Bank of Sharjah today announced its financial results for the three months ending March 31, 2013. The Bank’s net profit for the first quarter of 2013 registered a 17% increase to AED 70 million driven by the strength of its balance sheet and the soundness of its assets quality.
Bank of Sharjah continued to strengthen the structure of its balance sheet and enhance its liquidity position in the first three months of 2013. As of March 31, 2013, total assets stood at AED 23,347 million, an increase of 9% over the corresponding March 31, 2012 figure of AED 21,504 million.
The Bank continued to grow its deposit base which reached AED 16,742 million as of March 31, 2013, 8% over the corresponding March 31, 2012 figure of AED 15,466 million.
Loans and Advances in the first quarter of 2013 reached AED 12,655 million, 3% above the corresponding March 31, 2012, figure of AED 12,321 million.
The loans-to-deposits ratio further improved during the period to 0.76 in March 2013, from 0.80 in March 2012, and remained at the same level of December 2012.
The above thereby led to a 19% increase in the Bank’s net liquidity, which stood at AED 6,085 million on March 31, 2013, versus AED 5,118 million on the same date in 2012.
Shareholder’s equity at the end of the first quarter stood at AED 3,972 million, almost the same as the corresponding period in 2012. However, it declined by 5% when compared to the December 31, 2012, figure of AED 4,182 million. This was mainly caused by the AED 201 million 2012 dividend appropriations.
Net interest income in the first quarter of 2013 declined by 11% compared to the corresponding period of 2012, mostly driven by the 8% increase in deposits and the overall decline in market interest rates.
Impairment charges on financial assets for the first quarter of 2013 declined by 48%, a change predicated on the improved economic environment and the overall performance of the credit portfolio.
All the above led to a 17% increase in net profit in the first quarter of 2013 to AED 70 million, compared with AED 60 million for the same period of 2012. As a result, earnings per share for the period increased by 22% to reach 2.8 fils, compared to 2.3 fils in 2012.
During the period, the Bank increased its shareholding in Emirates Lebanon Bank S.A.L. to 80%, through the acquisition of the 12.67% stake held by BNPI France.
Moreover, in April 2013, Fitch Ratings reaffirmed Bank of Sharjah’s Long-term Issuer Default Rating at ‘BBB+’ with a stable outlook.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Varouj Nerguizian, the Bank’s Executive Director and General Manager, said: “What we have seen through the first quarter of 2013 is how Bank of Sharjah has remained steadfast in its commitment to sound banking within an economic context that continues to necessitate great caution. As we observe a resurgent trend of the regional economy, the various endeavors Bank of Sharjah has undertaken to grow its branch network, expand its purview of banking services, and solidify its private banking presence, will yield a sustained positive growth. The strides we have made in our local presence with our upcoming branch in Mussaffah, Abu Dhabi, and our recently opened branch in Media City, juxtaposes nicely with our steady regional expansion, exhibited by our private banking cooperation with Commerzbank International SA – Luxembourg, and our increased stake in our subsidiary, Emirates Lebanon Bank.”
Mr. Ahmed Al Noman, the Chairman, expressed the satisfaction of the Board with the results achieved during the first quarter of 2013. He then added that, as part of the Bank’s continued corporate social responsibility program, a budget of AED 12.5 million has been allocated over the coming five years to support Autism, noting that partnering with charities that make a difference to the lives of people at home and abroad has always been a guiding principle of the Bank.