GCC banks are really raking it in as the UAE’s First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and the Qatar First Bank (QFB) recorded strong profit increases.
The GCC’s banking sector is in full swing as the regional economy recovers to its pre-pandemic glory days. With consumer spending steadily rising and a larger number of e-commerce options now available, banks are experiencing higher investment activity — which has driven non-interest income. FAB recorded a 54% increase in Q3 profits, which reached $1b and surpassed analysts’ expectations. QFB saw considerable gains as it posted a net profit of $17m for the year until September (an improvement compared to the loss of $63.2m same time last year), with its real estate portfolio driving gains.
Banking profits aren’t just a GCC phenomenon as the Italian banking group, UniCredit (UCG), also posted its earnings yesterday, recording a $5.1b revenue for Q3 and a 40.2% increase in net profits (which reached $1.4b).
why it matters
Most of the bank gains have come from investments and trading fees, a sign that the public and private enterprise markets are ramping up. FAB and QFB stocks were up by 0.1% and 1.7% at market close yesterday, respectively.