Arab Bank Group posts USD 616.8 million income before taxes and provisions in the first half of 2008
Arab Bank Group (ABG) income before taxes and provisions for the first half of 2008, rose to USD 616.8 million, compared to USD 495.4 million for the period ending on June 30, 2007. The net income after taxes and provisions reached USD 465.9 million, compared to USD 370.5 million for the same period in 2007, representing an increase of USD 95.4 million, or 25.8%.
Arab Bank Chairman/CEO Abdel Hamid Shoman said the steady progress Arab Bank makes in terms of effective management of assets and liabilities and better employment of these assets have all led to these record results. He said the market share of ABG and depositors and investors' confidence in Arab Bank are growing in all the countries and markets the bank and its sister companies and subsidiaries operate.
Shoman added that Arab Bank has throughout its 78-year history adopted a prudent banking policy that meets the requirements of development and serves Arab individual and corporate investors at the private and public levels. He said the bank has been keeping up with the modernization and development witnessed by Arab industries and dealt efficiently with the changes taking place in Arab economies.
The Chairman indicated that ABG, whose banking branches and institutions exist in the most important financial hubs in the world, seeks to meet the diversified needs of its customers through its network of branches extending across five continents. He noted that Arab Bank has expanded its activities geographically through entering the Libyan market, buying a stake in the Wahda Bank. These efforts have reflected on the balance sheet, he said. Total assets of the Group on June 30, 2008, rose to USD 47.1 billion compared to USD 35.7 billion at the end of June 2007, representing an increase 32.1%.
On the role of Arab Bank in financing mega projects in services and productive sectors at the Arab level, especially in the Gulf area, Shoman said Arab bank has led several syndications involving major regional and international banks that extended medium and large loans to companies working in the telecom, construction and industrial fields. Such deals, he said, pushed Arab Bank to the leading position among Arab and regional banks in terms of arranging and participating in loans. Shoman underlined Arab Bank's ongoing expansion of its activities in the loaning and credit facilities market targeting the various sectors. Credit facilities portfolio rose to USD 22.6 billion which represented 47.9% of total assets, compared to USD 16.0 billion at the end of June 2007 which represented 44.7% of total assets.
Customer deposits were augmented to reach USD 30.8 billion compared to USD 23.5 billion on June 30, 2007, representing an increase 31.2% and to currently constitute 65.4% of total resources of funds.
Shoman added that in addition to Arab Bank's high capability of securing funds for different terms to meet investors' needs and function efficiently in capital markets, the bank has introduced innovative products and set up investment funds in regional and international financial centers, starting from protecting capitals to funds of high returns, in accordance with well-calculated risk and hedging tools by which the bank offers the best services and meets the various needs of customers and investors.
On the investment boom witnessed by some regional economies, especially oil-exporting countries, Shoman said Arab countries are going through an unprecedented investment movement in the capital, real estate, general trade and services sectors. He expected this trend to continue for years to come as indicators in most international and regional markets show.
He added that Arab Bank is implementing a specific strategy that is being reviewed annually to keep up with developments in Arab markets and to satisfy the needs of large and medium investments in partnership with Arab and international banks. Arab Bank, he said, continues to offer the best banking and investment services, adding, the bank is always keen on playing the role of consultant, partner and sponsor of investments in various sectors towards realizing the envisioned sustainable development.
Total shareholders equity also rose to reach USD 7.7 billion, compared to USD 6.3 billion for the same period last year, with a growth rate of 22.2% to currently constitute 16.3% of total assets, which has enhanced capital adequacy, to stand at 17.7%. Liquidity ratio measured by total cash and quasi-cash reached 45.2% of total assets.
These good results reflected positively on performance indicators of the group. Return on Assets reached 2.0%, while operating expenses to revenue ratio reached 42.5%
© 2008 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)