Gulf International Bank (GIB) announced a 15 per cent drop in profits in 1994 compared with a year earlier and says the fall was mainly due to poor performance in trading securities.

Net profits at the Bahrain-based bank fell to $74.8 million last year, compared with $88.2 million in 1993.

Selected results released by the board of directors in late January show assets up by about 6 per cent in 1994 to $7,574 million, compared with the previous year. The bank says the return on shareholders’ equity was 13.4 per cent.

Trading securities’ profits dropped sharply last year to about $2 million- 3 million, after record earnings recorded in 1993 of more than $52 million. The bank says this was due to a slump in the international bond markets after rising US interest rates.

However, the drop in earnings from trading was countered by a rise in interest earnings and lower provision charges than a year earlier. The bank plans to concentrate on its core businesses during the new year, which include trade finance, project finance, Islamic banking and corporate lending.

The board of directors, chaired by Bahrain’s Finance & National Economy Minister Ibrahim Abdul-Karim, approved the audited financial statements on 24 January. Full results will be released at the meeting of the general assembly on 27 March.

GIB is a wholly owned subsidiary of Gulf Investment Corporation.