KARACHI: HBL today declared a consolidated profit after tax of Rs9.1 billion for the first quarter of 2017, with earnings per share ofRs6.16. Along with the results, the Bank declared a dividend of Rs 3.5 per share (35%).HBL’s balance sheet has grown by 2% over December 2016to reach Rs 2.6 trillion. Despite a decline in the market, the Bank’s deposits continued to grow, with market share rising to 14.2% and total deposits crossing Rs 1.9 trillion. Domestically, HBL grew its CASA deposits by Rs 30 billion during the quarter and the CASA ratio improved to 87.1%. Average domestic current accounts increased by 16% compared toQ1 2016, enabling the Bank to further reduce its cost of deposits.Lending activity has remained robust, with average domestic loans increasing by 24% over the first quarter of last year as all business segments delivered excellent performance. The Bank was thus able to overcome most of the spread compression caused by low interest rates, recording net interest income of Rs20.1 billion.With excellent performance from treasury related activities, non-markup income increased by 26% to Rs 8.3 billion. Fees and Commissions for the quarter grewby 9% to Rs4.8 billionwith continued strong performances by theBancassurance, asset management and consumer finance businesses.HBL’s prudent risk management resulted in a reduction in non-performing loans with provisions also decreasing by 26% over the first quarter of 2016. The Bank’s infection ratio fell further, to 9.1%, while the coverage strengthened, to nearly 92%.HBL’s reach now includes more than 2,000 ATMs and over 14,800 POS machines, augmenting its network of 1,678 branches, to provide access and convenience to its customers across Pakistan.The consolidated Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR) as at March2017was15.5%, with the Tier 1 CAR at12.1%, both well above regulatory requirements.The Bank’s local credit ratings remain in the highest possible AAA/A-1+ categories for long term and short term respectively.During the quarter, HBL continued to receive several important awards including the Best Domestic Bank in Pakistan by Asiamoney, and the Best Retail Bank in Pakistan,by The Asian Banker.HBL’s growth trajectory remains robust, with stable profitability and adequate reserves of liquidity and capital. As Pakistan’s national institution, HBL is conscious of its responsibility towards the development of the country and is well positioned to participate in infrastructure development activities under the CPEC, while providing increasing levels of service and innovative products to its valued customers within a strong governance framework.