First Gulf Bank beats profit forecasts - Emirates24|7

First Gulf Bank beats profit forecasts

Abu Dhabi's First Gulf Bank posted its seventh consecutive record profit in the first quarter on higher revenue from its lending and non-lending business, beating analysts' forecasts.


Net income in the three months to March 31 surged 66 per cent to Dh675 million, or Dh0.49 per share, the bank said in a statement, without giving comparative data for the year-earlier period.


Net interest income rose 53 per cent to Dh423 million, and non-interest income more than doubled to Dh600 million, it said.


"We remain focused on the planned organic growth of our core banking business and the strengthening of our complementary businesses in merchant banking, equity brokerage, real estate and Islamic finance mortgages," FGB Chief Executive Officer Andre Sayegh said in the statement.


"Subsidiaries and associate companies are becoming fully integrated and represent core income for the entire FGB," Sayegh said.


Forecasts in a Reuters survey of analysts last month ranged from Dh483 million and Dh561 million.


Shares of First Gulf Bank have held steady this year after almost doubling 2007. They closed up 0.25 per cent on Wednesday at Dh20.15.


In contrast, shares of rivals such as National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank have risen 5 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively.


Abu Dhabi's main stock index is up more than 5 per cent this year. (Reuters)