Emirates NBD recommended a dividend of 40 fils a share, unchanged from a year ago
Emirates NBD reported a better-than-expected increase in full-year profit as lending rose and loan loss charges fell at Dubai’s biggest bank.
The bank reported a net profit of $2.73 billion (AED10bn), supported by a 22% year-on-year improvement in provisions. The bank ended the year with assets of $136 billion (AED500bn), up 6% on 2017
The state-controlled lender recommended a dividend of 40 fils a share, unchanged from a year ago.
"Margins widened 35 bps in 2018 as rate rises flowed through to the loan book which more than offset a rise in funding costs," Group Chief Executive Officer Shayne Nelson said.
"The group’s balance sheet remains healthy with a further strengthening in capital coupled with strong liquidity and stable credit quality."
The bank agreed to buy Turkey’s Denizbank AS last year, for which it is now seeking regulatory approval.
In its outlook for 2019, the bank said it has revised its estimate for real GDP growth in the UAE to 2.4% from 2.2% previously, based on the country increasing its oil production by more than expected in H2 2018.
"For 2019, we expect economic activity to be underpinned by higher oil production as well as increased government spending," the bank said.
"We expect headline GDP growth in the UAE to reach 3.1% in 2019."
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