Mashreq's 2022 profit up nearly fourfold on higher operating income

Lender's units posted double-digit growth in 'a year of significant strategic and operational change', chairman says

Customer deposits at Mashreq rose about 13 per cent annually last year. Satish Kumar / The National
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Mashreq, the Dubai lender controlled by the Al Ghurair family, has reported an almost fourfold jump in its 2022 net profit, driven by higher operating income.

Net profit attributable to owners for the 12-month period to the end of December surged by about 270 per cent to Dh3.7 billion ($1 billion), from Dh1 billion a year earlier, the bank said on Monday in a filing to the Dubai Financial Market, where its shares are traded.

Operating income climbed by more than 29 per cent annually to about Dh7.5 billion last year.

All of the bank's business units posted double-digit growth in “a year of significant strategic and operational change”, Mashreq chairman Abdulaziz Al Ghurair said.

The UAE, the Arab world's second-largest economy, has made a strong recovery from the coronavirus-induced slowdown, despite global headwinds and pandemic-related uncertainties.

Economic growth gained momentum in 2021 and continued last year as the country's financial system remained robust, boosting other industries.

The UAE economy is projected to have grown by 7.6 per cent in 2022, driven by a sharp expansion in both oil and non-oil sectors, according to estimates by the UAE Central Bank.

Mashreq's report continues a run of positive financial results for UAE banks in 2022: last week, First Abu Dhabi Bank, the largest lender in the Emirates, said net profit rose 7 per cent annually to a record Dh13.4 billion.

AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, chairman of Mashreq, attributed the bank's strong 2022 performance to its new 'Rise every day' brand identity. Antonie Robertson / The National

Dubai Islamic Bank, the nation's biggest Sharia-compliant lender by assets, posted a 25 per cent increase in annual net profit to Dh5.47 billion.

The revenue of UAE banks is expected to surge by 52 per cent to about $25 billion by 2030, with digital transformation playing a key role in boosting operations and customer services, Mr Al Ghurair, who is also chairman of the UAE Banks Federation, said last November.

Among the UAE's largest and leading banks, about 95 per cent of banking transactions are now done digitally, with mobile banking comprising “well over” 90 per cent of activity, he said at that time.

In 2022, Mashreq's retail banking operations remained the “backbone of our business”, with revenue up by 42 per cent a year, said group chief executive Ahmed Abdelaal.

Corporate and investment banking group revenue also rose 37 per cent annually.

Last year, Mashreq's total assets grew more than 12 per cent annually to Dh198.81 billion while net interest income and income from Islamic financing rose 50 per cent annually to Dh4.57 billion.

The bank also developed a “robust” sustainability framework that is being used across its network and introduced a series of environmental, social and governance initiatives, Mr Abdelaal said.

“We were the only bank from the region to sponsor Egypt’s Cop27 and the fact that we have facilitated more than $15.5 billion of sustainable finance as of end 2022 stands as a testament to our commitment to this cause,” he said.

Updated: January 30, 2023, 1:24 PM