13/02/2018 08:27 AST

Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) announced strong financial results that have positively impacted all the Bank's operations. The Bank recorded a net profit of BD 10.1 million for the year ended 31st December, 2017 compared to a net profit of BD 8.4 million last year, an increase of 20%. During the last quarter of 2017, the Bank achieved a profit of BD 4.7 million compared to a net profit of BD 4.1 million for the same period last year, an increase of 15%.

Dr. Esam Abdulla Fakhro, Chairman of the Board of Directors, explained that in the fiscal year ended on 31st December 2017, the Bank has achieved BD 42.9 million as operating income, compared to BD 41.7 million last year, an increase of 2.9%, adding that the Board has decided to take net impairment provisions during the year of BD 6.2 million compared to BD 9.7 million last year.

Dr. Fakhro stated that total operating income for the last quarter of 2017 amounted to BD 10.3 million compared to BD 13.1 million for the same period last year. Net write backs amounted to BD 1.3 million for the last quarter of 2017 compared to net provisions of BD 3.8 million for the same period last year.

On Monday, the Chairman announced that the Board has approved the financial statements of the Bank for the financial year ended on 31st December 2017. The Board expressed its satisfaction with the results which reflect the improved financial performance of the Bank and the successful implementation of BisB’s work plan during the year.

The Chairman stated that despite the difficult economic challenges facing the region and the strong competition in the market, the Bank was able to maintain a healthy financial position and liquidity during the year. The Bank's management continued to apply its prudent and conservative approach to the various transactions and financing provided to its customers.

Dr. Fakhro explained that the Bank has witnessed a number of positive developments in various areas of its business during 2017, where the Bank's five pillars strategy of ‘Ishraq –Back to Basics’ continues to achieve the desired results. In addition, its plans and work programs continue to contribute to the improvement of services and satisfaction of its customers, and the aspirations of its shareholders.

Hassan Amin Jarrar, Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, noted his continued optimism with the improvements in the financial results for 2017, achieved by the contribution from all the Bank's employees. He explained that the fact that 100% of revenues came from the Bank’s core business, further reinforces BisB’s ‘Ishraq - Back to Basics’ strategy launched in 2016.

Jarrar explained that Islamic financing has increased by 11%, in addition to an increase in customer accounts by 18% as compared with 2016. The cost of deposits increased by 72% from last year, noting that the Bank has a good liquidity ratio which stands at 12.2%, and capital adequacy ratio (CAR) at 19.43%.

Jarrar said that the Bank is still in the process of disposing of its non-yielding assets and reducing its non-performing facilities. This requires more time and effort to enhance the Bank's asset management operations by the most prudent means.

Despite the difficult economic conditions and the political situation in the region during 2017, in addition to competition in the market, Mr. Jarrar emphasized that the Bank continued to enhance its portfolio of products and services to customers with various campaigns and promotions, encouraging customers to invest and receive promotion awards. Additionally, the Bank has signed a number of agreements and MOUs with strategic partners inside and outside the region; e.g. its launching of ‘Tamweel Plus’ program in collaboration with Tamkeen with a BD 20 million financial portfolio to support medium and large corporations in the Kingdom; its signing of a tripartite MOU with Takaful International and Trust Re to provide insurance services on project performance bonds; and its signing of an MOU with Flat6 Labs to introduce acceleration programs to attract start-ups vested in innovation in the financial services sector.

Technology played a much larger role for the Bank in 2017. The Chief Executive Officer noted at the end of last year the Bank launched its application for smart phones, ‘BisB Digital’, which is regarded as one of the best banking applications in the Kingdom. It has received the approval of many of the Bank’s customers for its easy, convenient and safe solutions. The Bank has been unique in providing intelligent and developed payment solutions and is the first Islamic bank in Bahrain to launch its ‘Benefit Pay’ service for its merchant customers, in co-operation with Benefit.

In a related context, Mr. Jarrar said that the Bank will soon open its first digital branch, which will be the first in Bahrain. Specialist employees will be available to assist customers on the use of the new branch.

Jarrar announced that during the past year, BisB strengthened its executive management team through a combination of internal promotions and external hires from international banks, including the first Bahraini woman to become the General Manager of Retail Banking since the inception of the Bank. Jarrar also noted that during the past year, the Bank held several senior executive-level training programs as well as programs for its employees from various other levels of management in order to enhance and develop their skills. Seven of its officers participated in the Leadership Development Program at Darden College, USA.

In conclusion, the Chief Executive Officer thanked the Board of Directors for their continuous support; the Executive Management Team and all Bank employees for their efforts and dedication; the Sharia Board for their guidance; the supervisory authorities for their co-operation and support; and the shareholders and distinguished customers for choosing the Bank to conduct all their banking transactions. BisB looks forward to 2018 being a further year of success and achievement.

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