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THE ECONOMY - BANKS

UAE is region's top lender

Posted on 08/03/2010

The UAE had the largest banking sector in the Arab World towards the end of 2009, controlling nearly 18 per cent of the combined financial resources, and emerging as the top lender in the region, according to banking data. Emirates NBD (ENBD) maintained its position as the biggest bank in the region in terms of assets, which stood at about US$79 billion (Dh290bn) at the end of September 2009, showed figures by the Beirut-based Union of Arab Banks (UAB). In a study on banks in the Gulf ...  >>MORE

NBAD wins Best Local Bank Award

Posted on 02/03/2010

For the second consecutive year, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), was awarded the Best Local Bank in UAE Award from emeafinance, the prestigious publication. NBAD was recognised as the best local bank in the UAE due to the fact that it has managed to establish itself as a leading bank in the country in difficult market conditions. emeafinance's Middle East Banking Awards recognise banks that stand out among their peers, demonstrate leadership in their home markets, top the performance ...  >>MORE

Noor Islamic Bank launches UAE's First Arabic Mobile Internet Banking Service

Posted on 02/03/2010

Noor Islamic Bank yesterday announced the launch of the UAE's first Arabic enabled mobile internet banking service, as part of the bank's ground breaking focus on innovative online communications to meet customer demand for convenient, bank-in-your-palm, 24 hour banking services. The new service can be accessed from any make, or type, of mobile phone with access to the internet. The service, available in Arabic and English, will enable Noor Islamic Bank customers to check their bank account ...  >>MORE

First Gulf Bank records Dhs3.310b profit

Posted on 01/03/2010

First Gulf Bank's Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Sunday approved the distribution of 50 per cent cash dividend to the shareholders. The meeting also approved 2009 financial results with net profit of Dhs3.310 billion an increase of 10.2 per cent over the previous year. Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of First Gulf Bank, said "2009 was characterised by some stress in certain parts of the UAE. Economy with some sectors like Real Estate, Capital Markets, Trading and Contracting ...  >>MORE

Emirates NBD Private Banking named ‘Best Local Bank' in UAE by Euromoney

Posted on 25/02/2010

Emirates NBD Private Banking, a provider of bespoke wealth management solutions, announced yesterday that it has been named the "Best Local Bank in the UAE" in the 2010 Euromoney Private Banking Survey, which is based primarily on the views of private banking professionals from across the world. This is the fourth time that Emirates NBD Private Banking has received this significant mark of industry recognition from one of the world's leading financial services titles. The Euromoney Private ...  >>MORE

Personal loans rise 2.5% in 12 months

Posted on 24/02/2010

Personal loans extended by banks in the UAE went up by 2.5 per cent in the 12-month period ended January 31, 2010, according to official data. Personal loans at the end of January this year stood at Dh212.3 billion, up from Dh207.2bn a year ago, according to Central Bank statistics. "[Banks have] seen enormous liquidity in the short term due to various initiatives, including the Central Bank facility," said Sanjay Uppal, CFO of Emirates NBD. "The system is still looking for liquidity on a ...  >>MORE

Strong dividends despite profit dip

Posted on 24/02/2010

UAE firms continue to give generous dividends to shareholders despite a general fall in profits recorded by most for the financial year ending December 31, 2009. The largest payout will be made by etisalat, which has recommended a 60 per cent dividend. The telecom operator will pay Dh4.3 billion, subject to shareholder approval. Emirates NBD will pay Dh1.1bn as dividend, with the board of directors recommending a 20 per cent cash dividend. In the case of Oman Insurance, while the cash ...  >>MORE

UAE bank deposits up by Dh62.4bn

Posted on 23/02/2010

The UAE bank deposits improved Dh62.4 billion to Dh968.1bn in January this year compared to Dh905.7bn in January the previous year, Central Bank data showed yesterday. However, bank deposits fell marginally from a peak of more than Dh1 trillion that they reached in November 2009. In a clear sign that the banks remain conservative with their lending policies, their loans and advances increased a mere 1.96 per cent during the period, from Dh997.5bn in January 2009 to Dh1.02trn in January ...  >>MORE

Ajman Bank announces 2009 results to DFM

Posted on 23/02/2010

Ajman Bank, the emirate's first Islamic commercial bank, today released its annual financial results as at December 31, 2009 to the Dubai Financial Market. The results showed a marginal profit of Dhs1.1m. The results are a reflection of the Bank's first year initiatives. According to the newly released statement, the value of the Bank's total assets stood at Dhs1.928bn, up 11% from Q3 09 while its customer deposits increased to more than Dhs786m, growing 21% over the same period. Since ...  >>MORE

