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All News Page

  • 106
    Back-to-school costs bite parents in UAE
    SEP-2012 – The math gets tougher for parents preparing children for new academic year Year after year, a steady increase in schooling expenses has become evident around the UAE. The cost escalation, whether due to revised tuition fees or other contributing factors like bus fees or costs of stationery, uniforms and textbooks, invariably adds to the financial burden on parents. New expenses such as fees for extracurricular activities and, in some cases, even computing equipment like iPads is also catching many unawares. The big majority of parents interviewed by Gulf News say its a rather costly affair preparing their children for the new academic year. Ahmad, 44, a manager from India who has two school-going children was particularly peeved about the additional costs. “At present, I pay nearly Dh10,000 for each child’s tuition in addition to transport and books at the start of the academic year in April. But then there are fees for every extracurricular activity they wish to participate in, and I cannot refuse all of them,” he said. “Currently, these expenses take up an additional Dh2,000 per child, and my friends with older children also tell me that these charges increase exponentially from Grade 8 onwards. For a parent, this is unfair as the cost of education ends up being much higher than it actually is,” he added. Ahmad whose children are enrolled at a private school following an Indian curriculum, said he had paid at least 25 per cent more this year just to purchase stationery such as pencils, notebooks and schoolbags before the start of the school trimester. “My children are still young now, with my older child in just Grade 6. I shudder to think how expensive their education will get in just a few years’ time,” he said. Some parents think that the increase in price is unjustified because they do not feel that they are getting their money’s worth in terms of education. Mother of three Sara (not her real name), told Gulf News that she has already taken one of her children out of a private school that is based in Sharjah because she did not really know where the extra money that they kept on demanding was going. “They kept on asking me to pay an extra Dh300 on this and that, but I did not feel that it was going where they said it was going, I basically felt that they were ripping me off so I took my child out of the school and filed a complaint against them. Sara however said she had not faced any such issue with the school her other child was attending in Sharjah. “They were upfront with me from the beginning” she said. “I pay the tuition fee that includes the book fee and uniform [costs], that is it; they never asked me for extra money after the initial instalment.” Ihsan Khan, 35, a parent from Pakistan also voiced concern about the amount of money he was forced to spend and if it was actually worth it. “Last year, I shelled out nearly Dh100,000 for my three children and each year these fees, which include tuition, cost of books and additional fees for extracurricular activities, keep increasing. Education is not something one can compromise upon, and yet I feel that the quality of education my children are receiving is not worth the expense,” he said. Khan’s children are studying at a private school that offers the British curriculum. Although he is able to pay their fees with his earnings as the owner of an Abu Dhabi construction firm, he says he is still considering sending his family back home to Pakistan. “I am able to afford the steep costs till now, but I don’t believe my children receive valuable education as a result,” he said. Additionally, Khan said he paid over Dh10,000 last year for stationery like books, schoolbags, pencil cases and other miscellaneous items throughout the school year. Advance payments that some of the school are demanding were among concerns raised with Gulf News by some parents. Saeed Ali, who has two children studying in a private school in Dubai, complained that he had been required to pay the whole year’s fee in only 3 instalments. “In the middle of May, I paid 50 per cent of the total school fees, about Dh22,000 for both children. Twenty-five per cent will be paid at the beginning of September while the other 25 per cent remains to be paid in next December.” Ali said that he wonders if these increases actually go towards providing better services as the school claims because he does not see any tangible improvement in their services. “I’m not convinced with these advanced fee payments,” he added. Mohammad Yousuf, who has two children studying in a private school, also sought to focus on extra costs. “I have paid 50 per cent of the total sum in mid-May, about Dh40,000 for both children, while the remaining 50 per cent will be paid at the beginning of this new school year. This does not even include the transport fees, uniforms or even books,” he said adding that the school had asked parents to purchase computers for their children as a mandatory requirement. Yousuf said school fees imposed a serious burden on him even though he appreciated the fact that education is one of the necessities of life for his children.
