First Gulf Bank was established in 1979 to provide financial services across the emirates. It oversees more than $2.72bn of shareholder equity and has grown into one of the UAE’s most established banks.
And while several banks are struggling to pay off debts as the credit crisis continues, First Gulf Bank has proven more robust than most. The Abu Dhabi bank paid off a $750m three-year syndicated loan last month, giving a “strong message of confidence” according to an EFG Hermes analyst.
Shortly after announcing the repayment, First Gulf Bank’s shares climbed 8.6 percent as fears that the bank needed government support to repay the loan were allayed. The pay-off puts First Gulf in a strong position weeks after the Abu Dhabi government injected $4.35bn into five of its banks.