THE ECONOMY - BANKS

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

National bankers to rise to 5,000 by year-end

Posted on 22/05/2003

National staff at the banking sector rose to 22 per cent by the end of 2002, with some banks achieving up to 40 per cent, a senior banking official disclosed today. Minister of Communications and Chairman of the Banking Sector's Human Resource Development Committee Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer said the federal cabinet, motivated by the committee's positive achievements, had issued orders to other sectors to give top priority to Emiratisation. 'The committee has made good results in a record time ...  >>MORE

ATFP, EIB sign agreement

Posted on 21/05/2003

A Dh20 million credit line facility agreement has been signed here today between the Arab Trade Financing Programme, ATFP and the Emirates Industrial Bank, EIB. The new facility, which brings to five the total credit lines, at a total amount of US$62 million, granted by the ATFP to 13 national agencies, would be used in financing UAE foreign trade. ATFP's Chief Executive and Board Chairman, Dr. Jasim Al Mana'e signed for his outfit, while EIB's Director General, Mohammed Abdul Baki Mohammed, ...  >>MORE

Dh90.6m net at Dubai Investments

Posted on 18/05/2003

Dubai Investments has reported a net profit of Dh90.60 million for 2002, which was lower than that of the previous year when the company posted a net profit of Dh112 million. Khalid bin Kalban, managing director and CEO, said the fall in net profit was due to drop in interest earnings as well as the impact of the new accounting standards, IAS 39, whereby the company's investments had to be recognised at fair value. Dubai Investments' annual general meeting yesterday also ratified a 7 per ...  >>MORE

Dubai Bank may raise capital to Dh650m

Posted on 18/05/2003

Dubai Bank, the 100 per cent banking subsidiary of EMAAR Properties, is likely to get approval to raise its capital to Dh650 million. The newest bank in the UAE Dubai Bank was formally launched in September last year amidst scepticism that with 47 players already active in the country, the new entrant could face some stiff challenges given the tough competition for market share among the existing banks. Sources yesterday said the likely approval for capital increase from Dh300 million to ...  >>MORE

NBAD plans to manage fund for Iraqi projects

Posted on 17/05/2003

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) is planning to manage a fund on behalf of private and institutional investors for project development in Iraq, following strong interest, confirmed a top bank official. Several requests have been received from regional investor groups, from both its private clientele and reputed institutional clients, to manage various amounts of money seeking investment opportunities in Iraq as the country and the economy start opening up for investments. "There is ...  >>MORE

US$1b dividend for BCCI creditors announced

Posted on 15/05/2003

Liquidators of the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) yesterday announced a fourth dividend payment of 15 per cent, equivalent to over US$1 billion, to some 70,000 creditors that include many in the UAE. Also, a further dividend is likely with the liquidators committed to pursuing outstanding litigation. The payment will bring total dividend payout to 75 per cent, or approximately US$5.7 billion. "It is anticipated that payments will go out by cheque or electronic transfer ...  >>MORE

Legal framework will help boost e-banking

Posted on 11/05/2003

The future of e-banking in the UAE and the region is directly linked to the ability to create a secure electronic legal regulatory framework. This was stressed yesterday by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, in his keynote address to the two-day seminar on 'Electronic Banking Operations between Sharia and Law'. He also said the law must clearly define the roles of the banks, consumers and supervisory bodies, hand in hand with ...  >>MORE

DIB - star performer among Islamic banks

Posted on 10/05/2003

Islamic banks are continuing to show above-average growth in all spheres of business, but the star performer has been the Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), staking its claim as the bank with the highest rate of growth in customer deposits. DIB, the world's first Islamic bank, showed a solid growth record last year, with all-round improvements in net profit, assets and customer deposits. Shareholders' profit registered a five per cent growth from Dh152.52 million to Dh159.8 million, while assets grew ...  >>MORE

UAE national banks to boost capital

Posted on 07/05/2003

National banks in the UAE are pushing ahead with plans to boost their capital in line with Central Bank instructions as they are encouraged by a large growth in their profits and widening investment opportunities due to an economic upturn. Official and independent figures showed the combined shareholders equity of 18 national banks surged by 11.2 per cent to around Dh32.5 billion (US$8.85 billion) at the end of 2002 from nearly Dh29.2 billion (US$7.95 billion) at the end of 2001. Their paid ...  >>MORE

EIB quashes loan guarantees and slashes interest rate

Posted on 07/05/2003

The Board of the Emirates Industrial Bank, EIB, yesterday decided to abolish all loan guarantees and to reduce interest rates. Dr. Mohammed Khalfan Kharbash, Minister of State for Financial and Industrial Affairs, said that the guarantee condition was required as part of the financing terms. In a press conference here, Kharbash said the bank had earlier slashed the loan guarantee by 50% per cent and has now decided to abolish it entirely. He added that the bank has also decided to reduce the ...  >>MORE

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Quick List

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


National bankers to rise to 5,000 by year-end


ATFP, EIB sign agreement


Dh90.6m net at Dubai Investments


Dubai Bank may raise capital to Dh650m


NBAD plans to manage fund for Iraqi projects


US$1b dividend for BCCI creditors announced


Legal framework will help boost e-banking


DIB - star performer among Islamic banks


UAE national banks to boost capital


EIB quashes loan guarantees and slashes interest rate