Saturday 13 April 2024

Abdulla Kamal

SICO 2023 attributable net profit jumps 23pc to $11.6m

MANAMA, February 26, 2024

SICO, licensed as a conventional wholesale bank by the Central Bank of Bahrain CBB, has posted a 2023 consolidated net profit attributable to shareholders of BD4.4 million ($11.6 million), a 23% increase from 2022. All lines of business exhibited resilient performance in 2023. Earnings per share recorded 10.70 Bahraini fils in 2023, up from 8.45 Bahraini fils in 2022. 
SICO’s comprehensive income attributable to shareholders stood at BD4.6 million in 2023, compared to BD3.3 million in 2022, representing a 40% increase. 
On a quarterly basis, SICO recorded consolidated net profit attributable to shareholders of BD2.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the BD742,000 recorded in the final quarter of the previous year, a 197% year-on-year rise. 
Higher investment income
The boost in net profitability over the three-month period was driven primarily by higher investment income and an increase in AUMs, resulting in growth in net fee income. Efficient liquidity management and an increase in the repo-based business contributed to the increase in net interest income. 
Brokerage income recorded the increase, with fixed income brokerage acting as the key contributor. Earnings per share were 5.65 Bahraini fils in the fourth quarter of 2023, compared to 1.77 Bahraini fils in the same three-month period of last year. 
SICO reported a total comprehensive income attributable to shareholders of BD2.5 million, an increase of 207% compared to BD799,000 recorded in the same quarter of 2022.
Total equity attributed to shareholders as of December 31, 2023 was up 1% to BD70.5 million from BD70.0 million at year-end 2022. Meanwhile, total assets as at year-end 2023 grew 39% to BD389.9 million compared to BD280.0 million as of December 31, 2022.
Dividend of 5pc
Based on this performance, SICO’s Board of Directors has recommended a dividend of 5% of the eligible share capital, aggregating to BD2.1 million, subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and the General Assembly.
SICO recorded net investment income of BD4.4 million in 2023, a 326% growth from the BD1.0 million recorded in the prior year. Net fee income for the year declined 7% to BD8.1 million compared to BD8.7 million registered in 2022. Net fee income came lower due to a decrease in performance fees booked in 2023 compared to 2022. Meanwhile, net interest income saw a 37% year-on-year increase to BD3.6 million in 2023. Finally, brokerage and other income remained flat at BD2.1 million in 2023.
On a gross basis (including leverage) SICO’s assets under management (AUMs) rose 25% to BD2.3 billion in 2023 from BD1.8 billion in 2022. 
Operational excellence
Chairman of the Board, Abdulla Kamal, said: “Our unwavering commitment to operational excellence, financial prudence, and a disciplined investment approach continued to propel us towards our overarching goals, allowing us to deliver consistent growth, preserve profitability, and substantially increase in our assets under management irrespective of prevailing market conditions. 
“We look forward to maintaining this momentum, creating value for stakeholders, strengthening our leading position in the region, and continuing to deliver forward-thinking solutions that serve the objectives of our customers and shareholders.”
Chief Executive Officer, Najla Al-Shirawi, added: “Our robust balance sheet, enhanced risk management framework, and focus on organic growth across business lines, were all catalysts that led to this positive financial performance. In terms of funds, our portfolios and funds continued to outperform benchmark indices, with assets under management rising to their highest-ever recorded levels. SICO succeeded in cementing its position as the partner of choice for significant M&A transactions in Bahrain and retained its top ranking in terms of both value and volume of transactions for brokerage. 
“Our focus during the year was on expanding and deepening our regional footprint by leveraging the knowledge and expertise that we have carefully cultivated for over 25 years. In Saudi, SICO Capital’s AUMs grew by 114% and the team executed its first ever transaction on Nomu. Looking ahead, our emphasis remains on direct and indirect expansion in key markets.” 
Multiple accolades
SICO’s performance during 2023 was recognised by several prestigious organisations, with the bank receiving multiple accolades throughout the year. SICO was named Best Investment Bank in Bahrain by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023 as well as the Global Finance Awards 2023. 
Its fund strategy was named the Best Mena Fixed Income Fund Strategy by The Bonds, Loans & Sukuk Middle East Awards 2023. SICO was awarded Best Asset Manager and Best Broker in Bahrain by Middle East Banking Awards 2023. It was also recognised as the Best Bank for Diversity and Inclusion in Bahrain by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023. Showcasing the resilience of its brokerage business, SICO has retained its ranking as the number one broker on the Bahrain Bourse for the twenty-fifth consecutive year.--TradeArabia News Service


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