UPDATE 1-UAE's ADIB Q4 drops, tops estimates as provisions dip
* Bank's Q4 provisions 161.1 mln dirhams vs 180.5 mln dirhams
* ADIB 2012 profit up 5 pct, provisions dip for full year
* Group full year profits up 4 pct to 1.2 bln dirhams
* ADIB forecasts moderate asset growth in 2013 (Adds details)
ABU DHABI, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank reported a drop in quarterly profit on Thursday but still beat forecasts as the bank made fewer provisions for bad loans.
Abu Dhabi's biggest sharia-compliant bank by market value had fourth-quarter net profit of 333 million dirhams ($90.7 million) in the final three months of 2012 compared with 338.6 million dirhams a year earlier, it said in a statement.
This was ahead of the three analysts average forecast for net profit of 224.3 million dirhams in a Reuters poll last month.
The bank was helped by an 10.8-percent fall in impairments, which dropped to 161.1 million dirhams from 180.5 million dirhams in the same three-month period of 2011.
For the full year, ADIB had net profit of 1.49 billion dirhams, up 5 percent over 2011, aided by strong asset growth.
Total assets stood at 85.7 billion dirhams at the end of 2012, up 15.2 percent on the same point of the previous year. However, the bank believed this wouldn't be repeated in 2013.
"We expect 2013 to be yet another year of moderate asset growth coupled with stiff competition between banks, which will place pressure on credit margins," Tirad Mahmoud, chief executive of ADIB, said in the statement.
Net customer financing totalled 51.2 billion dirhams in 2012, up 4.8 percent versus 48.8 billion dirhams in 2011 while customer deposits grew 11.2 percent to 61.3 billion dirhams from 55.2 billion dirhams in the previous year.
The bank's board recommended a cash dividend of 0.2540 dirhams per share, equivalent to 50 percent of 2012 net profit.
At a group level, net profit in the fourth quarter was 242.8 million dirhams versus 216.2 million dirhams a year ago, while full-year profit was up 4 percent over 2011 at 1.2 billion dirhams.
Total group provisions for the year was 802.3 million dirhams, down 4 percent compared to the previous year.
ADIB, which raised $1 billion from a hybrid sukuk sale in November, launched a branch in the Sudanese capital Khartoum in December as part of its regional expansion plan, the first UAE lender to get a banking license in the African country. ($1 = 3.6730 UAE dirhams) (Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; Editing by David French)
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