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'Bank Alfalah, Abu Dhabi Group to stay in Pakistan
05-16-2011, 11:33 AM
Post: #1
'Bank Alfalah, Abu Dhabi Group to stay in Pakistan
LAHORE: The Bank Alfalah and Abu Dhabi Group is not looking to exit Pakistan through divestment or sell-off and they will very much stay in Pakistan.

The Bank Alfalah CEO, Sirajuddin Aziz, stated this while addressing the members, investors, analysts and media representatives at the Corporate Briefing Programme of Bank Alfalah Limited at Lahore Stock Exchange here on Wednesday.

The CEO said, "On the contrary, the Bank is aggressively looking for growth opportunities in Pakistan, which is evident from the expansion of its branch network across the country."

Presenting a detaiedl overview of the Bank`s operations and future expansion plans, he said the Bank, which started operations in 1997 with just three branches and virtually no banking infrastructure is today the 6th largest bank in Pakistan with 386 branches in 150 towns, over 400 billion rupees (48 billion US dollars) in assets and is still growing rapidly.

The bank is planning to open 24 more branches and looking for opportunities to expand foreign operations in Hong Kong & Beijing in addition to Bangladesh, Afghanistan, UAE & Bahrain. The Bank also has the distinction of having the second largest Islamic Banking operations in Pakistan.

Commenting on the perception of higher interest rates being changed by the banks in Pakistan, the CEO said that this issue requires more subjective analysis because while the old and more established banks have low cost assets, an new comers of young banks such as Bank Alfalah have a much higher costs of deposits.

About the latest released financial results of the Bank, he said that despite the economic situation and mounting pressure on the banking sector due to circular debt, NPLs and 2010 floods, performance of Bank Alfalah Limited showed a positive trend in Ist quarter of 2011, as Bank`s total deposits have increased by 7.3 percent to Rs 539.5 billion as on March 31, 2011. Bank Alfalah is part of Abu Dhabi Group, which has controlling interest in the Bank, he added.

The Corporate Briefing Programme is an initiative of the LSE to increase market efficiency by removing information disparity in the marketplace. Market lenders are invited through this programme to present their company`s performance and future plans to the investment public. The presentation by Bank Alfalah was the fifth programme of this series that has received a lot of praise from the investment fraternity since its launch. Representatives of Engro Corporation, Nishat Group, Arif Habib Corporation and Treet Corporation have already organized their briefings under this programme.
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