PACRA assigns Initial Instrument Rating to Askari Bank Limited | TFC VI (Additional Tier I ) | Jul-18

Lahore, December 06, 2018 (PPI-OT): The rating reflects relative positioning of the Bank, driven by AKBL’s strong ownership structure whereby Fauji Foundation Group – an established business conglomerate with strong financial muscle – holds majority stake. The Bank has continued the growth trajectory in 2017. The cost of funding is witnessing continuous reduction due to growth in low cost deposits. The profitability in the banking sector is a challenge due to maturity of high yielding PIBs. Volumetric increase in earning assets, led by loan portfolio augmentation, provided support to profitability; along with constant flow of recoveries and reversals.

Expansion in branch network has led to increase in expenses, yet benefit can be seen in the form of deposit growth. Meanwhile, noticeable improvement was observed in asset quality as net accretion to NPLs curtailed significantly and is supplemented by comfortable liquidity position. The Bank’s CAR is 12.1% at end-Dec17, the management is cognizant of the need of further augmentation in capital and is thus issuing an ADT 1 instrument (PKR 6bln inclusive of PKR 1.5bln of Green Shoe) to increase its CAR.

Going forward, the management is eyeing CPEC as an opportunity to capitalize and build its business through its dedicated China Desk and Representative Office in China. This would be supported by extending outreach and on-going focus on generating non-funded income and mobilizing low-cost deposits. The ratings are dependent upon continuous improvement in asset quality, whereas, effective management of spreads remains important. Meanwhile, notable improvement in CAR is crucial.

For more information, contact:
The Pakistan Credit Rating Agency Limited (PACRA)
Awami Complex, FB1, Usman Block New Garden Town,
Lahore – Pakistan
Tel: +9242 586 9504 -6
Fax: +9242 583 0425