HBL announced its financial results for the year that ended on December 31st, 2019.
The bank declared a consolidated after tax profit of Rs. 15.50 billion for the year, with a growth of 25% as compared with Rs. 12.44 billion recorded in 2018. Earnings per share increased to Rs. 10.45 compared to Rs. 8.22 in 2018.
Along with the results, the Board declared a dividend of Rs. 1.25 per share (12.5%), bringing the total dividend for the year 2019 to Rs 5.00 per share.
It must be noted here that the bank reported a before tax profit of Rs 28.9 billion for the year ended December 31, 2019, showing a growth of 34% over 2018.
HBL’s core business is on a strong growth trajectory. The bank continued to support the real economy through extending credit for its growth, with domestic loans growing by 3.5%, ahead of market growth, to Rs. 945 billion. With a revitalization of the bank’s international business, total advances grew by 8% to Rs. 1.2 trillion.
The bank remains established as the largest player in the deposits market, with a share of nearly 14%. The bank’s domestic deposits reached Rs 2.1 trillion while total deposits crossed Rs 2.4 trillion, with the CASA ratio improving to 82.6% in December 2019.
A Rs. 228 billion growth in the average balance sheet, along with better margins, resulted in the bank’s net markup income increasing by 24% to over Rs 100 billion, a landmark achieved for the first time in Pakistan. The bank’s leadership in fee income continues with strong contributions from trade, cards and investment banking.
HBL’s total fees rose by 13% over 2018 to Rs 20.4 billion with HBL’s total non-fund income growing by 21% to Rs 24.2 billion. The asset quality of the bank improved to 6.6% with its already strong coverage ratio further improving to 93.2%.
The bank’s consolidated Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) stood at 15.4% while the bank’s Tier 1 CAR improved to 12.5%. Both ratios remain ahead of regulatory requirements.
Digital Transformation and Financial Inclusion
HBL’s commitment to Digital Transformation and Financial Inclusion came together through HBL Konnect and HBL Mobile. HBL Konnect has enabled close to 7 million new-to-bank customers, of which approximately 60% are women. A major part of this came through the partnership with the largest G2P program – Ehsaas Kafalat.
These accounts are a conduit to the financial inclusion of women across Pakistan. Of the existing branch banking customers, HBL Mobile achieved the milestone of crossing 1 million App users during 2019, which signals a shift in the way millennials and the bank’s customers prefer doing business.
This has diverted footfall from branches to the cost-effective digital channels. In total, the bank processed a staggering 340 million digital transactions in 2019, a 35% increase over 2018.
HBL’s Credit Cards Ranked No.1 in Pakistan
According to VISA, HBL’s credit cards are consistently ranked as Pakistan’s number one VISA credit card. HBL has become the only bank in Pakistan that enables its customers to avail a credit card and personal loan through an app.
HBL has also launched QR services in partnership with Visa, and is the sole acquirer of Visa QR services in the country. Over 350,000 transactions have been made to-date since its launch in August 2019. It has also launched HBL Infinity, Pakistan’s first online trading platform. It provides HBL’s customers an efficient, frictionless digital solution through real-time FX pricing and trade execution.
The bank continues to work on energy, infrastructure and power projects in ongoing efforts to promote capital market development, deepen secondary markets and provide advisory services.
Agriculture and SME Segments
”We are aggressively focusing on its strategic Development Finance agenda which will help Pakistan’s economic and social fabric. Our efforts go beyond simply lending to these sectors, where HBL already enjoys leadership positions with 25% and 15% market shares in Agriculture and SME segments respectively, read the statement.
In agriculture, interventions in the integrated value chain (the Farm-to-Fork model), target yield enhancement and reduction in productivity gaps with supervision by agronomists employed by HBL. The bank now serves over 50,000 farmers through more than 600 designated Rural Banking branches with a dedicated field force of 500+ field officers.
HBL’s Islamic Banking now offers an enhanced product suite, offering Shariah-compliant solutions to its customers. Response from the market is positive with significant growth being witnessed in the segment’s revenue. The Bank’s focus on the segment is a recognition that Islamic Banking and Finance is one of the fastest-growing segments of the banking industry.
As the largest executor of CPEC related financing in Pakistan, HBL stated that China is going to be a very important country for the bank going forward. In November 2019, HBL created history when the HBL Urumqi Branch formally commenced the RMB business by becoming the first and only bank from Pakistan and one of the three banks from the South Asia and MENA region to offer end-to-end RMB intermediation.
In December 2019, HBL became the first Pakistani bank to be awarded the much-coveted branch license to offer financial services to clients in Beijing, which is expected to go operational in Q3 2020.