Once Again Banks Are Earning Profit

Two of top Pakistani banks on Monday reported profits during the third July-Sept 2009 quarter, underlining the resilience of the country’s bank system against global economic slowdown.

Habib Bank announced a profit of Rs4 billion, up 23 per cent from Rs3.59bn it earned in the same period of last year. Provisions and write-offs were still high at Rs1.15bn, though slightly lower than previous year’s Rs1.66bn. In the nine months to Sept, the bank has set aside over Rs5.3bn under provisioning and write-offs. During the same period last year, this head incurred Rs2.8bn. During the third quarter, Allied Bank Ltd saw its profit soared 58pc to Rs1.95bn when compared to Rs1.23bn earned in the same period of 2008.

The mid-sized Bank Alfalah also posted a profit for the third quarter under review but earnings have mainly because of provisioning against loans. Profit was down 28pc to Rs452m from last year.

Pakistani banks have not remained completely immune to global financial crisis as the subsequent recession battered textile exports and ate into corporate earnings, both of which exacerbated the loan defaults.

Islamic mode of financer, Meezan Bank, posted 83pc increase in year-on-year profit to Rs144m during the third July-Sep 2009 quarter. Its financial statement showed that provisioning jumped substantially in nine months to Rs1.2bn from just Rs254m recorded in same period of last year.

Soneri bank saw its profits shrink 69pc to Rs77m during the quarter over previous year. Arif Habib Bank posted a loss of Rs297m as compared last year’s Rs100m profit. Profit of Mybank also shrank during the third quarter.


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