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THE ECONOMY - BANKS

Gulf investors may repatriate huge funds from US

Posted on 17/09/2001

Investments running into several hundred billion dollars in the U.S. by the UAE and other Gulf investors are likely to return home in view of the terrorist attack and fears of a freeze on assets, top bankers said yesterday. While UAE investors - high net worth individuals as well as institutional investors - are nervously awaiting the resumption of trading in New York's financial markets today, bankers and analysts predict only a temporary slump. GCC investments in the U.S. are estimated at ...  >>MORE

Al Wathba reports Dh1.7m net

Posted on 17/09/2001

Al Wathba National Insurance Co earned a net profit of Dh1.7 million in the first six months of 2001, the company said. No comparative figures are available, but a senior official said the company expects full-year results to be healthy as gross premium underwritten during the first half has already touched Dh18.36 million. The company's balance sheet fell to Dh99.14 million as of June 30 from Dh107.9 million in December 2000. Basic earnings per share (EPS) stand at Dh0.03. Dividend income ...  >>MORE

Ratings upgraded for two UAE banks

Posted on 15/09/2001

Ratings agency Capital Intelligence (CI) yesterday announced it had upgraded Bank of Sharjah (BOS) and United Arab Bank (UAB) to investment grade BBB-. First Gulf Bank (FGB) and InvestBank were also assigned a positive outlook, but Commercial Bank International (CBI) got a negative outlook. The ratings of 13 other UAE banks were affirmed at their previous levels. UAB's rating upgrade reflects the successful strategies set by its present management, which has built a strong track record over the ...  >>MORE

First Gulf Bank says eight-month profits rise 38pc

Posted on 12/09/2001

First Gulf Bank (FGB) posted a 38 per cent growth in assets in the first eight months of this year and forecasts a 5-10 per cent growth in net profit for full year 2001, bank officials said yesterday. After unveiling the bank's new corporate identity, Abdulhamid Saeed, CEO, said the bank's total assets have grown to Dh3.3billion by end-August 2001, registering a growth of 38 per cent since end-2000. "Our financial performance during the first eight months of this year have been better than last ...  >>MORE

Rise in number of local bank branches

Posted on 11/09/2001

The total number of banks operating in the country was 46 as of end 2000 with the number of foreign banks dropping by one to 26, according to the UAE Central Bank. Its report also notes that seven licences were issued in 2000 for new representative offices, five in Dubai and two in Abu Dhabi. One representative office in Dubai closed down. The number of exchange houses in the UAE dropped to 100 by end 2000 compared to 105 in 1999. While there was no change in the number of local banks, the ...  >>MORE

EMAAR set to enter banking

Posted on 09/09/2001

EMAAR Properties is in the process of setting up a bank, having procured an existing licence from a leading bank group, according to highly placed sources. Separately, informed sources confirmed the Emirates Bank Group has sold one of its dormant licences to EMAAR in April for a "very substantial" amount - "far in excess of Dh10-Dh15 million" - but declined to be more specific. An EMAAR's request had earlier been turned down by the UAE Central Bank. It now proposes to revive the dormant licence ...  >>MORE

Masreqbank launches investment series IX

Posted on 29/08/2001

Masreqbank has launched its MashreqInvestment Series IX, a principal guaranteed investment instrument with an assured 8.25 per cent minimum return at maturity. The Series IX, launched following the success of the initial schemes under the series, is linked to the performance of a global basket of equities from the US, UK, Japan and European markets, opening the possibility of higher returns to investors other than the guaranteed minimum. "The basket broadly represents the largest capitalised ...  >>MORE

UAE banks' balance sheet shows growth

Posted on 25/08/2001

The aggregated balance sheet of banks in the UAE has grown during the first quarter of 2001, reflecting the buoyancy in the country's banking sector, according to a statistical bulletin put out by the Central Bank. The aggregated balance sheet of banks rose Dh2.12 billion (0.8 per cent) during the first quarter to Dh279.22 billion (against Dh277.1 billion by the end of the fourth quarter of 2000). The balance sheet of the UAE Central Bank increased Dh950 million (1.9 per cent) to Dh51.09 ...  >>MORE

Masreqbank unveils new loan package

Posted on 20/08/2001

Mashreqbank has launched MashreqPersonal, a new personal loan package for expatriates, which the bank claims would be the most powerful loan package available in the UAE. It offers the highest loan amounts based on the borrower's salary at the best interest rates. "Expatriates living in UAE come from different countries, with a common objective of fulfilling their dreams and Mashreq-Personal makes it possible to do so with the added benefit of loans up to Dh250,000 at the best interest rates ...  >>MORE

