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THE ECONOMY - BANKS

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

NBAD wins Retail Bank of the Year Award

Posted on 16/12/2009

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), has won the Retail Bank of the Year award as judged by Arabian Business Achievement Awards 2009. Winning the Retail Bank of the Year in the Arabian Business Achievement Awards 2009 adds to slew of recognition that NBAD has accomplished this year, including making the list of the World's 50 safest Banks, which was compiled by Global Finance after examining 500 of the largest financial institutions; Best Bank in the UAE by Euoromoney; Best Corporate ...  >>MORE

First Gulf Bank wins international recognition "Bank of The Year 2009, UAE" by The Banker Awards

Posted on 15/12/2009

First Gulf Bank (FGB) has won international recognition by The Banker Awards as "Bank of The Year 2009, UAE". The award, presented at a ceremony held in London last week, honours FGB for its growth and performance in terms of capital, assets and return on equity. It also acknowledges FGB's banking strategy, structure and technology, and how these have equipped it for future developments in the market. "First Gulf Bank is one of the region's leading financial institutions and this award, the ...  >>MORE

NBAD launches operations in Hong Kong

Posted on 07/12/2009

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), has announced the launch of its first branch in Hong Kong, heralding the beginning of its operations in Asia. NBAD is the banker to the Government of Abu Dhabi, which owns 70.48% of the Bank's equity through the Abu Dhabi Investment Council. Commenting on this significant move, Group Chief Executive of NBAD, Michael Hardwick Tomalin, said "I'm delighted that Hong Kong, with its strategic importance as a regional hub, is the location for our first ...  >>MORE

NBAD plans to expand across Asia

Posted on 06/12/2009

Hong Kong - The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the largest bank in the UAE by market value, will continue to invest in Dubai and elsewhere, but with "care and selectivity” as it embarks on a rapid expansion across Asia, its chief executive says. Michael Tomalin was speaking yesterday in Hong Kong, where he announced NBAD's plans to expand in six Asian countries including China, India and Malaysia. It is the only bank in the UAE to declare its exposure to Dubai World and its ...  >>MORE

UAE banks' net earnings down 16.3% in nine months

Posted on 03/12/2009

An intense wave of bad debt provisioning allied with slackening domestic demand depressed the combined net earnings of the UAE's national banks by nearly 16.3 per cent in the first nine months of 2009. But analysts expect the decline will be offset by higher profits in the fourth quarter as a result of better economic conditions, strong oil prices and an expected slowdown in provision build-up. Balance sheets of 19 national banks listed on the official bourse showed their combined net ...  >>MORE

Emirates NBD unveils new brand

Posted on 22/11/2009

Emirates NBD, the Gulf region's largest bank by assets, on Saturday unveiled its new brand identity, marking the culmination of the merger process which began in early 2007. Unveiling the merged identity of two legacy banks Emirates Bank International and National Bank of Dubai, Emirates NBD Chairman Ahmad Humaid Al Tayer said: "The Emirates NBD brand reflects and reinforces our position as a leading banking group in the region. It is testament to the strategy of our management team and the ...  >>MORE

UAE banks' provisions increase 178%

Posted on 08/11/2009

Nine-month provisions for 19 banks listed on UAE stock exchanges were up more than 178 per cent year-on-year while net profits fell 13.7 per cent at the end of the third quarter, Emirates Business research reveals. Combined provisions of the 19 banks analysed by this paper rose to US$2.2 billion (Dh8.2bn) in the nine-month period ended September 2009, from US$801 million in the corresponding period of 2008. Leading the charge is Commercial Bank of Dubai saw provisions balloon by 913 per ...  >>MORE

NBAD's Q3 net profit rise 41% to Dh914 million

Posted on 29/10/2009

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) recorded net profits of Dh914 million in the third quarter of 2009, an increase of 41% compared with Dh651 million for the third quarter of 2008. Cumulative profits for the nine months amounted to Dh 2,591 million, 2.5% up on the comparable period of 2008 and representing an annualised EPS of Dh1.53 compared with the previous corresponding period of Dh1.51. Annualised return on equity (ROE) was 22.5% and in line with NBAD's target of 20% for the current ...  >>MORE

