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Emirates NBD (UAE) to Open 3 More Branches in Saudi Arabia

30 Mar 2018 - Emirates NBD, Dubai's largest lender, seeks to press ahead with to organic expansion in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and also explore opportunities in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region, Chairman of the banking group Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said on Tuesday.

Sheikh Ahmed said the bank plans to open new branches in Jeddah, Khobar and Riyadh. "We continue to explore opportunities within the Menat region that fit our criteria."

He said the bank had announced a record annual net profit for 2017. The Group's balance sheet continued to strengthen, with further improvements in capital and liquidity and a stable credit quality profile.

"We are confident that our prudent business model shall continue to deliver a solid performance and deal with opportunities and challenges that will present themselves. Customer and community remain at the heart of our growth strategy and we continue to invest in strategic initiatives that will help us deliver excellent products and services, while increasing shareholder value," Sheikh Ahmed said.

In 2017, the bank posted a net profit of Dh8.35 billion, up 15 per cent compared with the prior year. At the bank's General Assembly Meeting on Tuesday, shareholders approved a cash dividend of 40 per cent or 40 fils per share aggregating to an amount of Dh2.223 billion for the year ended 31 December 2017.

On the business environment, Sheikh Ahmed said the UAE economy and the banking sector in particular performed well in 2017 in spite of a challenging regional and global environment.

"The UAE economy is estimated to have grown by 2.0 per cent in 2017 and market sentiment and outlook are positive as we anticipate overall growth to accelerate to 3.4 per cent in 2018.With two years to Expo 2020 Dubai, the pace of development has quickened with a focus on projects and transport infrastructure. As the event's Official Banking Partner, Emirates NBD has started preparing the ground work to ensure that banking services are at the forefront of innovation at Expo 2020 Dubai."

Sheikh Ahmed said the group remains well positioned to continue to utilise its strong franchise and balance sheet to take advantage of growth opportunities in preferred markets.

Khaleej Times