LAHORE: Bank of Punjab (BoP) will decide next month if it will make provisions for its longstanding bad debt disbursed prior to 2008 by using the cash it has raised through the issue of right shares worth Rs13 billion.
Bank executives told Dawn that the management plans to use at least Rs6bn to make provisions against losses to retire the two letters of comfort issued by the Punjab government, which controls over 57pc stakes in the bank, to the State Bank of Pakistan for relaxing its provisioning criteria under prudential regulations.
On Sept 30, net advances of the bank aggregating to Rs14.3bn requiring additional provisions of Rs13.3bn had not been subjected to the provisioning criteria, according to prudential regulations.
The Punjab government has undertaken to inject necessary funds to bridge the capital shortfall to the satisfaction of the SBP up to a maximum of Rs14bn net of tax within 90 days of the close of 2018, provided the bank failed to make provisions of Rs21.7bn or if there was a shortfall in meeting the capital requirement.
The bank executive said the management wants to make a big provision in order to clean up its balance sheet and be able to give its shareholders dividends.
Under prudential regulations, the bank cannot issue dividends to its shareholders as long it does not adequately make provisions for bad debt and achieve regulatory capital requirements.
“I cannot possibly comment on what we’re considering at this moment. You’ll know everything once the bank makes its decision, most probably next month,” BoP President Naeemuddin Khan told Dawn.
Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2017