January 27, 2018 / 3:41 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Jordan's Arab Bank group says 2017 net profit unchanged at $533 mln

(Adds details and background)

AMMAN, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Jordan’s largest lender, Arab Bank Group, said on Saturday its 2017 net profit came to $533 million, barely changed from $532.7 million with revenues coming mainly from core banking activities.

The bank, one of the Middle East’s major financial institutions, said in a statement that operational profits rose 12 percent, without factoring exchange-rate fluctuations.

Total loans rose 6 percent to $25.1 billion while deposits rose slightly to $33.8 billion at the end of last year compared with $33.6 billion in the same period the previous year.

Arab Bank is one of the region’s largest privately owned banks and operates in 30 countries. It owns 40 percent of Saudi Arabia’s Arab National Bank ANB.

Arab Bank CEO Nemeh Sabbagh said liquidity continued to be robust and the bank’s provisions coverage ratio for non-performing loans stood in excess of 100 percent.

The statement said the bank’s board of directors recommended the distribution of a 30 percent cash dividend on its 2017 results.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi Editing by Jeremy Gaunt and Louise Heavens

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