x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ajman profits leap despite fourth-quarter stumble

Ajman Bank's profits leap for the full year but stumble during the fourth quarter.

Ajman Bank reported a leap in net profits last year as it grew market share and swelled the size of its lending book, but profits stumbled during the last quarter of the year.

The Islamic lender, which has grown quickly since beginning operations in 2009, generated net income of Dh33.5 million (US$9.1m) during last year, compared to profit of Dh6.9m a year earlier.

However, Ajman's fourth-quarter profits fell 29.5 per cent to Dh8.3m, according to The National's calculations.

Mohamed Amiri, the bank's acting chief executive, said Ajman's financial performance for the year "reflects strong earnings in financing, operating income and profitability and is testament of the bank's robust position to maintain and grow market share".

The bank has grown quickly since commencing operations in 2009, avoiding many of the problems with bad debts that have troubled more established lenders.

However, the fall in fourth-quarter profit has bucked the trend among UAE lenders, most of which reported improved profits during the period.

Ajman Bank did not provide detailed financial statements or an explanation of the drop in quarterly income. The bank said its increase in income was mainly generated through corporate banking, lending to small and mid-sized businesses and treasury operations. Revenues rose to Dh291m during the year, an increase of 18 per cent compared with 2011.

The bank's shares rose 4.7 per cent in trading yesterday to Dh1.56 per share, having risen by 9.8 per cent so far this year.

The shares have underperformed the wider Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange General Index, which has gained 12.3 per cent during the same period.