Bank of London and The Middle East (BLME), the biggest wholesale Islamic bank in Europe, has reported profits before tax of $5.7m in the first half, marking a return to profitability after a $15.5m loss in the same period last year.
BLME cited a strong performance by its Markets division, the continued top-quartile performance of the US Dollar Income Fund and cash recoveries from assets that had been subject to credit impairment provisions in 2009 as being factors behind the firm’s performance.
The bank reported total operating income of $30.4m, an increase of nine percent on the first half of 2009. Net fee income rose to $950,000, a hike of 171 percent.
BLME also said that had reduced its balance sheet by 16 percent since June last year to $1.04bn, while its net margin dropped by eight percent.
“The market remains a challenge to all financial institutions,” said Humphrey Percy, CEO of BLME.
“However we feel confident that the robust financial performance of BLME is testament to the increasing diversity, cost management, conservative risk management practises and client led recognition of our business model and product offering.”
Earlier this month, BLME announced that it was setting up an Islamic capital markets desk in response to demand for what it termed as high quality Islamic assets and sukuk by established issuers.