Profits drop at Arab Bank

16 August 2002

Amman-based Arab Bank Group hasposted first-half net profits of $158 million, a 5.4 per cent drop on the same period in 2001. Unaudited interim financials indicate falling other income, flat net interest and commission income and rising general and administrative expenses were the main drivers of the slip in earnings.

Arab Bank's balance sheet maintains its customary robustness. The bank's loan-deposit ratio of 59 per cent remains conservative, though it has increased over the last 12 months as the loan book has been expanded. Total assets grew 6 per cent in the first six months of the year to $22,988 million: Arab Bank is now the third largest bank in the Arab world in terms of assets.

The bank has, over the last 18 months, become increasingly active in regional corporate and project finance. It has also worked closely with the Jordanian government over the Egypt-Jordan gas pipeline, for which it is underwriting the supply agreement (MEED 5:7:02, Oil & Gas).

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