AHLI UNITED BANK REPORTS A 24% RISE IN NET PROFIT FOR THE NINE MONTH PERIOD ENDED 30 SEPTEMBER 2008
In the midst of unprecedented turbulence in the global financial services sector, Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) has delivered another strong performance for the first nine month period ended 30 September 2008 reporting a net profit of US$ 280.1 million. This represents an increase of 24.0% over the same period in 2007 (US$ 225.9 million). Net interest income increased by US$ 84.1 million to US$ 324.4 million for the nine months ended 30 September 2008. The Group’s core earnings were further boosted by higher fee and commission income of US$ 124.7 million as compared to US$ 112.1 million last year, leading to an increased total operating income of US$ 601.3 million (2007 US$484.5 million), an increase of 24.1%, reflecting the strength of AUB’s diversified business lines and geographic platforms.
The Group’s cost-to-income ratio improved to 33.8% from the 2007 level of 34.7 %. The dilutive earnings per ordinary share for the nine month period ended 30 September 2008, adjusted for the significant impact of conversion of preference shares in January 2008, were US cents 6.1 against US cents 5.5 for the corresponding period last year.
Despite tightening liquidity conditions, the Group was able to mobilize US$ 3.0 billion in additional customer deposits (+27.8%) over the level of 31 December 2007. On the assets front, the loan portfolio grew by a conservative 10.8% contributed largely from the regional corporate portfolio. Total assets as at 30 September 2008 stood at US$ 25.3 billion, an increase of 10.0 % over 31 December 2007. Group’s return on the expanded average asset base rose to 1.8% for the nine months ended 30 September 2008 as compared to the 1.7% for the same period in the previous year.
The Group’s ratings have also been re-affirmed during Q3/08 at “A-“ with stable outlook by both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch and “A “with stable outlook by Capital Intelligence.
“AUB’s performance on the backdrop of rising financial sector turbulence illustrate the strength of our underlying core earnings, conservative risk management and diversified lines of business. This is indeed a very good performance driven by underlying core operating earnings across all divisions, delivered in an unpredictably challenging environment for all market players never faced before,” said Fahad Al-Rajaan, Chairman, AUB.
Meanwhile, AUB’s performance continued to be recognised by the international financial industry during the year when it secured “Best Bank in Bahrain” Awards from Euromoney and “Best Bank in the Middle East” award from Global Finance. It was also the first ever recipient of AsiaMoney’s ‘Best Commercial Bank in Bahrain’ award during the year. Global Finance accorded AUB the ‘Best Foreign Exchange Bank in the Middle East 2008’ award.
“AUB recently announced the signing of a US$ 800 million syndicated loan facility, which received a very solid response from 28 banks across Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia. With global funding markets effectively blocked, AUB’s ability to successfully secure a substantial loan facility re-affirms our leading position in the region’s banking sector,” said Fahad Al-Rajaan, Chairman, AUB.