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Ahli United Bank profit soars 41pc to $212m.

MANAMA: Ahli United Bank (AUB) posted a net profit of $211.7 million for the first half of this year, a 40.5 per cent rise compared to the same period last year. This has been achieved through a judicious mix of revenue streams within a diversified and prudent risk framework and complements the board approved strategy of growth through mergers and acquisitions underpinning the AUB business model, the bank said yesterday.

The group, having made a strong start in the first quarter, continued its growth momentum posting a record operating income for the first half of this year of $461m against $313.1m last time, an increase of 47.2pc.

The growth achieved in core earnings was mainly due to higher net interest margins earned on a prudently managed asset profile, supplemented by the accretive fee and commission income.

The group's strategic investments have all contributed very positively taking advantage of the cross-border deal flow opportunities and the synergies accruing from a diversified regional presence in five Gulf countries with linkages to UK and Egypt.

Overall, the cost to income ratio improved to 32.4pc from 35.2pc.

Basic earnings per ordinary share for the six-month period ended June 30 this year was 4.7 cents compared to 4.6 cents for the corresponding period last year.

Dilutive earnings per ordinary share adjusted for the significant impact of the conversion of preference shares in January this year, was 4.7 cents as against 3.6 cents for the same period last year.

Total assets grew by 17.4pc to $27 billion from $23bn at the beginning of the year.

The return on average assets for the first half of this year increased to 2.1pc as compared to 1.7pc for the corresponding period last year, contributing to a resultant annualised return on average equity of 18.8pc against 17.7pc last time.

"As the financial institutional community fully absorbs the ripple effects stemming from the subprime credit crisis, AUB's half year results are encouraging and are a testament to the effectiveness in implementing, in a prudent risk diversified manner, our core business strategy," said AUB chairman Fahad Al Rajaan.

"Earlier this year, AUB was the first ever recipient of AsiaMoney's Best Commercial Bank in Bahrain award, which marked the bank's fourth major award for this year.

"Global Finance accorded AUB with the award for Best Foreign Exchange Bank in the Middle East 2008.

"Euromoney and Global Finance also recognised the bank's outstanding performance and its unique, integrated product offerings by conferring on AUB the Best Bank in Bahrain 2008 and Best Bank in the Middle East - 2008 awards respectively, thereby reinforcing the bank's leading position in the Middle East's banking sector," he said.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Article Type:Financial report
Date:Jul 23, 2008
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