  • 105
    UAE consumption of commodity paper is 3.5 times higher than newsprint consumption
    OCT-2012 – The UAE consumption of general commodity paper is 3.5 times that of newsprint. Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), one of the world’s leading pulp and paper companies and the largest vertically integrated pulp and paper producer in Asia, excluding Japan, has said that the consumption of both is high in the region due to the UAE’s position as the trade, media and financial hub in the Middle East. APP has announced its sponsorship of the 5th Paper Arabia Show 2012, the biggest paper industry show in the MENA region, to be held at the Dubai International Exhibition from 1-3 October 2012. Satish Khanna, General Manager, Al Fajer Information and Services, organizers of the show, said: “The expenditure on newsprint was high in recent years but with the evolution of the digital media the consumption has dwindled, while commodity paper consumption is getting higher with the economic rebound in the UAE and region.” He said Al Fajer was pleased to have a company of APP’s stature as a sponsor of Paper Arabia for the fifth consecutive year. He pointed out that Paper Arabia has become a must participate exhibition for companies working in the paper, packaging and tissues industries. Suneet Sood, CEO, APP Dubai office said: “In 2011, growth of the stationery division of our company was stable, whereas the paper division grew by 13% and the packaging division by 30%. The total sales for 2011 by APP for Middle East region was $600m. This shows our firm commitment to the UAE and the region.” He added: “APP is looking to expand its presence in Middle East and Africa. Hence, APP Dubai is currently focusing on Saudi Arabia which account for 30% for our sales and has potential to grow. The total UAE sales have also gone up by 9%. New offices have been opened in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.” APP will unveil a range of new products at Paper Arabia 2012 including Foopak and Kokoru. Foopak is a certified 100% food grade packaging product designed to protect freshness and quality of food, prevent greasing and for special frozen application. With Foopak, the originality of food’s quality and taste remains, hence keeping the food delicious. Kokoru is an innovative product for children consisting of colourful paper, which can be used to create anything under the sun, like cartoon characters, animals, birds, photo frames and pencil/ pen attachments. Kokoru is designed to nurture the creativity in children and at the same time they have fun making useful items. APP has its principal operations in Indonesia, and markets its products to more than 65 countries on six continents, including Dubai. Newsprint paper includes newspapers and magazines whereas general commodity paper includes office paper, photocopy paper, carbonless paper, notebooks, dairies, food packaging, shopping bags, business cards, greeting cards and corporate and marketing collateral. The paper, tissue and converting industries will be displaying latest technologies at the three-day show. Khanna added that Paper Arabia 2012 offers opportunities to the manufacturers and suppliers of finished products, equipment, machinery, paper chemicals, services, supplies of paper, tissue and converting sector to make inroads to the Middle East and North African markets. The show will place special emphasis on hygiene and disposable products in view of the surge in demand for various products like wet wipes, baby diapers and sanitary napkins. Elite players from the industry are participating in Paper Arabia 2012 as they believe it offers opportunities to the manufacturers and suppliers of finished products, equipment, machinery, paper chemicals, services, supplies of paper, tissue and converting sector to access the lucrative Middle East and North African markets.
  • 104 recycles more than one million cartridges
    OCT-2012 – says that it has recycled more than one million ink and toner cartridges in 2012 through its national Ink and Toner Recycle Program, launched in 2011. The Ink and Toner recycle program one of the first programs of its kind, allows customers to recycle their cartridges essentially from their desks. Customers download a free pre-paid mailing label and mail the used cartridges to Two weeks after receiving the cartridges, deposits $2 per cartridge, up to $20 per month, into the customer’s account to use on their next purchase. The returned cartridges are either reused as remanufactured cartridges or their parts are broken down and used in the production of other office supplies. “Through the Ink and Toner Recycle Program, customers can help reduce environmental impacts from used cartridges and find great value in their ongoing purchases of ink and toner,” said Vice President of Merchandising, Sergio Pereira.
  • 103
    Solenis Completes Acquisition of India Pulp and Paper Business Assets From CBC India
    MAY-2015 – Solenis Chemicals India Private Limited completed the acquisition of assets associated with the Solenis pulp and paper business represented by Connell Bros. Company (India) Private Limited in India. All assets associated with the Solenis pulp and paper business represented by Connell Bros. Company (India) Private Limited in India are a part of the deal including the sales, technical, and operating personnel directly related to the paper unit, as well as an AKD emulsion manufacturing facility. “India is now the fastest growing pulp and papermaking country in the world with 10.5 million tons of paper and board production and represents a significant growth opportunity for Solenis,” stated John Panichella, president and CEO. “ We have worked in close collaboration with the CBC India team for a number of years so this is a logical next step in our desire to provide total solutions to our customers in this market.” “This is another example of Solenis’ commitment to continuous investment in the pulp and paper industry and we are delighted to continue to build strong business relationships with our customers in India,” said Nandkumar Dhekne, vice president, Asia Pacific. About Solenis Solenis is a leading global producer of specialty chemicals for the pulp, paper, oil and gas, chemical processing, mining, bio refining, power and municipal markets….
