(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The UAE has once again emerged as a leader, with an economy that proved to be strong and resilient in spite of the challenges that continue to arise from the global economic pressures, said Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates NBD.
"The growth in the UAE has been possible due to the wise and visionary leadership of the UAE government, which has introduced several measures that have aided in boosting the economy to perform as well as in the previous years. The non-oil sector has improved in the past year, allowing the UAE to remain well-positioned to profit from the trading and tourism sectors," Shaikh Ahmed said in a review of 2012 at sixth Annual General Meeting, or AGM, of the bank.
At the AGM, approval was given for the distribution of 25 per cent cash dividend (25 fils per share) for 2012. "Emirates NBD's results for 2012 reflect a very positive operational performance and demonstrate the bank's strength in solidifying its position as a leading financial institution in the region," said Shaikh Ahmed.
According to Shaikh Ahmed, who is also president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman and CEO of Emirates airline and Group and Second Vice-Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, the UAE and Dubai economy would continue growing in 2013 by 3.8 per cent, driven by tourism, hospitality and trade.
The UAE Minister for Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri had predicted that the UAE economy would have grown by around four per cent in 2012, at a pace higher than the rate forecast by the International Monetary Fund, or IMF. The size of the UAE economy, driven by fast-growing oil and non-oil sectors, would have surpassed the predicted Dh1.4 trillion mark in 2012. The IMF, impressed by Dubai's remarkable resilience in 2012, has observed that the UAE as a whole is responding comfortably to improved non-oil and oil sector growth.
Shaikh Ahmed, who is also the chairman of Dubai World, said the UAE and Dubai in particular, have shown resilience and solid growth during the year and "Emirates NBD is well-placed to continue to capitalise on this improving economic backdrop. The bank had adopted a conservative approach during 2012, and it will continue to do so in the coming year." The total assets of Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the region, are estimated at Dh 308.3 billion. The group has a leading retail banking franchise in the UAE, with 150 branches and over 720 ATMs and CDMs.
Emirates NBD's net profit for 2012 rose three per cent to Dh2.6 billion. Earnings per share for the year was 0.41. The bank said revenue trends during 2012 was encouraging with total income reaching Dh10.2 billion, up three per cent versus 2011. The bank's capital adequacy ratio further strengthened to an extremely healthy level of 20.6 per cent.
"I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for his exemplary leadership, guidance and vision for excellence. On behalf of the board, I also sincerely thank the group's management and employees for their innovation, enthusiasm and contribution to our performance and success in 2012 and our customers and shareholders for their continuous support and trust," said Shaikh Ahmed.