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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

National Bank of Kuwait to expand operations in Egypt, Saudi

Kuwait’s largest bank to expand in Egypt: National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) “plans to hire hundreds of people and open more branches in Saudi Arabia and Egypt as it targets growth in the Middle East’s biggest markets,” Mirette Magdy writes for Bloomberg. In Egypt, NBK plans to have 60 branches by 2020, up from 43 currently. “We started focusing our regional growth on more stable markets in the Middle East, namely GCC countries — Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. — in addition to Egypt,” Group CEO Isam Al Sager said. “Egypt is among the largest Middle Eastern markets, with a well-diversified economic base and the largest population in the region … That offers us a great opportunity, especially with the very low banking penetration rate,” he added. Magdy writes that NBK Egypt expects 20% growth in loans in 2018, with a big part of that growth coming from SMEs, “because of a widely-expected decline in interest rates and a recovery in economic growth, according to Yasser Hassan, the bank’s managing director.”

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