National Bank of Fujairah PJSC (NBF) 2021 Net Profit surges 124.2%
NBF’s resilient and robust performance exhibited a substantial rebound to profitability
Strong capital adequacy, ample liquidity and sound improvement in asset quality enabled enhanced returns and strong recovery
NBF announces its results today for the year ended 31 December 2021 in accordance with the approval received from the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE).
NBF achieved a net profit of AED 115.2 million for the year compared to a loss of AED 475.3 million in 2020 representing a growth of 124.2% driven by improving underlying business momentum and marked improvement in respect of impairment losses. The net profit was higher by 104.6% for the three month period ended 31 December 2021 compared to the corresponding period of 2020.
Supported by higher fee and investment income and effective cost management, NBF posted an operating profit of AED 955.6 million in 2021, a rise of 6.8% compared to AED 894.6 million in 2020. This is underpinned by robust core business growth and enhanced balance sheet management in the protracted low interest rate environment.
Operating income reached AED 1.4 billion, up 4.1% over 2020 despite the challenging operating conditions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic globally. The progressive trend is in line with the bank’s strategy of prime focus on financial stability and benefitting from digitally enabled services.
Net interest income and net income from Islamic financing and investment activities stood at AED 941.1 million compared to AED 948.9 million in 2020.
Net fees, commission and other income rose 18.0% to AED 344.3 million compared to AED 291.7 million in 2020.
Foreign exchange and derivatives income reached AED 114.2 million compared to AED 125.0 million in 2020.
Income from investments and Islamic instruments marked a significant improvement to AED 42.3 million compared to AED 20.0 million in 2020. Unrealised gain on fair value through other comprehensive income (FVOCI) investments stood at AED 44.0 million.
Operating expenses reduced by 1.0% to AED 486.3 million compared to AED 491.0 million in 2020, demonstrating the measures adopted in line with the changing market conditions and our focus on exceptional customer service through digital adoption and innovation. Cost-to-income ratio improved to 33.7% compared to 35.4% in 2020 reflecting the compound effect of the savings in cost base and growth in operating income.
NBF maintained its policy of prudent and transparent recognition of problem accounts. The small number of exceptional group exposures that had been earmarked for resolution are progressing in line with the bank’s recovery strategy. Net impairment provisions reduced by 38.6% to AED 840.4 million compared to AED 1.4 billion in 2020. During the year, the bank’s impairment reserve reduced by AED 93.8 million to AED 189.7 million compared to AED 283.5 million as at 31 December 2020. Total provision coverage ratio (including impairment reserves) stood at 87.0% compared to 91.8% as at 31 December 2020. The NPL ratio improved to 9.8% compared to 10.1% as at 31 December 2020 and IFRS 9 stage 2 exposure improved to 6.1% from 12.2% as at 31 December 2020. Excluding the few exceptional group exposures, the NPL ratio would reduce to 5.5% (31 December 2020: 7.3%).
The capital adequacy ratio (CAR) stood at 19.1% (Tier 1 ratio of 18.0% and CET 1 ratio of 13.8%) compared to 19.2% (Tier 1 ratio of 18.1% and CET 1 ratio of 14.0%) at 2020 year-end and is being maintained at this level to support the bank’s ability to ride out any challenges arising out of the rapidly evolving operating landscape.
Loans and advances and Islamic financing receivables rose by 3.1% to reach AED 25.6 billion compared to AED 24.8 billion at 2020 year-end.
Investments and Islamic instruments stood at AED 4.4 billion compared to AED 5.2 billion at 2020 year-end.
Customer deposits and Islamic customer deposits increased by 8.2% to reach AED 32.2 billion compared to AED 29.8 billion at 2020 year-end. Current and Saving Accounts (CASA) deposits increased by AED 4.1 billion from 2020 year-end, a 36.3% increase to AED 15.4 billion as at 31 December 2021. CASA deposits improved to record 47.9% of total customer deposits compared to 38.0% as at 31 December 2020 cushioning the impact from the lower interest rates.
