DUBAI - First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the biggest lender in the United Arab Emirates, posted on Thursday a 54% rise in third-quarter net profit, fuelled by higher non-interest income as the economy gradually recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
UAE banks are witnessing a rebound in earnings after the economy was rattled by the pandemic in 2020, with FAB's investment banking business benefiting from increased deals flow in Abu Dhabi.
"Global markets and macro sentiment have broadly sustained their positive momentum in the third quarter of 2021, driven by COVID-19 vaccine rollout, improving business and consumer sentiment, and the impact of global monetary and fiscal support measures," the bank said.
FAB delivered a net profit of 3.9 billion dirhams ($1 billion) in the quarter ended Sept. 30, up from 2.5 billion dirhams a year earlier. The lender was expected to post a net profit of 2.6 billion dirhams, according to the mean forecast from analysts on Eikon Refinitiv data.
Non-interest income more than doubled to 3.3 billion dirhams, driven by strong investment banking and trading performance.
Net impairment charges, however, surged 58% in the third quarter from a year earlier, although it declined during the nine-month period.
Smaller rival and Dubai's biggest lender, Emirates NBD, had posted a 61% jump in third-quarter earnings, beating forecasts, as impairment charges slumped on a recovering economy and demand for retail financing surged.
($1 = 3.6726 UAE dirham)
(Writing by Alexander Cornwell and Saeed Azhar; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Sherry Jacob-Phillips) ((Dubai.email@example.com))