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UPDATE 1-Jordan's Arab Bank net profit for Jan-Sept hardly changed at $615 mln
October 24, 2015 / 1:58 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Jordan's Arab Bank net profit for Jan-Sept hardly changed at $615 mln

* Loans and deposits grow

* Chairman says bank in strong position after settling litigation

* Americans accused bank of facilitating attacks in Israel (Adds details and background)

AMMAN, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Jordan's largest lender, Arab Bank Group, said its January-September net profit came to $615.1 million, barely changed from $614.2 million in the same period last year.

It said its loans book and customer deposits had continued to grow despite exchange-rate fluctuations.

Total loans rose 2 percent to $23.6 billion as of the end of September, while deposits had grown 5 percent to $34.8 billion compared with the same period last year.

The bank, with a balance sheet of $46.4 billion, gave no figure for net profit in the third quarter alone.

CEO Nemeh Sabbagh said the ratio of non-performing loans to net loans stood at 4.8 percent at the end of September and that its provisions coverage ratio for non-performing loans stood in excess of 100 percent.

Sabbagh said liquidity continued to be robust with a loan-to-deposit ratio of 63 percent and a capital adequacy ratio of 14.02 percent at end of September.

Chairman Sabih Masri said in a statement the bank had seen a positive impact from an out-of-court settlement reached last August with hundreds of Americans who accused it of facilitating militant attacks in Israel after a U.S. jury found the bank liable. He did not give details of the settlement.

The verdict marked the first time a bank was held liable in U.S. court for violating the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act, which permits U.S. citizens to pursue claims arising from international terrorism.

Arab Bank, which operates in 30 countries, owns 40 percent of Saudi Arabia's Arab National Bank ANB. (Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Raissa Kasolowsky)

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