Amman: Jordan’s largest lender, Arab Bank Group, reported a 5 per cent rise in first-half net profit to $436 million (Dh1.6 billion) from $415 million a year earlier driven by steady growth in core banking services.

A statement released on Saturday by the bank, one of the Middle East’s major financial institutions, said net operating income rose 13 per cent to $668.5 million during the same period.

Total loans rose 3 per cent to $25.5 billion while deposits fell to $33 billion compared with $33.8 billion at the end of last year.

Chairman Sabih Al Masri said the bank’s diversified operations and geographic spread allowed the bank to be able to “adjust to a challenging operating environment”.

Arab Bank operates in 30 countries on five continents, and owns 40 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s Arab National Bank ANB.

CEO Nemeh Sabbagh said liquidity continued to be robust with a loan-to-deposit ratio of 71.6 per cent. The bank’s provisions coverage ratio for non-performing loans stood in excess of 100 per cent.