Interest rates in UAE hit eight-year low

Posted on 11/08/2001

Interest rates in the UAE have dropped to an eight-year low, with local deposit rates having fallen around 42 per cent since June 2000, bankers confirmed. The rates have fallen to their lowest level since December 1993, when six-month deposits attracted around 3.5 per cent. The rates, just below 7 per cent in June 2000, were less than 4 per cent in June 2001 for deposits with a comparable term. The fall has been subsequent to successive rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is ...  >>MORE

RAK bank reports higher profits

Posted on 11/08/2001

The National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah reported yesterday a net profit of Dh19.1 million for the second quarter, compared to Dh16.1 million in the comparable period of 2000. The bank expected its income streams to continue increasing throughout the year as a result of its personal banking initiatives which commenced early last year. Total assets as at end-June moved up to Dh1.96 billion from Dh1.87 billion at end-2000, through an increase in loans and advances, and property and equipment. The ...  >>MORE

Emirates Bank to spin off e-banking services

Posted on 29/07/2001

Emirates Bank International is spinning off its electronic banking services department into a separate company. The move signals the bank's bid to become a leading technology application service provider (ASP) to banks in the region. The new company will be called Emirates Electronic Banking Services or EEBS and will start operations in the next two months or so. EEBS will be wholly owned by Emirates Bank and it will handle all the electronic banking services of the Emirates Bank Group. On top ...  >>MORE

ADIB posts H1 net of Dh40.7m

Posted on 22/07/2001

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) announced an unaudited net of Dh40.7 million in the first half of 2001 against Dh24.8 million for the same period last year. The bank in a statement said that for the period ended June 30, the operating income from Murabaha, Mudaraba, Ijara and Istisna was Dh129.2 million (Dh85.2 million). Other income stood at Dh 13.6 million (Dh9.4 million). Total operating income surged to Dh 142.8 million (Dh94.6 million). Operating expenses were Dh44.8 million (Dh32.5 ...  >>MORE

NBAD H1 net up 35%

Posted on 22/07/2001

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has announced a 35 per cent increase in unaudited net profit for the first half of 2001. The bank's net profits for the period stood at Dh313 million compared with Dh232 million in the same period of last year. The bank in a statement said net interest income for the first half was Dh376.2 million (Dh319.5 million), while other income stood at Dh139.7 million (Dh107.5 million). Total income stood at Dh516 million (Dh427 million). The operating expenses of the ...  >>MORE

DIB to buy majority stake in insurance firm from Saudi

Posted on 22/07/2001

The Dubai Islamic Bank is in the process of acquiring 90 per cent stake in the UAE-based Arab Islamic Insurance Company. The company is presently owned by prominent Saudi businessman Kamil Saleh who holds 68 per cent equity, and local investor Saeed Lootah with 10 per cent ownership. Dubai Islamic Bank itself has 10 per cent equity in the insurance company along with some other UAE investors holding 12 per cent. A member of the Dubai Islamic Bank's board of directors said that with the ...  >>MORE

National Bank of Dubai to put more emphasis on Islamic banking

Posted on 14/07/2001

The National Bank of Dubai, NBD, has big plans for the future which will see the bank adding around five branches to its network within a year and strengthening its private banking. However, officials said the branch network expansion will be confined to the UAE for the time being. The bank, according to Commercial Manager Saod Mohammed Obaidalla, will also improve lending. To a query on the low ratio of lending to total assets in the bank's annual statements from last year, Mohammed said the ...  >>MORE

Mashreqbank to launch new guaranteed capital fund

Posted on 14/07/2001

Mashreqbank will launch today a new capital guaranteed investment fund that offers a minimum return of 15 per cent at maturity, and also the possibility of higher returns linked to the performance of the US, UK & European stock markets, a press release from the bank said. Maser-Investment Series VII offers investors the opportunity to capitalise on the performance of three of the world's strongest markets, while also earning a guaranteed minimum return of 15 per cent over the life of the ...  >>MORE

Banks cut interest rates, but no clear pattern is visible

Posted on 14/07/2001

Several banks have recently announced base rate cuts, but analysts say it is uncertain whether all UAE banks have passed on the full benefit of the recent cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve to borrowers here. UAE banks have been cutting interest rates since the Fed began doing so in January, but there is wide variance among rates announced by the banks. While the base rate used by Mashreqbank is 6.75 per cent, that of National Bank of Fujairah is 8.5 per cent, Standard Chartered Bank is 8 per ...  >>MORE