UAE banks' loan-deposit gap stands at US$10 billion

Posted on 22/02/2010

Most of the UAE banks continue to maintain a loan-to-deposit (LTD) ratio higher than prescribed by the UAE Central Bank and analysts expect this gap, which is estimated at US$10 billion (Dh36.7bn), will narrow in the coming period. In spite of restricted lending that helped the ratio to improve since the last quarter of 2008, analysis of banks' data by Emirates Business showed that several banks far exceeded the recommended level. In case of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, the loan-to-deposit ...  >>MORE

MoF and NBAD launch 2nd Generation e-Dirham system

Posted on 18/02/2010

HE Younis Haji Al Khoori, Director General of the Ministry of Finance (MoF), and HE Saif Al Shehhi, General Manager, Domestic Banking, National Bank of Abu Dhabi, launched the 2nd generation e-Dirham cards (Blue Card) with a live demonstration of the system conducted at MoF headquarters at Abu Dhabi today. The new e-Dirham cards are expected to raise public service standards, enhance efficiency, innovation and professionalism of Government services. National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) is the ...  >>MORE

Emirates NBD ranked No. 1 banking brand in Middle East

Posted on 16/02/2010

In its first year of participation under its newly unified brand, Emirates NBD, the largest banking group in the Middle East in terms of assets, has been ranked as the number one banking brand in the Middle East by The Banker, a leading international magazine. In its findings, the publication attributed branding success to a combination of factors including products and services, technology, employee buy-in as well as strength and stability. Emirates NBD, the outcome of the successful merger ...  >>MORE

Net profits of UAE banks down 21% in 2009

Posted on 15/02/2010

Rising provisions continue to eat into bank profits for 2009, with 11 UAE banks that have announced their annual results so far reporting a drop of Dh3.66bn, or more than 21 per cent in net profits for the year compared with 2008. Combined net profits of the 11 banks dropped from Dh17bn in 2008 to Dh13.34bn in 2009, according to ‘Emirates Business' research. Interestingly, the combined net profits of the 11 banks are Dh2.16bn less than the total provisioning that these banks undertook in ...  >>MORE

Emirates NBD announces its 2009 results

Posted on 12/02/2010

Emirates NBD, one of Middle East's largest banking groups by assets, today announced its results for the year ended 31 December 2009. Results Highlights: Strong income and improved efficiency drive financial performance: - Total income for 2009 up 28% to Dhs10.8bn compared with Dhs8.5bn for 2008 - 2009 Operating profit before impairment allowances up 42% to Dhs7.2bn (2008: Dhs5.1bn) - Cost to income ratio in 2009 improved to 33.3% through continued cost management (2008: 39.7%) - Net profit ...  >>MORE

10 UAE banks among world's top 500 brands

Posted on 11/02/2010

Ten UAE banks have been ranked among the world's top 500 financial institutional brands, according to The Banker's Top 500 Banking Brands listing. Emirates NBD topped the list of local as well as regional banking brands, ranked 142nd globally with US$943 million (Dh3.46 billion) brand value and market capitalisation of US$6.734bn. National Bank of Abu Dhabi saw its ranking improving substantially in 2009 to 156th from 199th place in the previous year. The bank brand value also went up from ...  >>MORE

Banks raise service fees to offset falling revenues

Posted on 11/02/2010

Faced with sagging loan books and shrinking deposit growth, both foreign and local banks in the UAE have been raising service charges across different segments of late. Royal Bank of Scotland has introduced a Dh10 monthly maintenance fee on its 'free-for-life' credit cards beginning this month. Dubai-based Mashreq is tipped to follow suit with the Dh10 monthly maintenance charge on some of its credit cards (with no annual fees) from March. HSBC UAE introduced a Dh25 fee on December 1, ...  >>MORE

ADIB to decide on foreign ownership on Feb 14

Posted on 10/02/2010

The board of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) will decide on February 14 matters related to allowing foreign investors to own a maximum of 25 per cent of its shares, and a share buyback programme, the bank said. Currently, ADIB is among the 20 firms out of the 68 quoted on Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, who have not allowed foreign investors to own their shares. National Bank of Umm al Qaiwain, National Bank of Fujairah and Finance House are other prominent financial institutions, who have ...  >>MORE

Emirates NBD launches Jersey Offshore Deposits

Posted on 09/02/2010

Emirates NBD, announced yesterday the launch of Jersey Offshore Deposits, an attractive and flexible multi-currency fixed-deposit product, offering easy international access, potential tax efficiencies and total confidentiality. The offering is targeted at affluent and high net worth customers in the UAE, and currently offers very attractive special promotional rates to provide customers with added value. Jersey Offshore Deposits from Emirates NBD provides investors the ideal opportunity ...  >>MORE

