Net Income of Al Baraka Banking Group rose by 5% to US$207 Million in the First Nine Months of 2014 with Total Assets at US$ 22.5 billion
Manama, 10 November 2014:
The Bahrain based leading Islamic banking group, Al Baraka Banking Group B.S.C (ABG) announced that it has achieved a net income of US$ 207 million in the first nine months of 2014, an increase of 5% on the net income achieved in the first nine months of 2013. Similarly, statement of financial positions witnessed good increases. Total assets increased by 8%, investments and financing portfolio by 7%, customer accounts by 8% and total equity by 2% as at the end of September 2014 as compared with the end of December 2013. These results affirm the Group’s ability to accommodate the financial and economic fluctuations regionally and internationally and to achieve the growth in profitability in businesses.
Commenting on these results, Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Chairman of Al Baraka Banking Group, said "We are very proud to see continuing growth in the revenue and business of Al Baraka Banking Group and further elevation in its regional and global standing with the near end of 2014, this year which is considered difficult given the continuation of the challenging economic and financial conditions and extremely complicated Arab political developments. We consider the outstanding results achieved in first nine months of 2014 as an embodiment of the success of the business model that we followed since the founding of the Group, a model that reflects the true values of Islamic banking and far-sighted business strategies, supported by outstanding management expertise capable of creatively translating these values and strategies to facts on the ground. Therefore, we are optimistic about the future, and we make every effort to serve the communities in which we operate and provide products with high added value that contribute to their development and evolution. "
For his part, Mr. Abdulla Ammar Al Saudi, Deputy Chairman of ABG, said that " The Group financial results achieved in the nine months of 2014 confirm that despite the repercussion of the global crisis and successive political and social developments witnessed by Arab countries including some of the countries where the Group operate, the activities of the Group and its subsidiary units continued their steady growth. This reflect the success of the business strategies implemented by the Group that are based on their strong capital, human and technical resources, wide network of branches, and their firmly established presence in the markets. These business strategies that we at the Board of Directors of the Group have put in place based on the highest professional values, principles and standards that we embodied in all the programs, services and products that the Group offers".
Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif, Member of the Board of Directors and President & Chief Executive of Al Baraka Banking Group, said "the excellent results that we achieved in the first nine months of 2014 were the outcome of a number of initiatives that we had launched during the year, including continually improving the quality of our products and services, introducing more innovative products, expanding the branch network of ABG subsidiary units, strengthening relationships with our partners, investors and customers, and entering new markets as well as modernizing and developing our human, operational, regulatory and technical infrastructures both at Group level and subsidiary banking units levels. All these initiatives have contributed to maximizing the returns to the shareholders and investors of the Group, thanks to the wide range of expertise we possess in the markets in which our units operate and the Group's substantial financial and technical resources and the wide geographic network of the subsidiary units of the Group".
With regard to the Group's plans to expand its branch network, the President & Chief Executive said that "the subsidiary units of the Group in Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria and Tunis continued opening new branches, where the new branches opened since the beginning of the year reached 29 branches with total branches reaching 508 branches employing 10,493 employees at present, and we expect to add new branches this year."
Al Baraka Turk Participation Bank concluded successfully the issuance of Islamic Sukuk worth US$ 350 million in the form of Sukuk Al Wakala-Murabaha Given the large orders received by the Issue, the value of total subscriptions reached US$ 750 million, more than double the required amount. Many banks, financial institutions and investment funds from different main world financial centers participated in the Issue with 61% from Middle East, 31% from Europe and 8% from Asia.. In terms of investors type, 80% of them were banks and financial institutions, 8% Funds, 6% Hedge Funds and 6% Agencies. We are indeed delighted at the large success of the Islamic Sukuk of the Bank, given the prevailed fluctuated financial markets and world economic conditions. This endorses the strength of the position and reputation of Al Baraka Turk Participation Bank in the Turkish market, on the back of its consistent and successful performance over the past many years. "
As embodiment of the prestigious position that is now occupied by the Group and its units, three units of the Group won Islamic Finance News Awards 2013 as the Best Islamic Banks in the region through the annual comprehensive referendum conducted by the Foundation of Islamic Finance News. Al Baraka Islamic Bank won the award as the Best Islamic Bank in Bahrain, Al Baraka Bank Lebanon won the award as the Best Islamic Bank in Lebanon and Al Baraka Bank Sudan won the award as the Best Islamic Bank in Sudan.
Moreover, Al Baraka Banking Group and five of its subsidiary banking units received the "Best Islamic Financial Institution" Award of 2014, as part of the annual awards that the Global Finance magazine, which is specialized in banking and finance, awards to international banks and financial institutions. Al Baraka Banking Group received the Best Islamic Financial Institution in Middle East / Africa Award, Al Baraka Bank Lebanon received the Best Islamic Financial Institution in Lebanon Award, Jordan Islamic Bank received the Best Islamic Financial Institution in Jordan Award as well as Best Islamic Retail Bank in Jordan Award, Al Baraka Bank Limited received the Best Islamic Financial Institution in South Africa Award, Al Baraka Islamic Bank Bahrain received the Best Islamic Financial Institution in Bahrain Award and Banque Al Baraka D'Algerie received the Best Islamic Financial Institution in Algeria Award.
