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HBL Launches "Zarai" Subsidiary to Boost Agricultural Capacity


Habib Bank Limited (HBL) has obtained approval from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to establish a dedicated subsidiary, named "Zarai" (agriculture), aimed at enhancing capacity in the agriculture sector. The announcement was made by HBL President and CEO, Muhammad Aurangzeb, during the bank's Impact and Sustainability Report-2022 launch event. Zarai will primarily support small and medium-sized farmers by providing various services, including storage space, farming equipment, crop production inputs, and agronomic assistance.

While HBL will continue to offer financial support for agricultural projects, non-financial services will be offered through Zarai.

Aurangzeb highlighted the bank's strong commitment to agricultural financing, with the portfolio reaching a record high of Rs. 50.6 billion in 2022. Over the past decade, HBL has contributed approximately Rs. 4 billion to Pakistan's social uplift, with a significant portion allocated in 2022.

Aurangzeb acknowledged that Pakistan faced challenges due to the IMF program in recent months but expressed optimism about the future, as the government has secured an IMF loan. This positive development opens up opportunities for sustainable financing, and HBL aims to actively participate in such initiatives. Notably, the bank successfully assisted in managing a green bond issuance by the Water and Power Development Authority, attracting substantial foreign investments.

Furthermore, HBL has taken additional green initiatives, such as developing its own Green Taxonomy (GT) mechanism to promote investments in environmentally friendly projects. The HBL Foundation has also expanded its support across various areas, including healthcare and education, with a 27% increase in funding.

In its commitment to sustainable practices, HBL plans to eliminate coal-related exposure by 2030. The bank's Impact and Sustainability Report-2022 revealed its contribution to two wind projects and one solar power project, all of which achieved commercial operations in 2022, aligning with HBL's focus on renewable energy initiatives.

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HBL Launches "Zarai" Subsidiary to Boost Agricultural Capacity

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