Bank of Sharjah’s total assets reached Dhs20.934 billion as at Dec.31, 2011, an increase of 2 per cent over the corresponding Dec.31, 2010 balance of Dhs20.618 billion. The increase in total assets was mainly driven by an increase in customer deposits.
Over the last year, Bank of Sharjah (BoS) successfully managed to further increase its deposits base. Total deposits reached Dhs14.940 billion as at Dec.31, 2011, an increase of 4 per cent over the Dec.31, 2010 figure of Dhs14.377 billion.
The Bank’s loans and advances reached Dhs12.039 billion as at Dec.31, 2011, comparable to the Dec.31, 2010 figure of Dhs12.107 billion. The continued increase in deposits over loans and advances enhanced the Bank’s loans-to-deposits ratio, reducing it further during the year to 0.81 as at Dec.31, 2011, from 0.84 on Dec.31, 2010.
The Bank’s equity as at Dec.31, 2011 stood at Dhs4.199 billion, 4 per cent below the Dec.31, 2010 figure of Dhs4,395 million. The decline from the December figure was mainly due to the exercise of the share buyback; during 2011, the Bank acquired its own shares worth Dhs228 million.
Net liquidity increased by 2 per cent during the year and stood at Dhs4,782 million as at Dec.31, 2011 versus Dhs4.682 billion as at Dec.31, 2010.
This improvement in liquidity, which was driven by the 4 per cent increase in deposits, led to a 4 per cent drop in net interest income, due to the depressed interbank interest rates.
The Bank has managed to reduce its operating expenses by 4 per cent during 2011. The synergies that materialised between the Bank and its Lebanese subsidiary post-acquisition facilitated a streamlining of operations at the subsidiary, thereby reducing operating expenses.
Ahmed Al Noman, Chairman of the Bank, expressed the satisfaction of the Board with the year end Net Profit figures, even though higher provisions were allocated, and considered that said provisions will be recovered in due time with the return of stock market dynamism. He added that the Bank, under the new accounting standards, has undervalued assets “marked to market” in an illiquid and lackluster stock market with extremely high upside potential.
Commenting on the results, Varouj Nerguizian, Executive Director and General Manager at Bank of Sharjah, said: “During the period of 2011, Bank of Sharjah has demonstrated the underlying strength of its core business operations. In particular, the Bank continued to increase its deposit base and enhance its liquidity position. The conservative policy of maintaining high liquidity ratios adopted by the Bank since inception — and recommended by Basel III directives - has proven its vital importance.”