A teller at a bank in Dubai
A teller at a bank in Dubai. During the first quarter, most UAE banks maintained strong growth. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Bottomline performance for the GCC banking sector remained steady with a healthy quarterly growth of 11.8 per cent and a yearly growth of 10.5 per cent to reach $14.4 billion during the first quarter of 2024, according to GCC Banking Sector Report - Q1-2024, released today by kamco Invest.

The report, which analyses the financials reported by 57 listed banks in the GCC for the quarter ended Q1-2024, revealed that UAE-listed banks recorded the biggest quarterly growth during Q1 at 5.6 per cent with total customer deposits reaching $803.2 billion, the biggest in the GCC.

"UAE once again ranked first in the GCC in terms of Net Interest Margin (NIMs) that reached 3.49 per cent in Q1, 2024 as compared to 3.52 per cent during Q4, 2023. The higher margins as compared to Gulf peers reflect ample liquidity that allows UAE banks to capitalise on the tightening interest rate cycle with more modest asset growth,"  the report noted.

"Saudi Arabian banks were next with a NIM of 3.18 per cent followed by Qatari and Kuwait banks at 3.06 per cent and 2.87%, respectively.’

"At the country level, UAE-listed banks once again topped in the region with the highest return on equity (RoE) at the end of Q1, 2024 at 16.9 per cent closely followed by Saudi Arabian and Qatari banks with RoEs of 12.8 per cent and 12.7 per cent, respectively. The biggest yearly growth in RoE was also seen for UAE-listed banks at 280 bps which was mainly led by elevated profits as well as a relatively smaller growth in total shareholders’ equity."