Bank of Palestine reports net profit of $31.7m for the first nine months of 2011




Bank of Palestine (BoP), the largest Palestinian bank, reported profits of $31,651,986 for the first nine months of 2011 compared with $27,730,826 for the same period in 2010; an increase of 14%, reflecting the bank’s strong financial standing.

As at the end of September 2011, Bank of Palestine's total assets reached $1,543,827,915 - maintaining the top rank as the largest Palestinian company in terms of financial assets, total shareholders' equity reached $189,382,318, and paid-up capital also increased by 20% to reach $120,000,000. During this period, deposits reached $1,197,829,581, and the credit facilities’ portfolio reached $680,107,163 compared with $545,026,391 at the end of 2010; an increase of 24%.

Hashim Shawa, Chairman and General Manager of Bank of Palestine, said "These impressive financial results confirm the continuous growth of the bank, and are a result of our expansion and proliferation. Bank of Palestine continues to enjoy the widest banking presence in Palestine with 46 branches. The bank has also upped its effort to reach new customers not only in Palestine, but also outside the country, by establishing a dedicated Diaspora Unit, aimed at reaching out to Palestinians in the Diaspora to provide them with banking and business advisory services. During the last few months, the bank also expanded the services it provides to its customers, by introducing new diversified products such as Bancassurance. During 2011, the bank established PalPay, a subsidiary company that provides electronic payment solutions, to enable the payment of different utility bills through the bank’s Point of Sale network spread throughout Palestine.”

Shawa also attributed the strong performance to the bank’s conservative approach, which helped it weather several regional and international crises, as well as BoP’s strong corporate governance and sound risk management. During 2011, Bank of Palestine began the implementation of the second phase of the Operational Risk Management project in cooperation with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), paving the way to becoming the first bank in Palestine to implement “Basel II” standards.
This growth coincides with the bank’s several other achievements during 2011, including winning international awards for excellence, such as the Euromoney Award for Excellence 2011 for “Best Bank in Palestine”, and the JP Morgan "2011 Elite Quality Recognition Award for Outstanding Achievement of Best-in-Class”, for the tenth consecutive year.

About Bank of Palestine

Established in 1960, BoP is the first and largest Palestinian bank with the most widespread branch network of 46 branches in Palestine, a paid up capital of $120 million, and assets of over $1.5 billion, with over 1,100 employees serving 500,000 customers. Operating as a universal bank, BoP is engaged in retail, corporate, SME and Micro banking operations, with the largest card processing operations in Palestine. In 2007 BoP established a brokerage subsidiary, Al Wasata Securities, providing customers with trading access to stocks listed on the Palestinian Stock Exchange and regional markets. And in 2011, the bank established PalPay, a subsidiary company that provides electronic payment solutions. Bank of Palestine is a signatory of the United Nations Global compact.

Bank of Palestine’s stock (PEX: BOP) has been listed on the Palestine Exchange (PEX) since 2005. It is among the market’s blue chip stocks, and represents around 13% of total PEX market capitalization.

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