Rakbank net profit rises 10.4pc

Posted on 29/10/2009

National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah, known as Rakbank, on Wednesday announced that its net profit for the first nine months jumped by 10.4 per cent to Dh530.66 million, compared to the same period last year, due to continued growth in its chosen segments of small business finance, personal loans, mortgages and credit cards. Over the nine-month period, the bank's net interest income increased by 32 per cent to Dh850.87 million, compared to the same time last year. Gross loans and advances stood ...  >>MORE

NBF reports 5 per cent rise in net profits

Posted on 29/10/2009

The National Bank of Fujairah, or NBF, has reported a five per cent rise in its net profit for the first nine months ending September 30, 2009. The Fujairah-based bank declared a Dh70.2 million net profit, while the bank earned Dh67 million in the same period last year. "The bank has been able to grow its core earnings which, coupled with the recovery of the investment portfolio, helped in absorbing credit losses and maintaining profitable operations. The bank's liquidity and capital ...  >>MORE

ADCB announces nine month net profit of Dh701million

Posted on 28/10/2009

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) today announced its results for the nine month period ended 30 September 2009 ("YTD'09"), stating that the net profits were Dh701million, a decline of 57% over YTD'08. Net interest income was Dh2,418 million, an increase of 35% YTD'08. ADCB said today in its statement that the record pre-provision profit of Dh2,405million was up 8% over YTD'08. Continuing discipline and focus on costs; cost to income ratio dropped from 43% in Q4'08 to 31% in Q3'09. It added ...  >>MORE

UAE plans new classification for loans by banks

Posted on 27/10/2009

The UAE Central Bank has informed lenders in the country of plans to introduce a new system for classifying loans and provisions, reported Sharjah-based Arabic daily Al Khaleej yesterday. The draft regulation specifies five loans categories ranging from "normal", "being monitored", "below normal", "recuperation doubtful" and "lost loans", said the paper. The circular – sent to all banks, investment and finance institutions in the UAE – said they have until Wednesday to express any opinions on ...  >>MORE

UAE interbank rates hit multi-year lows

Posted on 26/10/2009

Interbank lending rates in the UAE fell to multi-year lows yesterday as the dollar-pegged country brings the cost at which banks lend to each other into line with its Gulf neighbours and the United States. Since August, the UAE Central Bank has undertaken a raft of measures to lower the rates it long said were too high. The central bank took control of the fixing process earlier this month when participating banks began submitting their daily rates to the central bank. Since then, rates ...  >>MORE

Dubai Islamic Bank reports nine-month net profit of Dh1.1bn

Posted on 25/10/2009

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) yesterday announced its financial results as of September 30, 2009, demonstrating its resilient operations and robust core business despite global challenges facing the financial services sector. The bank reported a net profit of Dh1.12bn for the first nine months of 2009, continuing the trend of positive performance in the year to date. In line with its long-term prudent and conservative approach, DIB has made impairment provisions of Dh403m for the same period, ...  >>MORE

Emirates Industrial Bank buyout completed

Posted on 20/10/2009

The Ministry of Finance yesterday signed an agreement to buy the remaining 49 per cent stake in the Emirates Industrial Bank from 13 public institutions, banks and insurance companies. This adds to the 51 per cent already owned by the government and completes the buyout of the bank. The institutions that were involved in the sale of their stake to the government include the General Pensions and Social Security Authority and the Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society. The banks that sold their stake ...  >>MORE

Commercial Bank of Dubai operating profit rises 6.6pc to Dh915m

Posted on 15/10/2009

Commercial Bank of Dubai, or CBD, announced on Wednesday that its operating profit surged by 6.6 per cent to Dh915 million in the first nine months, compared to the same 
2008 period. The bank's net profit, however, dropped 8.35 per cent to Dh757 million from Dh 826 million a year earlier. The net profit is after collective and specific provisions for non-performing loans and investments, a bank statement said. Net interest income rose 22 per cent to Dh986 million in the first nine ...  >>MORE

UAE records strongest growth in retail banking revenues in GCC

Posted on 14/10/2009

UAE banks have seen the strongest growth in the GCC in terms of retail banking revenues, according to a report. The UAE, which saw a marginal one per cent growth in group profit, leads the region's retail banking performance with a 34 per cent increase in revenues from last year, 25 percentage points higher than the GCC industry average of nine per cent. The Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) Middle East Banking Performance Index report compared the performance of 25 banks in the region in the ...  >>MORE

