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AHLI UNITED BANK REPORTS A 37.2% INCREASE IN NET PROFITS TO US$ 107.8 MILLION FOR THE FIRST HALF OF 2006

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) has announced their results for the first half of 2006. Net profit of US$ 107.8 million attributable to its equity shareholders has been announced for the half-year period ended 30 June 2006, an increase of 37.2 % over the same period in 2005 (US$ 78.6 million).

“The results for the first half of 2006 are in line with our ambitious targets, and reflect the Bank’s progress in developing business lines and an expanding client base, with a focus on commercial, retail and private banking. At AUB, our strategy of acquisitions and organic growth continues to give us a wider market access to offer a comprehensive range of services.” said Fahad Al-Rajaan, Chairman of Ahli United Bank.

Net interest and other income to 30 June 2006 was US$ 238.9 million (2005 – US$ 128.3 million), an increase of 86.3 %, with a cost-to-income ratio of 37.8 % (2005 – 32.5 %). Basic earnings per ordinary share for the six month period ended 30 June 2006 was US cents 3.95, compared to US cents 2.88 for the corresponding period last year. Dilutive earnings per ordinary share for the six month period ended 30 June 2006, adjusted for the impact of convertible Class A preference shares, was US cents 3.31 against US cents 2.42.

The resultant ROAE was 15.7% as compared to 13.4% for the same period last year, while the annualised ROAA at 1.8 % remained unchanged over the same period last year.

As of 30 June 2006, The Group’s total assets stood at US$ 16.3 billion, an increase of 17.2 % over 31 December 2005, reflecting a robust growth. The growth was funded by an increase in customers’ deposits by US$ 1.7 billion (+24.9 %) and inter-bank deposits by US$ 333.9 million (+ 8.8 %) compared to 31 December 2005.

Al Rajaan further added, “The Bank has achieved excellent results across the board for the first half of 2006, as well as increasing its product offerings and enhancing its financial services. 2005 was an important year for us, with many significant developments; for 2006, we are on a path to surpass our prior achievements with our innovative approach to banking, particularly in customer services.”

“Our strong and consistent performance is recognised by the market. In 2006 alone, we were awarded with the ‘Best Bank – Middle East and Africa’ award by Global Finance and the ‘Best Bank in Bahrain’ award by Euromoney. Our private banking arm received recognition by being ranked ‘Best Local Private Bank in the Middle East’, ‘Best Local Private Bank in Bahrain’, and ‘Best Real Estate Investment Bank in Bahrain’ by Euromoney.”

“Just recently, we received JP Morgan Chase’s ‘Elite Quality Recognition Award,’ which AUB is proud to accept for the eighth consecutive year. These accolades reinforce the strong positive path the Group is on, and we are looking forward to sustaining the growth trend to 2006 end.”

“On 26th June 2006, AUB shares were also listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) and have been actively traded since then on the KSE, providing greater regional investor access and liquidity and the recent upward move in our share price (+ c.10%) reflects both the continued strong investor confidence in AUB and the underlying robust performance of the Bank.” Al Rajaan concluded.