17 Sep 2017
MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 17 September 2017– Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, announced today (ed note: 17/09/17) that its retail banking subsidiary in Pakistan, Faysal Bank Limited (FBL), has reported increased profits for the first half of 2017. Ithmaar Bank owns 66.6 percent of FBL which is listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange and is mainly engaged in corporate, commercial, retail and consumer banking activities.
The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer and FBL Vice Chairman, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, follows the review and approval by the FBL Board of Directors of the financial results for the half year ended June 30, 2017.
“I am pleased to announce that FBL registered a profit after tax of US$27.2 million (PKR 2.86 billion) during the first half of 2017, compared to a profit of US$26.8 million (PKR 2.82 billion) during the corresponding period in 2016,” said Abdul Rahim. “Despite increasingly challenging market conditions, with the Pakistan economy experiencing low interest rates as well as low exports, and foreign exchange reserves also declining and bringing the Karachi Interbank Offer Rate (KBOR) to record lows, the Bank has reported improved results,” he said.
“To address these harsh economic realities, FBL has repositioned its strategy by mobilizing low cost deposits, increasing recovery efforts from delinquent clients and enforcing strict control over administrative expenses,” said Abdul Rahim. “FBL has also successfully executed several investment and advisory deals with blue chip companies during the first half of 2017,” he said.
“Although the Government of Pakistan has imposed a one-time Super Tax in the annual budget which has affected the bottom line by US$2.4 million (PKR 259 million), the Bank’s Earnings per Share (EPS) for the first half of 2017 increased to PKR2.17 as compared to PKR2.14 for corresponding period last year,” said Abdul Rahim. “FBL has been making steady growth for years and has now consolidated its position in the banking sector. The Bank has not only expanded its network but also has enhanced its core customer base. The Bank now has a network of 365 branches in more than 100 cities across Pakistan,” he said.
The Bank’s deposits have reached US$ 3.4 billion, and assets have crossed the US$4.6 billion mark with a capital base of more than US$300 million. The Bank has achieved these milestones of business growth by upgrading its core banking software, developing staff, enhancing products and focusing on cost efficiency.
Earlier this year, FBL announced the appointment of Yousaf Hussain as President and Chief Executive Officer for a three-year term after all necessary regulatory approvals were received. “On behalf of the Ithmaar Bank management, as well as the FBL Board of Directors, I am pleased to congratulate Yousaf on his appointment, welcome him to his new role and wish him continued success,” said Abdul Rahim. “Yousaf is a seasoned banker with a wide range of experience, and I am confident that he will drive FBL’s continued growth and lead the Bank to greater success,” he said.
FBL’s financial performance has earned the Bank “AA” and “A1+” ratings for the long and short terms respectively, with stable outlook from JCR-VIS Credit Rating Company Limited and Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited.
“I am pleased, also, to note that in October, Ithmaar Bank will mark thirty years of operations in Pakistan,” said Abdul Rahim. “This is a significant milestone in our history,” he said. Ithmaar Bank first commenced its operations in Pakistan in October 1987 under its initial predecessor, Faysal Islamic Bank of Bahrain.