The Board of Directors of MCB Bank Limited (MCB) in its meeting under the Chairmanship of Mian Mohammad Mansha reviewed the performance of the bank and approved the condensed interim financial statements for the half year which ended June 30, 2021. The Board of Directors has declared 2nd interim cash dividend of Rs. 5.0 per share i.e. 50% bringing the total cash dividend for the year ending 2021 to 95%, continuing with its highest dividend payout trend. Despite the challenges posed to the operating environment by the recently witnessed resurgence in COVID-19 infections amidst the fourth and the most virulent wave of the outbreak, MCB remained operationally resilient and capitalized on the earlier gained business traction to post another period of sustainable financial growth for its stakeholders. MCB’s unconsolidated Profit After Tax (PAT) for the six month period ended June 30, 2021 increased to Rs. 14.74 billion (+12%); translating into an Earning Per Share (EPS) of Rs. 12.44 against an EPS of Rs. 11.15 reported in the corresponding period last year. Net Interest income reported at Rs. 31.55 billion with a drop of 12% on account of decreased earning margins due to the expansionary monetary policy regime adopted by the State Bank of Pakistan to combat the downside risks emanating from COVID-19 outbreak. Low policy rate diluted the impact of positive volumetric growth achieved by the Bank in its average earning assets. Non-markup income registered phenomenal growth of 34% and aggregated to Rs. 9.50 billion against Rs. 7.08 billion in the corresponding period last year. Improved transactional volumes, surge in business activities, diversification of revenue streams through continuous enrichment of Bank’s product suite, investments towards digital transformation and an unrelenting focus on upholding the high service standards in the industry supplemented a growth of 17% in fee income while the dividend income increased by 83%. On the operating expenses side, despite sustained inflationary pressures amidst currency devaluation, higher compliance related regulatory charges, expansion in branch outreach and regular performance and merit adjustments of the Human Capital, the Bank was able to contain the growth to 6%. On the provision front, the equity scrip disposals resulted in net reversal of Rs. 529 million for the six month period ended June 30, 2021. Proactive monitoring and recovery efforts led to a net provision reversal against non-performing loans (NPL’s) aggregating to Rs. 1,387 million for the period under review. On the financial position side, the total asset base of the Bank on an unconsolidated basis was reported at Rs. 1,861 billion (+6%). Analysis of the asset mix highlights that while the growth in gross advances remained subdued amidst a dearth of quality lending, the excess liquidity was diverted towards the investment book; which in turn grew by Rs. 80 billion and contributed the major share to the total increase. However, the consumer lending book grew by Rs. 3.98 billion (+14%) on account of significant activity in the construction and auto segment. Persistent focus on maintaining a robust risk management framework encompassing structured assessment models, effective pre-disbursement evaluation tools and an array of post disbursement monitoring systems has enabled MCB to effectively manage its credit risks despite realization of systematic risks emanating from the evolving macroeconomic situation. The non-performing loan (NPLs) base of the Bank hence registered a decline over December 2020 to report at Rs. 51.06 billion. The Bank has not taken FSV benefit in calculation of specific provision and carries un-encumbered general provision reserve of Rs. 3.06 billion. The coverage and infection ratios of the Bank were reported at 95.67% and 9.98% respectively.