Arbift stamps 25 years of excellence

Posted on 09/07/2001

Commemorating the 25th anniversary of Arab Bank for Investment and Foreign Trade (Arbift), the UAE General Postal Authority has issued a set of commemorative stamps in denominations of 50 fils and one dirham. The year 2001 is testimony to a quarter century of pioneering banking and financial operations. Arbift was established in the UAE by Decree No 50 of 1976, as one of the Arab joint investment groups in the Arabian Gulf region, which enjoys an important geographic location and economic ...  >>MORE

Assets quality of foreign banks fell last year

Posted on 08/07/2001

The asset quality of foreign banks worsened in 2000 from the previous year. While only Habib Bank AG was able to reduce the ratio of non-performing loans to gross loans and advances, that of Habib Bank Ltd is stuck at an alarming 80 per cent, according to a report. However, the scenario among national banks is comparatively better, although Mashreqbank and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank still have a high ratio of non-performing loans to gross loans and advances, with Mashreqbank's being as high as ...  >>MORE

NBAD opens 8th branch in Egypt

Posted on 08/07/2001

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has officially opened its eighth branch in Egypt and the second in the city of Alexandria. The opening of the Alexandria Sporting Branch is in line with the international banking division's overall strategy for its operation in Egypt. A further two branches are scheduled to be opened latter this year in Mansoura and 6 October city. The bank in a statement said that through its ambitious expansion programme in Egypt, NBAD seeks to consolidate its ...  >>MORE

ATM switch networks linked in UAE, Oman

Posted on 30/06/2001

Bank ATM cardholders in Oman (except clients of Oman International Bank and Bank Dhofar at the moment) can now use any of the more than 1,000 ATMs in the UAE and vice-versa. Top banking industry sources confirmed that the ATM switch networks of the UAE and Oman have been linked, but an official announcement is awaited from the Omani and UAE central banks. The link-up involves the exchange settlement mechanism between the two respective central banks and hence calls for sophisticated system ...  >>MORE

EIB gives Dh14m loan for 3 projects

Posted on 19/06/2001

The Emirates Industrial Bank has approved loans and facilities amounting to Dh14.8 million to three industrial projects in the sectors of metal works and building materials and Dh4.55 million for projects relating to furniture products and metal works. The move raises the total amount of sanctions of loans and facilities extended by the bank to Dh87.4 million to 15 industrial projects, since the beginning of this year. The board also adopted a time frame for the collection of the increase in ...  >>MORE

UAE widens e-dirham ambit

Posted on 12/06/2001

Starting next month all companies and institutions must madatorily use the e-dirham cards for transactions with the ministries of Interior (Naturalisation and Residency), Labour and Finance and Industry, according to an official. An introductory symposium will be held at the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry on June 26 to introduce the new service, its benefits and membership details. The e-dirham cards can be obtained form the Ministry of Finance and Industry or the Ministry of ...  >>MORE

DIB to launch two investment funds

Posted on 11/06/2001

Dubai Islamic Bank, will offer two investment funds, one real estate rentals and the other on leasing of industrial machinery, according to Dr Mohammed Khalfan bin Kharbash, UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs and Chairman of DIB. The first fund ‘As Soor fund for real estate rentals', also involves Kuwait Finance House and the CitiCorp Group. The corpus will be US$106 million, with DIB having a 23.6 per cent state of US$25 million, while Citicorp will have 15 per cent (US$16 million), ...  >>MORE

MashreqBank starts new scheme

Posted on 11/06/2001

MasreqBank has come out with a three-year maturity scheme offering the investor 100 per cent protection on the principal and a minimum guaranteed return of 10.5 per cent on maturity. Since this investment is linked to the performance of the NASDAQ 100, the investor in this product stands a chance to get a return higher than 10.5 per cent offered by the bank. In addition to allowing the customers to liquidate his investment during the three-year term, customers will also be offered an overdraft ...  >>MORE

Financial gains expected from the World Bank and IMF meetings to be held in UAE

Posted on 10/06/2001

Huge financial gains are expected from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, IMF, meetings to be held here in 2003. In a statement here today, the organising committee said that more than US$ 1 million direct revenues were expected from hotel and airline reservations, car rent companies and other expenses while non-direct revenues were expected to be more than double. It said that 12 heads of state and more than 300 Ministers, Bank Governors and other officials from various parts of ...  >>MORE

