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January 11, 2011

Bank Alfalah not being sold or merged: CEO


January 11, 2011


KARACHI: The Abu Dhabi Group (ADG) on Monday expressed confidence on Pakistan and its economy and denied reports that it plans to sell or merge its subsidiary, Bank Alfalah.
“The Chairman of Abu Dhabi Group, His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan and the Chairman of Bank Alfalah H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mubarak Al Nahayan have expressed their total confidence in Pakistan, its people and economy,” said a statement read out by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the bank.
In recent weeks, there had been rumours in the banking circles that the ADG planned to dispose off Bank Alfalah after it reduced shareholding in the profit-making United Bank Limited (UBL).
But Sirajuddin Aziz, CEO of the Bank Alfalah while addressing a press conference, said that the bank was not for sale. “The Abu Dhabi Group has no intention, at all, to either sell or merge with another institution, its flagship investment in Pakistan — Bank Alfalah,” he said.
He also strongly rejected media reports about Bank Alfalah’s merger with Silk Bank. To a question about ADG’s sale of stakes in United Bank Limited, he said that some of the group members had sold their minor stakes.
“But the ADG Chairman Sheikh Hamdan Bin Al-Nahyan did not do so and he continues to be the chairman of the board of directors.” On the occasion group director Ikramul Majeed Sehgal also denied the reports and said that there were no such considerations. “There might be talks in the business community about the merger, but it does not mean the management has decided to do so.”
To a question about resignations of senior management on the proposed merger, Aziz said that only Pervez A Shahid, who was working as a strategic planner, had resigned. Bashir A Tahir stayed as the advisor to the group chairman, he added.
The top management of the bank also said that financial results showed that the bank was growing despite problems in the broader economy. Aziz said that the bank

had opened 378 branches in the country, five in Bangladesh and two in Afghanistan.
During the nine-month period ended September 30, 2010, the bank’s profit before provision and taxation stood at Rs4.187 billion as compared to Rs4.182 billion for the previous comparable period, according to the third quarterly report of the bank.




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