(Adds details, quotes from executives, background)
AMMAN, July 28 (Reuters) - Jordan’s largest lender, Arab Bank Group, reported a 4% rise in first-half net profit to $453 million, from $436 million a year earlier driven by growth in core banking income.
A statement on Sunday by the bank, one of the Middle East’s major financial institutions, said total loans rose 3% to $26.2 billion as of the end of June, while deposits also rose 3% to $34.1 billion. Group equity stood at $8.7 billion, it said.
Chairman Sabih al Masri said the “strong performance despite the continued slowdown of economic growth in the region” reflected the bank’s ability to adjust to a “challenging banking environment.”
Arab Bank operates in 30 countries on five continents and owns 40% of Saudi Arabia’s Arab National Bank ANB.
Chief Executive Officer Nemeh Sabbagh said liquidity continued to be robust with a loan-to-deposit ratio of 76.9% as of end of June. The bank’s provisions coverage ratio for non-performing loans stood in excess of 100%.
The results also showed growth in core banking income with net interest income rising by 5 percent, Sabbagh said. The bank gave no figures for its net operating income. (Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Daniel Wallis)