ABLV Bank gained profit of EUR 45.3 million in H1 2016

Riga, Latvia, August 31, 2016, 09:42 / Banking

Although the first half of 2016 was marked by complex economic situation on some of the bank’s target markets, we managed to achieve and surpass the planned financial indicators, although adjustment of the bank’s business model has been initiated to ensure sustainability of the bank's operations.

The bank will continue improving the internal control system, complying with the regulatory requirements, which were not detailed enough in previous years. Since the position regarding acceptable risk level had changed, the bank refused cooperation with some clients that might cause inadequate risk and continued thorough assessment of its client base. Further on, the importance of settlement business will be lower, and even higher value will be placed on business project financing, including structured financing involving raising of risk capital, operating capital and trade financing, as well as arrangement of securities issues. The bank possesses high competence in this area, has necessary human resources, cooperation partner network, and accumulated significant experience. In the field of lending to business in Latvia, ABLV Bank currently is one of the three most important banks.

At the end of May, ABLV Bank and the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) made the administrative agreement to settle the differences and agree upon further measures aimed at improving the bank’s internal control system and strengthening its efficiency.

On 7 April, ordinary meeting of shareholders made the decision on paying the profit for 2015 in the form of dividends. The payment per share amounted to EUR 1.95, and the total paid amount constituted EUR 68.8 million. At the same time, another issue of ABLV Bank shares was performed, so that the bank’s shareholders were provided the opportunity to re-invest the profit derived from dividends in the bank’s further growth. Under the issue, there were 2 700 000 registered shares issued, amounting to EUR 38.2 million in total. The sale price of one share was EUR 14.15. Following the issue, the bank’s share capital is comprised of 34 470 000 ordinary voting shares and 3 530 000 employee shares without voting rights attached. The shares were issued in the form of non-public offering, and only current shareholders of the bank participated in the same. There were 86 applicants in total.

Bank’s major financial indicators of H1 2016

The bank’s major financial indicators of H1 2016 indicate stable operations in accordance with the previously adopted plan. ABLV Bank, AS is the largest bank in Latvia with local capital and is ranked second in terms of the amount of assets.

  • The bank’s profit in H1 2016 amounted to EUR 45.3 million. The increase in the profit was also due to VISA Europe Ltd. share buyback transaction performed.
  • The bank’s operating income totalled EUR 83.7 million. Compared with H1 2015, operating income has increased by 16.9%.
  • The amount of the clients’ deposits equalled EUR 3.25 billion as at the end of the reporting period. Since the beginning of the year, the amount of deposits has declined by 14.3%, which is due to changes in the bank’s model of rendering services to foreign clients.
  • The amount of issued debt securities reached EUR 565.8 million.
  • As at 30 June 2016, the amount of the bank’s assets totalled EUR 4.24 billion.
  • The bank’s loan portfolio equalled EUR 985.4 million as at the end of June. Since the beginning of the year, the amount of the loan portfolio has increased by EUR 111.9 million, i.e., 12.8%.
  • The bank’s capital and reserves amounted to EUR 295.6 million.
  • As at 30 June 2016, the bank’s capital adequacy ratio was 16.22%, whereas liquidity equalled 79.27%.
  • ROE reached 33.27%, and ROA – 1.97%, as at 30 June 2016.

Continuing the bond issue programme, this year the bank performed four new issues of coupon bonds: two of them under the Fifth Bond Offer Programme, and two other – under the Sixth Bond Offer Programme. The total size of the bond issues amounted to USD 150 million and EUR 40 million at face value respectively. Including these bond issues, there are 21 bond issues put in the Nasdaq Riga Baltic list of debt securities. The bank initiated gradual replacement of long-term deposits with bonds at the end of 2011. Including new bonds and those already redeemed, the bank has performed 36 public bond issues so far.

In the middle of 2014, the European Central Bank (ECB) launched the targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTRO) aimed at stimulation of lending. In 2014 and 2015, under the TLTRO programme, ABLV Bank raised the resources amounting to EUR 180.0 million to develop lending. In March 2016, the ECB announced new TLTRO series – TLTRO II, under which the interest rate is even lower and the maturity equals 4 years, as well the possibility to perform early repayment of prior obligations was offered. Having assessed current need for long-term resources, the bank used this opportunity to perform early repayment of EUR 180.0 million borrowed before and raised EUR 50.0 million under TLTRO II in order to increase the term of using the resources and to decrease the interest expense.

The total amount of the bank’s securities portfolio was equal to EUR 2.18 billion, as at 30 June 2016. The bank’s securities portfolio is mostly composed of fixed-income debt securities, and 67.0% of the portfolio is constituted by securities having credit rating AA- and higher. In the reporting period, annual yield of the securities portfolio amounted to 3.35%.

In Q2 2016, VISA Europe Ltd. share buyback transaction was completed, under which the shares owned by the bank were sold to VISA Inc. ABLV Bank obtained VISA Principal Member status and acquired VISA Europe Ltd. shares in December 2008. In November 2015, VISA Inc. announced the intention to purchase all shares of VISA Europe Ltd., thus forming single global company. Under the performed transaction, the income of ABLV Bank from selling of the above mentioned shares amounted approximately to EUR 16.4 million, which included money transfer of EUR 13.1 million, deferred payment of EUR 1.1 million, and additionally 4 750 class C preferred shares of Visa Inc. were allocated to the bank; those shares are accounted in the available-for-sale portfolio, amounting to EUR 2.2 million at fair value.

In the investment area, as at the end of June 2016, total assets under ABLV Asset Management, IPAS management amounted to EUR 125.8 million, of which EUR 124.4 million were the clients’ investments in mutual funds managed by the company, and EUR 1.4 million were the clients’ funds invested in individual investment programmes. Whereas ABLV Capital Markets, IBAS, which executes clients’ instructions for purchasing and selling all types of financial instruments, gained profit of EUR 1.5 million in the first half of the year. As at 30 June 2016, total assets of the company’s clients invested in financial instruments were equal to EUR 1.17 billion.

Currently, ABLV group is represented in 10 foreign countries – it has representative offices in 12 cities of the world and the subsidiary bank in Luxembourg.

The report for H1 2016 and reports of the Council and the Board 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 86.55% 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, Limassol, and New York.