Standard Chartered Bank Pakistan Achieves Record Profits in 2023HBL Records Stellar Profit Growth in 2023, Focuses on Agriculture and Digital Financial Inclusion

Karachi, Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited, renowned as the country's most extensive and oldest international bank, has unveiled its Annual Results for 2023, marking a year of unprecedented financial performance. The bank reported a record Profit before tax of PKR 89.2 billion, a staggering 78% increase compared to the previous year, and a Profit after tax that surged by 115% to close at PKR 42.6 billion, the highest since its incorporation.

According to Standard Chartered Bank, the bank's overall revenue saw a 72% increase, with client revenue up by 78% year-on-year, reflecting positive contributions across all segments. Despite the prevailing inflationary trend, which led to a 29% increase in operating expenses, the bank's prudent risk approach and successful recoveries of bad debts resulted in a net release of PKR 163 million in loan impairments for the year.

The bank also achieved a significant milestone by crossing PKR 1.0 trillion in total assets, an 8% growth from the beginning of the year. On the liabilities front, total deposits stood at PKR 720 billion, with current accounts witnessing a healthy growth of PKR 34 billion (up 10%) since the year's start, comprising 50% of the deposit base.

Furthermore, Standard Chartered Bank contributed approximately PKR 63.5 billion to the national exchequer in 2023, acting as a direct income taxpayer and a withholding agent for Federal/Provincial Tax Authorities. With a robust Return on Equity (ROE) of 46.4% and a Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) of 20.1%, the bank is well-positioned for future growth.

In recognition of this exceptional performance, the Board of Directors has recommended a final cash dividend of 25% (PKR 2.50 per share). This is in addition to the 65% (PKR 6.50 per share) interim cash dividend announced during the year, taking the total dividend payout to a record 90% (PKR 9.00 per share).

Mr. Rehan Shaikh, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited, expressed pride in the bank's stellar performance in 2023, attributing the success to the transformative efforts and growth strategies implemented over the past few years. He emphasized the bank's commitment to sustainable growth, innovation, and contribution to Pakistan's progress, despite the challenging external environment.

Karachi, Habib Bank Limited (HBL), Pakistan's premier banking institution, has announced a remarkable financial performance for the year ending December 31, 2023, with a profit before tax soaring to Rs 113.6 billion, marking a 47% increase from the previous year. The bank's profit after tax also saw a significant jump, rising by 68% to Rs 57.8 billion, accompanied by an earnings per share increase to Rs 39.32 from Rs 23.23 in 2022. In line with these results, HBL declared a final dividend of Rs 4.00 per share, bringing the total dividend for the year to Rs 9.75 per share.

According to Habib Bank Limited, the bank achieved a 19% growth in its balance sheet, reaching Rs 5.5 trillion, with deposits growing robustly by 19% to Rs 4.1 trillion. This growth was driven by a substantial increase in domestic deposits and a strong performance across consumer loans, agriculture lending, and microfinance sectors. The bank's net interest margin improved by 159 basis points, contributing to a 46% rise in net interest income to Rs 242 billion, the highest in the industry.

HBL's total revenue experienced a 41% increase to Rs 300 billion, the highest ever for the bank and in the Pakistan banking sector, supported by a 34% growth in fee income to Rs 42.3 billion. The bank's cost/income ratio improved to 56.8% in 2023, and its Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) increased to over 16%, well above regulatory requirements.

Muhammad Aurangzeb, President and CEO of HBL, highlighted the bank's success in navigating economic challenges through a focus on client-centricity, innovation, and responsible banking. The bank emphasized its strategic pillars, including growing Pakistan's economy, shaping the financial industry, and achieving regional relevance, while also making significant strides in agriculture development, digital financial inclusion, and sustainability.

HBL's commitment to agriculture and food security is evidenced by its loan extensions to small farmers exceeding Rs 100 billion, alongside the incorporation of HBL Zarai Services Limited, an agriculture services extension company. The bank's digital initiatives continued to set industry standards, introducing products such as Digital Invoicing and mobile apps catering to diverse customer needs.

In sustainability efforts, HBL launched its 2nd Sustainability Report, embarked on progress towards Net Zero, and joined global initiatives like the Capacity-building Alliance of Sustainable Investment (CASI) and the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). The bank was also recognized for its inclusive practices, winning awards for increasing women's participation in the financial sector and being named the Most Inclusive Organization in Pakistan for the second consecutive year.