Abu Dhabi's NBAD to repay $816m to UAE gov't

UAE's largest bank receives approval to repay remainder of loan given during global crisis

Michael Tomalin, CEO, NBAD

Michael Tomalin, CEO, NBAD

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) said on Tuesday it has received approval from the regulatory authorities to repay the remainder of a AED5.6bn loan to the UAE government.

The bank, the country's largest lender by market value, said in a statement, that it would be repaying AED3bn ($816m) to the UAE Ministry of Finance.

NBAD received an amount of AED5.6bn as part of the UAE Government's support to the banking sector during the global financial crisis.

In line with its plan to repay the funds on a quarterly basis, beginning the third quarter of last year, NBAD repaid a total of AED2.6bn in 2012, the statement said.

The bank will complete its obligations by repaying the remaining AED3bn in equal installments in the first and second quarter of this year, it added.

"NBAD is most appreciative and thankful to the UAE Government's support to the banking sector, which allowed the country to remain strong and avert the most severe conditions of the global recession," said Michael H Tomalin, group chief executive of NBAD.

NBAD said its repayment of the loan almost four years ahead of schedule confirms the bank's "robust financial standing and market position".

NBAD earned AED4.3bn in 2012, an increase of about 17 percent compared to the previous year.

NBAD currently operates across 15 countries on four continents and has a network of 122 branches and more than 570 ATMs to provide banking services to customers all over the UAE.

Earlier this month, NBAD retained its title as the safest bank in the Middle East, according to Global Finance magazine.

The lender was placed 31st in the list which said bank stability remained a pressing concern for the world’s corporations and investors.

Global Finance, which has just published updated rankings for the world’s 50 safest banks, also listed National Bank of Kuwait (35th - down one place compared to October 2012), Qatar National Bank (42nd - down two places) and Samba Financial Group (43rd - down two) in the top 50.

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