MANAMA: Arab Bank Group announced its results for the first quarter of 2019 reporting 5.2 per cent growth in net profit after tax of $231.8 million as compared to $220.3m in 2018, with net income before tax increasing by 9.1pc to reach $312.8m.

Group equity stood at $8.5 billion, while loans increased to reach $25.8bn and deposits increased to $33.7bn.

Board of directors chairman Sabih Masri said the performance of Arab Bank Group confirms its success in generating strong results despite the backdrop of the challenging operating environment.

Chief executive Nemeh Sabbagh said the underlying performance of the Group continues on its growth path with first quarter results recording a healthy increase in net operating income.

He added that the strong performance was driven by growth in core banking income with net interest income increasing by 7pc as well as by lower provisions.

Mr Sabbagh said Arab Bank Group enjoys high liquidity and strong and robust capitalisation.

The Group’s capital adequacy ratio stood at 15.5pc as of March 31 2019. He added that asset quality remains high and that credit provisions held against non-performing loans continue to exceed 100pc.

Mr Masri expressed his confidence in the Group’s ability to deliver strong and sustainable results.

Arab Bank was named “Best Bank in the Middle East” for the fourth consecutive year by Global Finance, New York.

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