ABN AMRO TO ACQUIRE
CONTROLLING STAKE IN BANCA ANTONVENETA
ABN AMRO Pakistan was
established in 1948 and was the first foreign bank to be granted a
licence by the Government of Pakistan. ABN AMRO Pakistan is presently
operating with eight branches in all the major cities and as a part of
its aggressive expansion strategy, plans on increasing the number of
branches from eight to twenty by the end of next year. As a part of
ABN AMRO's commitment to Pakistan, ABN AMRO recently launched their
Future Perfect Credit Card and continues to play role as a socially
responsible bank with the drive to rejuvenate domestic cricket with
Recently ABN AMRO announced
that it has signed an agreement with Banca Popolare Italiana (BPI) and
a number of other shareholders to purchase a total of 121,560,835
shares (or a 39.37% stake) in Banca Antonveneta. ABN AMRO will pay EUR
26.50 per share, equal to a total cash consideration of EUR 3.2 bln.
Banca d'ltalia, Consob and all relevant authorities have been informed
and consulted throughout the process. The transfer of the shares will
take place after fulfilling all conditions including the decisions of
Milan Court, Consob and the Banca d'ltalia. Combined with the current
shareholding in Banca Antonveneta of 29.91%, ABN AMRO will own a total
of 69.28% after the completion of this transaction. In accordance with
Italian regulations, ABN AMRO will launch a mandatory cash offer of
EUR 26.50 per share for the remaining outstanding share capital of
Banca Antonveneta. Further details of this offer will be announced
after the usual regulatory approvals related to the offer have been
"This is an important
moment in the history of both our bank and Banca Antonveneta. We have
worked hard for Banca Antonveneta to join ABN AMRO and we have now
achieved this goal. We are confident that we have now provided
stability for all Banca Antonveneta stakeholders, including staff and
clients, and we will continue to support the company towards a
prosperous future," said Rijkman Groenink, Chairman of the
Managing Board of ABNA MRO. "We have remained steadfast in our
ambition to acquire Banca Antonveneta because we know that it is a
very valuable bank that fits with our mid-market strategy. In the
first six months of this year, Banca Antonveneta's performance has
proven to be resilient. The fact that it has stayed on course for
meeting its ambitious targets for 2006 is a great accomplishment for
which I want to thank its staff," he said.
ABN AMRO will liaise closely
with Banca Antonveneta's management in the implementation of Banca
Antoveneta's industrial plan and will provide further details to the
market on the plan and the performance of Banca Antonveneta at a later
stage. In line with previous acquisitions, ABN AMRO will safeguard
local decision-making and Banca Antonveneta's continued support of the
local economy, while at the same time, extracting the benefits of
being part of one Group. Banca Antonveneta will continue to operate
under its own brand name and will remain headquartered in Padua. As
part of ABN AMRO, Banca Antonveneta will be in a position to benefit
from ABN AMRO's international expertise and presence, its product
suite, its AA-credit rating and competence sharing.
ABN AMRO expects the
acquisition to contribute to earnings per share as from 12 months
after the finalisation of the bid for the remaining shares. By the end
of 2007, ABN AMRO estimates it can generate approximately EUR 160 mln
in annual cost and funding synergies. Due to the later date of the
acquisition, the first cost synergies will now be realised from 2006.
The funding of the acquisition will be such that ABN AMRO's capital
ratios, afler the proposed acquisition, will be in line with its
current credit ratings. This will be achieved by good internal capital
management including a possible reduction in Risk Weighted Assets and
disposals of non-core assets. ABN AMRO is committed to maintaining its
BIS ratio above 10% at all times. ABN AMRO's objective is to reach a
core tier I ratio of 6% and a tier I ratio of 8%, well before the end
of 2006. ABN AMRO will resume the neutralization of its stock dividend
as from the interim stock dividend for 2006.
PAK OMAN HOLDS BOARD MEETING
The 21st Board Meeting of Pak
Oman Investment Company (Pak Oman) was held in Karachi on October 16.
T he meeting was chaired by H.E. Yahya Al-Jabri, and attended by Dr.
Waqar Masood Khan, H.E. Nasser Al-Jashmi, Mr. Ahmed Al-Wahaibi, Mr.
Humayun Murad and Mr. Zafar Iqbal.
To date, the Board of
Directors has approved total financing of Rs 6.8 billion (US$ 113.7
million) spread across a diversified client and sector base. The Board
appreciated Pak Oman's risk evaluation measures that have facilitated
a recovery rate of almost 100% during the year.
