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Mashreq sees 12pc profit growth in 2009

Dubai, November 11, 2008

Mashreq, Dubai's largest bank by market value, said on Tuesday it would not seek acquisitions until the global financial turmoil calms but expected 2008 profits to grow by 12 per cent.

Mashreq chief executive Abdul Aziz Al-Ghurair told Reuters in an interview that the bank was adjusting its plans in light of the financial crisis.

'Things have changed. We can't ignore the international financial crisis and, of course, we have to review our strategy and business plan,' he said.

'We can no longer just continue to drive at 200 km an hour; there is some rain and we have to adjust our driving because it's rainy now,' he added.

'We want to focus on our existing business. We are not looking at acquisitions today because there is none offered. If in six months the climate changes, we will keep our eyes open.'

Asked for the full-year profit outlook, Ghurair said: 'Twelve per cent growth, and yes, we will probably achieve it by year-end 12 per cent growth in profits.'

He said the expected profit growth was fueled by retail and corporate banking.   Mashreq posted a third-quarter profit of Dh346 million, down 12.5 per cent from the same period of last year, due to a decline in investment income.-Reuters

Tags: acquisition | Mashreq bank | profit growth |

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