Ajman Bank profit rises in signal for recovery

Ajman Bank on Wednesday reported a 19 per cent increase in second-quarter profit amid signs that lenders are starting to recover from the low oil prices of the past two years.

Net income rose to Dh32.7 million from Dh27.4m as income from investments more than doubled and income from Islamic financing and investment assets, the Dubai-listed bank said in a bourse statement.

A rise in fees, commissions and other income also helped boost profitability.

The past year has been tough for banks with a few laying off employees because of a decline in business as deposits have dwindled and some customers, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises, have faced difficulty in paying back debt.

Amid the tightening economic conditions, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and FGB, the two biggest Abu Dhabi-based banks by assets, said earlier this month that they would merge in what, if approved by shareholders, will become the biggest bank by assets in the Middle East.

That may put pressure on smaller banks to join forces to compete. More than 50 banks and financial institutions serve 9 million customers in the UAE, making it one of the most crowded banking markets in the region.


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