First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the UAE’s largest bank by assets, reported a 2 per cent year-on-year profit increase in the first-quarter, boosted by higher revenue from fees and commissions and a decline in money set aside to cover bad debt.
The gain came despite a drop in net interest income.
Net profit increased to Dh2.99 billion in the first quarter compared Dh2.92bn in the same period last year. Net interest income fell 3 per cent to Dh3.26bn in the first three months of the year compared to Dh3.25bn in the same period last year. Fees and commissions increased 19 per cent to Dh934m compared to Dh782m in the same period last year.
Net impairment charges contracted 31 per cent in the first quarter to Dh439m compared to Dh641m in the same period last year.
The bank’s chief executive Abdulhamid Saeed said the bank was making strides in integration in the wake of the merger of National Bank of Abu Dhabi and FGB that created FAB in December 2016. Since then, the bank has also been spreading its wings abroad and in March it said it got a licence from the Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority to establish a commercial banking business as foreign banks converge on the Arab world's largest economy to make deals amid reforms.
“As we enter our second year, FAB continues to make significant progress in delivering on its business objectives and integration milestones, with IT integration activities in particular moving forward at a steady pace and according to the plan,” Mr Saeed said.
“As part of our business expansion strategy, we are also extending our presence into Saudi Arabia, after receiving commercial and investment banking licenses from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and Capital Market Authority.”