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LAHORE: In view of prevailing Covid-19 situation, the 30th Annual General Meeting of the members of The Bank of Punjab was held on Tuesday, 30th March 2021 virtually through Zoom webinar/video link to protect well-being of shareholders. The meeting was attended by Board members, Bank’s senior management and shareholders.

A brief synopsis of the Bank’s financial performance was presented before the shareholders. It was apprised that during the year 2020, Balance Sheet grew by 26 percent and the Bank now stood among the banks with total assets of over Rs 1.0 trillion. During the year 2020, the Bank opted to capitalize on substantial capital gains.

Consequently, Non-Markup/ Interest Income increased to Rs 13.0 billion as against Rs 3.9 billion showing a substantial increase of 233 percent. Whereas, Net Interest Margin (NIM) remained a little subdued and was recorded at Rs 23.3 billion.

During the year 2020, pre-provision & tax profit improved to Rs 18.9 billion as against Rs 15.8 billion during last year thereby registering a rise of 20 percent. However, in view of risks of shocks in the Covid-19 aftermath, in addition to subjective assessment, the Bank also opted to create general provision against loans and advances on prudent basis.

During the year, provision against advances amounting to Rs 1.7 billion has been recorded on account of subjective classification on self-assessment basis for the first time in the history of the Bank. Further, general provision of Rs 3.3 billion has also been made.

Despite above mentioned provisioning, the Bank posted after tax profit of Rs 6.9 billion as against Rs 8.2 billion during year 2019. Earnings per share (EPS) for year 2020 remained at the level of Rs 2.63 per share.

On Deposits side, the Bank registered a growth of 21 percent and reached the level of Rs 835.1 billion as against Rs 691.0 billion as on December 31, 2019. Investments and Gross Advances were recorded at Rs 567.8 billion and Rs 442.8 billion, respectively. Book Value per share (excluding surplus on assets) improved to Rs 17.52 as against Rs 15.63 as on December 31, 2019.

As on December 31, 2020, the Equity remained at Rs 52.3 billion and Bank’s Capital Adequacy Ratio improved to 16.23 percent as against 14.80 percent as on December 31, 2019. Current level of CAR is 41 percent higher than the required level of 11.50 percent as prescribed by SBP.

President/CEO also briefed the shareholders about the future business strategy of the Bank. The key goals of business strategy are to substantially grow balance sheet with minimum risk while ensuring compliance with governing regulatory regime.

The shareholders were also apprised that the Bank would enhance its footprint in the areas of SME, agri, low-cost housing, consumer, cash management, trade and investment banking.

Further, strategy of aggressive expansion in Islamic Banking shall be pursued to enhance Bank’s market share. Besides aggressive branch expansion in southern/ Karachi region is also on the cards.—PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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