Maldives' main bank Bank of Maldives (BML) on Wednesday reported positive financial results for the first six months of the year with Profit Before Tax of MVR687 million, up 16 percent on the same period last year.
Following a record year in 2017, BML had cautioned that profitability this year would be impacted by higher funding costs and its extensive technology and community investment program.
However, healthy business volumes across all key business segments together with low levels of non-performing loans saw the outturn for the half-year beat expectations.
Operating Profit, bolstered by solid lending and fee income, was up seven percent compared to the same period last year while provisions for bad loans reduced by MVR 46 million as the Bank’s loan book quality continued its improving trend of recent years.
Capital and liquidity ratios meanwhile, finished the period well above regulatory requirements.
The first half of the year saw BML step up its MVR300 million investment program
across the country with its extensive physical presence being augmented by enhanced digital technology in the areas of mobile, internet and card based services.
Such investment is helping to make banking accessible to customers in even the most remote locations. A key recent initiative was the introduction of the Online International Money Transfer service which facilitates the easy transfer of funds overseas using a smartphone.
Community initiatives during the period saw the Bank support 34 different community organizations through collaboration projects and donations to charitable, educational, sports and environmental causes - including a different community initiative each day in February under the Aharenge Bank program.
“We are pleased with the positive first half of the year. We had expected our financial outturn to be impacted by higher funding and investment costs but it is encouraging to see such a good year on year net improvement. This is primarily down to solid customer demand for our products and services as well as to our robust loan book," CEO and Managing Director, Andrew Healy said.
"I would like to take the opportunity to thank our excellent staff across the country for
their immense dedication and commitment which is greatly appreciated.”
With a nationwide network of branches, relationship managers, self-service banking centres,
ATMs, point of sale merchants and agents across all 20 atolls, complemented by a full suite of digital banking services, BML has continued to express commitment to supporting individuals, businesses and communities across Maldives.