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AUB becomes a signatory to the UN Responsible Banking Principles

AUB becomes a signatory to the UN Responsible Banking Principles

Ahli United Bank has signed the United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Banking, an initiative spearheaded by the United Nation Development Programme (UNEP) in partnership with leading international banks, aiming at aligning global banking practices with long- term social and environmental goals and providing a roadmap for the global financial community in addressing global challenges and contributing to sustainable economic development. The Principles are accessible to all signatories at all stages of the sustainability journey.

The UN’s Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) provide a universal framework and a set of core principles for the participating banks to implement at strategic, business and operational levels. The six cornerstones Principles require signatory banks to align their strategies and practices with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement, and to do more to have a positive impact on people and the environment. The initiative also commits banks to establishing appropriate governance structures to implement these Principles and ensure due transparency and accountability on implementation. To date, over 160 institutions from 50 countries with collective assets totaling US$ 50 trillion have joined the initiative.

AUB’s Deputy Group CEO – Operations & Technology Shafqat Anwar commented: “Since its founding twenty years ago, AUB has always been clear-eyed about its role and mission as a responsible bank, fully committed not only to serving the best interests of our customers and shareholders, but also to the common good of the communities we serve, and in the process actively contributing to the socio-economic advancement of the countries where we operate”.

“And because our prosperity as a regional bank depends on the prosperity of the region at large, we’ve put in place rigorous policies to give priority, through financing and our CSR outreach- to those projects and initiatives with the potential to strengthen the macroeconomic fundamentals of the region, advance the cause of economic inclusion and develop human and social capital, while mitigating to the extent possible adverse economic disparity and environmental degradation”.

“At AUB, we are proud of our approach of delivering profit with purpose and of our track record as a socially accountable and environmentally responsible bank. In 2011, AUB was one of the first banks in the Middle East to adopt the Equator Principles, the voluntary yet globally-recognised framework for banks to determine, assess and manage social and environmental risks in project financing. Subscribing to the UN’s Principles of Responsible Banking is a natural next step for AUB, giving us the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to holding ourselves to the highest standards, and a much-needed platform to collaborate with like-minded banks in making a positive impact and improving people’s quality of life without compromising that of future generations”.

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AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS A RECORD NET PROFIT OF US$ 730.5 MILLION ATTRIBUTABLE TO OWNERS OF THE BANK FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2019.

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 172.1 million for Q4/2019 which represents a 1.7% improvement over the Q4/2018 reported profit of US$ 169.3 million. AUB reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 730.5 million for the year ended 31 December 2019, an increase of 4.7% as compared to US$ 697.5 million achieved in 2018. The Basic and Diluted Earnings per Share in 2019 was US 7.9 cents (+3.9%), compared to US 7.6 cents in 2018 (EPS: US 1.8 cents in Q4/2019 versus US 1.7 cents in Q4/2018). Comprehensive income attributable to the owners of the bank for Q4/2019 was 38.5% higher at US$ 194.5 million compared to US$ 140.5 million for Q4/2018. Comprehensive income attributable to the owners of the bank for year ended 31 December 2019 was US$ 772.3 million (31 December 2018: US$ 662.5 million) an increase of 16.6% over the prior year.

The excellent financial performance for 2019 continues to reflect the sustained benefits arising from AUB’s diversified business model, robust risk management framework and judicious business driven operating culture centred on maximising prudent and sustainable returns within a disciplined “intelligent spend” cost culture.

Despite the very low prevailing average interest rate environment and overall weak market conditions, net operating income increased (+5.1%) from US$ 1,124.3 million in 2018 to US$ 1,181.1 million in 2019 (Q4/2019: US$ 301.0 million versus Q4/2018: US$ 279.1 million). Net interest income improved to US$ 951.5 million in 2019 compared to US$ 940.5 million in 2018 driven by growth in average loans and investments. Increases in net interest income, trading and investment income and others resulted in a rise in operating income to US$ 1,235.5 million during 2019 compared to US$ 1,210.6 million in 2018 (Q4/2019: US$ 316.2 million versus Q4/2018: US$ 303.5 million). Cost to income ratio was controlled at 28.6% (2018: 27.1%) reflecting the consistent implementation of AUB’s structured cost discipline and intelligent spend approach.

Solid asset quality levels were sustained with an unchanged non-performing loans ratio of 1.9% (31 December 2018: 1.9%) with specific provision coverage ratio of 85.9% (31 December 2018: 85.5%). Coverage levels were assisted by focused asset recovery efforts during the year. Provision coverage levels are calculated on a cash provision basis excluding the value of the additional significant non-cash (real estate and securities) collateral available against non-performing loans.

