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THE ECONOMY - BANKS

Bank loans up 3.2% YoY in August

Posted on 15/10/2012

Domestic credit by UAE banks grew by around 3.2 per cent YoY in August although they were slightly down compared to the previous month. Deposits with the banks recorded one of their biggest monthly increases of Dh13 billion in August after a big decline in June. Figures by the Central Bank showed the surge in deposits boosted the combined assets of the country's 23 national banks and 28 foreign units by around Dhnine billion in August following a drop in July. From around Dh1,056.8 billion ...  >>MORE

NBAD inaugurates subsidiary in Malaysia

Posted on 09/10/2012

Kuala Lumpur: The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the Number One Bank in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has made Malaysia its regional hub to lead expansion in the country and across Southeast Asia. NBAD inaugurated its wholly owned subsidiary National Bank of Abu Dhabi Malaysia Berhad (NBAD - Malaysia) in Kuala Lumpur with an investment of RM310 million (Dh372.1 million, US$101.3 million). NBAD ambitious plans in Southeast Asia include expanding to 30 branches in Malaysia in the next ...  >>MORE

UAE has tightest bank rules in GCC

Posted on 27/09/2012

The UAE is enforcing the tightest banking regulations in Gulf hydrocarbon producers and this is hindering rapid growth in their asset and credit base, according to Saudi Arabia's largest bank In general, bank credit in the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has started to recover due to low interest rates and other factors, National Commercial Bank (NCB) said in a study. It said that the basic monetary stance in the United States-- as well as the West more generally-- is, if anything, ...  >>MORE

ADIB, Etisalat launch UAE’s First Islamic Telecom Card

Posted on 27/09/2012

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), a top-tier Islamic financial services institution, announced on Wednesday the launch of the UAE's First Islamic Telecom Card in partnership with Etisalat, the largest telecommunication company in the UAE, and Visa International. The ADIB-Etisalat Card, available in Classic, Gold and Platinum versions, enables customers to earn free talk time for every dirham spent on their card, in addition to the best-in-market sign-up points. Upon signing up for the new ...  >>MORE

First Gulf Bank plans benchmark bond sale

Posted on 26/09/2012

First Gulf Bank (FGB), the second-largest lender by market value in the UAE, has hired five banks for a new benchmark-sized bond sale, three sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. FGB picked Citigroup, HSBC Holdings, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered for the deal, which is expected to be at least US$500 million in size. Strong demand for high-rated regional names and narrowing spreads in recent weeks is prompting firms like FGB to tap bond markets as ...  >>MORE

UAE in top three in ME financial literacy

Posted on 25/09/2012

The UAE ranked among the top three in the Middle East for financial literacy, according to a new report from MasterCard. The company's latest Index of Financial Literacy showed that UAE consumers increased their overall financial literacy ranking in the region, going from sixth place in 2010 to third place this year. In addition, UAE consumers were the most informed in the region when it came to knowledge about investments. The country scored highest in the investment component of the survey ...  >>MORE

Central Bank to make access to funds easier

Posted on 18/09/2012

Banks will have easier access to funds in the event of a financial crisis after moves by the UAE Central Bank to ease short-term borrowing, Moody's Investors Service said yesterday. The introduction of a new discount window is "credit positive" for lenders, according to the ratings agency. Last week, the Central Bank said it would allow UAE banks to borrow intraday or overnight funding to shield money markets from liquidity shortfalls. The framework is called the marginal lending facility, or ...  >>MORE

First Gulf Bank arranges for US$800 million three year, senior unsecured term loan facility

Posted on 16/09/2012

In a significant move to consolidate its solid financial position and to enhance its funding profile, First Gulf Bank (FGB) has mandated The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., Citibank N.A.-London Branch, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft Deutsche Bank AG-London Branch, HSBC, Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd., National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC and Standard Chartered Bank, as Initial Mandated Lead Arrangers and Bookrunners, to arrange on its behalf a new US$800 million three year, senior unsecured term loan ...  >>MORE

UAE banks’ profits up 18.2%

Posted on 16/09/2012

UAE banks, which control the biggest asset base in the Middle East, boosted their net income by nearly 18.2 per cent in 2011 as they continued to pull out of the throes of the 2008 global financial distress, according to official data. From around Dh22.5 billion in 2010, the net profits of the country's 23 national banks and 28 foreign units swelled to nearly Dh26.6 billion in 2011, the Central Bank said, citing balance sheets by the banks. It said the increase was mainly driven by a 3.8 per ...  >>MORE

