Bank ABC Islamic closed the first quarter with net profit of $10.8 million, 9.6 per cent higher than $9.9m for the same period last year.

The growth in income and profitability is at the back of growth in core customer business as well as higher profit rate environment. The balance sheet remained healthy, maintaining strong capital ratio.

The bank’s operating income of $43.2m was 29.7pc higher than the same period in 2023 and net income attributable to quasi-equity of $24m, 23.1pc higher compared to Q1-2023.

Allowances for credit losses for the period were a charge of $1.6m compared to a write back of $0.2m reported during the same period last year.

Operating expenses were $6.7m, compared to $4m for the same period of last year. Adjusting for exceptional charge, expenses were 9.5pc higher compared to Q1 2023.

Bank ABC Islamic’s total assets stood at $2.508 billion as of March 31, 2024, compared to $2.501bn at 2023 year-end.

Investments were $1bn, compared to $809m at 2023 year-end.

Murabaha receivables, Ijarah and Musharaka financing were at $1,442m, compared to $1,566m at 2023 year-end.

Shareholders’ equity on March 31, 2024, stood at $328m, in line with 2023 year-end.

The bank’s capital base remains very strong with a capital adequacy ratio of 42.1pc, predominantly Tier 1, which totalled 41pc.

Commenting on the results, Hammad Hassan, managing director of Bank ABC Islamic, said, “We started 2024 with continued positive business momentum from last year, which was a record year for the bank with respect to income and profitability. Core client business grew further at the back of strong performance from various product lines including trade finance, cash management as well as capital markets and treasury products.

“We closed six sukuk mandates during the first quarter as joint lead manager. The growth in operating income was partially offset by a rise in operating expenses due to a one-off legal charge arising from a legacy transaction. Despite the extra-ordinary expense, we have closed the first quarter with healthy profitability.

“We remain cautiously optimistic of the business environment for rest of the year.”

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