ABLV Bank closed 2015 with profit EUR 69.0 million

Riga, Latvia, February 29, 2016, 13:14 / Banking

During 2015, planned development of the bank and other companies of ABLV Group continued as a result of consistent implementation of the group’s strategy. Our choice of the business model, careful risk management, and maintained cautious credit policy allowed us to achieve all the key results planned. According to the business model, our focus remains on providing services to private and corporate clients. ABLV Bank, AS is the largest bank in Latvia by the local capital and second largest by the assets.

To improve the capital adequacy, another issue of ABLV Bank shares was performed at the beginning of the year. Under the issue, 2 385 000 registered shares were issued, and 82 shareholders of the bank applied for their acquisition, which allowed to increase the share capital by EUR 33 million. At the end of the year, 265 000 employee shares were issued as well. Following the issues, the share capital of ABLV Bank is comprised of 31 770 000 ordinary shares and 3 530 000 employee shares.

Continuing the bond issue programme, in 2015 we performed 7 issues of bonds: six coupon bond issues and one issue of subordinated discount bonds. The total amount of issues performed last year constituted USD 225 million and EUR 80 million. The bank initiated gradual replacement of long-term deposits with bonds at the end of 2011. Including new bonds and those already redeemed, we have performed 32 public bond issues until the end of 2015. At the end of 2015, there were 21 bond issues included in the Nasdaq Riga list of debt securities.

In 2015, we continued strengthening the compliance and risk management functions, as well as increased our expertise in product and process development possibilities. This mainly was the result of the purposeful increase of the number of jobs in the respective structural units. In 2015, there were 36 new jobs created in the bank only. ABLV Bank and other companies of the group are important employers and taxpayers as in the financial sector as in the country in general. Last year, different taxes paid by the group to the state budget amounted to EUR 20.8 million.

In 2015, ABLV Bank was named one of the best Latvian export brands. To determine the best exporting brands, the export support movement The Red Jackets examined the performance of more than 1 300 Latvian exporting companies. Following the examination, the expert panel nominated 25 most prominent export brands, including ABLV Bank, for the title The Red Jackets.

The bank’s major audited financial indicators of 2015:

  • The bank’s profit in 2015 amounted to EUR 69.0 million. Whereas in 2014 it equalled EUR 58.7 million.
  • The bank’s operating income totalled EUR 126.3 million. Compared with 2014, operating income has increased by 15.9%.
  • The amount of the clients’ deposits equalled EUR 3.79 billion as at the end of the reporting period, while the amount of issued debt securities reached EUR 558.4 million.
  • As at 31 December 2015, the amount of the bank’s assets was EUR 4.93 billion. Over the year, the amount of assets has grown by 18.2%.
  • The bank’s loan portfolio equalled EUR 873.5 million, as at the end of December, and increased by 10.5% over the year.
  • The bank’s capital and reserves amounted to EUR 281.5 million at the end of the year.
  • As at 31 December 2015, common equity Tier 1 capital adequacy ratio was equal to 10.79%, the bank’s overall capital adequacy ratio was 17.27%, and liquidity – 82.68%.
  • ROE reached 27.76%, and ROA – 1.49%, as at 31 December 2015.

The bank continued investing available funds in securities. The total amount of the securities portfolio was equal to EUR 2.77 billion, as at 31 December 2015. In the reporting period, the average annual yield of the securities portfolio amounted to 1.8%.

While expanding the range of our financing services, the bank resumed offering cargo ship financing and successfully executed several transactions. In the reporting period, we started offering one more new financing service to our clients – transactional trade finance for commodities traded on stock exchange and over the counter. We offer transactional trade finance for such commodities as energy raw materials (crude oil, oil products, coal, gas), chemicals (methanol, benzene, mineral fertilizers, etc.), and different metals.

On 16 June 2015, ABLV Bank signed an agreement with the development finance institution ALTUM on cooperation within the programme of providing guarantees under housing loans. Although our bank primarily focuses on private banking services, mortgage lending is an important line of business, and we will continue its development by offering new competitive products. Currently, we offer six different mortgage-lending programmes.

Open-end mutual funds managed by the bank’s affiliate company ABLV Asset Management, IPAS demonstrated good results in asset growth. Although a tense situation was prevailing in several our target regions, the total value of fund assets has increased by 21.7%, i.e., approximately by EUR 23.1 million since the beginning of the year.

12 mutual funds are currently available to our clients, and those funds cover wide range of investments – from government bond to total return funds.

The year 2015 was also positive for ABLV Capital Markets, IBAS, which executes the clients’ instructions for purchasing and selling all types of financial instruments in the world’s major securities markets. Profit of ABLV Capital Markets, IBAS amounted to EUR 5.4 million. As of December 31, 2015, the total assets of our clients invested in more than 1 400 different financial instruments were equal to EUR 1.15 billion.

In 2015, real estate development and trading group Pillar, which is a part of ABLV Group, made 373 sale transactions, the total amount of which reached EUR 18.1 million. In comparison with 2014, the number of sale transactions lowered, which can be explained by substantial decrease in the managed property portfolio – over the year, the number of properties was reduced from 730 to 420. Further operations of Pillar will mostly concern implementation of the large-scale New Hanza City project.

Our subsidiary bank in Luxembourg, ABLV Bank Luxembourg, S.A., renders services to the clients for more than two years already, and as at 31 December 2015 ABLV Bank Luxembourg assets and assets under management amounted to EUR 174.7 million. For investment portfolio management, the Luxembourg bank offers two services to the clients – Active Investment Advisory and Discretionary Portfolio Management. In the reporting period, Risk Committee of the international payment system VISA Europe has approved assignment of VISA Associate Membership status to ABLV Bank Luxembourg, S.A. Thus ABLV Bank Luxembourg will start issuing payment cards to its clients in the nearest future.

ABLV Bank Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ernests Bernis said about the tasks for the following year and the impact of macroeconomic background, ‘In 2016, strengthening of the bank's compliance and risk management functions will be continued. We plan to complete a number of projects aimed at automatization of supervision processes. The number of jobs is not supposed to grow as rapidly as before, because of higher tax burden and the consequent increase in administrative expenses. The tense situation in financial markets and our target regions, as well as growing requirements of different supervisory institutions do not allow expecting the business development to be as rapid as in previous years, but since our business model is efficient and risk management – strong and elaborate, we can forecast the results to be similar to those in 2015.’

Complete report for 2015 and reports of the Council and the Board, as well as the audit report of KPMG Baltics, SIA, are available at the bank’s website www.ablv.com.

ABLV Bank, AS is the largest independent private bank in Latvia. The bank’s major shareholders — Oļegs Fiļs, Ernests Bernis and Nika Berne – directly and indirectly hold 86.25% of the bank's voting share capital. ABLV Group includes ABLV Bank, AS; ABLV Bank Luxembourg, S.A.; ABLV Capital Markets, IBAS; ABLV Asset Management, IPAS; Pillar Holding Company, KS; ABLV Consulting Services, AS; ABLV Corporate Services, SIA; New Hanza City, SIA, and other companies. ABLV Group has representative offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Kiev, Odessa, Minsk, Almaty, Baku, Tashkent, Hong Kong, and Limassol.

As at the day of publishing the consolidated financial statements of the group and separate financial statements of the bank ABLV Bank, AS for 2015 (29 February 2016), those have not been approved by the meeting of shareholders of ABLV Bank, AS.