x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Emirates NBD to double branches by 2011

The bank wants to become a global player, based on its position as the largest branch network in the country.

Emirates NBD bank aims to double its branches in the UAE by 2011, and expand throughout the GCC and into India, a senior official has said. Suvo Sarkar, the head of retail banking at the company, which already has the largest branch network in the UAE, said he wanted the bank to become a global player. He told Zawya Dow Jones: "We are looking at outside expansion across the region and at India as an opportunity to expand. We want to become an international player."

The bank has the resources to be able to undertake a major expansion. It reported a second quarter profit of Dh1.5 billion (US$408.5 million) - up 45 per cent from a year earlier - and profits for the first half of Dh2.7bn. Emirates NBD was formed only last October after a merger of two smaller banks, Emirates Bank International and National Bank of Dubai. In its latest results, the company said it aimed to deliver annual cost savings of Dh346m.

A major ambition for the bank is to expand in Saudi Arabia, where it has just one branch, but has licences to open 10 others. Mr Sarkar told Zawya Dow Jones: "We are planning to open 10 branches in three to five years once we get the approval of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency." afoxwell@thenational.ae