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THE ECONOMY - BANKS

Banks reliant on services in UAE likely to be profitable

Posted on 03/08/2003

Banks in the UAE will expand a variety of banking services such as personal loans, credit cards, auto loans in order to remain profitable in the face of dropping interest rates, according to experts. The banks have reported higher profits on increased banking services though the interest rates have been declining continuously. In fact, banks more dependent on commercial lending had suffered as they had to reduce the interest rate in tandem with the drop in the rate on deposits, the experts ...  >>MORE

IMF commends UAE for strong banking supervision

Posted on 02/08/2003

Dubai The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has commended the UAE for what it described as "strong banking supervision". The IMF endorsement provides a fitting reply to concerns of inadequacy in supervising the country's banking sector, raised by various quarters from time to time. The Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP) of the IMF concluded that the banking sector in the UAE was buttressed by strong banking supervision. In fact, it said one of the key elements of the current ...  >>MORE

Local banks performed well in '02

Posted on 29/07/2003

Most of the local banks, with the exception of four, were successful in improving their net profit last year. This performance has to be viewed against the backdrop of the fact that European, U.S., and Japanese financial institutions are struggling to retain their performance level and, of course, the global slow-down. However, in the foreign banks sector, several banks saw a drop in their net profit compared with the previous year. Among the local banks, First Gulf Bank (FGB) led the way, ...  >>MORE

UAE banks may have to revamp strategy to sustain profitability

Posted on 28/07/2003

Banks in the UAE may have to rethink their strategies in order to sustain performance in the coming years as they are said to have achieved their near-peak in terms of profitability. Several top officials were approached seeking their comments on the future performance of banks. According to Narendra Gajra at the UAE Country Administrative Office, ABN Amro, there will be pressure on margins for banks. "The industry has, however, been growing at a compounded annual rate of 9 per cent since ...  >>MORE

NBD posts Dh331.4m net for first half of this year

Posted on 27/07/2003

National Bank of Dubai posted a net profit of Dh331.4 million for the first half, a healthy 21.6 per cent gain over the corresponding period tally in 2002, when it totalled Dh272.48 million. There were solid gains on net interest income, which was up 15 per cent to Dh418 million. This was the result of higher net interest margins. The bank was able to keep interest expenses down to Dh136.04 million, down significantly from the Dh203.39 million recorded for the first six months of 2002. Other ...  >>MORE

Mashreqbank named 'Best Bank in UAE'

Posted on 27/07/2003

The international finance journal Euromoney magazine has named Mashreqbank as 'Best Bank in the UAE' during its Awards for Excellence ceremony held at London's Natural History Museum. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, CEO of Mashreqbank, received the award on behalf of the bank from Padraic Fallon, the magazine chairman and editor-in-chief. In making its 'Awards for Excellence', Euromoney focuses on the quality of management, strategic focus, profitability and innovation of the banks it reviews. In ...  >>MORE

UAE banks turn to bonds, securities for bigger profits

Posted on 27/07/2003

The UAE Central Bank and commercial banks operating in the country are cutting their cash deposits in major banks abroad to invest in the more profitable bonds and securities because of a steep decline in interest rates over the past three years. Official figures showed a sharp fall in the deposits of the Central Bank and other UAE banks with banks abroad while there was a large increase in bonds and securities. From Dh50.9 billion (US$13.8 billion) at the end of 2001, the Central Bank's ...  >>MORE

EBI net touches Dh284.21m for first six months of this year

Posted on 23/07/2003

Emirates Bank International (EBI) registered a net profit of Dh284.21 million for the first six months of this year. The group profit before tax touched Dh296.05 million. The bank has not declared any dividends for the period. It has also refrained from issuing any bonus shares during the first half of the year. The total income of the bank touched Dh519.07 million during the period ending June 30. The net interest income touched Dh323.56 million during the same period, according to a Dubai ...  >>MORE

NBAD gets top rating by Capital Intelligence

Posted on 21/07/2003

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has been named the financially strongest bank in the UAE by Capital Intelligence (CI) with an 'A+' rating, along with National Bank of Dubai (NBD) and Emirates Bank International (EBI). While NBAD enjoys an 'A+' rating on long-term foreign currency, its foreign currency short-term rating of 'A1' rendered by CI is also the highest among the UAE-based banks. Moreover, NBAD enjoys a high level of 'support' at 1, whereas the outlook attached to it by CI is ...  >>MORE

