National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the largest lender by market value in the United Arab Emirates, posted its first profit drop in nearly two years, missing analysts’ forecasts, mainly because of a sharp fall in investment gains.
NBAD, majority-owned by the Abu Dhabi government, said on Tuesday that third-quarter net profit fell eight per cent to Dhs1.04 billion ($283 million) from Dhs1.12 billion in the year-ago period.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast on average a profit of Dhs1.22 billion for the quarter.
The profit drop was NBAD’s first since the fourth quarter of 2011, according to Reuters data.
Alex Thursby, previously chief executive for international and institutional banking at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, took over as NBAD’s chief executive in July. The bank has been seeking to expand abroad from its largely saturated local market.
“I have now laid out my strategy for the next five years, and we are beginning to gain momentum as we focus on being core to our chosen customers,” Thursby said in a statement on Tuesday.
Profit for the first nine months of this year rose 13.8 per cent from a year earlier to Dhs3.65 billion.
Net investment gains in the third quarter plunged 92 per cent to Dhs9 million from Dhs112 million in the year-ago period, while operating income in the quarter fell 2.5 per cent to Dhs2.19 billion.
The bank booked quarterly net impairment charges – the amount set aside to meet loan losses – of Dhs299 million in the three months to September 30, a drop of 18.5 per cent on the same period last year.
Loans and advances grew to Dhs182.5 billion at the end of the third quarter, up 10.9 per cent from end-2012, while deposits expanded 20.6 per cent to Dhs229.5 billion.
Shares of NBAD did not trade on Tuesday. The shares have risen 40 per cent year-to-date.