“Askari Bank Limited posts impressive results for the second consecutive quarter and first half of 2014 and reported profit of Rs.2.1 billion. The Bank also announced 10% interim cash dividend.
The announcement yesterday leads the banking sector and Askari Bank’s results are way ahead of analysts’ expectations. The Bank has reported strong growth in all income streams. Net interest income increased by a healthy 43% compared to the corresponding six months of 2013 while the non-interest income increased by 67% over the corresponding period on the back of healthy growth in trade and business and gains from currency and stock market. The improvement in non-performing loans appears to be attributable to recovery that is also depicted by a net reversal of provisions for the quarter, adding to the bottom line profits. The provision coverage against NPLs improved to 88% and is ahead of the competition. It is worth noting that the announcement of 10% cash dividend has come after seven years as the last cash dividend was announced for the year 2007.
Askari Bank went through a major overhaul in 2013 that followed the change of guards when its majority shareholding was acquired by the Fauji Group which is ranked amongst the largest business conglomerates in Pakistan. The announcement of half yearly results reflects that Askari Bank is now set on the course of sustainable growth.”