EBI, DSC sign US$63m deal for ship financing

Posted on 21/07/2003

Emirates Bank International has concluded a US$63 million shipping finance loan facility with Dubai Shipping Company (DSC), a subsidiary of Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) Ltd. DSC has mandated Emirates Bank International to extend a long-term loan to finance up to US$63 million of the cost of acquisition of two high-specification double-hulled tankers. The tankers will be built in Hyundai's yard in Korea and are due for delivery by mid-2005. (The Gulf News) ...  >>MORE

14pc net growth for CBD

Posted on 20/07/2003

Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) has improved its first half performance by posting a net profit of Dh132 million, representing a handsome 14 per cent growth over that of the corresponding period last year. CBD made a net profit of Dh233.42 million for the whole of last year. The Dubai-based bank, which yesterday unveiled its new-look corporate identity, has decided to expand its network by opening three more branches this year. They will be located in Musaffa in Abu Dhabi, Al Awir in Dubai ...  >>MORE

Mashreqbank profit up 18pc to Dh270m

Posted on 20/07/2003

Mashreqbank has reported Dh270 million net profit for the first half ending June 30, representing an 18.4 per cent improvement over that of the same period last year. Operating Income, comprising interest income, commission and fee income increased by 11.3 per cent during this period. Earnings per share (EPS) for the six-month period increased to Dh3.78 against Dh3.19 for the corresponding period last year. The bank's total assets increased 7 per cent compared with that of a year earlier. ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank concludes finance deal

Posted on 16/07/2003

Acting as Islamic lead arranger for the Umm Al Nar Independent Water and Power Project (IWPP), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has successfully concluded its facility, the bank said yesterday. The Islamic participation totalled US$540.5 million, the largest financing for a single project arranged by an Islamic bank. It comprised a US$290.5 million five-year tranche in which Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) also participated and a long-term tranche of US$250 million which was co-arranged with HSBC ...  >>MORE

DIB net rises 14pc to Dh325m

Posted on 16/07/2003

Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) reported a net profit (including depositors' profits) of Dh325 million for the first half ending June 30, representing a 14 per cent growth compared with that of the same period last year. DIB announced a 22 per cent increase in assets to Dh21.8 billion (US$5.93 billion) compared with Dh17.9 billion (US$4.87 billion) at the end of June 2002. Customer deposits grew 23 per cent from Dh15.8 billion to Dh19.9 billion. The investment and financing portfolio increased by 22 ...  >>MORE

Aggregated balance sheet of banks records decrease

Posted on 13/07/2003

The aggregated balance sheet of banks decreased by Dh2.36 billion (0.7%) during the first quarter of 2003, reaching Dh 330.88 billion, against Dh 333.24 billion, at the end of the fourth quarter of 2002. On the assets side, foreign assets decreased by Dh 5.01 billion (4.5%) to reach Dh 107.41 billion. Domestic credit and investment meanwhile rose by Dh 4.91 billion (2.9%) to reach Dh 176.97 billion. Cash and deposits with the Central Bank increased by Dh290 million (1.2%) to reach Dh25.35 ...  >>MORE

UNB reports first-half net of Dh204.8m

Posted on 13/07/2003

Union National Bank (UNB) posted a net profit of Dh204.83 million for the first half ending June 30, representing a 24 per cent increase over the same period last year. Mohammed Nasr Abdeen, the bank's chief executive officer, stated that he was pleased with the bank's performance towards its three-year mission which ended last December. He revealed that the bank has embarked on a new three-year strategy for 2003-05. "Our mission during the next three-year-period will be to become a top ...  >>MORE

Dirham loses 4.2 per cent to Euro in first half

Posted on 12/07/2003

UAE dirham has witnessed fluctuation in the first half of this year due to its link to dollar whose exchange rate dropped against most world currencies. This was reflected on the UAE imports priced with non-dollar currencies, particularly Euro which has recorded its highest US$1.2 since its inception in 2001 against the dollar. Sterling pound has also registered its highest in years against dollar. At a time the drop of dirham value has affected the purchases of the UAE dirham against other ...  >>MORE

RakBank receives positive outlook rating

Posted on 09/07/2003

Capital Intelligence, the international emerging markets rating agency, yesterday announced that it has assigned a positive outlook to the ratings of RakBank in view of the bank's continuing good performance. After a recently completed ratings review, the bank's foreign currency ratings were affirmed at BBB- long-term and A3 short-term, while the financial strength rating was affirmed at BBB- and the support rating at 3. The ratings reflect the bank's good management, its sound asset quality, ...  >>MORE

