News Column

Mashreq expects consumer bank profit surge on wealth, small units

June 3, 2014

Bloomberg News

Dubai: Mashreqbank, Dubai's third-biggest lender, expects its consumer business profit to double this year, driven by the wealth and small companies segments as the UAE' economy rebounds.

Profit in the consumer arm may rise to about Dh1 billion ($272 million) in 2014 from Dh450 million last year, and jump to Dh2.5 billion in three years, Farhad Irani, the bank's head of retail banking said in an interview on June 1. An increase in credit and debit card payments in the UAE, where Mashreq is both an issuer and a manager of payments, is also helping, he said.

"Dubai and the UAE has become the magnet of wealth being attracted from the hinterland, Syrians, Iranians, Jordanians, Africans, Indians in Africa and the UK" Irani said from his office in Dubai. "The big transformation started happening from the second quarter of last year." The IMF said last month it will probably raise this year's 5.1 per cent growth forecast for Dubai. Bank lending growth in the UAE surged 7.1 per cent last year, the fastest since 2008, central bank data show.

Mashreq, owned by the billionaire Al-Ghurair family, reported a 35 per cent jump in first-quarter profit to Dh575.1 million.

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Source: Times of Oman

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