  • 102
    India needs shot in arm for recycling paper
    AUGUST-2012 – Recycling paper, is essentially, turning waste paper into new paper. According to Tappi (the leading technical association for the worldwide pulp, paper and converting industry), the paper recycling process, involves mixing of wastepaper with water and chemicals to break it down. The broken residue is then chopped up and heated to convert it into strands of cellulose, called pulp or slurry. This pulp is then cleaned, “deinked”, bleached, and mixed with water and converted into new paper. Recycling paper has a big impact on saving wood that is used to generate the paper. For example, according to the environmental paper network, recycling a tonne of newsprint saves about a tonne of wood, while recycling a tonne of printing or copier paper, saves slightly more than two tonnes of wood. Also, it is believed that recycling paper saves energy. For example, the energy information administration claims a 40 per cent reduction in energy when paper is recycled, compared with paper made with unrecycled pulp, while the bureau of international recycling (BIR) claims a 64 per cent reduction. In addition, the US environmental protection agency (EPA) has found that recycling causes 35 per cent less water pollution and 74 per cent less air pollution than making new paper. Also, according to EPA, about 35 per cent of municipal solid waste (before recycling) by weight is paper and paper products that would not enter landfills if it is recycled. Although, the potential and benefits for recycling paper seem immense, very little paper is recycled in India. According to the Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA), in India, only about 20 per cent waste paper is being recycled every year. This low recycling rate is mainly on account of alternate use of paper in wrapping, packing, and the lack of source segregation that makes waste paper contaminated and unusable. Thus, India lacks collection, sorting and grading system of waste paper for proper utilisation. IPMA believes that this rate of paper recycling in India is very low, compared with other countries. Paper recycling rate in Germany is 73 per cent, in Sweden, it is 69 per cent, in Japan, it is 60 per cent, in western Europe, it is 56 per cent, in the US, it is 49 per cent, and in Italy, it is 45 per cent. In fact, the US postal service recycles more than a million tonnes of scrap paper and $160 million worth of recycled paper each year. It has even won the environmental mailer award. In a recent report, the Central Pulp & Paper Research Institute (CPPRI) has stated that by 2010, about half of the global amount of fibres used in papermaking will be recycled fibres. However, the report admits that recycled fibre sourcing in India is a challenge. The 20 per cent Indian recycling estimate, is alarming given that the projected demand for fresh paper in India will be likely around 21 million tonnes over the next few years, according to ITC and Indian Agro & Recycled Paper Mills Association (IARPMA). This amount of paper consumption is likely, because in India, per capita paper consumption has been increasing: To 9.18 kg in 2009-10 from 8.3 kg during 2008-09. Also, given the poor recycling rate in India, unsorted waste and dumps would likely fill nearby landfills. In this regard, paper recycling seems to offer a partial answer to this problem, because every tonne of paper recycled, saves more than 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space. Although, India has been behind in recycling paper, of late, IPMA has taken a number of recycling initiatives. For instance, last year, ITC’s paperboards and specialty papers division, launched a waste paper collection programme called “wealth out of waste (WOW)”, in select areas in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Coimbatore, and is now, expanding it include more areas in south India, including Chennai. WOW is a recycling initiative that works towards spreading awareness about recycling and encourages people to segregate and dispose waste responsibly. It is an internationally recognised initiative by the bureau of international of recycling. In the programme, WOW reaches out to schools, institutions and homes through its awareness building teams, about source segregation of waste. After a stipulated period of time, the WOW team goes back to collect the waste kept aside by schools/institutions/homes, and pays them for the recyclables collected. In Chennai, WOW has tied up with 30-40 IT companies including Infosys, IBM, and Wipro, which would sell their waste paper to ITC for recycling. It also plans to tie up with residential welfare associations (RWAs), NGOs and local bodies to expand the waste paper collection programme. According to IPMA, government intervention is necessary to encourage segregation at source and increase recycling to minimise landfill and related environmental hazards. Given that the paper recycling patterns are irregular in India at present, recycling paper has a tremendous potential to be exploited on a commercial scale. One can argue that one can develop a very respectable income collecting and selling paper to the recycling centres. It certainly does not take any education, specialised training or experience; it’s as simple as saving your old newspapers and turning them in to a central collection depot.
