Ithmaar Bank posts quarterly profits, continues customer-focused growth
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, reported a profit for the first quarter and said it continues to focus on further enhancing its customers’ Islamic banking experience. The bank’s quarterly net profit attributable to equity holders was BD0.15 million compared to the BD6.71 m net loss attributable to equity holders in the year-ago quarter.
Overall, net profit was BD1.55 m compared to the net loss of BD5.68 m for the same period in 2020.
“On behalf of the Ithmaar Bank Board of Directors, I am pleased to report that, despite the continuing economic challenges imposed by the ongoing global pandemic, the Bank has started the current year on a positive note, reporting profits for the Quarter and continuing to improve its customer offerings,” said HRH Prince Amr Al Faisal. “This further reinforces our confidence that the Bank is on the right track, and takes us another step closer to realising our shared vision of becoming one of the regions’ leading Islamic retail banks,” he said.
The bank also said its cost of funding decreased significantly, with profits paid to banks, financial and other institutions during the three months ended 31 March 2021 reducing to BD15.42 m, a 36 % reduction compared to BD24.09 m in the same period last year.
Ithmaar said the total expenses also remained well under control, decreasing to BD17.14 m, a 1.9% reduction compared to BD17.47 m, despite continued investments in further enhancing products, services and the customer experience.
“Despite the ongoing economic challenges, Ithmaar Bank continues to grow, particularly in the key, customer-focused areas,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “This is reflected in the continued growth of customer deposits, a key indicator of market confidence in the Bank, despite the extraordinarily turbulent economic conditions,” he added.
“Despite current market conditions, the equity of unrestricted investment account holders remained stable at BD1.28 billion as of 31 March 2021, with a minor increase of 0.5% increase compared to BD1.27 billion as of 31 December 2020,” said Abdul Rahim.
“Customers’ current accounts also grew to BD708.25 million as of 31 March 2021, 7% increase compared to BD661.74 m as of 31 December 2020,” he said.
Ithmaar Holding reports profit, assets up 7.1%
Bahrain-based Ithmaar Holding yesterday posted a first-quarter profit, reversing a loss in the prior quarter, helped by improvement in assets performance, and lower impairment provisions compared to the previous period.
The Board of Directors also said they are working on various initiatives to improve the capital position, “which will strengthen the Company’s consolidated equity.”
As part of this strategy, Ithmaar Holding and the Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in September 2020 on the potential acquisition by BBK of Ithmaar bank’s Bahrain operations as well as specific assets of IB Capital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ithmaar Holding.
The plans, which are currently in the due diligence phase, will require shareholders and regulatory approvals. Ithmaar Holding Chairman Prince Amr Al Faisal announced the first-quarter results.
Net profit attributable to equity holders for the quarter was US$8.86 million, compared to a net loss attributable to equity holders of US$22.58 m in the year-ago quarter. Earnings Per Share was positive US Cents 0.30, compared to negative US Cents 0.78 for the same period in 2020.
Overall, net profit was US$13.85 m compared to a net loss of US$18.18 m in the same period in 2020. Total owners’ equity increased to US$34.08 m as of 31 March 2021, a 130.9% increase compared to US$14.76 m as of 31 December 2020, mainly due to income attributable to shareholders as well as improvements in Pakistan Rupee’s exchange rates. Accumulated losses stood at US$824.16 m and amount to 109% of the share capital.
Total assets increased to US$8.98 billion as of 31 March 2021, a 7.1 per cent increase compared to US$8.38 bn as of 31 December 2020.
Ithmaar Holding’s investment portfolio comprises major financial institutions such as Ithmaar Bank, Faysal Bank Limited Pakistan, BBK and Solidarity Group Holding, in addition to several other non-financial investments including Naseej and Ithmaar Development Company.