Kuwait's largest lender eyes Saudi expansion plan

National Bank of Kuwait, the country’s largest lender, plans to hire hundreds of bankers and open more branches in Saudi Arabia to tap opportunities in the kingdom.
NBK, as the bank is known, aims to expand in Riyadh and Dammam by the end of next year, George Richani, chief executive officer of NBK’s International Banking Group, said in an interview in Egypt.
The bank opened its first branch in Jeddah in 2006, according to its website. NBK is also considering branches in India and Germany, Richani said.

The bank’s Egyptian unit plans to have 4 to 5 new branches in the most populous Arab country next year, Yasser Hassan, Managing Director at NBK Egypt, said in a separate interview. NBK Egypt expects 20 percent growth in loans in 2018 because of a widely-expected decline in interest rates and a recovery in economic growth, he said.
A “large chunk” of this increase will be to small- to medium-enterprises, as well as retail and big companies, he said.
NBK posted a 9 percent increase in nine-month profit in October as interest income and income from Islamic banking rose.

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