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KARACHI         - 021 LAHORE          - 042 ISLAMABAD    - 051 FAISALABAD   - 041 MULTAN          - 061 PESHAWAR    - 0521 CANADA          - 1 KUWAIT           - 965 INDIA               - 91 IRAN                - 98 U.K                   - 44 U.A.E                - 971 U.S.A                - 1

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  DEPARTMENTS
 

IN THE NEWS
. INTERNATIONAL
. PAKISTAN
 

 

 

 

 
  ANNOUNCEMENT

Oct 31 - Nov 13, 2005

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 PCB.

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 received.

"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 CONTENT

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 world.

IGATEX PAKISTAN RECEIVES GLOBAL RECOGNITION

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 world.

LUMS TO HOST E-GOVERNANCE CONFERENCE

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 BANK .

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 added.

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 DAMAGES

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 capabilities.

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 of data."

TCS PRESENTS RS 35 LACS TO EDHI FOUNDATION

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 Edhi Foundation.

 
 

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