Mashreq said that full year profits fell to AED1.64bn ($466m), and that investment activity fell from making a profit of AAED488m in 2007 to a loss of AED335m in 2008. It also made provisions of AED762m, and total assets rose by 6.4 per cent to AED93bn. In an indication of how dramatically banking activity dropped in the fourth quarter, profits for the period were down 78 per cent from the same period in 2007, to AED120m.

Emirates NBD, said its total profits for 2008 was AED3.7bn ($1bn) after the bank made provisions of AED2.26bn on impaired investments in securities and credit default swaps. Total assets rose 11 per cent to AED282.4bn.

Net profit in the fourth quarter fell to AED14m from AED1.2bn in the same period in 2007. The bank made AED777m in mark-to-market losses in the final quarter.