Noor Bank yesterday reported record net profits of Dh 272 million for the first six months of the current year ending June 30 (H1, 2015) up 26 percent from the same period last year.
During this period, Noor Bank says it has successfully closed its inaugural US$500 million five-year Sukuk that was oversubscribed by more than 4.3 times mainly from investors in Europe and Asia. At 2.788 percent, the bank achieved one of the lowest ever prices paid out by any Sukuk issuer in the UAE. The Sukuk will enable Noor Bank to diversify its funding portfolio as part of its ongoing financial strategy and help create a sustainable funding and capital structure.
The bank's total assets grew 28 percent to Dh37.3 billion compared with Dh29.0 billion at the start of the year. Meanwhile, the return on equity stood at 16.8 percent.
Despite 21 percent growth in its financing book, the bank has been able to reduce its impairment financing ratio to 5.1 percent, with the coverage ratio increasing to 109 percent. In H1 2015, Noor Bank's consumer finance base grew by 18 percent - faster than the market growth rate in similar product categories, namely cards, personal finance and auto financing, a testament to the fact that consumers in the UAE are seeing value in the Noor Bank's product offerings.
Hussain Al Qemzi, CEO, Noor Bank, said, "In H1 2015, Noor Bank's assets crossed the US$10 billion mark for the first time. With asset and deposit growth of 28 percent and 24 percent respectively since December 2014, as well as a 26 percent growth in its bottom line, Noor Bank has emerged one of the fastest growing banks in the region through recording industry leading growth and profitability metrics amongst its peers in the banking space. We have continued to deliver strong financial results that can be attributed to a well-diversified growth across all of our targeted businesses in a highly competitive market."
He added: "Despite a record 24% increase in our core deposit base in the first six months of this year, Noor Bank continues to enjoy one of the lowest costs of funding amongst our peer banking group. We also remain one of the most liquid UAE banks with among the lowest financing to deposit ratios of 74 percent. Effective risk management coupled with improved asset quality has resulted in a significant reduction in the cost of risks with NPL (non-performing loans) ratio of 5.1 percent and coverage ratio of 109 percent.
"The momentum delivered by our strong first half performance gives us the confidence that our progress is firmly on track for the rest of the year and for the years ahead in line with our strategy. We are generating higher growth with greater efficiency that in turn adds value to both our customers and shareholders."
Noor Bank, rated ‘A-' by Fitch Ratings, has continued to maintain its leadership position in Islamic capital markets and syndication businesses. During the first six months of the current year, Noor Bank led arranged Islamic capital market mandates of more than Dh22 billion for various corporates, financial institutions and sovereigns across GCC, Asia and Europe.