The UAE’s biggest lender First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) posted a Q4 2022 net profit of 2.46 billion dirhams ($ million), 26% lower year-on-year (YoY) as impairment charges and operating expenses soared.

For FY 2022, the bank made a net profit of AED 13.41 billion, 7% higher YoY.

The efforts missed Refinitiv's mean analysts’ estimates of AED2.95 billion net profit for the quarter and AED13.78 billion for the full year.

On a quarterly basis, Q4 net profit was 16% lower, according to the lender's statement on Thursday on Abu Dhabi's ADX exchange where its shares trade.

Impairment charges for Q4 was 55% higher at AED1.1 billion while operating expenses jumped 35% YoY to AED2 billion.  

FAB’s board of directors has recommended a cash dividend per share of 52 fils for FY 2022, compared to 49 fils in 2021.

CEO Hana Al Rostamani, said the FY net profit of AED13.41 billion was a historic high for the bank and said while she saw a relatively benign inflation outlook compared to many parts of the world... "the region will not be immune to global price pressures and economic slowdown." 

(Reporting by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)