Bank of Palestine branch in Bethlehem
Bank of Palestine (BOP), the largest Palestinian bank, has continued to be profitable and resilient in 2013, showing strong increases in several key performance indicators
, despite regional instability and a challenging macroeconomic environment. Net profit reached $18.71mGenera, compared with $18.29m at the end of June 2012 (an increase of 2.30 percent); assets increased to reach $2.18bn compared to $2bn at the end of 2012 (an increase of 8.85 percent); and owner's equity reached $229m compared to $221m at the end of 2012 (an increase of 3.62 percent).
The bank's market share has also increased during the first half of 2013, to reach 25.24 percent and 21.91 percent in credit facilities and deposits respectively, compared with 23.75 percent and 20.77 percent as at end of 2012. During this period, the bank continued its efforts in playing a vital role in economic growth by increasing our lending to all segments of the economy, thus increasing the loans portfolio by 5.04 percent to reach $1.03bn, compared with $976m as at end of December 2012. Deposits also witnessed a steady increase of 9.10 percent to reach $1.696bn at end of June 2013, compared with $1.554bn at end of 2012.
Hashim Shawa, Chairman and General Manager of BOP, shared his optimistic outlook on the political and economic fronts driven mainly by US Secretary of State John Kerry's recent initiative in Palestine, "We are hopeful that this initiative will take a comprehensive approach and lead to both political and economic developments in the near future. These major developments and their potential outcome will only contribute to even more positive results for the bank, since we are well positioned to capitalise on the improving situation, and our business strategy has been built factoring in existing market conditions, therefore any improvement, will only lead to further success."
As a tribute to the bank's consistent performance, solid balance sheet, range and quality of its services, strong risk management and corporate governance, and positive impact on the Palestinian economy and society, Bank of Palestine has been recognised once again by several prestigious international institutions (including Euromoney, Global Finance, EMEA Finance, Banker ME and several others) as the "Best Bank in Palestine".
BOP also received a special commendation this year for Leadership in the Middle East as part of the "Sustainable Bank of the Year" award by the Financial Times (FT), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). This commendation recognises the bank's efforts in extending the reach of its sustainability strategy throughout the bank's entire operation including promoting sustainable finance, developing a sustainable economy, gender inclusion, and investing in youth. It also recognises BOP's corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives that are based on a dynamic and well studied community outreach programme.