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Loan disbursements rise despite hurdles | Karachi Blog

Loan disbursements rise despite hurdles

Outstanding portfolio of agriculture loans rose Rs40.8 billion or 17.3% to Rs276.7 billion at the end of December 2013 compared to the same period last year. PHOTO: FILE .

KARACHI: Banks provided Rs159.3 billion in loans to farmers in the first-half of current fiscal year, which was 13.5% higher than the disbursement of Rs140.3 billion in the corresponding period a year ago, shows data released by the State Bank of Pakistan on Tuesday.
In July-December 2013, banks achieved 44% of their annual target of Rs360 billion despite an array of challenges such as high non-performing loans, hurdles to recoveries, insufficient bank’s infrastructure and overall security and macroeconomic conditions.
Outstanding portfolio of agriculture loans rose Rs40.8 billion or 17.3% to Rs276.7 billion at the end of December 2013 compared to the same period last year. The State Bank insists that the increase is primarily the result of its initiative to introduce annual outstanding indicative targets for banks.
Five major banks disbursed Rs85.4 billion or 47.5% of their annual target, higher by 12.3% from Rs76 billion in the same period last year.
Among them, Habib Bank, MCB Bank and National Bank reached 53.3%, 52.6% and 50.5% of their annual targets respectively while United Bank and Allied Bank could achieve only 38.6% and 34.5% of their targets.
Among specialised banks, Zarai Taraqiati Bank could meet only 34% of its target as it lent Rs23.7 billion to the farmers against the annual target of Rs69.5 billion.
Punjab Provincial Cooperative Bank Limited hit 48% of its target by disbursing Rs4.3 billion. In the period under review, 14 domestic private banks collectively achieved 42% of their target.
Bank Al Habib, Summit Bank, Silkbank and NIB Bank hit 61%, 48%, 44% and 42% of their annual targets respectively.
Sindh Bank has already surpassed its annual target by offering loans worth Rs672.8 million against the target of Rs600 million while the Bank of Khyber and the Bank of Punjab achieved 59% and 51% of their targets respectively.
Seven microfinance banks as a group gave farmers loans of Rs11.2 billion or 57% of their annual target. On the other hand, Islamic banks collectively lent around Rs250 million or 47.6% of the target during the six-month period.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2014.

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