The Group’s equity attributable to owners at 31 December 2019 increased by 9.1 % to US$ 4.3 billion (31 December 2018: US$ 3.9 billion). The Group’s Return on Average Equity achieved for 2019 was 17.7% (2018: 18.1%).

The Group’s total assets at 31 December 2019 increased by 13.4% to US$ 40.3 billion (31 December 2018: US$ 35.5 billion). This is attributable to a 6.3% growth in the loans and advances portfolio to US$ 20.7 billion (31 December 2018: US$ 19.5 billion) and growth in the non-trading investments portfolio to US$ 9.1 billion (31 December 2018: US$ 7.6 billion) as part of an overall strategy to further balance-sheet diversification and to enhance in-built liquidity sources while expanding risk adjusted returns on a prudent basis. Asset growth was funded from an increase in customer deposits (+US$ 1.9 billion) and through repo borrowings (+US$ 1.1 billion). Return on Average Assets was at 2.1% for 2019 (2018: 2.2%).

The Board of Directors has recommended a distribution comprising of a cash dividend of US cents 5.0 per share (2018: US cents 5.0 per share) together with a bonus ordinary share issue of 10% (2018: 10%).

Mr. Meshal AbdulAziz Alothman, AUB Chairman, commented: “AUB has achieved record results and sustained its excellent core performance for 2019 driven by its well-managed business model based on diversification and cross border flows seeking the effective deployment of capital resources across the AUB Group’s markets in a prudent and profitable manner. Our results are attributable to the clear defined vision of the bank and to the exemplary execution of its business strategies by its highly competent and dedicated management and staff.”

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AUB is live with SWIFT gpi Service

In continuation of its commitment to provide state of the art payment services and constantly enhancing the customer experience, Ahli United Bank (AUB) has gone live with SWIFT gpi (global payments innovation) services for its customers. SWIFT gpi will enable AUB’s Corporate, Treasury and Retail customers to track the status of cross-border payments on an end-to-end basis and provide greater visibility over the entire payments process. Customers can view information about each bank in the payment chain and any fees that have been charged, in addition to providing foreign exchange rate transparency. Following the SWIFT community’s recent endorsement of global gpi adoption, SWIFT gpi will be the standard for all cross-border payments by the end of 2020.

On the occasion of the launch of the services, AUB’s Deputy Group CEO, Operations and Technology Shafqat Anwar mentioned that “AUB’s adoption of SWIFT gpi is another example of its continued stride to add value to the payments and customer servicing process as it will offer better speed, security and transparency of cross-border payments thereby improving the quality and effectiveness of the settlement processes and deliver added value to AUB’s customers by enabling them to trace and track each payment processed through gpi”. He also added that “due to a faster payments process, approximately 40% of SWIFT gpi payments will be credited to end-beneficiaries within five minutes, 50% are credited within 30 minutes; three quarters within six hours; and almost 100% within 24 hours”.

Onur Ozan, Head of the Middle East, North Africa & Turkey of SWIFT said: “We are delighted that Ahli United Bank is now live with SWIFT’s global payments innovation (gpi) service and is able to deliver faster, more transparent and trackable payments to its customers. We are very proud of the value that gpi delivers to the financial industry by tackling the frictions, costs and delays associated with cross-border payments. We look forward to seeing more live banks in the region enhancing the cross border payments experience for the wholesale and retail segments.”

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AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS A NET PROFIT OF US$ 558.4 MILLION ATTRIBUTABLE TO OWNERS OF THE BANK FOR THE NINE MONTHS ENDED 30 SEPTEMBER 2019

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 558.4 million for the nine months ended 30 September 2019, an increase of 5.7% as compared to US$ 528.3 million achieved in YTD Q3/2018. The Q3/2019 net profit of US$ 180.9 million represents a 5.9% improvement over the Q3/2018 reported profit of US$ 170.8 million. The Basic Earnings per Share in YTD Q3/2019 were US 6.2 cents (+6.9%), compared to US 5.8 cents in YTD Q3/2018 (EPS: US 2.1 cents in Q3/2019 versus US 2.0 cents in Q3/2018).

The improved performance for YTD Q3/2019 continues to reflect benefits arising from AUB’s diversified business model, robust risk management framework and judicious business driven operating culture.

