KARACHI: Bank Alfalah earned a net profit of Rs2.4 billion in Jan-Mar, up 24.4% from a year ago.

According to its earnings report released on Wednesday, post-provisions net interest income (NII) of Bank Alfalah amounted to Rs6.8 billion, up 12.3% from Jan-Mar 2015. The result was higher than market expectations.

According to BMA Capital, the rise in the bank’s NII was on account of 67% year-on-year lower provisioning expense as well as 14% lower interest expense recorded in Jan-Mar.

The increase in the bank’s administrative expenses stood at 7%. The bank’s cost-to-income ratio now stands at 57%. On a sequential basis, earnings rose 71% largely on the back of higher provisioning expense realised in the last quarter of 2015, BMA Capital noted.

Gross assets-to-deposits ratio (ADR) remained 55% at the end of March, a statement of Bank Alfalah said. Its non-performing loans (NPLs) coverage is 81% while the overall net provisions against advances and investments have improved by 66% over the corresponding quarter of 2015 on account of higher recoveries and lower gross provisioning.

Meanwhile, Bank Alfalah also announced that it intends to dilute its holding in Alfalah Securities, which is the brokerage wing of the private commercial bank.

It wants to sell 7.5 million shares, constituting 6.7% of its current holding, at Rs10.3 per share as opposed to the current recorded value of Rs10 per share.

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