UAE’s First Gulf Bank Posts 13% Q3 Net Profit Gain

The lender, majority-owned by Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, made a net profit of Dhs1.19 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30



First Gulf Bank, the second-largest lender by market value in the United Arab Emirates, on Monday posted a 13 per cent rise in third-quarter net profit on higher operating income, in line with analyst forecasts.

The lender, majority-owned by Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, made a net profit of Dhs1.19 billion ($324 million) for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with Dhs1.05 billion in the prior-year period, it said in a statement.

Analysts polled by Reuters had estimated on average a profit of Dhs1.16 billion for the period.

“During the third quarter, FGB continued to witness notable growth in its core businesses, confirming its strategy to primarily develop its business based on solid organic growth both domestically and internationally,” Andre Sayegh, the chief executive of FGB, said in the statement.

Provisions in third quarter were higher at Dhs422.6 million than Dhs398.6 million a year ago.

Loans and advances grew 10.7 per cent versus the end of 2012 to Dhs126.9 billion while customer deposits expanded to Dhs132.6 billion, up 11.1 per cent over the same timeframe.

Profit for the first nine months of the year was up 13.2 per cent over the same period last year to Dhs3.4 billion.

FGB is one of two banks hired by Abu Dhabi earlier this month to advise on the merger of the two stock exchanges in the United Arab Emirates, sources told Reuters.

The lender on Saturday said it raised its stake from 40 per cent to 100 per cent in an Islamic finance company in the UAE, seeking to expand its sharia-compliant operations globally.

The bank is also looking to buy the retail banking business of Barclays in the UAE, its CEO told Reuters in September.