*** ----> BBK Soars Past Pandemic | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

BBK Soars Past Pandemic

TDT | Manama                                                      

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Report by Mahir Haneef

Even as talks of a possible merger between National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) and the Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK) are progressing, figures released by BBK during its annual general meeting on Wednesday showed the company making a strong comeback since the Covid-19 pandemic, possibly indicating a resurgence of the banking industry in the Kingdom to pre-pandemic levels.

The company said its net profit rose 16% in 2023 from last year and reached BD 74.5 million.

In 2019, which was largely not impacted by the pandemic, a net profit of BD75.4 m was reported.

Annual net profits of BBK have been on an upward trend post pandemic, rising from BD52m reported in 2020, to BD53.1m in 2021, to BD 64.4m in 2022, and to BD 74.5m in 2023.

A large percentage of the company’s total operating income of BD154m this year came from retail banking, which contributed to 43% or BD 66m.

Corporate banking brought in 27% or BD 41m. Investment, treasury, and other activities comprised 18% or BD 28m.

International banking contributed 12% of the operating income and was worth BD 19m. Backed by the steady rise in profit, BBK revealed a diluted earnings per share (EPS) of 43 Bahraini Fils for 2023, up over 16% from 37 Fils in 2022.

This takes the diluted EPS of BBK close to the 44 Fils reported in 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Total assets remained steady over the years though, with BD 3,902m being reported for 2023 and BD 3,754m in 2022, while it was BD 3,865m in 2019.

Loans and advances have been largely steady since 2019, reaching BD 1,588m in 2023, compared to BD 1,614m in 2022 and BD 1,671m in 2019.

Customer deposits too have remained steady since 2019, with BD 2,130m being reported in 2023, whereas BD 2,117m was deposited in 2022 and BD 2,170m were the deposits in 2019.

Along with improving its net profit on a yearly basis since the pandemic, the company was also able to significantly reduce the non-performing ratio of its loans.

It reached a low of 3% in 2023 from 5.9% in 2019, with 6.3 percent reported in 2020, 5.2% in 2021, and 3.4% in 2022.

Capital adequacy ratio (CAR) of the bank has also been on an upward trend since 2019, reaching 28.1% in 2023 from the 21.7% reported in 2019.

Over the years, the CAR went up from 21.7% in 2019 to 21.8% in 2020, to 23.6% in 2021, to 27.3% in 2022, and to 28.1% in 2023.

The company had total assets of BD 3,764m and liabilities of BD 3,244m in 2023, figures revealed by the company said.