  • 101
    Middle East Paper industry Meets 50% Of Local Demand, Up From 38% In 2008
    JULY-2012 – Major players in the region’s approx. $10 billion industry to meet at 5th Paper Arabia exhibition from 1-3 October 2012 The Middle East paper industry, one of the fastest growing in the world, meets half of the requirements of local consumption. This is an increase of 12 percent over 2008, when the local production met just 38 percent of demand. The region is thus less dependent on import of tissues from outside the Arab region, as mills increase their production. This was revealed on the sidelines of the announcement of Paper Arabia 2012, a three-day exhibition that will be held at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre from October 1 to 3. Commenting on the event, Mr. Satish Khanna, General Manager, Al Fajer Information and Services, said: “Paper Arabia is getting continued support from some of the world’s biggest paper suppliers and paper machinery suppliers. Some leading paper mills and paper machinery suppliers will be using the show as their platform to explore the Middle East market for the first time.” Paper Arabia 2012 will bring together players from the paper, tissue and converting sectors. The show will offer opportunities to manufactures and suppliers of finished products, equipment, machinery, paper chemicals, services, supplies of paper, tissue and converting sector to tap the Middle East and North African markets. Khanna revealed that the paper industry has registered spectacular growth in recent years, with production centers, paper mills and paper converting businesses increasing in numbers and output. He said this year’s event will place greater emphasis on the tissue and converting industries, taking into consideration that domestic production of tissues is increasing each year and there is less dependence on imported tissues. Paper Arabia, with more than 175 exhibitors from 30 countries from across the world, will be a key platform for traders and industry players to network. The show’s participants include leading global names from the Taiwan, Turkey, Austria, Philippines, Pakistan, Spain, Russia, UAE, Italy, Jordan, France, China, Netherlands, India, Indonesia, Egypt, Germany, India, USA and the UK. Khanna added that the number of exhibitors has increased by 15 percent this year, and more than 8,000 trade visitors are expected to visit the three day show. Middle East’s annual consumption of paper will cross 29 million tons by 2020, from 18 million tons in 2010, according to Asia Pulp and Paper, the second largest paper manufacturer and supplier in the world with operations in more than 65 countries. Asia Pulp & Paper is the Principal Sponsor of Paper Arabia 2012.
  • 100
    Ballarpur Industries to simplify corporate structure
    AUGUST-2012 – Ballarpur Industries, or Bilt, India’s largest paper manufacturer, will transfer two paper units to a step-down subsidiary that will ultimately be listed overseas as the Delhi-based company bows to demands by foreign institutional shareholders pressing for a simplified corporate structure. In the structural revamp, the flagship of the Gautam Thapar-led Avantha Group will exchange two copier paper making units for a rayon grade pulp mill, currently a part of the unlisted Bilt Graphics Paper Products (BGPPL). This will bring the entire copier paper business under Bilt Graphics which will eventually be listed overseas, either at London or any other exchange. “This internal restructuring was initiated as some investors felt that the copier paper business should be all together. It would be useful for listing as the structure would be very clean,” group finance director B Hariharan told.Of the industry capacity of 11.5 million tonnes, Bilt makes close to 1 million tonnes annually. The company plans to raise its pulp production by 290,000 tonnes mainly from its Malaysian unit. Institutional investors have been pressing for a simplified structure that would contain only paper and paper-related pulp as part of a single business to prop up valuations. Rayon grade pulp, which is not used in paper making, will now be shifted to Bilt. Some of the large investors in Bilt include LIC with 6.7%, Samena Special Situations Fund (5.9%), Platinum Fund 5.2%, Samena Capital 5%. General Insurance Corp 1.9% and HDFC Prudence 1.6%. The exercise will not reduce the valuation of parent company Bilt, as Bilt Graphics Paper is a subsidiary, said Mr. Hariharan, adding that there will be no change in the shareholding pattern. Bilt’s other subsidiaries include Ballarpur International Graphic Paper Holdings B.V, Sabah Forest Industries, Malaysia’s largest pulp and paper company and Bilt Tree Tech Limited which runs Bilt’s farm forestry programme in several states in India. Simplification of corporate structures to boost valuations have become a large trend with mining major Vedanta Resources and infrastructure company GMR Corp recently initiating efforts in that direction. Professional services firms Price Waterhouse and KPMG were mandated to prepare the valuation reports for Bilt and BGPPL respectively. Under the transfer of assets, Bilt will pay 115 crore to BGPPL. Ballarpur Industries posted a revenue of 4,651 crore in the previous fiscal year – the company’s financial year ends on June 30. Of this, the paper and paper products and office supplies accounts for 88%, while it accounts for about 71% of the operating profit. In 2011, Bilt had planned for a London Stock Exchange listing where it had targeted to raise $330 million to fund expansion and reduce debts. About $140 million was for expansion of the company’s plants in India and Malaysia, while the rest would have been used to cut debt. This was postponed after a large transaction in the Indian paper industry sparked re-rating of companies in the sector. In May 2011, US-based International Paper acquired AP Paper for about $423 million (then about 2,030 crore). Bilt also deferred the listing as equity markets turned choppy, said Mr. Hariharan. Rayon grade pulp, also known as dissolving grade pulp, forms a lucrative part of the operations of Bilt as the country has a shortage of such raw material. Viscose staple fiber companies such as Grasim Industries, are some of the large buyers of dissolving grade pulp from Bilt.