Central Bank seeks report on Emiratisation

Posted on 05/07/2003

The Central Bank has issued a circular to the banks operating in the UAE ordering them to provide it with lists of number of employees and percentage of Emiratisation in each bank. The move comes as an execution of the Cabinet decisions on Emiratisation process. The Emiratisation percentage in the banking sector in the UAE was the highest compared to the other sectors. Though the percentage differs from bank to another, it was totally 24 per cent at the end of 2002. In accordance with the ...  >>MORE

Banks to upgrade old ATMs soon

Posted on 29/06/2003

Banks will soon be investing millions of dirhams to replace old and flawed ATMs in line with the recent Central Bank directives although most banks undertake this exercise incorporating latest technology on a regular basis, said bankers yesterday. However, bankers observed that cooperation from customers, the government and tight security measures are required to fight ATM fraud rather that mere replacement of ATMs. Currently, there are some 985 ATMs in the UAE and about 99 per cent of them ...  >>MORE

Asia currency speculation hits exchange houses

Posted on 29/06/2003

Local currency exchanges have been hit by speculating on East Asian currencies that they bought at low prices, expecting them to rise after the SARS epidemic. But as the SARS epidemic faded, the currencies did not rise, leaving the exchanges suffering substantial losses, according to exchange sources. Though not many exchange houses were prepared to admit their losses in the process, it is said that some exchange houses were trapped into buying huge quantities of East Asian currencies in order ...  >>MORE

BCCI employees settle claim with liquidators

Posted on 28/06/2003

After long negotiations, claims of former BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce International) employees with the liquidators totalling some US$45 million have been settled. The settlement was reached on Wednesday about 10 days ahead of the 12th anniversary of the liquidation of the bank. This worldwide settlement between the former employees and creditors of the bank brings to a successful end the struggle by over 600 employees seeking compensation from the loss of their jobs, the lead ...  >>MORE

Banks asked to replace flawed ATM machines

Posted on 28/06/2003

The Central Bank has asked commercial banks to dismantle their flawed ATM systems and replace them with advanced cash machines to avert new scams like those that hit some of them in the past few weeks. In a circular the Central Bank said ATM machines bearing the brand NCR 5685 need to be changed after some were burgled by unknown thieves using advanced techniques in the country's first fraud of its kind. The bank said it expected all banks to heed its instructions to ensure better security in ...  >>MORE

ADIB unveils Islamic credit card

Posted on 28/06/2003

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) yesterday announced the launch of an Islamic credit card, claiming it is the first of its kind in the country. The Islamic Credit Card, a Sharia compliant product, will be on offer to customers in the fourth quarter of this year. "Interest is forbidden in Islam, therefore, there was a compelling need for a product that would be in compliance with the Islamic laws and at the same time offer the facility of a true credit card and ADIB has been working on this for ...  >>MORE

NBAD set to launch Trading Fund

Posted on 26/06/2003

Buoyed by investor response and bullish prospects for mutual funds, NBAD is launching another fund, the NBAD Trading Fund, in the last quarter of this year. Meanwhile, NBAD's UAE Growth Fund appreciated 13.7 per cent last year and further growth is likely. The bank's Global Growth Fund (GGF) has stabilised with returns touching 10 per cent. Central Bank approval for the new fund is awaited. As an open-ended fund, the minimum investment will be Dh10,000 and it will be open for nationals, ...  >>MORE

Banks vacillate on ATM limits

Posted on 25/06/2003

Banks are awaiting directives as well as assurance from the Central Bank before restoring withdrawal limits, fearing they could lose more money in the ATM scam. While some banks gradually increased the withdrawal limits on their own, others are unwilling to take the risk unless they feel secure from the fraud. "We have not received formal instructions from the Central Bank yet to restore withdrawal limits. We are waiting to see the memo and then take a decision because it is risky to restore ...  >>MORE

Cameras installed to check ATM fraud

Posted on 25/06/2003

As part of security measures initiated by the UAE banks in the wake of a recent ATM fraud, all major banks are installing automatic cameras inside the automated teller machines, ATMs, senior banking source said. These high-resolution cameras will take the pictures of people using the machine for cash withdrawals 24 hours a day, the official said on condition of anonymity. He also quoted other sources as saying that the installation of cameras has almost been completed and banks have since ...  >>MORE

