UAE banks ahead of GCC peers with $720 billion assets

By Rajive Singh

ABU DHABI 22 November 2017: The UAE banking system has maintained its coveted position ahead of its GCC peers in terms of asset performance and capital buffers by the end of September.

According to UAE Central Bank statistics, the asset value of 48 banks operating in the country amounted to around Dh2.3 trillion (US$720 billion) by the end of September, a fact which proves that the UAE banking system’s solvency profile is not the best among the GCC States only but also across the entire region, according to estimates by leading international financial organisations.

The Saudi Banking system came second with an asset value of US$ 609 billion by the end of tQ3 – $2 billion less than its June equivalent of $611 billion. The net asset value hit $209 billion in Kuwait, and $189 billion in Bahrain.

First Abu Dhabi Bank came first in terms of asset value of $175 billion during Q3 2017, a growth of 2.9 percent from $170 billion by the end of H1 in the same year, said Wam.

The Saudi National Commercial Bank came second with assets worth $119 billion, followed by the National Bank of Kuwait with $85 billion of assets, while Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank’s assets increased to $34 billion and Bank Muscat ‘s remained at $29 billion.

In terms of profitability, FAB remained second to none with net profit of $2.2 billion by the end of September against $1.5 billion by the end of H1.

Saudi National Commercial Bank’s profit by the end of Q3 hit $1.9 billion against $1.5 billion in H1, while the National Bank of Kuwait’s profit reached $800 million, followed by $500 million by Bahrain’s Ahli United Bank’s and $300 million by Bank Muscat.

Amidst challenging operating conditions, the UAE’s more diversified economy and the macro-prudential initiatives in real estate and banking regulations since the 2008 global financial crisis will support the solvency profiles of banks, according to rating agency Moody’s.