STOCK First Abu Dhabi Bank / FAB
It was always a given that First Abu Dhabi Bank would deliver strong numbers for 9-month 2023. But the 58% gain comes across as exceptionally strong. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: UAE’s biggest bank, FAB’s net profit put in another hot streak, helping propel the nine-month total to Dh12.4 billion. That’s a heavy 58 per cent gain year-on-year on an underlying basis. (The 2022 total included the proceeds from the stake sale in the payments processing firm Magnati.)

Revenue at the end of the nine months was Dh20.5 billion, and the numbers bode well for what could be coming by way of growth for other UAE blue-chip banks.

We achieved solid results, contributing to a record net profit of Dh12.4 billion for the first nine months of 2023, a 58 per cent surge year-on-year on an underlying basis

- Hana Al Rostamani, Group CEO of FAB

“FAB’s reaffirmed superior credit ratings of AA- (or equivalent), our international and diversified franchise, our financial strength and ample liquidity, are among the distinct competitive strengths that position us well to continue our steady progress towards our strategic goals,” said Hana Al Rostamani, Group CEO of FAB

That FAB would continue on the strong first-half showing was more or less a certainty, but the growth on the profit side is a standout. The numbers come in a high interest rate environment, with customer deposits up 12 per cent to Dh785 billion and with a 'very strong liquidity profile'.

FAB Image Credit: Vijith Pulikkal/Gulf News

On ADX, FAB shareholders will be looking for some bounce to the stock, which is trading at  Dh13.26 and down on the Dh18.38 52-week high from last November.

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Assets are at Dh1.2 trillion end September, powered by 'cross-border trade, economic growth' - and 'transition to a low-carbon future across its global network'.

Good mix to Dh20.5b revenue
Non-interest income grew 46% in 9m-23, contributing 35% to Group revenues, while international operations were 31% higher to contribute 19% of revenue, 'reflecting the UAE’s position at the nexus of global trade and investments'.

“As the markets strengthen their trade flows and form broader economic partnerships across the globe, FAB’s international franchise ensures that we continue to play our unique role as a facilitator of global trade and investment," said Hana.

"FAB produced another strong set of results in the third quarter, delivering double-digit growth in revenue and bottom-line and building on the core growth momentum achieved since the start of the year," said Lars Kramer, Group Chief Financial Officer.

The return on tangible equity for the first nine months of 2023 improved to 18.3 per cent, with Group CET1 reaching 14.2 per cent as of September 2023 underlining strong capital accretion

- Lars Kramer, Group Chief Financial Officer

$ 75 b

What FAB aims to provide for sustainable finance projects by 2030. It has already funded more than $18 billion in 9m-23 and $27 billion to-date from the 2022 baseline

Interest rates kick in

According to the CFO, "Operating income grew 38 per cent year-on-year from continued expansion in net interest income coupled with growth from diversified revenue streams, demonstrating our ongoing strategic focus on deepening client relationships across our global franchise."

More to follow...