Pakistan's best domestic bank 2018: MCB
After years of chasing HBL and United Bank, MCB may be on the verge of becoming Pakistan’s banking leader. In June, MCB formally began its absorption of Pakistan’s 11th biggest bank, NIB Bank, and is reaping the benefits: total deposits jumped 24% to cross PRs1 trillion ($9 billion) for the year, while assets climbed 23% to PRs1.37 trillion.
Now vying with UBL as the country’s second-biggest bank behind long-dominant HBL, MCB is poised to capitalize on HBL’s legal dramas in the US – HBL was fined $225 million by New York regulators for breaching anti-money laundering laws – to vault to top slot in coming years. MCB’s president is Imran Maqbool.
Extra branches are helping. The NIB deal added 170 outlets to bring MCB’s national footprint to a total of 1,433. Taxed profits slipped 1% to PRs22 billion in 2017, putting MCB among the better performers of Pakistan’s big banks.
Chaired by Pakistan’s richest man, Mian Mohammad Mansha, and part-owned by Maybank of Malaysia, MCB was also busy on the investment banking side this year, handling 16 transactions worth a total of $910 million.
Notable deals during the year include the $255 million syndication for Paki-stan Mobile (Mobilink) to expand its 4G network, where MCB was lead arranger and played an advisory role, and its backing of a $150 million syndicated letter of credit for Chinese utility HubCo to build a thermal power station in Balochistan.
Other notable deals include a $125 million loan for local cement producer Cherat to build a clinker plant and underwriting a $42 million listing of the Pakistan Stock Exchange on its own market.