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ABA posts sound first quarter

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ABA’s total assets grew to $4.6 billion, up 5.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter. Heng Chivoan

ABA posts sound first quarter

Advanced Bank of Asia Ltd (ABA) reported sound business performance in the first quarter of the year.

Its total assets grew to $4.6 billion, up 5.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter, it said in a financial report filed with the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX) on Monday.

Deposit portfolio increased to $3.5 billion, and the gross loan portfolio mounted up to $3 billion, representing 1.7 per cent and 8.4 per cent growth against the end of 2019, respectively.

In terms of profitability, the bank managed to secure $33.5 million in net profit in the first quarter while shareholder equity grew to $650 million.

Montreal-based parent shareholder National Bank of Canada has committed an additional capital injection of $120 million, which ABA received in January.

“This tranche supported the further growth of the bank, keeping its solvency ratio in full compliance with the regulatory requirement,” said ABA.

Its chairman Yves Jacquot said the beginning of the year brought profound changes to the business environment due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Being an integral part of the world market, Cambodia was also significantly impacted, experiencing difficulties in the garment industry, service sector and tourism, he said.

He said the government has therefore undertaken numerous activities and initiatives to support the economy and the financial sector.

For example, he said, the National Bank of Cambodia issued a March circular on providing grace periods and loan repayment restructuring to businesses.

“Fully understanding its role in supporting the local economy, ABA has followed the circular helping its customers, mostly in the microfinance and small and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs] segments.

“ABA has continued to grow in all key areas, including total assets, deposits and loans, as well as profit,” he said.

ABA listed corporate bonds on the CSX in August. In February, the bank transferred in full the first coupon payments to its corporate bondholders. In total, 68 investors received almost 3.3 billion riel ($800,000) in interest.

Jacquot said that although the economy is slowing, ABA continues to implement its business strategy with a focus on digital finance products as well as on productive loans to businesses in real sectors of the economy.

“The bank applies a robust risk management culture strengthened by audit and compliance functions across its businesses.

“As we expect the slowdown of the economy to continue – resulting in lower demand, job cuts, and recession – it will have further implications on bank performance in 2020.

“We are confident though that we are well-positioned to overcome the expected decline thanks to its sound business strategy and financial resilience,” he said.

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