AMMAN: Jordan-based Arab Bank Group posted a 10 per cent rise in quarterly profit yesterday to $204 million, as revenues rose and its wide geographical spread left it less exposed to the region's political turmoil than some of its peers.
The bank, one of the Middle East's major financial institutions with a presence in 30 countries across five continents, saw assets grow 1.5pc to $46.3 billion at end-March 2012, according to a bourse statement.
Gross income for January-March rose 8.5pc to $459.6m with a healthy rebound in the bank's core commission and trade finance business.
Arab Bank Group chairman Abdel Hamid Shoman said in March he hoped the bank would continue the steady performance it achieved last year with 13pc growth in net profit to $306m, even though unrest in the Arab world made it difficult to predict the outlook.
He said growth in the bank's balance sheet last year reflected its financial strength despite a difficult business climate that saw many global and regional banks' earnings fall.
Bankers said Arab Bank set aside nearly $1bn in provisions in the last two years to cover non-performing loans by businesses reeling from the global downturn, but was cushioned by a healthy capital base. Figures show shareholder equity rose 1.3pc in the first quarter to $7.7bn at end-March 2012 against the same period last year.
Non-performing loans stood at $1.6bn at the end of March and comprise 7.5pc of total credit facilities with non-performing loans covered by 102pc of provisions as of March 2012.