News Column

NBAD gains momentum as profits increase 9.3%

January 29, 2014

Mahmoud Kassem

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), the biggest bank in the UAE by market capitalisation, said its 2013 profit rose 9.3 per cent, driven by higher income from interest and fees as loans grew amid an economic rebound. Net profit rose to Dh4.73 billion from Dh4.33bn in 2012, while in the fourth quarter profit dropped 3.9 per cent to Dh1.08bn compared with the same period in 2012, the bank said yesterday. Loans advanced 11.7 per cent to Dh183.8bn, while customer deposits increased 10.9 per cent to Dh211.1bn. "Our results in 2013 were solid, and we are beginning to see momentum increase as we execute against our five-year strategic plan," said Alex Thursby , NBAD's chief executive. "We have laid out a new mission to be 'core to our chosen customers', and we are now focused on capitalising on our unique positioning at the heart of the 'West-East Corridor'." Mr Thursby said that in 2014 there will be several trends, including record low interest rates and stimulus by major central banks, that will be favourable for near -term economic growth. The UAE will continue to leverage its haven status in the Middle East . Along with the UAE's inclusion in the MSCI Emerging Market index, that will be a further boost to economic growth, he said. The bank's board of directors recommended a cash dividend of 40 fils per share and a stock dividend of one bonus share for every 10 held, subject to approval by shareholders and the Central Bank , Mr Thursby said. Separately, Reuters reported yesterday, citing two sources, that NBAD had appointed James Burdett , previously a senior executive at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group , as its group chief financial officer. Mr Burdett was the CFO for international and institutional banking at ANZ and has resigned from the Australian lender, the sources said, requesting anonymity as the matter is not yet public. The sources said Mr Burdett was expected to join NBAD soon. A spokesman for NBAD was not immediately available to comment. NBAD appointed Mr Thursby , previously the chief executive for international and institutional banking at ANZ, as its CEO in July. Since assuming office, he has outlined a bold plan for the bank that includes tapping a US$137bn commercial banking market in emerging markets, beefing up the bank's consumer division in the UAE and the Arabian Gulf, and building a retail franchise in select developing countries.

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Source: National, The (United Arab Emirates)

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