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   2016
   
 

Al Baraka Banking Group Achieve US$ 116 million Net Income Attributable to Equity Holders of the Parent in the First Nine Months of 2016

 Manama, 13 November 2016:

The Bahrain The Bahrain based leading Islamic banking group, Al Baraka Banking Group B.S.C (ABG) announced that it achieved a noticeable increase in total operating income of 7%, and net operating income by 8% during the first nine months of 2016 as compared to the same period in 2015.

Total operating income reached US$ 789 million in the first nine months of 2016 compared to US$ 738 million during the same period of 2015, an increase of 7%. Net operating income increased by 8% from US$ 333 million to US$ 362 million during the same period, despite the noticeable increase of 6% in operating expenses due to expansion in branch network.

After substantial increase in general provisions, which the Group strengthened them as precautionary measures due to general economic and financial conditions in some countries where the units operate as well as the rest of the world, the Group was able to achieve a net income attributable to equity holders of the Parent of US$ 116 million during the first nine months of 2016, slowing down by 3.8% compared to the same period in 2015 of US$ 121 million. The Groups total net income reached US$ 204 million, down by 4.8% compared to the total net income achieved during the first nine months of 2015, which was US$ 214 million.
These profits come in line with our expectations and estimate at the beginning of the year and reflect the Groups ability to achieve the continued growth in revenues derived from diversified and sustainable resources and based on high-quality income-generating assets and wide network of clients, branches, relations and products. These profits will also show a growth if the fluctuation effects in the prices of the local currencies of the countries of some units against the US dollar were excluded.

Al Baraka Banking Group has continued its strong financial performance during the first nine months of the year 2016, where its activities grew in all major business segments and its subsidiary banking units achieved a large increases in business and profitability with a diversity of sources of income in spite of regional and global economic and security conditions. Profit growth rate was affected during the first nine months of this year by the  increase in operating expenses as a result of the expansion of the new branches in addition to increasing the financial and regulatory hedging provisions and the decrease in value of  currencies of countries where some of the units operate against the US dollar as previously mentioned.

With regards to the third quarter results of 2016 in comparison with third quarter results of 2015, total operating income increased by 6% to reach US$ 251 million in comparison with US$ 236 million for the same period last year, net operating income increased largely by 19% to reach US$ 126 million in comparison with 105 million last year, while the net income attributable to equity holders of the parent reached US$ 35 million, down by 3.8% from US$ 36 million last year, and net profits slowed down by 4.6% to reach US$ 61 million from US$ 64 million reported last year.

The total assets of the Group as at the end of September 2016 increased by 1% compared to December 2015 and reached US$ 24.9 billion. The growth rate was affected by the decline of currencies of some countries in which its units operate against the US dollar, the currency in which the Group's consolidated accounts are reported. The Group maintained a large portion of these assets in the form of liquid assets in order to seize the financing opportunities and to face the fluctuations in the markets.
Operating assets (financing and investments) amounted to US$ 19.1 billion as at the end of September 2016 compared to US$ 18.4 billion at the end of December 2015, an increase of 4%.

Customer accounts as at the end of September 2016 also increased compared to December 2015's level by 1% and reached US$ 20.5 billion, which indicates the continued customer confidence and loyalty in the Group and growing customer base and expansion in the branch network.

Total equity reached US$ 2.2 billion at the end of September 2016, up by 3% compared to the end of December 2015.
HE Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Chairman of Al Baraka Banking Group, said that the financial and economic challenges continued regionally and internationally during the first nine months of 2016, which created challenging environment for ABG and its banking units, but despite this, thanks to God, the Group achieved good profitability growth rates and at the same time maintained its high quality of assets and strength of liquid assets, in addition to improve financial returns from all core businesses and all this within its socially responsible Islamic banking model.

For his part, Mr. Abdulla Ammar Al Saudi, Vice Chairman of ABG, said that "The Group and its banking units continue to devote a sustainable growth approach based on firm moral and economic pillars linked to the real economy of the communities in which they operate, which provides the stability and growth factors for the operational and profitability results of the Group.
Mr. Adnan Ahmed Yousif, Member of the Board of Directors and President & Chief Executive of Al Baraka Banking Group, said "The first nine months of 2016 saw the continuation of the difficult international and regional developments and conditions, including the slowdown of economic activities, the decline in oil prices and government tax measures in some countries, in addition to decline of currencies value of some of our units' countries against the US dollar, the currency of the Group's consolidated reports. But despite all these developments, we were able maintain our strong profits and operational positions, and also to enhance our precautionary measures in the context of sound policies and strategies developed by the Group and are implemented by all units.  The performance of all our units was a very strong and proved to be able to adapt and even benefit from the economic and financial developments in their countries in promoting their activities and income, resulting in a collective participation in the outstanding results we have achieved. The profits achieved during the first nine months of 2016 were consistent with our expectations and our budget at the beginning of the year. However, these profits will show a growth rate if the fluctuation effects in the prices of the local currencies of the countries of some units against the US dollar were excluded.

