Dividends of Dhs18.7bn ($5.1bn) have been proposed by 18 listed UAE banks – up 12.2 per cent on the previous year.
The rise in dividend distribution follows the growth in net profits to Dhs42bn ($11.4bn) in 2018, said state news agency WAM citing statistics from the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange and Dubai Financial Market. The UAE banking sector was also recorded as holding an estimated Dhs2.9 trillion ($790bn) by the end of last year.
In 2017 dividends of Dhs16.66bn ($4.54bn) were distributed.
Separately, the average annual return for investment in the national banking sector was recorded as 5.07 per cent, with free-flowing share dividends valued at around Dhs10bn ($2.72bn). This accounts for 53.7 per cent of the total dividends proposed by all the national banks, said WAM.
First Abu Dhabi Bank topped the list with Dhs8bn ($2.12bn) – some 74 per cent of the bank’s capital for 2018, with profits exceeding Dhs12bn ($3.28bn).
In second place was Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, with Dhs2.4bn ($654m) in dividends, Dubai Islamic Bank was third with Dhs2.3bn ($626m), and Emirates NBD fourth with Dhs2.19bn ($596m).