Fitch affirms Abu Dhabi at ‘AA’, outlook stable

Posted on 15/09/2012

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Abu Dhabi's long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at ‘AA' with a stable outlook. Fitch has also affirmed Abu Dhabi's short-term foreign currency IDR at ‘F1”'. The UAE Country Ceiling is affirmed at ‘AA”'. The affirmation and stable outlook reflect the continued strength of Abu Dhabi's sovereign balance sheet. This is estimated to be the second strongest amongst rated sovereigns measured by sovereign net foreign assets (SNFA), and ...  >>MORE

FGB's Sukuk Named "Best Islamic Deal in the UAE"

Posted on 30/08/2012

First Gulf Bank (FGB) was awarded the 2012 "Best Islamic Deal in the United Arab Emirates" for its USD 650 million Sukuk (Islamic bonds) issuance in August 2011, which was six times oversubscribed. The award, which was presented during the Asset Triple A Islamic Finance awards at the Shangri-La hotel in Kuala Lumpur, marks yet another successful milestone in FGB's journey. The FGB 5-yr Sukuk was subscribed by more than 200 different investors worldwide. Of these investors, 46 per cent were ...  >>MORE

Bank credit up 1.5% in Q2

Posted on 29/08/2012

Domestic credit extended by UAE banks grew by around 1.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the previous quarter despite a decline in deposits, according to official data. The increase in lending was mainly to the government as it swelled by about 3.8 per cent while personal loans grew by nearly 2.1 per cent. The figures by the Central Bank showed loans provided by the country's 51 banks to local companies rose by only about 1.3 per cent while mortgage credit edged up by just ...  >>MORE

Dubai tops Mena as investment bankers’ favourite

Posted on 28/08/2012

Dubai is the most favoured place of UK investment bankers to work in the Middle East and North Africa region, according to a survey. Investment bankers favour working in Singapore over New York and London, where they face lower wage growth and higher taxes, according to recruitment firm Astbury Marsden. Thirty-one per cent of respondents chose Singapore as their most favoured location, followed by New York (20 per cent) and London (19 per cent), the recruiter said in its annual ‘Preferred ...  >>MORE

NBAD named safest Bank in Middle East

Posted on 26/08/2012

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), has been ranked for the fourth consecutive year one of the 'World's 50 Safest Banks' and the safest bank in the Middle East by Global Finance magazine. "We are proud to be recognised as one of World's 50 Safest Banks and to be listed as the safest bank in the Middle East and the UAE," said Michael Tomalin, the Group Chief Executive of NBAD. "This recognition reflects NBAD's solid strategy and the prudent risk management it has adopted during the market ...  >>MORE

Higher bank assets boost UAE creditor position

Posted on 26/08/2012

An increase in the foreign assets of the Central Bank and the country's commercial banks allied with lower liabilities to widen the UAE's creditor position in the first quarter of 2012, according to official data. From around Dh92.5 billion at the end of 2011, the net foreign assets of the Central Bank and the country's 51 banks surged to nearly Dh156 billion at the end of March, their highest level since the end of 2007. The figures by the Central Bank showed its foreign assets holdings ...  >>MORE

Ministry of Finance releases its annual statistical report on Gulf Common Market – 2011

Posted on 22/08/2012

In line with its continuous efforts to strengthen and deepen financial and economic cooperation between the countries of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG), the Ministry of Finance (MoF) recently issued its annual statistical report on the Gulf Common Market (GCM) - 2011. The report featured numbers and rates, highlighting efforts taken towards enhancing financial and economic cooperation of GCC states. The report revealed an increase in the registered property ...  >>MORE

UAE banks show resilience

Posted on 22/08/2012

Banks in the UAE are filling the gap left by European institutions pulling back from the country's loan market — a trend that benefits local lenders even as margins face pressure and regulation weighs on growth. Lending in the UAE, the second biggest Arab economy, grew just 1.8 per cent in June from the end of December, according to central bank data. But most local banks reported loan growth that exceeded the market rate. Six of the eight largest local banks by stock market capitalisation ...  >>MORE

NBAD expands operations across UAE

Posted on 13/08/2012

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), has launched its first Business Banking Centre in Ras Al Khaimah, in its ongoing strategy to expand its exclusive services to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The new Business Banking Centre is strategically located in Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone (RAK FTZ) and follows NBAD's recent launch of Business Banking Centre in Deira, Dubai. "The new dedicated centre serves as one stop-shop for SME owners. It offers range of financial and banking solutions ...  >>MORE

