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The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has granted its approval to Habib Bank Limited (HBL) for the incorporation of ‘HBL Zarai Services Limited’ – which aims to promote Pakistan’s agriculture sector – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the bank.

The development was shared by HBL in its notice to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Friday.

“The approval is subject to compliance with all applicable laws/regulations,” read the notice.

Earlier this year, the board of HBL approved the incorporation of ‘HBL Zarai Services Limited’ as a wholly-owned subsidiary to promote Pakistan’s agriculture sector.

“To promote the agriculture sector of Pakistan, the Board of Directors of the bank has approved the incorporation of ‘HBL Zarai Services Limited’ as a wholly owned subsidiary of the bank, subject to receipt of all regulatory approvals,” read the notice from July.

Agriculture forms the backbone of Pakistan’s economy as it provides livelihoods to millions and is a major generator of export earnings. However, after three consecutive years of commendable performance, the growth in agriculture sector decelerated to 1.6% during FY23, the SBP said in its annual State of Pakistan’s Economy report.

As per HBL’s latest financial results, the bank posted a consolidated profit before tax (PBT) of Rs83.5 billion for the nine months of 2023, which was 50% higher than the PBT for 9M’22.

Despite continued excessive taxation on the banking sector, the HBL’s profit after tax (PAT) for 9M’23 grew by 82% to Rs43.0 billion over the same period last year. Meanwhile, earnings per share for the first nine months were Rs29.20 compared to Rs15.95 for 9M’22.


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MUHAMMAD IDREES Dec 08, 2023 03:12pm
A.o.A In this artical, spell mistake highlighted Supporting agriculture sector, SBP greenglights HBL’s Zarai Services greenglights (Greenlight). thanks
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KU Dec 08, 2023 04:24pm
All said and done and congratulations all around, now the important thing is at what markup/interest shall the agri-loans be available to the farmers? Most developed countries ensure long-term loans at the lowest markup to facilitate farmers and their contribution to the economy, will the government or SBP/HBL follow the same or hold on to only politically correct lip service?
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MJ Dec 08, 2023 10:37pm
@KU, you are absolutely right. The interest rates in pakistan are ridiculously high. Specifically given current flood situation, farmers should be facilitated with interest free loans.
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Power Master Dec 09, 2023 02:02am
Riba n rishwat haram. Confiscate n auction all such businesses Start with harami unislamic banks
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Concerned citizen Dec 09, 2023 01:06pm
The policies made and implemented by these banks have already participated enough in making rich grow richer and pressed the middle class. Yeah sure why not, enslave farmers too by burdening them with loans so they cannot pay up and eventually give up the land they hold dear and make bread with. All these banks are good for is crippling the economy. Unethical practices and whatnot. The list goes on and on!
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Waqas &Co Dec 09, 2023 06:47pm
لون کس کو مالک یا ٹھیکے دار کو اور کس بنیاد اور کتنے %پر اور کتنے ٹائم کے لئے اور کتنے دنوں میں اورکون کون دوسرا ادارہ اس میں کاغذی کاروائی کرے گا،یہ بہت اہم باتیں ہیں جو کلیر ہونی چاہئے ،شکریہ
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