Operating Expenses escalate from Rs56.26billion in 9M’18 to Rs69billion 9M’19
M Jahangir Hayat
LAHORE: Habib Bank Limited (HBL) has posted 11 percent decline in profit after tax of Rs 8.8 billion for nine month 2019, Rs 1.1 billion lower than last year’s profit of Rs 9.9 billion during the same period, the bank’s’ nine month’s financial statement indicated.
A mega and ‘unusual’ increase of Rs 2.06 billion on account of salaries and allowances has been witnessed under head of Operating Expenses in the current 9M’ 2019 as compared to same period last year.
The bank management has shown in the book over Rs 12 billion increase in the Operating Expenses which were Rs 56.26 billion during the 9M’18 increasing the Operating expenses to Rs69billion during nine months of 2019.
The bank, however, has reported a 9M’19 Profit before Tax of Rs 18.3 billion, 3% higher than for the same period last year. This is despite the significant impact of the falling Rupee and the equity market, which have together reduced pre-tax profit by Rs 7.4 billion.
The banks said that the decline in PAT was due to the retrospective imposition of Rs 1.9 billion of Super Tax on 2017 earnings. HBL’s earnings per share for 9M’19 are at Rs 5.89.
The bank added that legal and regulatory costs related to the Bank’s New York branch continue to weigh on the Bank’s expenses which increased to Rs 69 billion while the impact of rupee devaluation on international expenses, the incremental cost of HBL tower, expenses related to new domestic regulations and the cost of increasing financial access to the unbanked – a result of growth in acquisition volumes – also contributed to the increase.
Despite a strong recovery pipeline, credit stresses are being witnessed across customer segments with credit provisions increasing by Rs 1.4 billion over the prior year, to Rs 1.2 billion, the bank said.
During the quarter, HBL forged partnerships and introduced digital innovations to enhance customer lifestyle experiences, reinforcing its position as Pakistan’s leading bank, it added.
On the other hand, HBL’s core domestic business remains on a positive growth trajectory, with market shares of loans and deposits both increasing over the previous quarter, it was highlighted.
During the year, total domestic deposits increased by Rs 118 billion, to Rs 2.0 trillion. With almost all deposit growth coming from current and savings accounts, the CASA mix improved from 85.4% in Dec’18 to 85.9% in Sep’19, the bank explained, adding that broad based growth also resulted in domestic advances increasing to Rs 954 billion. International business deposits grew by 12% over Dec’18, with loans rising by nearly 30%. HBL’s total deposits thus increased by 7.0%, to Rs 2.3 trillion and total advances grew by 8.1%, to Rs 1.2 trillion, the Bank stated.
A growth of Rs 87 billion in average domestic deposits resulted in a 7% growth in the domestic balance sheet besides most of this coming from current accounts, the increase in the cost of deposits was contained, the bank claimed adding that the yields on earning assets increased due to re-pricing of loans and rollover of maturing investments at higher rates.
The bank said that the domestic net interest margin, thus improved by 75 bps with net interest income up by 22%. With strengthening overseas balance sheets adding to the domestic growth, total net interest income increased by 23%, to Rs 74.1 billion.
Fee income remained robust, growing 21%, with the domestic business increasing by 20%. The growth was across all business lines with the card and consumer finance businesses, investment banking and trade delivering a particularly strong performance, the bank statement added explaining that while the foreign exchange market has seen increased volatility, the Bank’s Treasury has capitalized on this trend via careful positioning of the book and by capturing a larger share of Corporate and Commercial customer volumes.
As a result, core foreign exchange income for 9M’19 increased by 44% over 9M’18. Total non-fund income (excluding the impact of the rupee devaluation and losses realized on disposal of previously impaired securities) increased by 13% over 9M’18 to Rs 22.8 billion, the Bank’s Financial Statement 9M’19 concluded.