ADIB team up in US100m ‘murabaha’

Posted on 10/06/2001

The Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, ADIB acting as a ‘modareb' (agent) and book runner, has arranges aUS$100 million syndicated revolving ‘murabaha' (commodity based financing) facility along with three other financial institutions for Bahrain-based First Islamic Investment Bank. ABC Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and The Arab Investment Co., TAIC, are the other arrangers, each underwriting US$25 million. The transaction has been fully underwritten. FIIB Sharia board has approved the murabaha ...  >>MORE

NBAD’s Tharwa Bond oversubscribed

Posted on 02/06/2001

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi, NBAD, announced the closure of the Tharwa Bond series seven and eight which crossed the target. Terence D Allen, head of treasury and investment for NBAD, said that the bond was oversubscribed and crossed the target amount. The bank had fixed a target of Dh100 million for the bond. Series seven pays a coupon of eight per cent per annum for every day that the Nasdaq 100 index remains within a 40 per cent range. The coupon is paid at maturity in 18 months together ...  >>MORE

Rakbank net at Dh11.7m in first quarter

Posted on 27/05/2001

The National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (now Rakbank) has reported a net profit of Dh11.7 million for first quarter 2001, compared to Dh17.7 million in the comparable period of 2000. Expenses during the quarter jumped 67 per cent to Dh14 million, with the cost income ratio rising 47 per cent (31 per cent). Increased costs have also come from complete refurbishment of its existing 11 branches in line with its new Rakbank identity are scheduled for completion by the second quarter. The bank spent ...  >>MORE

Central bank approves application for new branches

Posted on 26/05/2001

The Central Bank has approved the applications of several banks and money exchange houses which have met legal requirements to open new branches, according to a circular issued last week. "The board reviewed applications submitted by banks and money changers operating in the country to expand their business and to open new branches. The board approved the applications, which fulfil the terms as per the law and regulations applicable to each respective activity," the circular said. The board of ...  >>MORE

First Gulf Bank opens ADSM office

Posted on 22/05/2001

First Gulf Bank, FGB, has announced the opening of its brokerage office at the Abu Dhabi Securities Market ADSM. The bank's decision to open a brokerage office at the ADSM is in line with its strategic plan to cater to corporate and high net worth individuals by providing technologically superior products such as Internet trading on a local and global basis. Abdulhamid Saeed, CEO of First Gulf Bank, said the bank was committed to the financial system of the country and its stock markets. He ...  >>MORE

New NBAD centre offers ‘Elite’ service

Posted on 21/05/2001

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi, NBAD, opened its Elite Banking Centre in the capital which will provide the bank's new premier banking service, ‘Elite', for high networth customers. Plans are under way to open similar centres in Al Ain and Dubai. Customers with Elite will be able to access local and international equity markets for all their investment needs, the full range of NBAD mutual funds, the NBAD principal guaranteed programme and other asset management. The centre and the service it ...  >>MORE

Dubai Investments posts Dh39m income

Posted on 20/05/2001

Dubai Investments finally approved the 2000 year results which saw the company report a Dh39 million net income, a gain of Dh24 million over 1999. According to the balance sheet, the group reported a net income of Dh13.16 million against Dh9.77 million in 1999. But the company, which is Dubai Investments PJSC, reported a net of Dh39.01 million compared to 1999's Dh15.02 million. For 2000, dividend outgo will total Dh32.5 million. Transfer to statutory reserves will be Dh3.9 million. Total ...  >>MORE

EFS launches two short-term funds

Posted on 16/05/2001

Emirates Financial Services (EFS) has launched two short-term fixed income funds which promises investors a better yield in times of weak economies and falling interest rates. "The cuts in the interest rate have surely impacted customers of the bank. These funds will offer a little better yield," said Anis Al Jallaf, managing director and chief executive officer, Emirates Bank Group, said at a press conference in Dubai. Both the investment funds are denominated in dirhams. The aim of the ...  >>MORE

Mashreq starts online service

Posted on 09/05/2001

MashreqBank has announced its new online banking service and unveiled a new corporate logo which it said has been designed to reflect the dynamic times the bank is passing through. Mashreq online at http://www.mashreqbank.com, will allow retail, commercial and corespondent customers gain access to products and services the bank has on offer including account opening, account enquiries, worldwide money transfers, cheque-book orders, credit card statements, utility bill payments and more. The ...  >>MORE

