BLOM Bank announced Wednesday that its unaudited net profits for the first nine months of 2012 jumped by 6.1 percent to $250.68 million.
“The unaudited financial results for the first nine months of 2012 show sturdiness in its profits and steady growth in its balance sheet. Net profits up to the end of September 2012 reached $250.68 million, up by 6.1 percent or $14.37 million from the same period in 2011, despite booking additional provisions of $83 million,” the bank said in a statement.
It added that these results imply the highest profitability ratios among Lebanese listed banks with a return on average equity of 17.73 percent and a return on average assets of 1.41 percent.
“These results commend the bank’s performance amid operating conditions characterized by political tensions in the country and upheavals in the region, especially in neighboring Syria, and by debt crises and economic slowdown at the global level,” the statement said.
It added that these results reinforce the success of BLOM Bank’s strategy to give priority to control over banking risks and expenses, as reflected in the bank’s high coverage ratio of non-performing loans at 123 percent when accounting for real guarantees, excluding collective provisions; its lowest cost-to-income ratio at 38.11 percent and its high capital adequacy ratio at 13 percent.
“Also notable was the expansion in the bank’s balance sheet, which witnessed solid and balanced growth at a time of troubled economic prospects in Lebanon and the region,” BLOM said.
Total assets increased to $24.37 billion by the end of September 2012, up by $1.2 billion, or 5.21 percent, from end 2011. Also over the same period deposits increased to $21.32 billion, higher by 5.06 percent or $1.02 billion; whereas loans to customers climbed to $5.88 billion, more by 5.25 percent or $293.68 million, and total equity rose to $2.1 billion, up by 6.25 percent or $123.98 million.
“These results show once again the soundness of BLOM Bank’s cautious and conservative policy, which allows it to limit the negative implications arising from the current circumstances and to preserve the quality of its assets and its capital position,” the statement said.