SHARJAH, The Sharjah Islamic Bank's, SIB, net profit rose to AED290.5 million in the first half of 2019 compared to AED283 million achieved during the same period last year, an increase of three percent.

The bank's total assets reached AED44.3 billion at the end of the first half of this year, bringing it to the same level as it was at the end of 2018.

On the asset side, the total customer financing reached AED24.7 billion in of 2019, compared to AED24.1 billion at the end of 2018, an increase of AED593.8 million or 2.5 percent.

The bank has continued to pursue its conservative strategy of keeping the liquidity level above 20 percent of total assets. As a result, liquid assets reached AED9.0 billion or 20.4 percent of total assets by the end of the first half of 2019.

On the liabilities side, customer deposits stabilised during the year to reach AED28.2 billion, settling at the same level as the end of last year.

Net operating income reached AED660.7 million at the end of the first half of this year compared to AED524.2 million during the same period of 2018, an increase of AED136.5 million or 26 percent.

The return (annualised) on average shareholders' equity rose to 10.7 percent at the end of the first half of this year compared to 9.36 percent at the end of December 2018. The return (annualised) on average assets also increased to 1.31 percent compared to 1.23 percent at the end of December 2018.

The SIB has a strong capital base. Total shareholders' equity at the end of the first half of this year reached AED5.5 billion, representing 12.43 percent of the bank's total assets and a capital adequacy ratio of 17.23 percent.

At the beginning of July 2019, the SIB issued US$500.0 million tier 1 Sukuk that attracted international investors from Singapore, Hong Kong and London. Subscriptions reached $4.8 billion, which is a clear reflection of the confidence of investors in the bank.

The pricing of these perpetual six-year non-callable Sukuk was at 5 percent, the lowest for any tier-1 Sukuk or bonds ever issued in the GCC.

Towards the second quarter of 2019, S and P international rating agency had raised the long-term credit rating of SIB from "BBB+" to "A-Stable".

Source: Emirates News Agency