The local Muslim Commercial Bank (MCB) has announced that it is planning several new overseas ventures. The bank’s president, Husain Lawai, said that it was planning a leasing company, to be known as International Leasing & Financial Services, to be incorporated in Dhaka in partnership with a multinational company and a Bangladeshi insurance company. MCB is also completing work on finance companies in London and Hong Kong, and a Tanzania subsidiary to be called Mercantile Commercial Bank. It is also looking at opening overseas branches in Romania, Sharjah and Sri Lanka.

MCB’s pre-tax profits rose to Rs 928 million ($26.2 million) in 1995, 31 per cent up on the previous year, and 335 per cent up on 1991, when the bank was privatised. Net assets grew to Rs 119,700 million ($3,384 million) in 1995, from Rs 98,600 million ($2,787 million) in 1994 and Rs 45,200 million ($1,278 million) in 1991. In terms of pre-tax profits, MCB is now the third-largest national bank in Pakistan.