ARBIFT, NBS join e-dirham card business

Posted on 08/05/2001

The Arab Bank for Investment and Foreign Trade, ARBIFT, and the National Bank of Sharjah, NBS, have joined the list of banks selling e-dirham cards in view of the growing usage of such cards in government departments. Apart from selling the cards at all their branches, ARBIFT and NBS will have outlets at the Immigration and Naturalisation Department to facilitate sales. The Ministry of Labour in Sharjah and the Sharjah Immigration and Naturalisation Department will soon start payment ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank income zooms 100pc

Posted on 06/05/2001

Helped largely by a rise in operating income, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank announced it earned a net profit of Dh24.8 million for the first quarter of 2001 registering a 100 per cent rise compared to the corresponding period last week. Also total assets of the bank have grown 63 per cent to touch Dh4.92 billion compared to Dh3 billion as at March 31, 2000, the bank said. This is the first time the bank is announcing quarterly results Operating income from murabaha, mudaraba, ijara and istisna rose to ...  >>MORE

Government deposits in banks rose 57pc in 2000

Posted on 05/05/2001

The volume of government deposits in banks rose by 57 per cent or form Dh6.707 billion to Dh18.44 billion in 2000 as against Dh11.733 billion in 1999. This is attributed to an increase in oil prices touching US$35 a barrel sometime last year. The trend helped the government support the banking sector with higher deposits. According to Central Bank's statistics, advances and overdrafts dropped last year by 20 per cent or Dh3.144 billion to Dh12.581 billion compared to Dh15.725 billion in 1999. ...  >>MORE

UAE’s banking adoption rate faster than U.S.

Posted on 29/04/2001

Growth of e-banking among Internet users in the UAE s faster than that of the U.S. according to Pyramid, a division of the Economist Intelligence Unit. It has found that while UAE's e-banking adoption rate is 21 per cent, that of the U.S. is 17 per cent. Emirates Bank International and National Bank of Abu Dhabi already offer online services in the UAE, and many others are said to be finalising plans. According to Pyramid, adoption rates in Bahrain and Kuwait at 17 and 29 per cent, also match ...  >>MORE

National Bank of Fujairah predicts return of market confidence

Posted on 28/04/2001

National Bank of Fujairah expects the domestic market to remain competitive this year, but feels the market could gain in confidence, its chairman Sheikh Saleh bin Mohammed Al Sharqi said yesterday. In his address to shareholders at the bank's annual general meeting, he said competition may intensify if some Gulf-based banks waiting in the wings now move ahead and open UAE branches. "But unless we see the global economy worsening, we may well see the local economic upturn translating into ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

Gulf investors may repatriate huge funds from US


Al Wathba reports Dh1.7m net


Ratings upgraded for two UAE banks


First Gulf Bank says eight-month profits rise 38pc


Rise in number of local bank branches


EMAAR set to enter banking


Masreqbank launches investment series IX


UAE banks' balance sheet shows growth


Masreqbank unveils new loan package


Interest rates in UAE hit eight-year low


RAK bank reports higher profits


Emirates Bank to spin off e-banking services


ADIB posts H1 net of Dh40.7m


NBAD H1 net up 35%


DIB to buy majority stake in insurance firm from Saudi


National Bank of Dubai to put more emphasis on Islamic banking


Mashreqbank to launch new guaranteed capital fund


Banks cut interest rates, but no clear pattern is visible


Arbift stamps 25 years of excellence


Assets quality of foreign banks fell last year


NBAD opens 8th branch in Egypt


ATM switch networks linked in UAE, Oman


EIB gives Dh14m loan for 3 projects


UAE widens e-dirham ambit


DIB to launch two investment funds


MashreqBank starts new scheme


Financial gains expected from the World Bank and IMF meetings to be held in UAE


ADIB team up in US100m ‘murabaha’


NBAD’s Tharwa Bond oversubscribed


Rakbank net at Dh11.7m in first quarter


Central bank approves application for new branches


First Gulf Bank opens ADSM office


New NBAD centre offers ‘Elite’ service


Dubai Investments posts Dh39m income


EFS launches two short-term funds


Mashreq starts online service


ARBIFT, NBS join e-dirham card business


Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank income zooms 100pc


Government deposits in banks rose 57pc in 2000


UAE’s banking adoption rate faster than U.S.


National Bank of Fujairah predicts return of market confidence