Coronavirus: Jordan’s Arab Bank first-half net profits drop 66 pct to $152.1 mln

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Jordan’s largest lender, Arab Bank Group, reported a 66 percent year-on-year drop in first-half net profit to $152.1 million, saying its revenues were hit by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the regional and global economies.

The bank, one of the Middle East’s major financial institutions, also said on Saturday that total loans rose 2 percent to $26.7 billion as of the end of June, while deposits climbed 5 percent to $35.9 billion. Group equity stood at $9.2 billion, it said.

Lower interest rates and weakening oil prices hurt revenues, it said.

Chairman Sabih al Masri said that while the impact of the pandemic was unprecedented, the bank was helped by a diversified presence in many markets.

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Arab Bank operates in 30 countries on five continents and owns 40 percent of Saudi Arabia’s Arab National Bank (ANB).

Chief Executive Officer Nemeh Sabbagh said liquidity continued to be high, with a loan-to-deposit ratio of 74.4 percent as of the end of June. The bank’s provisions coverage ratio for non-performing loans continued to be in excess of 100 percent.

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