Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, January 26:

Himalayan Bank Ltd, a joint venture bank between the Habib Bank Ltd of Pakistan, has reached to Rs 25 billion in deposits while calculating figures for the first six months in the current fiscal year 2004-05, compared to Rs 21.7 billion in 2003-04 during the same period in last fiscal. Similarly, loans and advances have reached to Rs 13.5 billion. During the same period last year, loans and advances stood at Rs 11.8 billion.

Talking to The Himalayan Times Ashoke SJB Rana, chief executive officer of the Bank said, “The bank has been able to become ‘first’ in terms of ‘deposits and lending’ in commercial banks category. Rana was talking to this daily on the bank’s 12th anniversary. The bank has been focussing on consumer lending, trading, auto loans and industrial enterprises.

Other major areas of investment include hydropower, trading and existing industries. Despite a bad investment environment, the bank has provided loans to existing industries to improve their functioning and management, according to Rana. Commenting on the conflict in the country, he said, “It has definitely hampered our businesses. It has affected our branch opening initiatives, he commented. The bank has focused on improving its performance, bringing it at par with an international system and working towards an ISO certification.” According to Rana, there is ‘increased’ potential in the debit card market which already

has over 40,000 users in Nepal. Debit cards give people easy access to money which will will benefit consumers, he hoped. The bank spends more than Rs 10 million in training at home and abroad (India and USA). All the 400 employees of the bank are Nepali, except one expatriate.