The bank said that its full year profits for 2008 rose to AED3bn ($822m), compared to AED2.5bn in 2007.

However, the figures for the fourth quarter were affected by provisions made for bad loans.

Net profits in the fourth quarter were AED492m, lower than the AED744m in the same period of 2007 after provisions of AED289m.

Total provisions of AED603m were made during the year.

The bank’s asset book rose 18 per cent to AED165bn. The bank said that it had not revalued any of its property assets.

Deposits rose by 27 per cent during the year to AED103bn, but in common with many banks in the region, loans outpaced deposit growth. Loans grew by 40 per cent to AED112bn during the same period.