PICIC Bank profits likely to show 75 percent growth

KARACHI (August 05 2004): Picic Commercial Bank, which is expected to announce its half-yearly results with over 75 percent increase in its profit and 100 percent in earning per share, may emerge as the only private bank having 100 branches across the country.

Banking industry sources said that Picic Commercial Bank would come up with record breaking figures of financial results ending June 2004, for the approval before its Board meeting scheduled for August 11.

The Bank had earned an after-tax net profit of Rs 621.41 million by December 2003, compared to Rs 319.24 million of previous year–an increase of over 94 percent.

The Bank, which has 80 branches in the country, has already acquired licences to open 20 more branches which would make it the only private bank having 100 branches. Picic Commercial Bank is ahead of all private banks in terms of number of branches.

The Bank is still holding the position of sixth largest bank, in terms of branches, in the country. Other banks are HBL, NBP, MCB, UBL and ABL.

The fastest growing Bank has also succeeded in getting permission to open branches in United Arab Emirate and Saudi Arabia. The Bank would open these branches this year.

Sources said that Bank's Capital is also expected to double while the equity of the bank would reach over Rs 3 billion. Bankers believe that this is a remarkable achievement for a bank, which started its journey three years ago.

The Bank's net fund-based income is expected to increase by over 65 percent and Earning Per Share expected to double despite increase in capital.

The Fund based cost is expected show a reduction of over 15 percent as compared to June 2003 despite a phenomenal growth in the deposit base, which is expected to increase by 40 percent from Rs 26. 6 to Rs 38 billion during the same period. The Bank has been successful to procure low cost deposits.

A significant reduction in investment may be witnessed since a major portion of the Bank's investment has been moved to the Bank's core business that is Corporate, SME and Consumer lending which in the period of one year expected increase by over 120 percent.

Bankers believe this increase would further strengthen the Bank's overall performance and increase its earnings.

Currently, the Bank is involved in aggressive tapping on the consumer finance business, which has vast potential yet to explore, by the banking industry in the country. In last one year the Bank has accelerated its effort to provide housing, auto, educational, personal and consumer durables financing.

The Bank has also established an Exchange Company to facilitate its customers.

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