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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.

The resultant basic earnings per share were US cents 7.7 for the year ended 31 December 2017 (2016: US cents 7.2). The Board of Directors has recommended distribution comprising a cash dividend of US cents 4.5 per share (2016: US cents 4.5 per share) together with a bonus ordinary share issue of 5% (2016: 10%).

Mr. Hamad Al-Humaidhi, AUB Chairman, commented: “AUB continued its solid performance in 2017 against the backdrop of continuing global and regional business volatility. Sustaining AUB’s growth in net profit demonstrates its strong underlying fundamentals and the resilience of its diversified business and geographic model.

“While operating challenges remain, I am cautiously optimistic that AUB is well positioned and prepared to meet the challenges arising out of evolving market conditions both regionally and globally and to maintain its growth momentum into 2018” added Mr. Al-Humaidhi.