SHARJAH: Sharjah Islamic Bank has reported an increase in its operating profits before provisions by 8.7 percent, amounting to AED697.7 million, compared to AED642.1 million for the same period last year.

The exceptional circumstances that the world is going through, the Bank has been prudent to hedge the potential risks owing to these difficult economic conditions and has made a provision on its financial assets amounting to AED255.8 million, compared to AED96.8 million from the last year. As a result, the net profits of the Bank decreased to AED405.8 million ($110.5mln)  compared to AED545.5 million for the year 2019, a decline of 25.6 percent.

The Board of Directors proposes 8 percent cash dividend of the paid-up capital.

The balance sheet reflects the Bank’s total assets of AED53.6 billion at the end of December 2020, growing by 15.5 percent compared to AED 46.4 billion at the end of 2019.

The bank continued to diversify its financing facilities portfolio in different economic sectors in accordance with its prudent credit policy that takes into consideration the effects of the prevailing market volatility and instability in global and regional capital market on banking operations. Financing facilities reached AED29.3 billion, an increase of AED4.1 billion or 16.4 percent compared to AED 25.1 billion last year.

SIB successfully attracted more deposits during the period as customer deposits increased by 23 percent to reach AED33.6 billion compared to AED 27.3 billion at the yearend 31 December 2019.

Liquid assets stayed strong at AED 11.2 billion or 20.9 percent of total assets at the end of December 2020.

On the expenses side, general and administration expenses declined to AED561.5 million at the end of 2020 compared to AED585.4 million for the same period 2019, a decrease of AED16.2 million or 2.8 percent, due to operational efficiencies achieved by the Bank.

Sharjah Islamic Bank has a strong capital base. Total shareholders' equity at the end of December 2020 reached AED7.6 billion, representing 14.3 percent of the Bank's total assets with a strong capital adequacy ratio of 21.5 percent according to Basel III requirements.

As for the financial results, Mohamed Abdalla, CEO of Sharjah Islamic Bank, praised the positive results achieved by the bank during the past year in light of the unprecedented economic conditions that affected and is affecting the world, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He pointed out that the financial performance indicators showed the efficiency and flexibility of the organizational units across all sectors in the bank, as well as the high level of dedication and hard work. The very teams, that continued to provide their services to the bank’s clients, from institutions to individuals to small and medium scale companies without interruption, during this difficult period. It is notable to state that they succeeded in taking the necessary steps to manage risks in light of the challenging operating environment. Simultaneously, the bank took the initiative in developing its services and expanding its digital and technological services, with the aim of improving customer service and laying the foundations for the growth of the bank's business over the coming years.

Additionally, he explained that, "Sharjah Islamic Bank is an integral part of the national economy of the UAE. Therefore, we are keen to achieve our vision and aspirations by building a competitive knowledge economy based on innovation, while paving the way together towards recovery and continuing to contribute to establishing a strong digital economy. We hope to do so in a manner that meets the needs and aspirations of society, according to the highest standards, for the sake of the prosperity and the success of the national economy as a whole."

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.