13 May 2016
MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 13 May 2016 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, reported today (ed note: 13/05/16) a net profit of US$4.83 million for the first quarter of 2016, compared to the US$7.62 million net profit reported for the same period last year. Net profit attributable to equity holders of the Bank for the first quarter of 2016 was US$1.22 million, which is lower by 54 percent compared to the US$2.64 million profit reported 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 three-month period ended 31 March 2016.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to announce that Ithmaar Bank is continuing to work towards our shared vision of becoming the region’s premier Islamic retail bank, and that the Bank’s core retail business continues to perform well,” said HRH Prince Amr. “The financial results of the first quarter of 2016 include an operating income of US$61.48 million, compared to US$83.34 million for the same period last year which included a one-off gain realised on government securities by our Pakistan subsidiary, Faysal Bank Limited,” he said.
“Total expenses for the three-month period ended 31 March 2016 reduced to US$45.62 million, from US$48.94 million for the same period last year, despite the continued retail banking branch expansion,” said HRH Prince Amr. “This significant achievement is, in a large part, due to the ongoing cost control measures which started in 2014 both in Bahrain and Pakistan operations,” he said.
Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim, said the Bank continues to remain focused on enhancing its products and services while growing closer to its customers and that as a result, the Bank’s core retail banking business continues to grow.
“I am pleased to report that the balance sheet continues to be stable, and our core business continues to grow,” said Abdul Rahim. “This is evident from the equity of unrestricted investment account holders growing to US$2.29 billion as at 31 March 2016, a 10.0 percent increase compared to US$2.09 billion as at 31 March 2015, and a 4.3 percent increase compared to US$2.20 billion as at 31 December 2015,” he said.
“This increase is further evidence of customers’ continued confidence in Ithmaar Bank,” said Abdul Rahim. “Correspondingly, our total financing portfolio grew to US$3.73 billion as at 31 March 2016, a 7.5 percent increase compared to US$3.47 billion as at 31 March 2015 and a marginal increase as compared to US$3.72 billion as at 31 December 2015. Liquid assets now represent 11.6 percent of total assets compared to 10.6 percent as at 31 December 2015,” he said.
In April, Ithmaar Bank, which recently re-launched its popular prize-based saving account, Thimaar, to include one of the largest number of prizes in Bahrain, gave away the first luxurious car to a Thimaar customer. Ithmaar Bank also announced 185 other Thimaar winners for the March monthly draw, including a US$10,000 monthly prize winner, while another 92 Thimaar account holders won US$1,000 each and 92 Thimaar Junior winners won US$200 each in the daily draws. The Thimaar savings account was launched with a new scheme offering customers 4,000 prizes – one of the highest in Bahrain, totalling US$2.3 million throughout the year. The feature enhancements were introduced to further differentiate one of the Bank’s key products in the marketplace.
Meanwhile, Ithmaar Bank continues to expand its retail banking network, which is already considered one of the largest in Bahrain, and will shortly inaugurate a new, full-service branch in Galali – its eighteenth branch in the Kingdom. Ithmaar Bank is also in the process of adding two new ATMs, bringing the total number of ATMs to 48.
Earlier this year, at the Bank’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), shareholders approved plans for a new group structure designed to further develop the growth achieved in the core retail banking business and the strategic focus of the Bank.
The plans involve the creation of a new holding company that will be listed on Bahrain Bourse and Kuwait Stock Exchange and licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). The new holding company will retain 100 percent ownership of all assets presently owned by Ithmaar Bank. These assets will be allocated into two wholly owned subsidiaries, an Islamic retail bank subsidiary which will hold the core retail banking business, and an asset management subsidiary which will hold the investment assets. These two subsidiaries will also be licensed and regulated by the CBB. This new group structure will further consolidate Ithmaar Bank’s position as a strong retail-focussed premier Islamic retail bank under the Ithmaar brand, better allowing the Bank to take advantage of new growth opportunities, and help to generate greater value to its shareholders.
Ithmaar Bank is now working with regulators towards finalising necessary legal and other requirements ahead of anticipated implementation later this year.
13 May 2016