Bank of Palestine Chairman of the Board and General Manager Mr Hashim Al-Shawa reported the bank has achieved in 2013 an after tax yield of USD 40,438,832 with a growth rate of 4% compared to 2012.
Al-Shawa said the pre-tax profit amounted to USD 53,037,996 with a growth rate of 6.15% compared to 2012. The assets rose by USD 343m with a growth rate of 17.14% to reach USD 2,348,045,943. Clients’ deposits at Bank of Palestine rose by USD 191m to reach USD 1,745,563,265 by the end of 2013 achieving a growth rate of 12.29%. Shareholders’ equities rose by 14% to reach USD 252,018,974. Paid-in capital increased by USD 16m to reach USD 150 with a growth rate of 11.94%.
According to Al-Shawa, the financial statements achieved in 2013 reflect the strong financial position of Bank of Palestine by virtue of the best practices of good corporate governance, risk management, adequate planning of capital and maintaining good rates of liquidity. He stressed the disclosed profits of the bank were achieved as a result of operational growth. Despite the harsh political and economic circumstances affecting Palestine, total revenues in 2013 rose by 10.7% to reach USD 112.693,775 compared to USD 101.769,248 in 2012.
The local banking environment, Al-Shawa said, has improved during 2013, in parallel with Bank of Palestine efforts to develop banking services targeting all segments of the Palestinian society, especially women, as well as economic sectors. Credit facilities provided by the bank rose at the end of 2013 by USD 127m to reach USD 1.103,641,018 with a growth rate of 13%. The bank conducted a study on women’s needs for banking services in order to meet banking and consultation needs of women as well as their aspirations for support, finance and education. In addition, Bank of Palestine established a specialized unit for financing medium, small and micro enterprises, as well as for the provision of financial consultation. Medium, small and micro enterprises comprise 90% of the Palestinian economy, provide work opportunities and incentivize economic growth. Indeed the future of Palestinian economy and the banking sector is promising, Al-Shawa added.
In 2013 Bank of Palestine continued its policy of expansion by way of establishing new branches throughout the West Bank including Bethlehem, Jericho and the Jordan Valley, Salfit, Khan Younis and Jenin. Now the bank has a diversified network of 50 branches and 105 ATMs.
Bank of Palestine has also received local, regional and international awards most notably Euromoney and Global Finance Awards as well as the best shareholding company in Palestine award in the area of investor relations.
Al-Shawa stated Bank of Palestine has received first place as the largest contributor to corporate social responsibility in Palestine in 2013, allocating 5% of its net profit for social responsibility activities including in the areas of health, development, culture, education, sports, environment, humanitarian efforts, and others. He added the bank will communicate with the Palestinian Monetary Authority to obtain approval on the financial statements as a preliminary step toward submitting a recommendation to the Board of Directors in its upcoming March session with regard to distribution of profit. The recommendation will also be submitted to the General Commission for endorsement.
Finally, Al-Shawa extended gratitude and appreciation to Bank of Palestine staff for the sincere commitment, loyalty and contribution to the bank’s development. He also thanked Bank of Palestine customers and extolled efforts made by the Palestinian Monetary Authority toward the application of overall control over the banks and the adoption of monitoring procedures aiming to safeguard the strength of the banking system.