MANAMA : Arab Bank Group yesterday reported it achieved record growth last year in spite of the challenging environment in the region. Net operating income before provisions and taxes exceeded $1 billion . The group's net profit after tax was $501.9m at the end of last year compared with $352.1m at the end of the previous year, showing a growth of 43 per cent. The board has recommended cash dividend of 30pc and one share for every fifteen shares held. The bank has shown consistent solid growth over the last three years with The bank's profits have grown from $305.9m in 2011 to $352.1m in 2012 and $501.9m last year. Dividends payouts have also increased from 25pc in 2011 to 30pc in 2012 and 37pc last year. Loans grew by 3pc from $22.5bn in 2012 to $23.1bn last year and customer deposits grew by five per cent from $32.9bn in 2012 to $34.4bn last year. Liquidity remains a key pillar of strength for Arab Bank with a loan to deposit ratio of 67.1pc and capital adequacy ratio of 15.15pc. Arab Bank chairman Sabih Masri said the solid growth reflected the bank's prudent policies and strategic initiatives and the confidence that customers had in the bank. Mr Masri said he was "confident that the bank will continue to show strong performance notwithstanding the challenging regional environment." "The bank has grown its net profit not only by increasing operating revenues but also by controlling operating expenses," chief executive Nemeh Sabbagh said. He added that the bank continues to improve the quality of the credit portfolio with the provisions coverage ratio for non-performing loans in excess of 100pc, excluding the value of collaterals held. The results are subject to Central Bank of Jordan's final approval, the bank said.
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