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Ahli United eyes Mideast acquisitions

Manama, March 26, 2014

By Avinash Saxena

Bahrain-based Ahli United Bank (AUB) continues to seek opportunities to develop its banking franchise in the region through acquisitions and expansion of its existing network, said its chairman.

Fahad Al Rajaan told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication, on the sidelines of the bank's annual general meeting at its headquarters in Seef District yesterday that the bank management was confident of continuing good performance which would be driven by the uptick in economic activity.

The bank's total operating income increased by 12.9 per cent to $958.3 million from $848.7 million in 2012 supported by a rise in net interest income of $76.9 million, up 12.1 per cent together with fees and commissions increasing by $19.7 million.

Loans and advanced portfolio increased by 8.3 per cent to $17.3 billion, signalling a growth in credit offtake, he said.

The non-trading investments portfolio grew by 6.4 per cent, whereas inter-bank placements increased to $4.4 billion, added Al Rajaan.

According to him, the customer deposits surged 17.4 per cent to $22 billion, while the year-end loans to deposit ratio was 65.6 per cent.

Customer deposit growth enabled further reduction in higher cost borrowings under re-purchase agreements by $590.2 million, he told the GDN.

"Continued focus on intelligent cost spends and enhancing productivity resulted in an improvement of operating cost to income ratio during the year to 30 per cent," he said.

Returns on average equity and on average assets of 20.1 per cent and 2 per cent respectively were achieved.

"As has been our practise, we have awarded half of our last year's profit of $579.4 million as dividend to our shareholders, translating into 4.5 cents per share," remarked Al Rajaan.

"The 25.7 per cent year-on-year surge in net profits, excludes the non-recurring impact of the Qatari affiliate stake sale. "These results underpin the solidity of our business model, and AUB continues to remain confident of its ability to maintain its performance given its strong underlying fundamentals," he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Ahli United Bank | Middle East | acquisitions |

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