Prime Bank’s half-year profit drops amid pandemic
This has mainly been attributed to a host of regulatory waivers on EMI, interest and fees following the Covid-19 outbreak
Prime Bank's net profit after tax in the first half of 2020 dropped 38 percent when compared to the same period of last year.
The bank's operating profit also fell 25 percent year-on-year in the first half of this year.
According to the management of Prime Bank, this decline in the bank's profit has mostly occurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic that has impelled the government to announce a host of regulatory waivers on equated monthly installment (EMI), interest and fees.
The nine percent interest rate cap also has impacted the profit, the bank added.
On Monday, the leading private commercial bank – listed with both the Dhaka and Chattogram stock exchanges – organised its earnings disclosure event that was broadcast live on its Facebook page.
In view of the Covid-19 outbreak, the bank conducted the event through Zoom Webinar webcast to maintain social distancing.
According to the disclosure, Prime Bank earned a net profit of Tk61.88 crore during the difficult period of January-June this year, down from Tk99.27 crore in the corresponding period of last year.
The bank also reported an operating profit of Tk248.16 crore in the first half of this year, which was Tk332.47 crore in the same period a year ago.
The earnings per share (EPS) of the bank were reported at Tk0.55 for the half year on a solo basis, which was Tk0.88 in the corresponding period of 2019. Its net asset value (NAV) per share on a solo basis was Tk24.21 as of June 30, 2020, which was Tk22.75 in the same period of last year.
The bank's net operating cash flow per share (NOCFPS) on a solo basis stood at Tk0.75 on June 30 this year, which was Tk0.84 in the corresponding period of 2019.
Prime Bank's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rahel Ahmed plus senior management officials presented the half-yearly financial reports of 2020 and answered questions from: local and foreign investment analysts, capital market experts, financial institution partners, and journalists.
Rahel Ahmed said, "During this critical time, we are more focused on keeping our employees and customers safe. We were one of the first responders to chalk out fight-back initiatives as early as in January 2020 when Covid-19 started unfolding and quickly adapted our operations to continue delivering critical services to meet the evolving needs of our customers living to the bank's long history of standing by the customers in challenging times."
Prime Bank has been able to maintain capital adequacy and liquidity position within regulatory threshold and well ahead of industry peers showing stability and robust financial strength, he claimed.
"The bank's strong levels of capital and liquidity continue to protect it in times of uncertainty. Its ongoing digital transformation efforts and significant investments in technology backbone over the last few years have allowed the bank to provide seamless services to the customers during this difficult time," the Prime Bank CEO further said.
Prime Bank has played an active role in implementing the government's Covid-19 stimulus package emerging as one of the leading banks in loan disbursement under the business rescue initiative injecting much needed capital and helping businesses return to pre-pandemic capacity.
The tech-savvy bank, which recently won the Best Digital Bank in Bangladesh Award from AsiaMoney, has launched several new digital banking solutions. These include the self-registration Internet Banking Service called Altitude and a micro, small and medium enterprise financing alliance with leading ICT trade bodies that provides collateral-free loans – a pioneering initiative that has been widely praised in the business community.