MANAMA: Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) made an operating profit of BD16 million ($42.5m) in the first half of the year.
This underlines the continuous growth of the bank in spite of the numerous difficulties faced by the regional markets that were negatively affected by the current global financial crisis, according to chairman Khalid Abdulla Al Bassam.
He said that the bank's assets grew by five per cent since December totalling BD919m.
"Islamic finance deals increased by 10pc during the period, an indication of the continuous growth in the financing portfolio, especially with regard to personal and retail finance sector," he said.
"This particular sector has been significantly focused upon by the bank in recent years to build a solid and varied finance base to spread and reduce risk exposure."
The bank also announced a large increase during the last six months in customers' investment deposits and current accounts, up 17pc and 13pc respectively.
"The bank is proceeding successfully toward achieving its strategic objectives in terms of the growth of Sharia-compliant assets with stable and sustained profitability and focusing on the retail sector by offering the best and most competitive products and services," said chief executive Mohamed Ebrahim Mohamed.
He said the bank recently won the Best Islamic Financial Institution in Bahrain Award 2009 from the US magazine Global Finance owing to the prudent policy pursued by the bank in the current financial crisis.
"The current economic conditions witnessed by the region call for extreme caution, hence the bank's management has set aside more provisions to deal with any future default in keeping with the directives of the kingdom's regulatory authorities," he said.
"This is particularly relevant following the release of confirmed reports about the failure of two major family businesses in a neighbouring Gulf country. After the appropriations, the bank's net profits for the period totalled BD2.177m.
"Since the bank seeks to offer the best services to its customers, three branches have been re-opened following the completion of their complete refurbishment with the aim of providing customers with more convenience and better customer services," he added.
"The fourth quarter of the current financial year will witness the laying of the foundation stone of the bank's first financial mall in one of the busiest commercial areas in the kingdom.
"The bank also plans to open five more branches in the next few years to meet the growth in customer numbers throughout the kingdom."