Abu Dhabi's FGB Q2 profit up 13pc
Abu Dhabi, July 13, 2011
First Gulf Bank (FGB), UAE's second largest lender by market value, posted a 13 percent rise in second quarter net profit, beating analysts' forecasts, helped by a rise in net interest income.
The lender, majority owned by Abu Dhabi's ruling family, made a net profit of 890 million dirhams ($242.5 million) for the three month period ending June 30, compared with 787 million dirhams in the prior-year period.
Analysts polled by Reuters had estimated an average profit of 885.3 million dirhams for the second-quarter.
Profit for the first six months of the year grew 3.4 percent over the same period last year to 1.77 billion dirhams. "Our strong business fundamentals coupled with the strong growth in our business operation, will now place us in a firmer position to increase lending to the targeted sectors in the coming quarters of 2011 and beyond," said Andre Sayegh, FGB's chief executive officer.
Net interest and Islamic financing income grew to 1.22 billion dirhams in second quarter, up 17 percent over the prior year period. This represented 77 percent of the bank's operating income and offset an 18 percent drop in fees and commissions during the quarter.
Provisions for non-performing loans declined 4 percent in the first half to 870 million dirhams, the bank said.
In June, FGB said it would raise its foreign share ownership limit to 25 percent from 15 percent to attract more investors. FGB also launched a $3.5 billion Islamic bond or sukuk, according to a propectus filed at the London Stock Exchange.
Shares in FGB ended flat on Wednesday prior to the results. The stock has risen 2.1 percent so far this year. - Reuters
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