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Commonwealth In 35% Profit Rise

Commonwealth Bank yesterday unveiled a 35 per cent year-over-year comprehensive net income increase to $39.3 million for the first nine months of 2013, largely due to reductions in non-performing and charged-off loans.

The results were accompanied by a statement from the BISX-listed institution’s executive chairman, William B. Sands, Jr., who warned that it was still only “cautiously optimistic” and watching government actions closely before making future predictions.

“While we are cautiously optimistic about the remainder of 2013, the bank is closely monitoring pending changes in the regulatory and tax environments for 2014,” said Mr Sands.

Although Mr Sands couched the results in careful terms, looking to a future that includes major regulatory and taxation changes, with increased Business Licence Fees as well as the proposed implementation of Value-Added Tax (VAT), the improved results were welcome news for the bank’s shareholders.

Comprehensive net income for the three months ending September 30, 2013, stood at $13.2 million, nearly three times more than the previous year, when results for the third quarter landed at $4.7 million after being impacted by increasing loan impairment expenses.

Total assets inched up slightly from $1.43 billion at the end of 2012 to $1.44 billion. Commonwealth Bank’s earnings per share (EPS) ratio increased by 45 per cent to $0.36, up from 2012’s $0.25.

The bank also showed dramatic improvement in its credit portfolio, with non-performing loans of 4.4 per cent outperforming the industry average of 13.9 per cent, as reported by the Central Bank.

Commonwealth Bank also reported strong capital and liquidity positions, with capital adequacy at over 24 per cent and a liquidity ratio of 35 per cent, both above theCentral Bank’s requirements of 17 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively.

“In this 40th anniversary year of Independence for the Bahamas, I wish to thank our shareholders, our customers and the public at large for their ongoing support, and our complement of hardworking and devoted employees who are instrumental in achieving our outstanding results,” said Mr Sands.

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