ADCB issues US$1 billion bonds in another first in the region

Posted on 04/10/2009

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), the Emirate of Abu Dhabi's second-largest lender by total assets, has said that it had agreed to issue US$ 1,000,000,000 million of bonds under its newly updated and amended US$7.5 billion global medium term note programme. The transaction, according to ADCB press release, is the first ever global offering by any GCC bank. "The issue will consist of bonds at a fixed coupon of 4.75% per cent. per annum, representing 262.5 bps over [US Treasuries], that will ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi tops world in risk easing in Q3

Posted on 04/10/2009

Abu Dhabi witnessed the largest easing of sovereign debt risk in the world during the third quarter, according to data tracked by Credit Market Analysis (CMA). Abu Dhabi, Morocco, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Bulgaria saw the best performance in easing of risk easing during the quarter. Greece, China, Japan, Spain and Italy were the worst five performers during the period. Dubai is also among the leaders of the best performers list as its credit default swap (CDS) fell more than 44 per cent ...  >>MORE

Same-day cheque clearance to start from November 15

Posted on 29/09/2009

Come November 15 and UAE banks will cease to cash in on the benefits of 'float money' they enjoy for more than a day during the process of clearing a cheque, as the image-based clearing system becomes T+0, banking sources said. T+0 implies the day of transaction, or the day the cheque is presented, plus zero days. Although image-based clearing has been operational from July 12, 2008, the clearing process has typically taken more than one day for local cheques, going up to four days in some ...  >>MORE

NBAD to partner in US$1 b aviation fund

Posted on 28/09/2009

National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Germany's DVB Bank SE are forming a joint-venture to launch a US$1 billion investment fund to pay for purchases of commercial aircraft and jet engines. The fund, to be launched within the next 60 days, will finance the acquisition of assets that the banks will then lease out to international airlines, NBAD officials said on Sunday. The partners expect to purchase mainstream jetliners, primarily those manufactured by Boeing Co. and Airbus, they told Khaleej Times. ...  >>MORE

Credit Suisse raises target prices of six UAE banks

Posted on 24/09/2009

Credit Suisse has raised the target prices of six UAE banks and upgraded the Dubai Islamic Bank and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi to ‘neutral' from ‘underperform,' citing the banks' share prices have risen as investors are increasingly getting confident about their ability to recover from the 
liquidity crisis. Credit Suisse kept its ‘outperform' rating for its top picks — First Gulf Bank and Union National Bank. These two bank were favoured for their attractive valuations, high ...  >>MORE

ADCB completes GMTN update

Posted on 23/09/2009

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) yesterday announced the completion of the update of its Global Medium Term Note (GMTN) programme. Chief Executive Ala'a Eraiqat said while the Bank had actively issued debt in the past under its European Medium Term Note (EMTN) programme, the preparation and completion of the disclosure and due diligence processes required to update the GMTN to meet the rigorous international transparency and disclosure standards was an "arduous and rewarding task". The ADCB ...  >>MORE

NBAD opens two new branches in Al Ain

Posted on 16/09/2009

In line with its expansion plan to cover all strategic and remote locations in the UAE, National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has announced the opening of two new branches (Cash Offices) in Mezyad and Al Maqam Municipalities in the Al Ain, taking to 89 the total number of the bank's branches across the country. The new Cash Offices have been strategically located to provide easy access for NBAD's wide and growing customer base in various areas, and has been outfitted with state-of-the-art ...  >>MORE

Online bank account system for commodities trading launched

Posted on 16/09/2009

JRG International, a Dubai-based commodity brokerage, on Tuesday launched a new online bank account system for commodity traders that will enable customers to see each step in a sale or purchase and monitor all movements of funds to and from their banks. The "Client Segregated Bank Account System” is being made available to global investors by JRG International with its settlement bank, Emirates NBD. Hazza bin Mohammed Yahya Mohammed Al Dahmi, Chairman and Managing Director of JRG ...  >>MORE

Government pumps more than Dh121bn into banks in 15 months

Posted on 15/09/2009

The UAE Government has pumped more than Dh121 billion into the banking sector in 15 months and the bulk of the funds were channelled following the eruption of global financial crisis, official figures showed yesterday. From about Dh150.7bn at the end of 2007, deposits by the government and other public institutions with the country's 24 national banks and 28 foreign units leaped to nearly Dh272bn at the end of March this year, an increase of Dh121.3bn, showed the figures released by the ...  >>MORE

