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Mon 10 May 2004 04:00 AM

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Rakbank to list on Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange

National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (Rakbank) sees net first quarter profit increase 55% over same period in 2003.

Officials at the National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (Rakbank) confirmed today (May 10) plans to list on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange as soon as possible.

Announcing the bank’s quarterly results, Graham Honeybill, general manager, Rakbank, confirmed preparations were underway to place the company’s shares on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange.

“The board are agreeable and we believe it will be convenient for shareholders,” said Honeybill. “We hope to have our documentation ready for the exchange in the next four weeks and then [we] will move from there.”

Elsewhere, there was encouraging news from the bank’s first quarter results. Following from positive results in 2003, Rakbank posted net profits of Dhs32.7 million, a 55% increase on the same period last year.

Net interest income was 22% up at Dhs53 million for the current quarter, while fee and commission income rose to Dhs 23 million, a 60% increase on the previous year.

Total assets stood as of March 31 at Dhs3.94 billion, up 5% from December 31 as a result of a growth in loans and advances by Dhs229 million.

Customer deposits fell to Dhs46 million. The bank’s investment portfolio increased from Dhs59.5 million in December 2003 to Dhs126 million at the end of March.

“We’re still in a growth mode,” said Honeybill. “Broadly our strategy hasn’t changed and we’re focusing on retail banking as corporate returns are relatively low although that may well improve with US dollar interest rates going up.”

Rakbank recently began offering mortgage facilities, although Honeybill was quick to stress success was still difficult to gauge with many developments still ongoing and property laws in the UAE requiring more clarity.

“It’s a strange situation where if you are a foreigner, you can get your house financed and repossessed, but if you’re a national resident the courts are reluctant to repossess on that mortgage.”

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