GIB net income up 23pc to $31.8m
Manama, April 29, 2012
Gulf International Bank (GIB) reported a consolidated net income after tax of $31.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2012, a $6.0 million or 23 per cent rise in the comparable prior year period.
Year-on-year increases were recorded in all income categories. Net interest income at $31.9 million for the three months was $0.6 million up on the prior year period, a statement from the bank said.
A reduction in the loan volume during the first quarter of the year was offset by an increase in loan margins as the bank re-orientates its lending activity from transactional-based long term project and structured finance to relationship-based large and mid-cap corporates.
In March, Fitch Ratings upgraded GIB’s viability rating to ‘BBB-’ from ‘BB+’ to reflect “the significant improvement to its risk profile from restructuring, de-risking and de-leveraging initiatives”.
Fee and commission income at $15.4 million was $0.8 million or 5 per cent higher than in the prior year period. As a result, fee-based income comprised almost one quarter of total income, reflecting the successful implementation of GIB’s new strategic focus on non-asset-based, relationship-orientated services and on supporting customers’ commercial and trade finance requirements.
In particular, a significant year-on-year increase was recorded in commissions on letters of credit and guarantee. Trading income at $8.1 million for the quarter was $4.1 million up compared to the prior year period.
This was due to a year-on-year increase in customer-related foreign exchange revenue as well as profits on investments in emerging market debt.
Other income of $6.4 million was $2.9 million up on the prior year. It comprised dividends on equity investments, profits realised on the sale of investment securities, and recoveries of impaired loans.
Total expenses at $30.1 million for the three months were 11 per cent up on the prior year period. The year-on-year increase in expenses reflected ongoing investment in the implementation of GIB’s new GCC-focused universal banking strategy. A net provision release of $0.5 million was recorded in the first quarter. The absence of any provisioning requirement reflected prudent and conservative provisioning actions taken in prior years.
Jammaz Al-Suhaimi, chairman, GIB, said: “We are pleased to report continued profitability growth in the first quarter of 2012 despite the initiatives we took in the past couple of years to de-risk the wholesale lending portfolio and improve the funding profile of the bank, while at the same time investing in its future through new strategic initiatives.”
Consolidated total assets at the quarter end were $18.5 billion, being $1.7 billion or 10 per cent higher than the 2011 year end level.
Cash and other liquid assets, and short term placements totalled $8.2 billion, representing a high 44 per cent of total assets, the statement said. Investment securities at March 31, which principally comprised highly rated and liquid debt securities issued by major financial institutions and regional government-related entities, amounted to $3.6 billion.
Loans and advances amounted to $6.3 billion, being $0.4 billion lower than at the 2011 year end level. There was a further improvement in the bank’s funding profile in the first quarter of 2012 with a $1.3 billion increase in customer deposits and a $0.3 billion increase in bank deposits.
The high level of liquidity was partially being maintained in preparation for the repayment of a $1.2 billion term loan in May, it said.
The Basel 2 total and tier 1 capital adequacy ratios at the end of the quarter were 22.9 per cent and 18.6 per cent respectively.
GIB is a leading bank in the Middle East with its principal focus on the GCC states. It is owned by the six governments, with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia holding a majority stake of 97.2 per cent.
In addition to its main subsidiary Gulf International Bank (UK), it has branches in London, New York, Riyadh and Jeddah, in addition to representative offices in Beirut and Abu Dhabi. – TradeArabia News Service