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News Desk
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
From Print Edition


KARACHI: Bank Alfalah has planned to open 20 more branches in Pakistan by August, 2011, the bank said in a statement on Tuesday.


“This will generate employment and extend the bank’s reach to new un-explored areas,” the statement said.


Despite the adverse economic situation in the country - pressure on the banking sector due to circular debt, non-performing loans and last year’s floods - Bank Alfalah’s performance showed positive trend in the first quarter, it said.


The bank, which has 321 branches, said its profit before provision and taxation for the first quarter of 2011 more than doubled to Rs2.34 billion compared with Rs1.15 billion in the similar period last year.


Bank Alfalah’s earning per share (EPS) for the quarter increased to Rs0.69 per share from Rs0.43 per share in the first quarter of 2010, the statement said.


The bank, which is part of Abu Dhabi Group, saw its total deposits increasing by 7.3 percent to Rs339.5 billion as of March 31, 2011 against Rs316.4 billion as of March 31 2010.


Bank’s current and saving account deposits stood at Rs147.4 billion for the period under review against Rs114.6 billion in the first quarter of the last year showing a 28.62 percent increase.


The rise in these deposits was pivotal in increasing the net interest margins to Rs4.44 billion in first quarter of 2011 as compared with 2.97 billion for the previous comparable period, registering an increase of 49.37 percent.


Bank’s investment portfolio grew to Rs119.6 billion from March 31, 2010 level of Rs105.6 billion. The bank handled trade business of Rs126 billion in the first quarter of 2011 as compared with Rs85 billion in the similar period of 2010 registering an increase of 48.24 percent.


During the period under review the Bank has created provision against diminution in the value of investment of Rs226 million against its investments in Warid and Wateen telecom.


Bank’s administrative expenses have increased by Rs485 million in the first quarter of 2010 as compared with last year due to opening of 65 new branches and general inflationary pressure, the statement said.


Bank’s annualised return on average equity and return on average assets has also increased to 18.45 percent and 0.91 percent as of March 31, 2011 as compared with year end 2010 ratio of 4.9 percent and 0.24 percent respectively.