Net interest income improved by 2.0 % (+US$ 14.3 million) to US$ 722.7 million in YTD Q3/2019 compared to US$ 708.4 million in YTD Q3/2018 driven by growth in average loans and investments. Increases in net interest income, trading and investment income resulted in a rise in operating income to US$ 919.3 million during the first nine months of 2019 compared to US$ 907.0 million in YTD Q3/2018 (Q3/2019: US$ 289.2 million versus Q3/2018: US$ 294.6 million). Net operating income increased (+4.1%) from US$ 845.2 million in YTD Q3/2018 to US$ 880.1 million in YTD Q3/2019 (Q3/2019: US$ 284.3 million versus Q3/2018: US$ 275.1 million). Cost to income ratio stood at 26.7% (YTD Q3/2018: 26.2%) reflecting the consistent implementation of AUB’s structured cost discipline and intelligent spend approach.

Solid asset quality levels were also maintained with a non-performing loans ratio of 2.0% (31 December 2018: 1.9%) with specific provision coverage ratio of 85.2% (31 December 2018: 85.5%) and a total provision coverage ratio of 187.0% (31 December 2018: 214.7%). These provision coverage levels are calculated on a cash provision basis excluding the value of the additional significant non-cash (real estate and securities) collateral available against non-performing loans.

The Group’s total assets at 30 September 2019 increased by 8.8% to US$ 38.6 billion (31 December 2018: US$ 35.5 billion). Return on Average Assets was at 2.2% for YTD Q3/2019 (YTD Q3/2018: 2.2%). The Group’s equity attributable to owners at 30 September 2019 increased by 4.1 % to US$ 4.1 billion (31 December 2018: US$ 3.9 billion). The Group’s Return on Average Equity (ROAE) achieved for YTD Q3/2019 was 18.1% (YTD Q3/2018: 18.4%).

Mr. Meshal Alothman, AUB Chairman, commented: “AUB sustained its core performance for the first nine months of 2019 and is looking forward to maintaining its positive growth trajectory. AUB’s continued growth is a testament to its well-managed business model based on diversification and cross border flows supported by a dynamic and focused approach to ensure the effective deployment of capital resources across the AUB Group’s markets in a prudent and profitable manner.”

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AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS A NET PROFIT OF US$ 377.5 MILLION ATTRIBUTABLE TO OWNERS OF THE BANK FOR H1/2019

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 377.5 million for the first half of 2019. The net profit reflected an increase of 5.6% in H1/2019 as compared to the net profit of US$ 357.4 million achieved in H1/2018. The Q2/2019 net profit of US$ 184.7 million represents a 1.1% improvement over the Q2/2018 reported profit of US$ 182.7 million. The Basic Earnings per Share in H1/2019 were US 4.1 cents (+5.1%), compared to US 3.9 cents in H1/2018 (EPS: US 1.9 cents in Q2/2019 versus US 1.9 cents in Q2/2018).

Operating income grew by 2.9% to US$ 630.1 million during first six months of 2019 compared to US$ 612.4 million in H1/2018 mainly driven by an increase in net interest income by US$ 22.9 million (+4.9%) to US$ 490.2 million in H1/2019 compared to US$ 467.2 million in H1/2018 attributable to growth in average loans and investments. Net operating income increased (+4.5%) from US$ 570.1 million in H1/2018 to US$ 595.8 million in H1/2019. Cost to income ratio stood at 26.5% (H1/2018: 26.1%) reflecting the continuous focus on the rigorous implementation of broad based cost discipline and of an intelligent spend approach.

Solid asset quality levels were maintained with a non-performing loans ratio of 2.0% (31 December 2018: 1.9%) with specific provision coverage ratio of 85.1% (31 December 2018: 85.5%) and total provision coverage ratio of 188.6% (31 December 2018: 214.7%).

The Group’s total assets at 30 June 2019 increased by 7.1% to US$ 38.0 billion (31 December 2018: US$ 35.5 billion). Return on Average Assets was at 2.2% for H1/2019 (H1/2018: 2.3%). The Group’s equity attributable to owners at 30 June 2019 stood at US$ 3.9 billion (31 December 2018: US$ 3.9 billion). The Group’s Return on Average Equity (ROAE) achieved for H1/2019 was 18.4% (H1/2018: 18.8%).

Mr. Meshal Al-Othman, AUB Chairman, commented: “Despite mounting geopolitical tension in the region and subdued operating environments in AUB’s major markets, AUB continued its robust performance in first half of 2019 maintaining prudent and healthy growth in core earnings and operating net profit. AUB’s continued positive core performance is a testament to its well-managed business model based on diversification and cross border flows through its strategic investments across the Gulf and MENA region. Growth was underpinned by robust risk management and continuous focus to ensure the effective deployment of capital resources across the AUB Group’s current and targeted markets.”

