Byline: S. Kamal Hayder Kazmi
Since inception, Askari Bank has been mainly engaged in the business of banking and concentrating on growth through improving service quality, investment in technology and people, utilizing its extensive branch network which includes Islamic and agricultural banking. It is expected that the Bank will continue to focus on building a low cost deposit base, investing in efficient risk weighted asset, optimally managing the loan book with prudent risk management given the risk of credit headwinds because of significant increase in interest rates. It is the priority of the management to invest in technology to build its digital capabilities to re-define customer experience and to enhance digital penetration in their product and service offerings for its existing and prospective customers.
On the other hand, the financial experts of the bank recorded that during the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2019, the Bank recorded profit after tax (PAT) amounting to Rs.4.38 billion as against to Rs.3.62 billion for the same period of 2018, a year on year increase of 21 percent. The Bank's profit before provisions and taxation was increased by 20 percent to Rs.7.94 billion from Rs.6.62 billion previous year.
The financial experts of the Bank also recorded that the earnings per share (EPS) for the current period are registered at Rs.3.48 billion against Rs.2.88 billion for the same period last year. Aggregate net revenues for the current nine months grew to Rs.21.3 billion from Rs.17.9 billion, enhancing by 18 percent. The growth in revenues was led by 18 percent rise in net mark-up income as the Bank positioned itself in growing interest rate environment; higher interest rates, rising average deposits and effective balance sheet management contributed to the rise in net interest income.
During the current period, the Bank's rating was maintained at 'AA+' (Double A Plus) for the long term and 'A1+' (A One Plus) for the short term by PACRA. The ratings reflect relative position of the Bank, driven by AKBL's strong sponsors and brand, continued growth trajectory, improvement in net spreads and volumetric increase in earning assets.
The Bank officials also recorded that Askari Bank's Agriculture and Rural Business Division (ARBD) has gained more strength with enhanced and efficient delivery and control mechanism for meeting an increased demand for credit by the farmers in an easy, accessible and affordable manner...