Arab Banking Corporation (ABC)'s first-half net profit in 2000 grew 12 percent compared to the same period last year as the group improved asset quality and significantly reduced problem loans, the bank announced Monday.
The Bahrain-based investment group, the largest Arab bank in terms of assets, recorded net profits of $67 million in the first half of 2000, up from $60 million last year.
"The past year has witnessed a significant restructuring of our balance sheet in terms of selective asset growth, improved asset quality and significant reductions in problems loans, coupled with the introduction of an enhanced risk management system," ABC president and chief executive Ghazi Abdul Jawad said.
"Over the next two years we will continue to search for investment opportunities in domestic banking platforms in the region to complete our strategic initiative," Jawad pledged.
Total assets nudged up three percent to $25.1 billion compared to the previous year's figure of $24.03 billion, while operating profit fell again, down 2.7 percent to $144 million, the bank said.
ABC's share price on the Bahrain Stock Exchange (BSE) closed on Sunday at $8.4.
The bank's major shareholders are the Libyan central bank, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and the Kuwaiti finance ministry, which together own 70 percent of the bank.
Another 25 percent of the stock are traded on the Bahrain, Kuwait and Paris stock exchanges. The remaining five percent is held by individual and institutional investors. — (AFP, Manama)
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