SBP – IFC to invest in Bank Alfalah

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KARACHI: On Tuesday, The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has allowed the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to commence due diligence of Bank Alfalah for the potential investment in the equity of the bank, said a notification by the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE).

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Bank Alfalah structured in 1992 is maintained and run by the Abu Dhabi Group, which is hold by a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, and is the sixth- biggest bank in Pakistan.

The statement stated Pakistan’s central bank had allowed IFC to conduct due diligence on the cant.

While, it is not clear how much the IFC plans to vest, the move is encouraging for the banking industry. In the mid of the last decade, banks attracted huge investment from abroad, butt the global fiscal crisis since 2007 and the economic crisis in the economy since 2008 discouraged investment in the diligence.

The bank held 31.9 billion rupees ($322.8 million) value of assets as of December and has a presence in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bahrain and a spokesperson office in the United Arab Emirates.

The deposits base of the bank lifted up by 15 percent to Rs525 billion. Net advances grew to Rs261 billion in 2013 as compared to Rs234 billion earlier. In the last year, the bank recorded gross advances to deposit ratio at 52.1 percent with investments level up 15.9 percent to Rs219 billion.

The banking industry remained profitable despite global financial crisis. No bank in Pakistan failed, though thousands of banks were closed globally in the aftermath of global financial crisis.

Bank Alfalah is the sixth largest player in Pakistan’s financial services industry, the second largest Islamic Bank and the largest issuer and acquirer of credit cards in the nation.

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