Jordan’s Arab Bank group says first-half net profit rise 5 percent to $436 million

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AMMAN (Reuters) – Jordan’s largest lender, Arab Bank Group <ARBK.AM>, reported a five percent rise in first-half net profit to $436 million from $415 million a year earlier driven by steady growth in core banking services. A statement released on Saturday by the bank, one of the Middle East’s major financial institutions, said net operating income rose 13 percent to $668.5 million during the same period.

Total loans rose three percent to $25.5 billion while deposits fell to $33 billion compared with $33.8 billion at the end of last year.

Chairman Sabih al Masri said the bank’s diversified operations and geographic spread allowed the bank to be able to “adjust to a challenging operating environment”.

Arab Bank operates in 30 countries on five continents, and owns 40 percent of Saudi Arabia’s Arab National Bank ANB <1080.SE>.

CEO Nemeh Sabbagh said liquidity continued to be robust with a loan-to-deposit ratio of 71.6 percent. The bank’s provisions coverage ratio for non-performing loans stood in excess of 100 percent.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi, Editing by William Maclean)

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