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Jordan’s Arab Bank group says 2016 net profit rose 20 per cent

January 29, 2017 10:56 am


Jordan’s largest lender, Arab Bank Group, said on Saturday its 2016 net profit rose 20 percent to $533 million, saying the results were due to diversified operations and growth in revenue from core banking activities.

The bank, one of the Middle East’s major financial institutions, said its loans book and customer deposits had continued to grow despite exchange-rate fluctuations.

Total loans rose 6 percent to $23.7 billion while deposits rose 3 percent to $33.6 billion at the end of last year compared with the same period the previous year.

Arab Bank is one of the Arab world’s largest privately owned banks and operates in 30 countries. It owns 40 percent of Saudi Arabia’s Arab National Bank ANB.

Chairman Sabih al Masri said the bank’s strong performance was due to its “success in dealing with the challenging and changing operating environment and reflects our prudent policies.”

Revenue from interest and commission from the bank’s corporate and retail business boosted operating income to over $1.1 billion before provisions and taxes, the bank said.

Arab Bank CEO Nemeh Sabbagh said liquidity continued to be robust with a loan-to-deposit ratio of 70 percent. The bank’s provisions coverage ratio for non-performing loans stood in excess of 100 percent.

The statement said the bank’s board of directors recommended the distribution of a 30 percent cash dividend on its 2016 results.

Arab Bank profits fell in 2015 after putting aside hundreds of millions of dollars to cover a legal settlement in the United States by the lender under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act. The terms were not disclosed.

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