DUBAI, April 18 (Reuters) - Emirates NBD (ENBD), Dubai’s largest lender, posted a 27 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Wednesday, boosted by loan growth, improved margins and slimmer provisions for bad debt.
The bank, the first major lender from the United Arab Emirates to report its earnings during the quarter, made a net profit of 2.39 billion dirhams ($651 million)in the three months to March 31, a statement from the bank said, compared with 1.87 billion dirhams in the corresponding period of 2017.
The bank’s earnings beat analyst estimates, with SICO Bahrain estimating a profit of 2.08 billion dirhams and EFG Hermes expecting a profit of 2.14 billion dirhams.
The bank, majority owned by state fund Investment Corp, was helped by a 20 percent improvement in net interest income, a 5 percent rise in loan growth and improved margins.
The bank said its margins widened 17 basis points during the quarter as rate rises bolstered its loan book performance.
Impairment charges dropped 31 percent from the year earlier period to 440 million dirhams. (Reporting by Tom Arnold; Editing by Sunil Nair)