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UAE's biggest lender FAB posts fourth quarter net profit rise

DUBAI (Reuters) - First Abu Dhabi Bank <FAB.AD>, the biggest lender in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), posted a 5% rise in quarterly profit on a rise in non-interest income, but like other rivals also saw a jump in impairment charges in the last quarter.

FAB's fourth-quarter profit was 3.08 billion dirhams (638.01 million pounds), up from 2.93 billion dirhams, it said in a statement.

Arqaam Capital had a forecast of 3.0 billion dirhams, and EFG Hermes had projected 3.08 billion dirhams.

The result came after Dubai's biggest lender Emirates NBD <ENBD.DU> reported a 15% drop in quarterly earnings on Monday, while Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank <ADCB.AD> also reported a 16% drop in fourth-quarter profit, as both were hit by higher impairment charges.

At FAB, net impairment charges were up 17% year-on-year, but were offset by a 34% rise in non-interest income.

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar; Editing by Tom Hogue)