CIB produces steady profit growth

15 February 2002

A strong last quarter for Commercial International Bank (CIB)fuelled a 4.4 per cent increase in earnings in 2001. Full-year net profits of£E 402 million ($87 million) were posted, giving the bank an impressive return on year-end equity of almost 26 per cent.

The volatility of CIB's operating environment had threatened to negatively impact the bank's performance (MEED 23:11:01). The nine-month interim figures showed a sharp increase in provisioning to £E 239 million ($52 million), but with potential non-performing loans covered, full-year provisioning was only marginally higher at £E 276 million ($60 million).

However, concerns over the health of the local economy and the potential quality of lending opportunities have encouraged CIB to fine-tune the shape of its balance sheet. The loan:deposit ratio became markedly more conservative over the course of last year, dropping from more than 91 per cent to 79 per cent.

CIB was able to exploit the devaluation of the Egyptian pound: foreign exchange income increased by 15 per cent to £E 162 million ($35 million).

Good progress was also made in other parts of the programme to diversify income streams. Notably, banking fees and commission income increased by more than 8 per cent and total fee income accounted for 51 per cent of net operating income, compared to only 47 per cent in 2000.

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