The five big local banks have earned 24 per cent more profits during the first half of this calendar year despite poor economic growth and global financial crisis.
At a time when there are fears US slipping into recession and banking stocks are under pressure globally, banks in Pakistan have posted above average growth in their earnings.
Profits of the big five banks posted impressive growth of 24 per cent for the six month ended June 30, 2011 to reach Rs40 billion (pre tax profit of Rs60bn), said a report prepared by Topline Securities.The analytical report is based on five large banks by deposits and branch network included NBP, HBL, UBL, MCB Bank and ABL, which contribute more than 57 per cent share of the total banking sector deposits and represent approximately 80 per cent of the market capitalisation.However, the NBP is excluded which incurred huge provisioning in second quarter of 2011 (which is 40 per cent of the combined provisioning of the other four banks) the profitability growth further improves to 31 per cent.Bank-wise profitability showed that ABL posted highest profitability growth of 39 per cent, followed by MCB Bank (33 per cent), UBL (29 per cent), HBL (25 per cent) and NBP (three per cent).The report said due to higher return on advances and better yield on government papers, overall net interest income (NII) of these big banks grew by 17 per cent.This showed impressive core banking operations as average 6-months KIBOR increased by 154 basis points in first half of 2011 compared to first half of 2010 while cost of funds remained on the lower side.
Moreover, the large banks continue to opt for a risk-averse approach by parking their funds into less risky government securities which also contributed to higher NII.
Similarly, with overall improvement in trade activities, non-interest income of big banks grew by impressive 22 per cent, said the report.
On the flip side, provisioning remained on the higher side which stood at Rs19 billion, up 20 per cent.Pakistani banking sector spreads seem to have peaked as they improved marginally by two basis points to 7.88 per cent in July on a monthly basis.
From / Gulf Today