Ahli United Bank No Comments

AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS A NET PROFIT OF US$ 192.9 MILLION ATTRIBUTABLE TO OWNERS OF THE BANK FOR Q1/2019

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 192.9 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2019. The net profit reflected an increase of 10.4% in Q1/2019 as compared to the net profit of US$ 174.7 million achieved in Q1/2018. The Q1/2019 net profit also represents a 13.9% improvement over the Q4/2018 trailing quarter reported profit of US$ 169.3 million. The Basic Earnings per Share in Q1/2019 were US 2.2 cents (+10.0%), compared to US 2.0 cents in Q1/2018.

Operating income grew by 6.6% to US$ 311.9 million (Q1/2018: US$ 292.6 million) mainly driven by an increase in net interest income by US$ 13.9 million (+6.1%) to US$ 243.3 million (Q1/2018: US$ 229.3 million) attributable to growth in loans and investments and to effective interest rate risk management. Net operating income increased from US$ 279.4 million in Q1/2018 to US$ 298.4 million in Q1/2019 (+6.8%).

Operating results continued to be supported by operational efficiencies resulting in an improved cost to income ratio of 25.6% (Q1/2018: 25.9%).

Despite challenging operating conditions, solid asset quality levels were sustained with a non-performing loans ratio of 1.8% (31 December 2018: 1.9%) while specific provision coverage ratio increased to 85.6% (31 December 2018: 85.5%). The total provision coverage ratio, excluding the available significant asset collaterals, improved to 222.7% as at 31 March 2019 (31 December 2018: 214.7%).

The Group’s total assets at 31 March 2019 increased by 4.2% to US$ 37.0 billion (31 December 2018: US$ 35.5 billion). Return on Average Assets was sustained at 2.3% for Q1/2019 (Q1/2018: 2.3%). The Group’s equity attributable to owners at 31 March 2019 stood at US$ 3.7 billion (31 December 2018: US$ 3.9 billion) post deduction of 2018 year end appropriations totalling US$ 399.8 million. The Group’s Return on Average Equity (ROAE) for Q1/2019, increased to 18.7%, compared to 18.2% achieved in Q1/2018.

Mr. Meshal Al-Othman, AUB Chairman, commented: “Our continued growth in Q1/2019 demonstrates AUB’s resilience and ability to deliver sustainable core earnings on a consistent basis under its diversified well managed business model. AUB’s strategic investments across multiple markets, robust risk management, intelligent cost control measures and ongoing focus on the sourcing of cross border business flows has helped achieve its net profit growth for Q1/2019, while maintaining solid asset quality parameters and tight cost discipline. ”

Ahli United Bank No Comments

AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS A 12.7% SURGE IN 2018 NET PROFIT ATTRIBUTABLE TO OWNERS OF THE BANK TO US$ 697.5 MILLION

AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS A 12.7% SURGE IN 2018 NET PROFIT ATTRIBUTABLE TO OWNERS OF THE BANK TO US$ 697.5 MILLION

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 697.5 million for the year 2018, representing a rise of 12.7% as compared to the net profit of US$ 618.7 million in 2017. The net profit in Q4/2018 was US$ 169.3 million as compared to US$ 150.0 million in Q4/2017.

Operating income increased from US$ 1,119.4 million to US$ 1,210.6 million in 2018 (+ 8.1%). The growth in operating income, mainly driven by an increase in net interest income (NII) by US$ 64.1 million (+7.3%) to US$ 940.5 million (2017: US$ 876.5 million), was attributable to an increase in average interest earning assets and to the repricing and re-positioning of the loan portfolio, complemented by an effective interest rate risk management strategy. Net operating income increased from US$ 1,030.4 million to US$ 1,124.3 million in 2018 (+ 9.1%).

Operating income in Q4/2018 was US$ 303.5 million as compared to US$ 294.2 million in Q4/2017 (+3.1%). Net operating income for Q4/2018 was US$ 279.1 million, higher by 6.7% compared to US$ 261.6 million in Q4/2017.

The continued disciplined implementation of the intelligent spend approach and the benefits of growing operational efficiencies within the AUB Group resulted in a cost income ratio of 27.1% (2017: 28.8%).

Solid asset quality levels were sustained with a gross non-performing loans ratio of 1.9% (31 December 2017: 1.9%) while the specific provision coverage ratio increased to 85.5% (31 December 2017: 85.1%). The total provision coverage ratio, inclusive of credit loss provisioning under IFRS 9 but excluding very substantial non-cash collaterals available, improved to 214.7% as at 31 December 2018 (31 December 2017: 154.3%).

