Mashreq is the largest private bank in the UAE and has a growing retail presence in the region including Egypt, Qatar and Bahrain. The bank claims to have a relationship with one in every two households in the country.
The bank launched its Egyptian retail operations this month with 10 branches, but has cut back on previously announced expansion plans in the country.
The company had planned to open 30 branches in Egypt over the next three to four years, but said that figure may lowered depending on the global economy.
“Our vision though still remains the same. But how we will actually achieve it has meant that we will possibly be less aggressive and more disciplined in our approach,” said John Iossifidis, executive vice president and head of international banking.
Last month, Mashreq’s long-term counterparty credit ratings were put on credit watch negative by Standard & Poor’s (S&P).
“This action reflects our growing concerns regarding the impact on the banking sector of the economic downturn in Dubai,” S&P said in a statement. “The outlook for Dubai’s economy, in our view, has worsened relative to last year.”