Dubai's Mashreq sees 10-15% 2013 profit rise

CEO Abdulaziz Al Ghurair "optimistic" following 67 percent jump in 2012 profit

The CEO of Dubai's Mashreq, the emirate's second-largest bank by market value, said on Tuesday he was "optimistic" about the bank's performance this year and expects profits to grow by between 10-15 percent.

Mashreq reported last week a 67 percent jump in net profits in 2012, on the back of lower provisioning and higher fee income.

While not reaching such heights this year, Abdulaziz Al Ghurair said the bank would still see healthy growth in earnings.

"I'm optimistic about our performance in 2013... profits will be anything between 10 to 15 percent higher," he told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Dubai.

Ghurair said he was hopefully that provisioning at the bank would continue to recede in 2013 - they dropped to AED826.5m (US$225m) in 2012 from AED1.2bn in the previous year.

Dubai lenders were hit hard by impairments on bad loans in the wake of the a collapse in the local real estate market, which saw prices slump more than 50 percent from their 2008 peak, and the need for state-linked entities to restructure billion of dollars of debts.

However, most restructurings have been completed and recent months have seen signs of a recovery in Dubai's property market, leading to optimism the worst is behind the emirate's banking sector.

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