Awards for Excellence 2009: Jordan
Best Bank: Arab Bank
Even the very best banks in the Middle East have felt the force of the financial crisis. At the end of the first quarter of this year Arab Bank announced that it had posted pre-tax profits of $216 million, down from $272 million for the same period a year earlier. Partly the difference is explained by a one-off boost to profits last year through the sale of branches in Cyprus. Still, as Arab Bank’s chairman and chief executive, Abdel Hamid Shoman, admits: "Anybody that says that they won’t be affected by the crisis is not telling the truth." Arab Bank, though, has fared much better than many other financial institutions. Even with the fall in profits, the bank has improved its capital base and liquidity position.
Last year proved a record one for the bank as the group’s profits before taxes and after provisions exceeded $1 billion, up 10% on 2007.