Arab Bank Holds its General Assembly Meeting Online
20% Distribution of Cash Dividends for the Financial Year 2021 and the Election of a New Board of Directors Chaired By Mr. Sabih Masri
Arab Bank held its general assembly meeting online on March 31st, 2022, in compliance with Defense Law (13) of 1992, Defense Order (5) of 2020, that was published officially on March 31st, 2020, and the procedures issued by H.E. the Minister of Industry – Trade & Supply on April 9th, 2020 in line with the defense orders listed above.
The meeting was headed by Mr. Sabih Masri, Arab Bank’s Chairman in the presence of the board of directors, the Chief Executive Officer and shareholders (in attendance and by proxy), which make up 78.75% of the bank’s capital. Dr. Wael Armouti, the Companies’ Controller had also attended the meeting.
During the meeting, all articles on the agenda of the ordinary general assembly meeting were endorsed.
Mr. Masri highlighted that the global economy had a noticeable recovery in 2021 from the pandemic-driven recession, though economic performance varied by region and sector. This recovery was supported by several factors including the global vaccination campaigns which enabled the economic re-opening and recovery of production and consumption, the expansionary monetary and fiscal policies especially in advanced economies, and the recovery in global trade to meet the rebound in consumption and investment. However, bottlenecks in the global supply chains and high shipping costs had an adverse impact on global growth and trade, while also increasing inflationary pressures which deepened through the year. The momentum of the global economic recovery slowed down in the latter part of 2021, with the spread of new COVID-19 variants and as several key central banks started tightening monetary policy to slow down the inflationary momentum. These shifts had an impact on the performance of global financial markets and increased their variability.
Mr. Masri added that the Arab region started its economic recovery from the pandemic, with support from high vaccination rates and the reopening of economic sectors. Regionally, governments and central banks adopted supportive fiscal and monetary policies that supported the recovery. Broadly, the region has a noticeable improvement in aggregate demand, investment, tourism flows, remittances and exports, the performance of financial markets, along with the strong rebound in the global oil market especially in the second half of the year. The extent of a country’s recovery, which varied across the region, depended on the degree of its reform implementation, and its dependence on oil or on the slowly recovering global tourism.
Mr. Masri also noted that the regional economic recovery in 2021 had a positive impact on the performance of the Arab banking sector through increased revenues, lower risks and reduced provisioning for these risks. Also, the monetary policies of the region’s central banks supported the financial sector’s liquidity and contained the rise in non-performing loans. The Arab banking sector faced various challenges prudently, while ensuring high capital adequacy and comfortable liquidity levels. The sector continued to attract deposits, reflecting the high confidence in the sector. All these factor have contributed to improving the profitability of the Arab banking sector in the year.
He added that Arab Bank’s underlying performance reflects its strategic directive in dealing with the challenging and changing operating environment and its prudent operating policies of maintaining strong liquidity and healthy capital positions. Its operational profit reached US$ 1,108 million, representing a growth rate of 8% compared to the previous year.
Mr. Masri also highlighted that since the beginning of the year, Arab Bank has continued to prioritize its employees and customers and customers by adopting a set of comprehensive measures, reinforcing performance indicators, expanding our digitization footprint, and providing the latest digital financial solutions to meet the needs of our corporate and individual customers.
Mr. Masri reaffirmed confidence in Arab Bank Group's ability to continue to achieve sustainable growth, based on sound banking practices and a prudent approach to corporate governance and sustainability. He stressed that the Bank will continue to strengthen its active contribution to environmental protection and social responsibility by developing the capacity of the community and contribute to creating added value that is able to face growing economic, social and environmental challenges.
Mr. Masri concluded by thanking the Central Bank of Jordan for its pivotal role in ensuring the resilience and stability of the Jordanian banking system under all circumstances.
Ms. Randa Sadik, CEO of Arab Bank, stated that Arab Bank Group closed 2021 reporting net income after tax of US$ 314.5 million as compared to US$ 195.3 million in 2020, recording a growth of 61%.
Ms. Sadik highlighted that Group equity grew to reach US$ 10.3 billion, while total assets grew by US$ 8.4 billion to reach US$ 63.8 billion compared to US$ 54.4 billion for the same period last year due to consolidating the financial statements of Oman Arab Bank under its Group accounts increasing total assets with a growth rate of 17%. Customer deposits grew by 22% to reach US$ 47.1 billion, of which US$ 7.3 billion at the disposal of Oman Arab Bank, compared to US$ 38.7 billion last year. Loans grew to reach US$ 34.6 billion by end of 2021. The consolidation of Oman Arab Bank has increased customer loans by US$7.5 billion, compared to US$ 26.5 billion last year, resulting in 30% growth.
Ms. Sadik added that the Group’s financial results following the consolidation of Oman Arab Bank financial statements also recorded a 15% growth in net interest and commission income and enjoyed a capital adequacy ratio of 16.5% as of 31 December 2021. Furthermore, the Group enjoyed high liquidity and a strong capital base, with a loan-to-deposit ratio of 73.4%. The Group continues to hold credit provisions against non-performing loans in excess of 100%.
Ms. Sadik also highlighted that Arab Bank will continue to invest digital banking by providing solutions and services that enhance customers’ experience and meet their needs beyond standard banking. She further noted that the bank launched Reflect, the first Neobank in Jordan, which provides a branchless experience and facilitates daily lifestyle activities seamlessly in line with the digital transformation that the world is witnessing at a global scale.
During the General Assembly meeting, a new Board of Directors was elected for Arab Bank for a period of four years, including: H.E. Mr. Sabih Taher Masri, the Social Security Corporation, the Ministry of Finance (Saudi Arabia), H.E. Mr. Wahbeh Tamari, H.E. Mr. Alaa Arif Batayneh, H.E. Mr. Khaled Sabih Masri, H.E. Mr. Shahm Munib Al-Wir, H.E. Mr. Sharif Mohdi Saifi, H.E. Dr. Nabil Hani Alqaddumi, H.E. Mr. Omar Monther Fahoum, H.E. Mr. Majed Qustandi Sifri. The new board collectively elected H.E. Mr. Sabih Masri as Chairman and Mr. Khaled Masri as vice chairman.
The General Assembly endorsed the Board of Directors’ recommendation to the shareholders on the distribution of 20% cash dividends for the financial year 2021.