Sindh Bank opens Is­lamic branch

Enterprise - - 8 -

In an ef­fort to rid the econ­omy of the ‘curse’ of in­ter­est, the State Bank of Pak­istan Deputy Gover­nor, Saeed Ah­mad in­au­gu­rated the first Is­lamic bank­ing branch of Sindh Bank in Karachi.

Sindh Bank has re­ceived per­mis­sion to set up five Is­lamic bank­ing branches. Bank Pres­i­dent Muham­mad Bi­lal Sheikh an­nounced that four ded­i­cated Is­lamic branches would be­come op­er­a­tional within two to three months.

Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion, the SBP deputy gover­nor said Is­lamic bank­ing in­sti­tu­tions had at­tracted de­posits in large num­bers, which shows peo­ple con­sider Shariah-com­pli­ant bank­ing as trust­wor­thy.

De­posits of the Is­lamic bank­ing in­dus­try stood at Rs872 bil­lion at the end of the first quar­ter of 2014, up 23.8% from March 2013. The mar­ket share of the Is­lamic bank­ing in­dus­try’s de­posits in the over­all bank­ing in­dus­try stood at 10.7% in March, up 1% from the mar­ket share of 9.7% a year ago.

“Is­lamic banks and banks with Is­lamic win­dow op­er­a­tions have high de­posits, but the in­vest­ment av­enues avail­able to them re­main limited,” he said, adding that big in­fra­struc­ture pro­jects un­der­taken by the gov­ern­ment should be fi­nanced through Is­lamic means.

Sindh Bank has posted a sub­stan­tial im­prove­ment in its key fi­nan­cial in­di­ca­tors de­spite be­ing a fairly new en­tity. Its pre-tax profit was Rs287 mil­lion at the end of the first quar­ter of the cur­rent year, up 33.2% from March 2013.

Its de­posits in­creased 40.7% over the same pe­riod to Rs48.3 bil­lion on March 31. Sindh Bank’s ad­vances amount to Rs32.8 bil­lion, which is 44.7% higher than the amount of ad­vances made un­til March 2013.

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