The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Arab Bank has signed a financing agreement of EUR 300 million to support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and midcaps in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and the West Bank. The operation comes under the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI), aimed at enhancing the prospects for more resilient and inclusive growth as well as creating sustainable employment opportunities in the region. This new credit line brings the overall EIB finance to private sector development in the EU Southern Neighbourhood region to EUR 1.8 billion over the last two years.
The finance agreement is the first EIB’s regional credit line for small and medium businesses in the selected countries. The EIB’s financing will be channelled by Arab Bank at rates affordable to small and medium businesses in the region, thereby enhancing economic growth through catalysing and accelerating private investment.
Arab Bank is the leading bank in Jordan and a primary provider of banking services in the Middle East and North Africa, thus supporting economic development and trade across the region. Arab Bank is present in key financial markets and centres such as London, Dubai, Singapore, Geneva, Paris, Frankfurt, Sydney and Bahrain.
The EIB – Arab Bank partnership further builds on the strengthened commitment of the EIB to support economic development and stimulate private sector-led growth and job creation in the region in the context of the ERI. Requested by the 28 EU Member States, ERI is part of the response by the European Union to the challenges posed by forced displacement and migration in the region, with a focus on tackling the longer-term causes of migration. It aims to boost economic resilience, create opportunities for employment and improve both daily living conditions and the business environment in the region by stimulating investment in the private sector and vital infrastructure in the EU Southern Neighbourhood and Western Balkan countries.
European Union Ambassador to Jordan, H.E. Andrea Matteo Fontana, stated: “The EU is supporting Jordan in its ongoing efforts to reinforce the stability and resilience of its economy. We work together with the national authorities, the civil society and the financial sector to support private sector and improve access to finance so that all segments of the population in Jordan – including women, youth and refugees - can equally pick from better and more options to improve their financial and job perspectives.”
Commenting on this landmark transaction, Flavia Palanza, Director of EU Neighbouring Countries at the EIB, said: “We are delighted to establish this new partnership with the Arab Bank. Our cooperation will contribute to speed up the delivery of vital finance to support the investments of small and medium enterprise in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and the West Bank. SMEs play an important role in job creation, innovation and sustainable economic growth. As the Bank of the European Union, our aim is to contribute to building stronger and resilient economies that create jobs. Supporting private sector in the EU neighbourhood region is a priority under the Bank’s Economic Resilience Initiative.”
Arab Bank’s CEO Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh said: “We are honoured to join the EIB in this very special initiative, which is fully aligned with our constant efforts towards supporting economic growth and development in Jordan and our region. The support for the SME sector is also a key priority of governments throughout the MENA region, and with Arab Bank’s unique footprint in this part of the world, we are proud to be able to contribute to the overall success of this sector.”
The Banker Magazine, published by the Financial Times Ltd., selected Arab Bank as Bank of the Year in the Middle East for 2017. The announcement came during The Banker’s “Bank of The Year Awards 2017” ceremony held recently in London and attended by 350 senior representatives of more than 120 banks from all over the world.
The Banker Magazine is the world’s longest running international banking title. For 90 years, the publication has been the leading monthly journal of record for the banking industry, globally. The judging panel’s decision to honour Arab Bank with this highly coveted regional award was based on criteria assessing a number of different indicators, including the Bank’s financials, strategy and performance, in addition to other specific indicators.
Commenting on the award, Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh CEO of Arab Bank said, “Such recognition is a testament to the leading position Arab Bank enjoys both locally and regionally. It reflects the Bank’s consistent ability to deliver solid performance despite the challenging circumstances and developments across the region.” He added, “We will continue to deploy our longstanding banking experience, thorough understanding of the region and extensive footprint spanning five continents, to serve our clients and provide them with integrated financial solutions that meet their evolving needs and expectations.”
During the same ceremony, Arab Bank was also named Bank of the Year in Jordan for 2017.
