Sep 26 - Oct 02, 2005

 

AGIM TO LAUNCH MUTUAL FUND

Alfalah GHP investment Management Limited (AGIM), following approval from the Securities and Exchanges Commission of Pakistan (SECP), is all set to launch its open-ended mutual fund, Alfalah GHP Value Fund. The Fund will be managed by AGIM and is established through the Trust Deed executed between AGIM and Central Depositary Company of Pakistan Limited (CDC).
The SECP conveyed its approval of the Offering Document of Alfalah GHP Value Fund through its letter dated 13th September 2005, AGIM announced.
Alfalah GHP Value Fund is an Asset Allocation Fund, which will invest in various asset classes including equities, debt, money market instruments, CFS etc. The investment philosophy of the fund seeks  to

unlock  value in its investments over the medium to long term while actively managing risk. Units of Alfalah GHP Value Fund will be on sale perpetually and its Net Asset Value per unit (NAV) will be announced on a daily basis.

The fund will serve as an ideal investment vehicle for retail investors who want to save for their long terms needs and obligations and will be initially available through selected branches of Bank Alfalah Ltd.

EMIRATES INDUCTS 80TH AIRCRAFT

One of the world's fastest growing airlines, Emirates, saw its fleet touch the eighty-mark with the arrival of a new Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range).

The aircraft is Emirates' fifth Boeing 77-300ER from a total of 30 that the airline has on firm order. The remaining 25 Boeing 777-300ERs will be added to the airline's rapidly expanding fleet by end 2007.

The wide-bodied, twin-aisle aircraft dubbed as one of the most advanced aircraft in the sky has been specially equipped to Emirates' demanding standards. Its innovative on-board features include mood-lighting that helps reset body clocks and minimizes jetlag; Emirates' Information, Communication and Entertainment (ICE) system which offers over 500 channels of video and games on demand; noise cancellation headsets; SMS and e-mail from one's seat and in-seat five-zone massage system.

Ideal for long-haul routes, the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, sporting a 12 meters long Emirates logo on its underside, is currently operated on services from Dubai to Manila, and Dubai to Sydney and Auckland, via Bangkok. Later this year the aircraft will be introduced on router to London Heathrow, Manchester, Glasgow, Johannesburg and Dusseldorf.

PANASONIC IDEAS FOR LIFE

"With the VIERA flat screen televisions, Panasonic is going beyond the limits of conventional television and is setting new standards when it comes to picture quality, tone, networking and user-friendliness," said Mahmood Naqvi, Director, Panasonic Marketing Middle East. "Consumers will enjoy a whole new television viewing experience with the VIERA plasmas, and we are certain that this product is set to be a hot seller across the highly competitive Pakistan market."

The LUMIX DMC FX9 digital camera from Panasonic is the next-generation model of the highly successful MEGA O.I.S (Optical Image Stabilizer) equipped FX series. The FX9 has total effective pixels of 6-megapixel. The 2.5-inch large LCD screen of the FX9 provides superior clarity by increasing its resolution to 207K pixels. Moreover, the camera has a longer battery life that will last 270 images.

"The LUMIX range of cameras have been designed, keeping in mind various consumer needs. Constant innovation and use of the most advanced technology to offer the best photography solution to consumers remains at the core of our overall business objective. Digital photography has almost replaced the traditional film based photography, mainly because of the flexibility offered by digital cameras, and we are focused on catering to the growing demand in this segment," said Mahmood Naqvi, Director, Panasonic Marketing Middle East.

The LUMIX DMC-FZ30 is Panasonic's latest 8 megapixel, 12x optical zoom digital camera that also adapts the MEGA O.I.S. The 12x optical zoom LEICA DC VARIOELMARIT Lens, which has been handed down since the first launch of the FZ series, underwent further development to provide even more superb picture rendering. The newly incorporated Extra Optical Zoom extends the zoom ratio to achieve 15.3x for 5-Megapixel and 19.1 x for 3-Megapixel. Two exclusive rings on the lens barrel of the FZ30 provide manual control of zooming and focusing, allowing quick and fine control that cannot be achieved with button operation. The camera has a 2-inch angle free monitor with a 235 k pixel high resolution LCD that allow the display of images even in tiny thumbnail size.

Panasonic will also be launching the DMC LXl, 8.4 megapixel, 4x optical zoom full manual compact camera. What distinguishes the DMC-LXI from the rest is the world's first 16:9 CCD with 28mm wide angle LEICA DC Lens. The aspect ratio can be easily selected between 16:9, or 3:2 in addition to the conventional 4:3.

EMIRATES TO ADD TWO MORE FLIGHTS FROM KARACHI

Emirates, one of the world's fastest growing airlines, is gearing up to increase its services to Pakistan's commercial hub Karachi by adding two extra flights per week, starting 15t October.