ADIB launches Instant Finance service

Posted on 07/08/2012

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) announced yesterday the launch of ADIB Instant Finance, a facility that adds finance facilities on to the ADIB EMV (chip)-enabled Debit and Covered card. ADIB Instant Finance distinguishes itself from regular financing as it uses the customer's chip card - be it a debit or covered card - as the platform to access finance instantly. The financing amount is an addition to the customer's card limit allowing them to choose repayment tenures as long as 48 months. The ...  >>MORE

NBAD arranging a benchmark, seven-year, US dollar bond

Posted on 07/08/2012

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD.AD), the biggest lender in the UAE by market value, has mandated banks to arrange a benchmark, seven-year, US dollar bond, a banker aware of the deal said Monday. Citigroup, JPMorgan, NBAD and Standard Chartered are the joint lead managers and bookrunners for the planned Regulation S transaction, the banker, who declined to be identified, told Zawya Dow Jones. The issue is expected to be launched in the near future subject to market conditions, the banker ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launches Capital Protected Oil Note III

Posted on 05/08/2012

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), a top-tier Islamic financial services institution, yesterday announced the launch of the third version of its two-year, 100 per cent Capital Protected Oil Note on the back of the successful placement and excellent return that accrued from its first oil note. The Shari'a-compliant ADIB Oil Note III is open for subscription from end of July, 2012 until 9th September 2012. ADIB Oil Note III provides investors with an opportunity to invest in this commodity on a ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank net profit up 2.3 per cent

Posted on 02/08/2012

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) said on Wednesday its net profit for the fiscal second quarter rose 2.3 per cent on year to Dh322.6 million even as net revenue for the period declined 2.4 per cent from the corresponding quarter a year earlier to Dh888.6 million. In a statement, ADIB said total credit provisions and impairments for the second quarter of 2012 were Dh186.6 million compared with Dh235.8 million in the same period a year earlier, a decrease of 20.9 per cent. "Total credit provisions ...  >>MORE

NBAD named best Asset Management House

Posted on 28/07/2012

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has been awarded the Best Asset Management House in Middle East by International Takaful Awards. Takaful, which awarded the accolade based on financial achievement and client survey, recognised NBAD's Asset Management Group for its superior performance and its commitment to innovate and offer Shari'a-compliant products. "Being named the Best Asset Manager is a result of our Group's commitment to provide innovative products and excellent client service," ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launches operations in Iraq

Posted on 26/07/2012

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), yesterday announced the expansion of its regional footprint by opening its first branch in Iraq. The first fully-fledged ADIB branch is located at Baghdad and is led by Jawdat Mahmoud Jawdat. ADIB is now poised to support and guide UAE and GCC investments in Iraq and its surrounding areas, it will also develop the Islamic finance industry in Iraq by bringing best in class Islamic banking products. During the initial months of operations, ADIB's market entry ...  >>MORE

National Bank of Fujairah Q2 earnings drop 5%

Posted on 26/07/2012

National Bank of Fujairah, or NBF, earnings fell 4.8 per cent to Dh71.004 million in the quarter ended June 30. However, the profits surged 7.9 per cent to Dh135.4 million in the first half of the year. Net interest income rose 15.98 per cent to Dh116.40 million in the quarter ended June 30, 2012 against Dh100.359 million in the same period last year. Net operating income was higher at Dh137 million in the April-June period comparing with Dh134.707 million in the same period a year ago. ...  >>MORE

ADCB reports Dh1.5b H1profits

Posted on 25/07/2012

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC today reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2012 ("Q2'12"). Year on year highlights (H1'12 vs. H1'11) Net profit of Dh1,535 million compared with Dh 1,918 million in H1'11. H1'11 included Dh1,314 million gain on the sale of ADCB's stake in RHB Capital Berhad in June 2011 Total operating income at Dh 3,353 million, up 22% Operating profit before impairment allowances at Dh2,311 million, up 31% Cost to income ratio improved to 31.0% from 33.8% ...  >>MORE

National Bank of Abu Dhabi 2Q net profits up 2 per cent

Posted on 25/07/2012

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), one of the region's largest banks by assets said on Tuesday its fiscal second quarter net profit rose 2 per cent on the year to Dh1.05 billion. For the fiscal first half, NBAD reported a 6.9 per cent increase year-on-year in net profit to Dh 2,087 million, the bank said in a statement. Commenting on the bank's second quarter financial performance, NBAD's Group Chief Executive Michael Tomalin said : "The result for the first half is a reflection of our steady ...  >>MORE

