x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

No pay increase for ADCB directors

Shareholders in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) have voted down a proposal to increase directors' pay.

Shareholders in Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) have voted down a proposal to increase directors' pay.

At the annual meeting, held this week, an individual shareholder called for the board's pay to be doubled because of the bank's improved performance.

First-quarter profit rose by 38 per cent compared with the same period last year, and the bank issued its first dividend since the financial crisis in 2008.

"We want to double your remuneration," the shareholder said during Tuesday's meeting, to which journalists were invited.

However, the request was turned down by the Abu Dhabi Investment Council (Adic), which owns 58 per cent of the bank's shares.

"The council does not recommend increasing the board fees for the year," said an Adic representative who attended the meeting at the sumptuous Park Hyatt hotel on Saadiyat Island.

ADCB paid its directors a total of Dh5.25 million (US$1.4m) in 2010, according to the bank's annual report for last year.

The report did not reveal how much each director was paid. The figure for last year will not be released until next year.

In Europe and the United States, bankers' pay has become a political hot potato as bailed-out lenders are forced to scale back on generous pay and bonus options as governments enact new levies on high-earning investment bankers.

In 2009, the federal Government injected billions of dirhams into the UAE banking system to help local lenders ride out the global financial crisis.

ADCB has also benefited from favourable asset transfers with other government entities.

Last year, it sold a 25 per cent stake in RHB Capital Berhad, a Malaysian lender, to Aabar Investments, owned by the Abu Dhabi Government, at a price considered to be above market expectations.

Aabar funded the purchase through an interest-free loan from its parent, the International Petroleum Investment Company, which in turn was funded by a Dh7.3 billion loan from ADCB.

ghunter@thenational.ae

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