Dubai Islamic Bank posted profits of AED1.7bn ($481m) in 2013, marking a 42 per cent increase in profit compared with the previous year.

The lender’s net operating revenue also grew, rising by 7 per cent to AED4.2bn. Total assets increased by 15 per cent to reach AED113.3bn, compared with AED98.6bn at the end of 2012.

At the end of 2013, the bank decided to increase the limit it places on foreign ownership from 15 to 25 per cent, following approvals from its board of directors.

The decision is a result of high demand for the bank’s shares from foreign institutional investors, the lender says.

The demand was partly driven by the upgrade given by US index compiler MSCI, which will come into force in 2014 and will lift the UAE from frontier to emerging market status.

This has opened up opportunities for global investors to include shares in UAE-based banks such as Dubai Islamic Bank, within their emerging market allocations.