Regulator approves NBAD's 10 percent buyback

Posted on 15/09/2009

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has received approval of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (ESCA) to buy back 10 percent of its shares, estimated to be 217.4 million shares. ESCA urged the bank to comply with the regulations in buying back its shares. – Emirates News Agency, WAM ...  >>MORE

Al Hilal Bank to open 3 new branches by end of 2009 in the UAE

Posted on 15/09/2009

Sheikh Zayed Bin Mansour Al Nahyan inaugurated Sunday night Al Hilal bank new branch in Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society at Al Muroor area. Top management of the bank and dignitaries attended the opening ceremony. The new branch has been strategically located for easy access to Al Muroor residents; it has been outfitted with state-of-the-art technologies and an electronic lobby available around the hour. Speaking on the occasion Ahmed Ateeq Al Mazrouei, Chairman of Al Hilal Bank commented "Al ...  >>MORE

NBAD opens its 27th branch in Egypt

Posted on 09/09/2009

Cairo - National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has announced the opening of its Egypt's 27th branch in Senzo Mall in Hurghada, Red Sea, in line with its expansion plan to enlarge the branch network in Egypt to 50 branches by 2013. "This step comes in line with the Bank's strategy to expand in regions that offer attractive opportunities for the banking industry,” said Qamber Ali Al Mulla, Senior General Manager of NBAD's International Banking Division. "Opening NBAD's branch in Senzo Mall ...  >>MORE

Finance Ministry sets up Public Debt Management Unit

Posted on 08/09/2009

The Finance Ministry has set up a special unit at the ministry to manage public debt as a complimentary step under the Public Debt Law. The Public Debt Management Unit will, among other things, be responsible for the development of strategies for debt and risk management and would refer those strategies to the cabinet as part of its objectives aimed at strengthening the country's financial situation. According to a press release signed by Nadia Sultan, an official of the Ministry's Financial ...  >>MORE

National Bank of Abu Dhabi to sell 5-year bonds

Posted on 04/09/2009

National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, the United Arab Emirates second-biggest lender by assets, plans to sell five-year bonds in dollars, according to a banker involved in the deal. The notes may be priced to yield about 190 to 200 basis points more than the benchmark mid-swap rate, the banker said. NBAD's bond sale will be the first from a UAE-based lender this year, following the real-estate slump that increased the amount of bad debt in the banking system. Emirates NBD PJSC, the nation's ...  >>MORE

First Gulf Bank tops efficiency ratios among UAE banks

Posted on 02/09/2009

All the major UAE banks have maintained high efficiency ratios derived from the difference between costs and income, with First Gulf Bank (FGB) boasting one of the highest. FGB has a cost-to-income ratio of just above 20 per cent for the first half of the current year. "FGB has further tightened its costs by Dh36 million or 12 per cent quarter-on-quarter, making the bank one of the most efficient in the world with a cost-to-income ratio of 19.6 per cent in the second quarter, down from 22.2 ...  >>MORE

UAE dominates Islamic bank rankings in H1

Posted on 01/09/2009

Banks from the UAE dominate the Emirates Business rankings of top Islamic banks in the GCC, with four UAE entities finding place among the top 10 based on assets as of June 30, 2009. The combined asset base of the top 25 Islamic banks in the GCC stands at a US$218.76 billion (Dh803.51bn), a growth of just a little more than two per cent over the end-2008 figure of US$214bn, exclusive research by this paper reveals. However, assets of the top 25 Islamic banks witnessed an impressive growth of ...  >>MORE

NBAD ranked among world's 50 safest banks 2009

Posted on 31/08/2009

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has been ranked among 50 safest banks in the world in 2009 by Global Finance. The safest banks table compares the ratings for the world's 50 safest banks, based on long-term foreign currency ratings from Fitch Ratings and Standard '&' Poor's and long-term bank deposit ratings from Moody's Investors Service. The "World's 50 Safest Banks" 2009 were selected through a comparison of the long-term credit ratings and total assets of the 500 largest banks around the ...  >>MORE

ADCB denies press reports on registered mortgages valuations

Posted on 31/08/2009

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) has denied reports carried recently by various news organisations about the valuation of mortgages registered by the bank. "The statements in these articles regarding ADCB are not only incorrect, but also misleading and, in the context of current market conditions, damaging to the reputation of the ADCB," the bank said in a letter sent to the Abu Dhabi Securities Market (ADX). The letter cited several reasons for such contradictions, including that it has ...  >>MORE

