Rising lending, capital reserves and investments lifted the UAE’s banking sector gross assets by 15.4% y/y and 10.0% ytd to AED2.31tn ($629bn) in the first nine months of 2014, the central bank said in its monthly statement. Bank assets also rose 1.7% m/m in September, quickening from a 1.5% monthly rise in August.
Loans and advances (gross) rose 2.5% m/m in September, sending the ytd growth to 8.3% from 5.7% ytd in August, and totalling AED 1.38tn amid strong economic activity and investor sentiment. The latter is being boosted by strong public spending on infrastructure and recovering services, tourism and property activities in Dubai.
Consumer loans grew 2.0% m/m and 10.0% ytd to AED308bn, equalling to 22.3% of total lending.
Bank deposits, likewise, remained strong, rising 10.6% ytd to AED1.41tn despite falling 0.5% m/m in September, and accounting for 61.1% of total gross assets. Resident bank deposits grew 10.1% ytd to AED1.282tn, while non-resident deposits increased 15.2% ytd to AED133bn at end-September.
The UAE banks had AED283bn in capital reserves (excluding current year profit), marking a 5.7% ytd increase. Provisions for NPLs climbed 15% ytd to AED89.1bn at end-September, accounting for 6.4% of the total credit portfolio.
The UAE’s banking system boasts 23 locally-incorporated banks, operating 866 branches across the federation. Another 28 foreign banks were also active in the UAE as of end-September, operating 87 branches.
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