The board also approved the
quarterly accounts for the period ended September 30, 2005. The
salient points of discussion included MD Zafar Iqbal's briefing on the
status of various projects and ventures.
The members of the Board
unanimously expressed their condolences at the tragic loss of lives
and devastation caused by the earthquake of October 8. In view of this
disaster and the misery of those affected, Pak Oman Investment Company
contributed 10 million rupees to the President's Relief Fund, in
addition to its employees' voluntary contribution of 3-day salary.
HBL DISBURSES RS. 14.5
BILLION AGRI CREDIT
On the close of the 3rd
quarter for the year 2005, Habib Bank Limited has reported a
disbursement of Rs. 14.5 billion as agricultural credit.
This disbursement of Rs. 14.5
billion up to September 30, 2005, is 56 percent higher than Rs. 9.3
billion disbursed during the same period last year.
Habib Bank is placing great
emphasis on promotion of agriculture sector by extending credit to all
categories of farming community from more than 800 designated branches
throughout the country. Mobile, highly qualified technical staff is
not only ensuring availability of credit at the door steps of farmers
but is also providing technical assistance for greater output.
In addition to financing for
crop production, special emphasis is being laid on Tractor Financing,
Livestock Financing, including Fish Farming and Horticulture. The
above figures include financing of Rs. 8,820 million for crop
production, Rs. 1,749 million for 5,064 tractors, Rs. 1,315 million
for livestock and Rs. 1,443 million for horticulture sector and Rs.
1,195 million for other development purposes.
JWT HOLDS SESSION ON BRAND
JWT Karachi recently held a
session for clients and agency members on Brand Content: Trends and
Developments. The session was led by Mr. John Garland, EVP and
Creative Director Content and Development at JWT New York. Given JWT's
re-positioning on time, Mr. Garland's presentation highlighted the
importance of creating brand specific entertainment content, that
resonates with consumers, rather than placing a brand into a piece of
entertainment that already exists in the market. He spoke of
initiatives taken by JWT in this direction and shared some of the
innovative ideas that have wowed clients and consumers around the
IGATEX PAKISTAN RECEIVES
The largest exhibition of
textile and garment machinery and accessories manufacturing industry
in the region, IGATEX Pakistan, is now sending strong signals
worldwide for its next show scheduled in April 2006.
The show's marketing team,
comprising Mr. Edward Liu Managing Director CEMS, Mr. Kashif Siddiqui
and Mr. Saleem Tanoli of Pegasus Consultancy observed the global
recognition achieved by IGATEX at ITMA Asia 2005, which concluded
recently in Singapore.
Notable names like Saurer,
Fongs, SDL Atlas, Muller, Strahm, Electrojet and Toyota, along with
many other internationally acclaimed top manufactures, have chosen
IGATEX Pakistan as their preferred platform and the most prestigious
event to facilitate their buyers' requirements in this part of the
LUMS TO HOST E-GOVERNANCE
The Third International
Conference on E-Governance will be hosted by the Lahore University of
Management Sciences, Lahore, from December 9 to 11.
This is the first time that
Pakistan is hosting this prestigious event, one that is expected to
draw a large number of experts in the field of e-governance from
across the globe, including the US, Canada, Europe and from Pakistan's
neighbours, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. A World Bank Delegation
will also take part in the conference.
The Government of Pakistan
too recognizes the potential that e-governance holds for a developing
country. It is about ensuring the same outputs at lower total cost
removing all the boundaries between various sub-functions of
government and ushering in a new government-citizen network by
collapsing the boundaries created by political and historical
structures, adding and bringing more value in the process. To that
end, the E-Government Directorate (EGD) of the Pakistan government has
been working to bring about a change in the way services reach the
people of Pakistan.
HEALTH AND SAFETY CONFERENCE
A Division of TCS Private
Limited in collaboration with the Industrial Accident Prevention
Association (IAPA) of Canada, an international leader in prevention of
workplace injuries and illness is organizing a two-day international
conference under the theme of "New Horizons on Occupational
Health, Safety and Environment (OHSE)", scheduled to be held in
Karachi on November 23 & 24.
Recognizing the need to
introduce Pakistan organizations to the latest and newest strategies,
tools and management systems for effective implementation of
occupational health, safety and environment (OHSE), the relevance of
this event has increased manifold in view of disaster management
strategies for organizations in the face of natural catastrophes such
as the recent earthquake in Pakistan. The Federal Minister for
Industries, Mr. Jahangir Tareen, has been extended invitation to
inaugurate the conference.
