Mashreq reports profit rise

20 April 2015

Bank has supported key projects in the Gulf

  • Profits up 13 per cent on the first three months of 2014
  • The bank has contributed to funding for several major projects in the region
  • Analysts are closely watching bank results for signs of a slow-down

Dubai-headquartered bank Mashreq has reported profits of AED651m ($177.2m) in the first quarter of the year, marking an increase of 13 per cent on the same period last year.

The bank’s loans and advances book decreased by 2 per cent compared to the end of 2014 to reach AED57bn.

Despite a slight slowdown in loan volume, the bank has supported a number of key projects in the region.

Through its contracting arm it has supported the Red Line North metro line in Doha and has financed three refineries in the UAE.

The bank has also provided funding for government-related entities (GREs) in Dubai. It participated in an AED4bn facility for Tecom Investments, a member of Dubai Holding. It contributed AED875m to the syndicated loan facility.

Mashreq also participated in a five-year $1.1bn syndicated loan for Port & Free Zone World, an entity owned by the Dubai World conglomerate, contributing $50m.

By the end of the first three months of the year, Mashreq’s assets rose by 14 per cent compared with the first quarter of 2014, to reach AED107bn.

Customer deposits rose by 15 per cent in the first quarter of 2015 to reach AED71bn compared with the same period last year.

The bank’s loans-to-deposits ratio has declined to 79.6 per cent in the first three months of 2015, compared with 86 per cent in the same quarter last year.

The bank has a non-performing loan ratio of 3.7 per cent, the same ratio recorded in the first quarter of 2014.

As more UAE-based banks begin posting their first-quarter results, the market will be closely watching for any signs of a slowdown.

Earlier this year analysts feared low oil prices could trigger an economic slowdown and potentially lead to a spike in problem loans in the UAE.

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