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Emirates Q4 profit jumps 74% as impairments drop

[DUBAI] Emirates NBD PJSC reported a 74 per cent jump in fourth-quarter profit, beating analyst estimates, as the United Arab Emirates' second-biggest bank benefited from a decline in bad loan charges and a rise in lending.

Net income advanced to 2.13 billion dirhams (S$834 million) from 1.23 billion dirhams a year earlier, the Dubai government- controlled lender said in a statement to the city's bourse Monday. The mean estimate of four analysts was for a profit of 1.45 billion dirhams. Impairment allowances dropped by almost half to 599 million dirhams and the bank proposed a dividend of 40 fils a share, up from 35 fils the previous year.

Banks in Dubai have gained as the emirate's trade, tourism and property industries recovered from the global financial crisis, helping reduce bad-loan charges. A more than 70 per cent slump in crude oil prices since June 2014 may slow growth this year as government spending declines and loan-loss charges rise again, Standard & Poor's said last week.

The bank climbed 6.4 per cent to 6.85 dirhams by 10:22 am in Dubai trading, the biggest gain since September.

Full-year lending increased 10 per cent to 270.6 billion dirhams and deposits rose 11 per cent to 287.2 billion dirhams. The impaired loan ratio fell to 7.1 per cent from 7.9 per cent.