RAKBANK achieves solid growth in 2009 profits

Posted on 08/02/2010

RAKBANK has reported a net profit of Dh726.15 million for 2009 reflecting a 14.2% growth in profits compared to the previous year. The Bank achieved this strong level of growth despite adverse market conditions with the Personal Banking portfolio growing in line with the Bank's targeted expansion. "The operating environment in 2009 was probably the most difficult the Bank has ever faced" said Graham Honeybill, General Manager. "Liquidity issues which materialised at the end of 2008 continued ...  >>MORE

NBAD's fixed-rate notes wins deal of the year award

Posted on 07/02/2010

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) won the Deal of the Year Award from EuroWeek for its US$850 Million fixed-rate notes launched last year. The five-year Medium Term Note launched under NBAD's European Medium Term Note (EMTN) programme represented the first US dollar-denominated international public transaction by a GCC Financial Institution since 2007, which has successfully established a benchmark and a new pricing reference for GCC financial institutions, diversified its investor base, ...  >>MORE

Mashreq reports net profit of Dh1 billion for 2009

Posted on 05/02/2010

Mashreq, one of the UAE's leading financial institutions, reported net profits of AED 1 billion for the year ended 31 December on operating income of AED 4.9 billion. Prudent financial management has seen Mashreq increase its provisioning and strengthen its liquidity position. The growth in Mashreq's operating income has been largely driven by increases in Fee, Commission and other income recording 30% year on year growth. This growth has been complemented by a significant growth in investment ...  >>MORE

Banks don’t need government funds for now: Al Suwaidi

Posted on 03/02/2010

The country's economy is ‘resilient, with a 2.3 per cent rise in bank lending last year, so there is no need for the government to inject more liquidity into the banking system, said Sultan bin Nasser Al Suwaidi, the governor of the Central Bank of the UAE. "When there is a need, then of course we will consider, but there is no need for the time being,” Al Suwaidi told reporters in Abu Dhabi. "The liquidity is good,” he added. The Central Bank of the UAE and Ministry of Finance injected ...  >>MORE

ADCB to stay away from world markets

Posted on 03/02/2010

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), one of the largest Gulf banks, said yesterday it would avoid investment in global markets after reporting losses in 2009 because of massive bad-debt provisioning. Alaa Eraiqat, CEO of ADCB, described 2009 as a year of provisioning for the government-controlled bank, but sounded cautiously optimistic about 2010. In an interview with Emirates Business, he said the bulk of provisions allocated by the bank were against its international exposure, adding that such ...  >>MORE

NBAD's earnings continue its positive trend

Posted on 02/02/2010

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) reported flat net profits of Dh3,020 million for the financial year ending 2009 compared to Dh3,019 million in 2008. Diluted earnings per share were Dh1.35 compared with Dh1.37 in 2008. This profit was achieved after taking substantial collective provisions and despite the past year's credit and liquidity challenges. Net impairment charges for the full year were Dh1,408 million of which collective provisions were Dh756 million, specific provisions and ...  >>MORE

BoS profits rise 16% to Dh475m

Posted on 02/02/2010

Bank of Sharjah yesterday said its profit increased 16 per cent to Dh475 million at the end of 2009 compared to DhDh410m for the previous year. The bank's board also proposed 20 per cent cash dividend. Total revenues reached Dh1.169 billion against Dh928m in 2008, a rise of 26 per cent. This increase was mainly driven by the 50 per cent increase in net interest income, which compensated for the decline in commission and trading income. Total comprehensive income surged by more than 51 ...  >>MORE

National Bank of Fujairah makes a smart turnaround in 2009

Posted on 31/01/2010

National Bank of Fujairah or NBF has posted a net profit of Dh 104.3 million in 2009 as against loss of Dh 50.3 million in 2008. The bank could achieve these impressive results despite ‘difficult credit condition during 2009' and the provisioning that the bank had to make for the exposure to the troubled Al Gosaibi and Saad Groups of Saudi Arabia. "The loan impairment charge is Dh 214.3 million for 2009 compared to Dh 179.7 million in 2008. The charge includes an amount of Dh 73 ...  >>MORE

Emirates NBD discontinues use of S'&'P ratings

Posted on 28/01/2010

Emirates NBD (DFM: EmiratesNBD) announced yesterday that the company has elected to discontinue use of Standard '&' Poor's Investors Service for rating of its banking subsidiaries, Emirates Bank International PJSC (EBI) and National Bank of Dubai PJSC (NBD). Following the successful completion of the integration and the migration to the Emirates NBD core banking platform, all assets, liabilities and operations of Emirates Bank International and National Bank of Dubai have been assumed by ...  >>MORE

