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Top UAE bank’s profit plunges over pandemic

First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates’ biggest lender, said Tuesday its net profits for the second quarter and first half of 2020 had plunged due to the impact of coronavirus.

FAB’s net profit for the second quarter of this year dropped 25 percent to $657 million compared to $872 million for the same quarter last year, it said in a statement.

The bank’s net profit over the six months to June 30 slumped to $1.3 billion, almost a quarter down from $1.7 billion over the same period of 2019.

Blaming the unprecedented global situation arising from the coronavirus pandemic, low interest rates and volatile markets, the bank said it had increased impairment charges to $490 million.

But the bank’s CEO Andre Sayegh struck an upbeat tone.

“FAB delivered a resilient performance in the first half of 2020 in a period of unprecedented challenges,” he said.

“Looking forward, FAB will embrace change and opportunity as the world enters a new normal.”

Total assets of FAB, the Middle East’s second-largest bank after Qatar’s QNB, rose 12 percent year-on-year to $236 billion.