Emirates NBD reported flat third-quarter net profit on Monday, as two-year lows in oil prices placed a squeeze on lending amid higher impairments.
Dubai’s largest lender reported net profit of Dh1.66 billion in the three months to September 30, compared with a profit of Dh1.67bn a year earlier.
Three analysts had forecast an average profit of Dh1.87bn for the third quarter, according to a Reuters survey.
Third-quarter net interest income from Islamic financing and investment products net of distribution to depositors was down 1.5 per cent to Dh2.55bn compared with the previous year’s Dh2.59bn.
Emirates NBD shares rose 0.7 per cent to Dh8.10 during early trade.
Emirates NBD chief executive Shayne Nelson, said that the bank had seen increased delinquencies in the micro SME segment, which has “prompted Emirates Islamic to take additional provisions”.
However, the lender believes that it will strengthen its balance sheet despite the current challenges in environment. “Both Dubai and Emirates NBD are well placed to deal with the regional challenges stemming from a lower oil price environment,” said Mr Nelson.
Emirates NBD is banking on more digital programmes, with an increased focus on online and mobile banking services. “We recently launched a pilot blockchain network for international remittances and trade finance, a first for the banking sector in the UAE,” said Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim, the bank’s vice chairman and managing director.
Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter