The Board of Directors of MCB Bank Limited (MCB) in itsmeeting under the Chairmanship of Mian Mohammad Mansha, on April 20, 2021reviewed the performance of the Bank and approved the condensed interim financial statements for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021. The Board of Directors has declared first interim cash dividend of Rs. 4.5 per share, continuing with its highest dividend payout trend. During the period under review, MCB continued with its strategic focus on generating sustainable stakeholder value, while proactively monitoring the resurgence in COVID-19 outbreak and its potential ramifications on the macroeconomic and operating environment. MCB’s unconsolidated Profit After Tax (PAT) for the three month period ended March 31, 2021 increased to Rs. 6.79 billion; translating into an Earning Per Share (EPS) of Rs. 5.73 against an EPS of Rs. 5.50 in corresponding period last year. Net Interest income reported at Rs. 15.24 billion with a drop of 6.5% on account of decreased earning margins due to the expansionary monetary policy regime adopted by the State Bank of Pakistan to combat the downside risks emanating from COVID-19 outbreak. Non-markup income registered an increase of 22%to reach Rs. 4.75 billion as the improving transactional volumes and surging business activities supplemented a growth of 17% in fee income while dividend income increased by 86% over corresponding period last year. On the operating expenses side (excluding pension fund reversal), despite sustained inflationary pressures, expansion in branch outreach, continued investment in technological infrastructure and regular performance and merit adjustments of the Human Capital, the Bank’s focus of balancing short term tactical cost reductions with long term cost initiatives assisted in containing the growth in administrative expenses to 5%. On the provision front, the Bank reversed provision on disposal of equity scrips, resulting in a net reversal of Rs. 570 million for the first quarter 2021. Based on the objective and subjective downgrades, net provision amounting to Rs. 444 was made against advances. On the financial position side, the total asset base of the Bank on an unconsolidated basis was reported at Rs. 1.77 trillion. Analysis of the asset mix highlights that the net investments increased by Rs. 75 billion (7.4%) whereas the gross advances decreased by Rs. 33 billion (-6.5%) over December 2020.However, consumer lending book grew by Rs. 2.2 billion (+8%) in the first quarter 2021.