Ithmaar Bank cuts losses, continues growth

Ithmaar Bank, the Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank announced a net loss of BHD 4.5 million for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2013, compared to a net loss of BHD 5.9 million for the same period last year.

Ithmaar Bank cuts losses, continues growth

Ithmaar Bank cuts losses, continues growth

“On behalf of the Ithmaar Bank Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that Ithmaar Bank continues to grow its core retail banking operations and has significantly reduced its loss, both for the year-to-date and for the third quarter,” said HRH Prince Amr. “The financial results show a net loss of BHD 1.7million for the three month period ended 30 September 2013, which is 74.1percent lower than the net loss of BHD 6.5 million reported for the same period last year,” Ithmaar Bank Chairman, His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal said.

“I am also pleased to report that operating income continues to be stable, at BHD 56.7million, despite a significant compression of margins in overseas subsidiary due to 100 basis points cuts in benchmark profit rates in the past year,” said HRH Prince Amr. “This resulted in a net profit, before impairment provisions and taxation, of BHD 3.1 million for the nine month period ended 30 September 2013, compared to BHD 5.6 million in the same period last year.

The profit before impairment provisions and taxation for the three-month period ended 30 September 2013 was BHD 2.2 million compared to BHD 2.9 million in the same quarter last year. This is a significant improvement from BHD 0.8 million reported for the first six months of 2013,” he said.

“Expenses have also continued to reduce,” said HRH Prince Amr. “Total expenses for the nine-month period ended September 2013, at BHD 53.7 million, are 3.1 per cent lower than the BHD 55.4 million reported for the same period last year, this is despite the full period impact in 2013 of several new branches opened in Bahrain and by overseas subsidiary during this period in 2012,” he said.

Equity of unrestricted investment account holders recording growth of more than 16.6 per cent, from BHD 607 million as at 30 September 2012, to BHD 708 million as at 30 September 2013. Liquid assets, comprising cash, balances and commodity placements with banks, financial and other institutions, also increased and represent about 15.1 per cent of the balance sheet as at 30 September 2013, up from 13.6 per cent as at 31 December 2012, excluding investments in government securities held by an overseas subsidiary.
Ithmaar Bank Acting Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Abdul Rahim said, “We continue to invest heavily in developing our products and services while also working to be closer to our customers.

“In the three month period ended September 2013, for example, Ithmaar added three new Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) to its fast-growing retail banking network and refurbished two full-service branches. The three new ATMS, in Muharraq, Saar and Riffa are strategically located across the Island and bring the total number of ATMs to 47. As a result, with 17 branches and 47 ATMs, Ithmaar Bank now boasts one of the largest retail banking networks in the Kingdom.”

Ithmaar Bank has also re-launched its popular prize-based savings account, Thimaar, with bigger prizes and more winners. Thimaar, which offers customers a chance to win one of 3,000 prizes totalling more than $2,000,000, for every BHD 50 deposited, also provides free life cover as well as anticipated monthly profit.

Major Islamic finance push

Posted on » Friday, November 08, 2013

DUBAI: Djibouti is promoting Islamic finance to increase banking penetration in the tiny African nation and help fund upgrades to the country’s infrastructure, its central bank governor said.

Major Islamic finance push

Major Islamic finance push

Djibouti sees Sharia-compliant finance as a way to pull itself out of poverty. That’s because most people are still not customers of banks, which limits the economy’s ability to assemble capital for investment.

Central bank governor Ahmed Osman said banking penetration had risen from 10 per cent of the population six years ago to 17 or 18 pc now, but that conventional banks were not attractive to many people for religious reasons.

The spread of Islamic banking will also help authorities move more business activity from the informal economy, which is unregulated and untaxed, to the formal sector, he added.

The Islamic banks, which now account for about 15pc of the country’s total banking assets and 12pc of deposits, are backed by investors from Yemen, Somalia, the UAE and Egypt – regional links which Djibouti hopes to strengthen.