Abu Dhabi’s biggest Islamic bank weighs merger deals outside UAE
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Abu Dhabi’s biggest Islamic bank weighs merger deals outside UAE

Abu Dhabi’s biggest Islamic bank weighs merger deals outside UAE

The lender reported third-quarter net income fell 7.7 per cent from a year ago to Dhs492.9m

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank

Abu Dhabi’s biggest Islamic bank has the “liquidity and firepower” to pursue acquisitions outside the United Arab Emirates, according to its group chief financial officer.

“We are continuously looking for opportunities outside the UAE,” Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank’s Mohamed Abdel Bary said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Monday. “Once we identify an opportunity which would make sense to us and becomes capital-accretive, we would definitely pursue it.”

A saturated banking market has pushed UAE banks to look for expansion abroad. The country’s biggest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank, bought Bank Audi’s Egypt unit earlier this year. Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank, purchased Turkey’s Denizbank in 2019.

“Nothing is off the table and we are at the forefront when it comes to opportunities outside the UAE — and inorganic as well,” Abdel Bary said.

Known as ADIB, the Shariah-compliant lender reported third-quarter net income fell 7.7 per cent from a year ago to Dhs492.9m ($134.2m) while impairments rose.

“Our focus for the remaining few quarters is to ensure we have a strong close to the year,” Abdel Bary said. “We refreshed our strategy. And our aim is by 2025 to deliver a return on equity of 20 per cent.”

Asked whether credit growth could reach mid-single digits in 2022, he said “we are cautiously optimistic that this could be the case.”

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