Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), the UAE’s third largest bank by assets, has reported a net loss of AED513m ($139.6m) for 2009, compared to a profit of AED1.4bn in 2008, as a result of record provisions for bad debts taken in the fourth quarter.

The bank reported a net loss of AED1.2bn in the fourth quarter, compared with a net profit of AED44m in the preceding quarter.

“This has been a difficult year and net profitability has been impacted as a result of the current economic crisis and additional provisioning requirements,” said Eissa al-Suwaidi, chairman of ADCB. “The decision to take record provisions has resulted in the bottom line of the bank to go into negative territory.”

Annual net impairment allowances stood at AED3.75bn, representing an increase of 151 per cent compared to the figure in 2008. Of this total, AED2.97bn covered loans and advances, AED637m for investments and AED148 covered non-financial assets.

Customer loans amounted to AED116.6bn, a 7 per cent increase compared to 2008. Customer deposits recorded an 11 per cent year-on-year growth to AED86.3bn.

On 31 December 2009, the bank’s market capitalisation stood at AED7.5bn.