April 28, 2019 / 6:26 AM / in 3 months

UPDATE 1-Jordan's Arab Bank group first quarter profit rises 5.2 pct - statement

(Adds details and background)

AMMAN, April 28 (Reuters) - Arab Bank Group, Jordan’s largest lender, said on Sunday its first-quarter net profit rose to $231.8 million, up 5.2 percent from $220.3 million a year earlier, with loans and customer deposits continuing to grow.

The bank, one of the Middle East’s major financial institutions, said in a statement that loans and customer deposits rose to $25.8 billion and $33.7 billion respectively.

Chairman Sabih al-Masri said the results showed the bank was generating strong results despite the backdrop of the challenging operating environment.

Arab Bank’s chief executive officer Nemeh al-Sabbagh said the bank’s performance was mainly driven by growth in core banking services with a 7 percent rise in net interest income.

The bank maintained a high level of liquidity in keeping with prudent credit policies to keep the quality of its lending portfolio, Sabbagh said.

The bank’s provisions coverage ratio for non-performing loans stood in excess of 100 percent while its capital adequacy ratio stood at 15.5 percent at the end of March, Sabbagh said.

Arab Bank, present in 30 countries in five continents, owns 40 percent of Saudi Arabia’s Arab National Bank ANB. (Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; editing by Richard Pullin and Elaine Hardcastle)

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