Overall Return on Average Equity (ROAE) increased to 18.1% (2017: 16.5%) while the Return on Average Assets (ROAA) increased to 2.2% (2017: 2.1%).

The Group’s total assets grew by US$ 2.3 billion (+6.8%) to reach US$ 35.5 billion at 31 December 2018 driven by a growth in the non-trading investments portfolio to US$ 7.6 billion (31 December 2017: US$ 6.0 billion) as part of an overall strategy to further balance-sheet diversification and to enhance in-built liquidity sources. Asset growth was funded from an increase in customer deposits (+US$ 1.7 billion) and through repo borrowings (+US$ 0.6 billion). Equity attributable to the owners of the bank increased by 2.4% to US$ 3.9 billion in 2018 (2017: US$ 3.8 billion).

The resultant basic earnings per share increased by 12.2% to US cents 8.3 for the year ended 31 December 2018 (2017: US cents 7.4). The Board of Directors has recommended a distribution comprising of a cash dividend of US cents 5.0 per share (2017: US cents 4.5 per share) together with a bonus ordinary share issue of 10% (2017: 5%).

Mr. Meshal Al-Othman AUB Chairman, commented: “AUB continued its solid performance in 2018 against the backdrop of a continuing general difficult operating environment. Achieving a very robust growth of 12.7% in net profit over 2017 demonstrates its strong underlying fundamentals and the resilience of its diversified business and geographic model.”

Ahli United Bank No Comments

AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. NET PROFIT SURGES BY 11.4% TO US$ 419.2 MILLION FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30 SEPTEMBER 2015

AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. NET PROFIT SURGES BY 11.4% TO US$ 419.2 MILLION FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30 SEPTEMBER 2015

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 419.2 million for the nine months ended 30 September 2015, an increase of 11.4% as compared to US$ 376.3 million achieved in YTD Q3/2014. Adjusted for net exceptional gain of US$ 24.2 million on sale of investments, YTD Q3/2015 net profit is US$ 395.0 million, a 5.0% increase over the same period reported profit in 2014. The net profit achieved for the third quarter of 2015 was US$ 140.9 million, a 23.8% increase over the 2014 third quarter reported profit of US$ 113.8 million. The Basic Earnings per Share in YTD Q3/2015 increased to US 6.5 cents, from US 6.0 cents in YTD Q3/2014.

The growth in the operating results of AUB was underpinned by the growth in its core banking income lines. Net interest income grew by 4.5% from US$ 578.7 million to US$ 604.8 million, while fee income grew by 6.0% from US$ 111.5 million to US$ 118.2 million. The bank’s focus on adopting a judicious “intelligent spend” approach, improved the cost income ratio to 27.5% (YTD Q3 / 2014: 28.9%). This surge in operating profit was achieved despite the continued challenging economic regional and international environment.

Prudent risk management and monitoring sustained its asset quality with the non-performing loans ratio standing at 2.1% (31 December 2014: 2.0%) while the specific provision coverage ratio improved to 84.2% (31 December 2014: 83.8%). Total provision coverage ratio, inclusive of collective impairment provisions, rose to 166.1% as at 30 September 2015 (31 December 2014: 159.4%).

The Group’s Return on Average Equity (ROAE) for YTD Q3/2015 increased to 16.7%, based on improved operating results as compared to 15.9% achieved in the prior period. Return on Average Assets was higher at 1.8% for YTD Q3/2015 (YTD Q3/2014: 1.6%).

Mr. Hamad Al-Humaidhi, AUB Chairman, commented: “AUB continued its robust performance in the first nine months of 2015 even as regional economic activity moderates and international markets continue to be uncertain and volatile. AUB’s sustained growth reflected in the YTD Q3/2015 result is a testament to AUB’s well-managed business model based on diversification and cross border flows and of the success of its selective growth initiatives to increase operating income and mitigate risk challenges in its target markets.”

“Despite expected upcoming challenges from an unstable global economy and its effect on AUB’s target markets, AUB continues to remain confident of its resilience and ability to maintain its performance given its strong fundamentals and prudent, proactive management of risks and costs. It will continue to seek, identify and tap organic as well as inorganic growth opportunities within an acceptable risk-return framework. ” added Mr. Al-Humaidhi.

