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AUB net profit surges 8pc to $301.2 million.

Manama: Ahli United Bank (AUB), Bahrain's largest lender, has posted an eight per cent increase in first-half net profit.

The bank's net profit for the six months to June 30 was $301.2 million, as against $278.4m in the corresponding period of last year, it said in a statement.

Profit for the second quarter of $146.6m represents a 11.7pc improvement over $131.2m for the same quarter last year.

Basic earnings per share in the first half were 4.2 cents, compared with 4.1 cents in the same period last year.

Operating income continued to grow, said AUB, with net interest income rising by 4pc to $407.4m during the period.

Total operating income grew by 7.8pc from $529.3m to $570.9m.

The cost-income ratio improved to 27.7pc from 28.8pc earlier.

The non-performing loans ratio for the first half stood at 2.1pc, as against 1.8pc at the end of December last year with an enhanced specific provision coverage ratio of 85.3pc, which was 84.6pc as of December 31, 2015.

Total provision coverage ratio, inclusive of collective impairment provisions, was 177pc as on June 30, as against 181.9pc as of December 31, 2015.

Both specific and total coverage ratios are exclusive of the significant available collaterals against impaired assets, the bank said.

Return on average equity for the first-half increased to 17.4pc, from 16.7pc achieved in the half year of 2015.

Return on average assets also increased to 1.9pc from 1.8pc.

"The results," said AUB chairman Hamad Al Humaidhi, "are a clear testimony of a business model based on regional diversification and cross-border flows as well as proof of the success of its balance-sheet management initiatives to increase operating income and mitigate risk challenges in its target markets despite continuing weak economic conditions this year".

"AUB is currently not expecting any material impact on its asset quality or overall performance due to the Brexit event, given the concentration of its UK exposures in good quality secured assets and the ongoing application of robust credit underwriting standards and very conservative loan to value policy guidelines," he added.

Mr Al Humaidhi said, "the bank is well-positioned to meet and handle the emerging challenges arising out of evolving global market conditions post Brexit and other geo-political developments."

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Aug 4, 2016
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