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Jordan's Arab Bank Q1 profit rises 2.8 pct


AMMAN - Jordan"s Arab Bank Group, the country"s largest lender, made first quarter net profit of $173.34 million, up 2.8 percent from the same period last year, above analysts forecasts, a statement released on Friday showed. The bank saw healthy growth in net earnings and interest in first quarter to $324.5 million against $312.9 million in the same period last year, the financial statements showed. The assets of the group fell 2 percent to $49.6 billion in first quarter from the start of the year when they stood at $50.6 billion.Arab Bank"s Group"s net profits fell 31.4 percent in 2009 to $575.5 million as it set aside $204 million in provisions for non-performing loans, up from $40 million in 2008.Bankers said while the credit provisions weighed on profits, the Arab Bank was cushioned by a healthy capital base and $8 billion of shareholders equity. The firm is one of the Arab world"s largest privately owned banks, with nearly 20 percent owned by the family of Lebanon"s former prime minister, Rafik al-Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005, and a similar size stake held by Jordan"s social pension fund. The rest is mainly held by long-term investors. Arab Bank owns 40 percent of Saudi Arabia"s Arab National Bank ANB.


Al-Quds Index in the green zone despite the political instability



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