Our Staff Reporter KARACHI - The MCB Bank has registered remarkable performance in the first quarter as profit before and after tax increased to Rs7.836 billion and Rs5.023 billion respectively, increasing by 25 percent and 21 percent over the corresponding quarter last year. Net Interest Income of the Bank increased by 25 percent over March 2010 with Non markup income increasing by 43 percent to Rs2.008 billion. On the operating expenses side, gross administrative expenses (excluding the impact of pension fund reversal) increased by a controlled growth of 12 percent over March 2010, whereas provisions were reported at Rs1.197 billion. The Board of Directors met on Tuesday under the Chairmanship of Mian Muhammad Mansha to review the performance of the Bank and approved the financial statements for the first quarter ended March 31, 2011. The asset base of the bank grew to Rs605 billion from Rs568 billion as at year end 2010. Advances (gross) of the bank have also shown positive signs in the last two quarters and were reported at Rs280 billion as of March 31, 2011 with a rise of 2 percent over December 31, 2010. The classified portfolio of the Bank registered a nominal increase of 1 percent over December 31, 2010 due to the effective risk management framework adopted by the Bank. The investment portfolio increased considerably by 17 percent over December 2010 with high concentration levels in the risk free government securities. The deposit base of the Bank went up by 7 percent, with 8 percent and 9 percent increase reported in current and saving deposits respectively, bringing the CASA percentage to 82pc from 81pc as of December 31, 2010. Earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter was reported at Rs6.61 compared to Rs 5.45 for the corresponding quarter last year. Return on assets improved to 3.43 percent (2010: 3.13pc) whereas return on equity improved to 28.48pc (2010: 25.91pc). The Board of Directors declared cash dividend of Rs3 per share for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 (March 31, 2010: cash dividend Rs2.5 per share).