The winning of these awards by ABG and its subsidiary banking units was announced in a final result statement by these two institutions’ Award Committees, which included in its membership, a number of economists and editors of Global Finance, international financial advisors and a number of bank managers and experts in the field of banking. ABG and its banking units received these awards for their prominent role in the Islamic banking sector, their ability to achieve consistent growth in the future and meeting professional standards in terms of the quality of products and services offered to clients, as well as for their originality and innovation in services and customer service, continued development and innovation in banking operations and other important criteria such as strategic relationships, geographic reach, profitability and robustness of financial position.
We also continued during the past nine months of 2014 to enhance the unified IT network among units and to modernize the institutional, human and technical infrastructure of the Group through developing the regulations, applications and practices of corporate governance, social responsibility, governance, compliance, AML, training, risk management and FATCA regulations in according with latest international standards”.
In order to gain different perspectives on the credit rating by international rating agencies, ABG appointed International Islamic Rating Agency (IIRA) and Dagong Global Credit Rating Company Limited (Dagong) to carry out a credit rating exercise for the ABG Group. These rating agencies have been approved by the Central Bank of Bahrain as External Credit Assessment Institutions. Recently, the two rating agencies jointly issued an investment grade rating of BBB+ / A3 to the ABG Group and a national scale rating of A+ / A2 and said that the Group had a strong financial position, good asset quality, high corporate and Sharia governance standards, and conservative risk management practices backed by a sound and prudent business strategy and accompanied by a well-experienced and competent management team, and it had shown consistent results since inception as well as excellent resilience during the crises of the past few years. “
The financial statements of the Group for the nine months of 2014 showed that the total operating income reached US$ 673 million in the first nine months of 2014, compared to US$ 676 million in the same period in 2013. The net income amounted to US$ 207 in first nine months of 2014 compared to US$ 197 million in first nine months of 2013, which reflects an increase of 5%. This increase was achieved despite the 6% increase in the operating expenses of the Group on account of further expansion in the branch network, and enhancements in IT infrastructure and human resources and allocation of reserves, but the lower provision requirements resulted in the increase in net income, which reflect the improvement of asset quality of the Group. The net income attributable to equity shareholders of the parent amounted to US$ 116 million compared to US$ 112 million for the same period last year.
The total assets of the Group amounted to US$ 22.5 billion as at the end of September 2014, an increase of 8% over the comparative figure as at the end of 2013. Financing and investments amounted to US$ 16.4 billion as at the end of September 2014, representing an increase of 7% compared to the end of December 2013 as a result of expansion in businesses. Customer accounts have also witnessed a good increase of 8% from US$ 17.7 billion at the end of December 2013 to US$ 19.2 billion at the end of September 2014, which indicates continued customer confidence and loyalty to the Group. Total equity at the end of September 2014 amounted to US$ 2 billion, strengthening by 2%.
In regards to results of the third quarter of 2014 in comparing to the same period last year, the total operating income reached US$ 228 million, which represents an increase of 11%. After deducting all operating expenses and provisions, the net income amounted to US$ 64 million compared to US$ 57 million for the same period last year, which reflects an improvement of 12%. The net income attributable to equity shareholders of the parent for the third quarter amounted to US$ 35 million compared to US$ 33 million for the same period last year.
The President & Chief Executive of ABG concluded his statement by praising the tireless efforts of the executive management at Group Head Office, the executive management teams of the banking units of Al Baraka Banking Group and related parties that played an instrumental role in achieving these planned results for the Group.
The President & Chief Executive of the Group added that "We will continue during the remaining part of 2014 to implement the planned initiatives in launching new innovative products and services in the markets as well as enhancing the standing of ABG in the international markets. All of these plans will be implemented, God willing, successfully considering that we are the only Islamic banking group that has such diversity of geographical presence and excellent knowledge of the markets, and we are optimistic that we will end this year, God willing, with better results than the previous year".
On this occasion, Sheikh Saleh Abdulla Kamel, Chairman of Al Baraka Banking Group, Mr. Abdulla Ammar Al Saudi, Deputy Chairman, Mr. Abdulla Saleh Kamel, Deputy Chairman, and Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif, ABG President & Chief Executive and all Members of the Board of Directors of ABG expressed their sincere thanks to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Central Bank of Bahrain, Bahrain Bourse and Nasdaq Dubai for the cooperation and assistance they extended to the Group since it was established. They also extended their thanks to all the Central Banks in the countries in which the Group banks operate and to all investors and customers for their continued support. They also thanked all the employees of the Group for their loyalty, hard work and dedication which stand behind the successes and achievements of the Group.
Al Baraka Banking Group (B.S.C) is licensed as an Islamic wholesale bank by the Central Bank of Bahrain, listed on Bahrain Bourse and Nasdaq Dubai stock exchanges. It is a leading international Islamic banking group providing its unique services in countries with a population totalling around one billion. It is jointly rated BBB+ (long term) / A3 (short term) on the international scale and A+ (bh) (long term) / A2 (bh) (short term) on the national scale with a Stable outlook by Islamic International Rating Agency & Dagong Global Credit Rating Company Limited, and by Standard & Poor’s at BB+ (long term) / B (short term). Al Baraka offers retail, corporate, treasury and investment banking services, strictly in accordance with the principles of the Islamic Shari’a. The authorized capital of Al Baraka is US$ 1.5 billion, while total equity is at about US$ 2 billion.
The Group has a wide geographical presence in the form of subsidiary banking units and representative offices in fifteen countries, which in turn provide their services through over 500 branches. Al Baraka currently has a strong presence in Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Bahrain, Pakistan, South Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, including two representative offices in Indonesia and Libya.