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Mon 27 Apr 2009 02:17 PM

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National Bank of Abu Dhabi Q1 net profit down 12%

UAE money lender beats market forecasts; earns $209.7m net profits in Q1.

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) posted a 12 percent decline in first-quarter net profits to AED770.47m ($209.7m), beating analysts' forecasts and said a market revival was in sight.

The earnings figure compares to AED874.55m dirhams in the first quarter of 2008, the firm said in a statement.

It said net attributable profit was up nine percent in the three months to Mar 31 after excluding AED165m gained on a land sale.

Impaired assets rose by AED175m in the first quarter from the last three months of 2008, to reach AED1.247bn or 1.1 percent of the loan portfolio.

"Comprehensive measures have been put in place to protect future earnings through our collective provisions, tightening of credit criteria, effective cost efficiencies and supporting our relationships while assissting distressed customers to meet their obligations," Chairman Nasser Al Suweidi said in a statement.

Gulf bank profits have been hit since the global financial crisis reached the world's top oil-exporting region in the last few months of 2008. Like other Gulf countries, the United Arab Emirates has taken several measures to boost liquidity and shore up the financial sector in recent months.

"Towards the end of the first quarter the first green shoots of a market revival were visible but trading conditions remain tricky and we must remain vigilant and cautious," Michael Tomalin, the chief executive, said in a statement.

The bank's profits exceeded analysts' forecasts, which ranged from AED647.95m to AED658m in a Reuters survey in April. (Reuters)

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