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HBL Becomes the First Bank To Attract Rs. 3 Trillion Deposits in Pakistan

Habib Bank Limited has become the first bank to attract deposits worth Rs. 3 trillion in the banking industry of Pakistan from its customers.

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National Bank of Pakistan and United Bank Limited are the peer banks that have mobilized a deposit base of over Rs. 2 trillion but they still stand far behind HBL.

The Bank’s fortress balance sheet grew by nearly Rs 600 billion during the quarter, crossing the Rs 4 trillion mark, a growth of 7% over Dec 2020. This was driven by strong deposit growth as HBL became the first bank in Pakistan to mobilize a deposit base of over Rs. 3 trillion while achieving another industry first – current accounts exceeding Rs. 1 trillion, said an official statement issued by the bank.

The domestic advances achieved a landmark of Rs. 1 trillion.

HBL Reports over Rs. 18 billion Profit in H1 2021

The bank reported an increase of 19 percent in profits during the first half of 2021. HBL reported a profit of Rs. 18.02 billion as compared to a profit of Rs. 15.18 billion in the corresponding period last year, with earnings per share growing from Rs. 10.32 in H1 2020 to Rs. 12.04 in H1 2021.

Along with the results, the bank declared a dividend of Rs. 1.75 per share (17.5 percent).

The bank’s Consumer Business delivered a strong performance, with its industry-leading loan book growing by 14 percent over Dec 2020 to Rs. 90 billion, said a statement issued by the bank.

HBL grew its average balance sheet by more than Rs. 400 billion, achieving a growth of 3 percent in net interest income to Rs. 64.9 billion. Excluding capital gains, the bank’s non-fund income has risen by an impressive 62 percent over H1 2020. Fees and commissions increased by 32 percent YoY to nearly Rs. 12 billion with standout contributions from Cards and Consumer Finance and a solid growth in trade, where volumes increased by over 85 percent.

Total expenses remained under check, declining by 2 percent over the same period of last year. HBL successfully continued the reduction in its cost to income ratio, which fell from 59.8 percent in H1 2020 to 56.8 percent in H1 2021. Total NPLs of the Bank declined by Rs. 5.5 billion over Dec 2020, and the infection ratio fell to an all-time low of 5.5 percent.

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During the quarter, the bank’s credit ratings were re-affirmed by VIS Credit Rating Company Ltd. at AAA/A-1+ for the long term and short term. The rating of its TFCs issued as Additional Tier 1 Capital has been reaffirmed as AA+. The Outlook on all ratings is Stable.

Commenting on the bank’s performance, Muhammad Aurangzeb, President and CEO of HBL, said,

“HBL continued its strong business momentum from the previous quarter ending H1 2021 on a solid footing. This performance is impressive as it comes against a backdrop of significant spread compression across the banking sector. HBL has achieved several significant milestones during this period, notable being the strengthening of the bank’s balance sheet and excellent performance in fees and commissions.”

HBL’s Consumer Financing grew 14 percent, closing at Rs. 90 billion. The bank remains a market leader in personal loans, merchant acquiring, credit cards, and debit cards. Its auto financing business is at number two in the country, with the highest number of cars financed.

The usage of both Debit & Credit cards was over Rs. 80 billion, up by 65 percent over the same period last year. The bank’s merchant acquiring business has the largest Point of Sale network of 33,000 terminals in the country and recorded a growth of 44 percent with a volume of Rs. 78 billion, which is the highest in the country.

SMEs

The bank is committed to growing both its SME and Rural banking on a priority basis. These businesses closed with Rs. 59 billion and Rs. 35 billion, respectively. Under SME banking, various initiatives were taken to grow this segment with the overall strategic intent, which included overachieving the target under the Prime Minister’s Kamyab Jawan Scheme and grew its POS Financing, a product targeted towards the needs of merchants and retailers.

SME trade volume recorded a growth of nearly 30 percent. The bank’s leading rural banking business launched new initiatives, including Dairy Financing and lending under the Rural Value Chain to ensure the financial inclusion of small agricultural entrepreneurs.

HBL Mobile and Internet Banking

HBL Mobile and Internet Banking volumes more than doubled from Rs. 215 billion in H1 2020 to Rs. 466 billion in H1 2021. The bank achieved a landmark milestone of crossing 2 million users on its Mobile & Internet Banking apps.

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Konnect by HBL, the bank’s branchless banking platform, continued its growth with transactions nearly doubling and volumes reaching Rs. 210 billion. An aggressive acquisition strategy led to a 61 percent increase in app registrations and a 34 percent increase in the overall account portfolio.

Konnect entered an exclusive partnership with the Punjab Agriculture division to provide an instant agriculture subsidy directly to registered farmers. Rs. 9.5 billion in subsidies have been disbursed to more than 800,000 eligible farmers under the scheme. Konnect continued to work with the Government of Pakistan to deliver the Ehsaas Kafalat and Emergency Cash Program.

Roshan Digital Account

The Roshan Digital Account (RDA) portfolio maintained its growth momentum and stood at number 1, both in accounts opened and activated. The Bank has brought in over USD 219 million since the inception of the proposition in September 2020.

The Bank launched HBL Prestige, a Priority Banking proposition for High Net Worth Individuals, providing exclusive bespoke banking services to cater to these clients.

HBL Islamic Banking

HBL Islamic Banking is on track to convert 200 Islamic windows to dedicated branches expanding its reach to over 300 cities. The bank drives the Government’s low-cost housing initiatives through various channels, including 916 dedicated Islamic branches and Islamic windows and its branchless banking proposition, Konnect by HBL, and has added another trade hub in the heart of the trade center of Karachi.

Financial inclusion

HBL’s financial inclusion thrust is being led through the Development Finance initiative. The bank scaled up its 2020 proof-of-concept interventions over 30 times through mid-scale pilots led by a team of field-based, full-time agronomists who used handheld tablets to digitally onboard farmers onto HBL Pay. With tailored crop plans linked to loan applications, small-scale farmers were advised on how to significantly increase crop yields. Pilot projects of 3,200 acres (maize crop) and 7,000 acres (rice crop) are underway in this initiative.

In H1 2021, the bank successfully concluded several transactions across various sectors, including Oil & Gas, Telecom, Cement, Renewable Energy, and Real Estate. Notable transactions include Pakistan’s first Green Eurobond Issuance of USD 500 million, without a Government of Pakistan guarantee. HBL played an instrumental role as a Co-Manager of the transaction.

Similarly, HBL was the Joint Mandated Lead Advisor & Arranger, and the Agent Bank in the largest Telecom sector financing of Rs 50 billion.

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Trade business at HBL increased its market share to over 12 percent. The business showed 89 percent YoY growth in volumes (from USD 3.4 billion to USD 6.4 billion), whereas the number of transactions increased by 35 percent over the same period last year.

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