With regard to the Group's plans to expand its branch network, the President & Chief Executive said that We opened 28 new branches in the first nine months of 2016 to bring total branches to 615 branches with total staff of 11,653. This reflects the clear role of our units in creating rewarding jobs to citizens in their communities.  In addition, this policy is one of main pillars of growth in businesses and profits in the Group.

In an important strategic step that reflects the robustness of the financial resources of the Group and its ambitious plans for expansion in key markets, Al Baraka Bank Pakistan Limited has completed the successful acquisition of Burj Bank in Pakistan. The Bank obtained the approval of The State Bank of Pakistan for the acquisition and the new bank will carry Al Baraka name.  Burj Bank was formed in 2007 and is the 6th largest Islamic commercial bank in Pakistan with a strong shareholding that includes Islamic Development Bank and financial institutions and investors from the GCC. The merger will result in creating strong financial institution with total assets of PKR 120 billion (US$ 1.2 billion) and total number of branches of 224 in more than 100 cities and towns and more than 2,500 employees.

After obtaining the official approval to establish a banking unit in Morocco, we are working now to complete the establishment procedures, and we hope to launch it soon. The entry of the Group to Morocco market is considered a very important achievement, because it represents one of the main markets in the Arab Maghreb and Africa, and will achieve a higher diversification in assets and income sources for the Group.

For the fourth successive year, ABG and six of its subsidiary banking units received the "Best Islamic Financial Institution" Award of 2016, as part of the annual awards that the Global Finance magazine, which is specialized in banking and finance, awards to international banks and financial institutions. Al Baraka Banking Group received the Best Islamic Financial Institution in Middle East / North Africa Award, Al Baraka Islamic Bank received the Best Islamic Financial Institution in Bahrain Award, Jordan Islamic Bank received the Best Islamic Financial Institution in Jordan Award, Al Baraka Bank South Africa received the Best Islamic Financial Institution in South Africa Award, Al Baraka Bank Algeria received the Best Islamic Financial Institution in Algeria Award, Al Baraka Bank Tunisia received the Best Islamic Financial Institution in Tunis Award and Al Baraka Bank Lebanon received the Best Islamic Financial Institution in Lebanon. The winning of these awards was announced in a final result statement by the magazine's Award Committee, which included in its membership, a number of economists and editors of Global Finance, international financial advisors and a number of bank managers and experts in the field of banking.

During the month of August, Al Baraka Banking Group joined the United Nations Global Compact in order to enhance its role in global social responsibility programs and plans. The United Nations Global Compact is built on the premise that companies have an important role to play in improving our world first and foremost by doing business responsibly and then by pursuing the exciting opportunities to provide solutions to our greatest global challenges. The United Nations Global Compact has become the largest global network of sustainable companies  with 8,800 businesses in 165 countries committed to uphold the United Nations values and principles in how they operate. The initiative's activities are anchored in Local Networks based in more than 80 countries.
Mr. Adnan added: "We focused over the last nine months in particular on providing modern online training programs for the employees of the Group and its units that are related to compliance, sanctions and KYC regulations and others. Besides we continued our efforts to embody the values and principles of our unified brand, which is based on the concept of partnership with customers, in all the products and services we offer.

The President & Chief Executive of the Group added, "For the remaining part of 2016, we expect the fluctuations in regional and international markets will continue, which creates difficult business environment for international banks, but we will continue our precious policy and investment of our large financial and technical resources in addition to wide geographical network of the units of the Group towards maximizing the returns for our shareholders and the investors in the Group".
The President & Chief Executive of ABG concluded his statement by praising the tireless efforts of the executive management at Groups Head Office, the executive management teams of the banking units of Al Baraka Banking Group and related parties and led to achieving the excellent results.

Al Baraka Banking Group (B.S.C) is licensed as an Islamic wholesale bank by the Central Bank of Bahrain, listed on Bahrain Bourse and Nasdaq Dubai stock exchanges. It is a leading international Islamic banking group providing its unique services in countries with a population totaling around one billion. It is jointly rated BBB+ (long term) / A3 (short term) on the international scale and A+ (bh) (long term) / A2 (bh) (short term) on the national by Islamic International Rating Agency & Dagong Global Credit Rating Company Limited, and by Standard & Poor's at BB+ (long term) / B (short term).
Al Baraka offers retail, corporate, treasury and investment banking services, strictly in accordance with the principles of the Islamic Shari'a. The authorized capital of Al Baraka is US$ 1.5 billion, while total equity is at about US$ 2.2 billion.
The Group has a wide geographical presence in the form of subsidiary banking units and representative offices in fifteen countries, which in turn provide their services through nearly 700 branches. Al Baraka currently has a strong presence in Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Bahrain, Pakistan, South Africa, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, including two representative offices in Indonesia and Libya.

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