Arab Bank received significant recognition and awards from various reputed international and regional institutions during the year, including Best Bank in the Middle East for 2017 from both New York-based Global Finance publication and The Union of Arab Banks.
Arab Bank Group continued its solid financial performance during 2017, posting net income after provisions and taxes of USD 600.8 million for the nine months period ended 30 September 2017 as compared to USD 617.9 million in prior period. The results were achieved despite the impact of the translation effect of foreign currency devaluations.
The performance of Arab Bank Group reflects its commitment to grow while maintaining a strong and healthy capital base as shareholders’ equity reached USD 8.5 billion as of September 30th, 2017. Customer deposits stood at USD 33.6 billion whilst the loans and advances increased by 6% to reach USD 25 billion compared to USD 23.7 billion as of December 31st, 2016.
Mr. Sabih Masri, Chairman of the Board of Directors commented that the financial performance during the nine months period confirms the success of the Group in dealing with the challenging operating environment.
Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh, Chief Executive Officer, stated that the underlying performance of the Group is driven by the strength of its core businesses, as the net operating income reached USD 894 MM, recording solid growth of 9% after excluding the impact of FX devaluations.
Mr. Sabbagh stated that Arab Bank Group enjoys high liquidity. As of 30 September 2017, the Group’s loan-to-deposit ratio stood at 69.1%, while the capital adequacy ratio calculated in accordance with the new Basel III regulations reached 15.9%. He added that the asset quality remains high, and that credit provisions held against non-performing loans continue to exceed 100%.
Mr. Masri stated that the diversified business model and geographic profile of Arab Bank Group will continue to support its strong performance and leading position.
Arab Bank was named the “Best Bank in the Middle East” in 2017 for the second year consecutively by Global Finance magazine.
Arab Bank and The King Hussein Cancer Foundation (KHCF) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) under which Arab Bank will support the” Back to School” Program at KHCF for the academic year of 2017-2018.
The MoU was signed by Mrs. Nisreen Qatamesh, KHCF General Director and Mr. Tareq Haj Hasan, Senior Vice President - Head of Branding at Arab Bank.
Mrs. Qatamesh expressed her gratitude to Arab Bank, saying: “Arab Bank has always been the first to take on noble initiatives and the Bank continues to provide its valuable support to the Center’s patients. Through this initiative the young patients will have the opportunity to pursue their education during their long courses of treatment at KHCC.”
Commenting on this initiative, Mr. Tareq Haj Hasan said “Arab Bank’s continuous cooperation with KHCF reflects the Bank’s belief in the mission and active role undertaken by KHCF in combating cancer. “He added: “This initiative comes as part of the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program, and aims at supporting KHCF's efforts in providing the highest quality healthcare to the largest number of patients, especially children, ensuring their continued access to basic education during their courses of treatment at the Center.”
“Back to School” program is one of KHCF's programs that aim to enable pediatric patients to continue their education while receiving treatment at the Center through the assignment of two teachers from the Ministry of Education to teach children. More importantly, the program helps those children to regain their self-confidence and sense of normality.
Arab Bank and the Jordan Air Ambulance Center have renewed their cooperation agreement for a second consecutive year. The aim of the agreement is to support the Center in achieving its goal of raising the standard of medical services available in the Kingdom. The renewal of the agreement for a second year highlights Arab Bank’s commitment to corporate social responsibility.
Arab Bank will continue to support the Jordan Air Ambulance Center in all its services, including moving injured persons aerially from remote locations to specialized medical centers, through search and rescue missions using helicopters. This will ensure better treatment in emergency situations.
Mr. Tareq Haj Hasan, Senior Vice President and Head of Branding at Arab Bank stated: “The renewal of this agreement comes as part of Arab Bank’s corporate social responsibility and reflects its belief in JAAC’s mission and the special role it plays in medical air evacuation for emergency cases in remote areas. This humanitarian mission was manifested through the several critical cases which the center handled successfully last year.”