Ahli United Bank No Comments

AUB REPORTS AN H1/2015 PROFIT OF US$ 278.4 MILLION

AUB REPORTS AN H1/2015 PROFIT OF US$ 278.4 MILLION

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 278.4 million for the half year ended 30 June 2015. The net profit reflected an increase of 6.1% in H1/2015 as compared to US$ 262.5 million achieved in H1/2014. The Q2/2015 net profit achieved was US$ 131.2 million, a 4.2% increase over the Q2/2014 reported profit of US$ 125.9 million. The Basic Earnings per Share in H1/2015 were US 4.3 cents, compared to US 4.2 cents in H1/2014.

The operating results of AUB were primarily driven by the growth in its core operating earnings across its major lines of business and markets, despite continuing sluggish economic trends in the first half of the year both in regional and European markets. Net interest income grew by 2.6% from US$ 381.7 million to US$ 391.7 million, while fee income grew by 8.4% from US$ 78.5 million to US$ 85.1 million. The cost income ratio stood at 28.8% (YTD H1 / 2014: 28.5%) reflecting the continuing drive to focus on an intelligent spend approach.

Prudent risk management and monitoring sustained its asset quality with the non- performing loans ratio standing unchanged at 2.0% (31 December 2014: 2.0%) while the specific provision coverage ratio was 81.0% (31 December 2014: 83.8%). Total provision coverage ratio, inclusive of collective impairment provisions, rose to 160.5% as at 30 June 2015 (31 December 2014: 159.4%).

The Group’s Return on Average Equity (ROAE) for H1/2015 was maintained at 16.7%, similar to H1/14. Return on Average Assets was higher at 1.8% for H1/2015 (H1/2014: 1.7%).

Mr. Hamad Al-Humaidhi, AUB Chairman, commented: “AUB’s strong performance for the first half of 2015 against the backdrop of weak regional economic activity and continuing international uncertainty is very satisfactory. The Bank successfully completed a US$ 400 million issue of Additional Tier 1 Perpetual Basel III Compliant Capital Securities in April 2015 at a very competitive pricing. This represents an important step forward in terms of the evolution and diversification of the Group’s capital structure”.

“The strong results for H1/2015 represent clear testimony of AUB’s well-managed business model based on diversification and cross border flows and of the success of its selective growth initiatives to increase operating income and mitigate risk challenges in its target markets.” added Mr. Al-Humaidhi.

Ahli United Bank No Comments

AUB’S SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE 18% CASH AND 5% STOCK DIVIDENDS; ELECT NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS

AUB’S SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE 18% CASH AND 5% STOCK DIVIDENDS; ELECT NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 147.2 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2015. The net profit reflected a surge of 7.8% in Q1/2015 as compared to US$ 136.6 million achieved in Q1/2014. The Q1/2015 net profit also represents a 38.6% improvement over the Q4/2014 trailing quarter reported profit of US$ 106.2 million. The Basic Earnings per Share in Q1/2015 was US 2.3 cents, compared to US 2.2 cents in Q1/2014.

Despite continuing sluggish economic trends into 2015, AUB continued to grow its operating income which was underpinned by maintaining its net interest margins through the judicious deployment of funds combined with effective liquidity management. Fee income grew by 5.6% from US$ 39.2 million to US$ 41.5 million. The cost income ratio stood at 28.5% (YTD Q1 / 2014: 27.8%).

Solid asset quality levels were sustained with the non-performing loans ratio standing unchanged at 2.0% (31 December 2014: 2.0%) while the specific provision coverage ratio improved to 86.2% (31 December 2014: 83.8%). The total provision coverage ratio, inclusive of collective impairment provisions, rose to 163.5% as at 31 March 2015 (31 December 2014: 159.4%).

The Group’s Return on Average Equity (ROAE) for Q1/2015, increased to 17.5%, compared to the ROAE of 17.2% achieved in the first quarter of 2014. Return on Average Assets was maintained at 1.9% for Q1/2015 (Q1/2014: 1.9%).

Mr. Hamad Al-Humaidhi, AUB Chairman, commented: “AUB continued its strong and steady performance in Q1/2015 underlying the viability of the Bank’s core regional business model based on diversification and cross border flows and the success of its selective growth initiatives to increase operating income and mitigate risk challenges in its target markets”.

