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Dubai wealth fund reports record net profit for second year running

Emirates Airline cabin crew. The Investment Corporation of Dubai owns the airline and has a significant stake in Dubai's biggest bank Emirates NBD Alamy/Rui Vieira via Reuters
Emirates Airline cabin crew. The Investment Corporation of Dubai owns the airline and has a significant stake in Dubai's biggest bank Emirates NBD
  • ICD posts $13.7bn profit
  • Boost from resurgent aviation sector
  • Transport up 119%, banking up 69%

Investment Corporation of Dubai, the Dubai government’s main investment unit, has reported a record annual net profit.

Earnings were bolstered by higher interest rates and a resurgent aviation sector.

ICD owns Emirates and FlyDubai airlines, travel agency Dnata, Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) and stock exchange operator Borse Dubai. 

It also holds sizeable stakes in Dubai’s biggest bank Emirates NBD and rival lenders Dubai Islamic Bank and Commercial Bank of Dubai.

The conglomerate made a net profit of AED50 billion ($13.7 billion) in 2023, up from AED30 billion in 2022 and the second year that ICD has reported a record net profit.

Annual revenue rose 16 percent to AED310 billion in 2023, which it attributed to greater passenger numbers at its airlines and its banks benefiting from rising interest rates. Higher benchmark interest rates boost banks’ net interest income.

ICD classifies its earnings into four segments: banking and other financial services, transportation and related services, oil and gas products and services, and other.

Profit from ICD’s transportation division surged 119 percent in 2023, while those from banking and other financial services rose 69 percent over the same period. Profit from its energy business fell although it did not provide more details.

ICD’s total assets were AED1.3 trillion as of December 31, 2023, up 12 percent year on year.

“The strong regional economic momentum and increased competitiveness of our businesses created an effect of scale resulting in higher margins and performance of our portfolio companies,” Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, ICD’s managing director, said in a statement announcing its results.

“The improved liquidity, asset quality and the reduced leverage in non-banking operations further strengthened the group’s financial position.”

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