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Grant Thornton Supports Asset Recovery Fund

  • This is the first portfolio sale of distressed nonperforming loans from a local bank in the UAE
  • It also sets precedent for new avenues for UAE banks to resolve nonperforming loans
  • The sale signifies a high degree of maturity for the financial market and aligns the UAE with global standards

Dubai -  UAE, 2 February 2023 – The Asset Recovery Fund (ARF) is pleased to announce the purchase of a AED 1.3 billion (US$ 357m) portfolio of distressed non-performing loans (NPLs), from Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), marking the first such portfolio sale from a local bank in the UAE. Grant Thornton, the UAE’s fifth largest professional services firm, supported this purchase by driving the value of ADCB’s NPLs and matching it with the buyer’s expectations.  

The move indicates how local banks in the UAE are cleaning up their books to support the growing market while remaining compliant with international regulatory and banking standards. Grant Thornton’s experts were critical to the pricing of their portfolio, which is one of the biggest barriers for local UAE banks in exploring alternative markets for NPLs. This sets precedent for new solutions for local banks in the future, and positions the UAE as an attractive opportunity for distressed debt international investors.

Hisham Farouk, CEO, Grant Thornton, and Haroon Ahmed, Restructuring Partner, Grant Thornton, both commented that, “This transaction opens a new avenue for the UAE Banks to resolve their non-performing loans. We have demonstrated our ability to help lenders drive value from their NPLs, and with our expanding restructuring capabilities in the UAE, will be on hand to support businesses during the challenges ahead.”

For further details on the Asset Recovery Fund, please contact Nick Wood ( or Prashan Patel (


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About Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton UAE was founded in 1966 and is one of UAE's leading assurance, advisory and tax firms dedicated to serving the needs of privately-held businesses, public interest entities and family-owned businesses. With offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah and considerable experience across many fields, Grant Thornton has clients in financial services, hospitality and leisure, construction contracting, trading, insurance, banking, transportation, and manufacturing, among others.

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