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BMB set to repay $75m loan early

Manama, February 21, 2008

BMB Investment Bank will repay the outstanding balance of $28.5 million on its $75 million syndicated loan on Friday, four months ahead of schedule.

The bank had to extend this loan when it faced a credit squeeze in 2002 but chief executive, Albert I Kittaneh pledged that the bank was now set to expand having survived the crunch.

'The bank has overcome a difficult experience earlier in the decade and now we are stronger and set to expand and hire more staff,' he said.

'With the repayment of this loan the bank is 100 per cent clean. We have no exposure to the subprime, no bad exposure or provisions and no bad assets.'

'The prepayment of this loan serves to highlight both the strength of the bank's earning power as well as the increase in its internally generated liquidity.

'More importantly this move will provide additional operational and strategic flexibility for the bank and should increase it's access to funding.

'We would like to thank the Central Bank of Bahrain for their unwavering support and guidance over the last few years. Our thanks also go to the syndicate lenders, including the Arab Banking Corporation as agent, for their co-operation,' he added.

He said the bank had assets of $100 million and client funds under management of $100 million and it tended to get three times value when it exited an investment.

The bank has about 25 per cent of its investments in the US in technology and bio-technology.

It is also in a strong position in cash generating business in Europe, including chemicals and healthcare.

Now Kittaneh is looking for investment opportunities in eastern Europe, particularly Bulgaria and Romania.

'We have come from a position of weakness to where we are now and we are now expanding and moving on to the next phase.'-TradeArabia News Service

Earlier this month, the bank announced a profit of $24.6 million last year, an increase of 16.6pc over the prior year's profit of $21.1 million.

Last month, the bank sold its headquarters building for $18 million, realising a profit of $13 million on the deal.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: BMB | loan | early | repay |

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