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Noor Islamic to open new branches

Bank expects higher operating profit for 2009, CEO says

Gulf News

Dubai (Zawya Dow Jones): Noor Islamic Bank expects higher operating profit for 2009 and plans to open two more branches this year, the bank's top executive said on Monday.

"We expect operating profit to be better than 2008," Hussain Al Qemzi, group chief executive officer of Noor Investment Group and Noor Islamic Bank, told reporters.

The bank's first specialist corporate standalone branch, located at the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority, opened yesterday.

The bank, which is 25 per cent owned by Investment Corp of Dubai (ICD), has a capital adequacy ratio, of 20 per cent, up from 15.92 per cent at the end of 2008, Al Qemzi said.

"Our focus now is on protecting the bank's capital and preserving liquidity."

The lender, whose business is "65-70 per cent" corporate banking, plans to grow its retail business in the coming four years, Al Qemzi said.