Abu Dhabi National Islamic Finance (Adnif), a subsidiary of the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, plans to open four new branches and launch its takaful and credit card during the year.
Adnif has achieved impressive growth in 2009 against the previous year. Speaking to Emirates Business, Aref Al Khouri, General Manager, Adnif said 2009 was a growth year despite the global economic meltdown during which most other financial institutions struggled.
When asked about last year's performance, Al Khouri said Adnif had good growth in 2008 and 2009 with net profits, assets and revenues rising. "In 2008, we had net profit of Dh27 million and in 2009, it was around Dh60m. Our assets in 2009 amounted to around Dh4.5 billion."
Al Khouri's forecast for 2010 was also optimistic. Referring to the projected growth percentage by the end of this year, Al Khouri said he hoped to see the good run of 2009 continue this year. "We are into our third year and the journey has been encouraging so far," said Al Khouri.
"Hopefully, we will do as well this year as we did last year." Adnif, being the Islamic banking arm of Abu Dhabi's largest bank, has good [growth] potential within the UAE, he said.
"People in general are not conservative in the market, but they have to watch what is happening due to new trends. In the banking sector, in general, we have a plan for growth this year," he said.
"We will be launching our new product, our credit card, by the end of this month. It is a unique credit card called Ujra. We will shortly also introduce our own takaful, the Islamic insurance policy and product. We have the potential and there is demand for Islamic banking within the UAE market," Al Khouri added.
Commenting on expansion plans, he said the bank will be opening more branches. By the end of this year, four branches will be operational throughout the country. "We will open a new branch in Al Ain in April. We have already submitted a request to the UAE Central Bank for permission to open another branch in Dubai and a fourth branch in Sharjah."
About increasing lending this year, he said: "In banking, you cannot stop things that are core to the business. We look for good opportunities and good businesses to enter [into]."