Emirates NBD, one of the largest banks is the region, has reported third-quarter profit of AED640m ($174m), almost three times higher than the same period last year.

The bank said profits improved as a result of lower provisioning and higher non-interest income, which offset a decline in earnings from interest payments to the bank.

Impairment allowances fell from AED1.57bn in the third quarter of 2011 to AED1bn in the latest quarter.

The company also reported a 2 per cent increase in assets from the end of the second quarter, rising to AED305.4bn. Total loans rose by 2 per cent to AED212.5bn and deposits rose by 3 per cent to AED214.2bn.

Emirates NBD said the integration of Dubai Bank, which almost collapsed as a result of bad loans before the government ordered it be taken over by Emirates NBD, should be completed by the end of the year. By then, all Dubai Bank branches will have been rebranded to Emirates NBD’s Islamic banking arm, Emirates Islamic Bank.