Bank of Palestine achieved a significant growth rate of 19.93%, with a value of 22,764,002 dollars, after the deduction of taxes, during the first half of the current year, in comparison with 18,981,198 dollars in the first half of 2014; the value of profit before taxes reached 29.3 million dollars. Assets increased to reach 2.6 billion dollars, in comparison with 2.4 billion dollars by the end of December 2014, with a growth rate of around 7.25%.

Mr. Hashim Shawa, Chairman and General Manager of Bank of Palestine, confirmed that the Bank is continuing with its strategy to support productive, small and micro-small businesses and to support women empowerment to contribute to the growth and stimulation of the economy and reducing unemployment rate between graduates of Palestinian universities. He indicated that the growth of the Bank’s profit and financial statements under the difficult political and economic conditions in Palestine and the Arab region, reflects the Bank’s strong performance in its activities and commercial and financial procedures; it also reflects the success of the Bank’s strategic plan and its ability to face all kinds of conditions and operate according to a flexible and sustainable plan based on the political and economic changes in the country.

Shawa explained the other financial indicators achieved by the Bank during the first half of the current year, which indicated an increase in the total income by 20.43%, as total income for the first six months of this year reached 69.2 million dollars, in comparison with 57.4 million dollars achieved by the Bank in the first half of last year. The customers’ deposits increased by 3.94% to reach 2.14 billion dollars, in comparison with 2.06 billion dollars achieved by the Bank by the end of 2014; market share of deposits reached 22.67%.

According to Shawa, the Bank increased the volume of credit facilitations provided during the first half of this year to reach 1.23 billion dollar, in comparison with 1.15 billion dollars achieved by the Bank by the end of December 2014, with an increase rate of around 6.84%; market share of facilitations reached 23.04%. He confirmed the Bank’s efforts to increase the volume of the facilitations’ portfolio to provide the needed financing to all social segments, economic sectors and businesses that contribute in stimulating the national economy and enables its development under declining economic indicators in the country.

Shawa also explained that the Bank developed a group of programs that meet the needs of various economic sectors, including the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises and the financing of large investment businesses in the fields of tourism, manufacturing and others. The Bank also provided exclusive support to empower Palestinian women, particularly entrepreneurs, by developing financial tools that meet their needs and enhance the role of women in the society and economy; in addition, the Bank launched an exclusive program called “Felestineya”, which includes the provision of banking products and non-financial consultation services for women, such as the launch of various training programs for women entrepreneurs, and conducting awareness workshops under the title “Know Your Bank” that was conducted in various governorates in the country, with around 500 women who joined these workshops; in addition, the Bank created an exclusive awareness Facebook page that provides women with important tips and information in the fields of health, nutrition, upbringing of children, and career and self-development.

Shawa indicated that the shareholders’ equity continued to grow similar to other financial indicators, as it reached in the first half of 2015 a total of 284 million dollars, in comparison with 280 million dollars by the end of 2014, noting that the paid capital increased from 160 million dollars to 175 million dollars.

Shawa expressed his pride and honor with the trust provided by Bank of Palestine’s customers. He added that the Bank’s adopted policy of expansion and spreading out had a clear impact in delivering its banking services to various Palestinian areas, particularly rural areas, far from city centers; which caused an increase in the volume of banking transactions; noting that the Bank opened three branches during the first half of the current year, which are: Hebron University Office, Aisra Shamaliya Office,  Tulkarem Street in Nablus, in addition to an office in Biddu village, north of Jerusalem. The number of Bank’s customers exceeds 720 thousand customers, with1345 employees at the Bank.

In regards to social responsibility, the Bank continued to dedicate 5% of its net profit for various social activities, which included education, health, culture, sports and humanitarian endeavors; the Bank launched an exclusive campaign to support people with hearing disabilities, with a goal of purchasing hearing aids for everyone, as the bank donated 100 thousand dollars for the campaign.

The Bank continued in its distinction as it received international awards in various fields; most prominent is receiving the “Best Bank in Palestine” award from several prestigious international institutions including Euromoney, EMEA Finance and Global Finance.

In closing, Shawa expressed his pride in the Bank’s family and staff, for their support, sincere commitment and loyalty and for their contribution in the Bank’s growth and development. He expressed his thanks and gratitude to the Bank’s customers and shareholders for their continuous trust in its services; he also commended the efforts by the Palestinian Monetary Authority to apply the concept of comprehensive control on the banks and adopt control procedures that aims to ensure the safety and durability of the banking system.