Bank Asia’s 2022 profit goes up 13pc, on higher dollar-taka gap

Bank Asia Ltd has registered a 13 per cent year-on-year rise in profit to Tk 3.05 billion for the year ended in December 2022, thanks to higher income from export-import business.

Its consolidated earnings per share stood at Tk 2.62 in 2022, up from Tk 2.34 the year before, according to a disclosure posted on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the bank’s share rose 2.48 per cent to close at Tk 20.70.

Market insiders said significant gains from the treasury department, which deals with foreign exchange transactions in export and import, were the main driver of the profit growth.

Though the bank’s core business suffered in the sluggish economy, incomes from foreign exchange business rose due to the surge in the US dollar price against the taka.

Bank Asia’s profit from foreign exchange transactions jumped 770 per cent year-on-year to Tk 2 billion in the first six months of 2022, according to media reports.

The local foreign exchange market turned volatile as a severe shortage of the greenback emerged following an unprecedented jump in import bills fuelled by the Russia-Ukraine war.

The board of directors of Bank Asia declared a 15 per cent cash dividend for 2022. Having been listed on the Dhaka bourse in 2004, it disbursed 15 per cent cash dividend for 2021 as well.

The final approval of the dividend will come at the annual general meeting scheduled for April 30. The record date is April 6.

Bank Asia also reported consolidated net asset value (NAV) per share of Tk 24.41 and consolidated net operating cash flow per share of Tk 13.82 for 2022 as against Tk 23.33 and Tk 15.23 respectively for the previous year.

There are 34 banks listed in the stock market. The banking sector’s total market-cap is Tk 670 billion, the second highest after the pharmaceuticals sector on the DSE.

The banking sector has long been facing a stressful situation, blemished by a series of loan scams, rising default loans, and weak performance of bank stocks on the bourses.

Currently, seven banks are trading at below the face value of Tk 10.

More than one-fourth of the IPO shares of Midland Bank have remained unsold recently despite good financial performance of the new-generation bank.

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