RAKBANK reports H1 2012 Net Profit of Dh668.7m

Posted on 24/07/2012

The National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah (P.S.C.) (RAKBANK) has reported a net profit of Dh 668.7 million for the half year ended 30th June 2012, reflecting a 13.5% growth compared to same period of 2011 and 5.6% over the first quarter of 2012. "We are pleased with the positive results reported for the first six months as they reflect the continued growth in our customer base," says Graham Honeybill, Chief Executive Officer, RAKBANK. "As a leading Retail/SME national bank, we look to develop ...  >>MORE

Emirates NBD H1 profits down 40%

Posted on 23/07/2012

Emirates NBD, the UAE's largest bank by assets, has declared a 40 per cent drop in its first-half net profits for the year 2012. In a statement posted on the Dubai Financial Market website, where it is listed, the bank said: "Net profit for the group was Dh1.289 billion for H1 2012, 40 per cent below the profit posted in H1 2011 of Dh2.157 billion as the comparative period was aided by a Dh1.813 billion gain on the stake sale of Network International.” Excluding last year's non-recurring gain ...  >>MORE

Mashreq Q2 profit rises by 12% to Dh320m

Posted on 23/07/2012

Mashreq, Dubai's second-biggest lender by market value, posted an increase of 11.7 per cent in second-quarter net profit, helped by a significant drop in provisions. Mashreq made a second-quarter net profit Dh320 million (US$87.1 million), Reuters calculated, based on previous statements from Mashreq, compared to a profit of Dh286.3 million in the prior-year period. The bank reported a net profit of Dh591 million for the six months to June 30 in a statement on Sunday, up 7.1 per cent from the ...  >>MORE

UAE puts amended 50 Dirhams note in circulation

Posted on 22/07/2012

The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates announced that it would put in circulation an amended 50 Dirhams currency note, reprinted with new security feature, through replacing the silver metallic thread on the front of the note with a broader (3mm) colour shifting thread reading ‘UAE 50'. In a statement yesterday, the bank explained that the overall design and other specifications of the note will remain same. This amended currency note will be put in circulation as legal tender along ...  >>MORE

Panel agrees to the withdrawal of Barclays Bank from EIBOR fixing process

Posted on 19/07/2012

The EIBOR panel consisting of Central Bank and Banks representatives has agreed to the withdrawal of Barclays Bank from EIBOR fixing process after the 3 months' notice period. A statement from the UAE Central Bank said that the Panel had met on Tuesday to discuss Barclays Bank's request to withdraw. The EIBOR rates are set by a panel of 12 banks on a daily basis for various tenors by excluding the two highest and the two lowest from the submitted rates and taking the average of the rest. ...  >>MORE

UAE witnesses credit growth

Posted on 15/07/2012

The UAE has witnessed credit growth, and that positive development will help the country's economy continues to diversify, according to a latest study by Dubai Economic Council, or DEC. "There is a need for monetary policy and regulation to be countercyclical in order to try to smooth the cycle and its impact on economic activity,” according to the DEC's working paper entitled "Monetary policy: Constraints and measures”. The study said that credit in the UAE has been growing both in absolute ...  >>MORE

DEC releases new study on UAE banking sector

Posted on 08/07/2012

The Economic Policy '&' Research Centre (EPRC), the operational arm of Dubai Economic Council (DEC) recently conducted an economic policy study titled "Soundness of UAE Banking Sector and Macroeconomic Conditions". The study focused on macroeconomic conditions and how they may affect soundness of UAE banking sector. The empirical investigation consisted of panel data comprising of 19 national banks operating in UAE during the period 2005-2010, data from the world economic outlook and the UAE ...  >>MORE

SIB launches ATM for visually-impaired

Posted on 04/07/2012

Sharjah Islamic Bank announced the launch of the first visually impaired-friendly Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in the country and the region on Tuesday. The new ATM features a large Braille keypad, high-resolution screen, wide keys, a headphone and external speaker to ensure the user's privacy. The system has fewer options than the normal one for greater user convenience. The machine is designed for the visually impaired, but can also be used by others. The ATM is located in the Emirates ...  >>MORE

Sharjah Islamic Bank US$400 million Sukuk named Highly Commended in 2012 Asset Triple A Awards

Posted on 01/07/2012

Sharjah Islamic Bank's US$400 million Sukuk has been named as Highly Commended in the category Best Islamic Deal, by Country, by the 2012 Asset Triple A Awards for Islamic Finance. Speaking on the occasion, Ahmed Saad, Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) Deputy CEO and Head of the Sukuk campaign, said, "The recognition of SIB's Sukuk by such a prestigious award as the Asset Triple A Awards is once again proof of the continued success of our strategic business expansion plan. The Asset Triple A Awards ...  >>MORE

