KARACHI          -           Meeting of the Board of Directors (BoD) of National Bank of Pakistan (Bank) was held at the Bank’s head office in Karachi. The BoD approved standalone and consolidated financial statements of the Bank for the year ended December 31, 2019. The Bank recorded solid growth in terms of both balance sheet size and income generation. Despite a generally difficult year for the banking industry, net mark-up/interest income closed 18.5% higher YoY at Rs. 71.9 billion (2018: Rs. 60.7 billion). NBP maintained its non-mark-up/interest earning at Rs. 36.20 billion. Accordingly, total income of the Bank closed at Rs. 108.11 billion i.e. 11.5% higher than Rs. 96.92 billion of prior year. Total expenses for the year amounted to Rs. 65.70 billion against Rs. 55.69 billion for the year 2018. This amount includes a total of Rs. 7.3 billion related to extraordinary items. Thus, the increase in operating expenses was only 5.0% and YoY growth in profit excluding extraordinary items and before provisions improved to 21%. Reflecting the trend of asset quality deterioration observed across the industry this year, the Bank experienced a 11.4% increase in non-performing loans. During the year, the Bank provided against NPLs, diminution in investments and certain financial improprieties. Based on the above, provision charge amounted to Rs. 14.2 billion, and profit before tax stood at Rs. 28.00 billion, being 5.7% lower than Rs. 29.68 billion for the prior year. NBP has consequently focused on strengthening its balance sheet through this provisioning and through building contingency buffers for a total of Rs. 21.5 billion. Due to retrospective applicability of super tax, this year, the Bank’s tax burden amounted to Rs. 12.35 billion, resulting into the Bank’s profit after tax closing at Rs. 15.8 billion, 21% lower YoY. This translates into earnings per share of Rs. 7.43.