The difficulty that banks in the UAE are having in attracting new deposits in a negative real interest rate environment was demonstrated by a 17 per cent increase in deposits compared to the same period last year, to AED52.6bn, but a 57.7 per cent increase in loans and advances to AED49.3bn.

Total assets of the bank rose to AED94bn, up 33.2 per cent. This helped to drive up net interest income and Islamic financing income to AED895.7bn, an increase of 66.8 per cent.

Net fee, commission and other income rose by 44.4 per cent, although investment income declined by 73 per cent because of a widening of credit spreads and global financial market volatility.

Expenses at the bank rose 32 per cent during the first six months of 2008.