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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 15 November 2018

CBI reports 30 per cent second-quarter profit jump as provisions decline

Net profit rose to Dh41 million during the quarter

Mark Robinson, CEO of CBI. The bank on Monday reported a 30% increase in second quarter net income. Alex Atack / The National
Mark Robinson, CEO of CBI. The bank on Monday reported a 30% increase in second quarter net income. Alex Atack / The National

Commercial Bank International reported a 30 per cent increase in second-quarter net income as provisions for bad loans fell and the Dubai-based lender managed to cut operating expenses during the first half of 2018.

Net profit for the three-month period ending June 30 climbed to Dh41 million, which is also a 3 per cent quarter-on-quarter improvement, the lender said in a regulatory filing to the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, where its shares are traded.

Net profit for the first six months of 2018 rose to Dh81m, up from Dh52m recorded a year earlier.

CBI has gone through a massive balance sheet restructuring in 2015 and implemented cost controls including closures of branches, as the lender like some of its other UAE peers, sought to limit the impact of accumulated band loans. Banks in the UAE are expected to perform better this year as credit growth returns with an uptick in economy

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Commercial Bank International expects 5 per cent loan growth in 2018 as oil and debt demand pick up

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“We continued to prioritise driving expense efficiency, while improving our core asset quality,” Mark Robinson, the chief executive of CBI, said.

The bank’s first-half operating expenses decreased by 7 per cent to Dh206m from Dh222m from a year-earlier as a result of CBI’s expense efficiency strategy. Provisions for doubtful loans also fell by 35 per cent during the first six months of this year.

The bank expects at least a 5 per cent loan growth this year as the UAE’s economy strengthens amid higher oil prices, Mr Robinson told The National in February.

“I think 2018 has the potential to be slightly better than 2017 if only because we are seeing more stable oil prices and other activities leading to more investments in the UAE,” he said at the time. “It will be a better year but there still will be some challenges. We think the overall market will grow at 5 per cent and that we will grow at more or less the market rate.”