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UAE’s banking sector profitability to remain strong in 2019

Dubai: The UAE’s banking sector maintained steady asset growth, improved profitability and asset quality in 2018 and is expected to deliver similar performance in 2019, according to bankers, rating agencies and banking sector analysts.

“In spite of volatility across global markets and regional challenges, the sector delivered strong profitability during the current year and we expect next year to be a good year for banks in the UAE,” said Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UAE Banks Federation.

After going through a three-year cycle of provisioning, and deleveraging from risky sectors and asset classes, most banks have cleaned up the legacy non-performing assets from their balance sheets.

Improved asset quality and stronger loan yields are expected to lift the margins of banks as they can quickly reprice loans in the context of the rising interest rate environment