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UAE banks among top performing in GCC, KPMG report finds

The report, titled ‘New Age Banking’, demonstrates that the UAE’s top ten banks reported positive results in 2019, with an average 13.9 percent growth in net profit, the highest among GCC countries

Top UAE banks reported the region’s highest growth in their asset base of 19.5% On another note, Covid-19 is having an unprecedented impact on financial markets globally r in light of the current pandemic we are experiencing, banks will need to innovate now more than ever

KPMG recently released its fifth edition of the ‘GCC listed banks’ results’ report, which analyzes the published results of listed commercial banks across the region for the year ended 31 December 2019. The report, titled ‘New Age Banking’, demonstrates that the UAE’s top ten banks reported positive results in 2019, with an average 13.9% growth in net profit, the highest among GCC countries, driven by an increase in the overall loan book and inorganic growth. 

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The local banking sector continues to show strength and resilience as top UAE banks reported the region’s highest growth in their asset base of 19.5%. UAE-based Emirates NBD reported the highest net profit across the GCC, at USD 3.94 billion, and the highest return on equity at 21.8%. 

Speaking about the report, Abbas Basrai, Partner and Head of Financial Services at KPMG Lower Gulf, commented: “The UAE banking sector has remained resilient, with overall good performance from the top ten listed banks. These positive financial results, coupled with the increasing focus on ‘digitization’ in the region, have resulted in a move towards a more innovative approach in “new age banking.”

On another note, Covid-19 is having an unprecedented impact on financial markets globally and locally and creating a unique situation for the industry. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Central Bank of the UAE announced several relief packages. Banks must contend with many new regulations, as well as meet consumer demands for innovative, new digital banking products.

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“Looking to the future of the financial services sector in light of the current pandemic we are experiencing, banks will need to innovate now more than ever to reach their customers through digital platforms and new mediums. Banks that are agile, flexible and willing to transform their business models will succeed, and secure their financial strength for future growth, while those that rest on their laurels will be left behind,” added Basrai.

The report further demonstrates that although regional banks have remained resilient in terms of profitability and asset growth, they continue to focus on managing the credit quality of their loan portfolios to ensure this resilience can be maintained.

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The report titled ‘GCC listed banks’ results: New Age Banking, analyzes the results of selected listed banks in the Kingdom of Bahrain, the State of Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. It summarizes banks’ results through selected key performance indicators for the year ended 31 December 2019 and compares these with the same information for the year ended 31 December 2018. The report can be downloaded here.