Emirates NBD announces net profit up 44 pct for 2019 to $3.95 billion

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Emirates NBD, Dubai’s biggest bank and the second largest in the UAE, revealed on Monday that its net profit for 2019 had surged 44 percent to 14.5 billion dirhams ($3.95 billion), bolstered by its partial sale of its stake in payments technology company Network International.

Excluding the partial sale, worth 4.39 billion dirhams, net profit increased 1 percent over the year.

Emirates NBD completed its acquisition of Turkish lender DenizBank in 2019, which helped bolster NBD’s total assets to 683 billion, up 37 percent.

“We are delighted to welcome DenizBank into the Emirates NBD family during 2019, increasing the bank's presence to 13 countries, servicing over 14 million customers in the MENAT [Middle East, North Africa, and Tukey] region,” said Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, vice chairman and managing director at Emirates NBD.

The bank’s tier 1 capital ratio, a measure of the assets that a bank keeps in reserve in case of a financial crisis and often used as a measure of stability, stands at 17.4 percent, with its common equity tier 1 ratio at 15.3 percent. The bank noted that this follows its $1.76 billion oversubscribed rights issue in November. Under Basel III guidelines, the minimum capital ratio banks are expected to maintain is 6 percent.

“The outstanding success of the rights issue underlines the confidence of local and international investors in the bank's business model and promising outlook,” said Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum.

In 2019, the bank raised its foreign ownership limit to 20 percent in an effort to increase the “liquidity and depth in the UAE’s capital market,” al-Maktoum said at the time. The bank also signaled its intention to raise this limit to 40 percent in the future.

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