UAE - Major UAE banks on Thursday strong earnings in first half of 2022 as business sentiments improve in the country despite geopolitical challenges, global recession fears, inflation concerns and economic slowdown of major economies.

First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the biggest lender in the UAE, reported a 50 per cent jump in first-half net profit to Dh8 billion despite heightened global market volatility.

Hana Al Rostamani, group CEO at FAB, said almost Dh50 billion net incremental lending was extended by the bank year-to-date, which is a record for the group for any half-year period.

Dubai’s largest bank Emirates NBD reported its highest first-half profit since 2019 by recording an 11 per cent in net profit to Dh5.3 billion. The bank’s Q2 earnings was exceptionally strong at Dh3.5 billion, reflecting a growth of 42 per cent year-on-year growth.

In line with the two major lenders, the UAE’s third largest bank Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank also recorded a 21 per cent increase in first-half net profit to Dh3.059 billion, underpinned by higher interest rates and non-interest income.

The Dubai-based Shariah-compliant lender Emirates Islamic first-half net profit climbed 23 per cent to Dh701 million on higher funded and non-funded income supported by a significant reduction in the cost of risk.

United Arab Bank, a Sharjah-based lender, also recorded 209 per cent growth in its first-half net profit as earnings increased to Dh83.3 million during the January-June 2022 from Dh26.9 million in the corresponding period last year.

Analysts and banking experts said the UAE liquidity conditions are more supportive, helped by modest loan growth, and it benefited the banking industry. They said higher oil prices and rising interest rates will lead to strengthening profitability for UAE banks in 2022–23.

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