Stable outlook for Arab Bank Group
Amman, December 7, 2009
Jordan's Arab Bank Group said Standard and Poor's Rating Services had affirmed its 'A-'foreign currency long-term rating with a stable outlook due to the bank's healthy financial position.
Chairman Abdel Hamid Shoman said the affirmation 'was proof of the solidity and strength of the bank's financial position'.
The bank, one of the Middle East's major financial institutions, saw its assets rise to $49.56 billion as of September 30 against $45.63 billion at the year-end, according to a report in our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News.
'S&P said the rating reflected the bank's superior geographic diversification, robust capitalisation, strong liquidity and solid track record of good asset quality,' a bank source said.
The bank, Jordan's largest lender, has said it was unaffected by the Dubai crisis and had minimal exposure to Dubai World.
Most Jordanian banks, including Arab Bank, are increasing their provisions to cover possible defaults and non-performing loans by businesses and real-estate firms reeling from the impact of the global downturn on the aid-dependent economy.
Bankers said while the provisions weighed on profits, the Arab Bank was cushioned by a healthy capital base and $8 billion in equity shares.