MANAMA, May 4: Ahli United Bank B.S.C. (AUB) reported a net profit attributable to its equity shareholders of US$ 154.6 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2016. The net profit reflected an increase of 5.0% in Q1/2016 as compared to the net profit figure of US$ 147.2 million achieved in Q1/2015. The Q1/2016 net profit also represents a 31.0% improvement over the Q4/2015 trailing quarter reported profit of US$ 118.0 million. The Basic Earnings per Share in Q1/2016 were US 2.3 cents, compared to US 2.2 cents in Q1/2015.
Despite continuing weak economic trends into 2016, AUB continued to grow its operating income underpinned by an effective balance sheet management strategy, with net interest income (NII) rising by 5.5% to US$ 201.3 million during the quarter. Total operating income grew by 6.3% from US$ 263.9 million to US$ 280.5 million. The cost income ratio improved to 28.1% (Q1/2015: 28.5%).
Solid asset quality levels were sustained with the non-performing loans ratio standing unchanged at 1.8% (Dec 31, 2015: 1.8%) while the specific provision coverage ratio stood at 84.0% (Dec 31, 2015: 84.6%). The total provision coverage ratio, inclusive of collective impairment provisions, was 181.8% as at 31 March 2016 (Dec 31, 2015: 181.9%).
The Group’s Return on Average Equity (ROAE) for Q1/2016, increased to 17.6%, compared to the ROAE of 17.5% achieved in the first quarter of 2015. Return on Average Assets also increased to 2.0% for Q1/2016 (Q1/2015: 1.9%).
Hamad Al-Humaidhi, AUB Chairman, commented: “AUB continued its strong and steady performance in Q1/2016 underpinned by the viability of the Bank’s core regional business model based on diversification and cross border flows”.
“In March 2016, the Bank succeeded in expanding its geographic reach further by opening its fully owned subsidiary Ahli United Bank Limited (AUBL) in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), UAE. AUBL is the first bank in the GCC region to receive the Category 1 License from Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). This launch enables AUB to offer corporate banking, private banking, wealth management, trade finance, treasury and cross-border financial products and services to its clients based in the UAE as well as in the wider Middle East region. All these products and services are available on a conventional as well as a Shari’a compliant basis through AUBL. The launch of AUBL represents an important addition to the AUB group banks and a key step forward in pursuing its defined strategy of targeted regional expansion, with emphasis on increasing cross border business flows. ” added Al-Humaidhi.