to genuine overseas Pakistanis. The Chairman IMC also reiterated that the auto industry urgently needs a long term policy so that it can make further investments, enhance production capacities and reduce the need for importing used cars.

TRAKKER DIRECT INSURANCE LAUNCHED IN PAKISTAN

Trakker Direct insurance Ltd., Pakistan's first 24-hour Call Centre-based specialist motor insurance company was introduced to the press at a simple but impressive ceremony at a local hotel.

Trakker Direct Insurance Ltd is the newest venture from Trakker (Pvt) Ltd., Pakistan's largest vehicle tracking company which now serves over 30,000 customers, with the network coverage in over 350 cities nationwide and is renowned for its highest stolen vehicle recoveries and coverage even in Afghanistan.

Mr. Absar Burney, Head of Operations, Trakker Direct Insurance Ltd., explained to the audience that the purpose behind launching this concept was to revolutionize for customers the process of insuring their vehicles, where customers could experience service on a 24-hour basis round the year, through the call centre which assists them in offering an insurance quote, taking orders, insurance activation and for lodging a claim or a complaint.

Mr. Iftekhar Ahmed, Chief Operating Officer, was also present at the press conference and informed the audience about other salient features of the company, including customers being provided with a free C-Track with no hidden cost, fast claim settlements, risk profiling based on vehicles history, courtesy car, emergency medical treatment, ambulance dispatch, besides other innovative services.

AXALTO PROVIDES UBL COMPLETE EMV PACKAGE

Axalto (Euronext: NL0000400653 - AXL), the world's leader in microprocessor cards, has announced that it is supplying high-end EMV chip banking cards to United Bank Limited (UBL), pioneering the first EMV rollout in Pakistan. Axalto provided UBL with a complete EMV package including data preparation, cards supply and presonalization solution.

"We are proud to have achieved the first EMV cards deployment in Pakistan," said Nauman Hussain, Group Executive, Operations and Technology, United Bank Limited. "Axalto worked as a genuine business partner alongside UBL to step up to the challenge of EMV migration in record time. Rayyanco, Pakistan's leading supplier of business and banking automation, also contributed to the success of this major deployment through the excellent support of their teams."

"As a worldwide smart card technology provider, Axalto is ideally positioned to partner with companies in the banking community, drawing on its business expertise across consulting and EMV project man," commented Philippe Cambriel, President EMEA, Axalto. "We are delighted to support UBL in offering their customers highly-secure EMV-based transactions."

The EMV migration is intended to reduce fraud and related losses, which are an increasing threat to consumers, tarnish bank to customer relationship and overall generate unnecessary pain and expenses to all parties. The EMV standard affords cardholders cutting edge security for their transactions, since chip-enabled banking cards have proven to be virtually impossible to forge compared to magnetic stripe cards. MEV also provides banks with a gateway to promising market of expanded services, catering to today's increasingly demanding cardholders. It allows financial institutions to improve differentiation by providing exceptional levels of transaction convenience and security while greatly enhancing their offerings with value-added services such as loyalty programs, cardholder authentication for e-commerce and on line services, and smart ticketing.

Axalto has a proven track record in worldwide implementation of EMV migration projects. This new success reinforces Axalto's positioning as the world's leading EMV solution provider and paves the way to more EMV migration programs in Pakistan and in the Middle-East countries.

CAR MAKERS DISCUSS TRADE POLICY'S 'NEGATIVE' IMPACT

Representatives of Pak Suzuki Motor Co, Indus Motor Co, Honda Atlas Cars and Deewan Farooque Motors held a meeting to discuss the negative impact of the Trade Policy. Showing serious concern, in a joint press statement, they said that the new Trade Policy 2005-06, recently announced would cause significant damage to the auto manufacturing industry.

The drastic changes made in the trade policy coupled with increase in depreciation rate and reduction of duties on the import of CBU cars will cause colossal damage to the growing local auto manufacturing and vendor industry.

The industry representatives expressed concern that the countries in the region such as India and Thailand are supporting their local industry through higher tariff on used cars than those for new CBU and CKD cars and non Tariff barriers such as registration in importers name, conformance to original homologation certificate, pre-shipment inspection and testing, conformance of specifications to local vehicle code, etc. Compared to an effective rate of duty of 25% in Pakistan, the duty on used cars in India is as high as 156%.

With the liberalized import of used cars, the wheel of economic and technological growth will turn back, forcing the manufacturers and vendors to hold their planned investments of over Rs. 80 billion by 2010 in capacity expansion projects. As a chain reaction, 200,000 people may loose their jobs. The contributions to GDP, investment and government revenues will significantly be reduced. Car financing and financial sector will be adversely affected, hurting economic activity even further.

Responding to the growth in demand, the auto and vendor industry has enhanced its production from 49,000 units/yr to 160,000 units/yr in four years. This had encouraged further transfer of technology and many technical agreements and joint ventures were in the pipeline.

While the government is interested in facilitating overseas Pakistanis, the real beneficiaries to this drastic liberalization will be the used car traders. There will always be the issues of availability and cost of spare parts, properly equipped dealerships with trained labour, and adequate resale value for these used cars. Imported second hand cars will not have any warranties and neither would they go through any checks to ensure that they comply with quality, safety and pollution standards.

The representatives of the industry pleaded to the government to provide a consistent, long term and resilient policy which is imperative for maintaining the growth of the auto industry.

Mr. Ali Jameel, CEO Trakker Direct Insurance, commenting on the introduction of Pakistan's first Call Centre-based car insurance company at a press conference held at the Sheraton on 27th July 2005

SHELL DECLARES RS 27 PER SHARE FINAL DIVIDEND

Shell Pakistan Ltd delivers strong results for the full year ended June 2005 by achieving a profit after tax of Rs 2,451 million as compared to Rs. 1, 508 million showing a growth of 63% over the same period last year. The improvement in profits was due to a better product mix and increasing international oil prices.

The Board of Director recommends a final dividend of Rs. 27.00 per share which together with the interim dividend of Rs. 8.00 per share, declared in January 2005, will bring the total dividend for the financial year 2004-2005 to Rs. 35.00 per share (350%). Additionally, the Board has recommended the issuance of bonus shares in ht proportion of 1 share for every 4 shares held i.e. 25%.