Revealed: Top 10 banks in the UAE

The UAE’s biggest listed banks ranked by total asset size

Exchange houses hold talks with UAE Central Bank over new rules

Things have been on the up for the GCC’s banks, which collectively recorded a better year in 2017 despite slowing economic growth in the region as a whole.

Banking activity was supported by a higher oil price and continued infrastructure investment as Gulf states diversify their economies in various ways. Commercial activity in the region expanded in 2017 and consumer confidence grew, albeit slightly. As a result, our list of the region’s 50 leading banks – ranking institutions in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – recorded higher net profit in 2017.

Read: Revealed: Top 10 banks in Bahrain

Read: Revealed: Top banks in Kuwait

Read: Revealed: Top 10 banks in Saudi

The second half of 2017 was more challenging, but economic growth in the region is expected to improve slightly in 2018. This, along with diversification efforts, should provide a boost to the banking sector this year, meaning the forecast is for a marginal increase in returns.

The UAE has seen among the biggest changes in the regional banking sector over the last year following the merger of National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank.

The merger was significant as it creates an institution that can compete regionally and internationally. The bank is looking to drive growth in core home market sectors and focusing on serving UAE corporates with international ambitions as well as international companies operating in the UAE.

Read: First Abu Dhabi Bank’s 2017 profit hit by merger costs

It also helped FAB move to the top of the assets table, with assets rising by 59 per cent to $182bn. As a consequence, other banks in the top 10 declined in ranking.

Elsewhere the country saw bank loans increase by Dhs6.7bn ($1.82bn) and 0.4 per cent YoY to Dhs1.58 trillion ($430bn in 2017. Bank deposits increased by Dhs64.4bn ($17.5bn) and 4.1 per cent in 2017.

The UAE overtook Saudi Arabia to become the largest domestic banking sector in the GCC for the first time last year.

The emirates held 31.4 per cent of the mark compared to Saudi’s 29 per cent.

TOP 10 BANKS IN THE UAE
(Based on total assets of listed banks at the end of 2017)

1. First Abu Dhabi Bank

Assets in 2017 ($000): 182,131,308
Assets in 2016 ($000): 114,542,200
Growth (2016-2017): 59.01
2017 net profit ($000): 2,981,150
Return on assets (ROA) in 2017: 2.60

2. Emirates NBD

Assets in 2017 ($000): 128,062,152
Assets in 2016 ($000): 121,972,233
Growth (2016-2017): 4.99
2017 net profit ($000): 2,272,201
Return on assets (ROA) in 2017: 1.86

3. Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Assets in 2017 ($000): 72,149,005
Assets in 2016 ($000): 70,321,061
Growth (2016-2017): 2.60
2017 net profit ($000): 1,164,609
Return on assets (ROA) in 2017: 1.66

4. Dubai Islamic Bank

Assets in 2017 ($000): 56,448,954
Assets in 2016 ($000): 47,636,947
Growth (2016-2017): 18.50
2017 net profit ($000): 1,226,131
Return on assets (ROA) in 2017: 2.57

5. Mashreq

Assets in 2017 ($000): 34,083,375
Assets in 2016 ($000): 33,436,846
Growth (2016-2017): 1.93
2017 net profit ($000): 568,889
Return on assets (ROA) in 2017: 1.70

6. Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

Assets in 2017 ($000): 33,563,191
Assets in 2016 ($000): 33,294,235
Growth (2016-2017): 0.81
2017 net profit ($000): 626,225
Return on assets (ROA) in 2017: 1.88

7. Union National Bank

Assets in 2017 ($000): 29,272,558
Assets in 2016 ($000): 28,291,749
Growth (2016-2017): 3.47
2017 net profit ($000): 451,186
Return on assets (ROA) in 2017: 1.59

8. Commercial Bank of Dubai

Assets in 2017 ($000): 19,170,721
Assets in 2016 ($000): 17,446,168
Growth (2016-2017): 9.88
2017 net profit ($000): 272,779
Return on assets (ROA) in 2017: 1.56

9. RAK Bank

Assets in 2017 ($000): 13,214,582
Assets in 2016 ($000): 11,573,708
Growth (2016-2017): 14.18
2017 net profit ($000): 220,665
Return on assets (ROA) in 2017: 1.91

10. Noor Bank

Assets in 2017 ($000): 11,616,809
Assets in 2016 ($000): 11,051,215
Growth (2016-2017): 5.12
2017 net profit ($000): 100,977
Return on assets (ROA) in 2017: 0.91

Looking ahead

In 2018, GCC banks are expected to record only modest growth in both assets and net profit, reflecting continuing challenging trading conditions. Economic growth in the region will be slightly higher, allowing for modest loan growth.

Maintained government infrastructure investment in the GCC and increased government spending in some GCC states will help to boost loan growth, albeit only modestly, and returns for the GCC banking sector are expected to be marginally higher over the course of the year.