Commercial Bank International posts 25% rise in profit on back of boom in loans

Net income rose to Dh171 million compared with Dh136m in the same period last year.

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Commercial Bank International, the Dubai-based lender in which Qatar National Bank has a 40 per cent stake, said its nine-month profit advanced by a quarter on the back of a boom in loans and an increase in the value of its investments.

Net income rose to Dh171 million compared with Dh136m in the same period last year, the bank said. Operating profit jumped 55.5 per cent to Dh353m compared with Dh227m in the corresponding period the previous year.

The bank did not give third-quarter earnings in the release.

“The bank’s performance in the first nine months of 2014 reflect the continued strength in the balance sheet with adequate capital requirement, high liquidity and conservative advances to deposits ratio,” said Mohammad Sultan Al Qadi, the bank’s chairman.

Loans and advances gained 21 per cent to Dh12.8 billion compared with Dh10.6bn at the end of last year, while customer deposits rose 24 per cent to Dh13bn from Dh10.5bn in the same period.

The bank said other operating income was boosted by Dh61m due to a fair valuation increase of its investments.

Banks in the UAE have been the biggest beneficiaries of an economic resurgence that propelled GDP growth to more than 4 per cent last year as corporations and individuals took bank loans for everything from refinancing old debt to new homes and cars. But because interest rates are low, this has meant banks – of which there are more than 50 servicing a population of 9 million in the UAE – have had to vie for clients and search for other ways to make money apart from the interest they get on loans.

“As we enter the final quarter of 2014, CBI will continue to focus on generating long-term growth while maintaining its robust balance sheet and strong capital position,” said Mr Al Qadi.

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