Habib Bank Limited (HBL), one of Pakistan’s largest banks, has taken a significant step towards promoting the country’s agriculture sector. The board of directors at HBL has approved the incorporation of ‘HBL Zarai Services Limited’ as a wholly-owned subsidiary dedicated to fostering growth in the agriculture industry.
The decision comes as part of HBL’s commitment to contribute to the advancement of Pakistan’s agriculture sector. The bank aims to establish a subsidiary to support and enhance the growth of agriculture, a crucial pillar of the nation’s economy. However, the incorporation is subject to the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals.
HBL had previously stated its intention to set up a subsidiary focused on promoting the agriculture sector in Pakistan. The bank clarified its purpose in a notice, mentioning that a comprehensive feasibility report had been finalized for the project. Currently, HBL is actively in the process of obtaining the required regulatory approvals to proceed with the incorporation of the subsidiary.
On another front, HBL has achieved remarkable financial results for the first half of 2023 (January-June). The bank declared a consolidated profit before tax (PBT) of Rs51.5 billion, representing a nearly 50% increase compared to the same period in the previous year. Notably, the second quarter of 2023 (April-June) witnessed the highest PBT in HBL’s history, attributed to the impressive performance of its core business lines. To share its success with shareholders, HBL declared an interim dividend of Rs2.00 per share (20%), bringing the total payout for H1’23 to Rs3.50 per share.
Meanwhile, the agriculture sector, which plays a vital role in Pakistan’s economy, experienced significant growth in agri-loans. Agricultural lending financial institutions disbursed Rs1.222 trillion in agricultural financing during the first nine months (July-March) of this fiscal year, representing a growth of 27.5%.
HBL’s move to establish ‘HBL Zarai Services Limited’ reflects its commitment to supporting and boosting the agriculture sector in Pakistan. With regulatory approvals in progress, the bank aims to play a pivotal role in promoting sustainable growth in this crucial sector, contributing to the overall prosperity of the nation.