HBL Granted Approval to Establish an Agriculture-focused Subsidiary “Zarai” by the State Bank of Pakistan

Web DeskJuly 18, 2023

Habib Bank Limited (HBL) has received official approval from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to establish a specialized subsidiary called “Zarai” (agriculture), aimed at bolstering capacity in the agriculture sector. This initiative will enable HBL to extend support to small and medium-sized farmers by providing various facilities and services, including storage space, farming equipment, crop production inputs, and agronomic assistance. While Zarai will offer non-financial services, HBL will continue to provide agricultural financing directly. HBL’s agriculture portfolio has reached a record high of Rs. 50.6 billion in 2022, reflecting the bank’s strong commitment to the sector. In addition, HBL has contributed approximately Rs. 4 billion towards Pakistan’s social upliftment over the past decade, with a contribution of around Rs. 580 million in 2022.

Read More: Alfalah Bank collaborates with Habib University on the Alfalah Scholars Programme.

HBL’s President and CEO, Muhammad Aurangzeb, expressed optimism regarding sustainable financing opportunities following the government’s successful acquisition of an IMF loan. He highlighted HBL’s involvement in managing a recent green bond for the Water and Power Development Authority, which garnered significant interest from foreign investors. HBL has also developed its own Green Taxonomy (GT) to facilitate capital flows towards green projects, aligning with the bank’s focus on renewable energy initiatives. Moreover, HBL has made notable contributions to social causes, including the construction of two purpose-built villages in Sindh equipped with solar panels.

Looking ahead, HBL aims to eliminate its exposure to coal-related projects by 2030, further demonstrating its commitment to sustainable practices and environmental stewardship. The bank’s Impact and Sustainability Report-2022 showcases its ongoing efforts to support renewable energy ventures, contributing to a greener and more inclusive future.

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