FGB’s 2009 profit up 10% to Dh3.31bn

Posted on 28/01/2010

First Gulf Bank (FGB) yesterday said its 2009 net profit rose 10 per cent to record Dh3.31 billion compared to the previous year. Its fourth quarter 2009 net profit rose 27 per cent to Dh855 million, from Dh671.4 million in the year earlier period. The fourth-quarter result beat most analyst expectations. EFG Hermes analysts had forecast a Dh746 million effort. The bank said 75 per cent of the full-year profit was contributed by the core banking businesses mainly retail, corporate, ...  >>MORE

ADCB reports full year and fourth quarter results

Posted on 27/01/2010

ADCB (ADCB.AD) yesterday reported its results for the year ended 31 December, 2009 subject to approval by the UAE Central Bank. Commenting on the Bank's performance, Eissa Al Suwaidi, Chairman of ADCB said "The Bank has a great franchise and has achieved record top line revenue growth in 2009. This has been a difficult year and net profitability has been impacted as a result of the current economic crisis and additional provisioning requirements. The decision to take record provisions have ...  >>MORE

Net profits of Sharjah Islamic Bank up by 12.3% to Dh260.1 million

Posted on 27/01/2010

The Sharjah Islamic Bank board of directors approved the financials for 2009 proposing a cash dividend distribution of Dh231 million, equivalent to 10% of paid in capital. The bank achieved net profit of Dh260.1 million in 2009 which includes general and specific provisions of meet any possible risks for SIB and its subsidiary companies with an increase of 12.3% compared to 231.6 million Profit achieved in the same period last year and an increase of net profit before distribution to ...  >>MORE

Assets of UAE banks declined in December

Posted on 26/01/2010

Bank assets, deposits and loans recorded the sharpest drops of 2009 in December as the sector continued to battle non-performing loans and low deposit rates, UAE Central Bank statistics released yesterday showed. For the 52 banks subject to the Central Bank's regulation, assets fell by more than Dh32 billion to Dh1.51 trillion after recording a steady increase each month since January 2009. Deposits and loans recorded some drops during the year, but none as significant as in December. ...  >>MORE

Commercial Bank of Dubai plans dividend and bonus shares after profits rise

Posted on 26/01/2010

Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) yesterday announced 4.1 per cent increase in net profits for 2009 over the previous year and also proposed bonus shares and dividends. The bank's net profit rose 4.1 per cent to Dh803 million in 2009 compared to Dh771m for the previous year. The CBD board also proposed issuing 10 per cent bonus shares and 15 per cent cash dividend, subject to the approval by AGM to be held on February 24. The bank's total income was Dh1.8 billion and operating profits before ...  >>MORE

Lenders in the UAE cut personal loans by more than 86% in 2009

Posted on 24/01/2010

UAE banks slashed personal lending by more than 86 per cent in the first nine months of 2009 as they pursued a credit-tightness policy and a drive to clean up their balance sheets, official figures showed yesterday. From around Dh75.4 billion in the first nine months of 2008, personal loans provided by the country's 24 national banks and 28 foreign units plunged to only about Dh10.3bn in the first nine months of 2009. The figures by the Central Bank showed personal loans for consumption ...  >>MORE

Ajman Bank named Best New Islamic Bank for 2009

Posted on 24/01/2010

Ajman Bank, the Emirate's first Islamic commercial bank, has been awarded Best New Islamic Bank for 2009 by readers of Islamic Finance News (IFN). Held annually, Ajman Bank beat the competition in the fifth Islamic Finance News Awards which collated votes from over 2,500 readers during a month-long poll. Announced this month, this achievement comes as the new bank nears the end of a successful first 
year in operation. The bank was assessed on a number of different operational ...  >>MORE

Emirates NBD makeover proves two better than one

Posted on 17/01/2010

Emirates NBD yesterday unveiled its first fully rebranded branch, reflecting the successful conclusion of the merger between Emirates Bank and National Bank of Dubai. The unveiling of the rebranded group head office of Emirates NBD in Deira, Dubai, which has also been entirely wrapped with the bank's new corporate identity, will be rapidly followed by the UAE-wide brand integration of all 110 bank branches and 650 ATMs, the largest network in the country. The complete external and internal ...  >>MORE

UAE banks perform better in fourth quarter

Posted on 06/01/2010

UAE banks are set to unveil much better results in the fourth quarter of 2009 despite a surge in their bad debt provisions because of regional default problems and stricter Central Bank rules, analysts said yesterday. The surge in earnings compared with the fourth quarter of 2008 could offset a drop of more than 16 per cent in the national banks' income in the first nine months of last year and allow them to achieve similar results as in 2008. "UAE banks have largely increased their ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launches first 24-hour branch of country

