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UNB Q4 profit falls on provisions

By Reuters

Abu Dhabi lender Union National Bank's fourth-quarter profit fell 19.2 per cent after the bank set aside more money to meet potential loan losses.

The fifth-largest bank in Abu Dhabi by market capitalisation saw its fourth-quarter net profit drop to Dh135 million ($36.76 million) from Dh167 million in the final three months of 2010, according to Reuters calculations.

Reuters calculated the fourth quarter profit from previous financial statements. UNB did not provide quarterly figures.

"The increase in non-performing loans and advances in the fourth quarter of 2011 was due to the classification of the bank's exposures to some entities and certain other credit exposures," UNB said.

The lender recorded a 2011 net profit of Dh1.5 billion ($408.4 million), compared with Dh1.35 billion in the previous year, according to a statement to the Abu Dhabi bourse.

UNB, which is 50-per cent owned by the Abu Dhabi government, said general provisioning for 2011 had risen 65.8 per cent to Dh783.3 million.

An increase in net interest income and income from Islamic financing, up 22.5 per cent in 2011, was partly offset by a 25.7 per cent decrease in non-interest income, the bank said.

Deposits at the bank rose 4.1 per cent in 2011 - to Dh60.3 billion from Dh57.9 billion in 2010, while net loans and advances rose slightly, to Dh57.6 billion at the end of 2011 from Dh56.6 billion at the end of the previous year.

The board of UNB has proposed a cash dividend of 15 per cent, the statement added. UNB shares dropped 2.5 per cent in early Abu Dhabi trading.