Mashreq first-quarter profit more than doubles on lower impairments and higher fee income

The lender reported $435 million in net profit for the three-month period

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - February 8th, 2018: General Views of Mashreq Bank. Thursday, February 8th, 2018. Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Mashreq, Dubai's third-biggest lender, reported a 163 per cent surge in its first-quarter profit on the back of lower impairments and higher interest income.

Net profit for the three months to the end of March climbed to more than Dh1.61 billion ($438 million), compared with Dh612 million for the same period last year, the lender said in a statement on Thursday.

Impairment allowances for the period declined 58 per cent annually to Dh96 million, while net interest income and income from Islamic financing more than doubled to Dh1.74 billion.

Fee and commission income rose about 64 per cent to Dh583 million.

“Owing to robust growth in operating income, enhanced efficiencies, and improved risk position, Mashreq concluded the first quarter of 2023 with outstanding financial results, demonstrating nearly double year-on-year operating profits and crossing the Dh200 billion in total assets milestone,” Mashreq chairman AbdulAziz Al Ghurair said.

“The bank’s performance was further supported by the introduction of numerous platforms and digital journeys, both domestically and internationally, across retail, business, and corporate and investment banking.”

Last year, Mashreq launched its new brand identity to realign its offerings as a digital-first financial institution.

Mr Al Ghurair also said the progress made in product expansion and geographic reach during the quarter marked "a crucial milestone for the bank, with the approval of a digital licence in Pakistan and considerable expansion in Egypt".

The bank's total assets grew more than 10 per cent to Dh201 billion, while loans and advances rose about 6 per cent annually to Dh91.1 billion.

Customer deposits for the period climbed 15 per cent year on year to more than Dh120 billion.

"We foresee that through our proactive involvement in the innovation ecosystem, technology-driven customer personalisation, and an unwavering focus on efficiencies, Mashreq will persist in supporting the UAE economic growth across economic cycles and amidst global uncertainties throughout 2023," Mr Al Ghurair added.

The UAE’s economy rebounded strongly from the coronavirus pandemic-induced slowdown on the back of government initiatives, higher oil prices, a strong performance in its property sector and a rebound in travel and tourism.

After growing 7.6 per cent last year, the highest in 11 years, the UAE economy is expected to expand 3.9 per cent this year and 4.3 per cent in 2024, the UAE Central Bank said in March.

Updated: April 28, 2023, 8:11 AM