Abu Dhabi banks to see 2007 double-digit earnings growth says NBAD chief
Banks in the UAE capital could see an increase of up to 20% in earnings next year, according to the CEO of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Michael Tomalin.
Speaking at a CEO roundtable held in the capital and organised by Oxford Business Group (OBG), the UK-based publishing, research and consultancy services company, Tomalin told delegates: “The UAE banking industry is very robust and in good heart.”
Citing healthy 2006 third quarter results for Abu Dhabi banks, Tomalin said the UAE capital’s financial institutions are performing better than global counterparts.
“The results don’t look good for some of the banks in the context of exceptional profits made in the previous year but, if viewed fundamentally against history, against their regional peer groups and against the banks around the world, Abu Dhabi is strong and doing well,” he added.
The CEO forum was staged as part of OBG’s on-the-ground research for its 2007 edition of the authoritative ‘Abu Dhabi’ economic annual. Moderated by Andrew Jeffreys, Editor in Chief of OBG, the forum included other key Abu Dhabi banking leaders Andre Sayegh, CEO of First Gulf Bank and Brian West of Union National Bank.
According to Jeffreys, the discussions were not only topical and challenging but offered insight in to future developments in the fast evolving banking sector. “The concept of a published roundtable is an unprecedented initiative for OBG’s team of seasoned researchers, and we were very fortunate to have such key opinion formers in one place to discuss issues such as: growth performance, real estate lending, international acquisitions and the recent downturn in the stock market,” said Jeffreys.
“There are few economies in the region that have outperformed Abu Dhabi and given the enormous momentum for reform in the banking sector, with institutions raising capital, cuttings costs and reviewing IT systems, continued strong growth is all but assured,” he continued.
Andre Sayegh of First Gulf Bank agrees that major reform of the sector is underway: “I think you will see banks moving gradually from simply conducting traditional banking activities into becoming fully fledged financial institutions. Most banks in the UAE are quite sophisticated and able to follow this trend."
A full analysis of the debate will appear in the banking section of ‘Abu Dhabi 2007’ to be launched in the first quarter of next year. The annual contains detailed overviews and analysis of the emirate’s political and macroeconomic environment, as well as trends in other major sectors, including, capital markets, I.T and real estate.
OBG Area Manager, Tatjana Marinko, said that early interest in the next publication is high, with over 75,000 pre-orders. “The inaugural 230 page, 2006, edition was one of the best selling reports of the Emerging Markets Series with a subscriber base from all parts of the world and indications are, that Abu Dhabi 2007, will be even more widely read.”