Rami Amoush JAAC, CEO expressed his appreciation for the private sector support of humanitarian centers which will result in widening the base of those who have access to these medical services. He added: “We are proud of our relationship with a leading institution such as Arab Bank. This cooperation is an example of a successful corporate social responsibility program. It also embodies the constructive partnerships built with the private sector in order to provide our citizens with access to life-saving medical services.”
The Jordan Air Ambulance Center was launched in 2014 by a Royal directive, with a trained and professional crew, and two helicopters fully equipped and capable of covering the entire Kingdom. This service ensures that Jordanians and residents have access to air-lifting in case of emergencies 24 hours a day, all week long; summarized by JAAC’s slogan “On a Mission to Save Lives”. Over the past two years, JAAC has saved the lives of more than sixty people, thanks to its ability to provide comprehensive pre-hospital emergency and critical care swiftly to those in need.
Arab Bank Group announced its results for the first half of 2017 reporting net income after tax of USD 415.2 million as compared to USD 424.9 million for the corresponding period of 2016. The results were driven by solid growth in underlying core revenues and were achieved despite the impact of the translation effect of foreign currency devaluations.
Net operating income before provisions and taxes reached USD 593.5MN as compared to USD 591.3 MN. Excluding the effect of the devaluations of a number of Arab and foreign currencies, the Group’s net operating income grew by 7%. Customer deposits stood at USD 33.5 billion whilst the loans and advances increased by 4% to reach USD 24.7 billion.
Mr. Sabih Masri, Chairman of the Board of Directors stated that the strong performance of Arab Bank Group confirms the success of the Group in dealing with the challenging operating environment.
Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh, Chief Executive Officer, stated that despite geopolitical and macro economic uncertainties in the region, the underlying performance of Arab Bank Group for the six months period ended 30 June 2017 has been strong, recording solid growth in net operating income of 7%, after excluding the impact of FX devaluations.
Mr. Sabbagh stated that Arab Bank Group enjoys high liquidity and robust capitalization.
As of 30 June 2017, the Group’s loan-to-deposit ratio stood at 68.2%, while the capital adequacy ratio calculated in accordance with the new Basel III regulations reached 15.6%. He added that the asset quality of the Group remains high, and that credit provisions held against non-performing loans continue to exceed 100%, excluding the value of collaterals held.
Mr. Masri stated that the diversified business model and geographic profile of Arab Bank Group demonstrates its resilience and its ability to deliver sustainable growth.
Arab Bank was named the “Best Bank in the Middle East for 2017 and 2016 by Global Finance magazine.
Arab Bank Group announced its results for the first quarter of 2017 reporting a net profit after tax of $218.2 million as compared to $218.3 million.
Net operating income before provisions and taxes reached $290 million driven by growth in the underlying core banking revenue. Excluding the effect of foreign currency devaluations, the Bank’s net operating income would have shown a growth of 7%. Customer deposits stood at $33 billion whilst the loans and advances increased by 3 % to reach $24.4 billion.
Mr. Sabih Masri, Chairman of the Board of Directors stated that the strong performance of Arab Bank Group confirms the success of the Group in dealing with the challenging environment.
Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh, Chief Executive Officer, stated that Arab Bank Group enjoys high liquidity and strong capitalization. As of 31 March 2017, the Group’s loan-to-deposit ratio stood at 68.4%, whilst capital adequacy ratio calculated in accordance with the new Basel III regulations reached 15.5%. He added that the asset quality of the Group remains to be high, and that credit provisions held against non-performing loans continue to exceed 100%, excluding the value of collaterals held.
Mr. Masri concluded by remarking that the encouraging results will continue to support the improvement in the Group’s performance to deliver a sustainable growth.
Arab Bank was named the “Best Bank in the Middle East for 2017 and 2016 by Global Finance magazine.
