Arab Bank Group reported record growth in 2013. Net operating income before provisions and taxes exceeded the one billion U.S. dollars , whereas the group's net profit after tax reached $501.9 million at the end of 2013 compared to $352.1 million at the end of 2012 showing a growth of 43 per cent. The Board of Directors has recommended distributing cash dividends of 30 per cent for the financial year ended December 2013 and one free share for each fifteen shares. The bank has shown consistent solid growth over the last three years with profits growing from $305.9 million in 2011 to $352.1 million in 2012 to $501.9 million in 2013. Dividends payouts have also increased from 25 per cent in 2011 to 30 per cent in 2012 to 37 per cent in 2013. Loans grew by 3 per cent from $22.5 billion in 2012 to $23.1 billion in 2013 and customer deposits grew by $1.5 billion from $32.9 billion in 2012 to $34.4 billion in 2013, a growth of 5 per cent. Liquidity remains a key pillar of strength for Arab Bank with a loan to deposit ratio of 67.1 per cent and the capital adequacy ratio is maintained at a solid 15.15 per cent. Mr. Sabih Masri , Chairman of Arab Bank , commented that the solid growth reflects the bank's prudent policies and strategic initiatives and the confidence the bank's customers have in Arab Bank . Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh , CEO of Arab Bank , explained that the bank was able to achieve several key strategic objectives in 2013 despite the challenges that emerged during the year. The bank has grown its net profit not only by increasing operating revenues but also by controlling operating expenses. Mr. Sabbagh added that the bank has continued to improve the quality of the credit portfolio with the provisions coverage ratio for non-performing loans in excess of 100 per cent, excluding the value of collaterals held. Mr. Sabih Masri concluded by stating that he is "confident that the bank will continue to show strong performance notwithstanding the challenging regional environment."
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