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Investbank ratings affirmed by Capital Intelligence’s financial strength rating

Jordan: Tuesday, May 10 - 2011 @ 14:39

The agency also maintained the Bank’s Financial Strength (FSR) at ”BB+” and Support Level “3”, the latter reflecting the high likelihood of official support in case of need. The outlook for the ratings remains “stable”.

Investbank ranks among the small-sized institutions in terms of total assets and customer deposits in the Jordanian banking sector. While systems of credit control and risk management have been improved over the recent past, the effects of the slowdown in the Jordanian economy following the shock from the global financial crisis were felt in the loan portfolio. This was evidenced by the increase in non-performing loans (NPL) in 2009 and, to a lesser extent, in the first nine months of 2010. Although loan-loss reserve coverage had weakened, Investbank stepped up provisioning in the first three quarters of 2010 and restored coverage to a more satisfactory level.

Profitability, which had declined due to higher provisioning, rebounded strongly into 2010 boosted by a further increase in operating profit. Notwithstanding the steady rise in total operating costs, the Bank’s cost to income ratio remained better than the sector average, benefiting from ongoing expansion in gross income. Good operating efficiency continues to spur operating profit growth, providing Investbank the capacity and flexibility to make further provisions as necessary.

The Bank’s liquidity position remains very comfortable, in common with other Jordanian banks, reflecting the relatively small share of loans in total assets combined with a sizeable pool of liquid assets. Funding is comprised largely of customer deposits. Investbank’s balance sheet has been consistently well capitalized, benefiting from a conservative dividend policy and in recent years, the retention of full earnings.

Although Jordan’s economy has staged a nascent recovery and credit risks appear to have stabilized, geopolitical risks in the region have increased in recent weeks and which could hamper the county’s projected economic growth. The effects of any economic downturn may place pressure on the asset quality, profitability and possibly the ratings of Investbank and all other Jordanian banks as group. Mitigating factors for Investbank in the regard are its good capital adequacy, sound operating profitability and high liquidity. As at end- September 2010, the Bank’s total assets stood at JD670m ($944m) and total capital was JD104m ($146m).

Mr. Bisher Jardaneh, Investbank’s chairman of the board, expressed his pride in ýInvestbank sustaining their Capital Intelligence high rating despite the global financial ýsituation and its influence on other financial institutions in the region.

He also assured ýthat the bank’s plans in developing and upgrading its various services to their clients is ýon track for investment growth according to global standards, and application of policies and procedures of supervisory and regulatory conform to best international practices.

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Tuesday, May 10- 2011 @ 14:39 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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