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Emirates NBD posts Dh7b net profit, income surges despite challenging environment

Dubai - Bank expects real GDP growth for 2021 to recover to 3.0 per cent in Dubai.



By Issac John

Published: Wed 27 Jan 2021, 2:02 PM

Last updated: Wed 27 Jan 2021, 2:06 PM

Dubai’s largest lender, Emirates NBD, announced on Wednesday a net profit of Dh7 billion for 2020 as its total income surged 4.0 per cent to Dh23.2 billion despite a challenging operating environment.

The banking group said its net profit declined 52 per cent year-on-year on higher provisions even as gains from sale of Network International shares were not repeated in 2020. “Excluding the Network International gain in 2019, net profit was down 31 per cent,” the bank said in a statement.

Impairment allowances increased to Dh7.9 billion reflecting weaker credit environment impact of Covid-19 with net cost of risk at 163 bps while net interest margin declined 24 bps y-o-y to 2.65 per cent following cuts in base interest rates in the first half of 2020.

The bank’s total assets grew 2.0 per cent to Dh698 billion, while customer loans rose 1.0 per cent to Dh444 billion y-o-y.

Customer deposits declined 2.0 per cent to Dh464 billion while non-performing loan ratio increased 0.6 per cent to 6.2 per cent in 2020 and coverage ratio remained strong at 117.3 per cent. “A liquidity coverage ratio of 165 per cent and advances to deposit ratio of 95.6 per cent demonstrate a healthy liquidity position,” the bank said. The bank’s common equity tier 1 ratio remained at 15 per cent.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, Emirates NBD, said the net profit was delivered despite the global pandemic that caused major disruption to individuals, communities and businesses. “The swift and decisive action of the UAE’s wise leadership in protecting the health of residents with clear and measured guidelines allowed the UAE economy to successfully reopen in the second half of the year. The Central Bank of the UAE’s Targeted Economic Support Scheme has been instrumental in helping customers and banks through these challenging times.”

Sheikh Ahmed said Emirates NBD played its part in supporting customers and the economy by providing financial assistance as well as actively participating in community initiatives. “As the official banking partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, we look forward to helping showcase the UAE’s innovative, tolerant and proud culture as we welcome the world to the UAE. In light of the Bank’s performance, we are proposing a cash dividend at 40 fils per share.”

Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Emirates NBD, said the measures introduced by the Central Bank of the UAE, through the Targeted Economic Support Scheme have significantly helped support the financial wellbeing of individuals and businesses. “The UAE banking system remains in good health thanks to the proactive measures taken by the UAE Government and the Central Bank of the UAE.”

Shayne Nelson, group chief executive officer, said the bank delivered a 1.0 per cent improvement in pre-impairment operating profit in 2020 despite a challenging operating environment. Net interest income increased by 8.0 per cent during the year as the contribution from DenizBank more than offset a decline in margins due to lower interest rates. “Operating profit was 29 per cent lower mainly due to lower interest rates and transaction volumes, coupled with higher impairment allowances. Emirates NBD’s resilient operating performance, coupled with a solid balance sheet will provide a platform for customers to take advantage of growth opportunities in the year ahead.”

He said the bank provided interest and principal deferral support to over 103,000 customers in the UAE.

Emirates NBD’s research team forecasts that the UAE economy contracted by 6.9 per cent in 2020, as both oil and non-oil sectors were impacted by coronavirus. However, the bank expects real GDP growth for 2021 to recover to 3.0 per cent in Dubai and 1 per cent in the UAE, with the non-oil sector expected to grow by 3.5 per cent.

issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com

KT File Photo
KT File Photo

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