National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the UAE's largest lender by market value, reported flat growth in first-quarter net profit, beating analysts' forecasts.
The bank posted net profit of AED1.41 billion ($383.9 million) in the first three months of 2014, the same figure as the corresponding quarter last year.
The result was significantly ahead of the average forecast of analysts polled by Reuters, who expected a net profit for the quarter of AED1.20 billion.
"Overall, we produced very good 'business as usual' results in a marketplace in which we continue to see margin compression," CEO Alex Thursby said in the earnings statement.
"Our strategy enables us to generate growth at acceptable returns for our shareholders in this competitive environment."
UAE banks in general have recorded impressive growth in the first quarter, continuing the trend from 2013, as the economy rebounds from a real estate crash and debt problems at Dubai government-linked entities.
For NBAD, a 2.7 percent gain in first-quarter net interest income was offset by a 4.4 percent year-on-year drop in non-interest income.
Impairment charges were AED251 million, down 22 percent year on year.
Customer deposits rose 11.3 percent from the end of 2013 to AED235 billion helped by inflows from government-related entities.
However, NBAD's loans and advances fell 2.9 percent during the first quarter to AED178.5 billion at the end of March.For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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