NBAD looks West for expansion

Posted on 28/06/2012

National Bank of Abu Dhabi says it will expand in western countries as the lender, along with many counterparts in the Arabian Gulf, has avoided the credit rating downgrades hammering many big rivals in the West. "Our strong credit ratings will certainly create opportunities in geographies where many local banks have been downgraded and where customers and investors are looking for a safe haven for their funds," said Abdulla AbdulRaheem, NBAD's group chief operating officer. Downgrades of ...  >>MORE

UAE to issue banking laws for SMEs by year's end

Posted on 12/06/2012

A new law on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that is underway in the UAE, is expected to simplify and streamline bank loans and help regulate this important segment of the UAE's private sector, a senior government official said. The new law will be issued by the end of this year as part of an ongoing economic reform aimed at attracting investment and ensuring sustainable growth by strengthening the non-oil sector and reduce the country's dependence from the volatile oil prices, Mohammad ...  >>MORE

UAE banks stable: IMF

Posted on 11/06/2012

The UAE banking system does not show any signs of distress and the funding situation of local banks has stabilised, but a foreign funding shock could generate some liquidity tightening in the banking sector, the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, said. "Stress tests show that the 
banking system could address moderate external liquidity shocks with its own resources, and that the stock of central bank foreign currency reserves would be sufficient to address even a strong shock ...  >>MORE

Banks to pay fine for bad loans

Posted on 10/06/2012

Banks will soon be punished for offering loans to people who cannot pay them back, the governor of the Central Bank has told the FNC. Sultan Al Suwaidi told FNC members at their session last month that a new law protecting UAE consumers' rights was in the works and would soon be put to the council for approval. It would include fines for banks that lend to borrowers who cannot afford to repay, he said. He did not provide details of how this system might work. Members told the governor that ...  >>MORE

NBAD and Emirates NBD make a move on China

Posted on 07/06/2012

Two of the UAE's biggest banks are to open offices in mainland China for the first time, as the Emirates seeks to profit from growing trade links with the world's second-biggest economy. National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) and Emirates NBD are opening offices in China, as the two countries forge closer ties after a visit by Wen Jiabao, the Chinese premier, to the Emirates this year. Emirates NBD, the biggest bank in the UAE, is preparing to open an office in Beijing, becoming the first bank ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

Bank loans up 3.2% YoY in August


NBAD inaugurates subsidiary in Malaysia


UAE has tightest bank rules in GCC


ADIB, Etisalat launch UAE’s First Islamic Telecom Card


First Gulf Bank plans benchmark bond sale


UAE in top three in ME financial literacy


Central Bank to make access to funds easier


First Gulf Bank arranges for US$800 million three year, senior unsecured term loan facility


UAE banks’ profits up 18.2%


Fitch affirms Abu Dhabi at ‘AA’, outlook stable


FGB's Sukuk Named "Best Islamic Deal in the UAE"


Bank credit up 1.5% in Q2


Dubai tops Mena as investment bankers’ favourite


NBAD named safest Bank in Middle East


Higher bank assets boost UAE creditor position


Ministry of Finance releases its annual statistical report on Gulf Common Market – 2011


UAE banks show resilience


NBAD expands operations across UAE


ADIB launches Instant Finance service


NBAD arranging a benchmark, seven-year, US dollar bond


Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launches Capital Protected Oil Note III


Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank net profit up 2.3 per cent


NBAD named best Asset Management House


Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launches operations in Iraq


National Bank of Fujairah Q2 earnings drop 5%


ADCB reports Dh1.5b H1profits


National Bank of Abu Dhabi 2Q net profits up 2 per cent


RAKBANK reports H1 2012 Net Profit of Dh668.7m


Emirates NBD H1 profits down 40%


Mashreq Q2 profit rises by 12% to Dh320m


UAE puts amended 50 Dirhams note in circulation


Panel agrees to the withdrawal of Barclays Bank from EIBOR fixing process


UAE witnesses credit growth


DEC releases new study on UAE banking sector


SIB launches ATM for visually-impaired


Sharjah Islamic Bank US$400 million Sukuk named Highly Commended in 2012 Asset Triple A Awards


NBAD looks West for expansion


UAE to issue banking laws for SMEs by year's end


UAE banks stable: IMF


Banks to pay fine for bad loans


NBAD and Emirates NBD make a move on China