TAIB Bank says its net profits rose by 10.4 per cent during the first half of this year to $5.3 million, based on an increase in its fee and other non-interest income. The bank, which is based in Manama and listed on the Bahrain Stock Exchange, reported that its total assets rose during the period to $302.2 million in June 1997 from $278.3 million a year earlier.

‘Our results reflect the success of the bank’s ongoing strategy of focusing on fee-based merchant, treasury and investment banking activity,’ chief executive Iqbal Mamdani said in a statement. Fee and other income reached $11.1 million from $7.4 million a year ago, accounting for three-quarters of the bank’s total revenues. At the same time, net interest income contracted to $3.5 million from $4 million. Expenses rose slightly to $6.2 million from $5.3 million.

The bank, which has subsidiaries in India and Turkey and offices in the West and Asia, has been working for some time on the creation of a merchant banking subsidiary in Kazakhstan. ‘We have not finalised all the formalities for opening it,’ a bank official says. TAIB Bank is also talking to Egyptian securities firms about setting up a brokerage firm in Cairo. ‘We’ve started trading on the stock exchange on our account but we’re still looking for a good company to associate with,’ the official adds.