13 Nov 2013

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 13 November 2013 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank announced today (ed note: 13/11/13) a net loss of BD4.5million for the nine-month period ended 30 September 2013, compared to a net loss of BD5.9million for the same period last year.

The announcement, by Ithmaar Bank Chairman His Royal Highness Prince Amr Al Faisal, follows the review and approval, by the Board of Directors, of the Bank’s consolidated financial results for the nine-month period.

“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 BD1.7million for the three month period ended 30 September 2013, which is 74.1percent lower than the net loss of BD6.5 million reported for the same period last year,” he said.

“I am also pleased to report that operating income continues to be stable, at BD56.7million, 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 BD3.1million for the nine month period ended 30 September 2013, compared to BD5.6million in the same period last year. The profit before impairment provisions and taxation for the three-month period ended 30 September 2013 was BD2.2million compared to BD2.9million in the same quarter last year. This is a significant improvement from BD0.8million 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 BD53.7million, are 3.1percent lower than the BD55.4million 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.

“I am also pleased to report that the balance sheet continues to be stable, with the equity of unrestricted investment account holders recording an impressive growth of more than 16.6percent, from BD607million as at 30 September 2012, to BD708million as at 30 September 2013,” said HRH Prince Amr. “Meanwhile, Ithmaar’s focus on growing low-cost customer liabilities resulted in an 8.6percent decrease in certain high cost liabilities in an overseas subsidiary due to investors, as well as banks, financial and other institutions,” he said.

“Liquid assets, comprising cash, balances and commodity placements with banks, financial and other institutions, have also increased and represent about 15.1percent of the balance sheet as at 30 September 2013” said HRH Prince Amr. “These balances, which increased from 13.6percent as at 31 December 2012, exclude investments in government securities held by an overseas subsidiary,” he said.

Ithmaar Bank Acting Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Abdul Rahim said that the Bank remains committed to realising its board-approved vision of becoming the region’s premier Islamic retail bank.

“We continue to invest heavily in developing our products and services while also working to be closer to our customers,” said Abdul Rahim. “The financial results, which show an increase in the equity of unrestricted investment account holders as well as a reduction in both losses and expenses, indicate that our efforts are paying off,” he said

“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,” said Abdul Rahim. “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,” he said.

“Meanwhile, we have continued to focus on listening to our customers, improving services and on delivering tailored solutions that meet their specific requirements,” said Abdul Rahim. “We signed, for example, a key agreement with MasterCard to allow tourists and businessmen arriving in Bahrain from around the world, as well as expatriates and residents with globally-issued MasterCard credit and debit cards, to use their cards at Ithmaar Bank ATMs. As a result, customers now have seamless access to Ithmaar’s ATMs, including cash withdrawals and balance inquiries, regardless of where, or by which bank, their cards were issued,” he said.

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 US$2,000,000, for every BD50 deposited, also provides free life cover as well as anticipated monthly profit.

Ithmaar has also recently launched Premier Banking targeting high net worth individuals and 7esabi account targeting youth and won the prestigious Hawkamah Bank Corporate Governance Award in recognition of its corporate governance achievements.

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