STOCK First Abu Dhabi Bank / FAB
FAB continues to ride out a strong market, with the loan book rising to Dh508 billion and a deposit base of Dh803 billion. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: The First Abu Dhabi Bank's (FAB) first quarter 2024 net profit pushed past Dh4 billion, closing at Dh4.15 billion and up on last year's Dh3.93 billion. This came from revenues of Dh8 billion, which are up 18 per cent. (International operations made up Dh2 billion of the revenues.)

“In 2024, we continue to demonstrate the same strengths that led to our exceptional performance in 2023, with growth in profits and revenues, backed by operational efficiencies and financial resilience," said Hana Al Rostamani, Group CEO. "Our performance is anchored in the strength of the UAE economy, and increasingly backed by the dynamism of our international operations."

FAB could call in some heavy numbers on its loan book, above Dh500 billion, and deposits, at Dh803 billion. Total assets closed March 2024 at Dh1.24 trillion, as FAB 'solidified its position as the largest bank in the UAE'.

“FAB continues to deliver robust performance, reflected in double-digit growth in revenue year-on-year, supported by strong business momentum," said Hana. "This further strengthens our fundamentals, including our total asset base crossing the Dh1.2 trillion threshold."

The net interest margin during the January to March 2024 period was 1.92 against 1.89 in Q4-23. 

Key financials

In the current interest rate regime, FAB's net interest margin (NIM) and non-funded income came in higher. “The growth in non-funded income, in particular, is pleasing as we continue to leverage our region-leading capabilities, diversified business model and sophisticated global markets platform to further deepen client relationships," said Lars Kramer, Group CFO.

'Offset' corporate tax

"The strong revenue growth also enabled us to largely offset the impact of the UAE corporate tax and to maintain robust provision coverage levels, particularly in the context of a global environment marked by continued uncertainties," Kramer added.

The net impairment charge came to Dh1 billion plus, against Dh798.15 million a year ago. The bank's NPLs (non-performing loans) were Dh19.1 billion as of the end of March, implying a gross NPL ratio of 3.7 per cent.

How key FAB divisions helped with the numbers

  1. Investment banking revenues grew 26% yoy to Dh2.8 billion.
  2. Corporate and commercial banking operations saw a 6% increase to Dh1.8 billion.
  3. Global Markets revenue grew 29% to Dh1.9 billion.
  4. Consumer banking was helped by a 37% yoy increase to Dh1.1 billion.
  5. Global private banking grew 12% to Dh308 million. Revenue from local operations shot up 14% to Dh5.9 billion and international operations 33% to Dh2 billion.

"We achieved our stellar Q1-4 performance while maintaining a strong balance sheet, rock-solid capital base, leading liquidity position, and high-quality risk," said Kramer. "We remain committed to delivering above 16 per cent RoTE (return on tangible equity) over the medium term, as evidenced by our Q1 outcome of 17.4 per cent.”