Union Bank first-half results announced

KARACHI (August 12 2004): Union Bank Limited has announced its results for the first half of 2004. The Board has approved an issue of one bonus share for every 10 shares held for the financial year 2004.

The bank's operating profit before provisions for the half-year ended June 30, 2004 amounted to Rs 782.78 million as against Rs 360.18 million, in the same period of the last year.

Total advances have increased by 51 percent to Rs 47.57 billion, for the half-year ended June 30, 2004 as compared to Rs 31.45 billion of the last year.

Similarly, the deposits have increased by 39 percent to Rs 59.39 billion from Rs 42.75 billion in the same period of the last year.

Total assets of the bank have also recorded a substantial growth of 28 percent at Rs 78.36 billion in the first half of 2004 as compared to Rs 61.19 billion in the corresponding period of the last year.

Net mark-up recorded an increase of 81 percent, whereas fee, commission and brokerage income recorded an increase of 57 percent as compared to the corresponding period of the last year.

Profit before tax recorded an increase of over 64 percent amounting to Rs 582.42 million as compared to Rs 354.28 million of the last year.

In the current period, general reserves and provision, as required under the Prudential Regulations, including discounting of forced sale values of tangible securities, have been made in view of the volatile geo-economic situation. Union Bank has also created a general reserve of Rs 100 million.

Union Bank's product portfolio covers a wide range of branch, corporate and consumer banking products catering to the lifestyle needs of its target customers.

The bank offers a variety of deposit products for banking consumers, such as Mahana Izaafa, savings account with monthly profit payment and business account, a current account offering a host of services including interbranch transactions.

The bank also offers one of the widest ranges of consumer banking products, including home loans, auto loans and mortgage finance products. In addition, the bank has a running finance product for individuals with the name of Ready Cash. During the year, the bank has launched Pakistan's first Visa Debit Card by the name of Shopping Card and has introduced an innovative agricultural credit card for farmers, called Kissan Card.

Union Bank is also the sole issuer of American Express Credit, Charge and Corporate Cards in Pakistan and has a merchant acquiring network catering to American Express, Visa and MasterCard.

During the year Union Bank has crossed a monumental milestone of issuing over 100,000 American Express cards. Union Bank is also the first bank in Pakistan to introduce programme-based financing products for Small and Medium Enterprises.

Both the credit rating agencies Pacra and JCR-VIS have reaffirmed the credit ratings assigned to the bank in December 2003. Both the agencies have assigned A+ for long-term equity and A1 for short-term equity.

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