Total assets rose by 7.7% to reach AED 42.9 billion compared to AED 39.9 billion at 2020 year-end.
Ample liquidity has been maintained with lending to stable resources ratios at 76.5% (2020: 82.1%) and eligible liquid assets ratio (ELAR) at 26.2% (2020: 20.8%), well ahead of all CBUAE minimum requirements.
Return on average assets improved to 0.3%, up from -1.1% in 2020.
Return on average equity improved to 2.0%, up from -7.9% in 2020.
H.H. Sheikh Saleh Bin Mohamed Bin Hamad Al Sharqi, Chairman said:“2021 results mark a welcome return to profitable operations on the back of robust core business growth and improvement in cost of risk in line with the Group’s strategy. There has been good progress and deliveries across all our businesses, reflected through the growth in operating performance and expanding trade and operational activities.
Though the global outlook remains subject to downside risks and headwinds amid additional COVID-19 waves, the world is moving towards a recovery with the UAE proactively and dynamically geared towards the next fifty years of exceptional growth, digital innovation and a smart future. The UAE government’s timely and supportive measures, macroeconomic policies and an effective vaccination drive have helped shield the economy and accelerate recovery efforts. Similarly, NBF’s resilient financial performance underscores its capability to identify and benefit from opportunities in the face of testing times and pursue a growth strategy while ensuring financial stability and management of volatility.
NBF’s balance sheet continues to grow and remains robust, liquid and well-diversified to enhance capital returns. While we keep a vigilant stance on the external risk environment, the Board believes that the lows of the recent periods are behind us and our continued focus on strengthening the core business, accelerating digital innovation focusing on the interests and needs of customers, equipping our staff members with the skill-sets of the future and facilitating our customers and societies to grab the opportunities present in the market. We also believe new opportunities will come from the increased attention on environmental, social and governance [ESG] matters, which will spur a further source of growth in 2022 and beyond.
I would like to place on record my utmost appreciation to all our customers, staff members, shareholders and partners for their constant support, efforts and trust in the NBF franchise over the years and in particular for a successful 2021. Given the long-term focus of our shareholders, we look forward to a return to the distribution of dividends in the coming years and will continue to play a befitting role in supporting the UAE’s economy. We are assured in our capability to steer the ever-changing environment and deliver sustainable shareholder returns.”
Dr Raja Al Gurg, Deputy Chairperson said:
“We are pleased with this promising set of results. NBF achieved further progress against its strategic priorities, with a record performance in its retail business and another exceptional performance by business banking. We continue to work towards a digitally enabled and customer focused franchise to improve market share and leverage technologies in key focus areas where it can add real value to the customer experience.
Supported by its strong capital base and the resolute backing of its principal shareholders, we are confident that NBF will continue on its growth trajectory through the cautious management of risks and the improving market opportunities expected in 2022 and beyond. Significant investment in risk and compliance will continue to enhance our governance and control procedures in line with the evolving threats and the new regulations and evolving technology.
We continue with our business focus and the drive to build a differentiated and exceptional customer service, further cementing our position as the leading mid-market, business banking and trade services player by becoming even more client centric and enhancing our reputation with the highest ethical standards.”
About National Bank of Fujairah PJSC:
Incorporated in 1982, National Bank of Fujairah PJSC (NBF) is a full services corporate bank with strong corporate and commercial banking, treasury and trade finance expertise as well as an expanding suite of personal banking options and Shari’a compliant services. Leveraging its deep banking experience and market insight within Fujairah and the UAE, NBF is well-positioned to build lasting relationships with its clients and help them achieve their business goals.
NBF’s key shareholders include the Government of Fujairah, Easa Saleh Al Gurg LLC and Investment Corporation of Dubai. Rated Baa1 / Prime-2 for deposits and A3 for counterparty risk assessment by Moody’s and BBB / A-2 by Standard & Poor’s, both with a stable outlook, the bank is listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange under the symbol “NBF”. It has a branch network of 15 (of which 1 is an electronic banking service unit) across the UAE.
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