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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Moody's raises ratings on Dubai Islamic Bank

Ratings agency cites improved profitability, better grip on bad debt

DIB, the country’s oldest Islamic lender, posed a 25 per cent increase in fourth-quarter net income. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
DIB, the country’s oldest Islamic lender, posed a 25 per cent increase in fourth-quarter net income. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Moody’s Investors Service said it has upgraded Dubai Islamic Bank’s (DIB) local and foreign currency long-term issuer ratings to A3 from Baa1 due to an improvement in asset quality, less money set aside to cover bad debt and improved profitability

The ratings agency also upgraded its baseline credit assessment on DIB, adjusting it to Ba2 from Ba3. Long and short-term counterparty risk assessment were upgraded to A2 from A3 and P-1 from P-2, respectively, Moody’s said.

However, the outlook on the bank’s long-term issuer ratings was changed to stable from positive because of some concerns that profitability will stabilise at current levels amid pressures in the industry as a whole.

“As with other UAE banks, the improvements in the NPF [non-performing financing] ratio reflect settlements, recoveries and re-classifications of legacy restructured exposures, following a sustainable period of repayment performance,” the agency said.

“This is combined with solid financing growth that has given rise to a significant denominator effect. Although Moody’s expects asset quality pressures in the small and medium-sized companies and retail sectors for UAE banks, the agency nevertheless expects DIB’s asset quality to remain solid owing to a diversified financing book.”

The bank’s NPF ratio has improved dramatically in recent years dropping to 3.7 per cent as of June 2017 compared with 14.7 per cent in December 2012, when the bank was still reeling from a load of bad debt related to the real estate. The ratio is below the UAE average of 5 per cent and generally in line with banks with the same credit rating.

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DIB said in July that its net income rose 13.8 per cent in the second quarter thanks to strong growth in financing assets and customer deposits, even as impairments more than doubled.

Net profit attributable to owners of the bank increased to Dh1.1 billion for the three months to the end of July, compared with Dh929 million in the same period last year. Net financing income rose 18 per cent to Dh1.9bn for the quarter, although income from commissions, fees and foreign exchange income fell 7.7 per cent over the same period. Impairment charges, meanwhile, rose 156 per cent to Dh187m from Dh73m in the same period the previous year.

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