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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. ”

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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.”

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AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS A 12.7% SURGE IN NET PROFIT ATTRIBUTABLE TO OWNERS OF THE BANK TO US$ 528.3 MILLION

AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS A 12.7% SURGE IN NET PROFIT ATTRIBUTABLE TO OWNERS OF THE BANK TO US$ 528.3 MILLION

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a 12.7 % increase in net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 528.3 million for the nine months ended 30 September 2018 compared to the net profit of US$ 468.7 million achieved in YTD Q3/2017. The Q3/2018 net profit of US$ 170.8 million represents a8.5% improvement over the Q3/2017 quarter reported profit of US$ 157.4 million. The Earnings per Share (EPS) in YTD Q3/2018wereat US 6.4 cents, as compared to US 5.7 cents in YTD Q3/2017 (EPS:US 2.1 cents in Q3/2018 versus US 2.0 cents in Q3/2017).

Net interest income improved by 11.5% to US$ 708.4 million during the nine months of 2018 compared to US$635.1 million in YTD Q3/2017(Q3/2018:US$241.2 million, +10.1% versus Q3/2017 of US$219.1 million) driven by improved margins and prudent growth in loanand investmentsacross the AUB Group funded through an increase in customer deposits. Increases in net interest income, trading and investment income resulted in a rise in operating income by 9.9% to US$907.0 million compared to US$825.1 million in YTD Q3/2017 (Q3/2018: US$294.6 million,+6.2% versus Q3/2017:US$277.4 million). Net operating income for YTD Q3/2018 increased by 9.9% to US$ 845.2 millioncompared to US$768.8 million in YTD Q3/2017 (Q3/2018: US$ 275.1 million, +6.2% versus Q3/2017: US$259.0 million). Operating results continued to be supported by the Bank’s improved cost efficiencies as reflected in a cost to income ratio of 26.2% (YTD Q3/2017: 27.5%).

Solid asset quality levels were sustained withagross non-performing loans ratio of2.0% (31 December 2017: 1.9%) while specific provision coverage ratio increased to 86.3% (31 December 2017: 85.1%). The total provision coverage ratio,inclusive of expected credit loss provisioning under IFRS 9 but excluding very significant non-cash collaterals available,improvedto 222.3% as at 30September 2018 (31 December 2017: 154.3%).

The Group’s total assets at 30 September 2018 increased by 6.7% to US$ 35.5 billion (31 December 2017: US$ 33.2 billion).The Return on Average Assets improved to 2.2% for YTD Q3/2018 (YTD Q3/2017: 2.1%). The Group’s equity attributable to owners at 30 September 2018 maintained at US$ 3.8 billion (31 December 2017: US$ 3.8 billion). The Return on Average Equity (ROAE) for YTD Q3/2018, increased to 18.4%, compared to 16.7% achieved in YTD Q3/2017.

Mr. Hamad Al-Humaidhi, AUB Chairman, commented: “AUB’scontinued positive core performance is a testament to its well-managed business model based on diversification and cross border flows, supported by a continuous, dynamic and focused approach to ensure the effective deployment of capital resources across the AUB Group’s current and targeted markets.”

The press release and full set of the interim condensed consolidated financial statements for the period ended 30 September 2018 are available on the Bahrain Bourse ,Boursa Kuwait and AUBwebsites.

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AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS A NET PROFIT OF US$ 357.4 MILLION ATTRIBUTABLE TO OWNERS OF THE BANK FOR H1/2018

AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS A NET PROFIT OF US$ 357.4 MILLION ATTRIBUTABLE TO OWNERS OF THE BANK FOR H1/2018

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 357.4 million for the six months ended 30 June 2018. The net profit reflected a robustgrowth of 14.8% in H1/2018 as compared to the net profit of US$ 311.3 million achieved in H1/2017. The Q2/2018 net profit of US$ 182.7 million represents a 20.3% improvement over the Q2/2017 quarter reported profit of US$ 151.9 million. The Basic Earnings per Share (EPS) in H1/2018 were US 4.3 cents, compared to US 3.7 cents in H1/2017 (EPS US 2.1 cents in Q2/2018 versus US 1.7 cents in Q2/2017).

Net interest income improved by 12.3% to US$ 467.2 million during the first six months of 2018 (Q2/2018: +12.3% versus Q2/2017) driven by improved margins and prudent growth in loanand investments. Increases in net interest income and other fee, trading and investment income resulted in a rise in operating income by 11.8% (Q2/2018:+16.0% versus Q2/2017).Furthermore, adoption of a consistent and disciplined intelligent spend approach together with operational efficiencies resulted in a lower cost to income ratioof26.1% (H1/2017: 27.3%).

Solid asset quality levels were sustained withagross non-performing loans ratio of2.0% (31 December 2017: 1.9%) while specific provision coverage ratio increased to 89.2% (31 December 2017: 85.1%). The total provision coverage ratio,inclusive of expected credit loss provisioning under IFRS 9 but excluding significant non-cash collaterals available,improvedto 228.9% as at 30June 2018 (31 December 2017: 154.3%).

The Group’s Return on Average Equity (ROAE) for H1/2018, increased to 18.8%, compared to 16.7% achieved in the first half of 2017. Return on Average Assets also increased to 2.3% for H1/2018 (H1/2017: 2.1%).

Mr. Hamad Al-Humaidhi, AUB Chairman, commented: “Our results demonstrate AUB’s strong ability to deliver sustainable core earnings on a consistent basis through its diversified business initiatives and strategic investments across the Gulf and MENA region. Growth wasunderpinned byrobust risk management, effectivecost efficiency measures and continuingfocus on the sourcing of remunerativecross border business flows.”

Mr. Al-Humaidhialso commented that “the MOU signed today with Kuwait Finance House (KFH) provides a non-bindingframework to explore the establishment, in a structured manner, ofa major regional banking institutioncapable of competing more effectively in itsexisting and new potential markets.”

He explained that the proposed transaction comprised three stages. The first stage involves both banks agreeing a fair exchange ratio for their shares based on valuation studies to be conducted by the selected international investment banks. Subject to suchagreement on valuation and securing the necessary regulatory approvals, the second stage would commence in terms of conductingdetaileddue diligence on both banks with a view to finalizing the share exchange ratio. The third stage will involve the assessment of the business prospects and opportunities of the combined entity and the submission of necessary applications to secure the requiredregulatory and statutory consents to consummate the combination.

Mr. Al-Humaidhi added“The signed MOU is in line with the longstanding strategy adopted by AUB’s Board of Directors since inception in 2000, for pursuinginorganic growth in our targeted markets through mergers and acquisitions. This particular transaction involves a potential transformational deal to create a market leader in the regional and global banking space and to provide a very solid platform for achieving shareholder aspirations”.

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AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS A NET PROFIT OF US$ 174.7 MILLION ATTRIBUTABLE TO OWNERS OF THE BANK FOR Q1/2018

AHLI UNITED BANK B.S.C. REPORTS A NET PROFIT OF US$ 174.7 MILLION ATTRIBUTABLE TO OWNERS OF THE BANK FOR Q1/2018

Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 174.7 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2018. The net profit reflected an increase of 9.6% in Q1/2018 as compared to the net profit of US$ 159.4 million achieved in Q1/2017. The Q1/2018 net profit also represents a 16.5% improvement over the Q4/2017 trailing quarter reported profit of US$ 150.0 million. The Basic Earnings per Share in Q1/2018 were US 2.2 cents, compared to US 2.0 cents in Q1/2017.

Net interest income improved by 12.4% to US$229.3 million during the quarter driven by loan and investments growth besides improved margins.Operating income grew by 7.5% which together with consistent application of operational efficiencies resulted in the Bank’s cost to income ratio of25.9% (Q1/2017: 27.0%).

Solid asset quality levels were sustained with a non-performing loans ratio of1.9% (31 December 2017: 1.9%) while specific provision coverage ratio increased to 87.1% (31 December 2017: 85.1%). The total provision coverage ratio inclusive of expected credit loss provisioning under IFRS 9 but excluding available significant asset collaterals, improved to 219.2% as at 31 March 2018 (31 December 2017: 154.3%).

The Group’s Return on Average Equity (ROAE) for Q1/2018, increased to 18.2%, compared to 17.0% achieved in the first quarter of 2017. Return on Average Assets also increased to 2.3% for Q1/2018 (Q1/2017: 2.2%).

Mr. Hamad Al-Humaidhi, AUB Chairman, commented: “Our results demonstrate AUB’s resilience and ability to deliver sustainable core earnings on a consistent basis under its diversified well managed business model and through its strategic investments across multiple markets, assisted by robust risk management, effectivecost control measures and ongoing focus on the sourcing of cross border business flows.”