  • 99
    JK Paper banks on ColorLok technology to step up sales
    AUGUST-2012 – JK Paper is targeting end users of copier paper directly to push its products in this segment. It is looking at large information technology companies, public sector and photocopier services providers to step up sales of copier paper. The company is positioning its copier paper range on quality and cost savings for users following its exclusive tie up with HP for the ColorLok technology. ColorLok technology, which is exclusively available to JK Paper in India, involves surface treatment of paper that improves quality of print and compatibility with laser printers, inkjet printers, photocopiers and all DTP applications. JK plans to compensate shops offering photocopier services the annual maintenance contract which can go up to Rs. 7,000-8,000 for a photocopier machine, according to Mr. A. K. Ghosh, who heads marketing at JK Paper. “It is a huge savings for the jobbers,” he said. The move is significant in the context of the large production capacity addition for JK Paper in this segment. Odisha unit The company’s new unit in Rayagada, Odisha, will add an annual capacity of about 1.65 lakh tonnes of copier papers in 2013. Some of the older capacities will be diverted to other paper segments. As the market absorbs the capacity addition, JK Paper will step up copier production in the subsequent year. Copier paper demand The total annual copier paper demand in the domestic market is estimated at about six lakh tonnes a year, he said. It is growing close to about 10 per cent. Mr. Larry Tracy, Director, ColorLok, HP, who was in India last week as part of an awareness programme on the technology, said over the phone that globally about 10 large paper companies have tied up with HP for ColorLok technology.
  • 98
    U.S. Paper Companies searching trading opportunities in INDIA for Growth
    AUGUST-2012 – India is quickly becoming an attractive new market for the American pulp and paper industry, according to “Turning the page on India’s paper industry: A new chapter in investment potential and growth,” a new report from Deloitte. Growth in the Indian market is tied to a significant increase in demand, fuelled by a burgeoning middle class and a growing workforce waiting to be added to the worldwide employment rolls. According to the report, the U.S.-based International Paper (IP) acquisition of a 53.5 percent stake in Andhra Pradesh Paper Mills (APPM) in March 2011 stirred widespread interest in the Indian market. Prior to that, the paper industry in India did not appear to be on the radar of many multinational companies. “India’s paper industry is expected to grow at six to seven percent year over year, with the packaging industry poised to grow at 22 to 25 percent annually,” said John Dixon, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “India has 15 percent of the world’s population, but consumes less than two percent of the world’s paper. Meeting the growing demand will likely require a correspondingly significant investment in both new machines and upgrading of existing facilities.” The report analyzes the challenges to investing in India, which include inadequate investment in infrastructure, limitations on raw materials, lack of a coordinated and updated manufacturing policy, outdated labour policies, and lack of a broad power supply that has created a situation where only about 60 percent of paper-making capacity is being used. Companies that are considering entrance into the Indian market should do so strategically and should consider location. For example, states such as Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat, may be preferred locations for consideration because they may be investor friendly and closer to raw materials. “Paperboard and printing, along with specialty papers, are likely the segments with greater ease of entry and long-term growth,” explained Dixon. “Acquisition of or a controlling stake in a joint venture with an existing player with sizable assets can offer an attractive option for entry,” added Dixon. “India also allows 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in this sector, making it an attractive landscape for foreign investment — one of the keys to growing the paper industry.” As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. In India this press release has been issues by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited.
  • 97
    TNPL to commission de-inking line next month; net drops 14%
    SEP-2012 – Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Paper Ltd. has reported a 14 per cent drop in net profit for the first quarter this year, compared with the corresponding previous quarter. The company reported a net profit of Rs. 11.17 crore on net sales of Rs. 329.66 crore for the quarter ended June 30. During the comparative previous period the company reported a Rs 12.82-crore profit on net sales of Rs. 335.67 crore. TNPL expects to commission its 300-tonnes-a-day de-inking and 600-tonnes-a-day mini-cement plant in September. The de-inking plant will augment its present pulp production capacity of 840 tonnes a day. There will be surplus pulp available for it to market. The line will add to the topline and bottomline, according to sources. The paper manufacturer has received the Forest Management and Chain of Custody Certificate from the Forest Stewardship Council, an independent, global, non-profit organisation, which is a mark of responsible exploitation of wood. The certificate covers 19,561 hectares, the largest area certified by FSC in India. TNPL can use the FSC label on all its products made from FSC-certified wood. This certificate is valid for five years, up to July 2017.