Bahrain International Bank (BIB) has reported profits of $18.7 million for 1995, 11 per cent higher than a year earlier. The rise mainly came from successful sales from the bank’s investment portfolio, as well as reducing the level of general provisions.

The rise in income was accompanied by a 14 per cent drop in the size of the balance sheet to $600 million. BIB reduced its holding of repurchase agreements to $9 million from $158 million, although this decline was partly offset with the issue of a three-year floating rate note worth $60 million in August (MEED 8:9:95).

The bank is continuing to focus more reosurces on investment banking business. In October, the bank offered a $20 million stake in a US company with a franchise for 99 Burger King restaurants. The company was acquired by BIB in late 1994 at a cost of $110 million. The bank is also increasing its fund management operations, and in the autumn launched the Muscat Index Fund to track Omani shares.