Arab Banking Corp net profit up17pc
Manama, February 17, 2014
Arab Banking Corporation (ABC) said its consolidated group net profit for 2013 surged 17 per cent to $239 million from $205 million the previous year.
The Bahrain-based bank saw its total operating income soar to $857 million from $816 million in the previous year despite the adverse impact from the stronger dollar on consolidation of revenues from subsidiaries.
The year-on-year revenue growth was recorded by product segments across all geographies. Operating expenses increased by $37 million to $440 million, mainly due to one-off restructuring costs during the first half of the year.
This resulted in a small, temporary increase in the cost to income ratio of 51.3 per cent compared to 49.4 per cent the previous year, it stated.
According to ABC, the operating profit before impairment provisions reached $417 million in 2013 compared to $413 million the year before. The net impairment provision charge fell by $13 million to hit $49 million over the previous year due to recoveries and write-backs.
The banking group's net profit for the fourth quarter rose to $61 million from $47 million the previous year. Its total assets grew by $2 billion to reach $26.5 billion, the statement from ABC said.
The increase was largely in marketable securities and other short term, liquid assets. Loans and advances also rose by $0.8 billion to $13.7 billion, it stated.
Commenting on the results, ABC's chairman Saddek El Kaber said: "I am delighted at the results which show a very healthy increase in profits for the fifth consecutive year demonstrating the strength of ABC Group and its ability to overcome the impact of turbulent events in the core markets it serves."
"I have every confidence that, with the continued support of shareholders and clients, ABC will grow and transform itself into a leading universal bank in Mena," he added.
The board members have recommended a cash dividend distribution of 5 per cent of the issued share capital ($0.05 per share), amounting to $155.5 million. The proposal will be sent for approval to the shareholders at the Annual General Meeting to be held on March 23 in Bahrain.
A leading player in the region’s banking industry, ABC also provides retail banking services through its network of retail banks in Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria.-TradeArabia News Service