Jordan’s Arab Bank Group posts 5.2% profit rise

Revenue up due to increase in loans and deposits, company says

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - October 21, 2008: The main Arab Bank branch in Abu Dhabi.
( Ryan Carter / The National ) *** Local Caption ***  RC017-Banks.JPGRC017-Banks.JPG
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Arab Bank Group, Jordan’s largest lender and the biggest publicly traded company on the Amman bourse, grew its profits by 5.2 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019, driven by growth in core banking income and lower provisions,.

Net profit for the first three months of the year rose to $231.8 million (Dh851.2m) from $220.3m in the first quarter of 2018, Arab Bank Group said in a statement to media on Saturday.

“The underlying performance of the group continues on its growth path with first-quarter results recording a healthy increase in net operating income,” said chief executive Nemeh Sabbagh. “The strong performance was driven by growth in core banking income with net interest income increasing by 7 per cent as well as by lower provisions.”

Customer loans increased to reach $25.8bn, although the bank did not say by how much the amount rose year-on-year. Deposits increased to $33.7bn, and group equity stood at $8.5 billion. The company had yet to post the accompanying financial statements on the Amman Stock Exchange at the time of writing.

The group’s capital adequacy ratio stood at 15.5 per cent as of March 31, according to the media statement. The asset quality remains high and credit provisions held against non-performing loans continue to exceed 100 per cent, Mr Sabbagh added.

The group generated strong results “despite a challenging operating environment”, said Sabih Masri, chairman of Arab Bank Group.

In February, the bank reported a 35 per cent year-on-year increase in net income for 2018, and recommended a 45 per cent cash dividend to shareholders.