Arab Bank was named Best Bank in the Middle East 2016 by Asiamoney Magazine, a sister title of Euromoney based in Hong Kong and specialized in covering the financial and banking sector across Asia. The recognition came as part of a poll conducted by the publication which covered several banks from the Middle East region. The award is yet another testament to Arab Bank’s outstanding overall performance, its solid financial position as well as its prominence across the regional markets.
Arab Bank achieved this recognition based on numerous considerations by the magazine’s research specialists including: the Bank’s outstanding performance, quality service offered to the different sectors as well as its ability to cater efficiently to both customers’ and shareholders’ needs. Results of the poll were published within a summary of all banks’ performance during the year 2016 in the magazine’s latest issue.
In addition to the regional recognition, Arab Bank was also named the Best Bank in Jordan and Arab Bank’s CEO Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh was also granted the Outstanding Contribution to Finance award, in recognition of his efforts and contributions to the Arab Banking industry for more than 40 years. Mr. Sabbagh had previously been awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Finance award in the Middle East back in 2014 by Euromoney magazine and he has also been named during the same year as the Arab Banker of the Year by the Union of Arab Banks.
Commenting on this achievement, Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh stated, “Being selected for these prestigious awards from among the group of banks operating in the Middle East region is a true manifestation of Arab Bank’s leading position in the banking industry, both locally and regionally.” He further added, “For more than eight decades, Arab Bank has been and continues to be at the forefront of the MENA banking sector providing comprehensive and advanced banking services and solutions to its clients across the various segments. This is in addition to the major role the Bank continues to play in supporting economic growth across the region through its constant contributions to financing vital and infrastructural projects, as well as the intra trade across the Middle East and North Africa.”
It’s worth mentioning here that Arab Bank received several international awards and recognitions from prestigious organizations during 2016, most notably the awards of Best Bank in the Middle East from Global Finance and Best Bank in Jordan from Euromoney, Global Finance, EMEA Finance and The Banker magazines.
Arab Bank Group announced its 2016 results reporting a growth of 20% in net profits. Net operating income before provisions and taxes exceeded US $1.1 billion, whilst the Group’s net profit after tax reached USD 533 million for the year 2016 as compared to US $ 442 million for 2015.
Excluding the effect of foreign currency devaluations, the Bank has shown a consistent solid growth during 2016 whereby loans and advances grew by 6% to reach USD 23.7 billion and customer deposits grew by 3% to reach USD 33.6 billion.
Mr. Sabih Masri, Chairman of the Board of Directors stated that the strong performance of Arab Bank Group confirms the success of the Group in dealing with the challenging and changing operating environment and reflects the Group’s prudent operating policies.
Mr. Nemeh Sabbagh, Chief Executive Officer, stated that Arab Bank Group enjoys strong liquidity and robust capitalization. As of 31 December 2016, the Group’s loan-to-deposit ratio stood at around 70%, whilst capital adequacy ratio calculated in accordance with the new Basel III regulations has improved further to reach 15.7%. He added that the asset quality of the Group remains to be high, and that credit provisions held against non-performing loans continue to exceed 100%, excluding the value of collaterals held.
Mr. Masri concluded by remarking that the encouraging results will continue to support the continuous improvement in the financial performance of the Group and its position in its markets.
Arab Bank was named the “Best Bank in the Middle East for 2016” and the “Best Trade Finance Bank in the Middle East” by Global Finance magazine, “Best Bank in the Middle East for 2016” by Asia Money magazine. In addition, the Bank has received the award of “Best Cash Management Services in the Middle East” from EMEA Finance, the “Best Trade Bank in the Middle East” award from Trade & Forfaiting Review magazine and “The cash manager of the year in the middle East” award from the Global Investor/ISF. Furthermore, Arab Bank was also named the “Best Bank in Jordan” by Global Finance, Euromoney, EMEA Finance, Asia Money & the Banker-Financial Times.
In view of the results, the Board of Directors has recommended to the shareholders the distribution of 30% cash dividends for the financial year ended December 2016.
The 2016 financial statements are subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Jordan.