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10-28-2010, 01:00 PM
First Gulf Bank profit falls 9pc


ABU DHABI: Abu Dhabi's First Gulf Bank yesterday reported a nine per cent fall in third quarter profit due to lower revenues from subsidiaries, but beat analysts forecasts.
The lender, the second-largest bank in the emirate by market value, made a profit of 849 million dirhams ($231.2m) in the three months to September 30, down from 930m dirhams in the same period last year, it said in a statement.
Analysts polled by Reuters had estimated an average third quarter profit of 804.1m dirhams.
"We will maintain our focus on the core strength of the bank in corporate, retail and treasury activities," Andre Sayegh, the bank's chief executive said.
"The overseas expansion, subsidiaries and associated companies will continue to present complementary support to our core businesses," he said.
Core banking revenues contributed 98pc towards total revenues, compared to 87pc in the third quarter last year.
Revenues from subsidiaries and associates fell 86pc to 31m dirhams.
Impairments stood at 1.31 billion dirhams at the end of September with 406m dirhams booked in the third quarter alone, it said.
Loans and deposits grew at single digits with loans at 95.5bn dirhams in September and deposits at 92.3bn dirhams.
In August, Citigroup downgraded the bank to "hold" from "buy," citing sluggish business activity and continued impact from the restructuring at state-owned conglomerate
First Gulf Bank's shares closed 1.2pc lower in earlier trading yesterday.