Press Release

JCR-VIS reaffirms ratings of The First MicroFinance Bank Limited

Karachi, June 22, 2005: JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited has reaffirmed ratings of The First MicroFinance Bank Limited (FMBL) at ‘A+/ A-1+’ (Single A Plus / A–One Plus) with a ‘Stable’ outlook.

The overall risk factors of FMBL are low with the bank having substantial liquidity vis-à-vis financial obligations, a sound capital structure and low credit risk. However, the bank being in the initial stages of business growth, it is faced with issues as regards concentration in credit exposures and higher operational costs. The impact of these is likely to reduce as the institution matures. The bank has also upgraded its management information systems during the year to strengthen monitoring and controls.

Ratings also incorporate the financial strength of and franchise associated with the sponsors namely, Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development and International Finance Corporation. FMBL has also been awarded ‘Honorable Mention’ in the CGAP 2004 Financial Transparency Award, sponsored by the World Bank- affiliated Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP). Further, the bank holds a 5 diamond status (highest category) for its level of disclosures on the MIX (Marketing Information Exchange) Market website, an information portal of the World Bank.

For further information on this rating announcement, please contact the undersigned (Ext: 221) or Ms. Sabeen Saleem at (Ext: 222) 5671822/5671833/5680996 or fax to 5681105/5671600.

Safdar Kazi
Member Rating Committee &
Coodinator, International Affiliates

Information herein was obtained from sources believed to be accurate and reliable; however, VIS Credit Rating Company Limited 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.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.VIS is not an NRSRO and its credit ratings are not NRSRO credit ratings.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 2005 VIS Credit Rating Company Limited. All rights reserved. Contents may be used by news media with credit to VIS.

JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited