KARACHI: Total remuneration of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) president increased 51% in 2015 despite the share price of the state-owned bank plummeting 22% over the same 12-month period.
According to the bank’s annual securities filing, NBP President Syed Ahmed Iqbal Ashraf received total compensation of Rs71.1 million last year, which was Rs23.9 million higher than the comparable figure for 2014.
Meanwhile, the share price of NBP at the end of 2015 clocked up at Rs54.04, down 22.2% from the beginning of the year when it sold at Rs69.46.
Almost one-third of Ashraf’s total remuneration in 2015 was in the form of bonus. His bonus for 2015 clocked up at Rs23.3 million, which was 9.4 times higher on a year-on-year basis.
Although the share value of NBP declined by more than one-fourth over the year, the unconsolidated profit of the bank surged 27.9% to Rs19.2 billion for 2015. In percentage terms, NBP posted the highest year-on-year expansion in the net profit among the five largest commercial banks, also known as Big Five.
Although Ashraf received the highest raise in the total remuneration last year, he was hardly the highest paid bank CEO in Big Five.
Highest paid CEO
United Bank President and CEO Wajahat Husain topped the list with his total compensation in 2015 clocking up at Rs127.3 million. A year-on-year comparison of the UBL CEO’s total remuneration is not possible because the figure for 2014 (Rs246.5m) included Rs100.7 million paid as severance cost to its former CEO on the cessation of his employment.
Husain added almost Rs3.8 billon to UBL’s bottom line in 2015, as the bank’s unconsolidated profit for the year rose 17.3% to clock up at Rs25.7 billion. The share price of UBL, however, declined 12.3% over the 12-month period amid bearish trends on the local bourse.
Even if rent, utilities and medical allowances are excluded, the annual managerial remuneration of the UBL CEO translates into a compensation of over Rs9 million per month for 2015.
UBL was the third most profitable bank in the country until 2014. But its net profit surpassed that of MCB Bank last year, making UBL the country’s second most profitable bank.
Another bank CEO who received a major raise last year in his total remuneration was Nauman Dar of Habib Bank (HBL). His total remuneration jumped 41.3% in 2015 to reach Rs75.1 million. Meanwhile, the share price of HBL dropped 7.4% to reach Rs200.12 on Dec 31, 2015.
HBL is the largest banking entity in Pakistan in terms of both profitability and branch network. Its net profit went up 14% last year to reach Rs35.4 billion, which was Rs9.7 billion higher than its closest competitor.
MCB Bank CEO Imran Maqbool was the second-best paid among the CEOs of the Big Five cohort. His total remuneration for 2015 clocked up at Rs84.7 million, up 14.9% from a year ago. However, the share of MCB Bank shed as much as 29% over the same 12-month period.
The year-on-year decline in the share price of MCB Bank was far greater than the corresponding drop in share prices of the rest of the largest banks. MCB Bank’s unconsolidated profit for 2015 amounted to Rs25.5 billion, up 5% from a year ago.
Allied Bank (ABL) CEO Tariq Mahmood received total remuneration of Rs46.3 million in 2015, up 7% from a year ago. His total compensation for 2015 was the lowest among his peers at the other four banks.
The share price of ABL declined more than 17% last year while its net profit amounted to Rs15.1 billion, up only 0.7% from a year ago. Yet he received a bonus of Rs19 million, which is 41% of Mahmood’s total annual compensation for 2015.
The writer is a staff correspondent
Published in The Express Tribune, February 29th, 2016.