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Jordan’s Ahli Bank 9-month net rises 20.9 pct

The country's third-largest lender said profit rose to $22.8 million in the nine months to end-September.

October 29, 2010 8:57 by

Jordan’s Ahli Bank said on Thursday its nine-month net profit rose 20.9 percent as improvements in its main commercial and retail business offset a rise in provisions for non-performing loans.

The country’s third-largest lender said profit rose to 16.2 million dinars ($22.8 million) in the nine months to end-September.

Assets rose 7.85 percent to 2.4 billion dinars ($3.4 bln), while customer deposits rose 7.5 percent to 1.6 billion dinars.

Net commissions and interest rose 24 percent to 69.98 million dinars, the statement said, citing growth in the bank’s core commercial business.

The bank has been targeting retail customers and smaller businesses, saying profits there are higher and the investment risk lower than for larger companies.

Provisions for non-performing loans jumped to 13.25 million dinars from 3.8 million dinars in the same period last year.

The bank was hit, along with other Jordanian banks, by the global financial crisis and last year began putting aside provisions to cover possible defaults by businesses reeling from the impact of the global downturn on the aid-dependent economy.

Ahli Bank, which has a presence in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and Cyprus, is owned by some of Jordan’s leading business groups and financial institutions, including the influential Muasher family.

(Reporting by Suleiman al-Khalidi; Editing by Will Waterman)

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