“In April 2015, the Bank successfully completed a US$ 400 million issue of Additional Tier 1 Perpetual Basel III Compliant Capital Securities. This represents an important step forward in terms of the evolution and diversification of the Group’s capital structure and will provide tangible support to organic and inorganic business plans. This successful issue represents a clear testimony of AUB’s credentials among prime international and regional investors as a well-managed, successful and creditworthy financial institution.” added Mr. Al-Humaidhi.

Ahli United Bank No Comments

AUB’S SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE 18% CASH AND 5% STOCK DIVIDENDS; ELECT NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS

AUB’S SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE 18% CASH AND 5% STOCK DIVIDENDS; ELECT NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS

The Annual General Meeting of Ahli United Bank B.S.C has approved the distribution of a cash dividend of 18% (US$ 4.5 cents per share) together with an ordinary shares bonus of 5% (one share per 20 ordinary shares held) for the financial year ended 31 December 2014. Shareholders registered in the Bank’s share book on 31 March 2015 will be eligible to receive the dividends approved by the Annual General Meeting.

AUB’s shareholders voted to extend for a further two years their authorization for the Board of Directors to decide on the timing, pricing and terms of the issuance of up to US$ 4 billion in bonds, loans or any other similar subordinated financial instruments deemed required to support the growth plans of the Bank. The AGM also approved the establishment of a Mandatory Share Purchase Plan and the extension of the existing Employee Share Purchase Plan by the issuance of 150 million shares for this purpose subject to the guidelines set by the Central Bank of Bahrain. These resolutions were adopted at the annual ordinary general meeting and the extraordinary general meeting held today at AUB’s headquarters in Seef under the chairmanship of Acting Chairman, Mr. Mohamed Jassim al-Marzooq.

AUB’s AGM also reviewed and approved the Board of Directors’ Report, Corporate Governance Report, Auditors’ Report and the financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2014.

AUB’s ordinary annual general meeting proceeded to elect eleven members for the Board of Directors:

1. Hamad Meshary Al-Humaidhi
2. Mohammad Jassim Al-Marzooq
3. Rashid Ismail Al-Meer
4. Mohammed Saleh Behbehani
5. Mohammed Fouad Al-Ghanim
6. Adnan AbdulMuhsin Al-Marzouq
7. Abdulla Hamad Al-Sumait
8. Herschel Post
9. Michael G. Essex
10. Luma Mohamed Al-Dakheel
11. Adel. A. El-Labban

Following the election, the new directors have met and unanimously elected Mr. Hamad Al-Humaidhi as the new Chairman of AUB Group.

Commenting on his appointment as Chairman of AUB, Mr. Al-Humaidhi said: “It is a great honour and weighty responsibility to be named Chairman of a leading regional institution such as Ahli United Bank. I am grateful for the shareholders and to my fellow directors on the valued trust and confidence reposed in me. It is also my pleasure to welcome and congratulate the newly elected directors to the Board”.

“Over the years, AUB has gone from strength to strength in its commitment to being a truly pan-regional bank, thanks to a well-defined vision, a stable Board structure, a competent management team and the rigorous implementation of a successful business model. I look forward to working closely with all to ensure the building on such impressive track record, as we all focus on becoming the most reliable and preferred services provider for our retail and customers alike and delivering sustained market-leading returns for our valued shareholders”, Mr. Al-Humaidhi concluded.

Ahli United Bank No Comments

AHLI UNITED BANK REPORTS A NET PROFIT OF US$ 482.5 MILLION AND OPERATING INCOME CROSSES US$ 1 BILLION

AHLI UNITED BANK REPORTS A NET PROFIT OF US$ 482.5 MILLION AND OPERATING INCOME CROSSES US$ 1 BILLION

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a record net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 482.5 million for the year 2014, a growth of 31.7% compared with the net profit of US$ 366.5 million in 2013. The overall 2013 net profit of US$ 579.4 million included an exceptional non-recurring gain of US$ 212.9 million from the sale of its 29.4% stake in its Qatari affiliate. The net profit in Q4/2014 was US$ 106.2 million as compared to US$ 77.2 million in Q4/2013.

AUB’s total operating income crossed US$ 1 billion for the first time since its inception in 2000 with an increase of 8.7% over the US$ 958 million achieved in 2013. This surge in operating income was driven largely by a 7.0% rise in net interest income (NII) to US$ 763.3 million. The NII increase was achieved primarily through higher lending volumes as well as prudent deployment of liquidity in non-trading investments within a risk acceptable framework complemented by focused liability cost management. Fees and other income increased by 13.4% from US$ 245.1 million to US$ 278.0 million. The higher operating income and disciplined cost culture aligned to business needs across the AUB Group further improved the operating cost income ratio to 29.7% (2013: 30.0%).

