|01-30-2015, 12:05 AM||#1|
First Gulf Bank reports solid profit growth on less bad-loan impairments
First Gulf Bank (FGB), the United Arab Emirates’ third-biggest bank by assets, reported on Wednesday net profit that beat analysts’ estimates in the fourth quarter.
FGB reported profit of AED1.55 billion ($422 million) for the last three months of 2014, up 13% from a year ago. Analysts had expected net profit of AED1.37 billion. Full-year profit came at AED5.66 billion, up 18% from the prior year.
The bank’s profits were buoyed by a notable decline for bad-loan provisioning.
The formation of fresh bad loans has significantly declined over the past few years, with banks’ asset quality improving notably in 2014 in the UAE.
FGB alone saw a 68% decline in provisions from the previous year to AED177 million.
The huge decline in impairments managed to overshadow lackluster growth in net-interest income and a decline in non-interest income.
The fourth quarter has been very solid for banks in the UAE, as seen in the earnings results released over this month, which showed remarkable growth amid strong domestic economic conditions.
FGB’s earnings were the biggest among the banks that released quarterly results.
FGB`s shares edged lower on Thursday after hitting the highest level since December 7.
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