SONERI BANK LIMITED
By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Apr 28 - May 04, 2003
Incorporated on September 28, 1991 the first branch of Soneri Bank Limited formally opened doors for operations in Lahore on April 16, 1992 followed by Karachi Branch on May 09, 1992. The Bank now operates with 39 branches spread all over Pakistan including the Northern Areas of the country where no other private bank has ventured so far. Expansion of branches is based on a policy of maintaining a balance between the urban and rural areas with a view to offering services even in the remote areas of Pakistan. Pleasant and sophisticated atmosphere has been provided in the branches which are all fully air-conditioned and computerised.
The Sponsor Directors are from M/s Rupali Polyester Limited who enjoy excellent reputation in the country both professionally and financially and who have invested over Rs. 10 billion approximately in various industrial and commercial projects of the country.
(Rs. in Million)
Financing to Customers
Investments & Lendings to/
Placements with Financial Institutions
Import & Export Business
No. of Accounts
Pay out to share-holders has been:
10 per cent Right Shares
15 per cent Bonus Shares
15 per cent Cash Dividend
17.5 per cent Cash Dividend
20 per cent Bonus Shares
10 per cent Interim Bonus Shares
10 per cent Final Cash Dividend
25 per cent Bonus Shares
25 per cent Bonus Shares
30 per cent Bonus Shares
10 per cent Cash Dividend
The President & Chief Executive Officer of the Bank Mr. Safar Ali K. Lakhani, a carrier banker with experience spread over a period of more than 35 years, has had extensive exposures to domestic and international banking both at home and abroad. He has a team of professional and experienced bankers to assist him.
Soneri Bank offers a full range of Corporate, Treasury and Retail Banking Services with emphasis on Trade-related services to importers and exporters. The essence of business philosophy is to cater to the banking requirements of small & medium sized entrepreneurs, providing them qualitative & competitive services. Emphasis is on encouraging exports and major portion of the advances portfolio of the bank is related to export financing.
Mindful of the requirements of automation the bank has started Soneri Tele-Banking Service and has installed its own ATMs at important locations in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad & Hyderabad. The bank has also joined the first live shared ATM Switch with leading banks which provides access through 100 ATMs operating in 10 major cities of the country. Soneri Bank has successfully launched its own Rupee Travellers Cheques On-Line Banking Services providing on the spot banking facilities to its customers through its branches all over Pakistan. The bank has now ''entered into consumer financing introducing Soneri Car Finance and Soneri Ghar Finance Schemes while other consumer products are in the offing.
The extensive correspondent network and the excellent relations maintained have proved valuable in bank's efforts in conducting international banking business. The bank was able to handle trade finance business of over Rs. 53 billion in 2002. (over US $900 million). Major international banks like Citibank, ABN-AMRO, Standard Chartered, American Express, HSBC etc. have made available substantial credit lines to the bank.
International Finance Corporation in partnership with ABN-AMRO Bank have structured a Trade Enhancement Facility for US $100 million for Pakistan in which Soneri Bank is one of the five participating banks selected by IFC.
HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING PROGRAMME
Great emphasis is laid on the development of human resources. The bank regularly sends officers and executives to attend Banking Seminars both inside the country and abroad. Foundation courses for the new entrants in banking are a continuing features in our academy.