Noor Bank on Monday reported a net profit of Dh255 million for 2013, up from Dh76 million for the year ended 2012. Image Credit: Courtesy: Noor Bank

Dubai: Noor Bank on Monday reported a net profit of Dh255 million for 2013, up from Dh76 million for the year ended 2012.

Last year, Noor Bank’s total assets rose 29 per cent to Dh23.2 billion, compared with Dh18 billion, at the beginning of the year. While the total customer financing increased by 32 per cent to Dh14.3 billion, banks’ customer deposits increased by 33 per cent to Dh18.6 billion in 2013 compared with Dh14 billion at year-end 2012.

“We have been focused on our traditional customer base in consumer banking, corporate banking, trade and banking services to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). With the strong revival in the economy we have witnessed robust growth in assets and profitability,” Hussain Al Qemzi, Group CEO of Noor Investment Group and CEO, Noor Bank, told Gulf News in an interview.

Noor Bank began operations in Dubai in 2008, as Noor Islamic Bank in the beginning of the global financial crisis and is poised to expand its businesses in all segments it operates. “All of our operating units are delivering strong underlying performances. We remain focused on serving our clients and communities, investing in our core franchise, and building our wholesale, corporate, commercial and personal banking businesses,” Al Qemzi said.

Strongly capitalised

The bank is strongly capitalised with a capital adequacy ratio of 17.6 per cent and has a coverage ratio of almost 100 per cent. With a strong wholesale and retail deposit base, the bank is abundantly liquid. “On the funding side we are very comfortable with more than adequate liquidity supported by strong deposit base,” said Al Qemzi.

Noor Bank also saw a strong underwriting performance during 2013 with the bank ranked number one in the latest Bloomberg’s full-year 2013 Emea Islamic loans book. Noor was also ranked first in Bloomberg’s Islamic loans mandated arranger league table.

In 2013, Noor Bank launched its trade and SME brand, Noor Trade, and more than doubled financing to SMEs. Noor Trade has branches in the Almas Tower, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, and in Baniyas Square, Deira.


Attracting Islamic capital

During the course of 2013, both Noor Bank and Noor Investment Group, the bank’s parent company formed a joint venture with Dubai’s Awqaf and Minors Affairs Foundation to establish ‘Noor Awqaf’ to support Dubai’s vision to attract Islamic capital. “Through Noor Awqaf we intend to introduce fund and asset management services and the creation of appropriate legal structures and the investment of funds under management,” said Al Qemzi.

As part of Dubai’s focus establishing itself as a key hub for international trade, Noor Investment Group will be working closely with the Department of Economic Development (DED) to establish an Exim Bank. The proposed institution will provide a multiple range of products and services aimed at supporting trade flows into and out of the UAE.

The proposed bank, once approved, is expected to be the first fully Sharia-compliant Exim bank. “We are working on the feasibility of such an institution to support trade, a key component of Dubai’s economy through Sharia-compliant financial infrastructure. We will work closely with DED to establish such an institution and if we need to we will participate in its capital,” said Al Qemzi.