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Union Bank reports 'satisfactory' results

Union Bank saw its annual profit increase 22 per cent despite a fall in fourth quarter profit.

Union National Bank announced a 22 per cent increase in its annual net profit on Wednesday, which rose to Dh1.441bn (US$381m) last year; however, the bank's fourth-quarter net profit dropped by 70 per cent to Dh100 million. Local banks have been forecast to show a decline in their net profits during the final quarter of last year, as they were expected to set aside a larger portion of revenue as insurance against a possible increase in loan repayment defaults.

The bank described the results as "satisfactory" given what it called "the extremely challenging business environment and difficult trading conditions that exists globally". The bank did not provide quarterly data in the statement, but its fourth quarter profit could be determined using data provided in previous quarterly statements. The bank has announced a Dh1.341bn net profit for the first three quarters of last year, and a Dh335m net profit for the final quarter of 2007.

"Amid the global financial turmoil and the unprecedented economic downturn facing most of the major economies in the world, the results for UNB Group for the year ended 31 December 2008 were satisfactory with the UNB Group posting its highest ever profit," said Mohammad Nasr Abdeen, the chief executive of Union National Bank. "The bank remained vigilant to effectively manage and mitigate various risks to protect the interests of various stakeholders, as 2009 remained an equally challenging year."

Last week, the bank received Dh2bn of a total Dh16bn capital injected into five banks by the Abu Dhabi government. tpantin@thenational.ae

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