First Gulf Bank full-year profit tops an­a­lyst es­ti­mates

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

First Gulf Bank PJSC re­ported a bet­ter-than-ex­pected six per­cent rise in full-year profit as the United Arab Emi­rates' third-big­gest bank was helped by non-op­er­at­ing in­come.

Net in­come ad­vanced to 6.01 bil­lion dirhams ($1.64 bil­lion) from 5.66 bil­lion a year ear­lier, the Abu Dhabi-based len­der said in an e-mailed state­ment on Sun­day. The mean es­ti­mate of nine an­a­lysts was for a profit of 5.74 bil­lion dirhams, ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by Bloomberg.

Other op­er­at­ing in­come, usu­ally from in­vest­ing and as­set sales, jumped 51 per­cent to 1.3 bil­lion dirhams and the len­der pro­posed a cash div­i­dend of 1 dirham a share. "We grew the con­tri­bu­tion of non­in­ter­est in­come sources to 32 per­cent of to­tal rev­enues, up from 28 per­cent in 2014," Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer An­dré Sayegh said in the state­ment.

This "is aligned with our strat­egy to broaden and deepen the re­la­tion­ship with our cus­tomers com­ple­ment­ing our lend­ing ac­tiv­ity." Banks in the U.A.E. have gained as govern­ment spend­ing on in­fra­struc­ture as well as the coun­try's trade and prop­erty in­dus­tries re­cov­ered from the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis, help­ing drive lend­ing. An al­most 70 per­cent slump in crude oil prices since June 2014 may slow growth this year as state spend­ing de­clines and loan-loss charges rise again, Stan­dard & Poor's said ear­lier this month.

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