Dubai's Mashreq's 2013 retail banking profit to double

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Mashreq, Dubai's third largest listed bank by assets, expects profit from its retail banking unit to double in 2013 from a year earlier, a top executive said in a newspaper interview on Sunday.

The bank made a net profit of 1.31 billion dirhams ($356.7 million) in 2013, according to Reuters data.

"We are very small, as the total net profit we made was 240 million dirhams in 2012. This year, we will double our profit," Farhad Irani, Mashreq's head of retail banking, told Dubai-based Khaleej Times.

Irani attributed the profit rise to an increase in customer numbers as well as fee income, its non-resident Indian business, cost stabilisation and lower risk charge.

He was also quoted as saying the bank's non-performing loans will be 35-40 percent "better" than last year.

Mashreq's chief executive, Abdulaziz Al Ghurair, said in February he was "optimistic" about the bank's performance this year and expects profits to grow by between 10-15 percent, with provisions continuing to recede.

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