HBL on Tuesday declared a profit before tax of Rs8.4 billion in the third quarter of 2019, more than double over the corresponding period last year.
The bank’s core domestic business continued on a positive trajectory with all drivers showing strong growth. Consolidated profit before tax of Rs18.3 billion for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, was 3pc higher than for the corresponding period last year. The bank’s international business has also started showing positive trends.
HBL’s earnings per share for 9M’19 were recorded at Rs5.89. Along with the results, the board declared a dividend of Rs1.25 per share (12.5pc).
HBL’s total domestic deposits increased by Rs118 billion, staying above the Rs2 trillion mark. Most of this growth came from CASA deposits, improving the CASA ratio to nearly 86pc. HBL’s total advances increased by more than 8pc in the year to Rs1.2 trillion. This strong commitment, in the face of strong headwinds, to customers and to lending in the real economy resulted in ADR increasing to 54.4pc.
HBL’s total interest income increased by 23pc to Rs74.1 billion. Fees and commission continued its impressive growth, increasing by 21pc to Rs15.5 billion, with investment banking, cards and trade delivering excellent sustained revenues. Profit after tax for this period was lower than last year due to the retrospective imposition of super tax on 2017 earnings.
During Q3, HBL forged partnerships and introduced digital innovations to maintain its position as Pakistan’s premier bank. In doing so, the bank strived to enhance customer lifestyle experiences. HBL Konnect’s partnership with Alkaram Studio reflects this effort. Through this agreement, HBL Konnect will integrate its digital solutions for Alkaram Studio shoppers, both online and at physical store-fronts. HBL also joined forces with Careem. This partnership with Careem is a commitment by HBL to provide unparalleled benefits to its staff, and to work together towards improving business practices through seamless service solutions.
HBL has also renewed its 12-year strong relationship with Visa. Visa’s data confirms that HBL’s credit cards are consistently ranked as Pakistan’s number one Visa credit cards. The next phase of this partnership will see the adoption of dynamic methods and the use of technology to take customer convenience and service to even greater heights.
CPEC and China-related activities occupy a leading position in HBL’s business. In Q3 2019, HBL signed a landmark agreement with Ufone, extending a bilateral Trade Finance Facility in Chinese RMB for the first time, for the import of cellular network equipment through Huawei Technologies Ltd. This agreement improves Pakistan-China relations and allows HBL to provide its customers yet another dynamic financial solution in a global currency.
During the quarter, the bank continued to be recognized, through multiple international awards, for its superior brand, products and services and for its ability to execute landmark deals. Asian Banking Finance awarded HBL Best Corporate & Investment Bank. Asiamoney awarded HBL awards for Best Local Bank in the Region for BRI (South Asia). HBL’s focus on gender diversity and inclusion was recognized by the Asian Development Bank who awarded HBL the prestigious Gender Champion Award. HBL also won the World Branding Awards – Best Financial Brand in Pakistan.