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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 24/07/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah, known as Rakbank, reported a 13.5 per cent year-on-year growth in net profit for the first half of the year on Monday.

The bank declared a net profit of Dh668.7 million for the first six months of 2012, compared to Dh589.1 million it earned during the same period last year. Rakbank recorded 5.6 per cent growth in the second quarter over first quarter this year.

The positive results reported for the first six months reflect the continued growth in Rakbank's customer base, said Graham Honeybill, chief executive officer of the bank.

"As a leading retail/SME national bank, we look to develop initiatives that enhance our customers' banking experience. In the last quarter this included upgrading our IT systems to offer customers faster, easier, and more convenient services," Honeybill said.

The technology upgrade demonstrates the bank's commitment to achieving excellence in customer service, the driving force behind Rakbank's solid reputation and high levels of customer loyalty, he added.

The bank, Honeybill said, has continued to follow a measured approach to expansion, with a focus on maintaining a consistent and sustainable level of growth through a careful lending policy and actively seeking new lending in its chosen fields, and has seen solid growth in the small business and personal finance segments.

As a result, net interest income grew 17 per cent over 2011 to Dh1.1 billion, according to the bank. Gross loans and advances stood at Dh19.9 billion, an increase of 6.4 per cent over December 31, 2011 and an increase of 11.5 per cent compared to June 30, 2011. The total impairment charge for the six months at Dh114.6 million and the total provisions held are considered conservatively adequate for the loan portfolio.

The bank reported a 13 per cent decline in non-interest income compared to June 30, 2011 that stood at Dh320 million.

This is primarily because of the impact of regulatory restrictions imposed since May 2011 on fees and charges, the bank said.

However, the bank said it has achieved a steady growth in various other fee income lines such as investment income, foreign exchange and others. As a result it achieved a growth of 7.4 per cent in fee income compared to the previous quarter.

"The bank will continue its focus on providing a full range of evolutionary products and services to its customers supported by excellent customer service," Honeybill said, adding: "The recent introduction of the core banking system will enhance the Bank's capability to grow its customer base and fee income."

Loans and advances, the main drivers of income, grew by Dh1.18 billion during this half year, and this growth has come across small business and personal finance, being the chosen segments. Deposits, on the other hand, have grown by Dh1.99 billion enabling the bank to maintain healthy loans to deposit and liquidity ratios.

The bank's advances to deposits ratio and liquidity ratio stands comfortably at 92.4 per cent and 20.3 per cent respectively.

The bank took advantage of investment opportunities as and when it arose.

Over Dh640 million of new investments were made in various debt instruments during the current half-year. Investment book, as a result grew by Dh423 million, net of maturing instruments.


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