Dubai: United Arab Bank (UAB) on Wednesday reported Dh22 million net profits for the first quarter of 2019 compared to Dh36 million reported for the same period last year.

The bank’s net interest income increased 6 per cent year-on-year while the non-interest income in Q1 improved 3 per cent compared to the same period last year. The bank reported a total income of Dh52 million supported by an increase in interest income and non-interest income.

UAB’s operating expenses declined 3 per cent year on year and provisions for credit losses were down by 9 per cent compared to the same period last year.

“The bank had a good start to the year, with a solid underlying performance for the first 3 months of 2019. The board and I are optimistic about the bank’s future, we are confident that the bank will contribute in developing its operations and improving the quality of its offerings,” said Shaikh Faisal Bin Sultan Bin Salem Al Qassimi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of UAB.

The bank’s liquidity profile remains strong with the loan to deposit ratio of 90 per cent. The bank has continued to record significant progress in deleveraging its ‘non-core’ higher risk portfolios as they have been managed down to 1 per cent of total loans at the end of the first quarter 2019.

UAB made Dh49 million provisions for credit losses in the first quarter, which represents a healthy reduction of 9 per cent compared to the provisions made in the first quarter of 2018. Going forward, the bank expects that its transition to a lower risk model should see the provisions moderate further in the medium term.

“Our financial performance is aided by a significant progress within our ‘core’ business recording 6 per cent uplift in interest income with an improved asset quality and reduced operating expenses. We believe UAB is well positioned to take advantage of the UAE’s economic development and diversification,” said Ahmad Abu Eideh, Chief Executive officer of UAB.

At the close of the first quarter 2019, the bank reported capital adequacy at 15.8 per cent and common equity ratio of 14.7 per cent.