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UBL plans Rs 2.5 billion TFC issue

KARACHI (April 09 2004): United Bank Ltd (UBL) has planned to float country's largest listed terms finance certificate valued at Rs 2.5 billion to expand its service and for tier 2 capital purposes.

According to the sources at the capital market, the UBL terms finance certificate would be the largest debt offering at the stock market, having maturity of eight years.

The bank would soon appoint a lead manager to structure this instrument either on floating-rate bond or fixed-rate basis.

The Bank was rated 'A' by Pakistan Credit Rating Agency (PACRA), was privatised in 2002, selling 51 percent stake to a consortium of the Abu Dhabi Group and the UK's Bestway group.

An 'A' rating – PACRA's third highest – denotes low expectation of credit risk and strong capacity for timely payment of financial commitments.

The government plans to sell its remaining 49 percent stake in the Bank, through stock market during next fiscal year.

UBL profit before tax rose 60 percent to Rs 4.5 billion as against Rs 2.8 billion in 2002.

The remarkable performance was based on a record growth of 37 percent in advances, which in 2002 were Rs 68.7 billion rose to Rs 99 billion a year later based on deposits growing from Rs 162.7 billion to Rs 189 billion.

UBL has declared a dividend of 22.5 percent, and in the process the government also received a dividend after two decades on its shareholding of 49 percent in the bank.

A nearly 50 percent of the rise in income is on account of five-time rise in capital gains on investments by the UBL, reaching at Rs 2 billion.

Over the year, the UBL has achieved a 39 percent growth in advances, which is one of the highest growth rates amongst the large banks network, while Deposits have grown by 17 percent and Work Remittances by 19 percent.

The profit before tax at Rs 4.5 billion shows an increase of 61 percent over previous year.

During 2004, the Bank will increase its momentum on branch renovation, investments in service quality, and automation. Under the umbrella of e-banking, services such as call centre, online banking and ATMs access will be offered from many more service points.

Consumer finance products will be launched from the second quarter onwards.

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