Arab Bank, Jordan’s biggest lender, reported a more than 73 per cent jump in its 2022 net profit as operating income rose, driven by “robust growth” in its core banking business across markets.
Net profit for the 12-month period to the end of December rose to $544.3 million compared to $314.5 million in 2021, the bank said in a statement on Saturday.
Operating income for the period was up 23 per cent on higher revenue from its core banking business, its diversified sources of income, with a focus on non-interest income, as well as controlling operating expenses in line with the bank's prudent strategy, the lender said.
“Arab Bank continued to deliver sustainable growth rates during 2022 despite the economic challenges stemming from high inflation, increased interest rates and the devaluation in exchange rates of several currencies against the US dollar,” Randa Sadik, chief executive of Arab Bank, said.
She added that the group’s liquidity and asset quality remain solid where the loan-to-deposit ratio stood at 74.2 per cent and credit provisions held against non-performing loans continue to exceed 100 per cent.
As part of the Arab Bank’s commitment towards sustainability and its environmental, social and governance priorities, the bank has launched its Sustainable Finance Framework, in line with international principles, guidelines and best practices, she said.
Arab Bank is the first bank in Jordan to adopt such a framework.
The bank's board has recommended the distribution of a 25 per cent cash dividend to shareholders for the 2022 financial year.
Jordan, which has limited natural resources, imports more than 90 per cent of its energy needs and relies on foreign aid and grants to finance its fiscal and current account needs. The kingdom is trying to overhaul its economy and cut state subsidies at a time of high public debt and unemployment.
In November, the International Monetary Fund and Jordan reached a preliminary agreement that will increase total assistance to the kingdom to about $2 billion in the 2020-2024 period.
The deal is in addition to about $469 million disbursed under Jordan's IMF general special drawing right allocation in August 2021.