News Column

Oman's ahlibank net profit jumps to OMR13.1m in first half

August 4, 2014

Times News Service

Muscat:  ahlibank, a leading financial services provider in the Sultanate, has achieved a net profit of OMR13.1 million in the first half of 2014 against a net profit of OMR12.5 million in the same period in 2013.

While operating income has increased by 4 per cent to OMR25.3 million as compared to the same period last year, operating expenses were controlled at OMR 8.2 million resulting in a lower cost to income ratio of 32.3 per cent.

The unaudited financial results for the six months ended June 2014 reflect a strong foundation of sustainable core earnings momentum, as the bank executes its strategy, the bank said in a statement. "ahlibank has been able to achieve sustained profitability while continuing to strengthen its balance sheet," said Hamdan Ali Nasser al Hinai, chairman of ahlibank.

Non-performing loan

"We are pleased to report that the bank's unwavering focus on its core businesses and service delivery has continued to strengthen its financial position and enhanced its capacity for further growth. We continue to augment our service channels for the benefit of our customers, while industry recognition of our core strengths in commercial banking, treasury and trade finance reaffirms their ongoing faith and support for the bank," added Hamdan Ali Nasser Al Hinai.

Year-over-year, the bank's customer deposits have grown by 8 per cent in line with the strategy to build a stable low cost deposit base. Loan growth of over 20 per cent has been established with a prudent risk management approach and in a diversified manner. The loan book continues to be of a high quality as reflected in the NPL (non-performing loan) ratio of 1 per cent as of June 2014, the bank said.

"ahlibank's results reflect the resilience of our business model, the strength of our commercial position and our stable financial profile. We will retain prime focus on our core business competencies, with continued vigilance in our approach to risk management whilst maintaining a strong capital base and a diversified liquidity position." said Lloyd Maddock, chief executive officer of ahlibank.

Four new 'kiosk' centres

The bank has already created a strong presence in Oman and during the first half of the year 2014, the bank inaugurated 4 new 'kiosk' customer service centres located in prime commercial areas with extended opening times along with the introduction of cash deposit machines.

ahlibank also introduced a state-of-the-art mobile banking application to complement its already successful e-Banking platform. Through the introduction of alternative banking channels the bank aims to provide customers with a fully-fledged branch banking experience from the comfort of their home.

ahlibank is committed to pursuing its objective of growth, not only in terms of its market size but also in diversifying its products and services to serve its growing customer base. In line with its efforts to expand its platform, the bank will shortly introduce e-banking and mobile banking for the Al Hilal Islamic Banking window in addition to a diverse range of credit card solutions to match the needs of customers.

Saving deposit accounts

The bank is also planning to introduce a number of saving deposit accounts in both conventional and Islamic operations, to encourage the culture of saving, as well as continued emphasis on technology driven products.

The build-out of the bank's wealth management services will continue, with new funds and portfolio management propositions being launched, to build upon the outstanding success of the pioneering Al Hilal Mena Investment Fund

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Source: Times of Oman

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