HBL posts Rs9.9bn profit before tax in first half 2019

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HBL on Wednesday declared a consolidated profit before tax of Rs9.9 billion for the six months ended June 30, 2019, with earnings per share at Rs2.53.

Along with the results, the board declared a dividend of Rs1.25 per share (12.5pc).

HBL’s core domestic business continues to grow at a healthy rate with all vital indicators trending positive. Total domestic deposits increased by Rs127 billion, crossing the Rs2 trillion mark with nearly half the growth coming from current accounts.

HBL’s total advances increased by 5.1pc over the last year to Rs1.1 trillion as the bank continued to support its customers over the entire spectrum of businesses and segments it served. The bank’s consumer business added nearly Rs4 billion in loans to individuals whilst adhering to sound risk management protocols. Trade volumes improved by 30pc.

After a period of consolidation, the bank’s international business is returning to growth, as a 30pc increase in advances and a 16pc rise in deposits resulted in revenues surging by 40pc.

HBL’s net interest income rose by 20pc, driven by an increase of Rs180 billion in average domestic advances, improvement in margins and growth from the bank’s international business.

Domestic fees grew by an impressive 15pc, led by the cards business, trade fee and with its market-leading investment banking business delivering a stellar financial performance on the back of landmark deals.

Adverse market conditions impacted the bank’s results. These included further 15pc depreciation in the value of the rupee and a 9pc fall in the continuously declining Pakistan Stock Exchange, which resulted in a combined Rs7.9 billion reduction in profit.

Profit after tax for the first half was thus Rs3.9 billion, as compared to Rs8.1 billion for the same period last year.

The first half saw HBL holding a market-leading position in most of its business segments. In the strategically vital CPEC initiative, HBL is the largest executor of CPEC related financing in Pakistan. HBL’s recent partnerships in the development of Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZs) and PV solar projects depict a strong leadership position in investment banking and China inbound transactions.

HBL remains the largest private sector lender in farmer financing and the largest SME bank in the country. Recently, Visa has acknowledged that HBL Credit Card is Pakistan’s No. 1 Visa Credit Card portfolio in terms of payment volume.

HBL will and is shaping the future through a shift as a ‘technology company with a banking license’. The bank has leveraged technology with the successful launch of the customer-centric HBL Konnect app as the first step towards a branchless banking future. To enable ease of payments electronically, HBL has now collaborated with VISA to launch QR Payments Service in Pakistan. It is a step towards creating a cashless ecosystem which provides customers with a secure and instant digital payment experience.

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