Dubai Islamic Bank, the UAE's biggest Sharia-compliant lender by assets, reported a 25 per cent increase in net profit last year, as revenues rose and impairment charges fell during the year.
Net profit attributable to owners of the bank for 2022 rose to more than Dh5.47 billion ($1.49 billion) from a year earlier, the lender said in a statement on Wednesday to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded.
Total income during the period grew more than 19 per cent annually to Dh14.1 billion, while provisions for bad loans fell by 14 per cent year on year to Dh2.1 billion, "demonstrating resilience of the financing book", the lender said.
"DIB attained its strongest year in its history with robust growth in profitability," said Mohammed Al Shaibani, chairman of DIB.
"The UAE continued to attain economic growth and expansion amidst a turbulent year withstanding the impact of geopolitical conflicts and higher global inflation depicting its robust financial and monetary policies, strong domestic recovery and fiscal surpluses.
"These robust economic policies have strengthened the banking sector and supported the growth of the domestic financial markets which have exhibited higher trading activities and increased foreign inflows."
The UAE economy, the Arab world's second largest, has bounced back strongly from the Covid-driven slowdown despite global economic headwinds and pandemic-related uncertainties.
The UAE economy was projected to grow by 7.6 per cent last year, the highest in 11 years, driven by the oil and non-oil sectors, after expanding by 3.8 per cent in 2021, according to the UAE Central Bank. The country’s economy is projected to grow 3.9 per cent in 2023, according to the bank.
For 2022 and 2023, the Central Bank projected a non-oil sector expansion of 6.1 per cent and 4.2 per cent, respectively, on the back of the easing of pandemic-related restrictions, a recovery in global travel and tourism and the booming real estate and construction sectors.
DIB has proposed a 30 per cent dividend for its shareholders, it said.
In November, the lender raised $750 million through the sale of its debut sustainable sukuk. DIB priced the five-year Islamic bond at a profit rate of 5.493 per cent per annum, representing a spread of 155 basis points over five-year US Treasuries.
The deal was 2.3 times oversubscribed.
Overall, net financing and sukuk investments last year grew by 5 per cent annually to Dh238 billion.
"Given the rate environment and surplus liquidity, we made a deliberate tactical move focused on quality and structural sourcing rather than growth only," said Adnan Chilwan, group chief executive of DIB.
"This led us to support large corporate and public sector entities in adjusting and aligning their balance sheet in the new medium-term environment."
The lender also maintained "firm control on expenses", with its cost to income ratio at 26.1 per cent, he said.
Total assets rose more than 3 per cent year on year to Dh288.2 billion at the end of December 2022.
"Liquidity remains solid primarily through deepened relationships with the government, public and large corporates. This current liquidity profile provides us with the impetus for growth in 2023," Mr Chilwan said.