First Abu Dhabi approves record Dh7.6bn dividend
It is the highest combined dividend amount distributed by FGB and NBAD
First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the UAE’s largest bank formed by the merger of National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank, approved on Sunday a 70 per cent cash dividend to shareholders, the highest combined amount ever distributed by the legacy banks.
The dividend equated to Dh7.6 billion for the financial year ended 31 December 2017, FAB said in a statement.
The dividend approved on Sunday was up by 11 per cent year-on-year compared to 2016.
“2017 was a solid first year for FAB, with the bank’s resilient performance reflecting the strategic rationale of the merger, as well as the trust and confidence our shareholders have in us,” said Abdulhamid Saeed, group chief executive of FAB.
The dividend was “in line with our commitment to maximise shareholder value and deliver top returns”, Mr Saeed added.
The dividend was approved at the bank’s Annual General Assembly Meeting in Abu Dhabi, where FAB’s financial statements for the full year ended 31 December 2017 were also approved.
FAB's net profit fell 3.5 per cent to Dh10.92bn in 2017, down from Dh11.32bn reported for 2016, impacted by lower revenues and merger-related costs, the bank said, but came in ahead of most analyst forecasts.
“With our focus now firmly on 2018, we are looking forward to a year of growth, as we continue to press ahead with our integration journey, leverage synergies, unlock new opportunities and build on our position as a financial services leader,” Mr Saeed said.
Separately, FAB expects to open a branch in Saudi Arabia this year pending regulatory approval, deputy chief executive Andre Sayegh said in Abu Dhabi, Bloomberg reported. The commercial banking license will include investment banking. Chief financial officer James Burdett said FAB expects to issue sukuk "soon." The bank is very liquid and will only issue "when the price is optimal," Bloomberg reported.
Updated: February 25, 2018 06:48 PM