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ANSA Merchant Bank Ltd (AMBL) has recorded 32 per cent increase in net profit for the third quarter (Q3) ended September 30, as it recorded $9.9 million increase from its 2019 figure of $30.8 million.

In the company’s financial statements, Chairman A Norman Sabga added that the bank group earned a consolidated profit before tax (PBT) of $57 million for the three month period ended September 30, 2020, as compared to $50 million in the same quarter of last year, in increase of 16 per cent year over year.

Sabga said however, “This improved performance was not adequate to absorb the non-cash mark-to-market losses of the first half of the year at the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic, but show’s the resilience of our business model, and we expect a strong 4th quarter of 2020.”

Year to date, AMBL’s consolidated PBT of $104 million for the nine month period ended September 30, still trails the consolidated PBT of $208 million for the comparative period of 2019, “as unrealised losses in the investment portfolios have amounted to $70 million and we prudently increased our IFRS 9 provisioning in view of the forward looking economic indicators.” Sabga explained.

Nonetheless, Sabga said that it is noteworthy that one of AMBL’s core business lines of retail lending for the automotive industry effectively faced a three-month period of closure during the pandemic, which had a corresponding impact on lending volumes.

The Chairman indicated that the group’s insurance businesses, TATIL and TATIL Life, remain well capitalized and have both reflected improved performance given strong premium income growth and a modest recovery in several investment classes.

He noted that the companies together achieved profits of $33 million for the three-month period ended September 30, 2020, versus $13 million in the comparative period of 2019.

However, Sabga revealed “they are still materially behind 2019 on a year-to-date basis due to the effects of the investment and securities markets, especially in T&T.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman noted that AMBL’s Mutual Funds and Wealth Management portfolios continue to perform admirably when compared to benchmarks and are well poised for growth in Assets under Management.

He continued: “Our Barbados banking operation, CFC, and Brydens Insurance in Barbados continue to build their books of business with promising top lines, albeit slower than expectations given the economic climate in Barbados.”

Sabga articulated that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact AMBL’s businesses and the markets in which they operate. However, he expressed that the Bank Group remains in a very strong position from a capital, liquidity and balance sheet perspective.

He disclosed that while the company cannot predict the severity or longevity of the virus’s impact on global and regional economies, it will continue to serve its clients with excellence and without compromising their safety or that of its staff.

Sabga also asserted that AML will “remain agile to capitalize on future opportunities to expand, such as our impending foray into commercial banking.”