A BRIEF TIMELINE OF THE FAMILY BANKING HISTORY
The history of the House of Habib goes back to middle of the previous-to-last century when Esmail Ali of Jamnagar district of Gujarat, in western India, set up a small utensil factory in Bombay. His son Habib Esmail, born in 1878, founded the House of Habib. Habib was very young when his father died, forcing him to join the business of his uncle Cassum Mohammad. Cassum Mohammad was the owner of Khoja Mithabai Nathoo, a merchant, and a manufacturer of copper and brass utensils. It was because of his association with Mithabai Nathoo that Habib Ismael came to be known as Seth Habib Mitha.
The Habib family set up offices in Vienna and Geneva as early as 1912 and incorporated Habib and Sons in 1921, which dealt in brass, metal scraps and gold.
The firm expanded rapidly - banking remaining a core business. This in turn led to the formation in 1941 of Habib Bank Ltd. Bombay, as a public limited company. The bank was to become the flagship of the family’s industrial and commercial ventures. Prior to the creation of Pakistan the bank moved its head office to Karachi and played a vital role in providing the basic banking and financial needs of this new country.
The original Habib Bank began modestly in Bombay in 1941 when it commenced operations with a fixed capital of 25,000 rupees. Impressed by its initial performance, Mohammed Ali Jinnah asked the Habib Bank to move its operations to Karachi after the independence of Pakistan. Habib Bank Limited established itself in the Karachi in 1943 and became a symbol of pride and progress for the people of Pakistan.
The Habib family holds many distinctions in Pakistan's history. Habib Bank was shifted to Pakistan on the personal bidding of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. He came to the aid of the nascent state "even before the Govt of Pakistan was ready to issue appropriate government paper" with a Rs 80 million loan when the Reserve Bank of India failed to deliver Pakistan share of Rs 900 million held by it. It is said that Mohammad Ali Habib gave a blank cheque on Lloyd Bank to the Quaid-e-Azam who wrote Rs 80 million in it.
The Habib family would own and manage the bank until the Pakistan government nationalized it on 1 January 1974.
In 1991, the government again decided to allow the private sector to establish commercial banks in the country. Dawood Habib Group was amongst the first to be granted permission to set up a new bank under this policy. Bank AL Habib Limited was incorporated in October 1991 by the grandsons of Habib Esmail and started operations in January 1992. Although Bank AL Habib commenced operations in 1992, it embodies the same high standards of integrity, prudence, and trust which have characterized Habib Family's banking operations in Pakistan and abroad for about 70 years. The bank is particularly conscious of the trust reposed in it by the depositors, and its prime duty is to protect and honour this trust all times. Guided by the values taught and practiced by Habib Esmail more than a century ago, the bank has continued to grow and progress in all areas of its operations. In a short span of 25 years, the Bank's assets have grown to more than Rs, 750 Billion, with a network of 637 branches and sub-branches, a Wholesale Branch in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Seychelles and Malaysia and Representative Offices in Dubai, Istanbul and Beijing, China.
Recognizing the demand for natural commodities, the group set up sugar and textile mills in the 1960s. During the years, the sugar division expanded into allied manufacturing setting up a distillery plant to produce Industrial Alcohol which further led to the conversion into Ethanol Fuel. CO2 was another division created to manage our resources efficiently and today by God's Grace, we are a major supplier to beverage and food processing companies.
Bank AL Habib Limited
Mackinnons Building, I.I. Chundrigar Road,
Reuters Code - BKEQ.KA
+92 21 3241 2421, +92 21 3244 6916, +92 21 111 786 110
Habib Sugar Mills Limited
3rd Floor Imperial Court
Dr Ziauddin Ahmed Road,
Reuters Code- HABS.KA
+92 21 3568 0036
Habib Insurance Company Limited
1st Floor, State Life Building No. 6,
Habib Square, M.A. Jinnah Road,
Reuters Code - HABI.KA
+92 21 111-03 03 03