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ISLAMABAD: PTCL Group, the largest ICT services provider in Pakistan refutes all claims and rumors regarding the financial health of U Microfinance Bank (Ubank); it’s wholly owned subsidiary.

Ubank is Pakistan’s fastest-growing microfinance bank and one of the key players in the banking industry, highlights a robust and unwavering financial structure and has a strong capital base.

PTCL Group ensures that the teams at Ubank, from the management to those on-ground, will continue to make progress, innovate, and endeavor to achieve the bank’s core mission of financial inclusion for all segments of Pakistani society. Ubank’s Gross Loan Portfolio is one of the highest in the industry as a result of the bank’s sustainable growth strategy.

Almost 54% of this portfolio is backed by gold, displaying the financial resilience of the bank against its lending practices. The diverse portfolio of Ubank also includes solar financing, agriculture including tractor financing, housing, and vehicle financing, etc.

Ubank enjoys strong and positive backing from PTCL Group. The bank has a paid-up capital of PKR 4 Billion, PKR 1 Billion as additional Tier-1 capital and PKR 1.2 Billion as Tier-2 capital from PTCL. In addition to this, the bank has also raised PKR 1 Billion additional Tier-1 capital from the market.

The bank’s funding base continues to grow on a regular basis with consistent cash flows, deposits, lending, and capital influx.

Hatem Bamatraf, President and Group CEO, PTCL & Ufone 4G and Chairman, Board of Directors, U Microfinance Bank, said: “Ubank has always enjoyed strong backing from PTCL Group.

The bank has demonstrated impressive financial performance and positive growth trajectory; therefore, I would like to reiterate that PTCL Group firmly stands with the bank and reassures the investors, customers and shareholders of its continued support. Currently, we don’t foresee the need of any equity injection in the bank but are fully committed to meet any future growth requirements.”

Given the strong capital base, diversified revenue engines and portfolio, coupled with unprecedented growth, Ubank remains credible with a long-term credit rating of A+ awarded to it by PACRA Credit Rating Agency and VIS Credit Rating Company.

Both the rating agencies in Pakistan have reported Ubank to have a ‘Stable’ outlook, recognizing the bank’s sustainable business strategic initiatives.

The Incumbent President & CEO, U Microfinance Bank, Mohamed Essa Al Taheri was earlier associated with Ubank as a Member of the Board of Directors and has previously worked with e & Group as the Group EVP Financial Policies and Systems.

In light of the on-going developments, Al Taheri states, “We want to address recent rumors circulating on various platforms, regarding UPaisa & U Microfinance Bank’s capital base.

These claims are entirely baseless and unfounded. Ubank has a strong and committed management team and enjoys complete support from its investors, partners, stakeholders and customers as the bank continues to strive for growth and excellence.”

PTCL is owned 62% by the Government of Pakistan and 26% by e& (formerly Etisalat), whereas its subsidiary U Microfinance Bank came into existence in 2012 and since then has only witnessed consistent and unwavering growth.

The bank has steadily enhanced its profitability as an institution over the years, while significantly increasing its presence across multiple urban, as well as rural regions of Pakistan.

Ubank and its wide network of 350+ branches is a testament to the bank’s commitment to reaching the unbanked population at the last mile while providing viable financial products and services to its customers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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