Other prominent organizations
which have extended support to this venture include the International
Certification Organization (SGS) of Switzerland, Fire Protection
Association of Pakistan, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education &
Research (PILER), Pakistan Petroleum Exploration & Production
Companies (PPEPCA) and other international organizations.
The first day of the
conference would include presentations, keynotes, in-depth analysis,
panel discussions and case studies by some leading experts, industry
leaders, government officials and NGO representatives from Canada,
Switzerland and Pakistan.
The second day of the event would be a daylong workshop on
"Leadership in Action: Implementing Effective OHSE Management
Systems" to be conducted by Mr. Leonard Sassano from IAPA Canada.
The conference is targeting
around 100 industry representatives from the oil and gas,
petrochemical, pharmaceutical, engineering, manufacturing, automobile,
energy, utilities, logistics and other relevant sectors.
SBP GOVERNOR VISITS SONERI
The Governor of State Bank of
Pakistan, Dr. Ishrat Hussain, paid a valedictory visit to Soneri Bank
Ltd's Central Office in Karachi.
While addressing the Senior
Management Team of the bank he emphasized upon the need to strictly
follow the principles of good governance odes. He said it is the
management of the banks which is the pivot & plays a critical and
important role. It is their duty to safeguard the interest of the
general public & depositors. It was with great devotion &
hardwork that we have overcome the unhealthy practices of the past, he
said. The need is to keep up the professional management &
operational efficiency and to work hard to maintain this culture and
develop & maintain high values and ethics in the banking system,
He said that returns of banks
on conventional corporate banking were dwindling, banks must therefore
diversify their activities. Only 15 present of the agriculture sector
has access to bank credits whereas 90 present of the country's
population is engaged in the agriculture & SME sector alone. The
need therefore is for the banks to penetrate into these areas which
will not only prove profitable but will also boost the economic growth
of the country.
Mr. Safar Ali K. Lakhani,
President of the bank thanked the governor for his visit & assured
that Soneri Bank would be working on these lines and would follow the
advice given by him.
BURRAQ TO ASSESS EARTHQUAKE
Burraq Telecom, a national
leader in calling cards and wireless, has dispatched a team of experts
to the earthquake affected areas to assess the damage to the
infrastructure. This is part of Burraq strategy which will recommend
short-term and long-term telecommunication needs of the area.
Pakistan Telecom Authority
has allowed licensed private parties to operate wireless telephony and
other telecom facilities. The decision to this effect has been taken
to augment telecommunication facilities being provided by Special
Communication Organization (SCO).
Talking to journalists,
Burraq Telecom's CEO, Sadiq Yousaf Yalmaz, said telecommunication will
play a crucial role in relief and rehabilitation efforts, but at the
moment the victims must be able to communicate. There is an urgent
need for people to be able to talk to their loved ones in Pakistan and
abroad, and for victims in the far-flung areas to be able to seek
help, he said.
INTEL'S NEW STORAGE PLATFORM
Intel Corporation has
announced a new storage platform designed to make it easier and more
affordable for small and medium-sized businesses to deploy storage
solutions that help ensure prompt disaster recovery and extend backup
Businesses today are
inundated with an increasing volume of data due to greater use of
digital information, such as business reports, employee records,
photos and videos. Combined with growing government regulatory
requirements and corporate business continuity and disaster recovery
plans, this has resulted in an increasing need for storage.
"Analysts show that data
is doubling every 18 months and businesses are struggling to keep
up," said Hans Geyer, vice president and general manager, Storage
Group at Intel. "Yet today's storage solutions are often too
expensive or complex for an average business to use. They need a
simple, affordable solution based on a flexible set of standards-based
building blocks that has the power to scale with the growing mountains
TCS PRESENTS RS 35 LACS TO
TCS Private Limited, the
country's premier logistics and courier company, has handed over
cheque donations to Mrs. Bilqees Edhi amounting to Rs. 3,504,769 for
the Edhi Foundation Earthquake Relief Fund. In addition to this, the
company has delivered over 300 tons of relief goods through its ground
and air fleet to the affected areas in Northern Pakistan, in
collaboration with various NGOs and other organizations working for
the rehabilitation of earthquake victims.
The donated amount includes
Rs.20 lacs contributed by the TCS management and staff members, and
monetary contributions of over Rs. 15 lacs offered by the citizens and
TCS clients and customers at TCS Express Centres across the country.
Donations being made by the general populace for the rehabilitation of
the aggrieved victims continue to be accepted at countrywide TCS
Express Centres in collaboration with the Edhi Foundation. An
international media campaign was also recently run by TCS
International in the UAE for mobilizing donations for the Abdul Sattar