KARACHI - Bank Alfalah Limited has posted a profit before provision and taxation of Rs4.711 billion. This announcement was made at the 18th AGM (Annual General Meeting) of the bank held at local hotel here on Wednesday. The meeting was chaired by Abdullah Khalil Al Mutawa in the absence of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mubarak Al Nahayan. Other Board members who graced the occasion were Khalid Mana Saeed Al Otaiba, Ikram Ul Majeed Sehgal, Nadeem Iqbal Sheikh, and Sirajuddin Aziz (C.E.O). Amongst the executive staff of the bank, Hamid Ashraf - Company Secretary and Zahid Ali H. Jamall - Chief Financial Officer marked the occasion with their presence. The deposit base grew by 7.99 percent to Rs324.760 billion as compared to the previous year. The gross advances figure stood at Rs 197.403 billion. The foreign trade figures stood at Rs. 197.304 billion for imports and Rs.100.493 billion for export as of December 31st 2009. Bank Alfalah opened 39 new branches in 2009 taking the total number of branches to 321, including international branches in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bahrain. The Islamic Banking business recorded an increase of 144 per cent in profit before tax to Rs 701 million from Rs 287 million in 2008. Currently, there are 19 players in the market including dedicated Islamic Banks and Islamic Banking windows of commercial banks. The Islamic Banking operation of Bank Alfalah Ltd is now the second largest in Pakistan. During 2010, the bank plans to open more branches including several Islamic Banking branches at major locations across Pakistan. The bank is also investing heavily on training and skill development of its staff and is upgrading its information technology, quality assurance and complaint management processes to provide better services to its customers. Our existence and survival as a bank is strongly linked with the future of Pakistan and we have great faith in this country. We will continue to grow our operations, the branch network, and the range of services and intend to continue investing back in Pakistan that has enabled Bank Alfalah to get where it is right now. Despite challenging times, Bank Alfalah, does not believe in compromising on quality of human resources and customer services, said Sirajuddin Aziz, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bank Alfalah.