PACRA Maintains Entity Ratings of The Bank of Punjab
The ratings reflect improved risk profile of Bank of Punjab (BoP) with an appreciable enhancement in profitability and asset quality over the last few years which supplemented the equity base. During CY19, the bank has recorded commendable uptick in revenue base – interest earned. Largely attributable to hike in key policy rate as advances witnessed marginal growth slightly improved non-mark up income supplemented the profitability. Hence, a rise was witnessed in asset yield. There is significant dilution in the bank's net interest and operating margins during 1QCY20. Growth in advances was subdued when compared with the medium industry average growth of 3.7%. Hike in NPLs led to net provisioning expense being recorded; maintaining asset quality intact remains essential. The Bank grew its customers deposit base higher than the sector’s growth, with particular importance to saving deposit. The concentration of government and public sector deposits remain high. The bank's Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) clocked in at 14.8% as at end-Dec19 (end-Dec18: 13.17%), which is a healthy sign for BoP. Covid-19 has posed challenges to the banking sector, as almost all segments of the economy, worldwide and domestically, are getting negatively impacted. The ramifications would continue to unfold, warranting vigilance and timely actions where needed.
The ratings are dependent on the financial risk profile of the bank, mainly emanating from sustenance of capital adequacy and continued healthy profitability trend in line with the management's plans. Any weakening in asset quality will in turn put pressure on the bank's profitability and risk absorption capacity
The Bank of Punjab, established under the BOP Act 1989, is listed on Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX). The bank operates a vast network of 624 branches as at end Dec-19, mainly concentrated in Punjab. The Government of Punjab (GoPb) holds majority stake in BOP (57%), whereas the rest is widely dispersed.
The bank’s President & CEO – Mr. Zafar Masud was appointed as President & CEO by the GoPb on 17th March, 2020 and assumed the charge on 16th April, 2020. The senior management consists of seasoned bankers. The current team has played a pivotal role in the bank's revival; their continuity and cohesiveness is critical for successful execution of the envisaged business plan.