The increased profit came in spite of an 11.5 per cent decline in total assets to AED 32,252 million ($8,788 million). The bank says this was partly because of a significant rise in earning assets, with loans rising by AED 1,000 million ($272 million)and non-trading investments rising by double that amount. Commissions and other operating income rose by 22 per cent, against a modest increase of 4 per cent in operating expenses.

The strong performance in 2001 came after a 65 per cent rise in net profits year-on-year during 2000.

NBAD says the domestic business performed well, with profits rising by 21 per cent, and international profits also rose by 21 per cent. Investment banking had a very successful year, with profits increasing by 125 per cent, mainly due to commissions and fees from new products.

One of NBAD’s most recent initiatives has been the launch of a global growth fund, following on from the success of its UAE growth fund that was launched in October 2000 (MEED 15:2:02).