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AHLI UNITED BANK'S PROFIT SURGES 19PC

MANAMA: Ahli United Bank (AUB) saw its profit surge 19 per cent in the first half of the year.

Net profit attributable to its equity shareholders rose to $161.7 million for the first half of the year against $135.9m for the same period in 2010.

"AUB's strong performance in the first half of the year, against the backdrop of unsettled regional political and economic conditions, is very satisfactory," said chairman Fahad Al Rajaan.

"The capital infusion by IFC Capitalisation Funds in April, following execution of landmark deals in March is another testimony to AUB's strong fundamentals and credentials as a major regional banking institution," Mr Rajaan added.

He said the results were made possible by strong support from AUB's stakeholders, which was further evidenced by capital funding from International Finance Corporation (IFC), the IFC Capitalisation Equity and Debt Funds during the period.

IFC Capitalisation Funds provided AUB with $125m new Tier I qualifying equity and $165m Tier II qualifying subordinated debt.

An agreement was also executed with IFC to extend the maturity date of its existing Tier II $200m subordinated debt from December 2016 to December 2018, thereby increasing its capital effectiveness for AUB.

The bank's basic earnings per share were 3.3 cents, compared to 2.8 cents last time.

Net profit was 20.2pc higher at $84.4m compared to $70.2m for the same period last year.

Net interest income increased by 16.8pc from $239.2m to $279.5m.

AUB's major associate banks in Qatar and Oman continued their strong performance in 2011 resulting in AUB's share of profits from associates increasing to $31.2m from $23.6m.

The overall cost income ratio improved to 31pc from 32.4pc.

Non-performing loans remained stable at 2.4pc.

Provision coverage increased to 128pc, including collective impairment provision, compared to 106pc as of June 30 last year.

The group's return on average equity stood at 13.3pc compared to 12.3pc last time.

Return on average assets also improved to 1.3pc from 1.2pc.

Group total assets grew by 4.1pc to $27.6 billion from $26.5bn at the year end, attributable mainly to additional customer deposits and prudent deployment of assets with a focus on maintenance of solid liquidity given the prevailing regional business climate.



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