Assets at the Arab Bank for Investment & Foreign Trade (Arbift) rose 16 per cent in 1994 to reach Dh 3,046 million ($829 million). However, profits fell by 17 per cent to Dh 9.8 million ($2.7 million) partly due to a fall in the value of the bank’s bad debts.

The bank’s vice-chairman, UAE minister of state for finance and industry Ahmad Humaid al-Tayer, said on 30 January that the recovery of bad debts in 1993 was better than in 1994. However, he said both assets and shareholders’ equity rose in 1994 despite a fall in income from interest payments and commissions and other sources.

Interest income fell 13 per cent to Dh 77.5 million ($21 million), and income from commissions and other sources fell by 8 per cent to Dh 144.5 million ($38.4 million).

The board has approved plans to raise capital to Dh 760 million ($202 million) from Dh 570 million ($152 million). ‘The consultants have submitted a report on the public sale of new shares but we need to get approval from the authorities and amend the articles of association,’ Al-Tayer said.

A public share issue will dilute the stakes of the three Arab government shareholders – the UAE and Libya each hold a 42.5 per cent stake, Algeria holds the balance.