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Jordan’s Arab Bank 2018 profit jumps 54 pct after legal win

Published: Updated:

Jordan’s largest lender, Arab Bank Group, said 2018 net profit jumped 54 percent to $820.5 million after transferring $325 million in surplus provisions it had put aside after the bank settled a major legal case.

Operational profit rose eight percent, the bank said in a statement on Saturday. Total deposits rose to $34.3 billion compared with $33.8 billion in the same period the previous year.

A US appeals court last year threw out a 2014 jury verdict finding Arab Bank liable for knowingly supporting militant attacks in Israel linked to Hamas, a decision that triggered a settlement agreement with hundreds of plaintiffs.

The ruling ended more than 13 years of litigation over Arab Bank’s liability for 24 attacks in and around Israel in the early 2000s. The lender disputed the claims.

CEO Nemeh Sabbagh said with the case now finalized the bank was able to transfer $325 million in surplus provisions held for the case to its 2018 profits.

The bank also said that it put aside $225 million in provisions for investments in Turkey due to currency depreciation.