Emirates NBD repays $816m to UAE gov't

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Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest lender, repaid in April AED3bn ($816.8m) of support from the UAE government which it had received in the wake of the global financial crisis, it said on Thursday.

The UAE ministry of finance injected AED70bn into the banks to shore up balance sheets after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 triggered a crisis in the world's financial system.

ENBD received AED12.6bn in total and said in January it was looking to begin repaying the debt, which was converted into capital-boosting bonds in late 2009, since the value of the instruments had diminished and access to finance from the market had become cheaper.

A number of other UAE banks have also made repayments of the support so far in 2013, including National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank.

Earlier on Thursday, Emirates NBD said its first-quarter net profit rose 31 percent on the back of lower impairments, beating the average forecast of analysts.

The lender, 55.6 percent owned by state fund Investment Corp of Dubai, made a net profit of AED837m ($227.9m) in the three months to March 31, compared to AED641m in the same period last year.

An average of three analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a net profit of AED676m.

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