* Q4 net 879 mln dhs vs 628 mln dhs
* Q4 impairments 198 mln dhs vs 402 mln dhs
* ADCB proposes cash dividend of 30 fils/shr (Recasts, adds details)
ABU DHABI, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), the UAE's third largest lender by market value, posted a 40 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on Sunday, beating analysts' forecasts, as impairment allowances more than halved.
ADCB, nearly 60-percent owned by the Abu Dhabi government, reported a net profit of 879 million dirhams ($239.5 million) for the three months to December 31, it said in a statement. That compares with a profit of 628 million dirhams in the prior-year period.
Five analysts polled by Reuters had estimated an average fourth quarter profit of 783.50 million dirhams for the quarter.
Banks in the United Arab Emirates have reported strong growth in arnings in recent quarters thanks to an overall recovery in the Gulf state's economy and lower provisions arising from a reduction in problem loans.
ADCB is the first major lender in Abu Dhabi to announce 2013 results. Profit for full year 2013 was 3.37 billion dirhams compared with 2.74 billion dirhams in 2012.
Loan impairment allowances -- the amount of money set aside to meet loan losses -- dropped sharply to 198 million dirhams in the fourth-quarter compared to 402 million dirhams in the year ago period, ADCB said.
The bank proposed a dividend of 30 fils per share, a 50 percent increase to what it paid last year, if the 5 fils per share special dividend paid in 2012 was excluded, the statement said.
Loans and advances grew to 131.64 billion dirhams in 2013, up 7 percent over the previous year, while customer deposits advanced 6 percent to 115.42 billion dirhams last year.
The lender sold a $500 million three-year floating rate bond in the fourth-quarter last year.
ADCB shares did not trade on the Abu Dhabi bourse Sunday. The stock is up 100 percent in the last one year, according to Thomson Reuters data. (Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov'; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Dinesh Nair)