Company snapshot: National Bank of Fujairah

Date established 1982

Main business sector Banking and financial services

Main business region UAE

Chief executive officer Vincent Cook

National Bank of Fujairah structure

The National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) was incorporated in October 1982 in a decree by the Emir of Fujairah, Hamad bin Mohammed al-Sharqi. It was given its banking licence by the Central Bank of the UAE in August 1984.

The bank is headquartered in Fujairah and has branches in four of the other six emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai and Sharjah. It has one fully-owned subsidiary, NBF Finance Services, which is based in the Fujairah Free Trade Zone and provides support services to the bank.

The bank’s largest shareholders currently include the government of Fujairah, which holds 39.4 per cent of the stock through the Department of Industry & Economy; Dubai-based Easa Saleh al-Gurg Group, which owns 19.4 per cent; state-owned Investment Corporation of Dubai, which holds 9.8 per cent; and Fujairah Investment Company, which owns 5.2 per cent of the shares.

National Bank of Fujairah in numbers
Profits (AEDm)
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
175.79 237.6 323.8 -50.3 104.3
Source: National Bank of Fujairah

The bank’s shares have been traded on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), under the symbol NBF, since October 2005.

Vincent Cook took over as chief executive officer (CEO) of the bank in December 2009, joining from the Singapore-based Islamic Bank of Asia where he had also been CEO. He replaced Michael Connor who had until then been serving as acting CEO of NBF.

National Bank of Fujairah operations

NBF is primarily a corporate bank with expertise in trade finance, although it has been developing its retail banking and wealth management services in recent years.

Its banking operations date back to September 1984, when it opened its first branch in Fujairah. This was followed within a few months by branch openings in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, which focused on trade finance.

The bank grew slowly in its first two decades, but there has been a notable acceleration in recent years, both in terms of the expansion of its branch network and the range of services it offers. But not everything has survived for long.

In 2004, the bank began developing its offering for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to add to its existing customer base of larger companies. In January 2006, it started its retail banking operations.

In May 2006, it was granted a licence for a brokerage subsidiary, NBF Securities, which traded in local shares and bonds on behalf of the bank’s customers. However, this division was shut down in October 2009. In 2007, NBF launched a loan syndications desk and successfully closed transactions totalling AED500m ($136m) in its capacity as lead manager.

National Bank of Fujairah in numbers
Assets (AEDbn)
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
6.28 8.63 12.3 12.8 11.9
Source: National Bank of Fujairah

In terms of its branch network, there was a notable spurt of growth between February 2006 and May 2008, to coincide with the launch of a new corporate brand and its retail banking services. The bank has more than doubled the size of its branch network to the current 12, adding seven new outlets across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman and Fujairah. These days the bank’s services for corporate customers include treasury services, real estate loans, ship finance and general commercial banking. Its retail offering includes personal loans, mortgages, credit cards and fixed deposit accounts.

National Bank of Fujairah ambitions

The bank is currently in the process of reviewing its medium-term plans. However, it has said that it intends to deepen its product range over the next few years by expanding its retail banking services while continuing to build its corporate and commercial banking services. This could lead to a further expansion of its branch network, although no specific plans have yet been revealed. Its recent strategy, in the light of the wider turmoil in the financial sector around the world, has been to reduce its risk exposure and to concentrate on its core business sectors.

National Bank of Fujairah in numbers
First half results (AEDm)
  H1 2009 H1 2010
Net profit  60.7 83
Operating profit  239.9 278.5
Loan loss provision  60.7 97.1
Source: National Bank of Fujairah