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United Gulf Bank net profit surges 128pc

MANAMA: United Gulf Bank (UGB), the asset management and investment banking platform of the Kipco Group, saw net profit in the first nine months of the year jump 128 per cent to $41.4 million.

Net profit for the third quarter was up 218pc to $9.9m.

Total income for the third quarter rose by 28.6pc to $33.2m, taking income for the nine-month period ahead by 15.2pc to $105.7m.

Total assets for the nine months to September 30 slipped to $1.9 billion from $2.4bn for the year-end.

The improvement was part of the bank's strategy of offloading its commercial banking operations and concentrating on its asset management and investment banking operations.

"Following the realignment and consolidation of our business through the sale of our commercial banks to Burgan Bank, we can now focus on our core areas of expertise of asset management and investment banking and develop our strategy to create a platform of long-term growth for our investors and shareholders," said UGB chairman Masaud Hayat.

Total assets at $1.9bn represented a slight increase from $1.8bn as at June 30, but down from the $2.4bn recorded at the end of 2009.

The decrease in assets follows the disposal of UGB's stake in Tunis International Bank undertaken during the second quarter of 2010.

The transaction resulted in a $43.8m gain for UGB. The bank retains a strong balance sheet with a capital adequacy ratio of 18pc, well above the Central Bank of Bahrain's minimum level of 12.5pc.

Assets under management were $8.1bn compared to $7.4bn for the three months ending September 2009, reflecting favourable results in a challenging environment.

"The past quarter has been about developing our strategy to create the region's leading asset manager and investment bank, which includes working with a range of strategic partners to create opportunities that will position UGB as a leading financial institution for the region," said UGB chief executive officer David Rhodes.

"The regional and global markets continue to be volatile as the world works through the effects of the global downturn," he said.

"We believe that the fundamentals of the Middle East are strong.

"This is a growth region and we intend to be at the heart of the region's asset management and investment banking future," he added. business@gdn.com.bh



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