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First Abu Dhabi Bank: FAB is working to its strengths

Investment banking underpinned a strong year for First Abu Dhabi Bank, as the UAE-based lender benefited from its long-standing investment in digital and led the way on a host of big-ticket capital market transactions.

Very little went wrong for First Abu Dhabi Bank in 2021. The UAE-based lender rarely put a foot wrong. It reacted well to the pandemic, using its capital buffers and some state aid to support its clients.

Good planning put it in the right place to benefit from an inevitable economic upswing. Long-term investments in digital paid off, and its investment banking team was kept busy in a standout year for Middle East capital markets.

“It has been a very strong year for us,” Martin Tricaud, group head of investment banking at FAB, tells Euromoney.

Financial results tell the story. The UAE’s biggest bank by assets posted a 26% year-on-year rise in net profit in the first nine months of the year, to Dh9.2 billion ($2.51 billion). Revenues rose 17% over the same period, to Dh16 billion.

That included a particularly strong third quarter, when the bank delivered a 54% year-on-year rise in net profit, to Dh3.9 billion. Non-interest income more than doubled over that period to Dh3.3 billion as the region began to bounce back.