AB Bank, which made remarkable progress in 2019, has declared stock dividends – though only 5 percent – for all its shareholders after two years.
The bank management termed it a turnaround, linking the achievement to good leadership.
The bank will thus be upgraded to Category B after languishing two years in Category Z in the stock market, giving its shareholders a reason to feel encouraged.
"The bank remained in the 'Z' category in 2017 and 2018. In July 2019, I formally took charge and so did the new management. Our observation was that huge default loans, severe liquidity crisis and a lack of good leadership had put this 38-year-old bank in a very poor condition," Tarique Afzal, managing director of AB Bank, told The Business Standard.
"The new board and the new management jointly worked to overcome the rough patch by applying their experiences and setting effective plans," he added.
According to the bank's financial statement, as of December last year, AB Bank's classified loans decreased by 41.19 percent to Tk4,683 crore from Tk7,973 crore over the same period a year earlier.
Even the advance to deposit ratio came down to 84.28 percent from 91.09 percent a year previously.
Despite having difficulties with the bank's business, depositors have not lost their trust in the bank, the managing director said.
In 2019, the bank's deposits increased to Tk27,946 crore from Tk23,544 crore in the preceding year.
Tarique Afzal said, "The bank is committed to its vision and determined to create shareholder value. Based on the financial statement of 2019, the bank's board of directors declared dividends, which placed the bank in an acceptable category. On September 22, it will be visible when the bank's annual general meeting is held."
The directors of AB Bank, at its 691st board meeting held online on Monday, decided to adopt the annual audited financial statement for 2019.
The bank declared Tk647 crore in profit (consolidated) before tax in 2019, and it was Tk645 crore on a solo basis. The profit after tax stood at Tk12.33 crore on a consolidated basis and Tk16.77 crore on a solo basis.
The bank's earnings per share, which stood at Tk0.16 (consolidated) in 2019, was Tk0.06 in 2018. The net operating cash flow per share increased to Tk37.79, which had been Tk9.14 negative a year earlier.