First Gulf Bank Q4 profits up 12pc, beats forecast
Abu Dhabi, January 30, 2013
First Gulf Bank, the UAE's second-largest lender by market value, on Wednesday beat analysts' expectations with a 12-per cent rise in fourth-quarter net profit, boosted by higher interest income and Islamic financing.
The bank made a net profit of 1.15 billion dirhams ($313.1 million) in the final three months of 2012, up from 1.02 billion dirhams in the same period of 2011.
Six analysts polled by Reuters forecast an average net profit of 1.024 billion dirhams for the quarter.
Full-year net profit for 2012 was 4.15 billion dirhams, also up 12 percent over 2011.
The performance encouraged FGB to raise its cash dividend by 67 percent over 2011. The total cash dividends of 2.5 billion dirhams for 2012, worth 60 percent of net profit, is equivalent to 0.83 dirhams per share, the statement said.
"Given our current strong capital and liquidity position, we are very comfortable with the proposal," Abdulhamid Saeed, board member and managing director of FGB, said.
The bank booked provisions of 428 million dirhams in the fourth quarter versus 303.7 million dirhams in the same period of 2011, taking full-year provisions to 1.65 billion dirhams, up 6 percent over the previous year.
Loans and advances grew 9 percent over the course of 2012 to 114.6 billion dirhams, while deposits grew 15 percent over the same timeframe to 119.3 billion dirhams. Total assets stood at 175.0 billion dirhams at the end of December, up 11 percent over that of December 2011.
In November, FGB raised $900 million loan from a group of international banks to finance its expansion
FGB shares were trading 0.8 percent down at 0925 GMT, trimming 2013 gains to 5.5 percent, against a 0.1 percent increase in the wider Abu Dhabi index on Wednesday. – Reuters