The Group’s total assets grew by 2.4% to reach US$ 33.4 billion at 31 December 2014 from US$ 32.7 billion as at 2013 year-end. The growth in total assets was primarily due to a 6.7% growth in the loans and advances portfolio to US$ 18.5 billion (31 December 2013: US$ 17.3 billion). This balanced credit growth was underpinned by a 4.4% growth in customer deposits to reach US$ 23.0 billion (31 December 2013: US$ 22.0 billion). Asset quality of the Group improved with the non-performing loan ratio reducing to 2.0% as at 31 December 2014 (31 December 2013: 2.3%) with a specific provision coverage ratio of 83.8% (31 December 2013: 86.1%). The total provision coverage ratio, inclusive of collective impairment provisions, was 159.4% as at 31 December 2014 (31 December 2013: 155.5%).

Core operating return on Average Equity for 2014 increased to 15.2% (2013: 13.4%) and the core operating return on Average Assets for 2014 increased to 1.6% (2013: 1.3%), adjusted for exceptional non-recurring items.

The resultant basic earnings per share were US cents 8.0 for the year ended 31 December 2014 (2013: US cents 10.0). Given the excellent results achieved, the Board of Directors has recommended a cash dividend of US cents 4.5 per share (2013: US cents 4.5) together with a bonus ordinary share issue of 5% (2013: 5%).

”AUB’s diversified business model combined with its growing cross border business flows and prudent deployment of liquidity have resulted in the total operating income surging past the US$ 1 billion mark. The increase in the operating net profit bears testament to AUB’s strong underlying business fundamentals and to its effective control framework and resilient business model. While operating challenges remain, we start 2015 with clear plans and goals to improve on our past performances and we will continue to strive to meet the aspirations of all our stakeholders“, commented Mohammad Jassim Al-Marzooq, Acting Chairman, AUB.

Ahli United Bank No Comments

AUB NAMES MOHAMMED AL-MARZOUQ AS ACTING CHAIRMAN

AUB NAMES MOHAMMED AL-MARZOUQ AS ACTING CHAIRMAN

The Board of Directors of Ahli United Bank B.S.C has approved the appointment of Mr. Mohammed Jassim Al-Marzouq, currently Deputy Chairman, as Acting Chairman of the Board until the convening of the 2015 Annual General Meeting of the Bank and completion of the scheduled re-election of the AUB Board of Directors.

Ahli United Bank No Comments

AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS A PROFIT OF US$ 376.3 MILLION FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30 SEPTEMBER 2014

AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS A PROFIT OF US$ 376.3 MILLION FOR THE PERIOD ENDED 30 SEPTEMBER 2014

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its shareholders of US$ 376.3 million for the nine months ended 30 September 2014. This reflected an increase of 30.1% over the core net profit of US$ 289.3 million achieved in YTD Q3/2013. The overall YTD Q3/2013 result of US$ 502.2 million included an exceptional non-recurring gain of US$ 212.9 million from the sale of its 29.4% stake in its Qatari affiliate. The Q3/2014 net profit achieved was US$ 113.8 million, a 14.8% increase over the Q3/2013 reported profit of US$ 99.1 million. The Basic Earnings per Share in YTD Q3/2014 were US 6.3 cents, compared to US 5.0 cents, excluding the exceptional gain, for the nine months ended Q3/2013.

The operating results of AUB were primarily driven by growth in its core operating earnings across its major markets. During the period, the improvement in the net interest margin together with prudent growth in risk assets resulted in a 10.3% increase in Net Interest Income from US$ 524.6 million to US$ 578.7 million. Diversified business initiatives and successful client acquisition initiatives contributed to a 4.5% growth in fee income from US$ 106.7 million to US$ 111.5 million. The YTD Q3/2014 cost income ratio improved to 28.4% (YTD Q3/2013: 29.6%) largely as a result of intelligent spend aligned to business needs without affecting the ability to efficiently service clients and to invest in future growth.

