Press Release

JCR-VIS upgrades entity ratings of First National Bank Modaraba to A+/A-1

Karachi, March 10, 2008: JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited has upgraded the entity ratings of First National Bank Modaraba (FNBM) to ‘A+/A-1’ (Single A Plus / A-One). In April 2007, JCR-VIS had assigned a ‘Positive’ outlook to FNBM’s rating of ‘A-/A-2’ (Single A Minus / A-Two). Outlook on the medium to long term rating is now ‘Stable’.

The upgrade takes into account plans to double the paid-up capital of the modaraba, which is likely to have a positive influence on its risk profile and create room for further growth. FNBM has developed access to funding sources at very attractive rates. Although growth in financing portfolio has been modest, the modaraba has maintained exceptional asset quality indicators. Sector wise concentration within the financing portfolio, albeit still on the higher side in some segments, has been substantially reduced. Profitability is also expected to improve further, assuming overheads continue to be controlled and asset quality is maintained.

FNBM is operated by National Bank Modaraba Management Company, which is a wholly owed subsidiary of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP). JCR-VIS had upgraded the medium to long term rating of NBP to ‘AAA’ (Triple A) in July 2007. The upgrade in ratings of FNBM also incorporates the impact of NBP’s improved risk profile, as being a major stakeholder in the modaraba.

For further information on this rating announcement, please contact Mr. Safdar Kazi (Ext: 408) or Ms. Sobia Maqbool (Ext: 506) at 5311861–70 or fax to 5311873.

Faheem Ahmad
President & CEO

Information herein was obtained from sources believed to be accurate and reliable; however, JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited (JCR-VIS) does not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. JCR-VIS, the analysts involved in the rating process and members of its rating committee do not have any conflict of interest relating to the rating(s)/ranking(s) mentioned in this report. JCR-VIS is not an NRSRO and its credit ratings are not NRSRO credit ratings. JCR-VIS is paid a fee for most rating assignments. This rating/ranking is an opinion and is not a recommendation to buy or sell any securities. Copyright 2008 JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited. All rights reserved. Contents may be used by news media with credit to JCR-VIS.

JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited