The First Abu Dhabi Bank headquarters in Abu Dhabi (FAB)
Soaring numbers, whether it is on assets or net profit for 2021. FAB hits the highs. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Dubai: It is a record profit for the UAE’s biggest bank, FAB, totalling Dh12.5 billion against 2020’s Dh10.6 billion as the country’s leading financial institutions rollback on the COVID-19 disruptions. Group revenue for Abu Dhabi headquartered FAB was up 17 per cent to Dh21.7 billion for 2021, while total assets now stand at Dh1 trillion plus, up 9 per cent.

“This outstanding performance not only reflects solid momentum across our core businesses in an improved macroeconomic backdrop but also the positive outcome of our strategic initiatives to unlock value, drive growth and shape the bank of the future,” said Hana Al Rostamani, CEO. “Our Investment Banking business, in particular, had an exceptional year, originating and structuring a number of landmark transactions, and leading new offerings and new company listings on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange in a record year for our equity markets.”

Overall, the investment banking side helped with a robust 69 per cent growth in revenues. Outside of the UAE, FAB will look to greater returns from Egypt this year, bolstered by the buy of Bank Audi.

Cash-and-scrip dividend
The FAB Board of Directors have suggested dividends per share of 70 fils equivalent, split into 49 fils in cash and 21 fils as scrip dividend in lieu of cash, to "enable future growth and invest in our market-leading franchise while we continue to deliver superior and sustainable shareholder returns", the bank said in a statement.

"The UAE has once again demonstrated great vision and leadership, leading the way towards recovery, regionally and globally, on the back of its world-class vaccination programme, monetary and fiscal stimulus measures - including the UAE Central Bank TESS programme - structural reforms and plans to drive long-term economic growth and prosperity," said Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of FAB.

“We are confident in our ability to create new opportunities for growth across the UAE and the region,” said Al Rostamani, who took over as CEO last year.

Strong finish to 2021

FAB would have been particularly pleased with the final three-month profit number, which stands at Dh33 billion, up 3 per cent year-on-year. Full-year impairment charges are at Dh2.7 billion, and reflective of “continued prudent provisioning”.

James Burdett, Group CFO, says external factors and internal dynamics are aligning for another solid set of numbers for this year. “While we remain cautiously optimistic and cognisant of the uncertainties arising from the pandemic and potential market volatility, the rising interest rate outlook and the expected acceleration in economic activity across the region present significant opportunities for the bank,” he said.

As for 2021, "Corporate and commercial banking saw sustained momentum with CASA balances growing 27 per cent year-on-year, and consumer banking continued to witness strong sales acquisition across key products. In private banking, asset under management grew by almost 50 per cent year-on-year, driven by enhanced product propositions."

  1. Loans, advances and Islamic financing payments were at Dh410 billion for FAB in 2021, which is 6% higher year-on-year and 2% sequentially.
  2. Customer deposits are at Dh614 Billion, up 14% year-on-year and 1% sequentially.
  3. Operating costs totalled Dh5.8 Billion, up 9% excluding the impact of the Bank Audi Egypt acquisition.