Banks join global money laundering battle

Posted on 30/08/2009

Banks in the UAE have until Sunday to disclose details of accounts held by foreign officials and politicians as the Central Bank tightens regulations on money laundering. The move, which brings the UAE into line with standards in other international financial centres, follows recent high-profile cases involving alleged fraud in the region and internationally. International regulators are increasing pressure on banks to reduce their exposure to the risk of money laundering. Claims by the ...  >>MORE

National banks add 72 branches

Posted on 29/08/2009

National banks have set up 72 new branches over the past year despite a post-crisis business downturn but foreign banks cut their presence in the country by 35 branches, according to official data. A large number of the new branches were opened by national banks in the second half of 2008, when foreign banks also closed 35 branches. From 573 at the end of August 2008, the number of national bank branches increased to 614 at the end of 2008 and peaked at 645 at the end of July, showed the ...  >>MORE

Foreign banks withdrew Dh20bn in the first quarter

Posted on 28/08/2009

Foreign banks repatriated nearly Dh20 billion from the UAE in the first quarter of this year after liquidity shortages at home and an end to speculation about a revaluation of the dirham against the US dollar, official figures show. Deposits by foreign banks with the UAE's 24 national banks and 28 foreign units fell to Dh155.4bn at the end of March from nearly Dh175.6bn at the end of 2008, according to Central Bank figures. The deposits had edged up to Dh178.3bn at the end of January before ...  >>MORE

UAE banks' loan loss provisions rise 54%

Posted on 26/08/2009

Loan loss provisions of UAE banks in the first half of this year are up more than 54 per cent over the same period in 2008, research by Emirates Business revealed. This paper studied the balance sheets of 13 banks listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and Abu Dhabi Exchange (ADX) and found that loan loss provisions have gone up to $4.11 billion (Dh15bn) in H1 2009 from $2.67bn in the corresponding period of 2008. The ADX-listed Bank of Sharjah has more than tripled its loan loss ...  >>MORE

Mashreq expands network

Posted on 25/08/2009

Mashreq Bank, one of the largest financial institutions in the UAE, Monday said it has unveiled 16 new branches throughout Abu Dhabi and Al Ain as part of its expansion plans in the capital. This increased presence is a result of the rise in customer demand, and future growth plans include 10 new ATM machines, bringing the total to 46. Mashreq chief executive Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair has driven Mashreq's expansion plans in Abu Dhabi to reflect the bank's current strength and presence in Dubai, ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

Dollar peg restricts UAE money market


NBAD wins Retail Bank of the Year Award


First Gulf Bank wins international recognition "Bank of The Year 2009, UAE" by The Banker Awards


NBAD launches operations in Hong Kong


NBAD plans to expand across Asia


UAE banks' net earnings down 16.3% in nine months


Emirates NBD unveils new brand


UAE banks' provisions increase 178%


NBAD's Q3 net profit rise 41% to Dh914 million


Rakbank net profit rises 10.4pc


NBF reports 5 per cent rise in net profits


ADCB announces nine month net profit of Dh701million


UAE plans new classification for loans by banks


UAE interbank rates hit multi-year lows


Dubai Islamic Bank reports nine-month net profit of Dh1.1bn


Emirates Industrial Bank buyout completed


Commercial Bank of Dubai operating profit rises 6.6pc to Dh915m


UAE records strongest growth in retail banking revenues in GCC


ADCB issues US$1 billion bonds in another first in the region


Abu Dhabi tops world in risk easing in Q3


Same-day cheque clearance to start from November 15


NBAD to partner in US$1 b aviation fund


Credit Suisse raises target prices of six UAE banks


ADCB completes GMTN update


NBAD opens two new branches in Al Ain


Online bank account system for commodities trading launched


Government pumps more than Dh121bn into banks in 15 months


Regulator approves NBAD's 10 percent buyback


Al Hilal Bank to open 3 new branches by end of 2009 in the UAE


NBAD opens its 27th branch in Egypt


Finance Ministry sets up Public Debt Management Unit


National Bank of Abu Dhabi to sell 5-year bonds


First Gulf Bank tops efficiency ratios among UAE banks


UAE dominates Islamic bank rankings in H1


NBAD ranked among world's 50 safest banks 2009


ADCB denies press reports on registered mortgages valuations


Banks join global money laundering battle


National banks add 72 branches


Foreign banks withdrew Dh20bn in the first quarter


UAE banks' loan loss provisions rise 54%


Mashreq expands network