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Pakistan, Japan bank stocks post best total returns in Asia-Pacific in Q4'19

Pakistani and Japanese bank stocks reported some of the best total returns in Asia-Pacific in the fourth quarter of 2019, while Bangladeshi, Australian and Chinese lenders had the worst performance, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

In the three months ended Dec. 31, 2019, six of the 15 best-performing bank stocks in the region were from Pakistan. National Bank of Pakistan logged the second-best performance with total returns of 49.57%. Five others — Habib Bank Ltd., Meezan Bank Ltd., Bank of Punjab, Habib Metropolitan Bank Ltd. and MCB Bank Ltd. — also yielded total returns of between 23.66% and 35.23%.

Five Japanese lenders also made to the list, led by Fukui Bank Ltd. that reported total returns of 37.68% in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Meanwhile, among the 15 worst-performing bank stocks in Asia-Pacific in the fourth quarter of 2019, five were Bangladeshi, three Australian and three Chinese.

China's Bank of Jinzhou Co. Ltd., which is under reorganization following state-backed bailouts in July 2019, logged total returns of negative 22.12%. Australia's Westpac Banking Corp., which is facing legal troubles for alleged violation of money-laundering laws and other misconduct, also posted total returns of negative 15.81%.

In terms of regional bank indexes, SNL South Asia Bank index performed the worst in the quarter, with total returns of negative 7.4%. SNL Australia and NZ Bank index logged the best total returns of 9.5%, followed by the SNL China Bank index's 8.1%.

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