Ahli United Bank No Comments

AHLI UNITED BANK REPORTS A 56% INCREASE IN NET PROFITS TO US$ 60.5 MILLION FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2006.

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB), has announced a net profit, attributable to its equity shareholders, of US$ 60.5 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2006, an increase of 56% over the same period in 2005 (US$ 38.9 million).

The first quarter 2006 financial statements include consolidation of its circa 75% subsidiary – Bank of Kuwait and the Middle East (BKME) on a line-by-line basis following the change of its status from an associate to a subsidiary, effective 8 August 2005.

The Group’s total assets at 31 March 2006 stood at US$15.0 billion, an increase of 8.5% over 31 December 2005, reflecting a robust growth in business in the first quarter of this year. This was funded by a growth in customers’ deposits of US$580 million (+8.7%) and in inter-bank deposits of US$341 million (+9.0%) compared to 31 December 2005.

Net interest and other income to 31 March 2006 was US$ 117.0 million (Q1 2005 – US$ 60.8 million), an increase of 92.4%, with a cost-to-income ratio of 36.3% (Q1 2005 – 32.7%). Basic earnings per ordinary share was US cents 2.22, compared to US cents 1.42 for the corresponding period in the prior year. Dilutive earnings per ordinary share, adjusted for the impact of convertible preference shares, was US cents 1.86 against US cents 1.19, respectively, an increase of 56.3% from the prior period.

The resultant annualised ROAA at 2.1% was higher than 1.9% for the corresponding period in the prior year, while the ROAE was 17.6% as compared to 13.6%, respectively.

With the increased assets on an enhanced regulatory capital base of US$ 1,539 million, the consolidated risk asset ratio stood at 15.2%, well above the minimum regulatory requirement set by the Bahrain Monetary Agency.

“Our first quarter results are very encouraging, underpinned by a high level of core operating income (excluding gains on sale of investments), which grew by US$47.8 million (+81.1%) during the current quarter as compared to the corresponding period in the prior year. The consistency of performance and income growth reflects the robustness of the Bank’s business and low dependence on the regional equity markets, as a result of which the impact from the vagaries of these markets was low. Last year was an important year for us, with many significant developments; this year we aim to surpass our prior achievements with our innovative approach to banking, particularly in customer services,” said Fahad Al-Rajaan, Chairman of Ahli United Bank. “We are the first bank in the Middle East to implement ATM fraud prevention solutions that secure our customers’ interests, and are also the leading bank providing customers, regionally, with innovative products like the Al Hassad Al Rabeh incentivised savings scheme, specialised retail consumer loans and other products.”, he added.

“Market recognition for our strong and consistent performance is evident in the “Best Bank 2006 – Middle East and Africa” Award that AUB received from Global Finance. AUB’s private banking arm also received recognition in the 2006 Euromoney Private Banking survey by being ranked the “Best Local Private Bank in the Middle East”, the “Best Local Private Bank in Bahrain”, and the “Best Real Estate Investment Bank in Bahrain.”, said Mr. Al-Rajaan.