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US CG Grace Shelton lauds CAS-W participant as Leaders in Sustainable Water Development

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EDITED BY M. M. ALAM

 

JAMSHORO: U.S. Consul General Grace Shelton met students at Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET) who had recently returned from an exchange at the University of Utah in the United States.

As participants of the US-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water (CAS-W), a US-government funded program, CG Shelton lauded them as leaders in sustainable water development.

Conspicuous among others present at the interactive session there were Vice Chancellor MUET Prof. Dr. Muhammad Aslam Uqaili  and faculty members.

CG Grace Shelton also toured the construction site for US-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water’s building.

CG Grace Shelton also toured the construction site for US-Pakistan Center for Advanced Studies in Water’s building.

This was Consul General Grace Shelton’s second trip to Jamshoro.  

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Summit Bank to function till merger: Raza Durrani

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KARACHI: Summit Bank Limited will continue functioning normally by doing daily transactions and fulfilling its all liabilities to the depositors, till its merger with Sindh Bank after clearance from the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, President Summit Bank Limited, Ahsan Raza Durrani, President, Sindh Bank, Tariq Ahsan and Director Sindh Bank, Muhammad Bilal Shaikh strongly refuted the rumors circulating on social media about the suspension of operations by Summit Bank Limited.
Summit Bank’s President/CEO Ahsan Raza Durrani informed that annual general meetings of both the banks would be held here on August 31, 2018, where the merger plan and its terms and conditions, and the future policy would be approved.
After this approval, both the banks would submit the plan before the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The apex court has directed the management of these banks to submit details of their merger plan including the reasons behind this decision.
“Hopefully, the Supreme Court of Pakistan will issue green signal and the merger will be completed before the end of September 2018,” remarked Ahsan Raza Durrani and Muhammad Bilal Shaikh.
On August 3, 2018, Board of Directors of both the banks had approved the merger, he said.
He said after the merger Summit Bank would lose its identity and would become a part of Sindh Bank, which is a public sector bank.
On the intervention of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the shares ratio for the merger has been fixed at 8.37 Summit Bank shares for one share of Sindh Bank. Earlier this ratio was 4.1: 1. After the merger, the equity pool would be around Rs 27 billion–Rs 17 billion from Sindh Bank and Rs 10 billion from Summit Bank.
Summit Bank’s President said his bank had no political affiliation with any political party and was never involved in any money laundering.
To a question from media, he said there would be no effect of money laundering case on the merger plan.
Presidents of both the banks assured that there would be down-sizing of employees of the banks at least for one year after the merger and their benefits would remain intact.
They explained that the major reasons for the merger were: having a broad base of branches network- meeting the required equity level and other legal requirements set by State Bank of Pakistan and at international level.
Sindh Bank’s Director Muhammad Bilal Shaikh said another major reason was that SBP had directed his bank to go for public listing at the earliest.
After the merger, initial public offering (IPO) would be held where around forty percent shares would be floated for the public and the remaining shares would be with Sindh Government.

 

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No Canadians: Air France unions want French CEO

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PARIS: Air France-KLM was tipped to name its first non-French chief executive on Thursday, with Canada’s Ben Smith set to be unveiled despite resistance from the group’s powerful trade unions.
It was “inconceivable that the Air France company, French since 1933, falls into the hands of a foreign executive whose candidacy is being promoted by a competitor,” said a statement from nine out of 10 Air France unions on Thursday morning.
The competitor referred to was Delta Airlines, the US airline which owns 8.8 percent of the capital of Air France-KLM, the parent group formed out of the merger of Air France and KLM of the Netherlands in 2004.
The union statement added that the new boss needed “intimate knowledge… of the French social model”, which often results in confrontations between employees and management.
Widely tipped in the media to be unveiled later on Thursday after a board meeting, the current number two at Air Canada won approval from the French government, which retains a 14.3-percent shareholding.
“I think he’s an excellent candidate,” Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said when asked about Smith during a press conference in southwest France.
He confirmed that the state’s representative on the board would vote in his favor. One of Smith’s biggest tasks would be negotiating a new pay deal with the French labor groups behind a series of strikes between February and June that forced out former boss Jean-Marc Janaillac.
As the chief operating officer at Air Canada, Smith has experience of sensitive labor negotiations, having led talks with pilots’ and flight attendants’ unions at Air Canada ahead of the launch of low-cost operator Air Canada Rouge.
But his proposed salary, reported to be several times higher than that of Janaillac, could also undermine goodwill towards him among employees, who have suffered years of cutbacks and job losses.
Liberation newspaper reported it could be as high as 3.0 million euros ($3.4 million dollars).
The union representing pilots at KLM, the Dutch arm of the group, has also made fresh pay demands and threatened strikes unless a new deal is offered to its members.
“I’m sure he has an idea of the magnitude of the challenge,” Chris Tarry, an aviation analyst in Britain, told Bloomberg news agency.
“Would I book a long-haul flight on Air France? It’s a question because there’s a risk they’ll be on strike,” he said.

