April 28, 2018 / 2:01 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Jordan's Arab Bank Q1 net profit $220.3 mln vs $218.2 mln -statement

(Adds details and background)

AMMAN, April 28 (Reuters) - Jordan’s Arab Bank Group , the country’s largest lender, on Saturday reported first-quarter net profit of $220.3 million, slightly up from $218.2 million a year earlier.

Its overall operations continued to grow despite challenges faced by banks in the Middle East, chairman Sabih al Masri said in a statement.

Total loans rose 5 percent to $25.5 billion as of end-March, while deposits rose slightly to $33.4 billion compared with $33 billion in the corresponding period last year.

Masri said the first-quarter results reflected “the bank’s well-diversified activities and sources of income”, alongside its geographical spread.

One of the Middle East’s major financial institutions, Arab Bank operates in 30 countries on five continents, and owns 40 percent of Saudi Arabia’s Arab National Bank ANB.

CEO Nemeh Sabbagh said Arab Bank’s non-performing loans had “over 100 percent” provisions at the end of March. Liquidity continued to be robust with a capital adequacy ratio that stood at 15 percent. (Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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