First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) reported net profit of AED12.5 billion ($3.4 billion) for the full financial year ended December 31, 2021, compared to AED10.6 billion in 2020 , an increase of 19% year-on-year. .

Group revenue rose 17%, supported by strong business performance and growth in fee-earning activities, helping to offset headwinds from low interest rates, Emirates News Agency reported. W.A.M..

Operating expenses increased year-over-year, reflecting continued investment in digital and strategic initiatives and the inclusion of Bank Audi Egypt.

Asset quality metrics remained sound, underpinned by prudent risk management and the relief measures under the UAE Central Bank’s TESS program. The Group’s foundation remains solid in terms of liquidity, funding and capital.

Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of FAB, said: “2021 has been a year of strong economic rebound, with unprecedented opportunities for innovation and growth, despite continued uncertainties due to COVID-19. Against this backdrop , the UAE has again shown great vision and leadership, leading to regional and global recovery.

“FAB continued to sustain the momentum of this dynamic transformation in 2021, delivering exceptional financial performance while making significant progress in putting in place the building blocks of a future-proof bank.”

He added that the FAB Board of Directors is recommending a dividend per share of 70 fils equivalent for the full year ended December 31, 2021, divided into 49 fils in cash and 21 fils as a stock dividend instead of species.

Hana Al Rostamani, Chief Executive Officer of FAB Group, highlighted FAB’s record revenue and net profit in a year of economic rebound, and with total assets crossing the $1 trillion mark. AED, a historic milestone.

She added: “Our performance in 2021 has been built on a solid foundation across liquidity, funding and capital metrics, with our AA- credit rating recently reaffirmed by S&P coupled with a stable outlook, underscoring our strong balance sheet fundamentals and our risk profile.

“Our investment banking business, in particular, had an outstanding year, initiating and structuring many landmark transactions and leading new offerings and company listings on the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange in a year. record for our stock markets This sustained commercial momentum translated into a 69% growth in our investment banking revenues compared to the previous year FAB reaffirmed its leading position as the best regional bank ranked in all MENA investment banking rankings in 2021.”

Al Rostamani said FAB is expanding its markets, helped by the acquisition of Bank Audi Egypt. As a result, revenue from the bank’s international operations grew 26% year-on-year, with the MENA region contributing 52%, up from 39% in 2020.

She added that FAB launched the market’s first solutions, including DigiCheques on the bank’s enterprise mobile app, and a significant increase in transactions made through digital channels.

On ESG and as part of our group-wide strategy, our new target to fund or facilitate more than US$75 billion in sustainable finance projects by 2030 underscores our commitment to act as as a key enabler of the regional sustainable finance agenda and working hand-in-hand with our clients and communities to create sustainable growth.

James Burdett, FAB Group’s chief financial officer, said the group’s return on tangible equity (RoTE) was 15.1%, down from 13% the previous year. Fourth-quarter profits came to AED3.3 billion, up 3% year-on-year.

Investment Banking delivered an exceptional performance, capitalizing on improved sentiment and buoyant activity in regional capital markets. Corporate and Commercial Banking also saw strong momentum with CASA balances growing 27% year-over-year, and Personal Banking continued to see strong sales acquisitions across key products.

In Global Private Banking, assets under management (AUM) increased nearly 50% year-over-year, driven by improved product offerings.

“We continued to maintain our cost discipline and achieved positive Jaws during the year thanks to ongoing investments in key areas and the integration of our expanded operations in Egypt. The Group maintained a very healthy liquidity position and strong asset quality metrics with the coverage ratio increasing to 98%, consistent with our prudent risk management approach,” Burdett said.

“While we remain cautiously optimistic and aware of the uncertainties stemming from the pandemic and potential market volatility, the outlook for higher interest rates and the expected acceleration of economic activity in the region present significant opportunities for the bank,” he concluded.