(MENAFN - Arab News) Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) underscored its rising presence in a challenging regional banking environment by announcing its annual net profit of 105.4 million for 2011 - the highest net profit in its 36-year history. The results surpassed APICORP's 2010 record profit of 95 million by 11 percent. The multilateral development bank, founded in 1975 by the 10 members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), also announced total assets of 4.6 billion for 2011, a rise of 7 percent from its corresponding 2010 figure. The Saudi government owns a 17 percent stake in APICORP.
APICORP's General Assembly met in Cairo on Sunday, where it thanked the board and appraised the achievements of the executive management and discussed APICORP's key achievements in 2011, which included APICORP's continued portfolio diversification, the success of its strategic divestment for re-investment plan, the expansion of its funding mix, and the acquisition of secondary market loan assets from European banks. The General Assembly also discussed and approved the board of directors' recommendation to distribute 45 million as dividends to shareholders, another record in its 36-year history.
"APICORP's success in balancing proactive business expansion with conservative fiscal management has helped it effectively navigate the challenges posed by the volatile global economy and credit environment of 2011," said Ahmad bin Hamad Al-Nuaimi, chief executive and general manager of APICORP. "As a result, APICORP's performance has enabled it to deliver value to its OAPEC shareholders, with Net Asset Value per Share increasing from 1,707 in 2010 to 1,824 in 2011."
"With the region's infrastructure financing landscape being reshaped following the European debt crises, we believe APICORP will play an even more significant role this year in supporting the MENA energy sector," Al-Nuaimi said. APICORP's research shows that the real economy has continued to face tight credit markets and relatively high borrowing costs. This is particularly the case in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region where capital inflows, the bulk in the form of dollar loans, have collapsed after European banks reduced their country exposure limits or just pulled back from lending.
Meanwhile, APICORP extended its growth momentum into the first quarter of 2012, registering a net profit of 30.7 million. Total assets and total shareholders' equity reached 5.2 billion and 1.3 billion respectively at the end of the first quarter. Also, in January this year, APICORP continued to expand its funding mix with a highly successful oversubscribed debut Shariah-compliant club syndicated facility for 667 million. At the same time, APICORP continues to carry out its developmental role by acquiring Arab energy-based loan assets of withdrawing international banks.
Since its founding in 1975, APICORP has played a vital role in fostering the development of the Arab energy industry. The bank has invested in 16 joint ventures in the oil and gas industry. It has also participated in direct and syndicated energy transactions worth an estimated 128 billion. APICORP's aggregate commitments in these transactions, both equity and debt, are valued in excess of 12 billion.