Banks in Bahrain hunt for borrowers

Jamal Al Hazeem CEO BMI Bank
With the excess liquidity and growing stability in the debt market, banks in Bahrain are following the borrowers, a top official at the BMI Bank said.

“The wait and see policy, unlike their European peers, is not adopted by the banks in Bahrain but by the project developers as the banks are keen to fund the local projects,” Jamal Al-Hazeem, Chief Executive Officer of BMI Bank, told media during a Ghabgha.

“At BMI we have seen sustained patterns of growth which helps the bank to overcome it major difficulties including the cleaning of the balance sheet,” he explained.
To be specific, Al Hazeem said, the balance sheet almost 95% is clean with negotiations with loan defaulters in progress to settle the remaining amicably.

Al Hazeem, however, admitted that due to transfer of some bad loans the number of NPL’s has gone up in the 2nd quarter.

Talking about the overseas businesses where BMI holds stakes he said that those operations showed a sustained growth and the bank wants to keep its stakes these profit making entities.

BMI Bank, which has been at the forefront of supporting Tamkeen’s SMEs project, said the BMI’s contribution towards Tamkeen’s loan portfolio has reached BD30 million. “BMI Bank will continue to support such national initiatives and we are negotiating with Tamkeen for another BD 10 million tranche,” he added.

BMI Bank had announced a net profit of $0.8 million (BD0.3 million) for the first half of the year ended 30th June 2012, as compared to a net loss after provisions of $13.7 million (BD 5.2 million) recorded over the corresponding period in 2011. The Bank continues to maintain an excellent Capital adequacy ratio of over 18%.

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