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Emirates NBD results will always going to close 2023 on a high - the only question was 'how high'. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Among the Top 3 UAE banks, Emirates NBD pushed its net profit for 2024 past the Dh20 billion mark, closing at Dh21.5 billion and well over 2022's Dh13 billion tally.

Emirates NBD shareholders are to receive a 100 fils a share dividend - and since the Dubai bank is marking its 60th anniversary, they will get an additional 20 fils. (On DFM, Emirates NBD is trading at its 52-week high of Dh19.2 after a 4 per cent plus increase on Wednesday.)   

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That UAE banks will be delivering record results were a given, especially after the numbers they turned in over the first three quarters of 2023 and boosted by sizeable loan demand - from corporates and retail - and the prevailing higher interest rate regime.

“Emirates NBD delivered its highest ever profit of Dh21.5 billion in 2023, reflecting a healthy regional economy and the success of the Group’s diversified business model," said Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman.

The Group-wide income came to Dh43 billion- yes, another record - and was brought about from the 'significant asset growth, a stable low-cost funding base, increased transaction volumes and substantial recoveries', said Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, in a statement.

Emirates NBD used its strong balance-sheet to support economic growth in the UAE, providing over Dh70 billion of new corporate lending, and a significant increase in lending to SMEs

- Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum

How did provisioning do?

Helping the bottom-line was the sizeable 33 per cent drop in provisioning, to Dh3.4 billion. "Credit quality improved significantly and the impaired loan ratio improving to 4.6 per cent, the lowest level since 2009," said a statement. "All business units delivered an outstanding performance."

In Saudi Arabia, the bank expanded to 15 branches and there was also a refreshing of its presence in Egypt, 'enhancing our international footprint and digital capabilities to drive further growth'.

Key 2023 numbers

  1. Total income up 32% to Dh43 billion.
  2. Assets grew 16% to Dh863 billion.
  3. There was solid loan growth, up 5% on 'record retail financing momentum with Dh70 billion in new corporate lending.
  4. Deposits grew Dh82 billion in 2023 including Dh30 billion in low-cost CASA.

"With the UAE’s economy thriving, and the nation an attractive destination for ultra-high networth individuals from across the world, Emirates NBD competently caters to all sectors of the wealth spectrum," said Shayne Nelson, Group CEO.

2024 prospects

Emirates NBD will be leaning on the upbeat forecasts for UAE and regional economies. That's a 4.5 per cent non-oil growth in the UAE and 4 per cent in Saudi Arabia, 'underpinned by continued investment and consumption'. In the wider region, 'Egypt continues to explore asset sales, reflecting their commitment to revamp the economy and Türkiye increased interest rates to help address inflation'.