Mashreqbank forecasts consumer banking profit to double by 2010

DUBAI- Mashreqbank PSC, expects to double profit at its consumer-banking unit by 2010, as it does more business with small and medium-size companies and earns more from credit cards. Retail banking contributed 25 per cent of Dubai-based Mashreq's first-half profit of Dh1.17 billion ($319 million), growing 33 per cent from a year ago, Douglas Beckett, Mashreq's head of retail banking, said in a phone interview yesterday.

By (Bloomberg)

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Published: Thu 7 Aug 2008, 11:55 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:50 AM

"The consumer-banking business is growing faster than the bank as a whole and we expect its contribution to group profit to increase," Beckett said. "The priority areas for us are the card business and the small and medium enterprise business."

Retail spending in the UAE, the second-biggest Arab economy, is growing as economic growth accelerates. Personal consumer loans in the country jumped 39 per cent in 2007 to Dh43.5 billion, according to central bank data. Mashreq, owned by billionaire Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, is one of many UAE banks whose profit is surging amid an oil-driven economic boom. First-half profit grew 23 per cent, and revenue at the consumer bank is expected to grow by 30 per cent a year.

The company will add 17 new branches in the UAE. this year, expand its call center and sales force and enhance its Internet service, Beckett said. It will also increase the number of branches in Egypt to 11 from four and plans to have 25 outlets there next year. The branches are expected to break even in their fourth year. The bank is awaiting approval to open its first branch in Kuwait and expects it to be up and running by the end of the year.

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