Trekker passes away

KATHMANDU: Karl Henrik ‘Sugata’ — reportedly the first westerner trekker to Nepal — has recently passed away in Norway. Born in 1909 in Germany, Henrik had first come to Nepal in 1951 as a trekker. He lived here for more than 16 years. He, later adopted to Buddhism and ordained Sugata. Henrik — who has served the Hitler regime and fought in the World War-II as a radio operator, according to his autobiography ‘Bird of Passage’ — was also ‘probably’ the first westerner to trek to Muktinath at the age of 94. “Sugata was one of the Nepal’s well wishers and good friends,” said Bharat Regmi, a long time Nepali friend of Sugata and tourism entrepreneur adding that Sugata’s ashes will be brought to Nepal and will be buried at Swayambhu in April. — HNS

ICFC turns four

KATHMANDU: ICFC Bittiya Sanstha Ltd is completing its three years of operation from Sunday. The company has been able to increase its deposit to Rs 650 million within this fiscal year from Rs 250.9 million a year ago. Likewise, its loans and advances also registered a whopping growth of 147 per cent to Rs 590 million from Rs 350.9 million last year, states a press release issued here. During the period, the company’s net profit has gone up by 59 per cent to Rs 12.1 million. The finance company plans to open one extra branch in Kathmandu and outside the valley as well as ATM counter to expand its services. — HNS

NBBIL gives dividend

KATHMANDU: Nepal Bitumen and Barrel Industry Ltd (NBBIL) has declared eight per cent dividend to its shareholders from the profit earned during the fiscal year 2005-06. The company’s 18th AGM held on Thursday stated that NBBIL has posted a net profit of Rs 2.512 million in 2005-06. NBBIL sold 5,715 metric tonnes of bitumen during the period. — HNS