Operating every Monday and Saturday, the additional flights will boost Emirates services to the destination to 27 flights per week. The additional flights will provide improved connectivity for Pakistani travelers heading to destinations beyond Dubai, particularly to the Middle East region.

Additional flight EK 607 will take off from the Jinnah International Airport at 14:15 and arrive in Dubai at 15:15. Inbound flight EK606 will depart Dubai at 10:00, arriving in Karachi at 13:00. EK 607 will now operate on all days of the week except Thursday.

Adnan Kazim, Emirates' Vice-President Pakistan, said: "Emirates and Karachi go back a long way. The award-winning airline commenced its worldwide operations in October 1985 with Karachi as its first on-line destination."

"Starting initially with daily flights, the Dubai-Karachi route has grown in importance over the years", added Mr. Kazim. "In response to intense demand posed by the large business community of Karachi - Pakistan's trade and commerce capital - the airline progressively stepped up its frequencies, which currently stand at 25 flights per week."

Emirates will operate an Airbus 330-200 on the route offering 27 seats in Business and 251 seats in Economy class as well as 14 tonnes in cargo carrying capacity.

Pakistan and Dubai share strong trade and tourism relations. In 2003, the non-oil trade between the two countries stood at a robust USD 824 million with perishables, textiles, precious stones and base metals as the top traded items.

Last calendar year, 187,291 Pakistani visitors stayed at Dubai's 371 hotels and hotel apartments, placing Pakistan among the top ten source markets for Dubai's hospitality industry.

Pakistan also emerged as the fifth largest source market for Emirates' Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) packages sold across the airline's network in 2005.

Currently, Emirates offers 36 flights per week from Dubai to Pakistan including 25 services a week to Karachi, five to Islamabad, four to Lahore and two to Peshawar.

Emirates was the first international airline to open a ticketing and reservation office at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi.

FIRST MOBILE APPLICATIONS GAMES CONFERENCE

Netpace, one of the leading names in mobile development and entertainment industry, hosted the first Mobile Applications Games and Entertainment Conference (MAGEC) in Pakistan on September 17 at Avari Towers Karachi. The aim behind MAGEC was to bring the mobile development community at one platform providing them an opportunity to interact and explore new trends of the mobile applications development industry.

"The mobile entertainment industry is growing rapidly. Great opportunities are being predicted for the development community in the coming days. It's time to share our experiences and explore the latest market trends to make our presence felt in the global market," said Mr.Vajih Khan, the CEO at Netpace.

The conference was mainly focused on the analysis of the rapid penetration of the latest mobile trends like SMS, Picture Messaging, Video Messaging, entertainment applications and games into the global market. The presenters also discussed the importance of reformation of the development strategies in order to quickly overcome challenges and deliver applications rapidly into an ever changing mobile world.

Micro miles and Softlux, two other emerging names of Pakistan's mobile development industry, also participated in the event. Other highlights of the conference were discussions on insight into the future of mobile entertainment, industry strengths, its limitations, latest market trends etc. The conference was followed by showcase of mobile games and applications developed by Netpace.

The event was attended by Mr.Ata Rehman from National Bank, Ms. Hamidah Hemani from Spider, Mr. Khurram Ali from FM 100 and other media representatives, besides developers with expertise in mobile technology.

MAGEC was a step to initiate the culture of meeting and sharing ideas. Such gatherings should be organized frequently to create awareness among people about the latest technologies and their ever-changing market trends.

DR. BASODAN ELECTED UNION BANK CHAIRMAN

The Board of Union Bank Limited, in its meeting held recently, has unanimously elected Dr. Abdullah Basodan as its Chairman. Dr. Basodan is the sponsor and major shareholder of Union Bank.

He thanked the outgoing Chairman Mr. Mueen Afzal for his tremendous contributions as the Chairman of the Board and affirmed continuation of corporate governance standards set by the outgoing Chairman. He further thanked the Board for their trust in his leadership.

Dr. Basodan subsequently addressed the Management Committee and the employees of Union Bank along with the President and CEO Mr. Shaukat Tarin. Dr. Basodan appreciated the efforts of the management and their contribution to the phenomenal success of Union Bank. He also expressed his confidence in the management to meet the growing challenges of the banking industry in Pakistan.

"It is a well capitalized bank, with sound business strategy and competent staff to stand tall amongst its peer banks," said the newly elected Chairman Dr. Abdullah Basodan and added, "I want every Union Banker to be proud of his contribution to the success story of Union Bank and continue to work under the able and fully supported guidance of Mr. Shaukat Tarin."

The Board of Union Bank Limited in its meeting has unanimously elected Dr. Abdullah Basodan as its Chairman. Dr. Basodan is the sponsor and major shareholder of Union Bank.