KARACHI - The high profile board of Bank Alfalah Limited has decided to increase the paid-up capital of the bank to Rs 15 billion in 2008, The Nation learnt. The present authorized capital of the Bank is Rs 8 billion divided into Rs 800,000,000 ordinary shares, and the paid-up capital is Rs 6,500,000,000. Although by December 2009, the banks are required to raise their paid-up capital to Rs 6 billion or equal to $100 million. However, Bank Al-falah Limited has decided to raise the paid-up capital to Rs 15 billion to take lead over the other banks in maintaining the paid-up capital limit. The Bank also plans to open 49 more branches all over Pakistan in 2008.  The additional capital induction may be undertaken in future for strengthening the Bank's competitive ability within Pakistan and helping the Bank in establishing its presence in other locations outside Pakistan. Bank Alfalah claims to be the fifth largest bank in Pakistan in number of branches, assets and deposits. The boards recommend cash dividend of 15 percent and a bonus issue of 23 percent subject to approval of the Shareholders for the ongoing CY08. Bank Alfalah Limited has 76% shareholding in Alfalah Securities (Private) Limited. According to the Bank annual report 2007, during the year, the bank's profit before provisions and tax stood at Rs. 6,906.417 million compared to Rs. 3,263.635 million the previous year registering an increase of 111.62%. This increase in profit is primarily attributable to overall increase in business volumes and includes capital gain on sale of shares of Warid Telcom (Pvt) Limited amounting to Rs.l.789 billion. Continuing to strengthen presence in the market place and as of year end 2007, the bank's branches expanded to 231 including 32 Islamic Banking branches, seven foreign branches five in Bangladesh and two in Mghanistan and one offshore banking unit in Bahrain. PACRA has rated the Bank 'AA' entity rating for long term and A1+for the short term. The bank has implemented the requirements of the Code of Corporate Governance relevant for the year ended December 31, 2007. In compliance with the requirements of the State Bank of Pakistan, Bank has in place an approved integrated risk management framework for managing credit risk, market risk, liquidity risk and operational risk as evidenced by its board approved "Risk Management and Internal Control" and a dedicated Risk Management Division   (RMD) has been created With the Head RMD reporting directly to the CEO. Management Division has been structured to address Credit; Market and Operational risk personnel have been hired. -cc The Board of Directors through its sub-committee called 'Board Risk Management Committee' (BRMC) oversees the overall risk of the Bank.