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Bank of Punjab to Establish Wholesale Banking Unit in Bahrain, Representative Office in UAE

The Board of Directors of the Bank of Punjab (BoP) has approved the establishment of a Wholesale Banking Unit (WBU) in the Kingdom of Bahrain and a representative office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This decision was announced in a notice to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Thursday.

“The BoD of the Bank of Punjab in their meeting held on July 01, 2024, have approved the business plan to establish a WBU in the Kingdom of Bahrain and a representative office in UAE, subject to approval from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and other regulators,” the notice stated.

Wholesale banking refers to services provided to large clients, such as other banks, financial institutions, government agencies, large corporations, and real estate developers. This contrasts with retail banking, which focuses on individual clients and small businesses.

Following the SBP’s approval, BoP will seek consent from other regulatory authorities to proceed with the establishment of its wholesale banking branch in Bahrain and representative office in the UAE.

In its latest financial results, BoP reported a 67% increase in profit before tax for the first quarter ended March 31, 2024, reaching Rs3.51 billion compared to Rs2.11 billion in the same period last fiscal year. The bank’s Net Interest Margin (NIM) rose to Rs8.55 billion from Rs7.77 billion, and Non-Markup/ Interest Income increased by 33% year-on-year. Earnings per Share (EPS) for the first quarter of 2024 climbed to Re0.52 per share, up from Re0.37 per share during the first quarter of 2023.

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