United Arab Bank (UAB) on Wednesday said its 2013 net profit surged 35 per cent due to its customer-centric strategy. The Sharjah -based fastest growing bank in the Middle East said its net profit amounted to Dh552 million in 2013. This impressive performance represents the highest ever annual profits for the bank, emphasizing the continuing success and momentum UAB has generated in recent years. A cash dividend of 20 per cent of paid-up capital amounting to Dh199.3 million and a scrip dividend of 10 per cent of paid-up capital amounting to Dh99.6 million are proposed by the directors for approval by the bank's shareholders, subject to the prior approval of the central bank. "UAB's record full-year net profits and performance are testament to the bank's ability to build on the momentum of past years, achieve continued growth and generate value for our shareholders. The bank's growth and strong traction in a competitive market can be attributed to the strategy and leadership that is focused on delivering to all stakeholders," said Shaikh Faisal bin Sultan bin Salem Al Qassimi , Chairman of the board of directors of UAB. The bank, which is rated by Moody's as Baa1 with a stable outlook, said its customer loans and advances increased by 40 per cent to Dh15.29 billion in December 2013 from Dh10.88 billion in December 2012 . It further said customer deposits recorded equally impressive growth to reach Dh15.03 billion, surging 49 per cent in the same period. "Backed by strong fundamentals of our management team in an improving economic landscape, the bank was successful in growing the loan book and customer deposits significantly," said Paul Trowbridge , CEO of UAB. The bank recorded operating profit of Dh721 million, a 36 per cent increase over profits of Dh531 million reported in 2012. Total Income also improved at the same rate to Dh1.04 billion, with robust underlying performance across both net interest income and other income, up 39 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively, versus prior year. Provision charges across the full year were Dh168 million, compared to Dh122 million for the same period in 2012. The bank continues to take a prudent approach to risk management, with the loan loss coverage ratio standing at 117 per cent and in compliance with UAE Central Bank regulations. "We continue to reap the benefits of our strategic alliance with Commercial Bank of Qatar . Our associations with National Bank of Oman and Alternatifbank in Turkey have positioned us well for future growth and created opportunities for integrated services across the GCC and Turkey ," said Trowbridge. — email@example.com
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