A relevant piece: Air France-KLM named its first non-French chief executive on Thursday, handing the reins to Air Canada’s Ben Smith despite strong resistance from the group’s powerful trade unions.
It was “inconceivable that the Air France company, French since 1933, falls into the hands of a foreign executive whose candidacy is being promoted by a competitor,” said a statement from nine out of 10 Air France unions on Thursday morning.
The competitor referred to was Delta Airlines, the US airline which owns 8.8 percent of the capital of Air France-KLM, the parent group formed out of the merger of Air France and KLM of the Netherlands in 2004.
The union statement added that the new boss needed “intimate knowledge… of the French social model”, which often results in confrontations between employees and management.
The group’s management said Thursday evening that Smith, the current number two at Air Canada who won approval from the French government, would start work with the group by the end of September.
“It’s a chance for Air France-KLM to attract a leader of this stature who has great experience acquired through 19 years with Air Canada, an openness to dialogue and a large capacity to transform,” Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire and Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne said in a joint statement.
The French state retains a 14.3-percent shareholding in Air France-KLM.
One of Smith’s biggest tasks will be negotiating a new pay deal with the French labor groups behind a series of strikes between February and June that forced out former boss Jean-Marc Janaillac.
“I am well aware of the competitive challenges the Air France-KLM Group is currently facing and I am convinced that the airlines’ teams have all the strengths to succeed in the global airline market,” Smith said in a statement after the announcement.
As chief operating officer at Air Canada, Smith has experience of sensitive labor negotiations, having led talks with pilots’ and flight attendants’ unions ahead of the launch of low-cost operator Air Canada Rouge.
But his proposed salary, reported to be several times higher than that of Janaillac, could also undermine goodwill towards him among employees, who have suffered years of cutbacks and job losses.
Liberation newspaper reported it could be as high as 3.0 million euros ($3.4 million dollars).
The union representing pilots at KLM, the Dutch arm of the group, has also made fresh pay demands and threatened strikes unless a new deal is offered to its members.
“I’m sure he has an idea of the magnitude of the challenge,” Chris Tarry, an aviation analyst in Britain, told Bloomberg news agency.
“Would I book a long-haul flight on Air France? It’s a question because there’s a risk they’ll be on strike,” he said.
The Franco-Dutch airline had been searching for a new boss since Janaillac resigned in May, having gambled his job on getting Air France staff to accept a new pay deal after months of strikes.
Smith’s nomination may also be accompanied by a shake-up of the company’s governance, with the splitting of the roles of chairman and chief executive, which were previously held by the same person.
Les Echos business daily, which reported the change, said the new management structure would bring the company into line with American and British practice.
Air France shares have plunged more than 35 percent since the start of the year, although they have stabilized since Janaillac’s departure.
The group this month estimated the cost of the 15 days of French strikes between February and June at 335 million euros.
After years of losses and restructuring, the company has returned to profit, leading to the increased pay demands from unions.
It reported net profits of 109 million euros for the second quarter — down sharply from 593 million for the same period last year, although that figure was boosted by new accounting rules.

 

 

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Wall Street stocks lifted by US-China talks

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NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks rose early Thursday following news US and Chinese officials will hold trade talks, and as Walmart surged on strong earnings.
About 25 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.3 percent at 25,491.45. The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.7 percent to 2,837.66, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.6 percent to 7,821.31.
Chinese officials announced they would send a senior negotiator to the United States in late August to resume trade talks, the first public meeting on the dispute in weeks as the trade conflict intensifies.
At the invitation of the United States, a delegation led by Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen, the deputy representative on international trade negotiations, will meet with a team led by senior US Treasury official David Malpass, the Chinese commerce ministry said in a statement.
The announcement revived hopes the world’s two biggest economies could avert a full-scale trade war. The two countries are expected to launch a new round of tit-for-tat tariffs on $16 billion worth of goods from each country on August 23. And the US is poised to hit another $200 billion in Chinese goods.
Meanwhile, Dow member Walmart shot up more than nine percent after reporting a 4.5 percent jump in comparable sales at US stores in the second quarter, its strongest performance in more than a decade.
Other companies to report results were mixed, with Cisco Systems gaining 4.1 percent but J.C. Penney plummeting 26.1 percent.

 

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