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Mon 8 Mar 2010 10:44 PM

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KFH sees earnings flat, targets US and China

With 43% of earnings coming from overseas, bank to continue international expansion.

KFH sees earnings flat, targets US and China
EXPECTED EARNINGS: Kuwaits Finance House expects 2010s earnings to be in line with 2009s. (Getty Images)

Kuwait Finance House (KFH), the Gulf state's biggest Islamic lender, expects 2010 earnings to be in line with those in 2009.

Chairman Bader al Mukhaizeem told reporters on Monday the bank would continue to expand in international markets including the United States, Canada and China, adding that overseas markets contributed 43 percent of the lender's earnings.

In December, KFH said it signed a $242 million real estate deal in Chicago, after saying in August it was tying up with US apartment building owner UDR Inc to buy high income property worth up to $450 in the United States.

KFH's Asian subsidiary said in February it was considering regional acquisitions and business alliances to boost its size as it eyes huge untapped markets such as China and Japan.

Speaking to reporters after a shareholder meeting, Mukhaizeem said: "I don't expect them (earnings) to be up by much from 2009. Maybe in the second half things will improve."

Shareholders approved an 8 percent bonus share distribution.

The lender's net profit fell a quarter to $412 million in 2009. (Reuters)

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