Dubai Bank offers new facility

Posted on 25/06/2003

Dubai Bank yesterday launched its palm recognition safe deposit locker facility - Tijori. The service uses a unique biometric security system, the first in the region. It is fully automated, allowing customers access anytime. "Contrary to the perception that the higher the level of security, the more inconvenient, Tijori offers the highest level of security, and the most convenient safety box facility available today," said Ricky Madan, Vice President. "Tijori is extremely user-friendly ...  >>MORE

Mashreqbank joins hands with Mizuho

Posted on 25/06/2003

Mashreqbank has tied up with Mizuho Corporate Bank (MHCB) of Japan to create the Mizuho-Mashreq Japan Desk. The new entity has been formed with an aim to facilitate UAE-Japan trade which is currently valued at US$12 billion. "Almost 70 per cent of the 140 odd Japanese business firms established in the UAE have banking relations with Mashreqbank and the new desk will certainly help make business dealings between the two countries easier," said Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, CEO of Mashreqbank. ...  >>MORE

Cabinet to rein in banks' loan policies

Posted on 20/06/2003

The Cabinet will soon take necessary action on proposals to restrain personal loans granted by banks to both expatriates and UAE nationals. This was revealed by Mohammed Saeed Al Ghandi, Speaker of the Federal National Council (FNC), during discussion here yesterday with Dr Mohammed Khalfan bin Kharbash, Minister of State for Financial and Industrial Affairs. The officials discussed proposals put forward by the council to take a firmer grip of easy-to-get personal loans granted by banks who are ...  >>MORE

NBD arranged largest order for Dubai bond

Posted on 18/06/2003

National Bank of Dubai (NBD) accounted for the largest volume of orders for the recently concluded Dh1.5 billion bond issue by the Dubai Government, with the amount estimated at around Dh600 million. This included the orders placed for the bank's own books, for the purpose of market making, as well as the non-proprietary portion ordered for its customers. Emirates Bank International (EBI) is said to be the second after NBD with orders made by it for itself and the non-proprietary orders ...  >>MORE

Stringent security urged to curb fraud

Posted on 07/06/2003

The UAE banking industry must implement stringent measures to curb the increasing number of ATM scams, stressed a risk management specialist. Johan Du Plooy, Chief Executive Officer of Risk Diversion, an integrated E-security risk management solutions company, said that laws are adequate but there are certain loopholes in the banking system that the ATM scam artists, as he named them, are preying on. Speaking to Gulf News in an exclusive interview, Johan said, "The recent ATM fraud scams ...  >>MORE

Banks lose Dh1.5 million in ATM fraud

Posted on 05/06/2003

The UAE Central Bank yesterday said that Banks operating in the UAE had lost not more than Dh1.5 million as a result of an electronic fraud. In a statement issued following a board meeting, the Bank said that the Board reviewed a memorandum relating to the electronic fraud recently carried out through ATMs of some banks operating in the UAE. The Board directed for the implementation of appropriate procedures at banks, in order to prevent such type of incidents in the future and to minimize the ...  >>MORE

EIB cancels bank loan guarantee

Posted on 05/06/2003

The Emirates Industrial Bank recently decided to cancel the banking guarantee it collected from loan applicants. The bank has also decided to reduce interest rates on loans and other facilities from four per cent to the current interest rate limits prevailing in the market, which is calculated on the basis of the Euro interest rate, said an Emirates Industrial Bank study. Meanwhile, the extraordinary general assembly held in May also decided to increase the bank's capital to Dh1 billion. The ...  >>MORE

Losses are minimal: Central Bank

Posted on 03/06/2003

UAE Central Bank officials yesterday assured the public that losses incurred by banks in the recent ATM scam are minimal and precautionary measures will be taken. "The precautionary measures include improving the quality of plastic cards, increasing the security of banking networks, especially those linked to the Internet, and the encryption of lines which link ATM machines to computer systems even within a single bank," said Saeed Al Hamez, executive director, Banking Supervision Department, ...  >>MORE

UAE banks slash ATM withdrawal limit

Posted on 02/06/2003

Most banks in the UAE have slashed the ATM (automatic teller machine) withdrawal limit to Dh1,000 or Dh2,000 in the wake of reports that huge sums of money are being siphoned off fraudulently from some machines. However, when contacted by Gulf News, the bank officials declined to comment on the issue. Sources in banking circles said this is the first time the UAE is witnessing such a situation. There are unconfirmed reports that 'a team' was into data capturing, either accessing the secret ...  >>MORE

