Despite the difficult regional economic conditions, and low interest rate environment, BLOM Bank France has increased its net banking income by about 12%. Indeed, our Bank, faithful to its principle of maintaining excess cash liquidity as a safeguard during periods of regional geopolitical uncertainty, registered a loss of profit on its excess cash liquidity that was successfully compensated for by seizing opportunities in the bond and syndicated bank markets. Our excess of liquidity at the end of 2016 amounted to EUR 689 million with an average annual remuneration rate of only 1%.
The net improvement of our results on a consolidated basis by about 26 %, to reach 19.45 million Euros at end 2016, is mainly due to the improvement of our operations in Dubai reaching 40 % and to a write back of provisions, as a result of a special recovery effort.
The consolidated balance sheet revealed total footings of EUR 2409 million compared to EUR 2235 million at the end of 2015.
Customer loans increased by 18.07 % to EUR 742 million compared to EUR 628 million at the end of 2015.The bonds portfolio amounted to EUR 192 million compared to EUR 199 million in 2015.
Customer deposits increased by 11.36 % to EUR 1706 million compared to EUR 1532 million in 2015. Taking into account the fiduciary deposits of BLOM BANK Switzerland, which are not included in the aforementioned .gures, as well as securities that are managed by BLOM BANK Switzerland in addition to BLOM BANK France, the total customer funds amounted to EUR 2545 million compared to EUR 2338 million at end 2015.
As previously established, our fundamentals are sound; thus, Basel 3 solvency ratio calculated on a consolidated basis stood at 29.87 %, which is more than four times the minimum required.
Concerning liquidity, liabilities towards customers represented only 43.47 % of customer deposits and 37.09 % of total deposits.
The net banking income increased by 11.82 % to EUR 58.71 million in 2016, compared to EUR 52.50 million in 2015.
General operating expenses (administrative and staff expenses, including taxes, etc.) increased by 4.95 % to EUR 2.54 million.
Depreciation expenses and provisions for tangible and intangible fixed assets amounted to EUR 1.87 million in 2016 (EUR 1.54 million in 2015).
Net provisions amounted to EUR 1.21 million at end of 2016 compared to EUR 1.85 million at end 2015.
Gross operating income (after amortization, but before taxes, provisions on debts and exceptional results) amounted to EUR 27.16 million compared to EUR 22.81 million in 2015.
The consolidated profit for 2016 increased by 25.80% amounting to EUR 19,450,725.69 in comparison to EUR 15,461,755.75 in 2015.
At the end of 2016, the consolidated equity (excluding general provisions) amounted to EUR 359.7 million, after the integration of the year’s profit and before dividend distribution.
Our parent Bank, BLOM BANK SAL, which currently holds more than 99 % of our shares, achieved solid growth throughout the financial year 2016: shareholders’ equity as well as profitability are on the rise.
The main consolidated financial highlights of our parent entity, BLOM BANK SAL, for 2016 are as follows:
The international economic situation as well as the regional prospects call for the cautiousness and the vigilance, that will continue to guide our actions and our options in 2017.
Building on our sound fundamentals and future prospects with regard to selective opportunities offered by the Romanian market and the UAE market in particular, and considering our excess of liquidity especially compared to liquidity constraints of other banks in the UAE of which the ratio advance/deposits on average basis is close to 100%, our net results target for 2017 should remain close to Euros 19 million.
The diverse activities we undertake and uncorrelated markets we operate in, as well as the liquidity surpluses we enjoy, are all components of our business model that enable us to wither macroeconomic and geopolitical difficulties, enhance our ability to select viable lending opportunities and maintain profitability in an environment of rising US interest rates and slowing quantitative easing in Europe.