SBL has new branch :

Kathmandu: Siddhartha Bank Ltd (SBL) has opened its fifth branch office in Pokhara. The new branch office located at New Road, Pokhara came into operation from yesterday. Established some four years ago, SBL already has branch offices in Kamaladi and New Road in Kathmandu and Birgunj and Biratnagar outside the valley, stats a press release issued today. The bank earned the operating profit of Rs 115.6 million during the fiscal year 2005-06, whereas its deposit grew by 59 per cent. — HNS

NIC awards students :

KATHMANDU: NIC Bank awarded scholarships to five lucky accountholders under it ‘NIC Sikshya Kosh Deposit’ scheme for the second time. Under the scheme, a 12-month tuition scholarship of Rs 1,000 per month is awarded to five winners every three months, states a press release. Tej Bahadur Chand, manager- liability marketing at NIC said within a few months of launching the product, almost 5,000 accounts have been opened by the students. — HNS

China’s oil imports up :

BEIJING: China’s net import of crude rose by 17.6 per cent in the first half of 2006, due to the rapid economic growth and booming automobile purchases. Net imports of crude rose to 70.33 million tonnes while refined oil products rose to 12.03 million tonnes in the first half. Net imports are calculated after subtracting the amount of oil China exported. — AFP