Mashreqbank launches Libor Force

Posted on 01/06/2003

Mashreqbank has launched Libor Force the latest in the series of Capital Guaranteed Investments by the bank. Libor Force offers quarterly retunes which grow from a guaranteed 4.5 per cent per annum in the first quarter, to 9.5 per cent per annum, in its sixth and final year, linked to Libor. The returns are subject to whether the London Interbank Offer Rate (Libor) remains at or below the present barriers, a structure that has become popular with investors since interest rates have fallen to ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi plans new hospital for women, children

Posted on 29/05/2003

Abu Dhabi General Authority for Health Services will soon build a new gynaecology, obstetrics and children's hospital here, so that women and children are offered even better services. A number of paediatricians, gynaecologists and obstetricians in Abu Dhabi hospitals are expected to be transferred to the new hospital when it becomes operational. Children taking follow-up treatment at various sections in Abu Dhabi hospitals will also be referred to the new one, when it is ready to receive ...  >>MORE

Dubai Bank launches safe deposit lockers

Posted on 26/05/2003

Dubai Bank has become the first bank in the region to launch a fully automated state-of-the-art safe deposit locker facility - Tijori - that can be accessed 24 hours a day, throughout the week. Tijori also features a unique biometric security system, which requires customers to register their palm impression so that they can validate their identity in order to use the service. Dubai Bank has partnered with security equipment specialists, Comexter, to provide cutting-edge banking technology. ...  >>MORE

ADCB begins major restructuring

Posted on 25/05/2003

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), one of the largest banks in the UAE in terms of capital, assets and profitability, is said to be undergoing a restructuring. According to informed sources, the restructuring is being carried out on advice from a leading international consultancy company. There are unconfirmed talks within banking circles that there will be reshuffling of key posts in the bank. Gulf News contacted the bank's senior management for confirmation on the veracity of this ...  >>MORE

Foreign bank tax rates in UAE lowest

Posted on 25/05/2003

The UAE compares very favourably to other countries in the region with no corporate taxes except on banks and oil companies, said a KPMG official. "Though Gulf and Middle East countries are not covered by a KPMG corporate tax survey, foreign banks' tax rate of 20 per cent in the UAE is much lower than the global tax rates and the rates in the region," commented Ashok Hariharan, KPMG Lower Gulf tax partner. Foreign oil companies are, of course, taxed at a higher rate of 50 to 55 per cent ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

Banks reliant on services in UAE likely to be profitable


IMF commends UAE for strong banking supervision


Local banks performed well in '02


UAE banks may have to revamp strategy to sustain profitability


NBD posts Dh331.4m net for first half of this year


Mashreqbank named 'Best Bank in UAE'


UAE banks turn to bonds, securities for bigger profits


EBI net touches Dh284.21m for first six months of this year


NBAD gets top rating by Capital Intelligence


EBI, DSC sign US$63m deal for ship financing


14pc net growth for CBD


Mashreqbank profit up 18pc to Dh270m


Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank concludes finance deal


DIB net rises 14pc to Dh325m


Aggregated balance sheet of banks records decrease


UNB reports first-half net of Dh204.8m


Dirham loses 4.2 per cent to Euro in first half


RakBank receives positive outlook rating


Central Bank seeks report on Emiratisation


Banks to upgrade old ATMs soon


Asia currency speculation hits exchange houses


BCCI employees settle claim with liquidators


Banks asked to replace flawed ATM machines


ADIB unveils Islamic credit card


NBAD set to launch Trading Fund


Banks vacillate on ATM limits


Cameras installed to check ATM fraud


Dubai Bank offers new facility


Mashreqbank joins hands with Mizuho


Cabinet to rein in banks' loan policies


NBD arranged largest order for Dubai bond


Stringent security urged to curb fraud


Banks lose Dh1.5 million in ATM fraud


EIB cancels bank loan guarantee


Losses are minimal: Central Bank


UAE banks slash ATM withdrawal limit


Mashreqbank launches Libor Force


Abu Dhabi plans new hospital for women, children


Dubai Bank launches safe deposit lockers


ADCB begins major restructuring


Foreign bank tax rates in UAE lowest