The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

CAIRO: Egyp­tian bank EFG-Her­mes plunged to a net loss last year, hit by one-off charges in­clud­ing a write-down in the value of cer­tain in­vest­ments. The bank, ac­tive both in in­vest­ment and commercial bank­ing, said it made a net loss of 335 mil­lion Egyp­tian pounds (Dh176.5 mil­lion, $48 mil­lion), com­pared with a profit of 211 mil­lion pounds in 2012. Ex­clud­ing the charges, nor­malised net profit dou­bled from 2012, it said. EFGHer­mes said the one-off charges to­talled 761 mil­lion pounds, in­clud­ing 616 mil­lion pounds in the fourth quar­ter alone. Han­zada Nes­sim, head of in­vestor re­la­tions, said in an email that the im­pair­ment charges re­lated to ac­qui­si­tions which the bank had pre­vi­ously made at home and in mar­kets such as Kuwait and Oman.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ishaq Dar has as­sured full sup­port for nu­clear power projects. He was talk­ing to DG, Strate­gic Plans Di­vi­sion Lt. Gen. Zubair Mehmood Hayat, and Chair­man Pak­istan Atomic En­ergy Com­mis­sion An­sar Pervez on Fri­day. The Chair­man PAEC briefed the Fi­nance Min­is­ter on fi­nan­cial as­pects of the two nu­clear power plants in Karachi with a com­bined ca­pac­ity of 2,000MW to tackle the en­ergy cri­sis. Ishaq Dar said that nu­clear plants will pro­vide elec­tric­ity at cheaper rates as com­pared to power pro­duced from ther­mal sources. At present, the coun­try is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a widen­ing gap be­tween power sup­ply and de­mand, leading to ex­ten­sive out­ages that dis­rupt life and busi­ness. Ear­lier, World Bank has ap­proved 520 mil­lion dol­lars for Casa 1000 Project.

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