The Group‘s total assets rose to US$ 34.1 billion, an increase of 4.5% over the 31 December 2013 position. This increase was driven by a US$ 1.4 billion (+8.2%) increase in the loan portfolio to reach US$ 18.7 billion by 30 September 2014. The growth in loan and advances was funded by an increase in customers‘ deposits to US$ 24.4 billion as at 30 September 2014 (31 December 2013: US$ 22.0 billion). Asset quality remains solid with the non-performing loans ratio standing at 2.1% (31 December 2013: 2.3%) while the specific provision coverage ratio improved to 91.5% (31 December 2013: 86.1%). The total provision coverage ratio, inclusive of collective impairment provisions, rose to 172.4% as at 30 September 2014 (31 December 2013: 155.5%).

The AUB Group‘s Return on Average Equity (ROAE) for YTD Q3/2014 increased to 15.9% based on the improved operating results, compared to the operating ROAE, excluding the exceptional gain, of 14.2% achieved in the prior period. Return on Average Assets, calculated on the same basis, was also higher at 1.6% for YTD Q3/2014 (YTD Q3/2013: 1.4%).

”AUB‘s diversification in its major operating markets and its continued success in expanding cross border business flows between these markets have helped it achieve a robust growth in sustainable core operating revenues, while maintaining solid asset quality parameters.“ said Fahad Al-Rajaan, Chairman, AUB. He added that ”AUB continues to seek opportunities, where viable, to expand its banking franchise further through value accretive organic or inorganic means. This entails a continuous, dynamic and focused approach to ensure the effective deployment of capital resources across the AUB Group‘s current and targeted markets.“

Ahli United Bank No Comments

AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS H1/2014 PROFIT OF US$ 262.5 MILLION

AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS H1/2014 PROFIT OF US$ 262.5 MILLION

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its shareholders of US$ 262.5 million for the half year ended 30 June 2014. This reflected an increase of 38.1% over the core net profit of US$ 190.1 million achieved in H1/2013. The overall H1/2013 result of US$ 403.0 million included an exceptional non-recurring gain of US$ 212.9 million from the sale of its 29.4% stake in its Qatari affiliate. The Q2/2014 net profit achieved was US$ 125.9 million, a 35.1% increase over the Q2/2013 quarter reported profit of US$ 93.2 million. The Basic Earnings per Share in H1/2014 were US 4.4 cents, compared to Basic Earnings per share of US 3.3 cents, adjusted for the exceptional gain in H1/2013.

The operating results of AUB were primarily driven by growth in its core operating earnings across its major markets. The main contributing factor was the improvement in the net interest margins achieved through a combination of prudent deployment of funds in risk assets and an effective strategy for the management of funding costs. This resulted in a 13.7% increase in Net Interest Income from US$ 335.8 million to US$ 381.7 million. Diversified business flows and successful client acquisition initiatives contributed to a 11.7% growth in fee income from US$ 70.3 million to US$ 78.5 million. The YTD H1/2014 cost income ratio improved to 27.8% (YTD H1/2013: 30.3%) contributed by a surge in operating revenues and by the continued successful implementation of the AUB Group‘s disciplined cost culture.

The Group‘s total assets rose to US$ 33.9 billion (+ 3.7%) since 31 December 2013 driven by a US$ 1.3 billion (+7.6%) increase in the loan portfolio to reach US$ 18.6 billion by 30 June 2014. The growth in loan and advances was mainly funded by an increase in customers‘ deposits to US$ 23.1 billion as at 30 June 2014 (31 December 2013: US$ 22.0 billion). Asset quality showed improvement over year end 2013 with the non-performing loans ratio standing at 2.1% (31 December 2013: 2.3%) while the specific provision coverage ratio improved to 89.2% (31 December 2013: 86.1%). The total provision coverage ratio, inclusive of collective impairment provisions, rose to 166.1% as at 30 June 2014 (31 December 2013: 155.5%).

The improved operating results positively impacted the AUB Group‘s Return on Average Equity (ROAE) for H1/2014, increasing to 16.7%, compared to the operating ROAE of 14.0% achieved in the first half of 2013, excluding the exceptional gain. Return on Average Assets, calculated on the same basis, was significantly higher at 1.7% for H1/2014 (H1/2013: 1.4%).

”AUB‘s focus on its major operating markets and its strong drive and commitment to expand its cross border business flows between these markets have been instrumental in achieving very strong growth in core operating revenues across its business lines“ said Fahad Al-Rajaan, Chairman, AUB. He added that ”AUB is continuously investing in the future and is well positioned to reap the benefits of its large investments in training and technology to support new products and business initiatives which will be progressively rolled out in the coming period“.