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Mon 27 Oct 2014 01:09 PM

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UAE bank UNB Q3 profit rises 21.9%, beats estimates

United National Bank, Abu Dhabi's fifth largest lender, is latest to post estimate-beating Q3 numbers

UAE bank UNB Q3 profit rises 21.9%, beats estimates

Union National Bank (UNB), Abu Dhabi's fifth-largest listed lender by assets, reported a 21.9 percent rise in third-quarter net profit on Monday, beating analyst estimates, aided by a jump in fee income.

The results from the bank, 50 percent owned by the Abu Dhabi government, maintain the healthy earnings growth reported by banks in the United Arab Emirates for the third quarter, who are benefiting from a strong domestic economic backdrop and improving asset quality.

UNB made a net profit attributable to shareholders of 548.6 million dirham ($149.4 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, up from 450.3 million dirhams in the corresponding period of last year, it said in a bourse filing.

Five analysts polled by Reuters on average forecast UNB would make a quarterly profit of 525.2 million dirhams.

Including profit attributable to non-controlling interests, net profit for the three-month period was up 21.6 percent year on year to 552 million dirhams.

Boosting UNB's earnings in the reporting period was a 72 percent jump in non-interest income, which rose to 250 million dirhams. Driving this increase was fee and commission income, which gained 58 percent to 186.2 million dirhams.

Banks in the UAE have been targeting greater income from fees this year to offset the squeeze on lending profitability, due to high competition between local banks with plenty of cash to lend out to customers.

Loans and advances grew 7 percent since the beginning of the year and totalled 64.0 billion dirhams at the end of September.

Customer deposits fell 4 percent over the same time period to 62.7 billion dirhams.

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