Business | Banking

Noor Islamic Bank looks to break even

Sets targets for 2012 while expecting to achieve 25% balance sheet growth this year

  • By Babu Das Augustine, Deputy Business Editor
  • Published: 00:00 January 7, 2011
  • Gulf News

Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum
  • Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News
  • Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Noor Investment Group, talks to the media at the inauguration of the new headquarters of Noor Takaful in Dubai.

Dubai: Noor Islamic Bank said it expects to break even in 2012.

The banking group has also put on hold all its physical overseas expansion plans temporarily.

"We expect to break even in 2012. That has been our original target and I think we can meet it," Hussain Al Qamzi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Noor Investment Group and Noor Islamic Bank, told reporters.

Earlier in the day Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Noor Investment Group, inaugurated the new headquarters of Noor Takaful on Shaikh Zayed Road.

Completing three years in operation this year, Noor Islamic Bank expects to make an operating profit in 2010.

"Our balance sheet for 2010 is being finalised now. I can confirm that we will report an operating profit for this year," Al Qamzi said.

Contributions

"Over the last three years the Noor brand has successfully made its mark in the Sharia-compliant fin-ancial services industry, a sector that is still in its infancy.

"We believe the brand will contribute to the growth of this industry," Shaikh Ahmad said.

In 2011 the bank expects 25 per cent balance sheet growth largely driven by corporate finance, structured deals, syndications and mortgages.

Al Qamzi said that the bank is back in the mortgage market and expects healthy growth in that segment of business.

"Genuine mortgage business offers healthy growth opportunities.

"In the past, some of the financing deals driven by speculation caused problems for banks.

"I still see good opportunities in home finance business," he said.

Commenting on Dubai's real estate market he said the recovery in the sector will be a slow process and he expects it to begin in late 2012.

Provisions

Noor Islamic's CEO said that the bank has exposure to the Dubai government and has made provisions in accordance with the UAE Central Bank's guidelines.

Al Qamzi also said that Noor Islamic's expansion plans, in terms of branches and representative offices in the region, had been put on hold temporarily.

"Market conditions are uncertain. But we're doing different transactions here and there in places like Turkey," he said.

He also affirmed that Noor Islamic "is not in talks to merge with or acquire any other bank or financial firm."

Management retained

Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Fiscal Committee and Chairman of Dubai World, said on the sidelines of the inauguration of the headquarters of Noor Takaful in Dubai yesterday that there were no plans or need for a change in management at Dubai World.Shaikh Ahmad was made chairman of Dubai World last month as part of a restructuring of the conglomerate's board.

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