ABC says its 2002 performance was affected in particular by the Latin American financial crisis and the plunge in global equity markets. ‘It is unfortunate that turbulent market conditions have affected the half-year result, although our income generating capabilities have actually improved year-on-year,’ says ABC president and chief executive Ghazi Abdul-Jawad.

Net interest income rose by 1 per cent to $235 million from $233 million in the first half of 2001, but non-interest income slumped to $124 million from $154 million, reflecting the Latin American losses. Provisions went up by 35 per cent to $46 million.