Top UAE bank profits rise over high investment income

Abu Dhabi:The First Abu Dhabi Bank, the UAE’s top lender, on Thursday reported a 3.9-percent rise in net profits for the fourth quarter on higher investment returns and lower costs.

FAB recorded a net profit of $799.2 million in the final three months of 2018 compared with $769 million for the corresponding period of 2017, the bank said in a statement.

For the whole of 2018, net profit surged 10.1 percent to $3.27 billion against the previous year, it said.

The rise was attributed to significant gains made in investment returns, which surged 11 percent, and in cost reduction, according to the statement.

FAB, which listed in Abu Dhabi in 2017 after the merger of two major banks, has become the largest lender in the United Arab Emirates and the second largest in the Middle East and North Africa in terms of assets.

The bank’s assets grew 11 percent year-on-year to reach $202.7 billion, second only to Qatar National Bank in MENA region.

“First Abu Dhabi Bank registered a strong set of financial results in the second year post-merger,” chief executive Abdulhamid Saeed said, adding the bank realised “significant operating effiencies.”

FAB operating income last year remained almost unchanged at $5.3 billion.