Manama, Bahrain: Bank ABC (Arab Banking Corporation B.S.C.) today announced that its consolidated Group net profit, attributable to the shareholders of the parent, for the first quarter of the year 2017 was US$50 million. These results are 22% higher compared to a profit of US$41 million reported for the same period last year, benefitting from strong performance in all core businesses.
Total operating income was US$229 million, compared with US$209 million reported in the first quarter last year. Operating expenses at US$112 million were slightly higher than last year, to some extent impacted from currency translation. Net impairment provisions for the quarter at US$29 million were higher than the previous year’s US$18 million. The source of this increase is our Brazilian subsidiary, Banco ABC Brasil, which continues to be impacted by some flow through from the recessionary conditions of the Brazilian economy, although the charge remains in line with our expectations for the quarter and is lower than Brazilian peer banks. Conversely, the Group ratio of non-performing loans to gross loans improved to 3.9%, compared to 4.1% at 2016 year-end. The tax charge was at US$23 million, compared to the charge of US$35 million for the same period last year, the variance largely arising from the tax treatment of currency hedges.
Bank ABC Group’s total assets stood at US$30.4 billion at the end of first quarter of 2017, comparable to US$30.1 billion at the 2016 year-end. The Bank continues to prioritise asset quality and return, whilst maintaining liquidity and capital strength.
Deposits at the end of the quarter were US$20.1 billion similar to the level at 2016 year-end. The Group’s liquidity position continues to be at comfortable levels with the liquid assets to deposits ratio at 68%, similar to the 68% at the year-end 2016.
Shareholders’ equity at 31 March 2017 stood at US$3,833 million after the distribution of 3% dividend to the shareholders. Group consolidated total capital adequacy ratio (CAR) remained strong at 18.5%, comprising predominantly Tier 1 at 17.3%.
Bank ABC's Group Chairman, Mr. Saddek Omar El Kaber, commented that “We are pleased to see the results of the first quarter in line with our expectations. While the unprecedented economic conditions in Brazil were challenging, we are observing first signs of recovery and our core businesses continue to perform well. Our proactive balance sheet management is bearing fruits, with our key health indicators improving.”