Posted on 28/12/2009

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) branch in Abu Dhabi International Airport will now be operational 24-hours and seven days a week, it was announced today. ADIB received approval for allowing the branch to be operational 24X7 from the UAE Central Bank and from the UAE Ministry of Interior. The branch is catering to the rapidly growing international traffic that passes through the airport by providing round the clock foreign exchange and other banking services mainly to international travellers. ...  >>MORE

2009 helps UAE banks set their own house in order

Posted on 28/12/2009

Having treaded a continual high-growth path for almost six years in a row, 2009 saw UAE banks move to set their own house in order, after the jolts of economic crisis that started showing their impact in the last quarter of 2008. Measures to improve now see the UAE banking system, with more than 50 banks, standing much stronger with their asset base having crossed Dh1.5 trillion; a deposit base of more than Dh1 trillion at the end of November as the loans and advances staying at above ...  >>MORE

UAE banks have largest capital in Arab World

Posted on 27/12/2009

An intensive drive to bolster their financial position has sharply boosted the combined capital of the UAE banks and allowed the country to have the largest banking system in the Arab World, according to latest official figures. At the end of 2008, the shareholders equity of the UAE's 24 national banks and 28 foreign units stood at Dh165.5 billion, the highest in the region, showed the figures by the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), a key Arab League institution. The report gave no data for 2009 ...  >>MORE

UAE bank lending to be cautious in 2010

Posted on 21/12/2009

UAE banks are expected to keep a low profile in lending operations in 2010 despite an expected improvement in domestic demand triggered by a recovery in oil prices and the local economy, a key Saudi bank said yesterday. Lending by the country's 24 national banks and 28 foreign units sharply slowed down in the first half of 2009 and is projected to grow by only around five per cent through the year and in 2010 against 38 per cent in 2008, the Saudi American Bank Group (Samba) said in its ...  >>MORE

Dollar peg restricts UAE money market

Posted on 20/12/2009

The ready availability 
of dollar liquidity to the UAE banks, given the dirham's peg to the greenback, has restricted the country's resolve to develop a more active money market in local currency, a working paper by the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, said. The Washington-based IMF said it saw drawbacks in the UAE Central Bank's efforts to manage domestic liquidity, including its reserve requirements for banks. "The features of the UAE money market and of the UAE Central Bank ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

UAE is region's top lender


NBAD wins Best Local Bank Award


Noor Islamic Bank launches UAE's First Arabic Mobile Internet Banking Service


First Gulf Bank records Dhs3.310b profit


Emirates NBD Private Banking named ‘Best Local Bank' in UAE by Euromoney


Personal loans rise 2.5% in 12 months


Strong dividends despite profit dip


UAE bank deposits up by Dh62.4bn


Ajman Bank announces 2009 results to DFM


UAE banks' loan-deposit gap stands at US$10 billion


MoF and NBAD launch 2nd Generation e-Dirham system


Emirates NBD ranked No. 1 banking brand in Middle East


Net profits of UAE banks down 21% in 2009


Emirates NBD announces its 2009 results


10 UAE banks among world's top 500 brands


Banks raise service fees to offset falling revenues


ADIB to decide on foreign ownership on Feb 14


Emirates NBD launches Jersey Offshore Deposits


RAKBANK achieves solid growth in 2009 profits


NBAD's fixed-rate notes wins deal of the year award


Mashreq reports net profit of Dh1 billion for 2009


Banks don’t need government funds for now: Al Suwaidi


ADCB to stay away from world markets


NBAD's earnings continue its positive trend


BoS profits rise 16% to Dh475m


National Bank of Fujairah makes a smart turnaround in 2009


Emirates NBD discontinues use of S'&'P ratings


FGB’s 2009 profit up 10% to Dh3.31bn


ADCB reports full year and fourth quarter results


Net profits of Sharjah Islamic Bank up by 12.3% to Dh260.1 million


Assets of UAE banks declined in December


Commercial Bank of Dubai plans dividend and bonus shares after profits rise


Lenders in the UAE cut personal loans by more than 86% in 2009


Ajman Bank named Best New Islamic Bank for 2009


Emirates NBD makeover proves two better than one


UAE banks perform better in fourth quarter


Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank launches first 24-hour branch of country


2009 helps UAE banks set their own house in order


UAE banks have largest capital in Arab World


UAE bank lending to be cautious in 2010


Dollar peg restricts UAE money market