The United Arab Emirates (UAE)'s biggest bank NBD said on Monday its net income for 2013 increased by 27 percent year on year to reach 3.256 billion Dirham or 887.9 million U.S. dollars amid strong economic backwind at home.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, the bank's chairman announced a 25 percent cash dividend per share "in light of the bank's good performance."
Emirates NBD group chief executive officer Shayne Nelson said " the bank witnessed growth across multiple revenue streams, particularly in the Islamic franchise and retail business."
The released statements reveal that customer loans as of Dec. 31, 2013 (including Islamic financing) amounted to 238.3 billion Dirham or 64.98 billion dollars, representing an increase of 9 percent year on year.
The lender's consumer banking and wealth management division recorded a strong performance, with income growth of 15 percent for the full year 2013 reaching 5.024 billion Dirham or 1.37 billion dollars. Return on average shareholders' equity improved to 12 percent as of Dec. 31, 2103, up from 9.9 percent the year before. Total assets were up 11 percent to 342.1 billion Dirham or 93.21 billion dollars.
The lender's chief financial officer Surya Subramanian said proactive enhancements were undertaken in the capital mix, liquidity, impaired loans and coverage ratios "to position Emirates NBD to take advantage of the positive economic outlook for Dubai and the region."
The bank's bullish results occur on the backdrop of a strong economic recovery in the UAE, whereas political stability is high and the interest rate level remains low, triggering an increasing risk appetite among investors.
According to real estate services provider Asteco, real estate prices increased 30 percent on average in the UAE in 2013. The Dubai Financial Market DFM, on which Emirates NBD share are listed, was with an index increase of 115 percent the second best performing market in the world. The International Monetary Fund, expects the UAE real gross domestic product to grow by 3.9 percent in 2014, slightly down from 4.0 percent last year.
During 2013, Emirates NBD acquired the entire equity of French lender BNP Paribas Egypt, also called BNPP Egypt, for 500 million dollars.
The lender said "despite a challenging political and economic backdrop, the BNP Paribas Egypt operation has continued to perform well since its consolidation with the group on June 9, 2013, contributing 356 million Dirham or 97.08 million dollar revenue and 113 million Dirham or 30.81 million dollar net profit to the group's results.
In order to benefit from increasing economic ties between the Gulf Arab region and China, the bank introduced in Feb. last year Yuan Renminbi currency-denominated accounts.
Emirates NBD shares lost 1.40 percent in early Monday trading. In the last 12 months, the share has gained 127 percent in value.